Autosport International show January 2015
In December 2014 we were asked if we would support the BTRDA Rallycross Championship by participating in the Live Action Arena at Birmingham NEC Autosport show. Wow, didn't expect that, would love to but theres just one thing! The car is parked up in workshop just as it left Croft after the British and the Clubmans rallycross events with damaged wings, skirts, rear quarters, front and rear bumpers, in fact the bonnet, boot lid and roof were about all that were still presentable :((
Best get cracking then, about 6 weeks to show time with xmas etc in middle.
Some of the damage!! a result of battling with Guy above.
So, got it looking a bit better, it is 20 yards good but will not win any concours events.
At the NEC then and set up ready to go.
With our special guest, and of course Jan asked him for his signature...
And Petter Solberg here signing Barry Duttons Megane rear spoiler.
So, Thursday we had 3 x practices in morning and a show in afternoon. Then Friday just one show in afternoon. Saturday there were 6 shows and Sunday 5 shows with plenty of people walking around paddock area, a cracking weekend.
Some in car from the weekend:
Getting car ready for round 1 at Croft
It's been four years since the engine and gearbox went in the car so I thought it was time I had a look at the clutch and also change box oil at same time.
Also thought I'd change that heavy single mass flywheel for a lighter version.
So in goes a TTV flywheel at 4.5kg and a E34 M5 3.6 stage 3 paddle clutch kit along with some new oil in gearbox.
British Rallycross Championship 2015 Round 1 Croft.
Not far to our local cicuit for round 1, weather reported to be fine but cold and dry. Perfect conditions then. Some new cars, some modified cars but antway looking forward to getting stuck in.
Heat 1 and the current champ blows his engine, that should help our case a little. Too that end we are fastest overall in heat 1, the 4th fastest in heat 2 and 2nf fastest for heat 3. A good A final start then.
Well, what a day, I never expected that we would be in a position to win a round of the MSA British Championship Super National Rallycross, but hey we did and boy does it feel good. Just shows that a clubman with very little budget can mix it with the top boys every now and then.
Some in car from A Final.
Round 2 Lydden Hill
Bank holiday Monday on Easter weekend took us to Kent and the Lydden Hill circuit for round 2. It would be unlikely to match the round 1 result but we would be trying anyway. It was a nice dry day, that would suit the car also.
With 17 entries in Super National it would be no mean feat just to qualify for the A final, however we did, next to Stu Emery on second row. We had some good battles in the heats with Dan Rooke, Alan Tapscott, Stuart Emery, Tony Lynch, Paige Bellerby and others.
Third into the first corner and the following lap or so was great until we went for the joker.
Round 3 Pembrey
It was the long trip down to South Wales and Pembrey circuit next on May 10th, a circuit I never driven. The forecast was for a dry weekend so that would help. There was also another quick car out, the championship winning Clio V6, ex James Bird in the hands of seasoned rallycrosser Steve Couzens. It was going to be a difficult weekend, in fact, just making the A Final would be an achievement.
After the heats we did manage to qualify straight into A final in 5th place. We jokered on first lap then were involved in a battle to the flag with Dan Rooke, Paige and Dave Bellerby in their two Lotus, eventually getting a 6th place.
We were contacted by Bill Skermer from the BTRDA Clubmans rallycross series asking if we would take the car to Coventry for the Motofest to do some sprints along with some more of the clubmans competitors.
Well, why not?
Mondello Park, Ireland Round 4 & 5
Well as you may have gathered we never made it to Ireland. That was because after Coventry we were checking some footage of rear camera and saw that the car was smoking a little on power and gear change. After some engine checks it was decided to remove the engine for further internal inspection.
Well after 18 years, 100,000 miles in a road car then four years on rallycross circuits we had to expect it would want a freshen up soon. It was taken to Clyve at Speedfreak Engineering in Castleford, the very same guy that used to sort the YB motors out in the days of Carwise.
So, while Clyve gets busy with short motor, I start on whats left.
Pembrey Round 6 has been and gone :(, hoping we can make it for Lydden at end of Aug.
Still awaiting the H/C pistons from Germany, then block can go for boreing. Head is having new guides, some valves, and full overhaul. Vanos being fully rebuilt.
Move to Mid August 2015 and we are still awaiting engine parts from BMW Germany, they are on back order until end of Nov 2015. So I bought another bare engine, there were 6 days before Round 7 at Lydden.
Some late nights ensued but it was in, a couple of oil leaks later we were ready to go.
Lydden bound on a nice dry Sunday morning, forecast is not the same for tomorrow tho!!
Monday 31 August, Bank Holiday Monday dawned and dry it was not.
The very wet weather made it front wheel drive territory today, too much power was a hindrance.
Still we managed to qualify for fourth in the A Final, behind the three FWD cars of Gareth Wood, Dan Rooke and Stuart Emery.
We had a reasonable run but ended up sixth on last lap until Stu Emery has a problem going up Hairy Hill, then at North Bend hairpin Paige ran wide in the Lotus Exige and Mike Howlin overtook her in his RWD Fiesta. At the entrance to Paddock bend, the final corner, I saw a BMW sized gap on the inside of Mike's Fiesta so I went for it and managed third place at the line.
Croft Round 8 and Grand Prix 10/11 Oct
The last round of the championship takes us to our local circuit at Croft.
Nothing to lose or gain in the championship stakes so just out for fun( and to win of course)
Heat 1 ended prematurely as the oil warning light came on at top hairpin, not wanting another bill for an engine I switched off and coasted off circuit. Once in pits it was apparent that the oil pressure sender had worked loose and was earthing on engine mount.
Better get finger out for heats 2 and 3.
Qualified only on back row for A Final due ti missing heat 1.
Got to 4th place by first corner and stayed there til flag.
On Sunday we were going to join the Retro Rallycross boys for the day, Shirley Gibson,the series co-ordinator , had kindly agreed that we could race with them.
We had a steady run all day, making A Final but having throttle stick open when in 3rd place was frustrating, never mind we live to fight another day. It was good though to compare our pace against Ray's Gartrac BDA, Barry's Porsche and Terry's TR8.
Many thanks to Shirley and her team for the privilege of being able to join then for the day(and of course the Sunday roast).
Motoscope Rolling Road
It's the end of the season and we have a freshly rebuilt engine sat waiting to go in for next year. So, for comparison purposes, we thought it would be good to find out what this engine has prior to taking it out. A Saturday morning in early December saw us at Motoscope in Northallerton.
And a couple of shorts clips on rollers:
BMW E30 graph
So it made 318 bhp at 8200 rpm with 274 at wheels, not bad for an 18 year old motor.
So, time to get ready for next year. Engine to change and get mapped plus a general tidy up with a comprehensive overhaul and check.
Last weekend we were at Motoscope, this weekend the engine is already out. There is only 12 weeks to round one at Croft on 06 March 2016, won't be long!
Ordered rose joints for rear axle link bars and for Watts linkage.
11 Weeks to go.
Another week gone, got a little bit done over the weekend. Engine, box, axle, suspension all steamed cleaned and ready to work with. Gearbox split from old engine, both engines sat on trolleys ready to transfer bits from old to new.
All rose joints arrived, will try to get them done before Xmas later this week.
10 Weeks to go.
With Xmas this week it was always going to be difficult to get much done.