With the engine mapped, all that was left to do prior to the start of our race season was to validate the changes we’d made. For the first time in many years, we decided to book ourselves on to a trackday, allowing a little more flexibility with time should we have any issues. Our normal preference is not to travel all the way to Snetterton even for a race, but we do have some good friends who live nearby and they were also interested in attending the trackday in their Mark 2 VW Golf. And, with the trackday having a good noise limit (105dB) along with it being open pitlane on a weekend, it seemed like a good plan. So, the night before, we made our way east.
After getting set up in a garage, we faced our first issue, noise. Last season, at race events, we would regularly test at 101dB, which gives us plenty of headroom. We expected the trackday to be a little more thorough, but to test at 106dB was quite a surprise. We took a look at the map to see if fuelling would help and after a 2nd test, we figured out that it didn’t! A nice chat with the noise tester and he educated us on the differences between trackdays and race days, the result of which was he was happy for us to continue, as we’d clearly made a concerted effort to reduce the noise.
We were now ready to get the car on track. Ryan and Dave both took to the track, getting used to the differences with the new engine. It was clear the engine had a bit more torque lower down the rev range, as the car had a bit more punch getting out of the corners. The nature of a trackday means that it can easily become overcrowded on and there was a lot of stoppages through the morning, making it difficult to complete a long run, 3 laps in a row was the most we did before the lunch break.
In fact, we contributed to the stoppages on one occasion, while Dave was driving when the front bumper came off. Under braking for the 2nd hairpin, the front bumper dropped forward and Dave subsequently drove on to it and dragged it on to the grass, where he came to a stop. After an initial fear it was something more substantial, Dave was relieved to find it just needed securing more robustly. So, this was fixed temporarily with an abundance of cable ties.
The rest of the day went well, Ryan managed to get in a 20 minute run without any stoppages and the car seemed to be responding well, we were happy with it. Listen out for the throttle bodies in this video…
After returning, we decided to fix the little problems we encountered. After taking the rear silencer out, we realised that the wadding had all but perished, so we replaced that with a slightly larger, stainless version, which should fix our noise issue. Fortunately, we still have a spares car with a clean bumper on it, so this has been painted black and attached to the car with the helping of a few extra quick release type elastic fittings, it won’t fall off again!
So, the car is now ready for the start of the season and first up is Silverstone in a few weeks time, bring it on!