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Showing content with the highest reputation since 04/01/12 in Blog Entries

  1. 8 points
    Well, after a few beers in the pub at the start of April, it was decided that we should start scratching our itch to take the Westfields further a field than a weekend blat around the lake district. Destination - Scotland. Where in Scotland - Who Knew!! Date - 17th April and return sometime after the bank holiday weekend. @Bigchris092: 91 Westfield Seiw // 1660 Crossflow // Bike Carbs @Brad Stone: 06 Westfield Sei // 2.1 Ford Pinto // Weber 45s Joe Ashworth: Passenger & Media Extraordinaire (tech geek, who also likes road trips & motorbikes) Day 1: Manchester to Carnforth: Figure 1.1 - My route through the Forest of Bowland National Park - It only seemed right to take a photograph. We decided to originally set off on Thursday 18th April in the early AM, but realising exactly how much mileage we had to cover over the somewhat limited days we had available meant that we took the last minute plunge to get some mileage in the night before. My route was slightly different to Chris & Joe (C&J), taking the more scenic route via the Forest of Bowland national park - Arriving in Carnforth at around 7pm. The route itself was absolutely fantastic, and given that my Westy hadn't had much of a run since a minor rebuild, I was quite happy to arrive without a hitch! Phew. C & J took the more direct route from the other side of Manchester, going directly counter clockwise around the M60 and then straight up the M6 to the lovely caravan park up which was to be our home for the night (Alan and Maggie, Thanks - A very comfy night's sleep!). We then made our way to what seemed to be the only pub anywhere remotely close to the campsite - The Limeburners Arms. This pub was quite different to what the majority of us are accustomed to today, a real pub some would say. No gaming machines, no jukeboxes, just a bar, dartboard and some good ale. Oh, and all the drinks seemed to be £2.50 no matter what was ordered. Miles Completed: 70 Day 2: Carnforth to Dunoon (Via Lockerbie) Figure 1.2: Packed up and ready to take the long stint North. Day 2 involved an early start from the campsite with the absolute intention of getting as far north as possible. We loaded up the absolutely fantastic app: Kurvager, which Chris and Joe advised me is heavily utilised by motorcyclists (I can now understand why!!). The app, for anybody who is not aware, costs around £9.99 for the pro version and is essentially google maps but for driving enthusiasts. It finds routes that would be enjoyed by vehicles that love a corner / single track lane / alternative route to the monotonous A-Roads and Motorways. 10 Miles after setting off, the first slight hitch (although somewhat expected) - Chris' thermostat cap leaked somewhat under some slight enthusiastic throttle, throwing a raft of steam outside of the bonnet. A quick fettle and a muttering of "Be reet", and we were soon on our way again. We seemed to make great progress on the first day, eventually joining up onto an B road that runs parallel with the M6 just shy of Carlisle (B7076 IIRC), eventually ending up at our first planned stop of Lockerbie. For any Air Crash Investigation enthusiasts, I was quite keen to visit the Lockerbie Air Disaster Memorial and we paid our respects in the memorial garden along with a very in depth conversation with the visitor centre assistant. I would highly recommend a visit here if anybody is passing. Figure 1.3: Lockerbie air disaster memorial garden - An eerie but peaceful place of rest. We had made probably one of the only conscious decisions of the trip on this day, deciding to head for the Dunoon Ferry Terminal to avoid the s****y roads around central Glasgow. This would also set us in good stead for our planned Blat up the West Coast. After a number of Fuel Stops (My Pinto was particularly Thirsty, averaging 25 MPG on A & B Roads, and around 15-17 on the roads which required slightly more strenuous usage of the gearbox and rev range) we arrived very wearily at the ferry terminal. A short wait and £20 lighter in the wallet, we made the short crossing across to the small town of Dunoon. Right on cue, the first technical hitch of the pinto powered Westy: Prior to the trip, the pinto had been fouling the plug on number 3 cylinder - a quick change prior to setting off solved this issue. However, the slow roads leading up to the ferry terminal had caused a build up of fuel and black soot on the plug, causing it to run on 3 cylinders. I think this car has probably been set up for the track in a previous life, and so is planned to go on the rolling road in the not too distant future for a tune and carb setup more suited to the road. The issue we had in this instance is that we had forgot to pack a spark plug spanner and wire brush (Doe!). At this point, we had had a very long day in the cars and were somewhat tired. We found ourselves sat in the cars on the sea (loch?!) front pondering what to do, it was 7pm at this stage and thought all garages locally would be shut on bank holiday. Figure 1.4: Dunoon ferry crossing - A highly efficient service and would highly recommend if a trip to Scotland is being planned. We hadn't planned anywhere to stay for the evening in advance as we didn't know where we'd end up, unfortunately we had rang around the campsites local to Dunoon on the ferry with no luck (Surprising given that it wasn't bank holiday yet!) and started looking into hotel or b&b's in the local area. It was at this current moment that a local hotel manager came out of his hotel and asked if we were looking for a room(s) for the night. We somehow ended up grabbing 2 rooms including a wonderful breakfast for the measly sum of £50 all in - A steal I'm sure you will all agree. For reference, the hotel was called "The Esplanade" and was exactly what we needed. A quick shower and to the bar for a pint to discuss a plan of action on how to solve the running issue. I decided it might be worth a try to call a local garage in hope that I could leave a message and borrow some tools in the AM the next day. To my surprise one of the garage owners picked up (7.40pm) and agreed to meet me at 8pm to help me out. What a saviour. A quick removal of the spark plug and and brush off with a wire brush, and we were back up and running. William even helped point me in the direction of a motor factors locally whom we could visit in the morning to pick up the tools we needed. What an experience so far. Figure 1.5: William came out late on to lend some tools to 3 guys in need. Thank you sir. After the vehicles had had the once over for the day, we put them to bed and headed out for some food - We ended up dining in a local Indian restaurant who'm seemed incredibly rushed due to the need for the waiter to catch the last ferry back to the mainland. The food was absolutely excellent however and the beers were much appreciated at this point of the day. Back to the hotel for a couple more beverages, and then straight to bed. Tired! Miles Completed: 190 Day 3: Dunoon to Isle of Skye (Via Glencoe) Day 3 was started with an early morning breakfast in the hotel (basic, but adequate) and a quick trip to the local motor factors. We were able to pick up all of the supplies that we required and were able to get on our way. The morning started off with some great roads next to the west side of Loch Lomond - I didn't realise how big this particular Loch was. Around 1 hour in, the Kurvager App took us onto a particular road, which was an absolute playground for Lotus 7 type vehicles. The 3 mile track was constructed from pristine, newly laid tarmac with great visibility into each and every corner, and the main bonus was that there was absolutely no traffic. Chris, Joe and I could not wipe the smiles off our faces when we got to the other side, what an absolute gem of a find. Unfortunately, we were enjoying ourselves that much, we didn't take any photos of this or note of the name / road number. You'll just have to take my word for it. The mid morning / early afternoon then allowed us to make significant progress towards the Isle of Skye - Taking us through some breathtaking roads via Glen Coe (I cannot get these views out of my head - Fully surrounded by huge mountain ranges) and the pictures could not do this justice. The one thing I would say about Glen Coe is that naturally it is very touristy and thus the roads can get quite busy. There are a number of great viewing points which allow visitors to capture some great shots. Naturally, the Westfields were attracting some significant attention from overseas tourists and we had some great conversations that may not have otherwise come about - particularly with an Argentinian from Buenos Aires who owned a whole host of Lotus vehicles. In the early afternoon we tried to touch bases with the Ferry company that takes vehicles across to the Isle of Skye - Unfortunately this was fully booked for the evening and we started making alternative arrangements. We had two options at this point: 1) Take the A830 via Fort William to Mallaig and find a local campsite on the coast. 2) Take the long route round to Skye via the A87 and utilise the bridge that goes directly onto the island. Figure 1.6: Stunning views from a pub in Glencoe. Note: Fabulous weather - Phone was indicating 24 degrees! Over a swift shandy at a pub in Glencoe, we decided to go with the latter option, it would add a significant number of miles to the day but would mean we see more of the things we wanted to in the short time we had available. We cracked on up the A82 and stopped off at a local Spar to get some BBQ supplies for the evening. We hadn't booked any campsite at this point and somehow managed to stumble upon a location shortly after arriving. I believe this was called "Ashaig Campsite" and cost around £9 per person for the evening. Although quite a basic (but developing) site, the beauty about this place was it's location, it had 360 degree panoramic views of the whole of Skye and the owner / manager was incredibly helpful and showed us around the site before we had to commit. Tents pitched and BBQ's fired up - 3 or 4 beers and a whole host of food later, we were ready to hit the hay. It was incredibly cold during the night and it seemed by sleeping bag was not quite up to keeping me warm. Luckily I had packed a number of other fleeces / blankets just in case which came in very handy. Ever more tired! Figure 1.7: Isle of Skye Campsite - Stunning views and great company. Miles Completed: 240 Day 4: Isle of Skye to Torridan (Via Applecross) We planned to have a shorter day than the previous 2 on Saturday as we had covered a lot of mileage up to this point. Chris' dad had previously done a tour of Scotland on his push bike and recommended that we take a smaller more intimate ferry back to the mainland. Glenelg Isle of Skye Ferry Terminal was the name, and again was one of the "Off the beaten track" type experiences that you might not necessarily find in a local guide book. We arrived with about 4 vehicles in front of us - 2 Minibuses and 2 standard family cars. Unfortunately the ferry was limited to a maximum of 12 people at a time, and had to make one journey at a time with the Minibus due to size. I think we waited about 1 hr 45 minutes to get across in the end, at quite a pricely sum of £15 per vehicle - not value for money, but an experience none the less. The ferry itself was great as it incorporated a swing bridge, which meant no awkward reversing off at the other side with a fully loaded roll bar and the staff worked incredibly hard and even had time for a brief chat during the crossing. Figure 1.8: The Ferry with it's incredibly handy swing bridge. Figure 1.9: Chris remaining in high spirits despite the delay. Figure 1.10: Chris and Joe locked in conversation about the need to be 'Qualified' to operate the chain carabiner on the boat. Once we crossed back to the mainland - I had the recurring misfire on number 3 cylinder once again. A quick extraction of the plug and a brush down and she was ready to go again. Far from ideal but not a huge problem to have given the mileage we were covering. It was then all mission go towards Applecross - a road I had been pre warned about in terms of it's beauty. On route, we came across a group of younger chaps carrying out a "budget £500 car challenge", basically covering our route but in reverse. One of the MX5's exhausts were hanging off - Chris was able to assist somewhat with the limited tools and supplies we had with us to get his exhaust in a usable condition again - The lads were a great bunch and were definitely happy for the help. We are all a close knit bunch after all!! Applecross road (or Bealach Na Bà as it is known locally) stretches for approximately 14 miles, and gets its warning signs in very early... "This road rises to a height of 2053 ft with gradients of 1 in 5 and hairpin bends" & "NOT ADVISED FOR LEARNER DRIVERS, LARGE VEHICLES OR CARAVANS.” just a couple of signs that get the blood running. With a series of hairpins going and sheer drops off of the side of the mountainside, it really does raise the hairs on the back of the neck. When we reached the summit, it was unfortunately very cloudy and so views we limited somewhat, however you just "knew" that you were in some place special. Monumental. Figure 1.11: A spectacular view of the Mainland - The Five Sisters of Kintail. Figure 1.12: The infamous Applecross Sign - Warning behind the array of Car Club stickers. After carrying out a quick fuel stop at the community run fuel station (Very good price given it's location), we stopped for a drink at the Applecross Inn (Recurring theme throughout this post), made plans to stop in Torridan as the end destination. Upon arrival in Torridan, we spoke with a local garage and filling station owner (Kinlochchewe Service Station) about possible locations to stay for the night - He recommended a campsite no more than 50 meters from where we had pulled in - great facilities and some really welcoming owners. I believe we paid around £12 per pitch in this site, which boasted some great facilities. We found a local hotel and eatery around a 5 minute walk from the campsite which we were able to grab some great food and more than our share of pints for the evening. This was the first time we had to put the covers on the Westfields overnight - as it was forecast rain, and lot's of it! Swift walk back to the tent and it was good night and god bless. Miles completed: 100 Day 5: Torridan to Inveranan This day started with some very damp roads - Caution was absolutely taken as we set off incredibly early and there was very little sunlight at this point. We decided to take a rather large detour than the most direct route to Inveranan, we wanted to touch the outskirts of the Cairngorn Mountains and chose Aviemore as the intermediary stop off point. Via some awe-inspiring Kurvager suggestions, we then picked up the A827 southbound, stopping at the Falls of Dochart for some ice cream en-route. At this point the weather was fantastic, and this lovely local village was full of fellow engine enthusiasts on both 2, 3 and 4 wheels. We eventually arrived at our campsite nice and early on the Sunday evening to set up camp for the night, which was based in Inveranan. Chris & Joe had stopped at this particular campsite before now, and recommended it due to it's lively atmosphere and likely host of person(s) completing the West Highland Trail. We also paid a visit to the Drovers Inn pub which was very closeby, and I am led to believe is one of the (if not THE) oldest Inn in Scotland. I found this pub to be absolutely full of Character, some great local ales were served and the food was great. We then made it back to the campsite for a final couple of beers and sampled the not so delightful whiskey, and then headed off to sleep. Again we had covered quite a considerable amount of miles given the Cairngorns detour. Figure 1.13: Chris enjoying life en route to the Cairngorns. Note: Long and twisty road in background - Epic thrills. Figure 1.14: Falls of Dochart - Based in the Historic Killin Village. Miles Completed: 197 Day 6: Inveranan to Manchester Unfortunately not so many great roads on the way home - We got on the road very early (7.45) with the aim of getting home as quickly as possible. The first 50 miles completed were quite nice, passing down the west side of Loch Lomond before heading onto the M8 around Glasgow. We then picked up the A74M via a quick coffee stop in Moffatt (This town is lovely), and joined the parallel road to the M6 as we got further South. This road is actually a fantastic option if you're heading up to / from Scotland, as it is so devoid of traffic and although it may be slightly slower, is much more enjoyable than the groan of an engine running at the same RPM for miles and miles upon end. We reached the Lake District at around 2.30pm which was really good going given the mileage we had done. We had a quick final drink stop locally in Kendal and then headed off in Seperate directions due to the alternate onward journeys that we needed to carry out. Mileage Completed: Circa 280 Final Thoughts: Although this was a very broad summary of the trip, we were able to cover a lot of mileage and visit exactly what we wanted to see + more. The cars performed absolutely flawlessly (apart from a couple of almost expected issues) and we seemed to benefit in certain situations from not being bothered particularly about where we stayed. The fact that we didn't book hotels and campsites in advance meant that we were able to be flexible in terms of our own itinerary. I will post a separate blog post about the type of camping gear that we decided to take as this may be of benefit to somebody else planning a trip of this nature. I think in terms of plans for future trips, we are definitely looking into Europe (France would be a great start) and we'd also like to carry out a trip to complete the North Coast 500 route in Scotland. //Brads
  2. 7 points
    Having seen some really nice tidy engine bays, I decided to take a look at mine, and see if I could improve in the view that already contains a mighty xflow Main thing I always got drawn to, was the return pipe from the thermostat to the header tank, basically a bit of hand bent copper tube running over the exhaust header. So, had a think and looked at other cars, and a nice hardline properly clipped down as per a photo on this forum was the way to go. This was the inspiration picture Bit of 10mm alloy tube, some blue silicone pipe, couple of P clips, and a hand pipe bender. Also routed the plug leads differently, need to source some nice clips for the leads now.
