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3D parts arrived

The Mk2 version of the fifth fuel injector parts came today, and although I've now found the right profile for the IW048 injector to push in to the main body which sits above the throttle body, I hadn't transferred those dimensions across to the fuel rail, so frustratingly the o-ring on the Pico injector wouldnt push in to the rail. It was the chamfer that was wrong which I've now resolved, so off to print we go again. If the Mk3 version fits together, then I'll go straight to manufacturing.

The 30 dowell trigger disk also arrived, and after fitting the 30 steel dowels, I am just left with fitting it to the front wheel for testing.

The Dash4pro worked perfectly over the weekend, after I'd remedied the issues with orphaned frames. What I'm writing at the moment is a piece of Python to emulate the CAN Data stream sent from the Life ECU. I am using an Inno-CAN board, from Windows, which is running python inside IDLE. I am just waiting for a second 9-way D-type breakout to arrive, and then I can connect the CAN Hi and Lo's together and provide 12V for the D4P, and I should then be able to transmit data to the D4P which it will then recieve and display. This will allow me to fully test the Dashboard on the desk, rather than having to run the engine to ensure all the frames from the ECU are being intercepted and displayed.


1.1G launch

I'm positive the 20 dowel printed reluctance ring is helping with the launch and traction control. The car did a 2.2s 64ft launch on Sunday, and recorded over 1.1G. I've got some 30 dowel plastic rings on order, which I'll fit to the same left front wheel, to further increase the resolution. And I'll fit the 20 dowel printed rear ring for Blyton, so see if that also further reduces the 64ft time.


Missing flags

After a lengthy conversation yesterday with the CofC and the Stewards, where I asked what the contents of the Motor Sport UK Stewards report for the meeting would contain, an explanation was given, for the missing red flags, and after some further dialogue, the situation has been resolved to my satisfaction.


A weekend to forget

The less said about Anglesey the better. I cant get away with writing that though; a hell of a lot happened, and it was chaos with Storm Kathleen blowing gale/storm force winds all weekend. Needless to say, it was a battle to get through both days unscathed.


Saturday was frequent showers, and a damp/drying or wet track, and I was on slicks most of the day, including the first run off when a quick shower fell just before the Run Off, we had the wet track, which then dried for the following drivers, and their times improved accordingly. I also ran the wets on one dry run, just to avoid the damp patches on a couple of the corners, and they took a battering when it was drier, but the times showed they worked in the dry, I was joint FTD at one point using them, the other driver on Slicks! The National circuit worked well, but the Hairpin was exceptionally difficult to slow down for, with the tailwind. And the exit of the hairpin was wet all weekend with a stream running across the track. I didnt score well, but was happy just to survive. No faults on the car, and the driver certainly enjoyed the banter and challenging circuit.

Results: 6th and 4th in Run Off 1 and 2
Link to results


Sunday was awful. We had heavy rain at 4am which woke most of the paddock. My van was buffeted from side to side, and it wasnt a good place to be. The winds weren't reducing in strength, but at least when we ventured out and unlocked the garages, the track was drying out, and the skies were blue.

We did P1 and T1, and by 11am were waiting, prepared, refuelled etc to do the first run off in ever improving conditions. But the organisers decided we'd have an enforced early lunch, starting when the T1 batch had finished. And the forecast was rain for 1pm. We stopped for lunch at 12 Noon, and at 12:45, with darkening skies, we were all called to the line. I lined up with my best slicks on, and set off around 1pm, and monstered the car around. It was a fantastic run, even with rain appearing on the visor at Rocket. When I finished the run, the timing screen at the finish showed Pete's time, and it was a very slow time, and I knew straight away there was a problem. In the pits I checked the phone to see the live times, and myself, Pete and Stephen Miles were all given times of over 100 seconds, but the splits showed I was easily the fastest of the three of us. But then the rain started to come down, and we were told we all had to take re-runs.

I quickly fitted the wets on the car, and jumped back in to have a re-run, otherwise I'd only score 13 points for not having a time. Pete and Steve did the same thing, and we were soon being glared at by the competitors still waiting to take their runs on slicks. Why wouldnt you fit tyres appropriate to the conditions?

