September 2012


I have updated the website to make it faster to load, and moved the menus from the right hand side so they sit below the banner at the top of the page. Next job is to add the search box back in, which I'll sort out next week.
I'm trying to get some interest in an outing to Santa Pod dragway on Saturday October 13th. If the weather's ok, then why not come along. I want to see what the XR2 is capable of with the sequential gearbox and new tyres, and I'm hoping to get in to the 12's. Its a RWYB day so you just need your driving license and £35 to have a go.


Not much happening car wise at the moment, except contemplation and reflection on what to do next year. The XR2 is safely stored away following the Loton Park outing, and I'm hoping one of the magazines will organise a group thrash soon, so we can get one more outing before I start taking her to bits. The gearbox is in need of a service with Quaife, and the front end needs painting properly to match the 2 pack paint used on the rest of the car. And I still need to fit the dual channel gear position sensor but this can wait for the time being.

Next year will be the car's 30th birthday, and the 21st year of ownership for me, so if we're going to continue with the development, its going to have to be for a specific outcome. This year I managed a set of new Personal Best times for all the venues I visited (just shows how lucky we were with the weather this year), a 1st in class at Loton Park, a 1st in class in the Midland Speed Championship Saloon Libre Class, a new 0-60 time of just over 5.2 seconds, two very spectacular spins, a new aero package that seemed to make a difference to the cornering grip levels more than anything else. On top of that a 100% finishing record, and a few more hours seat time. All in all, not a bad year.


Loton Park was the usual mix of end-of-season fun and games for me. On my T1 run I knocked 1.57s off my PB set last year, so again, proof that the aero and new tyres have made a difference to the performance. I had a very spectacular spin on my T2 run, losing the back end under braking for Triangle (recording >-1.2G longitudinal), but the end result was a first in class award, and 21 points in the championship, so I'm very happy with the overall outcome. The spin was caused by the rear wheels locking, and its something I'm going to cure for 2013.

Here are the two videos from both runs. First the T1 timed run, with the new PB of 61.84s and clutchless gearchanges, and the second video is the T2 including my spin at 29s (watch for the puff of smoke in the rear view camera as the tyres lock, and the long set of 11's I left when I restarted).

Race Technology DL1-Mk2 Datalogger data is available here. I must say that the problems with the DL1 seem to have gone away since I swapped to a 1GB CF card, and mounted it horizontally, though I think its the CF card thats actually cured the corruption problems. I have still whitnessed the DL1 creating a RT040101 folder on the CF card, which it then writes the data in to, but that could be me not remembering to turn the DL1 off correctly, and when I turn the battery isolator off it confuses the DL1.

Loton G circle

I had a very interesting conversation with an MSA scrutineer on Sunday, who pointed out the rules in the MSA Blue Book that stated that my rear wing was illegal. He let me continue for the day with the wing affixed to the car, but wrote in my Logbook that the wing did not comply with J 5.2.7.

J) 5.2.7. Aerodynamic devices may only be fitted to Racing and Sports Racing Cars (unless prohibited by an Approved Formula), or where specifically permitted, where FIA homologated, or where complying with National type approval. Such devices may not extend beyond the maximum width of the vehicle, above the maximum height of any roof or extend longitudinally from the bodywork by more than 100mm

However, the interpretation by myself is that the wing can sit 100mm above the height of the roof line of the car, but this view was not shared by the MSA official, who was adamant that it was illegal. So I shall write to the MSA for clarification. I've passed scrutineering 6 times this year with the wing above the roof line, including scrutineering on Sunday (and I had the sticker on the car to prove that) and this official spotted the wing when I drove past on my way to doing my first practice. He then sought me out in the paddock inbetween 1st and 2nd practice, and confronted me with the issue. I'm annoyed with myself for allowing him to write in my logbook that the car does not comply with the regulations, as that will need ammending before I can run with the wing above the roof. He was very emotive on the subject, and myself and a couple of other competitors calmly and quietly spoke to him, to see if he would consider our point of view, but he was adamant and before I knew it, had written the comment down. I'll contact the MSA in the next few days for clarification as I dont believe that I've broken any regulations with fitting the wing above the roof line.