  3. 7 points
    Tel’s Tales Blyton July weekend 2017 Well as I look back at the Friday trackday (on two track layouts) plus Saturday and Sunday sprints, it seems that absolutely everyone had a fantastic weekend of motorsport, sun, bbq, gluten free meal deal, beer, buying and selling T Shirts for charity as well as support from families and club members. There was so much happening that I apologise in advance for missing or not mentioning stuff, events, praise, insults, leg pulling, car repairs, car damage and the sprint achievements as I could only be in one place at once. It was good to see so many friends and competitors all gathered together at our own weekend organised by John Williams (and Louise) and much better due to my paddock planning with Nigel Curry (who acted all weekend as paddock marshal) enabling us all to be in the same area. I am already looking forward to the same event next year. I arrived at around 1030hrs on the Friday and things were in full swing with mainly Westfields filling the trackday which was also car testing for a few drivers. Paul Aspden was out in his nice orange car which he has up for sale and Stephen Herbert’s recently finished Westfield 1X was on display for all to drool over. Dave Cleaver was ominously running in some new slick tyres, I was bedding my new front mintex 1144 pads in by running up and down the paddock as I could not pay for the trackday (typical Yorkshireman!). John Phelps was helping daughter Charlotte diagnose their Busa’s battery charging issue which seemed to be the alternator rectifier/regulator but it seemed to sort itself out in the end. During the weekend I did have to keep asking Charlotte what else she had broken , much to her indignation. It was nice to see newcomer Simon Waterfall out in his red Westfield which he had being desperately getting ready in the last few weeks in order to take part in his first Sprint competion. He appeared to be having misfiring and starting issues in the afternoon and for some of us this turned out to be a long project of trying to trace the problem. I reckon that around twelve of us were actively swarming round the car looking at the fuel and electric system on his old crossflow engine which unusually was not covered in or leaking oil. We appeared to have fuel but the plugs were not wet. We did suspect the coil and or the main coil to distributer lead but it also had a Lumenition module fitted so there was lots that could be wrong. At around 2100hrs we had to pack in as we had to use torches to see what we were doing and as the engine started once we got a telling off as there is a noise recorder on site which is monitored. In the morning Ian Morrison (aka Gadget) rang his wife Rosie at 0800hrs Saturday and asked her to come to site and take Simon into Gainsborough to buy a new Coil and leads (it required 2 visits). Then Paul Morcom amazingly produced a matching side entry distributor cap, which are as rare as rocking horse poo, and this was fitted due to the existing one being defective. We put the newly purchased bits in during early Saturday practice but it still would not start. When we were almost at the stage of giving up, Graham Millar (aka Windy) noticed a thin black earth wire on the bulkhead held in place by a chrome self tapping screw so he prodded it and guess what …..it moved. We therefore took it off, cleaned the terminal/wire and fixed it to a bolted earth stud. We turned the key and it fired up first time. Simon’s face lit up as we got his car scrutineered and out for practice just in time. On the Friday Howard Gaskin lost his alternator belt and had to go buy another one to keep going but on the Friday night track walk eagle-eyed Steve Everall spotted an undamaged belt at the side of the track so Howard ended up with a spare. Actually the track walk was just an excuse to enjoy the evening sun and down a few beers whilst discussing approach speeds, apexes, braking points and generally talking about theoretical issues when in the end how quick you go is often down to how brave you can be and also what grip is under the car. Signing on and scrutineering was possible for many on Friday night and this was easy and appreciated by all who did that. The paddock layout meant the Westfields were all together and people seemed to like this but some single seaters had to use tarmac a bit further from the start than they would have liked. Saturday. The bright sunshine and warm weather meant that it was time to slap on the sun cream and delay getting into our fireproof babygrows! A fantastic turnout of 39 drivers in the Speed Series were entered and chasing points driving the normal circuit and on Sunday the Eastern circuit. It was interesting to note that the noise meter calibration had malfunctioned and readings were ridiculously high and even the noise scrutineer agreed something was wrong so he adjusted the readings. Dave Birch appeared to be having some problems getting his engine started but succeeded in the end. The first practice showed that the track was a bit green and lacking grip despite the previous day’s track action. Simon Waterfall was up and running in his first ever sprint and he was not put off even though he spun on his first run. Graham Frankland tried a bit too hard and put all four wheels off at Bishops and Maurici Revilla spun off after the finish line and he entertained us for most of the weekend with similar driving. He admitted later that he was trying out a new rallycross circuit using plenty of gravel and off track routes in his long suffering Westfield. Dave Cleaver emphasised how quick he was by breaking the record/target time on his first run and it was clear that close competition also existed through all the classes and in my own class G that was certainly in evidence. Timed run 1 went smoothly for most but our Spanish “rally driver” came in with no offside rear wing and wires dangling behind the car due to hitting a cone (same one I hit last year). He stopped to park up but then reversed over all the lights and puled the wires off. His wing came back in 4 parts and Adam Read helped to fix it back together with tie wraps and duct tape. John Hoyle had engine problems and he stopped on track but managed to start again and drove back to the paddock forgetting to put his helmet back on so he got a yellow card from the clerk of the course (bad lad!) He traced the problem to a loose lead on the battery and was back in action again. Mark Anson was taking part in his first competition with his latest single seater Jedi which developed a slipping clutch in his early runs. It turned out to be an easy fix when diagnosed as a rubber seal in the clutch master cylinder was inserted the wrong way round. Nick Algar in the DJ Firehawk had gearbox failure again and despite Luke bringing spare parts it could not be fixed. He gladly accepted a double drive in Pete Goldings Ecoboost. T2 took place after lunch and saw John Loudon with 4 wheels off, I got a rerun by catching a car with a loose bonnet but I had to queue for the rerun so in my opinion my tyres were cold. However, it was my fastest run! Mike West appeared to have a broken engine mount but found a welder and fixed it on site. Matt Turner was having gear change issues and Del and Gary had a misfire that was a suspect TPS or the traction control setting/sensors. T3 saw Jason Brown going well but he had a gear shift problem that he was trying to cure, Paul Dew (aka Tigger) had a hairy moment at The Wriggler chicane and went straight on rather than revisit the field he ploughed last year. Interestingly Matt Hillam made the top 12 British Sprint run off even though he was double driving Keith Adam’s car. So, in summary, Dave Cleaver wiped the floor with everyone and set a new class record with 62.21 secs with other class winners as follows: A1 Adam Read 69.23 B2 Maurici Revilla 68.68 C Craig Spooner 71.20 D Martin Harvey 68.57 F John Hoyle 65.08 G Terry Everall 64.89 H Dave Cleaver 62.21 Novices A1 Dave Richings 73.94 B1 Steve Carpenter 70.04 C Jason Brown 71.55 F David Birch 71.51 Sunday Most drivers seemed to have recovered from the previous night’s BBQ, beer and wine ( the Marlbec and Merlot red wine provided by Paul Morcom and Martin Harvey at Del’s camper was delightful and not much was left at the end of the night) Today’s track was going to be a different challenge with only a few drivers ever having driven it and the trackwalk had highlighted some tricky areas, particularly for braking as well as the very twisty first sections. It was hoped that today the people having issues with loose alternators would have trouble free runs. P1 saw Matt Turner going very quickly as he had driven this layout before but once again Dave Cleaver banged in a time of 66.58 secs that was not much slower than the Gould single seater car. Keith Adams also had a DNF along with Adam Read. P2 Maurici threw it into the gravel again and DNF but maybe he was trying out a new line? John Loudon spun after the finish, Mick Skidmore had all 4 wheels off at Bishops and. Andy Hargreaves who has ventured into class G was going great on 3 year old slick and was well as being on the pace in his Yamaha R1 car. John Loudon and Matt Turner were both having gearshift problems to deal with. Due to the 120 cars it was taking quite a time to complete runs and this was not helped by the number of offs which deposited gravel on the track, so it was looking like we would only get 2 runs and therefore they had to count. T1 John Hoyle posted a good time but his offside rear wing took a battering but luckily he had not repaired it since his last altercation with a track cone. John Loudon was trying too hard at Bishops and had a spin whilst Paul Dew seemed to be having a problem with braking. It turned out that “somebody” must have forgotten to insert the little R clip retainers for the 2 pins that hold the pads in place. Luckily he still had 2 so just use one on each wheel which seemed to work fine. Steve Carpenter was judged to have had wheels off the track and got a DNF which was made much worse as the same happened on his last run. T2 Dave Cleaver found an oil leak on his dry sump tank so decided not to take his last run. Maurici also decide that his car and tyres could not take any more abuse so he also DNS. Matt Turner spun at the chicane suffering from “tryingtooharditis”and this contagious illness had spread to his mate Andy Hargreaves as he threw it off at the finish and also had a DNF. Despite his gearbox Jason Brown was flying and recorded a great time which would have won our class C outright. Fastest times A2 Adam Read 75.37 B2 Maurici Revilla 89.55 C Simon Broadbridge 77.74 D Martin Harvey 73.11 F John Hoyle 69.43 G Matt Turner 69.61 H Dave Cleaver 66.02 Novice B1 Roz Kennett 84.39 C Jason Brown 76.44 F David Birch 78.66 My highlights were Dave Cleaver’s awesome times on both days, my battle with the guys in class G who are all quick, Jason Brown’s Sunday result, Steve Carpenter and Roz Kennett’s £175 engine that goes great and has now done several events, Simon Waterfall’s efforts/enthusiasm and members support to get him running on Saturday, warm dry weather, the Westfield crowd craic and the BBQ Thanks to all for the organisation and friendly atmosphere and I am looking forward to next year already. Terry Everall Class G Competitor
  4. 6 points
    The weekend started off on Thursday evening when I dragged the caravan across to Blyton and Dave Cleaver dragged the Westy there as he was double driving with me for the weekend, we got set up and then said hello to the others that had arrived early and were going to be taking part in the track day on the Friday. Friday morning came and it was very overcast and word of rain at home only 40 miles away so prayed it stayed away for the day. The plan was for Dave to get some time in the car and use his experience to make any changes that he thought would make improvement. We let the normal track day first hour rush pass then Dave headed out, three laps later he returned and I thought something was wrong “It’s fine we don’t need to change anything” so that was that, a few runs on track throughout the day to get our eye in for Saturday which was also being run on the outer layout and that was that a great day and a little more confidence into some of the areas of the track that I hadn’t previously had the confidence to attack. Friday night most of the other SS competitors arrived and we managed to sign on and get scrutineered so less of a rush on the Saturday morning. Saturday and the outer circuit, we set the tyre pressures and applied the sun cream, it was going to be hot. A very straight forward morning practice runs with Dave a second quicker than me, although I had already beat my PB by 2 seconds. We had lunch then set about trying to find a little more time. I went a little faster with a 71.1 so set about trying to get in the 70’s while Dave was on 70.3 aiming to get a sub 70 second time. The last run of the day and Dave did it 69.8, I over drove the car and in true spin to win fashion I came over the finish backwards. So Dave to the honors but showed me what the car was capable of once I had more seat time. On the Saturday evening at prize giving we were notified that the local farmer had ploughed through the main water pipe for the site and therefore there was no water on site at all. So we did what and good speed series competitor would do and cracked open a few cold one’s, we had earned it by having our over sized baby grows on all day. The water was fixed about 8pm and we could start using the showers. A great BBQ where you bring your own food was in full swing with a mix of Marshall's non speed series club members and the speed series competitors all together. Sunday and the more technical of the days using the eastern circuit. Again we got the car ready and applied the sun cream it was going to be even hotter today. We had P1 and everything was fine Dave then came in from P2 and said one of the rears was binding and under breaking pulling to the left. After investigation we had lost a pin to the hand break rod on the back axle meaning the tension had been taken up on the opposite side. We disconnected the other side as well and cable tied the full assembly up out the way. So a job to do before my next run out. It got hotter through the day and we though the track had past its best. Dave managed to put a 75.47 only 1 tenth of the class record I was currently down in the 77.3 area but still pleased to be 4 second faster than my previous best. Last run of the day and Dave was on a flyer coming down towards the last corner with what looked to be a very quick time but couldn’t get the car slowed down enough and went straight on and through the kitty litter and onto the grass. I lined up knowing that I could go quicker but would be happy to get in the 66’s. bang off the line 64ft of 2.35 and nailed the first technical section and was 1.3 second up in the first sector, I was then brave round curva Grande and managed to get the car turned into the wiggler 2nd,3rd,4th into bishops where I had been scrubbing some speed but carrying 4th through that corner all weekend and a down shift to 3rd and powered out of the corner down and round bunga bunga and flat to the finish managed to get the car slowed and turned in………….75.40......... 1.9 seconds quicker in one run and first in class by 7 one hundredths and only 3 one hundredths off the record. Great weekend great company. Special thanks to the @John Williams - WSCC Competition Secretary and his organisation team and thanks to @tkm_dave as without someone telling me that the car is setup well and then showing me what it was capable of I would never have pushed as hard as I did to make up the time. on the Outer I went 4 seconds faster than my PB and eastern I was 6 seconds faster than my PB of only 6 weeks ago at the longton event. Let’s do it all again next year.
  5. 6 points
    Well just to give you a bit of understanding on how I got to this I consider myself a bit of a petrol head, I studied mechanical engineering but have a reasonable understanding of most things I have completed 3 kits to date, first been a Robin Hood with Redtop engine using a manta gearbox on twin 45's, then had a bit of a break from Kits as I tried motorbikes for a bit but found out even though I have a love for bikes they were not for me, (I was too scared worrying all the time about would I get home in one piece) Then I returned buying my first Westfield which had a RS1.8 silvertop this soon was modified but the urge for more power saw that get removed and in went a ST170 with stage 3 head and a megasquirt ( I hear a few growns) ecu with a set of Hayabusa throttle bodies, the gearbox was changed to a straight cut and had a twin plate clutch (nightmare on road) this did not las long. After a good few years with this I was looking again for another project when I came across my current Westfield which had a poorly running engine due to the carb setup, this was ideal for me as I wanted to put an Ecoboost engine in, Ive always been of the opinion a Westfield should be a small engine and these modern engines are truly amazing. So lots of planning research saw me talking with a few members who were on similar paths, so a steep learning curve as there was almost no information out there on the net to help. so some of the decisions were trial and error, I had hoped to get it completed so I could take to Stoneleigh but that was not going to happen due to contracting a really bad cold (worst I have ever had) anyway this project was completed and I took it to the classic at Silverstone. I am still impressed with this car drives great so I intend to keep this. Where we live there are some great classic events so my thoughts went should I buy a classic I looked around and could not find anything which really took me there were some close calls E type, TR5 and 6 but then I saw a C type and fell in love with it everybody I talked too agreed on its beauty, so I was sold, next job was to get my wife to sign up to the project. Oh I could not afford a genuine so Kit manufactures were googled, then the decision should I have a GRP or aluminium body, well this became a no brainer I was not going to pay at least another 30k for an alloy body as lets face it this will always be looked at as a kit, plus the GRPbody is more durable to stone chips etc. So the decision was made Realm Engineering 3 visits to the factory oh this is a real culture shock if you are from the current day thinking of what factories are like, but as I've been around a bit longer it was like going back to my apprentice days. So before I commit to buying I need to find a series3 Jaguar but these are starting to get collector status so finding one a a good price is not easy, so bit of scouring all the usual places I found one that met my criteria (cheap) as it had been partially stripped, so prior to Christmas the deal was done and I would collect in the New Year. My next attention was to look for a gearbox for the kit, I need a W58 supra box I finally found on in Czech Republic a deal was done and it arrived safely in the new year, these are like Hens teeth so bit annoying that I just found another one 10miles from where I live at less money, oh well never mind. So last few weeks I have been slowly stripping the car Daimler XJ6 4.2 for the bits I need. So here is the doner, it looks much better than it is and a image of the future
  6. 5 points
    Like a kid counting down to Christmas, this race meeting could not come round quick enough. I had been over thinking the championship and really trying to get my fitness up, I just wanted to get out there and was chomping at the bit! This was the penultimate meeting of 2018 with the Welsh Sport and Saloon Car Championship. I had to book a different hotel to the one I usually get and although an ok place, it did smell damp in the room and my mate again, snored like a trooper. The ear plugs just didn’t sit right in my ears and I got another crap night’s sleep. Still I’m used to that now and several cups of tea, Lucozade and a healthy dose of adrenaline sorted out the tiredness. Overnight it was very windy and wet. Thankfully the new gazebo (Rock Awnings) held up. I got to the track in drizzle and an uncertain forecast…..after the biblical weather at Donny I wanted summer to return! The grid was down to 14 as a few cars had either crashed or had major failures since the last meeting. This suited me fine as I had enough in my class for a potential maximum points and it gave me lots of space to set a quick one in quali. I was mucho surprised though when I got back to the pits to find out I was on the front row. I thought my mate was taking the mickey (he does that a lot….). P2 was my best ever quali result and for sure down to the wet. Now I wanted it to rain all day so then the sun came out….. The start of race 1 was playing on my mind as I had two powerful cars on the row behind and I had no hope of holding them back. I opted for the don’t change position and let them past as this was least risk (neither were in my class). This worked but I did end up in a Caterham sandwich approaching the first corner. I tried to outbreak one car round the first corner but didn’t quite get it done and held 4th. Just as I was looking to get a good run out of the 3rd corner I got caught unaware by one of the Class CT cars (he was really, really close to my car) and in taking evasive action, ended up on the grass (he apologised after the race). It was a proper heart-stopping moment as the grass was sodden. This can mean you end up either spinning or the car digging in….I backed out of the throttle and got away with it, just managing to hold off 5th place. I quickly got the space back and finished 4th overall, which was what I was hoping for and more importantly 1st in class. Race 2 was less interesting and mostly uneventful to be honest. One of the chasing pack span at the first hairpin and caused bedlam as about 10 cars had to go round a stationary car. I focused on getting the car home but I had also set myself a target. The class lap record was just a tenth of my fastest lap from race 1 and I manage to just dip under it on lap 14 of 16, despite my mate waving to tell me to slow down and think about the points. I finished 4th again and 1st in class once more. All these points mean I can now officially call myself the Welsh Sports and Saloon Car Champion for 2018. I’m a very happy racing driver! Thanks for reading. Vids to follow tonight. Mike Pic of the close moment in Race 1 (yep...that's literally about 3 inches away!) -
  7. 5 points
    I arrived Saturday evening with Tony Smiley and got settled for the night, A member of staff from the track approached me and asked if many more were likely to arrive that evening being unsure i said probably up to 10pm. He handed me the key and said well can you lock up tonight and open up in the morning. We walked the track using the double lap formation for this event and soon realised that none of the videos portray just how tight and technical the circuit is. The track has been re-surfaced over the winter as is no longer the 7 different types of blacktop it once was. Sunday morning up at 6 to open the gate and prepped for the day. set off in P1 massive misfire issues managed to get round but nearly 20 seconds off the target time. Checked everything over added 3L of fuel just in case and went out for P2 a little better but out of the tight hairpin onto the back straight again a bad misfire an improvement but still nearly 7 second off the target. Ian Davenport who was attending who also has a K-series offered up a spare set of pugs in case that was the issue but in conclusion we thought fuel starvation from a standard road size tank and i don't run a swirl pot .over my first few events i have been keeping the fuel level quite high on the gauge as my old car read terribly and was unsure just how much was in the tank. T1 with a full tank no issues the balance felt good a little loose on the back end but 100% better than the practice runs, over the finish you have to be committed and the track falls away massive lock up and came off the breaks to get it turned away from the wall and in to the pit entry. My time showed on the left 82.13 boom i went mental in my helmet punching the air, Howard Gaskin and Alex Gaskin watched from the pits and walked over as i was heading back to my trailer "enjoy that did you" yes it was brilliant i beat the target time by 0.94 seconds. T2-6 the weather changed and it got much cooler I felt like i was getting faster but the times weren't showing it, i tweaked a few settings and pressures but didn't help so T1 was my fastest and hopefully if my calculations are correct My first 101 points from an event and new class record. Overall a fantastic day a class win points in the bag and a new class record. Lots different to the circuits I have driven so far, I'm having a month off now until the WSCC Blyton weekend with a few jobs to do on the car.Just want to say a massive thank you to Longton & District Motor Club for putting this event on with so few entries. It was a great event so if you have time please support the other three sisters events.