I didnt queue jump, I waited my turn and when I set off my glasses steamed up and I had no idea where I was going, Pete had the same issue; and none of us really had a good run. When I returned to the pits and parked up, John Graham complained about the changing of tyres, said it wasnt allowed, but there is nothing in the rules about it. And I have seen dual driven cars change tyres between driver changes, so the precedent has been set.

Consequently, the Run Off 1 run was scrubbed, due to the weather and timing equipment fault. We were told that, while queuing for the 3rd timed run, and that the 3rd timed run was now the first Run Off! Which wasnt ideal. After that run we were then given another 5 minutes to prepare for the 3rd timed run, and that went as well as expected.

But was the 3rd timed run also going to be the final run, and therefore the 2nd run off, or would we get another one?

About 30 minutes later we were told we had a fourth and final run, and so we prepared. The track was drying, but I opted to stay on wets, and some of the corners were still quite damp and I didnt fancy a spin.

So for the final run, the 2nd run off, I set off after Goulding, and was surprised to catch him at the finish line. Had he had a problem? I asked Pete what had happened and he said he had spun ahead of me.

Nothing much else happened; we busied ourselves with packing up, and Smiles celebrated a run off win with his music. I left at 4pm to make the journey home.

After I arrived home, I was told about a red flag and re-run for Smiles. Apparently I had ignored the red flags and continued at race speed. I immediately felt guilty for not seeing the red flags. I honestly didnt see them. The CofC decided not to punish me for ignoring the red flags, and my time was allowed to stand. Again, what red flags?

On Monday morning, Smiley shared a pair of screen shots of the onboard from his Run Off 2 video, following me around the track, and he did have static red flags shown to him. What? How could I not have seen them? So after I unloaded the car on Monday morning, I took the SD card out the camera and checked the footage, and low and behold, there were no flags shown on my Run Off 2 run.

Make of that what you will. Why was Smiles shown the red flag for Petes spin and I wasn't? He was affored a re-run as he'd slowed down. But no red flag for me is a major failure; If Pete hadnt cleared the track ahead of me, I'd have had zero warning, and could potentially have driven in to him, or taken avoiding action and left the track!

It was a crap result in the end; Smiley went on to take FTD on his re-run, on warm tyres, a good ten minutes after his first run, and he capitalised on the opportunity to take the both run off wins, and the overall championship lead.

All in all, I'm not impressed. The lost run off win from the aborted Run Off 1, and then the subsequent red flag farce in Run Off 2, isnt the standard we expect, and at this level, isn't acceptable. To be accused of missing red flags, when they werent even shown, isnt acceptable either.

On the bright side, I completed seven runs on Sunday, with no issues, and didnt take a spanner to the car all weekend. That's how it should be. The next round is at Blyton Park in 6 weeks time.

Results: 4th and 4th in Run Off 1 and 2
Link to results


Picture from the Mallory Park sprint


Cadwell run off video


Anglesey prep

The entry list is out for the Anglesey weekend (6th & 7th April) and its not a bad turnout with 15 drivers battling for the top 12 point scoring positions. I'm hoping for better luck than when I last went in October 2023, when the core plug burst. Travelling home on Sunday with some wins under my belt will be the best outcome. The forecast is pretty poor, with heavy rain and strong winds forecast for most of the weekend. I've no changes on the car other than replacing the pair of 3D printed plastic turning vanes that sit ahead of the rear wheels. The replacements are printed thicker, to make them both tougher, and hopefully less prone to stone damage. The dash4pro has been reprogrammed, to try and resolve an issue I'd created, by giving some of the frames 'friendly' names. Fingers crossed it doesnt have any more ophaned numeric controls.


Printed trigger disk a successs

The 3D printed front wheel trigger disk with 20 dowels was a total success at Mallory. Never missed a beat. The traces on the ECU are so smooth. I will have to get another pair printed with 30 dowels and see how well that works.


Runoff winning video

Gerards needs a lot more commitment, can be taken significantly faster, and not in 4th gear. When we go back in June I'm hoping to have more grip, so we'll see if the times can be improved further.

A couple of photos from Cadwell.


