The year begun
by taking my race instructor course at Brands Hatch. A good
experience, with a mixture of theory exam (similar to the
ARDS race license exam), practicalities of being an
instructor and plenty of passengering and driving alongside
an instructor. The five of us all learnt we passed at the
end of the day receiving good feedback on our driving and
instructing abilities. The probationary C license allows me
to instruct newcomers on experience days when working for a
race school. I will continue to take private bookings to
help instruct individuals when requested on trackdays.
This year I have
had a year away from racing, going back to having fun on
trackdays, instructing individuals and saving money for our
Submitted a photo I took which was used
for the Lotus Seven Club magazine in April, pretty pleased
with it. I then wrote an article the following month about
how I took the shot.
Caterham over to Belgium for an enjoyable trackday at the
former Belgian GP circuit of Zolder, then spent a couple of
days at the Nurburgring before a tourist day looking around
Bruges. The car was faultless and Beth and I had a great
time. Zolder reminds me of Oulton Park with elevation
changes and a mix of fast and slow corners through the
trees. Stayed at hotel ‘de pits’ which overlooks the start
line and pitlane, I recommend it with comfortable rooms,
views and good food.
a bit of competitive fun again with the FCCUK. Needed to
maintain my title of fastest car of the day (the Caterham
does give me a BIG advantage!) but the weather was going to
make that difficult. You can see from the video that it was
very slippery but fun, in the end I took a joint win with
two other cars, all of us posting times within one second of
The Celica was
taken out a few times, posting a time only three seconds
slower than the Caterhams in the wet conditions. Onlookers
believed the car was rear wheel drive the back end was out
so frequently, great fun!
I have always raced with the headlights attached, whilst
many Caterhams race without them as they are unnecessary
weight and drag. They are very difficult for me to remove,
so I bought and fitted a number of water resistant
www.polevolt.co.uk, now I just need to loosen four
bolts, disconnect the electrical connectors and that's it,
the lights are off.
brilliant days at the Supercar event at Dunsfold (formerly
known as Dads Day Out) where Elizabeth and I took paying
members of the public out for slalom/drifting rides in the
Caterham. The event raised a lot of money for charity and we
look forward to helping again next year.
Another visit to
Curborough for some fun with the FCCUK (great community) and
a fastest time of the day. Had great fun taking passengers
out, seeing their glasses fly off under braking force
achieved at the end of the straight! Drove a couple of other
cars, posting a fast time which took a while for the owner
One of many trackdays this year
included this charity trackday at Castle Combe. A very
slippery, wet track but good fun and a useful excercise in
trying different lines to find the grip. A pity the sound is
awful but I was using the waterproof Kodak Playsport which
doesn't have the option of an external microphone.
Now a married
man (a brilliant day, I’m a lucky and happy man), I can save
up for next season, intending to race in the cscc
Magnificent Sevens series in class A (Upto 1700cc under
speaking to Dave Andrews at DVA Power through the year and
have now booked in for an engine re-build. The aim is to fit
the Supersport cams and solid lifters from my old 1400
engine as well as stronger ‘trophy’ pistons, this should
give me a little more torque and a stronger, safer engine at
The engine didn't want to come out without a fight, this is
the result of my amateurish mistake of having my face too
close when undoing a dry sump nut with a spanner!
My nose took the brunt of the force, saving what could have
been a nasty eye injury. Looks like I'm going to be left
with a permanent reminder of the Caterham for some years
afterwards! Still, we managed to get the engine out of the
car in just a few hours despite the injury and blood, and
delivered it to DVA Power at Milton Keynes. Here is one of
the Trophy pistons being weighed to check all four rods and
pistons are matched.
A head being ported at DVA
After Christmas we collected the engine from DVA Power,
looking shiny and new after a thorough clean and overhaul.
Well worth the money paid, in fact it has possibly saved me
money as Dave Andrews discovered that two of the valves
would have failed in the distant future and the dry sump tensioner
bearing was dry. A number of fixings have been replaced and
the porting has been further improved including matching the
ports to the inlet manifold. The engine now has the old EU2
cam cover, partly as I prefer its appearance and partly as
it keeps a bit of the 1400 original engine in the car for
Dave replaced the weighty and redundant front engine mount
with a simple alloy cover.
Whilst the engine is out I am taking the opportunity to
carry out a few improvements.
- Starter relay modification as starting has become an
intermittent problem with 'K click'
- Wiring up the radiator cooling fan to the Emerald ECU
- Protecting the starter motor from radiant heat from the
exhaust primaries with a heat blanket
- Replace the dry sump tensioner as Dave reported the
bearing a little rough.
- Fit an accurate oil pressure gauge from Think Automotive
to replace the standard electronic sender and gauge.