  8. 5 points
    Back to Pembrey on the ‘Classic’ circuit for rounds 5&6 of the Welsh Sports and Saloons Championship. I stayed down the road at the usual place and with my trusty ear plugs in and had an ok night’s sleep despite my mates ridiculous snoring again. It was an early start with sign-on at 7.30am. Annoyingly we were the last race of the day as well at 5.30pm. It was going to be a long day in the hot sun….. Still, it was dry and that’s how I like it as these caterfields just don’t seem to go as well as the saloons in the wet (or is it just me!) Quali went well as I dialled ina tidy lap having cleared the traffic early on the session. I was very surprised with 3rd overall, albeit the grid was only 14 for this race, down on what it normally is. It was tight with 4 cars within a second of each other from 3rd to 6th and some powerful cars behind. Into the first race I had a shocker as I missed 3rd gear on the rolling start. That put me well down and my main championship competitor two cars in front. I just thought ‘get your head down’ and don’t panic as it’s class points that count – I won’t be winning any races outright. The two cars between him and I, passed him mid-race and on about lap 10 of 14 I managed to get past him, overtaking around the outside of the hairpin again. This car is great on the brakes! A class win and 4th overall was a result I was pleased with but a bit of a let off really as I screwed it right up at the start. The second race was looking interesting as I was on the outside of the grid. I also had some powerful cars ahead of me so I had it all to do on the brakes into the first corner. But… just before the 1-minute board came out, main my class competitors got out of his car. Turns out he had left the filler cap off his petrol tank located in the rear of the car. Sportingly, my mate gave him a hand and he started from the pits, setting off as the last car went past. He had a great race through the pack by all accounts. At the start, I got lucky on the brakes round the outside of one car in front of me, then managed to go round the outside of one other car before the back straight (I backed him up a bit before the straight as I thought he might just outdrag me otherwise) and before I know it I was second overall! It didn’t last! One very fast car that had a problem in the first race drove from the back of the grid and caught me on the second lap. Impressive stuff with only a 1.05 lap! Still, I managed to hold onto 3rd place overall, albeit with a lot of defending at the hairpin and doing my very best to get away in the twisty bits from the more powerful cars. 1st in class too. I was well chuffed to be on the podium (even if they don’t actually use it at Pembrey!). Fastest lap in both races was the cherry on top! In what must be the fluke of the century, I’m still leading the championship after 6 of 12 rounds. Rolly on Donny in July, one of my favourite circuits. Bad race start: Mid race shenanigans: Good race start (up to second - that's a first for me if you can excuse the pun!!!): Mike
  9. 5 points
    Tel’s Tales Silverstone Stowe Circuit 3rdJune 2018 After around a 6 or 7 years break we eventually managed to get invited to attend this meeting although it turned out to be a single lap and not the 2 lapper I remember from the past. We had quite a good turnout of 11 Westfields even though it was on the same weekend as Pembrey (2 events in the south on the same weekend!). The forecast for Sunday was good but as I loaded up the car and set off it was raining hard in York. The first bad news I had was that Mark Anson’s engine had failed in first practice at Pembrey so he was not a happy bunny particularly after his long haul from Blackpool. That track does seem to eat engines for some reason. We could only arrive after 1600hrs to get a decent paddock position but what a shock Steve and I got as it was in the worst condition I have ever seen. Basically it was a gravel covered dirt area with no chance for cars on slicks (one actually punctured on the gravel and you can’t repair slicks) There was dust everywhere and even a sweeping brush had no effect. Steve, Margaret, Simon Waterfall and I walked the “new track” and it looked very tight in places through the chicane in the straight which was about 40m wide so it was anyone’s guess as to where the best line was and there was even gravel patches on that too. On getting back we noticed that the main toilet block was being locked for the night and were told of an alternative hut where there were only men’s toilets so that went down well for the people camping with girlfriend’s , wives and kids. The place reminded me of a rundown building site. We met up with Lee Collar who is now driving Mark Anson’s old orange blade car and it was good to see Richard Houlgate, Matthew Haynes out again. The sunny evening and a few beers with my chilli diner made the world look a bit nicer but sleeping was hard as there were 2 generators running all night. Sunday was a hot, hot day. The contrast between surviving the Siberian cold and wet of Croft compared to today’s Saharan desert sun was crazy but just as difficult as we suffered in our hot babygrows and helmets whilst in long queues towards the start line. Some of us signed on and were scrutineered on Saturday night but Howard Gaskin was panicking a bit as he had left his competition licence at home. I was lucky enough to have Steve’s wife Margaret acting my pit buddy and carrying tyres as well as doing a great job cleaning them between runs. The first clean after P1 produced two tack nails that she found stuck in my tyre. We were promised 2 practice and 3 timed runs but an hours delay at the start plus problems with the heat affecting the timing gear meant we only got 2 timed runs. Whilst waiting in line for the start some of us were politely told not to lean on the pit wall which was odd as the event had not even started. It was obvious from early incident of cars hitting the tyres forming the chicane that this was a tricky area that could cause bug damage if you got it wrong. I missed the tyres by a whisker on my first run and I think that Richard Houlgate and Matthew Haynes had to go for a gap between the tyres as they lost their way through the chicane. The timing was also frustrating the drivers as often there was only one car on the track which slowed proceedings down so we did not finish P1 until 1115hrs approx. After P1 there were 10 Westfields in the top 12. Just to add to the fun the Gents toilets became blocked and the café ran out of food. Most of us found that by P2 we were beginning to get an idea of where the track went and starting to get some grip through the tricky bends. T1 started at around 1400hrs by which time the heat was becoming intense and god knows how many cans of diet coke I drank. T2 was the final run except for me as my engine refused to start as I headed to the start. Despite the help of Steve Carpenter, Roz Kennett, Steve Everall and Howard Gaskin we could not get it sorted. The other guys put in some great times in a field of 110 cars and there were some very close battles going on for class on the day awards as well as our own classes. In the end there were 6 Westfields in the top 12 cars and Simon Waterfall, Matthew Haynes, Howard Gaskin and myself won our classes on the day. I had a personal with Lee Collar and I just beat him by half a second (he looks a good bet for future honours as does Simon Waterfall). Overall Positions on the day were as follows: 3rdTerry Everall 4thLee Collar 6thHoward Garkin 8thMatthew Haynes 9thKeith Adams 12thSteve Everall I was quite jealous of the trophies awarded as they were huge and well received by our guys. In summary it was a good challenging track to drive but the weekend did not run smoothly. Terry Everall Class G competitor
  10. 5 points
    Tel’s Tales Blyton Sat/Sun 19thand 20thMay 2018 (LDMC event) It was a good job that I did not get an invite to “The Wedding” as I completely forgot that it was on the same weekend as the Blyton sprints run by Longton DMC and I would not have been able to support Harry and Meghan in church or at their evening do. There was an added bonus in that I did not have to sit through the 6 or so hours of TV broadcasting the proceedings but I understand that it all went well without my support! Back to the serious stuff as Steve and I arrived on the Friday to see the back end a of a Lotus 7 trackday. We had a great forecast for the weekend and I gave out a whole batch of the new red 2018 T shirts. We had a good Westfield attendance and after speaking to Doran (the chief paddock marshal) I negotiated a great paddock position for most of the non road going cars which was close to the results office, toilets, had clean smooth tarmac and was 25metres from the start line! As usual we had a few beers on Friday night and discuss tactics for the weekend which mainly revolved around how much sun cream we needed to apply and at what intervals as this varied for factor 30 or 50. Saturday Signing on and scrutineering was quick and easy and was followed by a convoy run around the Eastern circuit which LDMC had not run before. I went in Steve’s VW Tiguan which was full of tools, clothes, beer, petrol cans and god knows what else and we cruised around at 25mph enjoying the scenery, forgetting all about apexes and braking points never mind what gear to be in. After the convoy run Derek Hodder seemed to have a leaky water problem and the nose cone and bonnet were of as they quickly diagnosed that a mounting boss on their alloy radiator had cracks around the weld edges. Nobody on site or locally seemed to have a welder or be available (Del did not think that alraldite would work) but in the end a Caterham driver took pity and offered a tube of Quiksteel epoxy putty. I have to say that not only did the repair look very neat but it did the job and set almost immediately and lasted all weekend (must get a tube of that stuff for my spares). Also a few of us had got a hook up for power running a long way from the supply point and someone ran over my cable and pulled it out the wires from the plug during the convoy run! Actually it was a doddle for me to repair and we all were back up and running with power to our campers and motorhomes again (mainly to keep the beer cold). P1 - Immediately after first practice Mick Skidmore noticed that his battery power was low so I quickly tested a few things and found it was his alternator that had packed up so he had to keep charging the battery between runs but that worked fine and it was lucky that we did have 240v power. Del’s air powered actuator for his gear shift seemed to be having an off day as it kept changing up and down the box on its own. Del and Garry were on the case and cured it by remounting the actuator valve in a better position/orientation. The general consensus of the drivers was that this was a very technical and tight course that was challenging everyone in terms of how tight the first section was and the braking point into the wriggler from Curva Grande at high speed. This was compensated for as the long twisty flat out blast from Bunga Bunga was exhilarating and took some guts before braking late for the tight right hand finish. P2 – I was really on it this time and as I exited the Wriggler out came a red flag so I abandoned the run and as I crawled to Bishops left hand corner there was my mate Mick Skidmore reversing out of the ploughed field but at least he was living up to his reputation. I gave him some stick back in the paddock and suggested he repeated the performance in the timed runs so I could have a rerun on warm tyres. Mick Dent was pushing the limits of adhesion in his Busa and went off near the finish spinning out and taking a cut through between the tyres, to avoid hitting them, only to find himself facing an oncoming Jedi! T1 - Simon Waterfall was out for the first time enjoying his new (ex Kevin Bamber) car but his clutch adjustment screw had worked loose but was an easy fix. This session saw me getting a bit too aggressive with my right foot at the tight lefthander called Chapmans and I clipped an outside cone and caused a bit of damage to my rear wing and rivets holding the tub in place. Everyone was going well but target times seemed hard to get near as we pushed hard. Newcomer Tony Smiley was out in his Busa and John Loudon and I spent a bit of time trying to change the set up to get it to handle better and it seemed to work. T3 – Mick Dent threw it off after the finish but still posted a good time. It was good to see Steve Robinson call in for a chat and catch up with a few friends (and also Ron Siddle on Sunday) T4 – This would be our last runs and chance to bang in a good time but we had quite a long hold after a TR4 rolled down at Bunga Bunga causing a lot of damage to the car, which was a shame. Richard Houlgate went well as did all the roadgoing cars and they all seemed to put in some good times. Del (fastest LDMC member) just managed to beat Garry and I held off John Loudon in a very close contest. Keith Adams went very well in class D scoring the best points of anyone against target and Steve Everall was finding it hard to match his pace. Sunday Well miraculously nobody had headache from last nights relaxation and all slicks had been cleaned up yesterday. Today it was the challenge of the normal outer circuit with the fast straight from Lancaster to the Wriggler so it should suit the more powerful cars. Today we had Matthew Haynes joining in the fun but no Richard Houlgate and all the Westfields from yesterday were still running. Practice started at 1000hrs and our two runs were over by about hrs 1130hrs proving just how slick the LDMC crew is. T1- We went straight into the timed runs and all went well apart from Mick Skidmore who reported what he thought was a propshaft vibration so we whipped off the tunnel panels but all the bolts were tight so he was good to go. T2/T3 – Things were hotting up now, particularly in our babygrows, and in T3 Del was a bit late on the brakes into the Wriggler and got it all sideways taking out a cone and spraying gravel everywhere. Mick Skidmore thought his clutch had failed but it turned out to be just a large stone stuck under the pedal. T5 – For Del this was a bad end to the weekend as he was towed back into the paddock with oil all over the engine and exhaust pipes so something had gone badly wrong and it looked similar to a problem he had with the engine at Croft last year. Fingers crossed that it is an easy and simple repair. T6 – John Loudon was pushing really hard as he battled with me in class G and he hit a cone and split a wing. (more gaffer tape please!). Keith Adams had a senior moment as he presumably forgot to clip down his ally boot cover which was picked up by the marshals about 20m after the start line…whoops ! Garry Bunn was best LDMC member, I beat John Loudon after an epic battle and I took most points against targets. Simon Waterfall had another good day as did Keith. Steve’s car engine needs stripping down and taking to Exon Racing to cure the head porosity problem it has which was getting worse. Well I hope I have given a report of some of the weekends entertainment which was made all the better by LDMC’s efforts where we had 2 practice and 4 timed runs on Saturday and 2 practice and 6 timed runs on Sunday and I was home for dinner by 1815 after a 90 minute drive. Maybe a contender for event of the year? Terry Everall Class G Competitor
  11. 5 points
    Tel’s Tales Anglesey Sat/Sun 7th and 8th April 2018 After a very disappointing Easter Monday event at Croft which was wet, freezing cold and probably should never have started about 10 drivers were entered for this LDMC extravaganza attended by approx. 70 cars. The Croft event was abandoned before any timed runs had been offered, so we all scored a miserable 75 points (I will be discarding that score). We all arrived on Friday to find plenty of room in an almost empty paddock and plenty of space to get an electric hook up for our campervans and motorhomes. This was a bonus as it was quite cold and heating was essential as we had to leave the onsite café/bar due to too many staff and not enough business. Saturday Saturday morning saw a wet, gloomy start and the rain continued all day until 1700hrs when we finished sprinting! The day saw some great battles between all classes as well as individual personal targets irrespective of which class you were in. This would become the first event in 19 years that I have used wets all day rather than slicks and the competition was close and hard fought on a track that was wet but perfectly driveable and created a bit a level playingfield between cars of different specs/engines etc. During practice the pace was set by Richard Kerr and myself running around 10secs slower than the target time. It was good to see Mick Dent out again after his broken ankle caused a premature end to his 2017 season and his busa was going well. He also had his son as a secret weapon cleaning tyres and checking the car was going ok after the Friday trackday sessions. Their car would not start despite charging the battery and I quickly diagnosed a seized starter motor. Luckily they found a local supplier who had a secondhand one and they did not miss a run !. There was a lot of slipping and sliding mainly on the black stuff as well as a few spins but I did not witness any damage to Westfields. Mike West was enjoying the conditions and during the day he reduced his time down to 78.10secs from 82.74secs. John Loudon kept changing front springs for stiffer ones to improve grip and handling and it seemed to be working as the two of us were having a close battle in class G. Derek Hodder, Garry Bunn and Richard Kerr were after the class H points chasing Mick Dent. Steve Everall and Mick Skidmore were close in terms of times but running in different classes ( D and F respectively) We had 5 times runs and in the end Richard was quickest banging in a last run of 63.23 to better my time of 63.98secs and Mick Dent’s 64.10secs. We were 3rd,4th and 6th overall fastest with John Loudon 9th. Sunday Well it was a cloudless night and there had not been any rain but it was a cloudy start but it stayed dry all day and the afternoon was very good and we had a drying track to play on. Mark Anson had arrived at 0230hrs and was joining us in the Jedi. He had a few jobs to do fixing the front wing brackets and softening the trickshifter. During practice 2 Mark came back to the pits on a tow rope as it turned out he had fried some wires in his harness. This took him around 3 hours to trace the 12v power issues (or lack of power) but eventually he sorted it. I helped a bit by making him a nice cuppa tea. It really was a dream to be able to drive a dry track and push on a bit. We now saw Del and Garry showing the pace of their car whilst Rich K was trying to repeat his Sat performance. Unluckily for Rich when he came in after T1 the engine bay was full of oil and it looked like a blanking plate on the block had come adrift and ended his weekend. My weekend nearly ended too as I was way too quick into the left hander at the end of the garages and as I ran off the end of the outside rumble strip I hit the soft wet grass and soil to do a 360deg spin. I ripped off part of my carbon fibre floor but back in the paddock Steve, Mick Skidmore and John Loudon did a quick and great repair job to keep me running. The car looked like it had been used for grass tracking and the amount of soil and mud under the bonnet was ridiculous and took some cleaning up. Later in T3 Mick Skidmore ran over a rumble strip coming out of corkscrew and split part of his tub. In the end we had 5 timed runs and were well pleased with the day. Garry just beat Del and was 2nd fastest overall with Del being 4th, me in 5th and John Loudon 6th. Mark Anson with only 2 runs was 3rd overall so an impressive performance by him. That made 5 Westfield speed series drivers in the top 6. A newcomer was Chris Griffiths in his class H car and he was 9th overall behind Rich Kerr 8th. (7 cars in top 10!) We return in 4 weeks time to do the MGCC weekend. Terry Everall Class G Competitor
  12. 5 points
    Fixing the car has proven to be quite a task - big surprise! The chassis needed repair and modification to remount the diff, motor and new prop shaft and to add fixings for the new rollover cage. This involves welding - and a lot of it. So far I've used the services of an expert welder but this is expensive. This time I elected to do it myself - how hard can it be? I bought myself a Clark 151TE welder, some CO2 and Argon mix gas bottles and various wire sizes. After two months practice and a load of scrap metal, I can just about weld - as long as I have the grinder handy to smarten it up. I then set about making the brackets (and some more scrap in the process). First, strip the car down to the chassis. The electric motor needed new mounting brackets to remount it at the front and I had to make the Freelander diff mounting brackets from scratch since Westfield had no stock. I had these parts designed by a colleague at work using CAD. The brackets were designed as assemblies and were cut from 2mm and 6mm steel sheet by a local water jet cutting firm. I initially tacked together the brackets and checked them for dimensions and fit. Once satisfied I fully welded the assemblies. The motor brackets were linished to remove excess weld and create a good finish. Then it was just a case of painting the finished brackets. I had about a dozen or so brackets and frames to paint so these were sent away to be powder coated. A new two section prop shaft was made to order and a centre bearing bracket welded in place. Over the summer I was unable to do much work on the car due to other commitments but with the new brackets finished and the chassis repaired and rebuilt, new propshaft in and a roll over cage fitted, I've able to reassembled the chassis. With the addition of the cooling system I now have a complete rolling chassis. The cooling system has been upgraded with a much bigger radiator - high power electric motors need to be cooled! The power controller is mounted low down in the engine bay with the charger and power switching box above. The original bodywork was badly damaged. Luckily Potenza had lightly damaged and hacked red and black FW body kit from one of the early prototype cars gathering leaves and slugs behind the factory. Potenza Technology (not Westfield) are unofficially sponsoring this rebuild so this was donated to the cause (along with the roll cage, wheels and suspension parts). When the car is finished it will look quite different with it's new red bodywork. Then next stage is to either fit the body work or I start the body electrical and power train wiring (at last). Another 6 months of effort probably.