Runoff winner


Cadwell was freezing cold, dry, but very very windy, and I just couldnt get my car to turn in. It was 5s quicker when I put the Pirellis on for the first run off, and I finished 2nd. But I just had no confidence, and on the final run off I was 4th. I couldnt work out what was wrong, it was great at Mallory on Thursday. Very odd. Anyway, I won BARC Members FTD, which was collected for me by a friend, and I went home, for some hot food, a shower, and centrally heated house to thaw out. The car required no work, so I left it all in the trailer for Sundays trip to Mallory Park. Over the five runs, the car used 7.8 litres of fuel (approx £54 worth)


On sunday morning I left Leicester at 6:30am and was at the Mallory paddock for 10 to 7, found a spot in the paddock and unloaded the car. The day was forecast cold, and sunny but dry, and rather than risk the Avons I ran the 2 year old Pirellis all day. To rectify the understeer from Cadwell, I removed both the Gurney strips from the front wing elements, and it transformed the grip. So clearly they weren't necessary, and thankyou to Graham Porrett for the suggestion, he said they didnt work on the Lola. A useful tidbit of experience handed down.

First practice went well, the car was handling properly now, and I was second fastest to Pete Goulding, and my wife arrived just as I was starting the lap. She stayed with me all day, and it was great to have some company, and someone to clean the grit from the tyres.

The first timed run was taken before lunch, and I improved, as did Pete, and we then had a 1hr lunch break. The first run off was after dinner, and I shot round 3s quicker to record a 64.01s lap. But Pete pipped me with a 63.95 to take first. I new what I had to do for the final run, take Gerards with some more speed, however, I downshifted from 6th to 5th, and it didnt down shift, so I downshifted again and it then went 5th then 4th when I lifted off, due to the stack shift system which queues up downshifts, which I completely forgot about. That cost me half a second, and I was slower with a 44.75. But so was Pete, and I finished a quarter of a second ahead to take my first Run Off win of the year.

My best run wasnt recorded on the camera (technical fault), but the second run off win was, so I will overlay the data today and get the video up. My best lap, using the Edwina's chicane layout, was a 45.3s, measuring the full lap from the same point on the track (the Edwina's chicane). My highest speed was 155mph (GPS speed) on the approach to Gerards.

Aside from removing the pair of gurney strips, I didnt take a spanner to the car all day, and only removed the engine cover once to show a friend the engine. A perfect day. During the four runs, the car used 6.600 litres of fuel (approx £42 worth)

Next up, Anglesey in two weeks, and I am 2nd in the championship, with no work required on the car. The new floor skirts worked perfectly, as did all the other aero mods. Very happy.


Testing success

No issues at Mallory today, the car is extremely fast now, the aero mods were making a very big difference allowing me to run the front and rear wings at shallower angles than I've ever run, and the grip from the Avons was outstanding. I now have engine coolant pressure data to work through, and the gear system pressure sensor also captured the air bottle pressure during changes, with no issues. The plastic printed front wheel trigger disk worked perfectly, so I will look to fit the opposite front at some point. Now I need to give the Avons a quick clean and load up for the trip to Cadwell tomorrow.


Tyres cleaned

I took the heat gun to the Pirellis, which were new in August 2022, and I'm hoping I can get another season out of them. If not, I'll fall back to the Avon HC3's.

The 3D printed extraboost fifth injector port has turned up, and it looks great. I'm still waiting for the pico injector to arrive, and then I can do a test fit on the plenum with the spare throttle body.


Trailer washed!

The best tool for getting 12 months of dirt off a clamshell, is the Karcher T-Racer surface cleaner/rotary patio cleaner. It makes very short work of getting all the muck and stains off. A quick wash with some soapy water and a rinse afterwards, and it came up great.
Video on youtube


Trailer rewired

Over the weekend I've fitted a much larger battery to the trailer and rewired the remote winch and the motor mover to connect both to the battery through an isolator switch. It's another Bosch battery, so comes with, a four year guarantee. A no brainer based on the warranty swap I've just made on the battery from the van. The next job is to connect the battery to the 13pin trailer connector, so it is trickle charged when the engine is running on the van. Actually the next job is to pressure wash the clamshell. Five months parked in a field, isnt the best way to keep a trailer clean.

The finals are out for both Cadwell and Mallory Park, and its going to be a full on weekend making both events back to back. There is no paddock plan for Mallory, 'park at your discretion', so who knows where we'll all end up. I do hope there is a someone coordinating the paddock, as it'll be hard to get everyone out in the correct order otherwise.

