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Another Clio 182 Track Car



Andropidis

ClioSport Club Member
Welcome to another 182 track car thread.

At the beginning of the year, myself and a friend decided to go halves on a track car. We both wanted to get into track days but neither had a car we were willing to use (he was worried about crashing his, mine was likely to fall apart).

We ended up buying a 182 with 125K on the clock, both bumpers pretty marked up, a smashed fog light and a pretty melted steering wheel. Good points were it drove straight, didn't have any major damage and had a set of 15” 2118's fitted. Apart from a Scorpion RS192 catback, the car was mod-free.

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While driving the car home I noticed that when you brake or indicate the dashboard lights up. Upon investigation, there must have been aftermarket rear lights fitted at some point, as all the wires have been cut and resoldered. I suspect this is where the issue is so will cut and resolder all the wires. All the bulbs are working so it's low on the priority list.

First jobs were new discs and pads all round and get the cambelt changed. I changed the discs and pads myself, all straight forward. Pleased to confirm that the car has the cup suspension with 60mm hub bolt spacing. The cambelt was changed by Mike @ Rentech. Brilliant job, he deserves all the good praise he gets on here.

With everything seeming to be running well, having already compiled a list was mods we wanted, we decided the best thing to do was get it on the track and see what needs upgrading.

We booked Lydden Hill for the end of March for a shakedown. Sighting laps completed without issue and we went out for our first session. I was slowly growing in confidence and increasing my pace. The handling of these cars really do live up to the hype. 5 laps in however, things began to unravel. Under hard cornering there was an odd sound, initially it sounded like something scraping. I suspected a wheel arch liner had come loose so pulled into the paddock to have a look. Couldn't see anything obviously wrong so opened the bonnet. Power steering fluid everywhere. Couldn't see an obvious split in any of the pipes so no chance of patching it up. That was our day done.

After getting the car home, we decided to convert to EPAS. Main reason for this was we hadn't found the origin of the leak, and didn't want to fix the current issue, just for the next part of the system to fail. We also didn't want to run without PAS as we plan to keep the car road legal. After researching options to do this, we decided to loop and plug the original rack. The plan was to loose the AC at the same time and run the cup alternator set up but we couldn't find anyone selling the brackets and needed the car running within 3 weeks. We ended up going for the PMS AC delete bracket and power steering delete. Expensive products but the quality is fantastic. What a horrible job this was. Getting the column in was a real struggle. Ended up taking apart what seemed like half the engine bay, and still had to cut the PAS pipes out. Got it all back together and it seemed to drive fine, warning lights were on the dash though. This turned out to be the steering angle sensor not being reset, easy fix thankfully! I'm not sure EPAS is an improvement in terms of feel and feedback. I like that it's adjustable and hopefully will prove to be more reliable.

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Next up was a track day at Donington Park. With the disappointment of Lydden Hill still fresh, we were a bit nervous about the car lasting the day. Only one way to find out though... Wow. What a track! This was my first time on a big track with some truly fast corners and I loved it. The car for the most part held up really well. The car came with Michelin PS3s fitted and they were actually very good. The left rear took the most punishment but they easily lasted the day. That was probably due to the brakes however, they were not up to the job. Within 5 laps of each stint, the brakes were cooked and we were forced to return to the pits to let them cool down. By 15:00 we had gone from pretty much new pads down to metal on metal. I guess we found what to do next!

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When we had originally changed the brakes, we had spent a fair amount of time researching what was recommended for track work. There seemed to be some people saying standard pads would be fine, other recommending some pretty expensive pads. We ended up going for Brembo pads with the thought that if they were suitable, it would be a good saving. In the end, it wasn't a wise move as not only did the pads last less than 1 full track day, the discs got scored too meaning they also had to be replaced. Lesson learnt, we got a new pair of Brembo HC disc and Ferodo DS1.11 pads from George @ RTR. Again, fantastic service and very worthy of all the positive feedback. I won't hesitate to order from George again. The new pads seemed very good after bedding them in, but they are very very noisy under road use. I wouldn't want these on a daily. The true test for these would be at CSF.