  13. 5 points
    Not had much chance to get stuck in recently due to work being busy, but can't complain. Have had a lot of time to think about stuff though and work things through in my head, which helped when I did get a few hours at the weekend. Things will quieten down at work now after Xmas so hoping to make better progress... although I have just taken on two engine builds and (pretty much) a full MX-5 race car rebuild to be completed before early March so we shall see :lol: Anyway - bits I have done: Ended up with 3 steering racks. A de-powered MX-5 one, a 2.4 ratio Escort Mk2 one and another from a Mk1 Golf. There were a few considerations for each of these - mainly distance between tie rod ball joints (bump steer), weight / simplicity and amount of rack movement per 360 degree turn of the pinion. The standard Mazda rack gives 44mm per turn which is a 22.5 deg turn of the front wheels when the length of the steering arms on the uprights is worked through. I want something a little faster than this ideally, and it was too far between ball joints (about 640mm, I'm after 580-585mm) - could be chopped down to suit though. The Escort rack offers 52mm per turn (26 deg at the front wheels) which is pretty quick... maybe a touch too much when combined with a fairly small (300mm ish) steering wheel, but it is very light / simple and has a good ball joint distance of 583mm. I need to investigate these further but it looks like I may be able to slightly tweak bump steer by adjusting the position of the inner tie rods on the rack. They are locked off with collars at the moment but have a pin smashed in there to prevent loosening. I ended up with the Golf rack as a bit of a punt from eBay at £25 delivered. I'd read that the ball joint distance was about 550mm (chassis could be tweaked to compensate for that), but it turned out to be somewhere around 570-590mm due to the tie rods being adjustable and locked off with a lockring, result. The downside is that it only offers 36mm per turn... but I could chop the steering arms down to 80mm from 106mm to give 24deg of front wheel movement per turn. It was also designed to run with the rack behind the front hubs (Escort and MX-5 are in front), meaning I could flip the rack over and have the column to the left (rather than to the right like Mazda and Escort), which would give better clearance to the pedals. I decided on the Golf rack, so chopped / modified the tie rods ready to take some aluminium track rods with rod ends: Then found out that the input spline was a stupid size (40T spline) and all the UJs were megabucks So I've now gone back to plan B and the Escort rack... no big deal, it will still work fine! Thought I'd found the perfect wheels too - OZ Racing ones from a Formula student car, 13x7", 3.4kg each, forged, 4 with slicks, 4 with wets, advertised as the correct 4x100 fitment for Mazda - couldn't have envisaged a better setup all for £350! However... A***. Turns out they are actually something like 97-98 PCD. I've got a way around it though after some deliberation... just awaiting a 60 degree inverted dovetail cutter to arrive through the post then I can confirm it's good to go. An additional ballache I didn't really want, but worth going through for these wheels I think. Then I also found a bargain dry sump system (£400 for the lot) and couldn't resist... so much for a budget build, lol. But this does have a few benefits. 1) It will definitely not oil starve now, 2) the manifold clears the sump without modification (by less than 2mm), wooo: The oil pump goes in place of the standard water pump, meaning I need a separate electric pump now... Luckily the cooling requirements of the engine aren't huge, so only needs a tiny pump - in fact the one SBD recommend for their up-to-300bhp-turbo-nutter-Busa engine is a Bosch PAD one (15L/min), which turns out to be exactly the same pump Mercedes use to cool the gearbox on an E320... You can guess which option was cheaper I can also mount the pump almost anywhere, also really low down, so gives more options regarding radiator position. Need to sort out a way of controlling it now (sod paying £150 for a Craaaiiigg Daaaavid one) - have got thoughts about a heater fan resistor / switch from an MX-5 (just stick the pump on low for warm-up to keep things circulating and avoid hotspots - also as a manual controller for when back in the paddock to keep things moving around) plus a low temp (75-80 deg, ish) fan switch that kicks the pump in and out, running it at full beans when needed. Just need to get it all straight in my head... Anyway, had a gander inside while the sump was being swapped and it is absolutely spanking in there, can definitely believe this was a ~750 mile engine: Manifold hangs down from the sump by 75mm, so set up a 78mm tall platform and sat the engine on this in the rear part of the chassis - before I got stuck in with the welder I wanted to make sure the diff / half shafts would work and the engine cleared the chassis... Engine is about 8-10mm away from the chassis there, and lining the sprockets up puts the diff about 11-12mm from the centreline of the chassis - result. The 1.8 half shaft was 20mm shorter than the 1.6 one, so that almost perfectly puts everything back into line again. (Diff isn't going there, it was just to check the left-right spacing) It was then time to grow some balls and actually do some welding. Just tacked the rear part into place for now, in case of any severe oversights. My tacking is usually ****e, about 30% on one tube and 70% on the other or something, haha, so actually concentrated this time and it came out ok. Then re-situated the rear part to give space for the front part to get built up. Also chucked the seat in to give an idea of perspective. Yes, that is a high roll hoop, yes I did typo the dimension when I sent the drawing off, lol. Never mind, there's a couple of benefits from it being taller than planned, and at least it means even giants will be able to drive it, haha. Next up - more chassis work, then once the main outline for that is done I can move onto making wishbone jigs. Cheers! Adam
  14. 5 points
    This is the final race of the year for me, mainly due to lack of time, family commitments, holidays and a depleted bank balance. So off to Donnington Park I went with my friend Mark. This was a race meeting with the CSCC rather than the WSSCC. The format being 30 minutes practice/qualification and a 40 minute race with mandatory 60 second pit-stop. I was in the ‘Magnificent Sevens’ Group 1, which is for cars up to 185 bhp. Group 2 is for cars above 185 bhp. I was really looking forward to this one having been at Donny for trackdays in the past. I even started weight training to build up my lower arm strength for this 40 minute race. I knew from the Forum that another WSCC member was racing. Lee Morey or ‘Iowlee’, albeit he was in Group 2. We stayed at a pub with rooms near to the track, which wins the award for the most sticky tables in the Midlands... At least the bathroom was clean. This turned out to be an important fact. Marks snoring was quite frankly, unbelievably loud. I have always managed to avoid sharing a room with mark as I knew this and I forgot to pack my ear plugs. Damn. This meant at 2.30am and not having slept, I took matters into my own hands and moved the matress from my bed into the bathroom. This along with earplugs made of toilet tissue helped, but I didn’t really sleep until about 3.30am. Up at 6.45am, it was not the best preparation I was hoping for. Still nothing a gallon of strong tea, Lucozade and adrenaline could not sort out. Scrutinering was a non-event and only took a matter of minutes. Looking at the entries prior to the day, I was very concerned that I would be off the pace with a field almost exclusively of seasoned racers driving Caterhams. I knew I had lapped Donnington Park earlier in the year at a trackday in the low 1.22s and this didn’t bode well given the times of the entrants who were there the previous year. So out I went for the 30 minutes practice and quali, determined to not come last. We were qualifying with the Group 2 cars as well so it was busy. Some cars in Group 2 have 2.3 duratec’s and full pit crews, so it was an exercise of watching your mirrors whilst setting a time that I would be happy with. Lee followed me round for a few laps then overtook me, only to have a bit of a moment and end up running thought the gravel at McCleans – no damage done thankfully and he carried on (we both had a laugh about that one). I managed to set my best time on my penultimate lap, before I got the dreaded fuel surge again and had to come in 2 minutes before the end of the session. Lesson learnt. I posted a 1.21.5 which was good for 5th. I was more than happy with that. Lee managed a 1.19.9 which was a great time considering he had not even been to Donny before. So now we had a near 6-hour wait until my race. I managed to fill some of the time by helping Lee out with his race (Group 2). I offered to time his pit stop and give him some water. Mark was going to take his tyre pressures. The race turned out to be quite eventful. Lee pitted early as agreed but it was clear he had a problem. His front wheel arch had come loose and was rubbing against his tyre. We spend a very frantic 2 minutes trying to get a spanner and tighten up the nut. It was a blind panic as there was not a tool box/mechanic to be seen – blooming typical. We watched Lee go round for a few laps only for him to then start frantically pointing at his front arch again. Turns out it was his other arch rubbing this time. We prepare for another pit stop which the race commentator picked-up on but Lee decided to stay out. Having given me the thumbs up we monitored it from the pits for the rest of the race. Towards the end of the race Lee had another moment going straight on at the chicane, hitting the raised kerb and taking off skyward (the airport is next door Lee!). The floor was looking a little second hand but all was good. We also had more drama as one of the leading Caterhams managed to break his propshaft. The carbon firbre propshaft with CV joint still attached (well who doesn’t have a CF propshaft on their car?) came to a rest in the middle of the start/finish straight, being collected by one car which lost it’s rear arch as a result. Luckily no one was hurt. The safety car was called out and the Marshals grabbed it. So after a nervous wait, it was finally time for my race (Group 1). We were caller earlier than scheduled so Lee kindly stayed on, delaying his long drive home to help with my pit stop. I got a good start from the rolling grid. This was despite the 6th place Caterham being in front of me prior to the lights going out. At one point the grid was so messy I thought the start would be aborted. I held position in fifth despite grabbing some oversteer into Redgate and again at Craners (not something I want to repeat). Annoyingly I fluffed a gear change and didn't defend well going onto the back straight and lost two places as a result. It was that close running. My pain was made worse when I just could not find third coming out of the Foggy esses. This reined my speed along the start/finish straight. Fortunately, the two cars that overtook me continued to battle and I began to reduce the gap. One caterham span having lost the back end at McCleans and I managed to get clear of him for the rest of the race. Then at the next corner, the Westfiled of the Mowbray father/son team had a coming together with a Caterham and with bodywork all other the track, both retired from the race. This was a shame for the only other Westfield in the race. They were both quick too. Surprisingly, the safety car was not called out. I soon caught the car in front and we traded places for about 6 laps. This was sevens racing at its best with very equally matched machinery and plenty of drafting on the straights. The racing was hard fought, very close at times but clean and fair. I lost one of my front wings going down Craner Curves at some point was well. Shame really as it was CF. At about 23 minutes I pitted. This went as well as could have been expected. We know from the race organisers that the minimum time you can do a pit stop is 76 seconds and I managed 79. That helped a lot - thanks Lee and Mark!. The lap after pitting was ‘exciting’ to say the least with tyres not quite up to temperature. Pitting late meant the pit lane was virtually clear and there was no traffic in the pit lane or on the track as I left. This allowed me to put in 8 consecutive laps (after the pit exit lap) in the 1.22’s with a 1.21 on my penultimate lap. That Lucozade during the pit stop really did the trick! With about 6 laps to go Mark put out the pit board. This was really helpful. The pit board said ‘Mike 14’ (my race number) ‘30’ and ‘P3’. I though great I only have 10 minutes to go as I must admit I was very worried about my fuel level (I finished with virtually no fuel but with no fuel surge either).The following pit boards said the same but this time with ‘35’ and ‘37’ and I prayed that the safety car would not come out. I know this was the time remaining/counting down but refused to believe I was in third – ‘P3’. We had not agreed to put positions on the pit board. With two laps to go I saw a Caterham approaching fast and I could just not keep him behind me. Had I just lost out on my first podium? Again, I could see cars in my mirrors on the straights and I really dug deep to keep my concentration until the chequered flag came out. I was so relieved. I went round on my cool down lap, thanking the Marshals on the way. When I came into the pits I was pointed towards the winners section, I still didn’t believe it until Mark confirmed it – I was third and took my first podium! I was over the moon. What a result, even if I was a little lucky. I was interviewed by the race commentator, but quite frankly I didn’t know what to say! Interview practice was not on my training schedule! What a race and one I won’t forget in a hurry that’s for sure. Thankfully I remembered to collect my upgrade card and with my previous 4 races plus marshalling, I now have the 6 I need to upgrade to National A next year. I ceremoniously ripped my yellow cross off the back of the car. What a great journey this season has been. It’s been such an experience and I have enjoyed every moment. I cannot wait until next year now. Thanks for reading. Mike - No. 14. (My internet at home will finally be working next week so i'll try to sort some video)
  15. 5 points
    Blyton Westfield Sprint weekend 9th and 10th July 2016 Introduction This was the long awaited Westfield organised Sprint weekend and also a Friday trackday attended by many Westfileds and a few Competitors. Much work had been put in by John Williams and his team of helpers and by this time they have already received our thanks. The weekend also saw a great effort in raising approx £730 funds for “Hope for Cancer” charity which was well supported and offered nice cakes and a raffle. Many of us arrived on Friday afternoon and some of us managed to park up in our paddock positions. There was a bit of light hearted mumbling about how the roadgoing classes had ended up on new tarmac but the slick cars had to contend with gravel areas so maybe we can look at this next year and also try to keep all the Westfield guys together in the same area so that Tim, Rich and Matt can keep everyone awake! There was some off track amusement provided by Matt Turner erecting his camper awning which lasted some considerable time but amazingly did not involve any swearing. Also in a short space of time and before beer refreshment Steve Everall broke one of my bestest camping chairs and then lost his car keys...talk about panic stations I have never seen him move so fast in his search to find them. They turned out to be in the cup holder pocket on my camping chair so I got the blame even though I never touched the keys. Mind you , I did loose the motorhome keys later on ....found them in the door lock! The track day seemed to go well and there was good track courtesy as well as some over enthusiast driving by some who seemed desparate to destroy their tyres with big slides and screaming tyres. Steve Carpenter and Roz Kennett were trying different suspension set ups and made good use of their track time and Adam Read was instructing again. The evening saw BBQs out and a “little” alcoholic intake as well as a magnificent sunset..... but the saying of “Red sky at night, shepherd's delight”turned out to be false as we awoke to a very wet morning of rain whick got heavy at about 0930hrs just as we got ready for P1. Due to the large numbers of Westifelds I apologise if I miss out some people or problems but it was a big paddock and I could not keep track of the many incidents etc. Saturday It was good to see Phil Nicholl's out to play (but there was no sign of Vodka jelly) as well as Paul Dew (aka Tigger) for the first time this year. Everyone was looking at weather apps on their phones and the concensus was that it was going to be wet on and off for most of the day. In P1 most of class G and H kept their slicks on and had very scary drives with no grip and unpredictable surface water but at least it cleaned the tyres up. As I was keeping dry I couldnt see a lot of the action but I know Tigger's enthusiasm got the better of him as he had an off exiting the Wriggler chicane but the car was ok when they pulled it out of the field and farmer's crops. There were the usual tales of near mishaps, lurid slides, no grip on the start line, opposite lock and lucky escapes. In P2 it was even wetter than before and some of us used our wet suits to keep dry and the slicks came off to be replaced by Wets for everyone. By this time there was standing water so keeping it smooth and dealing with the standing water was the main issue especially in the braking areas where most of us suffered as the cars just refused to stop. In practice we had about a 45 mins delay as the track conditions were assessed but most of us just wanted to carry on and deal with whatever we had to drive in. At last it stopped raining and after a break for lunch it was drying up quickly and the sky looked promising. T1- Michael Skidmore had total failure of his clutch so unfortunately that was his weekend finished so he has had a bit of bad luck recently and he was keen to get the engine out on Sunday and see what had happened. ( turned out the clutch plate and springs had all collapsed due to his power and sequentail box). Steve Everall forgot it was still a bit damp on track and nearly went straight on at the Wriggler chicane and quite a few people had spins or had all four wheel off the course so had a Fail. Also all four wheels must be inside the white lines at the finish and quite a few did not manage that as they slid around the fast last right hand corner across the finish. I was determined to get a good first run but clipped a blue cone on the apex of a left hand corner which knocked my silencer back by 25mm and put a big hole in my left rear wing but that was quickly patched up with a bit of duck/duct tape in a matching black colour. Matt Turner had a spin and Mark Anson, in the OMS, was finding it hard to post a good time as he is still getting used to the car as is Mark Schlanker, both on OMS 2000M cars. T2 – Matt Turner had a big spin after the finish and Tim Nunn pushed hard but did not have all four wheel on through the finish. I wont try to analyse the resuts as we had 33 competitors out there and its hard to pick out individuals as there were some great battles in all classes. Sunday We had a better forecast for the weather today but the sky was full of threatening clouds and we did have some rain in late in P1 and P2. T1 was drying and T2 was bone dry. At various stages through the day people had spins, Richard Kerr went straight on at the chicane, Adam and Charlotte Phelps had fuel swirl pot lift pump failure on the Busa (luckily Rick Kerr had a spare) as well as a defective starter. In P1 Tim Nunn had a spin at the first corner and Rich Kerr was having gear shift issues. In T1 John Gilmour in the Kevin Jones's R1 car took out the timing gear at the finish. Paul Dew was getting to grips with his car at last and posting decent times. Phil Nicholl's car failed to start due to a broken starter motor so he needed pushing for rest of the day. Steve Everall went better than Saturday but his times reflected the apparent poor grip from the Avon ZZS tyre compared to the ZZR he was used to last year. Ian Davenport was enjoying being back in the paddock and put on a great display for the spectators at the finish line. Gary Bunn just got the better of Derek Hodder and Barny Francis put in a very good drive again and continues to improve. Maurici Revilla won his class on both days with excellent drives whilst Dave Cleaver was also well on the pace and beat some of the slick shod cars. Tim Nunn won class G on both days with Matt Turner taking second on Sunday with a great drive. In the end we all had a busy and interesting weekend fighting the weather and the track. The paddock banter and support was the best this year and John and his team did the club proud. Thanks to everyone who helped. The only downside was probably that very few people actually got anywhere near the difficut target times and scored low points in the championship.......maybe we need to move away from Target Times! Interestingly the Saturday event was nearly declared a 1.6e event (Wet rules apply) as approx 45% of drivers were more than 10% slower than the target time even though the timed runs were dry. The date for our return in 2017 is already booked so get it in your diary early. Terry Everall Class G competitor
  16. 5 points
    For those who have not had the opportunity to visit, Pembrey is an airfield circuit located on the south west coast of Wales, about 20 minutes beyond Llanelli. Known as ‘The Home of Welsh Motorsport’, it hosts car, truck and bike racing as well as rally cross, tarmac rallies, track days, karting and driving experiences along with an annual sprint for National A and National B competitors. Facilities include a spacious concrete paddock, plenty of grass areas for camping, toilets, showers, restaurant and a catering van, all of which are basic but entirely acceptable. The track is also very close to the coast, with a country park giving access to a large, sandy beach just a short drive from the venue. The location itself is barely convenient for the residents of Llanelli, let alone the rest of the country, but the motivation to make the trip is the track itself. The combination of a technical in-field section, some really quick bends, long straights and grippy tarmac makes it my favourite sprint venue. Typical of airfield tracks, it is almost entirely flat, and spotting braking/turn-in points can be difficult due to a lack of distinguishing features, but the run-offs are generous in most places. That said, at least one notable Westfield has come to grief at Pembrey, and a dual-drive Fury suffered significant damage on Saturday, so thought is required. There are corners that can be cut aggressively, bends that you can really commit to and options to stay flat (and clench accordingly) where others may lift, as well as places where you can stretch the boundaries of the track to your benefit. The track, operated by BARC Wales, was a popular venue for testing amongst Formula 1 teams in the late 80’s and early 90’s, including McLaren and Williams. This illustrious history has led to a small amount of ‘legend’ being cultivated, including Ron Dennis using a test session at Pembrey to attempt to diffuse tensions between Senna and Prost in 1989, and Senna being allegedly quoted as saying that the Dibeni/Paddock sequence of bends was amongst his favourites in the world…. . The number of entrants for the event was notably smaller than previous years, with the sprint held at Abingdon on Saturday being seen as the culprit, although the finger may be fairly pointed at recent (and much discussed) changes in regulations, too. The Westfield entry seemed smaller too, particularly with Terry and Steve Everall giving it a miss this year due to the 7 hour journey from God’s Own County that it entails. The St Gueno hillclimb in France, held the weekend before, may also have distracted some other Westfield competitors. Charlotte and Adam Phelps, Mike Skidmore, David Cleaver, John Loudon, dick Spanner Racing, and I made the trip and all seemed to be subjected to delays on any motorway that they chose to use. A warm, dry Friday evening provided the opportunity to explore the track and enjoy the evening sunshine in the peace that comes with a remote location. Saturday began cool and overcast but, critically, dry. The driver’s briefing was performed in the genial, informal manner that seems to be customary for the BARC Wales team, and practice commenced just after. Progress throughout the day was slow, with a number of incidents leading to delays and re-runs. For reasons beyond his control, Gary Bunn made a bid for the record number of re-runs in a day, having been victim of a number of baulks and red flags. Mike Skidmore ran into an issue ahead of Practice 1, but was able to register a time for Practice 2, in which most drivers made good progress. I managed a personal best in Practice 2, but then failed to match it for the rest of the day, which was frustrating. All Westfields registered a first timed run, but Mike Skidmore’s second run was compromised by a gear selection issue, and a particularly quick Westfield managed a double-pirouette at the exit of the kink on the back straight; no time was recorded, but style marks were awarded (and you could smell the rubber from the paddock!). David Cleaver finished the day as the fastest Westfield with an impressive 107.81s, with Adam, Derek and Gary in hot pursuit. To give some context, Fastest Time of the Day went to Colin Calder in the well-known Gould GR55, recording 90.11s. Our own Matt Hillam finished fifth in the Top Twelve Run Off with a time of 94.20s in his Dallara. Sunday dawned warmer and brighter, and proceedings were notably quicker than the previous day due to fewer incidents. My pit crew (family) retired to the beach for the morning, which is not an option at all Speed Series venues. With the help of some valuable suggestions from an experienced Westfield pilot and a bit of deep thought undertaken overnight, my times started to improve. Derek, David and Garry all recorded practice times of 108 seconds. Mike had managed to resolve his gear selection issues but then fell foul of another problem on his second practice run that put an end to his troubled event, which was a shame. Garry pipped David to the honour of fastest Westfield with a 108.61s, with Derek close behind. Adam consistently recorded 110s runs in the slick-shod Megabusa, while Charlotte made significant improvements on her Saturday runs. John Loudon progressed from a best of 114.28s on Saturday to a 113.31s on Sunday. I managed on new personal best of 121.35s after a very committed (for me, anyway!) final run, which ended my event on a high note. John Graham in a Gould GR55B managed to break the Calder stranglehold on the Fastest Time of the Day by recording an 88.68s run, which doesn’t bear thinking about! All Westfields were done for the day by about 14:30, which enabled a much-appreciated prompt departure in warm sunshine for the long journey home. Two days of warm, dry weather at a great, albeit remote, track were not without frustration for some, but if you had even half as much fun as I did, you had a great time. If you haven’t visited Pembrey before, grit your teeth and make the journey – it’s worth it. written by Simon Broadbridge Class Competitor
  17. 4 points
    So the time had come for my first trip to Anglesey, It was going to be either brilliant weather or freezing so earlier in the year asked a few fellow competitors if they would like to share a cottage. In the end it was just myself with wife Michelle and baby Olivia with @Howard (the champion) Gaskin and his son Alex. we arrived at the cottage late afternoon and eptied all the thigs you end up carting around when travelling with a wife baby and dog and i headed up to the track. I was plesantly suprised that i was able to sign on and get scruiteneered so less of a rush on saturday morning.Howard and Alex arrived and we settled down for some food and a good night in a warm comfy bed. Saturday arrived and i was very nervous, like it was my first event. I cycled round the national course with @MarkBishop and boy is it steep up to rocket. first practice came and i managed to get round ok 3 seconds off the target but felt more time to find and was happy that i would be able to get some good points. P2 and T1 were terrible both spining at rocket and ending up cutting the grass a little on one occation. T2,3,4,5 it all started to come together but just not having much experience of the track held me back and finished the day 4th in class but with over 96 points so still on track to keep my above 95 avarage i had set myself at the start of the season. Sunday arrived and after a good night sleep and a couple of pints with the others i was much calmer and felt like my head was back in the game. again i cycled round with Mark and this was really going to be a test of how fast i can go with the long back straight from chaple to rocket, likley to be the fastest i have ever been in the car. P1 and P2 were quite straight forward but with the very windy conditions no records were to be broken. i was 10 seconds away from the target time after the practices. the timed runs and i spun out of the first corner and apparently from the onlookers was alot closer to backing into the barrier than i thought, i anger drove the rest of the lap and suddenly realised how much i could push round chapel and up to rocket. The last run of the day and i felt like i was on it unfortunatly i arrived at rocket to red flags. Mark had out breaked himself into peel and gone straight on into the tyre wall but was ok and the car looked to be ok once back in the pits bar a little amount of fiberglass repair required on the nose. I headed straight to the startline for a re-run and managed to push in to the second car to start again after the red flag. i pull off the line 1st 2nd round the first corner 5th doh. luckily the torque pulled me along and although a little slower no where nere the amount of sideways action it had been all day. I pushed on to the finish and no time was displayed it had been dodgy all afternoon and didnt think i was going any faster so just parked the car on the trailer. As i was straping the car down fellow competitor Leon Franks came up and said well done mate good day. i said i didnt think i had gone any faster. yep 99.89 and beat his previous longton record. so new longton clas record, first in class and also fastest novice on the day something i had been aiming for all season. the only run i recorded all weekend so the end of my first full season and what a season it has been. if you have never tried to sprint or hillclimb i would 100% say give it a go as @Chris King - Webmaster and Joint North East AO said to me earlier in the year at Blyton you cannot prepare yourself for the rush of putting your visor down and going up against the clock. see you all next season Simon
  18. 4 points
    So this was Rounds 3 and 4 of the Welsh Sports and Saloon Car Championship. The race meeting was with the Aston Martin Owners Club at Oulton Park in Cheshire, about a 3 hour trek for me. Not fun on a Friday afternoon, but taking the back route via Worcester was a pleasant drive. My wife was coming along to help. I had not driven Oulton Park since doing a trackday there in 2012 and to make matters worse, the championship had a meeting there last year. I know I was going to up against it for this one. I tried to learn the track the best I could by watching the Driver 61 track guide (it’s a great website) and numerous Caterham races to understand the lines/overtaking/defending places. I was a little apprehensive when I woke up to overnight rain meaning the roads were wet. Last time I was at Oulton Park in the wet, I very nearly had a ‘big one’ exiting Druids and going backwards towards the Armco at silly speeds…. Thankfully it was just about dry for quali and dry for both races. Quali was only 15 minutes so I had to tighten the belts and really go for it. I managed a 1.59.8 which I was pleased with. It put me 5th overall (a small grid for this meeting for some reason of only 14 cars) and most importantly 1st in class, but only just. Looks like it was going to be a battle again! No bother as I like to ‘race’. After quali I decided to measure the petrol I had used. I was carrying way too much fuel for the whole of the last meeting - its excess weight and all in the wrong place out the back of the car. I parked the car high on the trailer and used my trusty garden hose cut off to syphon the fuel out. It worked a treat in my garage….this time I choked on super unleaded and then spent the rest of the morning burping petrol (really – was degusting and reuned lunch which was all petrol tasting). Whilst the smell of petrol is actually quite nice in my opinion, I can say that the taste is, err…an acquired one and blooming strong. Still, 6 litres used minus a mouthful. The first race was a long wait and the start was a total mess-up. The invitation racer on pole set off way too quickly (after the safety car peeled in,) and then slammed on his brakes when as lights took a way too long to go out. This bunched up the whole pack and I was off the throttle when the lights did eventually go out (doing an emergency stop!). I held position, but my main class competitor drove past almost all of the main group at the front and it ended up with him in front of me and one car between us. I tried to go around the outside of one of the slick shod cars into Old Hall at the start and quickly regretted it as I was right on the limit of spinning. An big armful of ‘oppo’ just about keeping me facing the right way. Pure luck rather than skill really. I then spent the next 2 laps trying to get past the car in front (a Cupra touring car thingy) until he got past my class competitor and drove off. I was now right behind my class competitor - race on! As we did for the last 2 races, it was ‘hammer and tong’ for a long time with little between us. A few laps from the end I managed to get past, again, round the outside of the hairpin (Shell Oils). I then drove it home nervously for the class win. I was well happy with that and punched the air as I took the checkered flag. I must have looked like a right numpty. After the race, I spoke with the championship organiser who told me that whilst it was another great battle, it was academic. My competitor was due to be served a 10 second penalty for jumping the start. This never materialised as I eventually finished ahead of him. Race 2 was late in the day – 6.05pm in fact and much later then I would have liked. It’s just too easy to mentally switch off. The winner from Race 1 choose not to race (not sure why) and one of the other cars ahead of me was a double drive (so they go to the back of the grid). One other car, the father of my main class competitor decided to ‘have some fun’ and go to the back of the grid. I was not convinced and said to my wife when we were in the holding area ready to go out ‘I hope he doesn’t get in-between me and his son’….. Still with the attrition at the front I was promoted to second on the grid. My first front row start which was a little weird. The start this time round was much better. I kept first place honest for at least one corner….. until he took off like the proverbial scolded cat (he was in another Cupra touring car thingy). I was side-by-side with my main competitor into Cascades and it was all very tight for the first few corners. He eventually got ahead until I out braked him on the following lap into Cascades, it was properly close stuff. We followed each other for a bit until I got outbreaked into Druids, a great by move by him to be honest and one I was not expecting! By the end of the second lap, his dad had joined the party. Great. He overtook me down the straight then ‘parked’ his car for nearly 4 of the 8 laps between me and his son (see the TSL timing extract below which is very telling - fastest three laps after he cleared off!). I used my frustration for motivation and tried to get the most out of the car. Taking risks, when his dad had finally cleared off, I nearly got past on more then one occasion, but it was not to be. I also managed to just touch him on the breaks going into the Shell Oils hairpin. I now need to repair my nose cone (I ordered blue Duck Tap specially on EBay this morning!)….that’s two bodywork repairs in two races…..woops (although the fist was not my fault). Speaking with his father after the race, I made the point that he got in the way. His response - 'I had a gearbox issue'. Quite a coincidence that! Even more annoying was I don’t have any video. The SD cards were both saying full when they were empty. Meh. So it was a bittersweet end to the day. I had fastest class lap in both races and a first and a second in class. I really should have been happy but felt a little cheated as I know I had the pace. Nevermind, there’s always Pembrey on the 10th of June and now I’m really keen to win my class again as I know it will put me in a good place for the Championship.
