December 2003

Thursday 25th December 2003
XMAS 2003Happy Christmas to everyone from 2003 has been an incredible year. I entered 10 events in the Midland Speed Championship, and came 1st in the Sports Libre category. I appeared in four magazines, appearing on the front cover of Retro Cars, in the last ever Cars and Car Conversions, and numerous times in Performance Ford and Fast Ford magazine's.

I did two classic trials in my father's Liege, the Lands End Trial at Easter, and the Edinburgh Trial in October. I was out with the XR2 at Fiesta in the Park in May, and the RS Owners Club show at Donington in August. I've been in a works Ford Focus World Rally car, driven at high speed around the Donington Park track by Francois Duval, and then in a Focus RS by Ralph Firman. I've competed at Harewood, Loton, MIRA, Curborough, Aintree, and 3 Sisters and have had an absolutely brilliant time. My thanks and best wishes to all fellow competitors in this years Midland Speed Championship for making my first year so much fun.
Roll on 2004!
Saturday 20th December 2003
Here are some of my pictures from the shoot at Bruntingthorpe in December. I've bought a Canon Powershot G3 4MPixel digital camera, and it does take very high quality pics. The ride height of the car at the back is a bit high, but thats because I've just fitted the 450lb springs, and she's still settling. I took the front suspension off the car today, and took the tie bars over to Chris Taylor at Langham for him to start work on the replacements. My first event is in April, so we've plenty of time to get the new suspension built and on the car.
Fiesta at Bruntingthorpe in December 2003 Fiesta at Bruntingthorpe in December 2003 Fiesta at Bruntingthorpe in December 2003
Saturday 6th December 2003
Had a play with the new V30 DTA software on Wednesday, to make a few changes to the ECU to improve hot starting. Dave Walker said it was running a bit advanced. Asking on DTA Forums I made a slight change to the ignition map, which seemed to help a fraction, certainly removed pinking under part throttle. But it may be that the figure for the crank sensor position is incorrect, in which case I need to establish the precise position for the Zetec-E engine (which is what I'm running with). I also changed the max rpm for the launch control from 5000 to 4000 rpm, and it certainly reduced the wheelspin when the launch control was used. I've been advised to drop the minimum rpm from 3000 to 1500, which I'll try on the next outing.

The purpose of Wednesday's outing at Bruntingthorpe (apart from having a thrash with the car) was to run head to head against Dave Moore's Mk2 Fiesta XR2 in a new feature called Grudge Match. Our cars are very evenly matched, the horse power figures must be very similar, but I had the edge when in fifth gear, as my Fiesta just keeps accelerating up to the rev limiter in fifth, where as Dave's car just seems to die in fifth. But his is running a standard set of gear ratio's, and I'm running a set specially selected for hill climbing. I do need to raise the final drive ratio though. One part of the track, about 1/3rd of a mile long, I held the engine on 7000 rpm in fifth for the entire distance, as I could go no faster. There is talk of running at Rockingham Race Track next season, so I need to increase the gearing from 107MPH to around 125MPH, which should be attainable in fifth with the other mods I'm planning to the cylinder head and camshafts for next year (2004 season)
Wednesday 3rd December 2003
Brilliant day at Bruntingthorpe today, with Performance Ford magazine. Had plenty of time to slip and slide around in the wet, the concrete runways are quite trechorous in the damp conditions. Had a huge moment when I tried left foot braking, makes the rear end step out really nicely with the new springs, but you have to gather it all up very quickly. Needs some more practice. Emptied the 30l fuel tank, after about 25 laps of the track, and had to be rescued by Ben (MagEd) by giving me a lift back to the Audi to collect my Jerry Can full of super unleaded. Another 20 litres and she was off again.