If only we could get paid more and work less hours! Since the last trip up to Blyton Park, we have done a few modifications to the car and particularly the trailer. The trailer did reasonably well on it’s maiden voyage, but it did need a lick of paint. In hindsight, buying a trailer on the cheap seems to have been a little bit of false economy considering what we have spent on it to make sure it remains a solid trailer, but we can certainly say that we now all know just how a trailer works!
Our test was scheduled for July 11th and seeing as I would be moving from my current house at the end of July, our plan was for the car to go straight to Ryan’s place near Loughborough after the test. So, we had to pack keeping in mind that this would be the case. Below you can see how tight the trailer fitted in to my garage with the car on. You can also see that we have started apply some of the decals that will grace the car in the TinTops series.
After the last test we found that inside the cockpit it was getting rather warm. So we decided to try and increase the air flow through to the driver by making a little home-made scoop on the driver’s window and cutting a few holes in the rear side windows.
We made our way up to Blyton Park for our trackday and unlike last time, we were bang on time!! We felt a lot better prepared second time out and even got ourselves a little gazebo to protect us from any sudden downpours which were bound to come our way.
We had sat down prior to the test to draw up a bit of a test plan for the day. We would start the morning doing short runs to get the tyres up to temperature and set our pressures. Then we would monitor the temperatures across the tyres with an eye for adjust camber at front and rear. I was enlisted as driver for the morning, whilst Ryan and Rob would do all the measuring and changing of pressures. Since the last test, we had decided to fit a rear anti-roll bar and on the first run out, it already felt a little more positive. However, the car was still understeering quite a bit and in certain corners it would hop around a little.
Around 11am, the most brutal short shower fell, completely soaking the track. We decided to continue running the car so that we would get a good feel for the changing track conditions. Unfortunately at this point, we managed not to record any footage of the car which was a shame as there were a few hair raising moments! The sun came back out within an hour of the rain first starting to fall and the track began to dry up. We had been smart enough to take the opportunity for us all to get out in the wet, so we all got a feel for the wet conditions.
As we approached the lunchtime break, it was decided that we needed to remove a rear camber shim, so that is what we did! After the break, with the sun shining once again, it was time for us all to rotate in the car and start to work out how to set our dampers up, which we still had not really properly explored. We made a few minor changes which seemed to move the car in the right direction but it was still not handling great. After more adjustment, we began to realise that the springs were too soft for the damping setting we had set it to and considering that we were nowhere near the stiffest damping setting, this was worrying. Near the end of the day we made a bigger step in the soft direction with the dampers and the hopping of the car began to dial itself out, confirming our suspicions. We have decided that we need to get some stiffer springs for the next time out in order to match the capability of the dampers we have.
Nonetheless, the afternoon was a success and the weather held out for us to do a lot of dry running. We all went in the car with each other, observing closely, ready for feedback post test. Ryan managed to post the fastest time of the day and the video should be viewable below…..
With all that’s been happening away from the project and the distinct lack of money we all seem to have, we have taken the decision to do one final test before entering a race. Some of us wanted to head straight in at the deep end and some of us wanted to take our time about it until we were really really confident with the car. So a compromise was reached and we all agreed it was the best thing to do.
The plan is to do another good value trackday in august and seeing as the car is now about 20 minutes from Mallory, it will make it’s way there to see the scrutineers. Then, all guns blazing heading to Donington in September. We are all really enjoying ourselves with the project, the development has been hard so far, but a real great learning experience for all of us.