  19. 4 points
    So this was my first race weekend with the Caterham. I stayed locally at a hotel with my friend and with the lesson learnt from Donny a few years back I packed the earplugs in anticipation of the ridiculous snoring. Luckily I got a good night’s sleep, but woke to very dark sky’s when I opened the curtains. It just started to rain as I left for the circuit and it was not to stop until mid-morning. This was not forecast and I had never driven the car in the wet before. Quali was very damp and oil was dropped over the entire length of the circuit about half way through the session so it was driving on ‘tippy toes’ for most of it. The car felt great on the soft Khumos and I qualified 7th overall in a field of 20, 1st in class. Or so I though. Turns out the entry list was wrong and I found out a little later that the current Champion had decided to put some sticky tyres on and enter my Class for the year. Great. I was just behind him on the grid with a powerful (240 horses powerful) Westie between us (who was clearly going to drive away from us both on the rolling start). The grid was a little muddled-up with the rain mixing up the usual order. Game on. In the first race it was damp when I left the paddock. I wanted to maintain the current set-up as it was a ‘known quantity’ from Quali, but it was a mistake. The sun came out immediately and with a long wait in the holding area and a breeze the track was dry by the time we went to race. Turns out my class competitor was also on wets. What ensued was one of the most epic battles I have ever had. We only changed places 3 times but were side-by-side for nearly 3 corners at one point and side-by-side for many others. He had the legs on my car but I think I was slightly better on the brakes – I went round the outside of him at the hairpin and I’m still not sure how! We both were racing hard, but giving each other just enough room. It was very close racing and great fun. However, it nearly ended in tears when one of the other BS class cars (on full slicks) joined in. I saw him approaching very fast at the new hairpin and thought ‘no way will he stop that’. He sped past me and my competitor, locked up the front and just missed us both (he later apologised as it was a little wreckless) he ultimately gained two places as we both tried to miss him, but we both got past him within a lap. Ultimately, I lost out on the penultimate lap as the leading cars came through and I got held up as I was block passed. I finished second by two tenths but gained fastest (class) lap as consolation. To add to the excitement, my gear knob came loose after about the first lap. I spent the race trying to tighten it up on the straights. It was quite distracting as I had enough to think about!!! Reminded me of this brilliant video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k38LyqmUeM0). When I came into the holding area, I unscrewed it and handed it to my buddy. For comic effect. Race two was dry and sunny. With grid positions determined by the finishing place from race 1 I was along-side my class competitor. It didn’t start well. I got tagged into the first corner by a overoptimistic Saxo, breaking my rear arch (see pic). I carried on nonetheless, but lost loads of time and in my fluster, missed 3rd on the corner exit. I had a bit of clear track so I looked to grit my teeth and get some quick laps in. Then it was red flagged for a car that was stuck, facing the wrong way on the at the other hairpin. Good for me as we would re-start the race. On the re-start, the lights held for a long time. One car accelerated before the lights went out and it spread like the plague. Yes. I was guilty too, but I got away with it along with half the grid. It was another race long battle. We were both on semi-slicks this time so the speeds were greater and we drove away from the others in our class. We both maintained position until a car in front had a tank slapper and my competitor had to take evasive action. He left the track, lost his splitter and returned to track near to me (I was a little worried that he was going to ‘t-bone’ me at one point) but I got the position. Fortunate really. We raced for another 10 minutes, or so (side in many corners) and I was caught napping overtaking a slower car at the hairpin. He passed me with about 3 laps to go. On the last lap I threw everything at it. A last ditch move into Honda (the last corner and a fast right) nearly worked, but I just could not make it stick as he held it round the outside to finish just ahead of me. Close, but no cigar. First looser in both races, but it was intense fun. It reminded me why I am penniless and spent far too many cold nights in the garage. Still, I got two tacky trophies for my efforts. It’s going to be an interesting season. Mike Videos: Mid-Race Battle (Race 1): Manic end of race 1 (I like this video it was crazy out there!): New arch needed.... Silverware:
  20. 4 points
    Bit of a new year update:MOT passed last week with zero advisoriesInsurance renewed, slight increase but that was down to Agreed Valuation needing to be increased to reflect recent sale prices of other SEiGHTs Wheels refurbished in a slightly darker shade of grey -n they were 99% oerfect as they were but just wanted a subtly different look to them New Caterham CSR vented style carbon wings ordered from Carbon NVRun out yesterday - over to the superb Chocks Away diner with a few Tiger and Cobra replica owning friendson the Broughton Airbus site followed by a run over to the Ponderosa on the Horseshoe Pass then back home via Oswestry - a nice 130 mile Sunday run, even if trying to put down 330bhp on cold, damp roads was pretty challenging
  21. 4 points
    TEL's TALES 05/17 Snetterton weekend 13th/14th May 2017 Well I am just back from a great weekend run by Borough 19 at Snetterton where we had 13 speed series cars on the Saturday and 15 on Sunday so it was a good turnout and a well run event. I delivered another set of Force rims to Pete Goulding and also transported a nosecone. Despite the worry about paddock space due to a massive Mini/racing weekend on the outer track we were mostly on the tarmac apart from a few who arrived on Sat am or Sunday who were on the grass but found it ok if annoying that they were split from the rest of the Westfield crowd. Having arrived late on Friday a few of us walked the track to see if it was all still there…..and as usual Steve Everall spent most of the time picking up nuts, bolts, screws and washers of all shapes and sizes from the trackside and I pocketed the good ones for future use. There was some debate about whether John Hoyle could walk at all as he had damaged his knee at work and looked in a lot of pain walking, never mind driving. As he does not drink alcohol I could not offer him any pain relief. Sadly Derek Hodder and Gary Bunn had not made it as the engine repairs and clutch installation had not gone smoothly and the engine had to come out again. I understand they eventually found a broken clutch plate rivet jammed in the clutch housing behind the springs. Steve Carpenter and Roz Kennett only completed the install of the £180 replacement engine from ebay (after the Ty Croes big end problem) at 2100hrs Sat night but they did manage to compete on Sunday. Saturday Weather was good and we all passed scrutineering and got 2 practice runs and 1 timed run before lunch on a dry track which seemed a little lacking of grip early in the day. Simon Bainbridge had his son with him who was being very professional as pit mechanic and wheel cleaner/polisher during the weekend. I noticed Steve’s car had the end of the nearside bottom wishbone bent upwards so later we got out the big hammer and straightened it as he had forgotten to bring his spare wishbones with him but knew where they were in his garage! John Hoyle was quickest in practice but at the end of P1 Steve came with the oil warning light on and the oil pressure gauge reading zero but the engine sounded OK which was a bit odd. I checked the sensors were ok so it did not look good, however John Hoyle said he had previously had issues with a sticking release valve in the dry sump pump. So as usual the Westfield crew got stuck in and with John, Dave, Mick and myself and a clean bucket and trays we drained the oil and removed the dry sup pump during P2. I found a small piece of grit on the valve so we cleaned it and put it back in and the job was done with oil pressure now ok. Mick provided a massive industrial sized roll of blue paper towel son we mopped up all the spillages and all was good with the weekend saved by Steve’s mates. Steve has asked me to thank everyone! John may have been going fast but his timing strut was deemed inadequate and not sticking out far enough so that was quickly modded. In the timed runs Dave Cleaver was seriously quick and smashed the class target time/record with 88.24secs on his first run. John Hoyle was chasing him but it looked like the ZZR tyres could not deal with the grunt and power he has. Steve was so happy with his car repair that he was sideways for much of the time. Jason Brown was getting to grips with the track and eventually beat the target time by a good margin on his last run. In class G I had been having a good battle with John Loudon and was over a second up until on the last run lady luck appear for John. Mick Skidmore lost it on his run and went off meaning that John Loudon and Dave Cleaver got a rerun… so now maybe he had warm tyres and put in a great run to beat me by 0.47 secs. As a result I have now requested that he is renamed Mick Skidless! In class J2 the 5 competitors were matt Hillam, Steve Broughton, Carol Torkington, Pete Goulding and Paul Morcom in a wide variety of cars. In the evening there was a live rock group in the bar which most of us really enjoyed as we had a few refreshments. Mick Skidless, Steve and I were still in there at 2345hrs until they finished and once again I was reminded that Steve knew all the words to the songs but not necessarily in the right order as Eric Morecambe once said. Sunday It rained during the night and the practice runs were very wet and slippy with most of having an entertaining drive and a few slides and odd car angles as we got round the circuit. I think Roz Kennett had an off in P1 but the car was running well on its £180 engine. Steve Carpenter was trying so hard that he had an off in P2 so he would not feel that he missed out on anything Roz had done. Steve Everall had two big moments at the start line hairpin and Pete Goulding did a nice 360 deg spin for us. During the day John Loudon had to fix his alternator bracket alignment and then his alternator would not charge so he just used battery power. Once again Dave Cleaver set the pace and was showing us how its done and he only bothered to take 1 timed run as he smashed the target time and record with 88.16 secs. After T1 I was leading john Loudon by 0.04secs but in T2 he posted a very quick 91.24secs to beat my old record of 91.37secs and take the points. Jason Brown beat target again and Steve Carpenter also broke target time so the rebuild was worth it. A great weekend and I have only mentioned a little of what went on… The battle is now hotting up as Dave and John Hoyle are scoring big points but there is still plenty of time for others to challenge. Terry Everall Class G competitor .
