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........