Saturday, February 28, 2009

7 days to rock

7 days from now and we are loading the car onto the trailer and setting off for the Roskirk Stages - great stuff!

I even vacuumed the car out today, made sure the "roof-lining" was OK and have been cleaning up the seat squabs.

Bryce came round and I gave him his service crew kit - yes, I have even got a bit of kit together for the service crew.

That's all for now tho as this weekend it's away for an overnight - nothing to do with rallying but everything to do with Mrs R's birthday!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Some analysis

A chat with one of the service crew (you know who you are!) made me think about what is most likely to go wrong with the car and, therefore, what spares we should take.

So I have looked at the retirements from a tarmac stage rally up here this weekend (the North West Stages), then I added the info I have on when I have retired the Mini back in the 80s on raod rallies.

That got me thinking so I added info from last year's Jim Clark rally (closed roads) and then finally I added in the retirements of the works Dolomite Sprints and TR7 16Vs on tarmac rallies.

What did all that tell me?

Well, here's the results

Transmission 19
Engine 17
Accident 14
Suspension 7
Electrics 3
Tyres 2
Brakes 1
Grand Total 63

So that means I need lots of spares for transmissions then? Gearbox, clutch, propshaft, half shafts etc- just what I am not planning to take! Time for a rethink then?

Well, I then took a look at the reasons for the Triumph retirements (none of them mine!).

Engine 5
Accident 2
Transmission 2
Brakes 1
Grand Total 10

OK - so it's the engine that's the biggest problem then which is what I have all the spares for! To be fair though there's no way we'd be changing a clutch or gearbox anyway on a multi use event.

What about the retirements when I have been driving?

Engine 2
Accident 1
Grand Total 3

OK - engine again then and accidents go with the territory.

Looking back at it though - I think I probably have never had a powerful enough car to give transmissions much of a problem and the works 16V cars used the transmission designed for the V8 as am I so it should be on top of the job really.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Team Manager mode

Two weeks today at this time I am expecting BRP will be in a trailer, lots of spares and tools will be loaded and we are all on the way to our hotel - cool eh!

So this week it's been about bringing it all together.

I collected nearly £400 worth of spares from who are helping out on a sale or return basis. Hopefully I won't need any of them on the day but I have realised that they will certainly end up selling me the two front wheel bearing kits because I'll be using them when I build up the group 4 brakes.

Next I have been on the phone to fellow Club Triumph member Mik Davis who not only races a Spitfire but also has a van and trailer. He has agreed to transport the car and spares etc as well as act as part of the service crew if his van is sorted in time which it looks like it will be.

Bryce will be coming along as service crew so we'll be a full Club Triumph team - let's list us all eh!

Martin Randle Driver
Sarah Johnson Co-driver
Berekeley Johnson Service crew
Mik Davis Service crew
Bryce Greenwood Service crew

I checked with the hotel this week too and we will be fine with parking the van, trailer, rally car and other car etc.

Meanwhile, Sarah is helping out on a stage rally at Manby today with the aim of learning co-driver/rally organiser stuff.

This afternoon I have been looking over BRP again and doing yet more little bits of tidying. The kind of things that are not essential and could be left if time was the problem but if they are done should make a difference.

The holes in the front panel where the Cibie steady bars mount are now plugged with white plastic number plate bolts. This was an idea that came to me during the week and seems 89P well spent!

Two pairs of sunglasses have gone into the car too - again a small thing but if needed they could make a big difference.

Then there's the "roof lining" to cover the bare metal and save the helmets from scratches. I had another big idea for this which seems to have worked but it's going to be a secret which will only be revealed if you are actually in the car!

Oh and then - wash the car, leather it off and touch up some paint chips. Again not strictly necessary but anything that helps preserve the car saves me money which could get in the way of entering the Manx - not what I want to happen.

After this I applied some period Michelin stickers I have been saving for 10 years or more. Only fair I reckon as Michelin are my employers and it's my wages that are where the funding comes from.

As well as all that I am after some team clothing for both the car crew and the service crew - all will be revealed if it happens.

There's alot to this rallying lark you know.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Trying to be clever

The Roskirk Stages are in 3 weeks now so I am still doing a bit each week.

The thing is though, the car feels "good to go" so I intend leaving well alone.

That doesn't mean there isn't some thinking to do tho. The fuel tank should have been pretty low by now (fuel gauge has stopped working properly!) so the car needed fuel. Fill it up then?

Well, a full tank is 12 gallons and that's alot of weight to be pulling around. The Roskirk Stages is only 26 competitve miles so at 10MPG (!) that's only just over 2 1/2 gallons needed. Add a bit for a little running about meant I put just 15 litres in today which is just over 3 gallons.

I'll be taking the jerry can full too but this way we start with 9 gallons less fuel load than a full tank which must work out to some time saved.

Then on the day I'll be running with no spare wheel and jack etc if the regs allow. If I get a puncture I'll drive the car out on the rim. More weight saved.

As I said above - "on the day" so I don't need those Cibies do I? They have come off today too saving a bit more weight and anyway, if we hit a few cones they could get damaged. It's a shame as I love the way the car looks with them on but I might as well try and be a bit more professional.

Oh - and a tip from a work colleague. I have tank taped the intercom leads to the left hand shoulder strap of the harnesses so three's no messing about trying to find them.

Finally I finished off with filling 3 of the ammunition boxes with spares and labelling them up.

Next week? Well time to wash and clean the car I reckon plus another tip needs to be followed up - sticking some material on the roof lining to protect the helmets from scratches.

I have a cunning plan for this but I'll keep that to myself so that is it is a surprise to all (including Sarah!)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fannying about? No way!

Latest additions - ammunition boxes to carry spares, proper jerry can for fuel and the FIA spec race boots as mentioned in the previous post.

Certainly not fannying about!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Put the boot in

I don't actually need race boots as they are only "recommended" for national events but I know the way this is all going, recommended now means mandatory FIA spec soon!

When I have all the other stuff anyway it seems a bit daft not to get them - three is a warning note from the MSA not to buy plastic type shoes ie trainers anyway.

The thing is, they seem to be about £140+ for a pair which is a bit of a shock but then I remembered something from one of the forums I frequent.

It had been said a company called Rally Design (who I bought the wheel studs from) aren't into this kind of stuff but had some odds and ends knocking around.

So, I checked out their website and they had only 2 pairs left which were both in my size. I snapped up ones like those in the pics but in red and with the FIA 2000 spec for £54 including VAT & posting.

What a result!

So, I am fully kitted out now and one less thing to worry about.

BTW - note to self, the group 4 disc assemblies are upstairs in the loft and the studs/wheel nuts are in the draw of the tall cabinet in the garage!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Studs & nuts!

If Martin Knapp is reading this - here's proof I take notice!

Having collected the "bells" for the Group 4 discs from Martin last week I checked on something he had said to me previously - scrutineers like to see evidence of alot of thread from the wheel studs through the wheel nuts.

All fair enough as that's what's holding the wheels on!

The solution is longer wheel studs and "open" wheel nuts so that's what I got.

I fitted them to spare hubs I have but in the picture you can see the difference between standard and longer 63mm studs. I have put a wheel nut on each to it's full depth and as you can see from the standard nut there's not alot of room left for the wheel!

Moving on from this I have assembled the "Group 4" discs and hubs as I intend to push on with this after the Roskirk Stages and get the Hictoric Vehicle Document I will need to enter the Jim Clark Historic rally!

Anyway, more of that later but here's a complete assembly.