April 2003

Tuesday 29th April 2003
Well, Curborough was a lot of fun. It rained, really heavily, just as I was queuing to start my first run, right behind Phil Short (ex-WRC navigator) in his phenomenally quick 1380cc Mini, and when I ventured out I tiptoed round in 46seconds. The 2nd dry timed run was a lot quicker though. I managed a healthy 39.39s crossing the line at 81mph. Very pleased. It all came together for the final run again. I nearly blew the engine up on the first practice run though. I went from 3rd to 4th as I approached the finish line, but managed to get 2nd, and the rev counter went off the clock at 8000+ RPM. She survived, no dropped valves, so it just goes to show the strength of the Ford Zetec engine! If I hadn't fitted ARP rod bolts I think it would have been a different story.

Next event is Loton Park, which I rxd the entry for today. I'm car #122. Scrutineering is at 8:00am, so I need to make a very early start to get there for that time.

Went to Edinburgh for the day yesterday, flew from East Midlands Airport. Thats my 2nd trip in 6 days. I was there for two days last Weds/Thurs, and what with cramming in the sprint on Sunday, I'm looking forward to a quieter week this week. I do have some work to do on the Fiesta. The noise from the fuel pump is very distracting, so I'm going to see if I can reduce the vibration from it some more. Its all I can hear when the car is ticking over.
Friday 25th April 2003
We've got an entry for Sundays sprint at Curborough, though the organisers have stuck me in ModProds instead of Sports Libre. I've informed them that I'm in the wrong class. It'll get sorted on Sunday. Speaking of Sunday, the weather forecast is dreadful. Thunder, lightning, heavy rain. Sounds like we're going to get wet.

Adjusted the front shockers to 2 turns from zero, and rears are 3 turns from 0. Cleared the cold start map in the ECU and it's still awkward to start from cold. Ticks over nicer though when it does finally start.

Adjusted the gear linkage to make 5th a more positive push to the right, so there should be less chance of going from 2nd to 5th.
Easter Monday 21st April 2003
Just got back from competing in the Lands End Trial at the weekend. We finished, but failed to clear 3 of the hills, including the infamous Blue Hills 2, which was daunting to look at from the bottom of the steep cliffs. An amazing event though. Nice to finish a trial too, as we abandoned the Edinburgh trial last year due to worsening weather conditions and very poor event management.

We covered over 500 miles in the Liege. Including the 200 mile trip back from Newquay (the finish) to Popham (our starting point on Friday) airfield yesterday morning (4 hr jounrey), followed by the long drive back home with the car and trailer on the back. I was going to compete in the Fiesta at Croft today (Monday) but I'm still knackered from the trial, so I'm glad I decided to miss the event. I took some excellent in-car video with the new camcorder, and I've found out how to take snapshots from the video to the memory card, so below you'll see a selection of shots from the weekend, and some from 3 Sisters sprint 2 weeks ago.
MCC Lands End Trial, 19th April 2003

Saturday 12th April 2003
Here's a video clip of my fastest run from Sunday. It's saved in WMV format. The final results have come through in the post, and for some reason they didn't credit anyone with Best Prepared Car, despite telling me that I'd won the award. I'll ring up and see why it's been left blank. Maybe it was because we didn't stick around at the end to collect the trophy, but we did have a 2.5 hours journey home ahead of us, and it was getting late in the day when we left.
3 Sisters video clip (500KB)

And finally, here's a couple of shots captured from the video.
3 Sisters Sprint April 2003 3 Sisters Sprint April 2003 3 Sisters Sprint April 2003 3 Sisters Sprint April 2003 3 Sisters Sprint April 2003 3 Sisters Sprint April 2003 3 Sisters Sprint April 2003
Tuesday 8th April 2003
A fantastic day on Sunday at 3 Sisters. I steadily improved during the day, and with some more laps would be right on the pace, compared to other similarly modified cars. I'll be going back in August for another go, I'm sure I can knock another 2-3 seconds off my time, with a bit more commitment.

From the DL90 datalogger, it looks like my 0-60 times are around the 7.0 seconds region. With more practice, less camber on the front wheels, a grippier surface, and some slicks, that'll come right down to the low 6.0's. Something to work on anyway.

It also showed that my highest speed over Cowards Summit was 75MPH on the final run, which is well short of the 90 or so MPH that the front runners go round in. Again, another area where I can shave a half second or so off the overall time.

But we did win an award, for having the "Best prepared car" which I'm very pleased with, I wasn't expecting to win any awards on the first event of the season. And the competition was stiff, as there were another 164 cars entered in the event.

And the magnetic door numbers actually stayed on!

Race CalendarThe event report is now downloadable in Adobe Acrobat 4.0 format (click the icon to download)

Tuesday 1st April 2003
The zetecinside website is 5 years old today!
I hope it still brings to you the information that you're looking for. Though I don't profess to knowing everything there is to know about Zetec engines, I'm sure you'll find most of what you're looking for on the site. Thanks to everyone who've bought stickers over the years. These bring in the income I need to keep the site going. If you've not got one yet, what better time to buy one (or two!).

I'm car #136 on Sunday at the 3 Sisters Sprint, nr Wigan. There's 15 reserves and over 200 entries, so it was a good job I got my entry in nice and early (posted 16th Feb). Events are over subscribed very quickly nowadays, so you have to be organised to get an entry!

Zetecinside.com has a new sponsor. Global electronics giant Thales are now supporting my efforts for the next 12 months.

Race Calendar Race calendar is now downloadable in Adobe Acrobat 4.0 format (click the icon to download)

Check out Steve Miles's 2.0 Zetec powered Van Dieman (below) in this months CCC magazine (April 2003). Recognise the logo on the nose cone? Visit Steve's website for more info on his 2003 Speed campaign, and some excellent in-car footage of his exploits through the years.
CCC feature