Prior to CSF, the car was due an MOT. The near side headlight was pretty badly fogged up so we had a go at restoring it so it wouldn't risk failing the MOT. It's far from perfect, but far better than before, it actually better than the off side now. Everything else seemed ok so we booked it in. The only thing that needed attention was a flickering LED number plate bulb. One thing that was noted as an advisory was "Power steering component modified, but not inappropriately".

We also picked up a set of standard wheel from another member to use on the road and if the track was wet. We decided to go for Rainsport3 tyres as they get such good reviews. I've not driven them in the wet, but I'm not very impressed with them on the road. Compared to the PS3s they make the steering seem so vague and the car just doesn't seem as planted. I guess this is to be expected when such deep tread and what seems a soft construction.

On to CSF. The 4 hour drive up in traffic, in fairly hot weather made me think maybe losing the AC wasn't such a good idea... I made it there however, keen to get out on the track the following day. A wet morning wasn't ideal but it cleared up quick enough. We had no moments in the damp conditions as we learnt the track. As the track dried, confidence grew and I got into a nice rhythm following the (extended) lunch break. The car took everything thrown at it and the brakes proved to be well worth the money. We did notice that the car seem to consume a fair bit of oil however (1 litre). A successful track day at the third attempt. I think it helped being on track with machinery of similar speed. Much of Donington was spent just getting out the way of much faster cars.

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Home from CSF and give the car a check over. Everything looks okay, no obvious oil leaks so it must be being burnt. Brake pads have only worn from 13.5mm new to ~12mm. Very little else to report thankfully. We had planned to fit brake ducts so this was the next job to tackle. Nice straight forward job and should keep brake temps down. One think I would do differently next time is the material used. We used metal ducting, but this isn't ideal as it pulls apart from where it is crimped together and is very sharp where it's been cut. I'll be changing it for plastic ducting next time we need to take them apart.

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We also decided it was time to replace the tyres on the 2118's. The PS3s had a fair bit of tread left on them but we had a track day at Thruxton booked. With Thruxton's appetite for tyres, we didn't want to risk killing them part way through the day. We had a set of R888R's fitted, and that was us ready for Thruxton.

Forcast was for the hottest day of the year so far, 30°+ and sun all dayat Thruxton. Waking up on the morning, there was a lot of fog about. Thankfully this burnt off by about 09:00 so track time was not affected. One thing I had noticed at CSF was how quiet our car seemed compared to all the other Clios. Static noise test at Thruxton gave a reading on 78db! No chance of braking any noise restrictions. Onto the driving and first time on the R888R's. Really impressed with them, I was expecting to have overheating tyres with the high ambient temps but didn't have any issues. Plenty of tread left on them too, but they were brand new! They do squeal a bit when you get to the limit of grip though. The car was soild all day again, but did get through about 2 litres of oil. This is getting a bit concerning. Thruxton is a fast circuit with lots of full throttle but 2 litres seems excessive to me. We'll see how the consumption goes and see if there's anything we can do about it.

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After Thruxton we have fitted an aftermarket steering wheel with a Volantech panel for the horn and cruise control buttons. Barely driven it but it feels much much better. Also, you don't end up with disgusting sticky hands after driving which is always a good thing.

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And that brings us up to date. Plans are to leave the car as is for the rest of the track day 'season' and just enjoy it. We're back at Blyton at the end of August and then eyeing up Castle Combe. Over the winter we plan to get a roll cage fitted, with buckets and harnesses. The clutch will also be changed and most likely get the gearbox refurbished. I'm keeping an eye out for a set of coilovers too. A set of second hand ASTs at a decent price is the dream but I doubt we'll find a set so will probably end up with a cheaper alternative.

We also have a slight issue of the car over fuelling, especially on cold start. I've checked the resistance of the injectors and they're all as expected. I'm thinking possibly a lambda sensor but don't particularly want to just fire the parts cannon at it. Any suggestions to narrow down what's to blame would be appreciated.

Thanks for reading!
 

Mbeau

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 172
What an excellent write up. You seem to have gone the right way about it and done track days before changing things.

Surprised about what you say about the rainsports. What size tyre are they? I run them on the wheels to get us to and from track and as wet weather tyres. They have been excellent on the wet track days we have done. Short of getting full wets I don't think you can get much better for rain use.