On Friday I finished off all the jobs on the car, I just need to fill the fuel tank, reset the fuel consumption on the ECU, refill the dive tank so I can replenish the air in the paint ball bottle. Oh and fit the mirrors for Thursday.


Brake pads changed

I fitted the fresh front brake pads last night, which is only a 30 second job as they're held in with spring clips. The pads they replaced are a few years old, and had half the pad material of the fresh ones.

I also removed the 3rd spring assembly to check that the grease inside the sliding mechanism was still allowing it to slide easily, and it was fine. I then sprayed some fresh black paint on it, and reassembled it once it had dried.

The final job was to stick the pair of turning vanes that I'd printed, to the floor, just ahead of the rear wheels, and I did that with Sikaflex. I'll see what difference they make at Mallory.


Reluctance rings

I've just finished designing a front and rear wheel speed sensor setup for a well known competition car builder in the UK, and they are hopefully getting them manufactured and installed for an event in just over a weeks time. The brief was to have 20 teeth for the front and rear reluctance rings, and design a bracket to support the speed sensor on the front hub. I went for a folded steel bracket to keep the costs down, and the reluctance rings can be water jet cut from mild steeel.

I also provided a design for a 3D printed ring for the rear axle, with 30 holes for 30 steel dowels, to test. The printed ring would give 50% more pulses than the steel ring, and its just a question of robustness when used on a car designed for a full race series.


Nosecone fitted

I've added the pair of fasteners to the nose cone, so it can now be attached securely to the car. I weighed it last night and its almost 800grammes lighter than the one it replaces. And I've replaced several of the cap head bolts on the front wing brackets with 10.9 button heads, to smooth out the air flow under the nose. And the last of the four gurney strips is now fixed in place, just the pair of turning vanes to fit ahead of the rear tyres.

Pleased to see John Graham has registered for the championship again; John won in 2019, and is still driving the red Gould which he won the championship in. Not sure which dates he'll be out, the entry list for Cadwell should be out in the next day or so, so we'll soon see.


Nosecone replaced

This weekend I fastened the gurney strips to the rear diffuser, using epoxy resin, and stuck the first of the two strips to the front wing. I then fitted the wing, and tried the new nose cone for size, and it fitted straight on, requiring no modifications to clear the redesigned front wing drop plates. So I stuck the race number to it, and I now need to drill a couple of holes in the rear of the cone to rivet the fasteners to it, so it can be bolted securely in place. One more gurney strip to go, and the aero modifications are complete.

The entries opened this morning for Anglesey and Blyton, at 7:14am the email arrived from Longton, and luckily I had my phone on whilst I was eating breakfast otherwise I would have missed it. I have entered both events; Anglesey is in less than 4 weeks time, and Blyton is in May.

Good news on the van battery front. The one I just replaced was just under four years old, and had totally failed, so I sent it back and claimed on the four year warranty provided by Bosch, and I've just been refunded the full cost of the new battery I bought. Thank you Tayna Batteries and thank you Bosch.


Exhaust refitted

Zircotec returned the exhaust pipe yesterday, it had to go back for a tiny bit of rework, and it looks fantastic bolted back on to the turbo. I hope it retains the matt black look after I've blown exhaust gas down it at 750°C.

I then replaced the three very short pieces of 6mm nylon pipe used by the pneumatic system, after I spotted an air leak via the pressure sensor readings from the ECU. You couldnt hear air escaping, but the pressure kept dropping, so I'll see now if the pressure is retained.

In my spare time I'm designing a few parts in Fusion, one of which is a fifth injector plate for the EcoBoost. You can find very few people selling these; there are a few in the US, but they come as a complete kit with electronics and a black box; whereas we just wanted the ability to run an additonal injector. So, with a small bit of help from Jenvey with the Pico injector inlet and outlet port sizes, I drew this. Its ready for 3D printing, to test the fitment, and then I'll get one made for testing. Prices with the Pico injector should be in the £300 range. It has a groove for an O-Ring on the underside, where it meets the throttle body.

