May 2008

Friday 30th May 2008
The DL1 datalogger has had to be 'reprogrammed' according to Support at Race Technology today, so it should now function correctly. Somehow, the configuration of the unit had become corrupted. I sent it back yesterday, for investigation, as I had no data at all from MIRA at the weekend.

I've ordered a Dash3 also from RT to complement the DL1, so when that arrives in 6 weeks time, I'll be able to see realtime information from the DL1, things like speed, sector times etc etc.

Results are published today from the MIRA sprint. I'll try to workout where I came overall.
Sunday 25th May 2008
I had a fantastic day at MIRA yesterday. I set a new PB and managed a 1st in class (equivalent to the Midland Speed class structure, ie > 1700cc). The car was flawless and the new suspension setup really worked well. After 1st practice I softened the rear ARB, and the rear end was then far less twitchy, meaning I could really push round the long left hander approaching the control tower. Second practice, I was still a second off my PB from 2004 (57.13s), so I walked the course at lunch time, and made a few notes. Then, on my first timed run in the afternoon I improved by a second and a half, to record a new PB of 56.58s (103MPH through the speed trap), putting me well ahead of all the Road Modifieds, and I was only 5 tenths behind Martin Depper in his 166BHP Mini.(56.09s)

I softened the front tyres by 1psi for the 2nd timed run, to try to reduce the understeer around the first corner, but it made matters worse, so I recorded a 56.91s run, to take 1st in class (Sports Libre > 1700cc), but 5th in the merged class, behind the four radicals. And I was only 2 second slower than a Radical SR4.
Times were as follows:

#98  46.94s  Lindsay Mercer, Radical Prosport (1585cc)
#797 49.13s  Brian Ellory, Radical SR4 (1300cc)
#92  51.24s  Andy Birch, Radical Clubsport (1100cc)
#97  54.32s  Richard Houlgate, Radical SR4 (1300cc)
#93  56.58s  Fiesta XR2 (1998cc)
#96  57.65s  Martin Weigold, GRD 40 Mk1 (5000cc)
#95  59.66s  Stuart Ballinger, Mini Cooper
#94  60.68s  Nigel Hinton, NG TDV8 (3500cc)

My new DL1 Datalogger failed to work though. I've had problems all week in the garage with it corrupting memory cards, and it failed totally to record anything. XP said it had chkdsk errors, so I'll be on to Race Technology on Tuesday to get it resolved.
Tuesday 20th May 2008
I'm car '93 on Saturday at the MIRA sprint. My class has been merged with another so the competition consists of several Radicals, and a Mini, plus a few others. So I'll be needing the really big brave pills to have any chance of getting a good result. I'm secretly praying for rain.

The standard and quality of the cars on show at Fiesta in the Park on Sunday never ceases to amaze me. More and more owners are installing Zetecs, including the Series 3 Zetec from the Focus, and the conversions look very professional indeed. Everyone seems to be finally taking the Mk1 and Mk2 Fiesta far more seriously than before, and some of the owners I spoke to had spent more than £12000 in the past 18 months on their pride and joy, which is a hell of a lot of money to spend on a car, let alone a Fiesta. Still, the installations looked brilliant, and most of the cars, when finished, are going to be extremely fast. Not that speed counts for everything of course.

I was on the Performance Ford stand, along side some very well prepared track cars, all of which were road legal. Some will be out at the Snetterton track evening on July 24th, which I'll also be attending, so I may be able to have a few scraps here and there.

So a big thankyou and well done to Andy Black and the FITP organisers for yet another great show.

FITP 2008 FITP 2008 FITP 2008 FITP 2008 FITP 2008 FITP 2008 FITP 2008 FITP 2008 FITP 2008 FITP 2008 FITP 2008 FITP 2008 FITP 2008 FITP 2008 FITP 2008 FITP 2008 FITP 2008 FITP 2008 FITP 2008 FITP 2008 FITP 2008
Thursday 15th May 2008
The problem with the Anti Roll Bar has been one of clearance. With the car sat on the floor, the ARB only had about 1cm of clearance between the arm and the panhard rod mounting bracket on the boot floor. So as soon as the suspension compressed under cornering, the ARB was coming in to contact with the floor. So I've simply shortened the drop links on both sides, and moved the mounting point inwards, where it attaches to the bottom of the rear strut, which makes the ARB almost horizontal at rest, and both drop links vertical. It should handle a lot better now.
Shortened and relocated drop links
Wednesday 14th May 2008
Rear anti-roll bar is now sorted. I'll post some pics later today. Now cleaning the car ready for FITP on Sunday. The second throttle position sensor is also wired in, after I bought a fitting kit from Jenvey.

My spare Mk1 bonnet has been delivered to Performance Trim in Fishbourne, so they can start making the molds to produce the five carbon bonnets which are being produced for the members on Mine will be the first one to be made, and should be ready in 4-5 weeks time.
Wednesday 7th May 2008
Fitted a cam sensor bung today. And I also signed up for the Performance Ford Magazine Snetterton Track Evening, on July 24th. It'll double up as a test session for me. I'm also contemplating moving up to the Ford Saloon Car Championship in 2009, which I'd need to pass an ARDS exam to get my race license, but how hard can that be? I want to get the car out on the track, and race her properly. Just need to find a big sponsor for all the tyres, fuel and entry fees.
105Speed cam sensor bung 105Speed cam sensor bung
Tuesday 6th May 2008
The suspension was setup today and the settings are now as follows:
Left frontRight front
The settings weren't a million miles from how I'd set her up in the workshop at home. Before adjustment she had less camber and caster, and was toeing out, but at least now she should turn in equally well from either direction.

We found a problem with the rear anti roll bar though. Both ends had bent quite badly, and there were witness marks on the chassis, which shows that the ARB is catching the floor of the car when the suspension is compressed fully. I'll have to figure out how to prevent this from happening again.
**** **** **** ****
Monday 5th May 2008
The Race Technology DL1 is now bolted in situ, and waiting for the wiring loom to be completed. I've fitted the second Wabash type throttle position sensor to the throttle spindle. This second potentiometer is used by the Data Logger to independantly measure the throttle position.

I'm building a +12V regulator for the camera, as the 14.4V produced by the alternator needs smoothing to remove interference from the picture produced by the camera. Interference is seen as horizontal white lines on the picture, and I want to eliminate as much interference as I can.

I went to the Great Central Railway today with my 3 year old Son, to watch the first run of the rebuilt Oliver Cromwell locomotive. We took a trip to Leicester on Sir Lamiel, and arrived back at Loughborough just in time to see 70013 steam out of the sheds. I've never seen such a new looking steam locomotive before, and the restoration, which has taken 4 years to complete, is breathtaking.
Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell
Saturday 3rd May 2008
Just trying to decide where to mount the GPS antenna at the moment. It really needs to be on the roof, but I'm not about to drill a hole in the roof. I may try it on the windscreen scuttle, below the windscreen. If that doesn't give good results, I'll try a higher location.

I'm booked in at **** on Tuesday to have a full chassis alignment carried out. She's feeling a bit loose at the rear, and I'm sure there's some room for improvement, especially as everything is fully adjustable.