I have BC coilovers and have found them excellent if you are looking for something a bit cheaper than the AST(which seem fantastic). I fitted a set of Bilstein B14'S to a 182 last weekend and they were really impressive too. No damping adjustment like the BC ones though.
 

Andropidis

ClioSport Club Member
The rainsports are 205/45/16, pressures are 32/30 front/rear. I've only used them on the road and only in the dry. Hopefully I'll get to drive them in the rain soon and things will click. I didn't feel they lacked grip, just felt they move about a lot. Anyway, I'm sure they must be better than my initial opinion, I've never seen anyone else complain about them.

Good to know how you find the BC's, they were one of the sets we were considering. What spring rates are you running?
 

Mbeau

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 172
Will find out the spring rates on the BC's for you as I purchased them a few months old from a friend.

I thought you might say the tyres were 205/45/16. With Clios that I have run that tyre size on I have never liked the way they drive. Just does not feel right. I always felt they drive much better on 195/45/16 tyres.

I run 15" wheels both for dry and wet tyres. I find 15" wheels with 195/50/15 tyres perfect and tyres much cheaper. It also feels a bit more lively.
 

Andropidis

ClioSport Club Member
Saturday saw us return to Blyton Park for another track day.

Not much changed with the car prior, just removed a few bits that were surplus to requirement. The ISOFix bar will be going too, but it's useful for keeping the boot net to stop everything from flying around. The plan is to replace it with 2 D rings so the net can be retained. I had a look behind the rear door cards while stripping bits out and was pleased to see there was no rust.

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Conditions on the day were mainly dry and fairly warm, albeit very windy. My first run after the sighting laps was scrappy to say the least. This is the first time I've returned to a track I've driven on before and I was trying to be 'on it' from the start. Unsurprisingly this resulted in me driving over the limit and driving into some corners too fast. Learnt my lesson and I took a more cautious approach next time out and built up pace gradually over a number of laps. I felt much better within myself and the car and drove reasonably well from then onwards.

The last time we were at Blyton, we were running Michelin PS3s, this time we were on R888Rs. As expected, the R888Rs provide much more grip. This was most noticeable into Bunga (a long, slowish left hander) where we could carry impressively more speed. The balance of the car is understeery, which isn't much of a surprise on a completely standard suspension setup. It rained for about 30 minutes in the afternoon. Most people came in during this time, but we decided to head out. While it was more than drizzle, it wasn't torrential rain and the ground was fairly warm so the track never really got more than damp. I was out for about 15 minutes and only saw another car on track just before I came in. I built up speed slowly again and made sure to avoid all the yellow painted bits as I've heard how slippery these are when wet. The rears must have cooled off with the rain and the car ended up with a much more neutral balance. I have no timing, but even though it was damp, with the better balance it felt like I was able to achieve faster lap times. I was forced to come in as a red flag came out. A Integra DC2 had spun off and rolled. Luckily both driver and passenger walked away, but the car was a write off.

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The car ran faultlessly all day, until the last half hour. I started it up to go out and the battery light stayed on. Quick look under the bonnet revealed the terminal on the main cable from the alternator had snapped. I'm not sure how it's been stressed so much to cause this. With less than 30 minutes left of the day, it meant our running was over. I bodged it back on in order to get the car home and will crimp a new terminal on when i get a spare moment.

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We've got a handheld fire extinguisher to mount somewhere in the passenger footwell. We won't be plumbing the extinguisher in, we just wanted something in case of emergency. We also have a steering wheel cover, which looks ridiculous, but should keep the wheel in decent condition.

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Thanks for reading, hopefully the professional photos are uploaded soon so I can share them.
 

Andropidis

ClioSport Club Member
Thanks buddy. For track tyres, we'll probably stick with R888Rs. Found no faults with them so far and they are a reasonable price. They seem to be wearing well too. As for the rainsports, while I've not been too impressed with how the car feels on them, they are perfectly fine for driving on the road. We've not had a properly wet track day to try them on yet so too early to say if they are up to the job. All the reviews suggest they will be.
 

Andropidis

ClioSport Club Member
I got round to sorting the crimp on the alternator cable today. In case anyone else is in the same boat, the size you need is M8, 25mm². I used a hexagonal crimp tool and then put some heat shrink over the top.