ExtraBoost 5th Injector design


Front wing drop plates upgraded

The pair of redesigned front wing drop plates arrived today, so I fitted them to the car and they are smaller and lighter than the Playskool ones, and I now have a pair of spares in case anything unfortunate happends to them. Very pleased with how they turned out. I designed them in Fusion to have scallops both sides :D

The spare turbo hoses arrived and I've replaced the 135° hose which had some tiny splits in it where the jubilee clip had been holding it on to the turbo outlet.


Printed aero sections fitted

I've bonded on the pair of aero profile sections to the leading edge of the floor. They're held on with sikaflex, and wont fall off. The final two pieces of printed parts to fit are the turning vanes that will sit ahead of the rear tyres. I'll have a go at fitting those tomorrow. I' waiting for some more carbon angle to turn up, which will be used a gurney flaps on the front wing and for the rear diffuser. Delivery is due on Wednesday.


More jobs completed

I'm now turning my attention to the electronics changes that I needed to make. I've updated the CAN Datastream from the Life ECU, to include ECP and GSP pressures, and after updating the DBC file in Kvaser, I've reprogrammed the Dash4Pro to display an alert when various channels are outside of normal ranges. eg EOT is above 120C; It's the first time I've actually set alarms on the Dash4Pro, and I'm quite impressed how well they work. You do need to change the variable names in CAN on the D4P, so it displays something meaningful in the warning screen, rather than the frame and slot number and some obscure shorthand for the message.

To test GSP (the air pressure in the pneumatic gear system) low pressure alarm, I simply operated the paddle switch with the clutch switch closed, and selected first then neutral, and the 95psi air pressure quickly dropped below the warning threshold set, triggering the LOW warning to be displayed on the dashboard together with flashing red LED's. When I then opened the paint ball bottle valve to repressurise the system, the pressure went back up to 95psi, and the alarms stopped. So yes, very pleased with how easy it was to set everything up. When the warning messages appear, I can either clear by pushing a button on the Display, or wait 5 seconds and the message will clear automatically.

I found an issue with the 45° hose that exits the turbo and directs the compressed air towards the intercooler. Where its been clamped to the turbo with the jubilee clip over the years, there were a few tiny splits appearing in the silicon, so not taking any chances, I ordered a spare, and that will be fitted this week. Thank you to Viper Performance for having them in stock :D


Mallory Park is go

Great news, the organisers have stated that even with just 80 entries, they are 100% going ahead with the Mallory Park sprint, which means my test session a few days before should be fruitful.


It's Spring

Yep, just 21 days to go to the first event. I have finished the floor upgrades, with the addition of another piece of angle carbon, kindly supplied by Easy Composites. I bonded the aero covers for the diffuser support brackets, using sikaflex. So they shouldn't fall off. I rewired the fp1 3 pin plug, having done a rush job in October when I was diagnosing the fuel pressure issue. It's now properly covered with adhesive heatshrink. I then spent a while tie wrapping cables out of harms way, in the area behind the seat, which were all again done in a rush when I refitted the engine last year, and it's all far tidyer and hopefully, wont cause me any issues.


3D printed parts delivered

The three parts that I designed have been delivered, and I've placed them on the car, and they all fit perfectly. I'm putting a video together showing the process and their fitment.


AAT sensor replaced

I'd had some issues with the temperatures reported by the Ambient Air Temperature sensor during the year, they have no bearing at all on the engine tune, its just a sensor that can be monitored and logged; so at Anglesey, when I had the misfire on the Sunday after repairing the core plug leak, I just turned it off and unplugged it. So I'd been meaning to replace the sensor since then. I had a spare one in my box of bits, so I've made an extension loom, to allow it to reach the turbo, where it will be fitted to monitor the true air temperature of the air as it enters the turbo.

I had to reassign the sensor in the IO, which is very easy to do. In LifeCAL in the IO Pin Assignments, you just tell the ECU which pin to use, which in my case is AN#23 on pin C1-84, and once thats done, and the ECU is re-programmed, the temperature reported by AAT is the temperature seen by the sensor. So now that's done, I can do some tidying up of the cables with some fresh cable ties, and we're good to go.


Exhaust pipe returns

The exhaust pipe has returned from Zircotec and it looks amazing, finished in their black ThermoHold® plasma-applied ceramic exhaust coating.
Cant wait to fit it back on the car again.