  22. 4 points
    Tel’s Tales Anglesey 1st and 2nd April 2017 I guess that any of us involved in motorsport have a bad break, once in a while, such as my clutch issue at Rockingham but things can only get better……or perhaps not in my case. I thought that it was just an unlucky start to the season but more doom and gloom was on the horizon. It was my oldest grandaughter’s 18th birthday on the Friday so I delayed my 4 hour drive and set off at 1830 thinking I will miss the traffic on the M6. I was correct and Steve and I flew along until we hit the M56 where there seemed to be accidents every 5 miles or so. Then the Welsh Highways department played their best card as they had apparently (with little warning) closed about 10 miles for roadworks, with no diversion routes shown. After what seemed like hours of ignoring my satnav request to “turn around when possible” we went through Chester and back to Queensferry. Arrived in the paddock at about 2330hrs too late for a beer or two so just went to bed! Woke at 0100hrs to the sound of heavy rain belting down on the motorhome roof which even drowned out Steve’s snoring. Saturday was a bit dull and cold but the damp track was drying and with only 35 cars there would be lots of track time….for most people! Some Speed Series stickers had been dished out by Tim so they were being slapped onto car sides. Scrutineering was easy and away we went at 1000hrs prompt with 2 practice runs. Alas, in P1, Craig Spooner hit the tyre wall somewhere near Rocket complex and having hoped that things were repairable he found a damaged chassis so had to pack in so that was a big blow for him. I was fastest car in P1 and P2 and I was predicting that a Westfield could take FTD on both days so things looked good. Steve’s gearbox was still playing up and no matter how much we adjusted the clutch cable he had problems all weekend with selecting 2nd or 3rd gear and as a result his times suffered. I set off for T1 like a scolded cat but after about 200m approaching Rocket the engine note changed and I lost most power so I killed the ignition and came to a halt for a tow back to the paddock. The engine would start but sounded awful, no sign of plug or piston damage but that was it I was out! Tim Nunn was having a problem as he was losing power at around 10000rpm in the blade car. Mick Dent was continuingly having to tighten up his nearside front hub axle to prevent it coming off. In T4 John Hoyle got a bit giddly approaching the LH hairpin near the finish and came off so he could test the grass surface grip. This was not a god move as his car literally got bogged down and filled with soft brown mud resulting in damaged bodywork. Even the recovery vehicles got stuck and could not pull him out. The long break whilst they sorted this out helped people refuel and get a cuppa as the runs were coming fast and furious. In the end there were 2 practices and 8 timed runs by which time most people had given up trying to go faster. Great value for money and day for Derek Hodder as he took FTD closely chased by Gary. Tim Nunn had a good battle with class G newcomer John Loudon and only just won. Mick Dent running in class H with his Busa was really quick and only 1 sec behind Del. As this was a new circuit there were good points for many. The final straw for me was when , due to only a few of being in the bar, we were kicked out at 2100hrs. Sunday- Mark Anson had turned upon Saturday afternoon and stayed over to spectate with me and help around the paddock. He biggest complaint was that he had to pay a fiver to get in. I had been appointed as a Steward for LDMC so I asked the lads to be polite and give me some respect in view of my position…that had no effect at all. During practice Tim’s replacement fuel pump seemed to be working ok but in the end a change of plugs was probably what cured the loss of power. John Loudon was running out of revs and on the limiter for a long way down the back straight and was a bit puzzled as his new Elite box ratios should have given him a top speed of about 135mph. It seems that his drop gears may have been installed incorrectly which helped his acceleration but not his top speed. My old tyres seemed to be working well on his car so he will now need a new set particularly as there were 2 practices and 12 Timed runs available which is unheard of. In T2 Mike Skidmore’s prop shaft failed at the universal joint so he put the car on the trailer. Del and Gary were going well but their WIFI gear change system seemed to be sticking and cause shift problems. In T1 John Hoyle beat the target time and scored 101 points so was a happy bunny. In the end Gary Bunn beat the target and took a well deserved FTD in Del’s car so they did the double and did Westfields proud. So it was a great effort by LDMC in running this event early in the season which I believe will be well supported next year based upon the weekend weather and number of runs made available. Terry Everall Class G competitor
  23. 4 points
    TEL's TALE's 064/16 Snetterton 21st and 22nd May 2016 ( B19 event) For me this round trip of 400 miles is worth it as Snetterton is a great track with 2laps and some very tricky and technical corners. Particularly novel for me was the use of my newly purchased Motorhome which would provide fantastic accommodation over the weekend event. I did not find the fact that my total vehicle length was about 13m a problem but my god it does use some fuel and recorded about 24mpg!!! Having said that it would easily travel at the legal limit and was a comfortable drive along the A1, A14 and A11 to the circuit. When we arrived in the paddock my new aquistion had detailed inspection by Jane Loudon, Julie Hodder and Sandra Bunn who all gave it the thumbs up and asked why I didn't do it earlier. There was a decent attendance by the Speed Series guys and gal including a few single seaters and about 1800hrs I walked the track with Steve Everall, Dave Cleaver and Mark Anson. Snetterton is a quick track and wide but even though we discussed apexes and the correct lines most of us would find it difficult to adopt them as the track seems to have a poor grip level so late apexing is nigh on impossible and a visit onto the green stuff is waiting if you get too brave. It was good to see Dave Cleaver and my brother Steve out for the first time this season after engine rebuilds. Dave's Honda is now stroked and bored and pushing out some serious bhp and torque. I do know the figures but I would have to kill you if I told you. I think it was also Simon Broadbridge's first outing this season so he was keen to get stuck in. Saturday P1 as expected saw quite a bit of slipping and sliding as the lack of grip was the talk of the paddock and posted times were quite a bit off the targets. Dave Cleaver was having a few problems with the engine (I think it was the traction control settings ) which he sorted by switching traction off. I dont think it can have been that bad as he was the quickest Westfield. Steve Everall found it strange using a 5 speed syncro box and the new, less sticky, Avon ZZS tyres. In the single seaters, I think Pete Goulding in his FF Ecoboost had all four wheels off whilst Matt Hillam was straight on the pace. It was Mark Anson's first visit to Snetterton and he was taking it easy and nearly got lost twice. P2 saw very little improvement in track grip and maybe some of that was due to Dave Cleaver trying to beat me by dropping oil around the circuit from his oil filter housing. At the end of T1 we managed to fabricate a clever blanking plate from alloy sheet and some quick setting sealant did the trick and stopped the oil leak. Mark Anson came back to the paddock complaining about a big vibration at the back of the car. We got it up in the air and got the engine going and spinning the wheels but could only see a slightly imbalanced left rear wheel and a tight halfshaft. As nothing was loose and all bolts ok it was safe for him to go out again but it did seem strange that we could not find anything major on his OMS 2000M. Nick Algar (not in speed series) had a blown supercharger so set off to the midlands on a five hour round trip to get a replacement only to find that there was too much damage and itcould not just be bolted on and required further work. T1 was before lunch and Mark had a good run but all was not well. Just before the finish his Kwazaki engine let go and punched a big hole through the block and nearly set fire to the car and Mark who was still sat in it! It was a frustrating end to his weekend, which is not what you want having driven 270 miles to get to the event from Blackpool Both Pete Gouding and I offered him a double drive on Sunday, for which he thanked us but he was more concerned about concentrating on getting his own car sorted. We were all finally getting our heads around the track now and times started to tumble.I think Steve Carpenter had a moment as he did not record a time as he tried to stay ahead of Roz Kennett who was double driving. They were also camping in a tent on site as the cost and lack of nearby B&B meant they had no option. In the end Roz said she quite liked it, apart from the noisy bikers who were camping and they may also camp at the Blyton weekend. John Loudon was the first to set a new (class E) record. T2 Dave Cleaver (class F) and I (class G) both set new class records on this run so we banked good points and were ready for the final runs. Derek Hodder and Gary Bunn were having the usual ding dong and its never over until the last run. T3 It was now obvious that to get good times you had to be very brave and trust the car when you threw it into Hamiltons, a tight lefthander at the end of a short straight with not a lot of run off on the exit. The left hander called Palmer's was also technically difficult and getting to the apex or on the inside rumble strip took some doing at high speed. There were a few examples of late braking that did not pay off as people overshot corners or locked up the wheels. In the end John Loudon improved on his record time and quickest Westfield was Dave Cleaver on 90.29secs closely followed by Gary Bunn with 90.53secs and Del on 91.05secs. In the single seater Pete Goulding went well but Matt Hillam in the SBD Dallara was very quick with 83.15secs. Just after we finished the rain started !!! Phew. During the day it was good to see a few spectators from the Westfield club supporting us and they included Denis and Andy Silman of Siltech racing who produce some very nice wishbones etc for Westfields. Sunday Paul Beesley joined us in his class F busa to get a piece of the action. The weather forcast was a bit unpredictable but in the end we had a dry and quite warm day. The warm day brought a few more spectators including our old mate Martyn Van Zeller who now lives fairly close having emigrated from god's own county. P1 Despite the overnight rain the track was dry but still people complained about a lack of grip so it wasn't just my driving style that was causing me to oversteer. Gary and Del immediately suffered from a lack of power which Del quickly diagnosed as a faulty TPS. Off with the old and on with the new and they were back in business in no time at all. Dave Cleaver set off like a bat out of hell to show his intentions again. P2 Nothing much to report here except for Paul Beesley starting to chip away at his times. T1 The big issue to report here is that Gary Bunn produced a blinding run of 89.21 secs (new class H record) which he would not better and nobody else could get near it. As the trcak now got a bit warmer it was clear that there would be some good times and records would be beaten again if we were brave enough and had a heavy enough right foot whilst ignoring the brake pedal and any survival instincts. T2/T3 In T2 Dave Cleaver showed us how not to do it as he ran out of tarmac pushing too hard at Hamiltons bend. Dave Cleaver's, John Loudon's and my last runs were quickest and beat the class records/target times again. Steve Everall, Steve Carpenter, Roz Kennett and Simon Broadbridge all improved on Saturday's times and Paul Beesley saved his best run until last. In summary it was a great weekend for most of us and excellently run by Borough 19 MC. Steve's time would indicate that the ZZS tyres are about 3% slower that ZZR and the car suspension may need changing to allow for the different grip level.pOn my way home my driving skills were put to the test as a pheasant tried to commit suicide by walking out in front of my new motorhome.....there is no way I would allow that to happen as my pristine coachwork would be smashed to bits ….so a reactionary swerve at 60mph on the A1 saw me miss the stupid bird JUST!. Steve was behind and culd not believe I managed to miss it and said if it had been a cat it would have lost one of its nine lives. Terry Everall Class G competitor
  24. 3 points
    So having bought the Caterham in October of last year, I had still yet to drive the car. As part of the purchase, I had negotiated that the seller (who runs a Caterham motorsport outfit) to attend a trackway with me to help prepare and set up the car. I booked a trackday at Donny for Friday with MSV trackdays. I can recommend to anyone with a race or sprint car to attend one of these days as they are race car friendly, in fact, most cars were race cars on the day - Mini's, Exiges, BMW's, Clios etc. I had approx 30 hours work on the car over the winter: 1. Trimmed and re-covered the bag seat 2. Perfected the fit of the tonneau 3. Greased the extinguisher lines 4. Replaced all the stickers 5. Painted the interior 6. Fixed the exhaust (which was squashed to say the least - record and re-packed for only £65!) 7. Given the car a blooming' good clean and tidy up I should have been looking to this day but I was bedridden for 3-days earlier in the week. I still felt rough on the day but it was too late to cancel. Nonetheless, the day was dry and bright even if a little breezy. I got up early and trailered the car to the track, only to find one tyre had picked up a puncture on the way. No bother as I swapped the spare at lunch. So how does it compare to the Westie? Well, its hard to compare when I have been off-track for 6-months, but for sure, the chassis is more communicative and the turn-in is much better (it's got a quick rack). Its better on the brakes too, presumably due to the weight saving. The bag seat is not as comfy as the Tillet and the layout of the dash and pedals to too compact initially, until you get used to it. Power is comparable. Overall, I would say an improvement over the Westie, but not by any significant margin. In fact, my best lap time was a 1.21.5. I think there is more to come when I heel and toe (one step at a time I thought) and can use the whole of the track (the grass was so wet a lot of the kerbs had sods of grass on them!) and under the pressure to perform during Quali....but my best time in the Westie at Donny? Yep. A 1.21.5. Funny how these things work out! My first race for the dark side is on the 22nd of April at Pembrey. I'm in a difference class now with the 1.6 so I hope to be competitive. Wish me luck! Mike Pics below inc. some nice historic racers who occupied the garage after I had packed up. Interior shot in my garage at the end
  25. 3 points
    So on Wednesday night I finally took delivery of the Supersport. I actually paid for the car last October but I asked for a tonneau to be fitted along with a load of other jobs prior to delivery so it was delayed until now. I now have a long list of little things to do to the car to tidy it up, nothing major but I like my car's to be just so. So far all I have done is strip all the old stickers off it. This took me ages last night but I'm just about there - just need to remove the residue before I get painting/general tarting up. Purchased from LFP motorsport in Brum. Aaron really know's his stuff. Really looking forward to the new season now! First outing after a trackday at Donny (date tba with my mate) will be 22nd April at Pembrey My daughter like the car as well!
  26. 3 points
    November 12th, 2017 Spend: £0.00 @maurici kindly offered some free stickers on the forums, providing they ended up on a Westfield and a picture was shared on the thread. Well, here's mine November 18th, 2017 Spend: £0.00 Created a nice puzzle on the garage floor. Last month: £ 6379.80This month: £ 0.00 ----------+Total: £ 6379.80
  27. 3 points
    Tel’s Tales Pembrey June weekend 2017 After a 7 hours 297mile drive I arrived at about 1845hrs and was pleased to see my Westfield mates had adopted the best paddock position and saved a place for my motorhome and trailer. I thought I would break out the beer but was told I could sign on and be scrutineered straight away so that was a big plus meaning a relaxing Sat morning start. Good organisation I thought……unfortunately the weekend did not run smoothly for a range of annoying reasons. Firstly on Saturday we had 110 entries when 100 was supposed to be the maximum, then we had rapidly changing weather which caused delays, the timing arrangements by TSL only seemed to cope with 2 cars on the track at any one time, the results took ages to produce on Sunday night and the awards were sometimes given to the wrong people!! The good part was that we had two great track layouts to challenge us and a good turnout of Westfield Speed Series competitors. (13 Westfield and 3 drivers in class J2) Friday After the car was back in the trailer I got some food sorted out whilst John Loudon (the domestic goddess ---Jane was not with him) heated up his pizza. When it was ready it looked good but he had forgotten to remove the packaging from the bottom!!! Several people including Steve Carpenter, Roz Kennett, Paul Dew (first time out this year) had not been here before so nearly everyone did the obligatory track walk in the warm bright sunshine. When we got back Steve and Roz had to put up their newly purchased tent and camping beds and the thought of “all the gear and no idea” briefly crossed my mind but they got it all sorted quickly and apart from Roz being a bit cold in the night they loved it. Saturday P1 was dry, although it had rained a bit overnight, and Dave Cleaver was immediately on the pace and banged in a 106.31 secs run to make the rest of us look a bit tentative and pedestrian. It soon became clear that progress was slow and tedious even after one run. I think it was during this practice that Paul Dew (aka Tigger) discovered that to keep his engine running he needed to have filled the fuel tank so was a bit embarrassed to run out of fuel. I noted that at the end of my practice (which included a rerun) my oil temp was at 129deg C so I checked that my oil pressure was still ok but the readings worried me all weekend and I need to check for a sensor problem/wiring fault. Just before the first batch of Westfields was called for P2 it started to rain. We got into our cars and queued but by the time we got close to the start it was lashing it down and a few of us, especially those of us on slicks, pulled out and returned to the paddock. John Loudon who only had slicks went out but came in after just one lap and he was completely soaked from head to toe. Later the track started to dry and much to my amazement, even though it was already way after 1200hrs, there was an announcement that anyone who had not had a second practice could now have one and this wasted a lot of time. Practice ended at 1330hrs and we were all getting worried about timed runs and the British Sprint run offs which all had to be finished by 1800hrs. We all thought that when the rain started they should have taken an early lunch and given the weather a chance to improve. Luckily for T1, which started at 1400hrs, the track was nearly dry with just a few damp patches but target times were going to be hard to achieve. Dave Cleaver went quickest with a great time of 105.83 secs after a rerun. The final T2 run saw slightly better conditions but only a few improved their times and because of the curfew of 1800hrs Steve Carpenter and Roz Kennett never got their last run and if I was them I would have been very annoyed. In addition there was no top 10 run off and this was on a day when there were very few incidents to slow things down. So Dave was fastest Westfield and Adam Phelps second fastest in his 1300cc Busa which was going well. It appeared that Adam and Charlotte had hired in John (their dad) as labourer, mechanic, odd job man and general support but I did not see any money change hands! In class J2 Steve Broughton was quickest beating Carol Torkington and Matt Hillam and Nick Agar was going well in his DJ Firehawk until he broke the diff on Sunday. Sunday I was having a good sleep in my Motorhome until about 0500hrs when the rain started and it kept at it until about 0700hrs. By the time we were called for P1 the heavens had opened and it was lashing it down so several us declined the offer of practice in preference to trying to stay dryish and most were wearing various styles of waterproof overalls and wet boots and would not have won a fashion show. Myself , Paul Dew, Derek Hodder, Garry Bunn and Keith Adams decided a brew and biscuit was better than a wet bath. By P2 the rain had just about stopped so we all went out but the track was treacherous and particularly the bits of new tarmac on the revised track layout. There were some very scary slides and slipping about except for Dave Cleaver again who went way quicker than anyone with a time of 127.82secs on his wets. Mick Skidmore lived up to his name again but doing a 360deg spin for us all to admire. T1 This saw Tigger so eager to get to the start line that he left his brains behind and forgot to regas his compressed air bottle to activate his gear changes. He ran back to the paddock with a red face after explaining to the marshals why he had abandoned it. The track was still wet and after changing my tyres about 10 times (much to the amusement of others who do not clearly understand the trauma of deciding on slicks or wets.) I decided on wets but John Loudon only had slicks so he had to make the best of it. There was some brave, fast driving on a track that was giving decent wet grip but we all came back to the paddock praying for a dry run. Our Welsh prayers were answered as for T2 that’s what we had with a dry track and only minimal wet patches. As we waited to fit the slicks John was into his OCD mode checking everyone’s actual tyre widths and tread patterns on front tyres and eventually increasing his tyre pressures. So in the final runs we all got to grips with the new layout and had some excitement trying to brake as late as possible for the new left/right chicane and to post a good time as big points were at stake. Steve Carpenter beat Roz in their budget zetec engine car. In classes C D and F. Paul Dew beat Keith Adams and Mike Skidmore with Simon Broadbridge close on time. In Class G I held off John Loudon and in class H the order was Dave Cleaver, Garry Bunn, Derek Hodder, Adam Phelps and Charlotte Phelps. So for us all the track was great but the rain and other stuff spoilt it a bit. The awards took place one and a half hours after the results were published and I eventually arrived home after 297 miles at midnight. All in all a great weekend which was due to the Westfield banter and friendliness between all competitors, wives, friends etc See you all at Blyton. Terry Everall Class G Competitor
  28. 3 points
    So this was to be my first time racing at Silverstone and I was really looking forward to this race. We were to use the International circuit including the new ‘Wing’ facility (the F1 pits and conferencing facility on the floors above). The race was also to be my first with a standing start (other than sprints). All my previous races were rolling starts. I got to the circuit on the Saturday afternoon as I had a friend racing on the National circuit over the Sat and Sun. I ‘negotiated’ my way into the BRSCC paddock (with the CSCC pass) and watched his race. At 6pm I was then to move the car into the allocated garage of ‘The Wing’ for storage overnight. Annoyingly the bloke at the entrance to the paddock would not let anyone in until 7pm. The queue of race trucks, trailers, cars and vans stretched half way round the Stowe circuit. I took the opportunity to walk the pit wall and have a ‘nosey’. When we were let in I got the car off the trailer and generally set up for the following day. As I was one of a few not drinking in our group, I ended up driving most of the group out for a meal in Towcester. Was a nice night albeit, a late one. The hotel was at Newport Pagnell services and after dropping many a drunk back at the paddock I then had to drive to the hotel. It took much longer than I thought. As is normally the case, I didn’t sleep well at all. I last checked the alarm clock at 1.30am and I think it was another hour before I dropped off. The alarm went off at 6.15am…. I got up and collected my pit b1tch/friend to drive to the circuit. The rain looked like it was going to stay away as it was a beautiful summer’s morning. I got to the garage and went to sign-on. It turned out scrutineering was also at 7.30am, coinciding with sign-on and I nearly missed it! Luckily my friend managed to sort most of the process, only a larger ‘E’ sticker was required on the new passenger tonneau cover. I attended the obligatory drivers briefing and we all enquired about the rules for track limits, racing (within the 60kph speed limit) in the pit lane etc, etc. Quali was at 9.15am and after managing to remember which way the circuit went (I had not driven the circuit since 2011), managed to get in some consistency in my lap times. I was hoping for the 1.18’s and I managed a 1.19.019. I was happy enough with that and the car felt balanced as always (thanks Adam R once again). This put me 23rd out of 28 and this was what I was expecting in a sea of Caterham 420R’s, barmy 2.3 litre Duratec Caterhams, and some more normal machinery. I was the only Westie and only an M K Indy was there to keep me company in the field of Caterhams. I then had a wait until the race at 3.00pm. I took the opportunity to go watch my friends last race on the National circuit and then got back to find my race had been bought forward…bu44er. This was now tight on time. To cap it off, my Brother had just called asking to be collected from the gate (I had his ticket) and so I set off in the car to grab him. ‘Apparently’ I was a little too keen and got a ticking off by the bloke at the gate (yes – him again!). I managed to get back just in time to fuel up and check pressures etc as I had parked the car up after Quali and just left it. Lesson learnt I think. I then sat in the assembly area for what felt like a lifetime, although this did give me opportunity to get in the correct frame of mind prior to the start. We then set off out of the assembly area and round to the grid. I warmed up the tyres and got plenty of heat into the brakes. We made our way round to the grid and were shown our grid positions by a fast moving Marshall prior to the 5 second board going up. This was it – race time and don’t blink as the lights come on… A few seconds later the lights went out and we were racing. I had an acceptable start but my lack of practice showed as I could have dialled in a few more revs. Before I know it I was right in the middle of a group of cars going into Abbey. I battled hard for the first few corners and went wheel to wheel with one car and just managed to get a nose ahead into the corner prior to Hanger Straight. I then seamed to drop the following pack of cars and got myself a bit of clear air. I was able to get into a rhythm for the first 10 laps or so prior to my pit stop. Annoyingly, I out braked myself going into Club and missed a good opportunity to pass one of the Supersports. Better luck next time mike. When the pit board came out saying ‘PIT’ I went round only to be lapped by the leaders at precisely the wrong moment. I went round for another lap to ensure no problems/calamities. I entered the pits and waited for the minute to pass (the minimum time I have to wait). My friend Bob was attending this race having not seen me race before with the CSCC. He counted down the 60 seconds and waved me out. I could see a car close to me when I set off and thought not much about it…. After all, we are allowed to race in the pits. I went out for the second part of the race and managed to get up to 17th. Then, a few laps later, I just caught the sight of a black flag on the pit wall. I had never seen a black flag served on a competitor in my entire Club racing days. Much to my gut wrenching horror, I then noticed it has my number next to it… What had I done now? I was completely mortified, was this race over? I went into the pits and looking back at the video, I had missed that under the flag it stated ‘Stop and Go’. I duly served the penalty and got straight back out there with the bit between my teeth. Damn. My first black flag…. The rest of the race went as well as I could expect and I managed to break the 1.18 barrier and post a 1.18.731. I don’t think there was much more time to find so I was happy. I came back into the pits happy with my performance at least and finish 20th. I packed up my gear and headed to the awards ceremony. Turns out, even if you are the only person in your class that you still get a trophy? Well like Mutley from Wacky Races I accepted it and got a copy of my times. At the bottom of the sheet it stated ‘Car 14 Black Flag for unsafe release from the pits’. I was gutted as this cost me approx. 23 seconds and that would likely have gained me at least one and possibly two positions. Well that’s life I suppose. My friend who was ‘helping’ with the pit stop timing is now known as ‘Bad release Bob’ or maybe that should be ‘black flag bob’? Roll on Pembrey on the 23rd of June with the WSSCC. This racing lark is great fun, even if a little frustrating at times. (Vid to follow)
