Last time I posted here was in the aftermath of the somewhat wet Gurston British Championship round – nil points. The death of my father a little while after that pretty much interrupted most things, but life goes on.
I had one more outing in the Van-Diemen in 2018. Things started well at the HSA season closer at Curborough. After practice I wasn’t at the sharp end, but wasn’t last either. So things were looking good. Coming up to the line I noticed that there was a distinct two phase nature to the throttle closing – it had a sort of dwell at about 2500 rpm. (I’m sure you are ahead of me here!) I was really happy with my first run up until the last time round the Fradley Loop. The car just seemed to carry on straight after I took my foot off the brake. And then on into the ditch. All I could think was “I hope I got the simulation of the crash structure right”, although the actual impact with the bank didn’t actually trouble it. It’s a bit dramatic to say the throttle stuck open, but it almost certainly had stuck at around 2500. Discretion being the better part of valour and all that I gave up and went home. Nil points again and a pretty hopeless position in the HSA championship. And I’ve just noticed whilst posting the pictures that it was the first time out in my new Piers Dowell helmet livery.
The RF84 is now in the garage and I’ve made a list of the jobs that need doing before next season. One of the jobs was obviously to check the throttle return. When operated at the carb end it snaps shut, operate it from the pedal, and you’ve guessed it, there’s a big dwell at what must be 2500rpm. The cable is coming out over the Christmas break.
I’ve also started the design work on my F750, and now even own an engine and gearbox. I’ll post on that later, but here’s a picture to be going on with.
One of the things that has struck me recently is that 4 minutes in the seat every couple of weeks over the summer isn’t enough to learn to drive. So what I needed was something to drive on track days, practice sessions and the odd hillclimb when not chasing HSA FF points. Even though I once threatened to walk out of a meeting there (another story for another time) Radicals have always appealed. For reasons I won’t go into here, a nice looking SR1 up for sale on Race-cars direct became a distinct possibility, and to cut a long story short it’s now mine. 1400 Sports Libre at Gurston in 2019?? And you never know – I might get my ARDS in 2019 – but that’s what I said this time last year.
So 2018 was my first season running a proper racing car. What have I learned?
- That it was as much fun as I thought it would be.
- That the FF people on the hills are a great bunch.
- That I need to do a lot of work on my driving.
- That I’ve got lots to learn about racing cars.
So that just about rounds off 2018. Enormous thanks to Jo White; without whom literally none of this would have happened, and thanks to everyone who helped or came to watch. It was a blast. See you all in 2019.