Diffuser mods

I've fitted the first of the pair of turning vanes/fences to the underside of the diffuser, to direct air out through the slotted louvres. The second element is prepared, and has been painted black, and I'll fit it on Monday. I've refitted the absent titanium skid to the nearside of the diffuser, it parted company at Castle Combe, and I've used another spare piece of titanium bar. Several cars were testing at Blyton on Sunday. Apparently the entrance road has been completely resurfaced, as has part of the circuit. I'm looking forward to seeing the circuit for myself.

As soon as the floor upgrades are finished, I'll turn to the electronics. The ECU needs the latest firmware flashing to enable a few new features since the last system update last year, and I have some modifications to make to the CAN Data sent to the dashboard, plus the dashboard layout needs altering. That'll hopefully be worthy of a new youtube video.

I am booked in for testing at Mallory Park in March, so I've still got plenty of time to get the car ready :D
There are still only 75 entries for the Mallory Park sprint, which leaves 35 short of the minimum 110 entries required to run the event. Only three weeks to go before the entries close....


Floor complete

Well, almost, I'm just waiting on the printed parts to come back from 3D People. They contacted me today to say the pair of leading edge aero profiles were distorting during printing, and wanted to change to SLS, so I said yes. The parts are expected next Monday. I will skin the pair of leading edge parts, with carbon, to make them stronger.

The uhmwpe strips are now all stuck to the carbon angle sections, and all four carbon sections are re-attached to the floor. The ground clearance is bang on 40mm, but the floor height is adjustable, so as the strips wear, I can alter the height to maintain the 40mm gap. I replaced one of the small rubber hoses on the radiator, the one that leads from the top of the radiator to the header tank, and I've started checking all the jubilee clips to make sure they're all secure. Once tightened they're marked with yellow paint. Considering I put the engine back in rapidly in October, I've only found a couple of clips that needed a bit of adjustment to make sure they wont leak any coolant.


MOT passed

The Van flew through its MOT again. I did have to replace the Bosch starter battery, as it had totally died since I parked it up in October. The battery is just within its four year warranty, so I will send it back for a warranty claim.

The double sided tape is now stuck to the uhmwpe strips, and is ready to be stuck to the underside of the carbon angle skirts. I will remove the skirts again to do that.

There are now approx 60 entries for the Mallory Park sprint on March 24th; can they get another 50 in the next four weeks, to reach the minimum 110 required to run the meeting?


CAD Model - bodywork

I've had a go at modelling the bodywork, which isnt easy at all in Fusion 360. Its definitely looking more like a Mygale now though.


CAD Model

I'm building up a new CAD model of the car, so I can have another play with Ansys to do some very basic CFD. I've a long way to go yet, I need to draw the nose cone, bonnet, and engine cover, which is going to take some doing.

The uhmwpe floor protections strips have arrived, thank you to Direct Plastics for providing them. I've ordered some adhesive tape to attach the strips to the carbon side skirts. I might still use a fastener to attach the leading edges of the strips to the floor, and use the adhesive to keep them from detaching along their lengths.

There are 38 days until the first event, and the Mallory Park meeting the first weekend only has around 50 entries, with a minimum of 110 required for the meeting to run. Fingers crossed we get some more drivers with cars to enter.


Floor finished

Another 2.5 hrs on Saturday afternoon, and the carbon angle sections are now held on with M5 fasteners. I spent an age on ensuring that the ride height is maintained. The uhmwpe strips are on order.

On Sunday I spent a bit of time on Fusion 360, and drew up three new parts. The first part is an aero profile to fit over the blunt 10mm edge at the front of the floor sections. This will help air decide which direction to take, and should scoop more air underneath the floor than previous, as well as reducing drag by removing the blunt edge. The second part is a pair of aero sections to sit on the diffuser floor, fore and aft of the aluminium brackts that now connect the threaded rod from the floor to the chassis. These will further reduce drag. And the final part is a pair of rear tyre deflectors, which will attach to the carbon angle sections, sitting ahead of the rear tyres, and will delfect air across the front of the rotating rear wheels, to further reduce drag. All three parts are now off for printing, I should have them back next week. I am considering skinning the aero profiles for the floor, with carbon. The parts are hollow, and could do with some protection from stones etc.

