It might be the off season and it might be nearly Christmas but it’s still all go at Loram Racing HQ (or the previously burnt down shed from when the rats chewed through the wiring and burnt the whole place down!)
Nice to see the old girl again!
Firstly (and most importantly) Brian has really been cracking on with the Tigra over the past few months and it’s starting to come together now. It’s got a completely new rear end (from the roll hoop back) as well as new front suspension and rather trick steering. Brian and Ross are currently arguing over where to fit the fuel tank (with Brian maintaining they’re just downright dangerous things and it’d be safer to just not fit one!) Once that argument is settled it shouldn’t be too long before the car is all together for it’s ‘dry-build’ It’ll then be a case of breaking it down, spraying, and final assembly. Don’t get excited though, we can’t see the car being ready for the start of the 2013 season but all being well expect to see Ross and the Tigra reunited out on track during the middle of next season. Watch out everyone!
New rear end
Over in the other side of the garage Ross’ 206 is up on the ramp, all covered up and hibernating over the winter. We plan to wake her up around February time for a pre-season test / shake the cobwebs off the driver day, before the start of next season. After our gearbox problems at Rockingham, Sean at the Exeter Gearbox Centre has been well on the case, stripping the box and discovering that the new Quaife steel baulk rings that had been fitted for Rockingham had basically chewed up the main gears! A quick telephone call to Quaife and they weren’t at all surprised to hear of the problem (‘that always happens’) but they thankfully agreed to take back the baulk rings, although quite what the point is in manufacturing something when you only expect it to chew up the next part along is baffling. SO, Sean has rebuilt the gearbox with new main gears and original Ford baulk rings so it’s now back as it was for the start of 2011 when it was nearly faultless all year. Brian however is still to be heard muttering the term ‘dog box’ under his breath…. It’s worth pointing out however that a good Dog Box costs over £4000, or to put it another way, probably our entire yearly racing budget!
I can fly!!!
As if that wasn’t enough to be getting on with, Ross has been busy in the back of the garage with the fibreglass and his new moulds. After banging on for many years about ‘how someone needs to make a good reasonably priced simulator for pc and console racing games’ he’s finally bit the bullet and decided to make one himself. When a set of moulds for a rather beautiful early 2000’s F1 car appeared on Ebay back in the summer he could resist no longer so after a trip to Hull and back he was the proud owner of a set of moulds….which didn’t fit in the aforementioned burnt down old shed! Not be be beaten, the dividing wall down the centre of the garage (wall is perhaps a slightly grand term actually, ‘chipboard’ would be more accurate) has been ripped out to allow room to fit all the moulds together.
Either Ross has just made a half car simlulator or that was a terrible crash!
With this done the first two F1 style ‘half car’ simulators have been pulled out of the mould. Cue much excitement in the garage and the closest we’ll ever get to a real F1 car! With the basic shell complete the next jobs were the fiddly construction of a comfortable seat and the mounting of the steering wheel and pedals for the simulator. Getting everything in and adjustable enough to accommodate everyone from kids to the more generously proportioned adults has been slightly tricky but the first one is almost ready for testing, now that’s the sort of jobs we like!
That’s about it for this update then. Hopefully we’ll still be here in the new year, at the moment the weather is doing it’s best to flood most of the south west, hence our rather sad flood prevention measures which you can see in the picture above!