  29. 3 points
    So I thought I would write a blog about my venture into circuit racing. Last year I had my first competitive events, in the form of WSCC SS events at Castle Combe and at Blyton. I enjoyed them both immensely, but I have always wanted to race others on the track, not just against the clock. So, I did a bit of work to the car over the winter……..including: 1. Fitting a second kill switch 2. Fitting a fire extinguisher 3. Fitting ARB's front and rear 4. Getting new springs and a full set up (thanks Adam;) at Clear) 5. Getting an engine tweak (Blink ported the polished the head, new cams and remap making 182 bhp) 6. New wet tyres (Toyo R1R's) 7. New dry tyres (Avon ZZR's in medium) 8. New wheels for above 9. New radiator 10. New front disks and pads 11. Removal of dynok sheet and spray paint the interior black 12. New HANS system 13. New helmet 14. Fitted transponder Amongst many, many other little things. I done a track day at Donny in May and Combe in June in preparation, the car is finally running well and I have the following races booked: 17th July at Combe (double header) 21st August at Pembery (double header) 4th September at Donny (40 minute race) The first two meetings are with the Welsh Sports and Saloon Championship and the Donny round with the CSCC. To say i'm nervous, penniless and feeling totally underprepared would be the understatement of the year. In all honest I have not been able to think about anything else for the past few months. I even found myself on the tube on Tuesday getting off at the wrong stop. I was visualising the perfect lap at Combe and jumped off in deep thought! So I hope to keep this blog up to date. Please let me have your thoughts/advice and wish me luck….I'm well and truly going to need it. Oh, and why the title? Well i always fill up the lawn mower can up at the same time as my track day cans. My Mountfield RS 100 only uses the best! Mike
  30. 3 points
    TEL's TALE's 066/16 Ty Croes, Anglesey 18th and 19th June 2016 Introduction This was my first trip to Anglesey in the motorhome and also with Margaret so I was hoping for some good weather and socialising in the paddock and certainly a better night's kip compared to sleeping in the back of the trailer and I was looked after with sandwiches etc and we had a good BBQ Friday night. It was good to see that Michael Skidmore was back out following his problems at Pembrey. A total of 12 Speed Series on Saturday and 11 on Sunday was a reasonable turnout but not compared to the 30 plus we had a few years ago when we were regularly thrown out of the bar at midnight! Scutineering was pretty slick and some got it done Friday night. The two issues seemed to be that we were asked to use tiewraps to provide extra security for the cameras we use but with Go Pro stuff and roll cage mounts this was a waste of time. Tim Nunn was also challenged about his Cage cage dimensions as it did not have a homologation sticker on it. Luckily he found a certicate that covered it. It was noticed that on Saturday other scrutineers were seen to be looking closely at ROPS sytsems and in some cases measuring the main elements. We were in two classes and Steve was the only true “Roag Going” car in class 01 whilst the rest were in 02. Saturday 18th June 2016 The weather was overcast but dry and not too cold so it was looking promising for a good day of sprinting using one lap of the International course. In P1 Steve Everall (still getting used to the syncro box ) set off in 3rd gear instead of 1st and still did a 3.31secs 64ft time! Not a lot of drama in P1 but I did manage to be quickest Westfield with 90.69 secs on my old tyres. Barny Francis was new to the track as were Adam and Charlotte Phelps in the slick shod Busa. P2 saw the two Margaret Everall's deciding that moral support would be best provided by them going for a walk down the coast to the old church. Michael Skimore had more problems with his car as the engine cut out and he had to be towed back to the paddock. After changing the plugs due to a suspect spark I fiddled aroud with the connector to the coil pack and the engine sprang back to life and ran ok all weekend but we dont know what the original problem was so a bit more diagnosing is required. In this session my mate and biggest rival Tim Nunn was quickest Westfield closely followed by Dave Cleaver who was on a mission again! Just as we were getting ready for T1 before lunch it became apparent that this would be P3 but who the hell wants P3? After a lot of muttering and debate a few of us did not bother with the extra pointless practice and it actually lost us a third timed run later in the day so we were not best pleased. To add insult to injury Richard Kerr's rear diffuser broke and nearly fell off so he removed it and it did not seem to have any detrimental effect and reduced the car's weight. T1 and T2 commenced after the lunch break and the battle to get close to Target Times as well as other driver's times was intense. Tim Nunn banged in an 89.90secs agianst my best of 90.25secs but Dave Cleaver pipped us both with 88.99secs on his last run to be quickest westfield. Also scoring well was John Loudon (Jane had gone cycling again) and Barny Francis was close to the Novice D target time and was very happy with his pace although it would be nice if we had more novices/newcomers battling it out together as we saw last year. Charlotte Phelps enjoyed her drives but was also seen helping out the Calders in the big Gould car. Her brother Adam Phelps recorded some consistent times and even go to grips with using Richard Kerr's heat gun to clean his front tyres. Then just as we were getting into it the British Sprint top 12 run off took place and there was no time for a third timed run so that was annoying particularly in view of the third practice that was held. Sunday 19th June 2016 National x 2 laps The weather forecast was spot on as we awoke to a light drizzle blowing in the wind, which by the time we stated was proper rain. At this stage some of the southern softies decided to pay for space in the garages and headed for shelter. The hard northern lads – aka tight b******ds- (me, Tim, Steve, Richard etc) decide to save our cash as we were not wet through yet and we would only get a bit rusty rather than sunburnt and also £20 is 11 pints of John Smith's old brewery bitter!!! P1 saw Richard Kerr, Dave Cleaver and Steve Everall post some ridiculous quick times which if correct would have blown away all records so the timing gear was checked to ensure no mess up with the timed runs. In P1 John Loudon was seen in a panic as his car would not start and the alternator had failed. Nick Algar luckily had a spare Lithium battery to keep John going and I heard that Nick also provided Adam Phelps with a starter motor for the Busa. By P2 it was raining hard and the track was deteriorating fast so the slick guys put on their wets (apart from Adam Phelps who did not seem to have any) and Michael Skidmore had a bit of trouble as his engine developed a metallic rattle which we diagnosed as a broken timing bracket on his XE engine. T1 was on a very wet track and as usual nutter Nunn kept it on the black stuff despite taking a few gambles, to record a very respectable 127.15secs time against my miserable 129.99secs as I hoped we would have another run. Adam on slicks stood no chance and did 144.47sces whilst Michael Skidmore and Barny Francis had 4 wheels off and therefore did not record a time. Richard Kerr and Dave Cleaver and John Loudon were in the low 130s with Steve Everall on 139.63secs and Mark Bishop on 146.12ses as they struggled for grip. Steve thought that the Avon ZZStyres were quite good in the wet. Matt Hillam had good results on both days with Nick Algar (not in the speed series) doing well on Saturday but spinning out on Sunday near the finish. After a short break it became apparent that there would not be any more runs due to the track conditions and there was not even a top 12 run off as the meetimg was abandoned. The wet time calculations proved that John Loudon had scored best compared to target and Tim Nunn was second. I am looking forward to the October Ty Croes weekend and see if we can get closer to the targets when I hope a few more of you are entered. Terry Everall Class G competitor
  31. 2 points
    Finally, I have my Sport E repaired and working again - just in time to miss the season! It's been a long haul - over 2 years actually. Last month I completed the wiring and so took the car over to Potenza Technology for electrical testing (my sponsor). Here is a picture of the car in the workshop alongside the original Westfield iRacer. The iRacer had been recently recommissioned (and painted) for a trade show. This is a quick car. About the same power and weight as today's Formula E cars. A car before its time I think. Initially my car was checked over for electrical safety and to ensure all the original safety features were still in place and working. Tick. After a nut and bolt check I we tried to drive it. First problem, the motor rotated backwards! I'd forgotten that the motor/diff had been reversed. Digging around in the Potenza document archive, we found the original instructions and passwords to reconfigure the power controller. The direction was changed and we tried again - it went forwards this time but cut out at 10 mph - not a great start. This fault was eventually traced to an interference issue caused by a missing ground strap on the power controller. The second test drive was much more successful with the car pulling away strongly. After a few tentative runs, I did a full power, zero to 'sorry officer' run. It cut out again this time under full power. After some head scratching and several more runs the problem seemed to go away. Anyway, I booked the car into Northampton Motorsport for a geometry check and dyno test. At Northampton, the high power cutout problem reappeared but only for the first few runs. It became clear that the battery voltage was sagging badly under heavy load causing the power controller to stop working. After a few runs the battery warmed up, the voltage drop was less and so the power controller continued to work. I'll have to add a power limit to the control software at low battery temperatures to stop it from tripping. Back in 2014, I had the original car dyno tested. The graph below shows the 2014 graph (red) alongside the new graph (blue). More power - yay, but the new power curve is now a different and odd shape. One factor is the gearing. This year the car is fitted with 15 inch wheels instead of the original 17 inch so the gearing is lower. This could account for the steeper initial slope. Also the original Sport E limited power to about 120 BHP at the wheels. I removed this limit (it's a race car after all) and now the controller gives maximum torque at all motor speeds but power now appears to be limited by the lower battery voltage at high speed. Overall a good result - especially considering the car is also 200Kg lighter than the 2014 car - it's still 660Kg plus me though. Now if I can just up-rate the battery before next season ........
  32. 2 points
    October 1st, 2016 Spend: £1500.00 What's the best way to speed up the Mighty Crossflow? You replace it with a Zetec I bought this last month from another WSCC member after he took me out in his car with this engine in it. Complete with ECU, manifold and as much ancillaries as he could spare. 180BHP on the Northampton Motorsport rollers. October 2nd, 2016 Spend: £0.00 Cleaned up the garage and moved stuff about so the engine can be stored for a while whilst I take my own engine out. Borrowed an engine crane from Lewis and placed the new engine on a trolley for easy manoeuvring. October 3rd, 2016 Spend: £0.00 As the car is off the road for a good couple of months, I am also going to take the live axle out so it can have the bearings replaced as it is leaking on the nearside. Also taking the opportunity to replace all the rear bushes and the rear suspension. The fuel tank needs to come out for that, so made a start with emptying it and removing the fuel tank straps. October 6th, 2016 Spend: £0.00 Took the fuel tank out and removed the rear lights. The rear lights need to go back to the manufacturer as they have condensation inside. October 8th, 2016 Spend: £0.00 Time to crack on Removed the radiator, all the coolant hoses, spilling a lot of coolant on my drive in the process. Also drained the engine of oil and removed the tunnel top and seats. Disconnected the engine from everything and left it only on the engine mounts. The pile of parts is steadily increasing October 9th, 2016 Spend: £0.00 Well, that was easy! October 15th, 2016 Sold: £500.00 Who knew old oily Crossflows are worth a pretty penny? Did some small jobs on the car whilst waiting for Andy from Sheffield to collect my old engine. He's going to drop it in a Mark 1 Escort... The Circle of Life! October 16th, 2016 Spend: £0.00 After I struggled last week to disconnect the prop-shaft from the diff in the tunnel, I discovered that it is much easier to remove the gearbox first, then slide the axle and diff assembly backwards so it would all be accessible from the boot. Did not realise that the gearbox would dump all its oil when you lift it out though, so spend half the afternoon cleaning up the drive with degreaser. Doh! Took the angle grinder to the diff flange bolts but it remained firmly connected to the prop-shaft. Time to call it a day. October 22nd, 2016 Sold: £20.00 Finally. Now the cleaning can commence. Also sold my old 15" alloy wheels. October 23rd, 2016 Spend: £0.00 Cleaned up the engine bay until I ran out of cleaning products. Also removed the dash/scuttle by cutting a slot underneath the column. This was something I wanted to do for a long time, as I can now remove it all in one go, for easy access to the electrics. October 24th, 2016 Spend: £0.00 Dropped the axle and gearbox off at Martin Harvey for bushes, bearings and seals. October 25th, 2016 Spend: £20.00 As I am relocating the filler neck to the boot, I picked up some carbon boot side panels and carbon fuel cap cover from Mark Russel. October 29th, 2016 Spend: £0.00 Trial fitted the new engine to see if it would actually fit or not. Turns out the answer is maybe... The alternator is awfully close to the chassis, but as I do not have the engine mounts yet, final confirmation will be once I've got the gearbox back in and the mounts measured up. October 30th, 2016 Spend: £29.10 Continued with cleaning. Felt I needed a little victory so fitted the carbon filler cap replacement and the new Hella high level brake light I bought to replace my half working Ebay Chinese special. Had hoped to remove the rollbar so I could easily get the wire inside it, but seems like the original builder likes his adhesive fixings, as it is glued on with some stuff that I could not yet undo. Will continue with that next week as I need to slide my boot lid sides over the diagonal. Last month: £ 2312.52 This month: £ 1069.10 ----------+ Total: £ 3381.62
  33. 2 points
    So this was the first outing of the year for me in the Westie. It had been a long wait as I didn’t do too much to do to the car over the winter (or have the budget) and so it just sat in the garage gathering dust. What little work that was done to the car was a tad stressful. I dropped the car at my local motorsport garage a few weeks back, but only got it back on the Thursday night. The mechanic had a two-day race meeting over the intervening weekend and his wallet, cash and some tools were robbed from the cab of the lorry (which was parked in the paddock at Snett). This meant he was understandably delayed in finishing the works on the car as he had to cancel his cards etc. When I got it back, I worked on the car until 10pm on the Thursday, again on the Friday night and on the Saturday morning. Tiring, but finally I was ready to go. The journey to West Wales to race with the Welsh Sports and Saloon Car Championship was broken up with lunch in the sun. My wife and I, along with 4 other friends stayed at a hotel near to the circuit. The place was a little tired to say the least with some quite frankly, hilariously Trip Advisor reviews. Maybe I should have read the reviews before checking-in….. Nonetheless, I got a reasonable night’s sleep. A rarity for me before a race (see my previous Blogs). I got up at 5.50am, had a quick breakfast and my mate and I set off to the circuit, arriving at 6.50am. It was a bright morning and I was looking forward to racing at Pembrey in the dry for the first time. After sign-on and an uneventful scrutineering, I set up camp in Pembrey’s inner paddock. Qualifying was at 9.00am and I had to be in the assembly area 20-minutes before. Not a huge amount of time to get ready so it was all go. Sitting in the assembly area I was a little apprehensive as I have not driven the car at all since the previous September, except only for giving it a run down the road to bed in the new rear pads. As expected, I was properly rusty. Qualifying was over in a blur and my driving was annoyingly inconsistent. Still, that was to be expected without testing/practice so I dwelled on the positives (what few there were!). I posted a 1.08, which was a second quicker than my dry qualifying time of the previous August. I was happy with that, 11th out of 20. The first race was after lunch so it was a bit of a wait. We had to wait longer than expected as the trucks were racing and doing a great job of smashing each other to bits and generally making a lot of noise / vibrating the ground under your feet. I was on the inside line for the first hairpin and I intended to stay there. Indeed I did and I managed to get an ok start, hampered by the car in front obscuring the lights at the precise moment they went out. Lesson learnt. Despite this, I managed to get the jump on one car, although I was a little worried at one point as I momentarily had two wheels on the grass. Still, plenty of grip! I followed the pack round the hairpin and then lined a car up a car for a pass on the rear straight. I was drafting him as we went through the fast kink, mid-‘straight’, only for him to get a massive tank slapper, presumably on cold rears. He span in front of me and by backing out of the throttle a little – I didn’t know which way he was going to go I managed to avoid him, much to the relief of my Wife who was watching. Thankfully he also missed the tyre wall/bank and was able to carry on. Just as I was getting the bit between my teeth, the race was red flagged as a car had broken a wishbone at the hairpin and had to be recovered. Damn. I now had to do it all again. The restart meant a 10 minute race +1 lap, instead of the usual 15 +1 lap. I had a good re-start and managed to gain a place, only to be out-braked coming in to the hairpin, spending the rest of the race on my own from thereafter. I used the time to perfect (well I tried anyway) my lap and posted a 1.07.6, finishing in 9th. The second race was over in such a blur I can only remember overtaking two cars, both by out-breaking them into Honda. I bettered my lap time with a 1.07.3 and finished 7th overall. I was pleased with that and more importantly I was now lapping much more consistently. Cobweb’s well and truly blown away! A good time was had by all and most importantly the car and I were in one piece. Next I’m off to Silverstone with the CSCC on the 28th of May. I can’t wait to get out there again. Video added: Race 1 Re-start: Race 2: Trucks: On the grass:
  34. 1 point
    That was an expensive month with a new forged short motor, and replacing all the front uprights, hubs, wishbones and bushes.. Engine back in an running.. I don't want to think about the total cost but it will be worth it.... Spent so far this month... Far too much again in March and its not over yet …….. Well March is turning out to be a bit of a nightmare... Discovered the slight oil leak on the axle was from the mounts welded to the axle (keep it in place and prevent torque twisting it) so I had to replace the case as well as the planned crown wheel and pinion, bearings etc.. So basically I now have a brand new axel with a 4.1 Burton crown wheel and a Quaife LSD... Gearbox refreshed with new seals and serviced, oh and some strengthening added to the underside of the chassis to cover the extra power.... Just waiting for the engine to return and we should be fully up and running... Hooray.. Another busy month.. New radiator and oil cooler fitted just in time too remove the engine and gearbox which are are now out, as is the rear axle. Fitting new pistons with a re-bore, new shells, balance etc. The gearbox has a slight leak on the main seal so that's being replaced and I'm fitting a breather just to be safe. The axel had badly fitted bracing (very poor welding that resulted in some oil weeping) so I've thrown the case away and invested in a replacement along with a new 4.1 diff and a full set of bearings and seals... The exhaust was a bit of a pig to fit and required some re positioning of the engine and some stressful cutting of the bonnet. This should give good gains in booth power and torque along side the other engine work that I have carried out... To improve the rear I have fitted some graphics (well I will do once its all back together) and a couple for the sides of the bonnet... Car has been renamed as 'Triggers Westie' Nearly at the finishing post (for this year anyway....) Spent last month £950 so far this month £240 on dyno time, but a new dif arriving Sunday so going to go up a bit..... March is going to be painful with change of pistons, hone and new bottom end (just to be safe) oh and the gearbox refresh and some seals replacing.. Well its been a long year of Westfield ownership and I feel I have come a long way with my first rebuild since 1984 (which was a Mini). I started with a tatty but sound Westfield that I intended just using on track.. Butt as they say best laid plans and all that- and so it began. I had it set up on the dyno and sorted the Geo out and all was well for my first track day at Blyton. Was a bit disappointed with 176bhp but my feeling was the exhaust was too restrictive, but I still had a good day even though it was way to over geared; I didn't touch 5th once. Still managed to gel with the car and to my surprise I pretty much cleaned up and wasn't passed once the track dried out...
  35. 1 point
    Not really Westie related but bought one of these today.
  36. 1 point
    Thought i would document my sprint attendance and maybe entice some other fresh faces to the Paddock it really is a blast Well what a feeling. First trophy. Home from a very successful outing at Silverstone today with 6 in my class of what looked to be some fast caterham's, the only goal I had set myself for the day was a 60 second run. Starting the day with a P1 time 61.8 felt good and new once I had found my way round a very confusing course (everyone else agreed) it was possible. Second practice was slightly improved with a 60.3. After lunch and our first timed runs it had got really hot and thought like with blyton 2 weeks ago we would probably go slower, In T1 I managed a 59.45 close at the time to some of to 2.0L boys and 2 seconds faster than my closest class rival. T2 I tried a different approach to the last complex and It didn't work out going a tenth slower with a 59.59. Over all a great day and my first class win with a pot. Still work to be done on myself and the car but getting more and more comfortable with it on every outing. Well done to all the other winners Howard Gaskin Mathew Haynes and Terry Everall Cheers
  37. 1 point
    So teamed up with the guys form NWKCOG again, and met for a rolling road day. Just a get together, see what your car ran and have a laugh, not a full day of minor adjustments to get the best. Great weather and a good turnout. Eventually it was my go Now being vertically challenged next to our rolling road supremo for the day Ade, meant I had to work the pedals in my own car. As he couldn't fit in ! Result ? Well all road vary, but those that had done it before got the results they expected, so I'm happy to think the 100BHP at the wheels ( 118BHP at flywheel ) is reasonably accurate. And I'm happy with that, specially given some of the other results on the day. But all in all a great day, great company, and good to know there is a small one man garage that knows kits and carbs locally !
