July 2011

Wednesday 27th July 2011
The Mk2 Escort is gradually taking shape, its revealing a few small bits of work that would need to be taken care of before its next MOT, and we've found a small amount of rot around the airbox in the engine bay, where water has been trapped under the sealant. Nothing major, and certainly not expensive to repair. I've found some more information out about its use in the last 3 years, but nothing prior to 2008.

I'm readying the Fiesta for the #FordFair outing at Silverstone. Fabrication of a top engine steady bar bracket is underway in 3mm steel, and I'm expecting a panhard rod in the post, that I'll use to make the top mount from. I've added adhesive backed foam strips to the bottom edge of the front perspex windows, to try to capture the water than runs down when the car is sat in the rain. The foam should prevent the drips from landing inside the car, and will hopefully channel the water along the length of the windows so it runs off rather than dripping off and splashing the electrics.

I've bought an electric winch for the trailer, which I intend to fit over the next week or two. I've made contact with a firm who are willing to undertake the front spoiler work for me, and its now a case of clarifying if the modifications are allowed in Sports Libre before I commence with the alterations.
Thursday 21st July 2011
Collected my Dad's Mk2 Escort from RPS in Witney, Oxfordshire yesterday. Its a 1600 Sport, YCX18V, with a Type 9 five speed, Minilites, Bilsteins, SD cage, all the right bits, and has been used for classic / endurance / historic rallying. If anyone knows of its history, please get in touch.

Mk2 Escort 1600 Sport

RaceTechnology has confirmed an issue with the registration of the new v8 software, but nothing can be done until August 1st. They are considering going to a 'pay for updates' system, as software development costs are spiralling, and the registration of the software is the first step. I cant say I'd want to pay for software updates.
Wednesday 20th July 2011
Having studied Martin Deppers aero mods on his very quick Mini, one of the things I need to sort out on the XR2 is the front end. Its suffering from lack of lateral grip, and the height of the front spoiler isn't helping. This Talbot Sunbeam is wearing what I consider to be the ideal front end for the similarly shaped Fiesta Mk1. If the profile of the front fits within the rules of Sports Libre in the UK, then I will replicate it as best I can on the Fiesta. The question is, what materials should it be made from, and how best to anchor it to the car, because at speed it is going to have huge forces acting on it, and in return, should produce considerable downforce to help with stability and lateral grip. I own a set of the MCR side sills which I can fit easily enough, but its the front end / splitter that I need help with.
Suggestions / Opinions / offers of help building the front spoiler / splitter accepted :D
Talbot Sunbeam front aero package

Race Technology has released v8.2 of their Datalogger analysis software (15/7/2011). But before you download it beware: It now forces you to register the software on-line, and if you cannot connect to the internet, it wont register. If you select "30 day trial" it reports that you actually have a "7 day trial", and then it refuses to actually unlock the application, leaving only the Help menu accessible. I'm scuppered, as I cant analyse the data from Llandow with my video footage. :(
I have reported the issue to RT and am waiting for a response.
Monday 18th July 2011
BARC Wales Llandow Sprint 16th July 2011
5:00am depart
8:10am arrive
164 miles 33.0mpg
Fiesta Top Speed: 103MPH in 4th gear

P1 it had rained heavily on the journey down from Leicester, and the circuit was very wet with lots of standing water during the practice run. We were to get three practice runs though, so there was plenty of opportunity to learn the track, on this my first visit to Llandow.

P2 more rain, more surface water, strong winds, very slippery.

P3 the track had dried out, and the rain had stayed away for a good hour, until the moment I got in the Fiesta for my 3rd practice run, and by the time I lined up at the start, though the heavy shower had now stopped, the circuit was again water logged.

T1 adjusted the brake bias to give more brakes at the front, the pedal had fealt quite dead, with little feedback, but the adjustment made a big improvement in pedal feel. Not a bad run on a drying track, but the heavens opened halfway round, and I could only manage a 91second run.

T2 fully dry, strong winds, cloudy but no rain, I made a very determined start, and recorded an 88.03s run to finish 4th in class, and 31st overall. I had a bit of a moment on the end of the first lap. Approaching the bus stop there was a split second where the car under heaving braking, turned left on me, so I came off the brakes, and the car straightened itself up. But this ate in to my braking space, and I entered the bus stop faster than I really wanted to. It recovered itself well, and I pushed quite hard round the rest of the 2nd lap, trying to remember the lines that Gary Thomas had described when we walked the course in the morning.

The Fiesta is running really well with no reliability issues and it is very exciting to drive on the limit. Not even any oil surge problems on the quicker corners, which I was sometimes plagued with when I ran the 2.0 Zetec. What I am suffering from though is a lack of grip, and this is partly down to the narrow 6yr old tyres, and the ride height and handling from the 15" wheels. I really must get a set of 13's for next year, with some much fatter rubber, which should really allow me to get the most from the chassis.

Youtube video from my T2 88.03s fastest run

BARC Wales Llandow Sprint, July 16th 2011

Results from the Llandow circuit

Other news, my Dad has purchased a Mk2 1979 Escort 1600 Sport, a two door shell, rally prepared with a cage, Bilsteins all round, alloy fuel tank, Minilites, a really nice looking white Escort. Looking forwards to collecting it on the trailer later this week. Photos to follow.

I'd made a pair of rear mudflaps for the Subaru during the week, to reduce the amount of spray that gets thrown up on the Fiesta when towing in the rain. They seemed to work really well on Saturday when travelling down to S.Wales. I hardly had to operate the rear wiper on the Legacy Estate, whereas normally its left constantly on to keep the rear window clean. I made them from black PVC sheet that I bought from Halfords, and I reinforced them with some sticky backed foam, which makes them more rigid. I may try something similar on the front wheels of the tow car too, to reduce the spray even further.
Friday 15th July 2011
Everything is ready for my trip to Llandow in the morning. I am car #62, and she is stickered up, clean, and ready to go. Forecast is rain all day, and strong winds so I'll be having fun jumping from puddle to puddle.
Monday 11th July 2011
RIP Georg Plasa

Sunday 10th July 2011
I took the steering wheel boss off yesterday, drilled and tapped (M5) six new holes, and fitted the steering wheel back on again so that it now sits level when the wheels are pointing straight. **** tried to make the wheel straight, but its a hexagonal fitting on the Mk2 steering rack, and no amount of adjustment of the rack would make the wheel level. Anyway, its on straight now, so we'll see at Llandow next Saturday if its straight at high speed.