Aero deflectors

Bracket deflectors

Floor aero

CAD model of the floor

Entries also opened for Cadwell (£180) and Mallory Park (£189), its now starting to get expensive.


Floor mods

The modifications to the floor are going to plan. The 50x25mm 3mm angle sections arrived, and I've marked up where to drill them to attach both sides to the floor sections. I've just had some more 25mm 2mm sections arrive, and some smaller 10mm sections, so its time to get outside and mix the epoxy up :D


Floor supports upgraded

Determined to prevent the floor from deflecting, I made a pair of floor support brackets which are firmly bolted to the diffuser floor ahead of the rear suspension. The brackets cant twist as they have two M5 fasteners holding them down. I can almost put my weight on the floor now, and its not moving at all. I will consider swapping to 3mm angled carbon, if I end up with any offcuts....

I've redesigned the front wing drop plates. The ones on the car were made by Playskool, and I've no spares. So I set about copying all the mounting holes, then adding scallops and reducing weight by 160grammes. These are now away being manufactured, and I should have them back in a week. Once fitted the new lightweight nose cone can be fitted.


Floor mods begin

I've fitted a pair of carbon 25x25mm 90° angle sections to the edges of the diffuser floor, where it joins the two floor sections ahead, and they are both bonded on with epoxy. They replace the aluminium angle sections which sat above the diffuser, and had to be sealed with gorilla tape. The new sections are bonded below the diffuser and provide a smooth vertical surface for the side skirts to attach to.

I've also made new top brackets for the pair of threaded stays that support the floor, from aluminium, which wont flex anymore (they were carbon before). And both threaded stays are now covered in black heatshrink. The next job is to reinforce the diffuser where the stays attach, to eliminate any more downward movement of the floor, which is what was causing the nylon skirts to contact the ground and wear out so badly. If there is any movement, then rather than the car being pulled downwards by the low pressure under the floor, the floor itself moves downwards, and you loose the valuable downforce being generated. Everything has to be totally rigid.

I've got more 90° angle carbon on order. Four 1.2m lengths in 25x50mm. These will be attached to the vertical surfaces on the edge of the floor, to provide the L shape seal to the ground. I am toying with fitting uhmwpe strips to the bottom of the angled sections, to prevent the carbon from touching the ground. Attaching uhmwpe is quite difficult, double sided tape is meant to work, but not much else will stick to it. PTFE would a great material to use, but again, bonding it to carbon is the challenge. Unless a 10mm thick strip can be machined, with recessed screws inside. That would be ideal. I dont want any friction when the side skirt meets the ground. I'll explore the options. There are 47 days to go, before Cadwell, so plenty of time to come up with a solution.

I'm also making some more vertical sections (fences?) to sit inside the diffuser. I need to force air towards the pair of louvres that sit behind the rear wheels, to further reduce drag as the air exits the diffuser.


Trigger disk video

I've put another short ten minute video together explaining the development and testing of the printed Nylon trigger disks, one of which is now installed on the car ready for testing. Dont forget to like and subscribe.


3D printed trigger disk fitted

I fitted the first of the two front wheel trigger disks that I designed and had printed in December, having tested the operation on the bench. With the number of teeth set to 20, in the ecu, I was then able to spin the front wheel at ~100mph using a electric drill, and the ecu reported a steady speed, with no drop outs. I will run with just the one printed trigger disk for the first few events, until I'm happy that it works reliably, and then I'll replace the opposite side.

Here is a YouTube short showing the testing of the front wheel trigger disk.


Leak down test performed

Why do a leakdown test? I needed to confirm that the coolant pressure reported by the Life ECU was accurate, hence I bought a leak down test kit from ebay. The kit is really impressive, and the pump obviously has a gauge on it to show the pressure in the system. So it was really straight forwards to connect everything up, and with the ECU on, apply 10psi of pressure, and see what the ECU read. And low and behold, it also said there was 10psi of pressure in the coolant system. I can therefore rely on the pressures reported as they are as accurate as they can be :D


Engine runs

I ran the fresh engine on Saturday, I haven't started it since the last time it ran at October at Castle Combe. Of course it started first time after I'd primed the oil system (I'm always impressed with the Zero Gravity Lithium battery, and how much current it can deliver having not been charged for 3 months). With the engine running, I monitored the coolant pressure whilst the engine got up to temperature, which took around 11 minutes in total. Cant find any issues, with any of the changes that I've made. Before I ran it, I made some more modifications to the chassis loom, to add adhesive heatshrink to a few connectors to protect them from fatigue. I've also disconnected the front suspension potentiometers, and removed them from the car, which frees up another pair of analogue sensors.