  38. 1 point
    Managed to sneak a package past Santas little helper ( aka the Mrs ) who seems to think it's OK to wrap anything bought in December and declare it not to be opened until xmas day ! And its yet another controversial purchase. Now I have nthing against the black trim and black wheel brigade, but I'm a chrome fan And I really wanted some little sidelights to sit atop the cycle wings. Searched about and original or vintage car remakes seemed very expensive. Now whilst looking over mr brothers new scooter the other night, and admiring his vast array of lighting ! I asked where he got the chrome spot lamps and things from. Turns out its these guys https://www.beedspeed.com/lamp-bullet-light-chrome-clear-lens-p-9767.html So pair ordered and arrived. They come with orange bulbs, but standard fitting, so I'll swap those for standard sidelight issue. Then when the weather improves, set about fitting these and all the other little trinkets Santa is holding back.
  39. 1 point
    Westy has been sat a couple of weeks due to work commitments, so as the rain had stopped, I whipped the cover off, gave it a quick clean and decided to go and fill it with petrol so it's ready for impromptu use. ( I normally refill after each run, but was getting late last time we were out ) Let's start her up, oh dear, this is harder than usual, feels like it's not getting enough air, and too much fuel, then I remember I have a waterproof cover over my carbs, so take that off and it fires right up. Off to Tesco, and do the slow pump shuffle, I really need to whip the boot box out, as it feels as though there is about 2 miles of convoluted pipe leading to the tank, slowly fill with the nozzle pointing upwards seems the best. Might as well have a run out now, got to love a wintery blast. Really need to fit my indicator reminder beeper, I do have a habit of forgetting to cancel them. Otherwise, a really.nice little run out.
  40. 1 point
    My Westy lives outside all year round, as have all my previous 'toys' I've never bothered to SORN them, as I do enjoy a run if the sun is out, even if the temp doesn't match the outlook. And SORN doesn't mean I get to lock it in the garage and work in the warm, so I pay the full years road tax, and hope to get some winter use. And so we decided to have a little run today. Spent 3 hours out and about without stopping so plenty of smiles per gallon, even if the might xflow does drink more juice than my Boxster did ! We went form Southport over to Horwich, up to Rivington, back via Chorley , Croston and top end of Southport. Nope, not the most exciting roads, nor the fastest, in fact we didn't breach a single speed limit all day ( some facts of this story may have been changed ) No roof, no doors, just the wind deflectors. Mrs asked what I was wearing against the weather, I said a fleece, wooly hat and gloves, it's a lovely day out. And a balmy 7 degrees. She then set about like dressing as an extra from a winter catastrophe movie. The wind deflectors do a great job at deflecting roadside mud ( lets just agree it was mud, and not cow related ) And nothing a quick wash couldn't sort out. And we enjoyed blue sky the whole time
  41. 1 point
    Took a punt on a half hood on Ebay just before I went away for a weeks hols. Spoke to the seller, and from his description, the roll bar etc was the same on how written off car as my bar, so there was a decent chance of it fitting OK, he was offering collection only, and down in Kent, so I managed to persuade him to wrap it up and I'd send a courier in. Sale agreed, and I arranged courier, paid and went on holiday. Got back Friday afternoon, and unwrapped the hood, for a guy who wasn't keen on posting things, the wrap job was amazing. Inside was a nice soft bit for sevens half hood, all neatly stored in their heavy duty bag, and also a full nylon indoor car cover thrown in. Tried it on the car quickly, and apart form needing a couple more clips sorting to help with the tension, I'm very pleased.
  42. 1 point
    So for me, tinkering and messing with cars is a lot of the fun, and simple cosmetic changes, make the car feel a bit more mine. Now, I know it's a Westfield and not a Lotus 7, but I like car because of it's roots. So the clear rear lights, and stripes to the rear did nothing for me, and the tiny front plate the same. So, stock rear lights, and fog light, chrome numberplate lamp, black and silver square plate and a selection of period stickers went on. Round the front, the tiny plate was removed and a black and silver stick on has gone on, and yes, I've changed the Westfield badge to a Lotus one ! It's also gained a roof, not that I'll usr it a lot probably, but as I don't have a garage, and most of it's time its wrapped up under the car port and under it's cover, the roof and frame add another level of support and weather proofing. I got the roof form a club member, and although used, it'll do the job just fine. I've not gone mad getting it aligned just fitted the poppers to the body to match the hood, and got it up and functional. I'm hoping I've been good enough for Santa to bring me a half roof for Christmas
  43. 1 point
    Thought I'd check over the cooling side of the car, as the gauge was always showing it as running hot, even without any physical symptoms. And I've never heard the electric fan running. Ordered a few bits, new thermostat, new fan switch, and a gasket or 2 Got round to looking today. Quick taste of the water, left little lasting impression on my taste buds so probably not much antifreeze present. Off with the thermostat housing, and the usual bodge reveals itself, no thermostat. Fitted my new one and new gasket. On with the ignition and bridged the fan connectors, fan runs fine. So change out the fan switch on the thermostat housing too. Drained the coolant and refilled with the correct type and percentage of anti freeze and begin to heat cycle top up and bleed. check the temp gauge, showing hot. Retrieve my infrared temp gun ( misspent youth, Ok misspent midlife of playing with RC cars ) Thermo housing showing around 84c, gauge showing 130+c Let it warm a but further and leccy fan kicks in, and all seems well. So I'm going with dodgy sender or gauge. I'll order a cheap 52mm gauge and sender, and see how that gets on. But if anyone has a spare SW gauge and sender that works and matches this one, I'd be interested to hear.
  44. 1 point
    Regrettably, I have to write that I had my first racing incident at Pembrey on Sunday. The cars looking decidedly second hand at the moment as the rear offside wheel was literally hanging off. The upright had sheared in two places and will need to be repaired. I also sheared the brake line off the top of the calliper and the rear arch is completely mashed. The race weekend started well as I finally found a hotel that’s welcoming, comfortable, with good food and not silly money. I packed ear plugs so my mates snoring didn’t keep me awake and all was looking good…except the weather. Well it is Wales I suppose. I manage to get to the circuit late after my friend insisted on getting his breakfast from the hotel (only as it was included and he wanted his…..sorry…...my moneys worth!). No bother but I decided to go on wets just before we were called to the assembly area so it was a little rushed for quali. I went out and only found out half way round the circuit that we were doing the new circuit layout, which was a bit of a surprise to say the least. It also just started to rain a little harder. I did a few familiarisation laps and then pitted to get my pressures done, only my friend had forgotten the pressure gauge. Damn. I went out for two last laps and pressed on. I qualified 9th out of 23 and I was happy with that. The first race was equally a rush to prepare for as I had a bit of movement in my seat and when fixing it, the seat was out when we were called to the assembly area. I also switched to my dry tyres (Avon ZZR’s), good job I borrowed a wheel gun. The circuit was drying with a dry line but soaked in a few places. The race started well as I went round the outside of the hairpin at the start and gained a place into 8th. I then out-braked two cars in one corner on the new hairpin, putting me up to 6th. I finished the first lap and was then out-dragged on the straight. I tried to outbreak the other car only to slightly overcook it and half spin. I lost 4 places and was far too keen to get them back….a few corners along I tried the same move at the new hairpin and just carried too much speed into the corner, unsighted, another car turned in and I collect him. I was gutted and missed out on a good place and the second race. I apologised to the other driver and had a huge slice of humble pie, with extra loss of pride drizzled over the top. The Marshalls said it was a racing incident, but I know it was too ambitious so lesson learnt. The car is now at my local motorsport garage for repairs and I’m really hoping to get out there for the next race at Coombe. It’s my local circuit and I was really looking forward to it. Fingers crossed. I found out afterwards, one other driver lost his cool , pulled up to another drivers car, opened the door and hit him on the arm! He was excluded from the result and no doubt will get points on his licence. The circuit photographer summed up my feelings perfectly with a epic shot: I have the video, but have decided not to post it as it just bad 'form' on my part when I hit someone else. I still feel bad about it now. Thats the highs and lows of racing I guess. Mike
  45. 1 point
    Please see my blog for Loton this weekend
  46. 1 point
    The Sport E rebuild has continued but not quite as I intended. The Sport Turbo body that I wanted to use didn't work with the 17" rear wheels also the bonnet, once fitted, didn't quite reach the scuttle. It also needed new rear lighting so in the end I opted to repair the old classic tub and replaced the smashed rear arches, nose and bonnet with less smashed parts which I then repaired and painted. What a difference a huge amount of effort and expense makes to the look of a car! That's supposed to be irony - basically I'm glad to see the back of fiberglass and paint! It's Kawasaki green BTW. In this pic.the wheels are odd.The rears are 15" with T1Rs and the front 17" R1Rs. Initially I'll use the 15" T1Rs all round to calm the car down and make it more predictable first time out. With the 15" rears and no gearbox, the top speed should be limited by motor rpm to around 100mph - enough for now. So anyway I'm on the home straight now. I'll cover the electrical side of the rebuild in another blog. A couple of interesting points though. First I did keep the Sport Turbo scuttle and dash. This was mainly because being so tall (6'2"), I kept hitting my knees on the underside of the old dash panel. The new dash is quite a bit roomier as can be seen in the picture. I only had the main dash moulding - the instrument cluster and hood were missing but this didn't prove to be an issue. I needed to mount the Race Tech dash etc so I built a new dash face panel from ally and covered it with fake carbon. It turned out better than I had expected. For racing there will be an emergency kill switch in the bottom circular hole. I've replaced the 12V battery with a smaller one, take a look at the following photo. This shows the battery progression from the original lead acid to the latest lithium battery. According to the specs the small battery is good for a starting current of 150A - only 2.5Ahr though. This was £125 on eBay. It weighs 500g. Ideal for the electric car since it only needs to power the 12V system at 2.5 amps for 5-10 seconds while the main high voltage battery switches itself on. However it should power the car for about an hour without the main battery. I'll also fit an Anderson connector for a 12V charger so it doesn't go flat while I'm messing around with the main battery off and the computer plugged in. I'm now well into the wiring. This is more familiar territory for me so the end is in sight......hopefully.
  47. 1 point
    Spring is finally in the air and I have been gearing up for the new season. I have registered for the Welsh Sports and Saloon Car Championship and Classic Sports Car Club (Magnificent 7's Group 2) series once again having had such fun last year. My first outing will be at Pembrey on the 23rd of April (WSSCC), then off to Silverston at the end of May (CSCC) So far I have replaced the front arches, greased the extinguisher lines, serviced the extinguisher, cut down my aero screen, about to purchase a tonneau and half doors and gave the car an oil service. I have it book into Corinium Motorsport for a but of TCL at the end of the month as well (new swirl pot being on the list along with a shift light) I have a new GoPro as well so I well and truly ready for getting out there. Oh, and I bought some more Super for the Mountfield RS ready for the summer!
  48. 1 point
    Well that really hit the spot - what a thrill that was. If I'm honest I have thought about nothing else for the last two years and to finally get to the grid was, it felt, like an achievement in itself. It easy to forget the amount of time I have spent in the garage / transporting the car to garages etc to get it all ready. Not to mention the expense. So I managed to get a place in the general practice session on the Saturday night. It was all a bit rushed as it was my daughters birthday party that day and we had all her friends/parents round. I also found out last minute that I had to get the car scrutineered which didn't help. I had 35 minutes and I split it into two sessions, with my friend taking tyre pressures in between. The only problem being that I just started to get fuel starvation 5 minutes before the end and I didn't want to be a numpty and run out, so I came in. I posed a 1.20.2, which was better than my trackday (ahem) time of 1.21.8. The BMW compact and Fiesta race cars were also out and found the barriers more then once. Practice meant that I was in a much better frame of mind going into the race day. I got to the circuit to sign-on and because the car was inspected the day before, it was already scrutineered. I had a chat with the Clark of the Course, as required by the Blue Book at your first race. The paddock was absolutely packed and I felt a little out my depth with a borrowed gazebo and tool kit from my house....Motorhomes and Race trucks provided seating areas, garages etc for those with a 'proper' budget. Before I know it, it was time to qualify. I found out that you are released onto the circuit in the order that you turn up and so I got to the front of the queue. Other than one car spinning in front of me and one car nearly collecting me from the rear as he lost control under breaking, it went well! I posted a 1.19.424. I was happy with that, 16th out of 32. Exactly in the middle of the pack. We then had to wait a long time before the race and I didn't want to relax too much to make sure I was in the right frame of mind for the race. My Wife told me I was not 'talkative', which was more nerves than anything else. I checked the car at least twice and then went for the pre-race 'weight reduction' only to epically fail. my race suit dropped on the floor and for the rest of the day I smelt like a lift in a car park. So my first race. I was quite aggressive with the tyre warming and trailed the brakes with my left foot to get some heat in them. It worked as I didn't notice cold tyres/brakes on the first lap. I even managed to bag a place on the first corner. I was all a blur from then on until the checkered flag. I had a small battle with another Westfield running slicks and 240 bhp motor, but I could not keep up - he was just too quick. I also had a Fiesta chasing me for a bit before he had a problem. For a large part of the race I was on my own, but this gave me some clear air to post a 1.19.402. I enjoyed it immensely and it was every bit as good as I could expect. There really is no substitute for wheel to wheel racing. I finished 14th. Race two was reduced in time as the BMW's and Fiesta carnage lead to a slipping programme. The rolling start was a farse, with the leader heading off at about the second corner full chat! I also got a little confused as there was a car, totalled at Quarry and no yellow flags? I thought the race would have been red flagged because of that to be honest. I had a good battle with a 106 and a Civic before both had problems and tailed off. After much attrition, I finished 10th overall, second in Class. I even got a small trophy for my efforts! What a great day and one i'll never forget. When I figure out how, i'll post the videos. Mike http://www.tsl-timing.com/file/?f=BRSCC/2016/162831wss.pdf
  49. 1 point
    The racing continues. This time at Pembrey on the 21st of August. It didn't start well. We stayed at a hotel near to the track and there was an enormous and loud wedding. Not a problem until the bar closed. Not the best nights sleep I have ever had. To top it all off, both my phone and my wife's phone did not wake us and we overslept, albeit only by about 1/2 an hour. Fuelled up with a cooked breakfast, we made our way to the track. The day was organised by the Vintage Sports Car Club and it was certainly different. The bloke next to us said there was a very expensive ("seven figures") Bugatti racing and I think that was one of many expensive cars. We were put in the main paddock with the vintage cars as there was no room left in the pits. Our fault for turning up late I suppose. So after we rushed to set up, I prepared for quali. I have not been to Pembrey for over two years so I had to remember the lines. Whilst I had watched You Tube clips, it never really helps. I know from some Go Pro footage that I had lapped at roughly 1.11, two up in the car and before my current set up. We had 20 minutes to post a time and after 10 minutes, I began to build up some speed, only for a car to lunch it's engine and drop fluid all over about a third of the track. b*******. Many did one lap after the red flag and called it a day. I needed the practice and stayed out. I'm glad I did as I posted my best time on my last lap. A 1.09, with odd lines to avoid the fluid! I was happy with that and 14th out of 29 cars. It was looking like it was going to rain but I held off changing set up and tyres until the last moment. The forecast was for it to brighten up before really starting to rain later in the day. That was wrong. I gambled with the Avon ZZR's (mediums) as they had lots of tread being almost brand new. But.....as we were waiting to go out, it started to rain harder. The organisers gave us opportunity to swap but I kept the ZZR's on and it's a decision I regretted. During the race I had a good start - I was amazed at the amount of spray - it's just ridiculous you cannot see a thing! but then struggled to hold off the chasing pack for about three or four laps and then just lost place by place, finishing 18th. The consolation for me was I couldn't have driven any faster given the tyres and had a great battle with an Elise. We swapped places three times, including me overtaking at Honda which I don't think was expected by the other driver at all. I took a late lunge into the fast right and it payed off. However, I was just pipped on the line and finished 2/10ths behind the Elise having failed a last ditch attempt to overtake on the last corner (Honda again). Close but no cigar. No video as my Wife pressed the wrong button on the Go Pro, we really should have practiced this first as it's a little tricky. For the second race, I changed my wheels and put the wets on. These were much better (by about 1.5 seconds) but the conditions were even worse by now. I didn't have time to dry out my race suit, nor did I have a spare. I was sitting in the holding area and my teeth were chattering...in late August. I had a great start as it seams everyone else was napping again and I overtook several (3 I think) cars and managed to get to the inside for the first corner but again, despite driving to mine and the cars ability, I steadily lost places. Why are the westies not good in the rain?. I tried to be smooth but it was a fest of gradual understeer into snap oversteer. I held station in 18th but then touched the green exit curb at Brooklands, defencing from another car and then....double b*******, I span 180 degrees. Thankfully the chasing two cars missed me. I straightened the car and continued, finishing 20th. Not the result I wanted but I, other then my spin, I thought I drove to my ability, had a few good battles and that's all I need right now to be happy. I even got some good footage from the race...and the spin which I should really edit out! I finally enter the modern age on the 1st and get fibre. Once I am set up i'll post some video. So that's 4 races down with Donny a week on Sunday with the CSCC. That's five signatures. I'll get my sixth marshalling at Combe on Monday - a new experience for me and I'm looking forward to it. Mike
  50. 1 point
    TEL's TALE's 069/16 Three Sisters 30th July 2016 This was the second visit to the Three Sisters track near Wigan and used course number 2 again. A total of 9 Speed Series guys were entered and the weather forecast was good and indeed it stayed dry all day. I was on holiday in the south of France and did not leave Nimes airport until 1030hrs Friday and in less than 24 hrs, by 0715hrs Saturday, I was in the paddock and ready to rumble. It was good to see Graham Frankland taravelling north and seeing what the track was like but he nearly did not make it as he almost forgot his passport. Scrutineering passed ok but there was talk of all seat belts needing to be in date next year and the use of Logbooks. Dave Cleaver and Andy Hargreaves both had their road legal cars cars logbooked. There was a reasonable sized entry and at the driver's briefing we were promised as many runs as they could fit in subject to the weather and cars staying on the black stuff…...... P1 started prompt at 1000hrs and we all found the track lacked grip even though it was quite warm. P2 showed that matt Turner and Dave Cleaver were quickly on the pace and showing how its done. Mick Skidmore was initially going well (after fitting a new clutch as it failed at Blyton) but started to get a missfire and found that he only had about 11.5v at the battery. Eventually the penny dropped when found the alternators wires not connected up following taking his engine out to do the clutch..whoops. T1 and T2 took place before lunch with Steve Everall and Graham Frankland setting their best times of the day in T1. Steve was 2.5secs (5percent) off his previous best and blamed it on the ZZS tyres. Maurici Revilla was really trying hard but in T2 he had a big off at Lunar bend and although he was only shaken up a bit his car needed repairs to chassis, bodywork and suspension so that ended his day but his first run would score him good points. Mick Skidmore was still having missfire problems which we could not diagnose as it was dependent on throtte position. I suspected the throttle pot we we did not have a laptop and software to check it and on the last run the car cut out completely. Mark Anson was still struggling a bit to get a good time out of the OMS but at least his J2 target time was easy compared to the other classes. Andy Hargeraves and Dave Cleaver posted good times whilst Matt Turner was driving really well and out to beat me this time. I was struggling with a frozen shoulder, jet lag, a painful right knee, old slick tyres (18 events) and a trickshifter that decided not to work....apart from that I was not going quick enough despite trying a few suspension set up changes. After lunch we had another 5 runs making 2 practice and 7 timed runs in all and we still finished at 1630hrs...brilliant. For me the star of the day was Matt who posted all of his 7 timed runs between 44.48secs and 44.99secs for consistent on the limit driving leaving me to pick up the second place trophy whilst he took first. Best times were Steve Everall class B2 51.10secs Graham Frankland class C 51.95secs Andy Hargreaves class E 48.45secs Michael Skidmore class F 52.21secs Dave Cleaver class F 45.71secs Matt Turner class G 44.48secs Terry Everall class G 45.62secs Mark Anson class J2 46.10secs Maurici Revilla class B1 49.53secs Terry Everall Class G competitor
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