Sunday, 27 March 2011

Kames test day

Took the racingPug down to Kames today for another shakedown before the season starts proper. It's still leaking oil so I guess the dipstick was not the cause of the problem. However, its no worse than last time so I'll just have to live with it for now.

Took the video camera and managed to get some footage from the afternoon. Times seem to be in the 104 secs which is almoast exactly on a par with the racingMetro but slower than I had hoped. I guess that 84bhp is really not enough regardless of how much weight you lose!

I tried out the slick tyres which was a laugh but I need to get them on proper wheels as the Roland Garros wheels run on the wheelarch without spacers.

I've uploaded some footage to youtube to show how similar the Metro and Pug times are. Metro on the left and Pug on the right:

Friday, 25 March 2011

Battery fitted


I spent an hour or so replacing the very heavy battery with a tiny sealed Odyssey racing battery tonight. I wasn't sure where best to mount it but after much faffing around, I decided to bolt it to the floor on the passenger side. Since its a sealed battery, it can lie flat and doesn't need to be in a battery box. I'll probably leave the battery box in place though so I can put a standard battery back in.


I've also managed to get a set of slick tyres courtesy of the extreme generosity of fellow B1 competitor, Mike Hunter. I had a nice run down to Mike's place in the borders yesterday to pick them up and my friendly tyre fitting them should have them back to me, on the Roland Garros alloys, tomorrow afternoon. Turns out that you can see our old house from Mike's kitchen window. It really is a small world!

I just need to have a go at setting up the gazebo and I'll be all ready for the test day at Kames on Sunday.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Niggle No.2 fixed (hopefully)

Rummaging around the spares in the garage I came across a spare brake reservoir, master cylinder and servo unit for the Metro. Hmmm. 30 seconds later and the cap was fitted to the Peugeot - hopefully that will fix the leaking cap.

I spemt an hour tidying up the front end of the Peugeot on Saturday - painted the grill matt black, replaced some bolts and tied up some loose cables.

Funds are tight so I'm going to re-paint the bonnet black. It'll do while I save for a GRP bonnet. Hopefully I'll get it done before the weekend.

I've started thinking about tyres. The Pug has well worn Yoko A048s fitted but they're 185 x 60 profile. I have lots of Kumho V70s in 175 x 60 sitting around and I plan to get a set of those on the spare Pug alloys. However, I can't decide whether to splash on a couple of 175 x 50 Yokos (which would improve the gearing by 8%) or really splash out on a set of slicks....... funds are tight, remember.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Niggle no.1 resolved

At Kames, I noticed a small oil drip when I came back in after each run. Initially I thought it was coming from the filter but I quickly narrowed it down to oil coming out the top of the dipstick (which didn't seal) and running down the tube. So, a new dipstick arrived today and hopefully that will solve the problem.

Tasks still to do -
Next niggle is the brake fluid reservoir - the seal has perished.
Then there is the exhaust backbox - one of the hangers fell off at Kames.
Still got the Odyssey battery to fit (weight saving).
Remove all the lights and wiring (weight saving).
Get GRP bonnet and fit (weight saving).
Fit steering wheel and shift light from Metro (racing car coolness).
Put together gazebo and do a trial run of putting it up (keep me dry).
Buy a car cover (keep the car dry).

Oh well, that little lot will keep me busy.......

Monday, 14 March 2011

racingPug - First Drive

I managed to fix the previously reported cooling system problem on the racingPug with a new valve cap and some PTFE tape. A quick bleed of the system and it was running fine so I loaded it on the trailer ready for some pre-season testing at the weekend.

I woke on Saturday morning to an inch of snow and decided not to risk the 50 mile trip but Sunday turned out fine and all the snow was gone so off to Kames it was.

First task on arrival was to get a Competition Car Log Book (CCLB) sorted out. This is my first foray away from standard road-going cars and whilst the Pug has an MOT and could be insured and taxed to run in a road legal condition, that would cost me around £200 for the season and would limit some modifications. So, the CCLB avoids the need for MOT, tax and insurance and only costs £34.

The car was checked over by the scrutineer, who gave particular attention to the roll cage, battery installation, seat, belts and ignition cut-off. Fortunately, everything was in order so the CCLB could be issued.

After that, it was a tentative first run out on track. I say tetative because this was the very first time I had driven the car and I was aware that it had been sitting for a number of months so things like brakes might be seized.

Anyway, the first run went well - I was immediately impressed by the very sharp turn-in - by far the most responsive car I've ever driven. The pay-off for the sharp turn in is the twitchy rear end. It could be a bit of a handful in the wet!

There was another Peugeot 205 there - a nice wee 1.6 GTi. The driver spoke to me and I explained that it was my first outing. He was keen to point out that the 205s demand some respect and are very prone to lift-off oversteer. I thought I'd have a go and lifted mid corner in the hairpin. As he predicted, the car snapped round but I caught it and it proved to be quite an effective method of getting round the corner. Its definitely something to watch out for though. The sting in the tale is that the GTi driver subsequently crashed into the tyrewall and roll the car causing considerabe damage!

That was the first of two roll-overs on the day. I've never actually witnessed a roll-over in action but to see two in one day (and a test at that) was quite sobering. Fortunately, none of the drivers involved was seriously hurt - testament to good rollover protection. I'm certainly glad the Pug has a substantial roll-cage and it has become an absolute necessity for the Metro before I take it back on track.

Anyway, all that has made my mind up. I am campaigning the Pug in 2011 and have entered the Scottish Championships and the Wigton Cross Border Speed Championship.

First event is on 9 April at Kames and I cannot wait. Not long now........

Sunday, 6 March 2011

racingMetro on the Rolling Road


Today I took the racingMetro to a Wigton Motor Club organised rolling road day at JDM, near Carlisle. I was supposed to take the Peugeot but when I started it up yesterday to put it on the trailer, it started leaking coolant and it was clear that the cooling system was pressurised as the expansion tank filled up. Further inspection revealed a split bleed valve. I hope it's just sucking in some air and not something more serious but I didn't have time to fix it so I popped the Metro on the trailer instead.

James and I set off at around 8.15am for the journey down to Carlisle. When we arrived, there was a diesel Citroen being abused on the rollers. Turned out it was Peter Garforth (who had organised the day), getting his towcar chipped.

We set about getting the car unloaded whilst the other cars got tested in turn. There was a lovely old Lotus Cortina which made about 110bhp, Peter Keen had a wee mg Midget with a mini A-series engine on a big Weber carb. I never saw what power it made but it sounded good. Dave 'the destroyer' Exton brought his MR-2 and seemed surprised when it made 169bhp - only 1 short of what it had when it left the factory 20 years ago.

My turn came round and I warmed up the Metro before driving, with some trepidation, on to the rollers. The guy asked if it had any engine work and commented that you don't see many of these anymore. Anyway, first run and the car sounded sweet. Peak power was 114bhp. Second run and it made 116bhp at 5770rpm. It was about 10bhp more than I expected so I was well pleased.

Thanks to Peter for organising the day and it certainly got me thinking I should get the Metro sorted sooner rather than later......

The dyno graph