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While I was at it I decided the take a look at the rear lights. Both sides have had the wires cut and reattached in the past, prior to my ownership. Braking or indicating left causes the dashboard to light up briefly so I decided to redo all the joints, starting with the passenger side. I'm glad that I did, whoever did it previously certainly wasn't a professional!

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As there was plenty length, I cut the joints out and stripped the wires back. I wrapped them together and the soldered them for a nice strong joint. Finally heat shrink over the top. Before shrinking the heat shrink, I slid it over each joint for protection and checked all the lights were working.

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Everything back together working and looks a lot better than before. I also cleaned up the earth point beneath the light cluster. Unfortunately the issue is still there, which is annoying. As it was only an advisory on the MOT, I don't think I do anything else to solve it. I am going to redo the joins on the drivers side too, if only to satisfy my OCD.
 

Usr117063

ClioSport Club Member
I litterally just had to do this a couple days ago, I bought a new bulb holder for one of the lights as the connections were roasted. Ive also just bought loads of wiring tools and bits so I can start doing more work on the wiring.
 

Mbeau

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 172
I find that cleaning the pins up in the plug to the rear lights generally sorts out the issue you are having. I have done a fair few Clios with the same problem!

Neat job on the alternator and rear wiring.
 

Andropidis

ClioSport Club Member
I litterally just had to do this a couple days ago, I bought a new bulb holder for one of the lights as the connections were roasted. Ive also just bought loads of wiring tools and bits so I can start doing more work on the wiring.

I think I read your post, you're making a button panel? Something I'd recommend buying is a "helping hand". (Search it on Amazon, I promise this isn't a wind up...) It's basically just some crocodile clips on flexible arms. It makes things so much easier when working on a bench.

I find that cleaning the pins up in the plug to the rear lights generally sorts out the issue you are having. I have done a fair few Clios with the same problem!

Neat job on the alternator and rear wiring.

Ah brilliant, thanks for the advice! How do go about cleaning them? I have some electrical contact cleaner, but I guess you need to get something to scrape the pins with?
 

Mbeau

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 172
I think I read your post, you're making a button panel? Something I'd recommend buying is a "helping hand". (Search it on Amazon, I promise this isn't a wind up...) It's basically just some crocodile clips on flexible arms. It makes things so much easier when working on a bench.



Ah brilliant, thanks for the advice! How do go about cleaning them? I have some electrical contact cleaner, but I guess you need to get something to scrape the pins with?

Pretty much that. I use a flat sharp screwdriver, contact cleaner and sandpaper. I also spread the pins out a bit so when plugged in it makes better contact. It is normally the outer pins that seem the worst. Hope that helps.
 

Andropidis

ClioSport Club Member
Yesterday we were on track again, this time at Castle Combe. With the torrential weather on Tuesday, we were a bit worried it was going to be a wash out, but the forecast was for a damp morning and a dry afternoon. The drive down was in very wet conditions, but thankfully the rain stopped just before arriving at the track.

Heading out for the formations laps, I was a little apprehensive. This would be the first time driving on a properly wet track and the first time using the Rain Sports on track. Oh and don't forget learning a new track. As always with formation laps, you never really push the car, but it gave a good chance to get a feel for the track and assess how wet it was. Conditions were surprisingly good, while the track was wet everywhere, there was no standing water, the sun even made an appearance! The first session was spent slowing building up pace around the track and mainly getting a feel for the Rain Sports. The limit on them feels so slow after experiencing R888s but that's hardly a surprise. There was already a dry line developing, so probably should have been on the R888s but we felt it was better to be safe initially. After the second session the track was mostly dry and we changed onto the R888s. We got in a couple more sessions before lunch. Both of us felt comfortable with the track and were beginning to push. After lunch we had some really good sessions, with plenty of clear laps to be able to really concentrate on improving our lines and braking points.

