21 October 2009

Rallycross at Mallory Park

Sunday was the final of the British Rallycross Championship at Mallory Park. For me, Rallycross is probably the best spectator motorsport around - you have some of the fastest cars with MSA logbooks battling it out on a short course that's made up of both tarmac and gravel. What's not to like?!

Supercars are where it's at: 4wd 2.0 turbo cars like the WRC, but with 45mm restrictors instead of 34mm. The top flight push around 550bhp, which makes for good watching as they run full slicks despite the gravel sections. These things outrun Formula 1 cars up to about 80mph!

Supermodifieds are also great to watch. Naturally aspirated 2wd machines, they sound as awesome as you'd expect and put in lap times not far off the supercars. And seeing as some of them are rear wheel drive, you just know it's going to be entertaining.

I didn't really take many photos, just a couple of Pat Doran's engine and a few car park wants. Got a few videos on my cheapo camera, but the battery was failing so didn't film any of the stock hatch or junior races.

It was fantastic as usual, more videos here if you want to check them out

16 October 2009

Induction Hammer

Snapped this quickly earlier when I was filling the expansion tank

12 October 2009

Elise Trophy

On Saturday I headed down to Silverstone for my friend Stu's first race day. He bought a Lotus Elise 111S to compete in the production class of the Lotus on Track Elise Trophy, and after more than his fair share of trouble finally got to head out on circuit.

One of the great things about race meetings is looking round the car parks! Generally, it's mostly car enthusiasts that go, which means some sweet rides parked outside. It's also mainly car enthusiasts who race, so the paddocks usually have a certain amount of unobtainable metal, so there's always something to gawp at.

Like with most one-make series, the racing is good in the Elise Trophy, plenty going on all through the field, and all sorts out there from the famous, to the talented, to the rich, to the not-so-talented.

Queuing up in the pits, waiting for the GTs to come back in:

Certainly looks the part, and does the job:

Surprised I managed to get such a good race photo with my lame phone. I was only in on a normal public ticket, and could watch from the pit wall! If that's not worth a measly 10 quid, I don't know what is.

Check out Stu's blog documenting his path from seasoned trackday veteran to fully fledged competitive racing driver. Don't let the title fool you: Back Row Racing

5 October 2009

Mazda on Track

So on Friday me and Ash ratchet strapped a couple of shit wheels to the MX5 and headed down to an airfield day. Student-budget-friendly as it was the first time running at a new venue, I bagged a place and since missing out on a Ring trip with the prolonged gaying about on the car, this became the target date to get it sorted.

We rocked up and got signed on, did the safety briefing and then a couple of sighting laps. These were more useful than normal as it's not a massive area and from the start line it's hard to make out where the course goes. Some people still managed to get lost during the day though!

I've done a day run by Mazda on Track before - I know a couple of the guys involved, one being the previous owner of the MX5 - and it was great fun. Only times I've seen where the safety briefings encourage everyone to be "flamboyant". Big fat thumbs up in my book.

Most people started off driving normally, but we had brought shit tyres with us for a reason!

Even though it's a 'Mazda on Track' event, anything and everything is allowed, so it's awesome to have a bit of variety instead of endless bloody MX5s!

The Beemer is cool as hell. I recognised it from the Bovington charity trackday, although I couldn't figure where at the time. I'd love an M Coupe!

My car was holding up really well:

There was more cool stuff lurking, Al's yellow PS13 and Oli's sweet 260Z weren't running, but Father Clark's Fisher Fury certainly was, and quickly too!

Josh was giving his 205 absolute death, most commitment of anyone there I reckon. Bloody entertaining aswell!

And it didn't take long for almost everyone with RWD to start making full use of the loud pedal.

Quite a few sets of tyres were dead by the end of the afternoon, but well worth the effort. It was a pretty chilled day and everyone had a good laugh!

3 October 2009

Emerald Mapping

So after hectic preparations, the MX5 made the 3 hour trip to Emerald under it's own lack-of-power on Wednesday. Shit journey, turns out the throttle pot on the bodies was fried, so once we swapped that for a new one and rewired the loom it was good to go.

I'm not normally fussed about sticking cars on the dyno, but I'd changed quite a bit on this without testing it beforehand so was hoping it would be fine. Turns out the only problem was with the fuel tank vent spitting a bit of fuel out, must have been getting hot or something as all the airflow was going through the bumper mouth.

Drives smooth as you like now, throttle response is immense of course and it does sound good. It's a bit ricer as I had to lose a silencer to add a flex section to the exhaust, but I can live with it. Dave Walker is a bit of a hero in the UK and rightfully so, I've driven a few cars he's mapped and they were all fantastic so I'm happy mine is as good now. I'm being robbed of some top end by my shite inlet manifold, the ports are much smaller than those in the head and above 6000rpm it's strangling the engine a bit, I'm probably 10bhp down on what I should be. But I'm fucking broke, so for now I can't do anything about it!