This is the G Circle plot from my quickest run at Aintree last Saturday. I'm getting some good lateral G's on the new tyres.

I tried to fit the dual channel gear sensor last night, but as soon as I removed the two screws holding the sensor in, oil started pissing out the end of the gearbox on to the garage floor, and I tried to remove the sensor it was stuck solid, probably held in with sealant. So I quit whilst I was ahead and refitted the two screws, and luckily having not moved the sensor I didn't need to recalibrate the gear display. I'll leave it well alone until after Loton park on Sunday. I swapped the nearside wheels front to back, and I just need to do the same to the offside wheels, and stick the new numbers on the doors this evening.

Here is the entry list for Sundays event at Loton Park, and I'm looking forward to seeing Mike Mannings Ford Puma 4x4 for the first time.
Loton entry

Harewood 2012 August

Aintree Sep 2012


Saturday September 1st 2012
Aintree Autumn Sprint, organised by the Liverpool MC
Class entered: 4B Sports Libre
763 Fred Horrox (2.0 Exige)
60 Graham Blackwell (2.0 Fiesta)
61 Andrew Wood (2.0 Mini)
62 Jim Belt (3.0 Juno)
63 Paul Horrox (2.0 Exige)
64 Ian Rowlance (3.0 6R4)

Another early departure from Leicester (5:10am), I arrived at Aintree at around 7:15, to an already bustling paddock. I parked up next to a huge lorry, with on the side, and set about unloading the car, signing on, and getting the car scrutineered. No issue, so I got changed and studied Martin Deppers footage on Youtube of how to take the corners at Aintree.

I wasnt expecting to beat my PB set in June 2011, 53,48s, on my first practice run, but I did with a 53.31s, so the signs were good for the day. I'd swapped the tyres around again from Harewood, so this was the second time on the front for the new Khumo CS03 tyres and they were performing far better than I expected. On the second practice run I went quicker again, to record a 52.77s, and although the times were quicker than before, the speed trap on the finish line was down by around 5mph, with an indicated 110mph speed. I put that down to the drag from the rear spoiler, the slightly taller gearing with the new tyres, and the headwind on the back straight.

Before we knew it, the first timed runs were on us, and I went quicker again to record a 52.29s. I then lowered the rear spoiler from the maximum height set at Harewood, and I went quicker again, with a 51.74s run, and the exact same top speed. So raised the spoiler back up again, and after lunch recorded another couple of 52.07 and a 52.08s runs. With hindsight I should probably have left the spoiler at the lower position, but I didn't want any moments with the rear end breaking loose on the very high speed corners.

1st Jim Belt (3.0 Juno) 42.97s
2nd Paul Horrox (2.0 Exige) 47.97s
3rd Ian Rowlance (3.0 6R4) 49.05s
4th Fred Horrox (2.0 Exige) 49.44s
5th Graham Blackwell (2.0 Fiesta) 51.74s
6th Andrew Wood (2.0 Mini) 68.18s

So I came 5th in class, behind Jim Belts 3.0 Juno, the stunning 3.0 6R4, and the shared Exige of the Horrox father and son. I did beat the 2.0 mini though, and for scoring in the Midland Speed Championship, with the two 3.0 cars removed, I scored points for the equivalent of 3rd in class. No problems with the car, she took the abuse I threw at her, and the clutchless gearchanges are getting better all the time. Incredible day. Sliced almost 2s off my PB set in June 2011, and I recorded a 0-60MPH in 5.23s which is the quickest I've ever done. Loton Park next Sunday (9th), and I cannot wait.

Findings from the meeting were, the front body kit withstands speeds up to 113mph, the new tyres plus the aero package has made significant improvements to the grip levels, and the car is far more stable at high speeds than it was before.

Here is the data from the DL1-Mk2 datalogger that shows the acceleration to 60mph captured during my quickest run. Although I'd wired in the speed sensors, I decided not to use launch control all day, due to the excellent traction from the dry surface.