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Donington International 1st Oct 2016

Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 4:57 pm
by erictharg
Nice to have a race to write about again. Last race of the season was on Saturday 1st Oct. Donington is a circuit I like - all the corners are "irregular", the straights are not too long and lots of rise and fall. Since the relative success of the 90k mile short engine at Silverstone I kept it simple and just did another oil change (Valvoline VR1 20-50) and a fresh OE oil filter.
We were scheduled to do two races. One was the first race of the day just before lunch, and the second would be the last race of the day at 17:15. Both 18 mins plus one lap. The forecast was for rain showers early and getting heavier as the day went on so I left my Yoko A021 intermediates on. Practice went fine, struggling to put in a clean lap due to traffic but that's to be expected. Best time was a 2:01.5 putting me a good few places off the back of the grid and alongside a Mk1 Escort with Pinto power who was about 0.5 sec a lap quicker. I was also in front of Andy Lambert's Cobra (500+HP) his excuse being his tyres were knackered. The Datsun 240Z I had a good dice with at Silverstone was starting from the back of the grid as he had a problem in practice.
We had the usual rolling start and I managed to hold position through the Craner curves and sitting on the tail of the Escort. The Cobra on worn cold tyres was being cautious too. Lap two I'm still sticking to the tail of the Escort but can't get past unless he makes a mistake. The Cobra comes past on the back straight only to out brake himself for the chicane and go grasscutting whilst I pass him. I let the Escort go - no point driving 101% just to sit on someone's tail. A couple of laps later I see the 240Z in my mirrors and for a lap he tries to pass buy can't. Dives up the insde of the hairpin at the end of the loop but makes him go wide and I get the drag up the the next corner. Which he takes more tidily than me and gets past on the start finish straight. Cobra passes me again only to repeat his same too late braking a lap later! No further action then until the last lap where he just managed to pass me again on the last leg of the loop heading to the start / finish straight.
The car felt good and I was driving it as hard as I could. Best lap in the race was a 1:58 something and I had several people complementing me on my pace.
We never got the second race as the heavens opened over lunch and by 15:00 the meeting was cancelled. At least we got one race - most of the others didn't.
The 90k mile engine ran fine but did develop a big rear crank oil seal leak that is going to need fixing. My previous build had the same problem due to a groove worn in the crank palm where the seal runs. Will need either a saver sleeve fitting to the crank or a spacer shim making to move the seal back 1mm or so to run on a clean bit of the crank.
The dilemma now is what to do to the engine over the winter. It has to come out to fix the crank oil seal. The bores are fine but the stock pistons are only nine point something CR so I think the sensible thing is to find some decent higher CR pistons and re-bore and hone to suit them, some fresh bearing shells and otherwise leave well along, other than fixing the crank oil seal.
The increased CR should yield another 5 to 7 HP. I'll also go ahead with the rear disc conversion which should allow for later and harder braking to yield a further incremental improvement in lap times. I'm currently having to brake gently initially to get the weight transfer to the fronts before really pushing hard on the pedal.
Let's see what the 2017 calendar looks like...

Re: Donington International 1st Oct 2016

Posted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:34 am
by jonclancy
Glad to hear it's still running well enough, Charles.

Thanks for taking the time to do the Race Reports. I always enjoy reading them... racing vicariously! :D



Re: Donington International 1st Oct 2016

Posted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 9:03 pm
by alleggerita
hi Charles,

Very good news indeed. Finally some light at the end of the tunnel that isn't an on storming train!

You should schedule at least 1 trip to Spa for 2017, I'll take care of the regular catering stuff.

Re: Donington International 1st Oct 2016

Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 4:55 pm
by erictharg
Thanks guys. I think a return to Spa is well overdue Jack. All being well the Summer Classic. Looking to go below 3:00 lap. About to start on the rear discs. Then the engine. And this time hopefully done before New Year rather than last minute!