Sunday, 19 October 2008

Winter planning commences

At this time of year my thoughts turn to what I can do to go faster next season. I've had some wild and crazy ideas - some of which are pure fantasy - some of which might make it to fruition.

First thought was to sell my current MX-5 and buy another one. My idea was to buy a 1998 RS-spec Roadster (Japanese market Mx-5) as the spec includes a 6-speed box, torsen LSD and bilstein dampers. There's a guy selling a white one (the new black!) on Pistonheads right now for £3300 and he's just along the road from me.......

Second thought was to go to 'the dark side' - Forced Induction. This is the cheapest way to get some serious power in an MX-5. For around £4,000 I could have around 220bhp...........

Trouble with both these options is I would need a belly load of cash and with the 'credit crunch' biting, I don't have much. So......

I got thinking about weight reduction. My car was corner-weighted in April and weighed in at an elephantine 1148kg with half a tank fuel and me in it! So, I have come up with the following weight reduction plan:

1. Remove the soft-top and frame (save around 25-30kg)
2. Fit a motorcycle battery (save around 5kg)
3. Replace steering wheel and remove passenger airbag (Save around 2-3kg)
4. Remove radio, speakers and aerial (about 2kg)
5. Lighten bonnet and boot lid (2-5kg)
6. Lighten front and rear bumper mountings (1-2kg)
7. Remove power steering (3-5kg)

The first item will leave me cold and wet but I had planned on getting a removable hard-top to keep me dry.

So, If I go through with it all, I could get the kerb weight down to about 975kg. That would give me a whopping power to weight ratio of 144 bhp/tonne! Should be enough to beat a 205 Rallye ;-)

If I do all that and find another £4,000 for my 220bhp, I'd have nearly 230bhp/tonne - that's in Lotus Exige territory !!!!!

Friday, 10 October 2008

Champion again !!

I just got the results for the Windowcraft Lowland Speed Championship and I managed to bag first place in Class A8 (Marque Road Sports Cars)!

This is a real bonus for me which I wasn't expecting as I had focused on the Northern Speed Championship this season.

So, I'm a double champ this season!

Monday, 6 October 2008

Champion !

Final round of the TJ Services Northern Speed Championship went without a hitch and despite being slow enough to only be 4th in class on the day, I got my 25 points and finish the season as Class R2 Winner!

The pleasure of winning is quickly replaced by the dread of having no motorsport over the winter. I might have to take up production car trials for a laugh.

Thoughts start turning to next year. Should I stick with the Mazda, should I bolt on that supercharger, should I buy a Westfield, should I buy a Peugeot 205, should I quit while I'm ahead? Answers on a postcard (unless you're selling a Peugeot 205)........

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Kames Charity Sprint


Just back from a very wet and dreary Kames where EACC had organised a Charity Sprint for the first time in a few years.

Not many souls braved the atrocious weather but even so, it looks like they raised a fair amount for the Cash for Kids appeal.

There was only one other competitor in my class - Alastair Matheson - who normally drives a TVR Griffith. Unfortunately, he had some oil pressure problems and had to turn out his other car - a lovely old Porsche 944 S2. With the relentless wet weather, it was probably just as well he didn't bring the TVR!


This was my first competitive outing on the Marangonis and I have to say I was a bit worried given the reports on their wet weather performance.

My first run was a very tentative 117secs. The Porsche did 117 too.

Second run I managed 113secs and the porsche did too! I decided to make some adjustments to the suspension (soften it up). Worked a treat! I managed 109secs on my first timed run - Porsche managed 114secs. I knew he had too much to do at that stage

Final run and the rain got a bit heavier again - I posted 111secs and the Porsche managed 112secs.

So, a class win in the rain, on Marangonis and I beat my previous best wet time!

Looking forward to tomorrow now!