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Winter Break Update Part 1 – December ’17

After a mixed season and quite a few “could’ve been” moments, we have decided on a bit of a winter build plan. Along with addressing a number of small issues, we will be building a new engine, to a higher, more reliable specification. On the shopping list are higher lifts cams, new valves & springs and most notably, a forged bottom end with higher compression pistons.

Whilst we wait for all of those items to be acquired (when the money in the shared account goes up a bit), we’ll get on with a few other things and first up, it’s the throttle pedal. We had noticed that the pedal had a significant amount of lateral play and subsequently, heel-toeing was becoming increasingly difficult. So, we pulled it out and took a closer look to see that the plastic housing it sits in had cracked and in all honesty, didn’t look like it was up for the job in the first place. We bought a block of plastic polymer, split in to 2 sides and drilled holes to house the central shaft of the pedal and mounted back on to the back plate. A new throttle cable and hey presto, a much better throttle setup.

Our plan for the beginning of next season is relatively simple; we will map the car, then we’ll test it before we race it. For the test part, we’ve actually booked on to a conventional trackday rather than an MSA approved test day, giving us the chance to take passengers out and also allowing us a little bit more flexibility of time during the day.

In order to make this work, we’re going to need a passenger seat. The current shell has actually had the standard seat mounts cut out of it and as such, we don’t have anything to mount a seat to. So, we obviously need to fix that, but we don’t really want to add any weight to the car.

Dave got hold of a tatty but very cheap bucket seat for £30 and, along with the side mounts that we still have, set to work creating something. Fortunately, there are a couple of pick up points on the sill and the tunnel where a frame can be mounted. A frame was successfully created and now passengers can ride safely and in relative comfort.

The shared account has slowly been creeping up and it’s now time to get some of the expensive bits for the new engine. First up, it’s the top end, so we’ve now got hold of the cams and valves.

Another issue we encountered last year at Spa was fuel surge. After exiting the double right hander of Stavelot, before the long drag up to Blanchimont, the car often hesitated. To get round this, we filled the tank more than necessary, but weren’t convinced that was the right thing to do. This winter then, we’ve purchased some tank foam and after draining the tank, stuffed it in, we’ll find out at the test if it’s made any difference.

One more small job on the list is the fire extinguisher servicing. Fortunately for us, we are based quite close to the manufacturer themselves, Lifeline. Dave whipped it out, dropped it off and picked it up 2 weeks later, job done.

The final part of this update is that we finally got rid of one of our spares cars that’s been out in the yard for quite a while. Another small amount of cash straight back in to the shared account, nearly time to order more engine bits!

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