One other job which I've been meaining to do for so long, is replace the four flourescent tubes in the garage, with LED Tubes. It was very easy to do, almost a straight swap for the flourescents, and the brightness in the garage, its like an operating theatre. I then fitted white ceiling tiles in the centre section between the four tube fittings, to reflect more light down, and its looking much better. It'll make a difference when I take any video or photographs outside.

The total distance for this years championships 22 rounds, is I reckon, just over 4500 miles travel, simply because additional rounds have been added, and we've more one day events in 2024. Thats for me anyway, other drivers who live down south or up north, may have to travel even further. Makes you question the sustainability of a championship, when it has more rounds than the BTCC, which is anything but amateur motorsport.


New helmet

I've put a short video together showing the new Bell GP3 Carbon crash helmet I bought to replace the expired Bell GT5 which was certified to the old SNELL2010 standards, and no longer legal for use on MSUK events. The new helmet is made from carbon fibre, and is a lot lighter than the old one. I've also had some more vinyl come through, and I'm busy preparing the car for the start of the season. I've some silicon-glass sleeving to fit over several of the wiring loom sections, where I feel they're vulnerable to damage, so I'll get on with that in the next few days.

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Sensor replaced

I have swapped the ecp sensor out for the gauge version, and the ECU now reads 0.0psi when there is no pressure present, which is good. I've also stuck the championship numbers on the rear wing, and I'm now ready to re-upholster the bead seat, replace the front nose, and modify the front wing. Its all go, and there's still 68 days left before the first event at Cadwell Park in March 2024.

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2023 season review part two

The second half of the season review is now YouTube.

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Archive news

I appreciate there there is a lot of information on the website, which has been running since 1998, and its all searchable, but I'm still trying to make it more accessible; so I've written a small piece of php which allows you to search by year, and then read each months update, using the previous and next buttons at the bottom of the page to move forward and backwards through the pages.

The archive news can be reached through the Resources Menu above, click News Archive, then jump to the year you are looking for.


Sensor delivered

The PX3 pressure has now arrived from Mouser Electronics, and I'll fit it over the weekend. This will give a reading of 0psi when there is no pressure in the coolant system, rather than 14.7psi. My 2024 numbers have also arrived, I went for the same style and colour as before, turquoise matt, in Basic Square font. I know, it should have been number 1 not 2. I must try even harder in 2024.

I'm not going to the Autosport show this year. Yet again Demon Tweeks are absent, as are many of the big brands, so it'll be fine if you want to buy dog blankets or gardening tools. The industry hasnt recovered from Covid-19, and it'll be a very long time before the Autosport show attracts the levels of attendance once seen.
The 2024 exhibitors list


Gearshift system pressure sensor fitted

Over the weekend I've fitted the G1/4 Honeywell PX3 10bar pressure sensor to the pneumatic line that feeds the pair of solenoids for the gearshift actuator, and I've modified my loom from the X10 to the gearbox, which was previously connected to the pair of linear sensors that sat on the rear dampers. The loom is now split to connect the engine coolant pressure sensor, and the gearshift system pressure sensor, to two analogue inputs, and they're both programmed in to the ECU to provide logging and warnings should pressures be abnormal. I used Deutsch DTM 3-pin connectors, and adhesive heatshrink to keep it all looking tidy, and semi-professional :D

GSP and ECP sensors both enabled in the Life ECU
I've managed to find a stockist of the Honeywell PX3 100psi pressure sensor which is gauge or relative rather than absolute, so I'll replace the one fitted to the header tank so it reads 0psi when there is no pressure in the system. The part number is PX3AN2BS100PSAAX.


2023 season review part one

I've put a video together showing the first half of the 2023 season, which is now on youtube. Part two will drop in the next few days.

Please like and subscribe if you'd like to see more sprint videos.