Northampton open

The past weekend saw #262 at Northampton for an Incarace Open meeting – the team very much looking forward to trying the new front brakes for the first time… which had caused us considerable problems in the lead up to this meeting as we found our old wheels would not actually fit over the new brakes. Even after moving the callipers further in onto the brake disc to create more space for the wheel it was still a job finding wheels that would fit but we managed it in the end!

Work underway on #262 to change the diff before race 1
So, out on track for practice then and Brian complained of a lack of drive out of the corners as a result of a pretty slack rear diff. Fortunately we’re getting more prepared these days and the spare diff (set much tighter) was fitted to the car in quick time. All was going well until we went to refit the left hand half shaft which we discovered had a broken bearing, unfortunately we don’t seem to be prepared enough to carry spare half shafts! Dave Fry came to the rescue, lending us one of his spares, the team finding it highly amusing that we had to borrow spares from the Classic Hot Rod drivers!

All was ready in plenty of time for race 1, at least we thought it was but the car refused to move from the pits. It was clear something was jammed, and after some serious head scratching it turned out to be the half shaft we had borrowed which was causing all the problems. After replacing it with one borrowed from #719 Lee Rogers all was well and the car was ready for race 2.

Karl checks the tyre pressures
From the back of the 16 car grid #262 soon moved up the order, eventually finishing in 5th place behind the special Honda Civic ‘W.E’ (That’s Wide Edition’) of Lee Rogers 😉 Brian again started the final from the rear of the grid and after a slow start (2nd gear off the line never helps!) was soon moving through the field until an incident with the #27 Puma brought out the pace car and #27 spun across the front of #262, dropping #262 back a place and leaving #27 stuck in the middle of the track. Once the track was cleared and the race was underway Brian made up a few more spots but had to settle for 6th when he began to lose the brakes.

#277 Andrew Burgess took a hat-trick of wins throughout the day. With no grid systems at these open meetings the drivers in effect just start the race how they roll out onto the track. Most of the other drivers put themselves into a fairly accurate speed order with the fastest drivers towards the back, a lot of the people watching thought it was pretty poor for a National driver to start on pole all day though. Got to agree with them, surely it is time we had a grid system for these popular meetings.

Certainly a few problems this meeting then but the car was looking good with its new brakes up until that problem late in the final. We believe the loss of brakes was caused by the impact in the left front wheel during the final, the same problem we encountered at Ipswich back in July so we’ll be taking a close look at that and changing some parts in the front left suspension to prevent it happening again. Other than sorting out that problem and the obligatory tidy-up of the bodywork we’re all set for the ‘Best in Britain’ meeting at Wimbledon on November 26th, see you there.

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