June 2000

Friday 30th June 2000
Rubbing down the front arches and the sill's.
Sunday 25th June 2000
Spent another hour on the Fiesta. I'm working on tidying up some of the welds on the sills.
Saturday 24th June 2000
The Dukeries Rally report
Wohoo! What a day! 80 MPH through forests, what a buzz. It was a blast, we were going really well, until the exhaust broke after SS3. We completed SS4, and then instead of heading to service at Thoresby Park, we went to Mansfield to get a new exhuast. 1 hour later, and £100 lighter, we rejoined the event in last place. Nigel was going really well, but the stages the 2nd time round were atrocious. Huge holes, and many many 'moments' as we left the ground.

On SS7 I had to keep pushing my glasses back on, as the crashing and bouncing around was working them loose. On SS8 we caught a Mk2 Escort, which was starting to hold us up. After Junction 8, there was a 'bump' which was cautioned in the road book. The first time the stage was run in the morning (SS2), it was nothing, I didn't see any 'bump' although I did call it out as a caution. However, on SS8, the second time the stage was run, it resembled a launch ramp that you'd probably get on an air-craft carrier.

We hit it flat in 3rd, and the car just shot in to the air. On impact, when we finally returned to the ground, my seat mounting broke! It was a huge impact.

The Escort pulled away, but we caught it up again very quickly.

On Junction 9, a 90 degree right, it looked as though we would be able to nip down the inside of them, as they took a really wide line. Alas, it was not to be. The Escort cut across our bow, which forced Nigel to take avoiding action. Unfortunately, the bottom ball joint gave way as we were forced in to the rough stuff, and the front nearside wheel broke loose, popping out the drive shaft, and pulling the strut top mount out! Game over. I think the impact from the incident at the previous corner had weakened the ball joint. I'm just glad it broke when we were going round a corner, rather than whilst travelling flat out along a straight.

After about 2.5 hours of shuttling around, collecting the service van, the trailer, and winching the car on to the trailer, we eventually set off for home. What an event!! Nigel has some repairs to make to Sir Gye. Hopefully its not as bad as it looked. I didn't do a bad job with the time card. We arrived on time at all the controls, and didn't pick up any road penalties due to any errors. I'm just dying to have another go.

Results are on line at www.tcs01.demon.co.uk. We were car 155
Friday 23rd June 2000
All set for signing on and scrutineering in Mansfield tonight. I've taken the visor off my helmet, as I think it'll just get in the way.

Spectator information follows
Start: 09:00 Mansfield Civic Centre. SS1 Blidworth: 09.20. Spectator parking and access to the stage from three public car parks: Longdale Lane MR 120/592524, Rigg Lane MR 120/584533, Blidworth Lane MR 120/596543. SS3, Blooms Gorse/SS4, Clipstone: 10.20/10.37. Spectator parking and access to stage only from Sherwood Pines visitor centre MR 120/613639. Follow signs off B6030 into forest. SS5, Thieves' Wood: 12.37. Car park on B6109 at MR 120/542558. SS6, Blidworth: 13.05. Same as SS1. SS9, Blooms Gorse/SS10, Clipstone: 15.25/15.40. Same as SS3/4. Finish: 16.30. Mansfield Civic Centre.
Sunday 18th June 2000
I've spent the day modifying the bracket that fixes on to the gearbox. The five speed box doesn't have the same mounting holes as the 4 speed box, and the bracket that fixes on to the top of the box only bolts on with one fastener. So I've welded a plate on to the bracket, and I'm going to drill and tap a hole in the top of the gearbox housing. I'll get some pictures up to show what I mean.
Saturday 17th June 2000
Finished filling and rubbing down the front arches and front spoiler. I need to spray the wings with primer, and then prime the front arches. Collected the engine cradle+bits from Faircharm Coatings. They've done an excellent job of plastic coating my cradle. I wanted a black powder coating, but I'm happy with the finish with the black plastic. It looks superb, very shiny.
Friday 16th June 2000
I passed the MCP exam - I scored 80%, which wasn't bad considering its the first exam I've taken since leaving college, and I was as nervous as hell. I can concentrate on the car now. Next weekend (24th) I'm co-driving for Nigel Holmes in the Dukeries rally. Its a forest rally in North Nottinghamshire, which should be a blast...
Wednesday 14th June 2000
Revision all this week for the MCP (TCP/IP) exam on Friday afternoon. I have to pass...
Sunday 11th June 2000
Bought some more plastic primer spray from Halfords, and some knifing putty. Cleaned the passenger and drivers door with white spirits, and then used T-Cut to get rid of road tar and the glue left over from the door stickers.
Bought some sand paper yesterday, and finished off the front spoiler.

Been quite an amazing week for me. I entered the Emillionaireshow.com competition, run by Channel 4. You have to suggest an idea for a web-based company, and the winner gets £1M guaranteed to get their idea off the ground. From over 7000 entries, my idea made it to the final 30. I had a producer round from Channel 4, two weeks ago, to interview me, and my colleague Martin. He's helped me develop the idea.
The interview was filmed, and we both had to give a 60 second pitch to camera. Out of the 30 ideas, only the best 15 would be taken forward to appear in the TV program. But I had a phone call on Thursday, saying that we hadn't been selected. And I'd bought domain names just in case. Oh well, any one know a venture capitalist with a couple of million spare? Consolation is that our idea is on the reserve list. So if anyone drops out of the program we'll be called up. Don't hold your breath though. I mean, why would you drop out of a program like this?
The front spoiler Front wing, waiting for the filler to harder Passenger side front wing, blended to the spoiler Drivers side front wing, blended to the spoiler Dust sheets to stop the dust form getting everywhere

Friday 9th June 2000
Been revising all week for my MCP exam. This afternoon I've applied some more P38 filler to the front spoiler.
Sunday 4th June 2000
Spent most of today in the garage. Tried watching the Monaco F1 GP, but it was so boring! Removed the P40 I'd applied on Friday. I hadn't used enough hardener when I mixed it, so I made another batch, and this time it went solid after about ten minutes. Filed it down, and applied P38 over the top, ready for finishing this week. Cut up the second door. That was fun, made loads of noise with the Bosch jigsaw. Sprayed the front valance of the car with Zinc primer. Sprayed the GRP tailgate with another 3 coats of plastic primer.

The drivers side door, ready for some radical modifications... The passenger side door, lighter than standard... P38 everywhere!!

Saturday 3rd June 2000
This morning I took the engine cradle bits to a 'finisher' in town. They're going to be shot blasted, and powder coated in black, for £35. If the finish is alright, I'll take all my other bits down there for the same treatment. ie Servo brackets, transfer bar, gearbox bracket etc. There was a superb Jaguar XJ6 in the blokes garage. He'd resprayed it, for a customer, for £3500!!
Spent about ten minutes drooling outside Graypaul's last night, on the way back from a curry night. Graypaul's is a Ferrari/Maserati garage, just round the corner from where I live, and there was the most beautiful silver 560 Maranello in the showroom. I left plenty of sticky finger marks on the showroom windows. No Porsches though!
Friday 2nd June 2000
Rubbed down the filler under the front drivers side headlamp. Used Isopon P40 glass fibre to 'bond' the front spoiler to the two front rally arches. Set about lightning the driver and passenger doors. Removed locks, handles etc for the respray, and then cut out the inside panel of the door (photos to follow). I'll be using aluminium sheet to cover the hole. The windows will be fixed, so I dont need the winder mechanism.