I didn't want to bore you or to overload this thread with pictures and videos but there is still the last YouTube one to show, it was taken on-board at Prescott. The camera was set up by a friend and is another one awaiting editing, I have been promised a copy so that I can edit it later myself but he has posted the 'raw' footage already. I thought I should just post it here:
As is, it still shows the time waiting in the pits for direction to start and following here I offer a little explanation as to what is happening in it.
The gentle bump start is at 2.20, at 2.30 you may notice my left hand abandoning the steering wheel to apply the handbrake outside the cockpit while my right hand is still trying to direct the gear lever to neutral, an action only performed occasionally! Air pressure is pumped to the rear mounted fuel tank before 3.37 where the dragging clutch enables a noisy engagement of first gear.
At 3.46 a demonstration of the very direct steering ratio as I avoid the back wheel of a rather expensive and nice Bugatti. The handbrake is not on a ratchet and so when on a slope I have to hold the lever on supposing I can't press the footbrake and there is no shoe available on the end of a nearby friendly leg to put against a wheel as a chock.
We had discovered that the engine was running weak and this was suspected to be the cause of a mis-fire, we changed the plugs and I was instructed to keep pumping the Webers to enrich the mixture, I wasn't sure about this but the informant was respected and it appeared to work even if noisy and inconvenient.
No tyre burn out at 7.00 as I thought it unnecessarily showy and I wasn't brimming in confidence that it was all going to hold together!
A fairly cautious start as I wasn't sure how the track was drying out or how the car would deal with the first sharp right hander at 'Orchard', it was fine, I should have been bolder although I was working quite hard to get it round. The next left hander 'Pardon' is a hairpin with a very steep inside edge, a friend rolled his GN there when the rear wheels dug in rather than slid but as you hear I frustratingly just jumped out of gear and had to crash it back in at 7.54.
Up through the 'Esses' the track being still wet under the trees and you will notice what I didn't, embarrassingly, that my air pump handle has come out.
In my approach to 'Semicircle' at 8.20 I wasn't sure if the track was as wet as it had been through the 'Esses' and there is a big drop off the side, so that rather than take the faster wide track on the edge of oblivion (well that's how it looks from the cockpit!) I chose the safer but less exciting middle way and so to the finish.
After the uninteresting return to the Paddock two of the many interesting cars to be briefly spotted at the end are the red 24lt Napier engined Bentley and the V8 JAP aero engined GN.
So Loton Park next and I am determined to try harder but I don't know if I will be able to borrow a camera, and that will be the last of the season. Some of you maybe will have have found this dull and pointless but some I know have found it instructive and entertaining. I should be off at the weekend for a week's tour to and around The Isle of Wight in an original 1920 GN twin cylinder cyclecar, arrival is not guaranteed but I am sure challenge and adventure will be, I have not achieved 20 miles in it yet without an 'incident'.
Last edited by jadearling on Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
I thought "why is he braking through Orchard?" then I remember that you use the old course avoiding Ettore's. I make that about a 62 second run, not bad in the damp and if you do not know it well. Exiting Pardon is a strange place to change gear though When are you at Loton Park, I may come over for the day, Loton is a hard ballsy course, beware of the final corner "Museum", It is a hard right hander but you approach it blind and need to brake before you see it. I did not do this properly and ended up in the straw and tyres.
Wali.Badger.Taylor wrote: Exiting Pardon is a strange place to change gear though
Well Wali the intention had not been to change gear through Pardon, it was more a matter of re-engaging after it had jumped out of gear all on its own, this is a problem that I appear to be encountering increasingly, methinks an exploration of the Burman internals may be in order, I have never been there yet though! 60.58 was the actual time of that run.
For me Loton Park (SY5 9AG) has always been a very friendly and social event with camping, hog-roast and local ale Saturday evening which serves to complicate matters for some on Sunday morning's first runs! I go on the Friday but Saturday 14th Sept is practice day (£6) and Sunday is the competition (£10). I have spectated or marshalled at this one frequently but am grateful for your heads-up on 'Museum' although to date my chief concern has been about negotiating 'Triangle'. I suspect heavy braking (not one of the car's strong points) will be called for after the early downhill section and getting around the corner successfully and without losing too much speed looks like it could be a challenge, all this at the most popular spectating point so one is guaranteed an appreciative audience! If you do come, after all it's not far from the New Jerusalem, be sure to come and say Hi, ideally before I do anything stupid, the same applies to any other Forum members who might make it.
Wali.Badger.Taylor wrote:I never made it due to the weather, how did you do?
Ah Wali, the weather, we can all blame the weather! I am!
To be honest I thought I did abominably and although I would have been delighted to meet you I was sneakily glad that no one turned up! Another time I hope!
So, first run, track dryish but it didn't feel or sound right, well down on power, missing, but I climbed the hill, 99 seconds, better than some but not competitive at all, I was disappointed. Investigation eventually indicated fuel starvation to the front engine, crap in the Weber float chamber valve. Sorted that and it sounded crisp, sharp and willing, totally different!
The next ascent took 88 secs so an 11 second improvement. It jumped out of second gear twice but I got to the top feeling good about it. I noticed the oil pressure was down on both engines. It rained, I checked both oil tanks, one appeared empty to its baffle at least, a cup of oil showed that it was only half empty so the remainder had drained into the sump. Started it again to check that the Morgo pumps were working and the tank refilled ok so I decided to press on despite the low indicated oil pressure. It continued raining, the track was greasy, when I braked for Fallow the car accelerated like mad, I jumped off the brake pedal and hit it again, I don't know what or how but I got around in one piece and stayed mostly on the track, Museum I probably took cautiously after that but I had rather lost the plot by then. When I stopped I realized that the wooden roller on the throttle pedal had split and moved sideways so that when I had braked my foot caught it. In a competition between the brakes and the engine the engine will always be the winner! My time was a miserable 98 seconds.
I was a bit shaken and wondered about scratching for the final run because of the low oil pressure but that seemed defeatist, it was raining and I wouldn't be going mad so I pressed on. It was very slippery and the car was all over the place and I made a leisurely 108 seconds, I was disgusted with my time but it hadn't felt that slow; how we kid ourselves!
I am somewhat surprised but also extremely gratified that in the provisional results my 98 seconds climb appears to have earned me a second handicap award, if anyone else had been able to observe my reaction in the cockpit at Fallow I don't know what they would have thought! I was informed later that there was a consensus amongst some that it's a pity I am divorced as they wanted to rename the car 'Widowmaker'. Well it looks like I have some engine stripping to do now but I believe this is the first time in 50 years that the car has succeeded in every ascent for a full season so I do have that to be pleased about.
Next Loton is a year away Wali, you'll have to come and see it before that, perhaps I'll have to come and see you competing first!
Thanks Jade, a great read. Our sports are full of "what if " and "if only" but when you do get that one good run it is better in that 60 seconds than most people experience in 1000 miles. On the edge of traction on cold tyres is the most alive you can ever be, I am defending a 1/4 mile twisty win last year at Aldershot this month, if I can not retain my crown I will hurt myself trying. Les, your dad was no Ariel purist and gave me a lot of tips on how to make them go faster, I miss him but I agree with you that he would have loved to read this.