Again limited progress on the RF84. I did pop rivet the name plate to the firewall, the importance of which is almost purely symbolic. The gearbox is off at MBR and the front suspension and pedals still at URS. Pressing the bearings out of the front uprights is still a work in progress. Finding a time that is convenient for everyone involved with the press is proving a bit difficult – so a 20% off offer on a 10 tonne press at Machine Mart will have to be bought into play this weekend.
Recently I’ve had a bit of work done on the Panda. I’ve probably mentioned the Ragazzon exhaust here before, but I’ve also had a set of Columbo and Barriani cams fitted. I called C&B a little while ago and they suggested a cam profile which would give a small increase in top end whilst improving torque and driveability. So after these had been fitted by Bradleys in Shipton Under Wychwood; great job Adam and hope the finger is on the mend; getting out seemed like a really great idea. Good job I’d entered to Owen MC Graham Hill Sprint at Curborough, on the figure of 8 course. I also needed the HSA points, being stuck somewhere near the bottom of the table. (As an aside Hill is probably the first racing driver I can remember being aware of.)
On the morning of the event I woke to possibly the worst cold I’ve had in years; tempted not to go I instead starting consuming industrial quantities of Lemsip Max and got in the car. As you’d expect when there isn’t a single raindrop on the weather apps it started pouring just before my run. 90s was a pretty terrible time, but I wasn’t exactly 100%. Second run – still wet and I managed to knock off about 5s and put in a respectable time. The combination of exhaust, air inlet and cams seemed to have transformed the car. Still a 100hp Panda (now up to around 113hp if the Bradleys Dyno is any judge of these things) but now one with a motor which revs cleanly and enthusiastically, and sounds the part too. The people at C&B had been spot on. By my timed run the track was almost dry, so I could go for it a bit more. Upshot: 8/10’s off my dry track PB, and with a stinking cold. When the rain started again I abadonded any ideas of a final run – I’ve thrown it away at Curborough in the wet before. I was more than happy with the time, but much happier when I saw the number of HSA points that I’d scored later in the week. From the foot to the middle of the table in one event!! 3 more HSA events should improve the table position some more by the end of the year. I might even consider others, depending how class A1 looks just before they hand out trophies..