|21/06/2004 12:44:38||Richard|| Dukeries felt like a long distance event at the weekend. Before the event I had a stomach problem and only made it to scrutineering and signing on late Friday night. We started the first stage in the grass due to the start being impassable due to a large hole created by the other cars, then proceeded to find the car would not stop on mintex 1144 with freewheel working. This became better as the pad temperature increased, but left the brakes inconsistent and resulted in some interesting cornering. The pads had enough on the second stage when they overheated as I found out on a hairpin bend after a straight. The only option was to pull the hand brake and spin the car to slow it as there was no run off, we did not hit a thing!
The third stage was taken with freewheel locked out and lower front tyre pressures. This stage was going very well, the tighter narrow tree lined Portland stage suited the car and the driver now in a bad mood did not lift for any cautions. We set a good time beating far better machinery, but the car sounded funny over the last part of the stage. The road section confirmed something was amiss with the engine and the car would not pull from low down, but would go reasonable above 4500rpm. This caused us to be very slow through the Clipstone stages and required several bites of the clutch to get off the line and out of the corners on these stages. We suspect a burnt valve or valve train related problem.
Some how we set 90 something place time on Ranbowhill one of the fastest stages on the event with three cylinders firing and one that joined in when it felt like it. I feel we made up for this on the first narrow and twisty bumpy down hill section that normally you should take with caution, but this time was taken flat in third. Dad was having problems with the pace notes and the amount of info in them, so I told him to wave to the crowd and drove the thing without any notes or calls, I was amazed by the result all things considered!
We struggled through the remaining power sapping clipstone areas with a sick car and had the fun event of an engine carb fire on Clipstone North 2. The fire was put out and with this and one stage to go we drove at a crawl to get a finish in last place, taking 13+mins each on the last two stages when the time should have been less than half of this.
Many thanks to God for finishing and getting another signature on my licience towards a Nat A.
|28/06/2004 12:31:31||Alistair||Bad luck mate, you're not having a good run at the mo. Hope you get it sorted soon, and as you say, at least you finished!|