At about 15:30, it began to drizzle as I was heading out onto the circuit. By the time I got round to the far side of the circuit it was raining quite heavily. I was on the R888s but the track wasn't too wet and the tyres were hot so I stayed out, but was very conservative when braking and cornering. The rain didn't let up and the track got wetter and wetter. The majority of the lap was wet, but with no standing water. The last quarter of the lap (from Bobbies through to the start/finish line for those who know the circuit) must have a different surface as the standing water there was crazy. Anything heavier than moderate brake pressure would trigger the ABS, and the wheels were spinning up in 3rd. Cornering wise I backed right off for this section as I felt it wasn't worth the risk. I could see a Megane in the distance that had been faster than me all day, but in the wet I was slightly quicker. Over 5 laps or so I was slowly closing down on him, hoping to catch him for my own little satisfaction, frustratingly he pitted when I began to get close. It is only fun though so I wasn't too upset.

We swapped back to the Rain Sports for the last hour of the day. Naturally, this meant that the rain stopped and by the time we went back out, the track was dry enough for the R888s! Oh well, a good day had with only 1 red flag! The other drivers were mostly respectful and helpful when there was a faster car approaching. There was one exception though, I was stuck behind someone for about 5 laps who just wouldn't move over. He had enough power that no matter how good a run I got out the previous corner, he could stay ahead before the next corner. I finally got past when he was hesitant behind another car, and then I lapped consistently 5 seconds quicker... 🤷‍♂️

My thoughts on Castle Combe: It's nice little track and trick to a fast lap is carrying as much speed as possible through the corners. They have a limit of 12 cars on track which means you don't get much traffic, but you can end up spending a fair bit of time queuing up to get out on track. There's not much run off and the barriers are close to the track, so I probably wouldn't recommend this for first timers. The facilities at the track are good, with a decent cafe with very friendly staff. I'll definitely head back in the future, and a bonus is it seems to be one of the cheaper venues.

Here's a few pictures from the day:

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So that is the last time we will see track action this year. I'm currently in the process of sourcing a roll cage, bucket seats, harnesses and the associated bits, with the aim to get the interior sorted before the weather gets too bad. I can't wait to get it sorted as the seats and seating position really let the car down for me.

Thanks for reading.
 

George@RTR_Parts

ClioSport Trader
  need BRAKES? PM me
When we had originally changed the brakes, we had spent a fair amount of time researching what was recommended for track work. There seemed to be some people saying standard pads would be fine, other recommending some pretty expensive pads. We ended up going for Brembo pads with the thought that if they were suitable, it would be a good saving. In the end, it wasn't a wise move as not only did the pads last less than 1 full track day, the discs got scored too meaning they also had to be replaced. Lesson learnt, we got a new pair of Brembo HC disc and Ferodo DS1.11 pads from George @ RTR. Again, fantastic service and very worthy of all the positive feedback. I won't hesitate to order from George again.

No worries Andy , happy to help mate, thanks again . Looks like you're having fun with it, they're great car to get into track days with (y)
 

Andropidis

ClioSport Club Member
Brilliant, thank you for those measurements!
This is next on my list as I bodged it together to keep the car running after I changed the alternator.

Happy it's helped. I couldn't find the measurements anywhere when I needed them so did my best to measure and then bought a selection of sizes. These are the ones I bought, super cheap so got 5. I was also fully expecting to mess up the first one 😅

 
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MLB

ClioSport Club Member
Thanks for that link! Only one in stock so just got two similar ones off Ebay.

Not sure my cheap crimp tool will cope though so need to have a look at a decent one next!
 

Andropidis

ClioSport Club Member
Done a few jobs since my last update. First off, gave the steering wheel a clean. I have read a lot about how dirty suede wheels get, but I didn't realise just how quick! This is from brand new to this with only 2 track days (including driving to and from) and a handful of other short journeys. It certainly looks better now (second image), but still far from perfect.

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Removed a few other bits too, so this is how the interior looks currently. Plenty more to come out still.

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Starting to collect a few part too. Cage is ordered, Harnesses and seat subframes & side mounts en route. Went to pick up this Cobra seat from a fella from Ebay, he was selling this Sparco too. Both seats purchased for much less than new seats would cost. Both made in 2007, but in very good condition. One tiny rub on the top of the fabric on the Sparco, and both with slight marks by the mounting points. Other than that, they just need a good clean.

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Andropidis

ClioSport Club Member
Mini update, should have a bigger one in the next week or two.

I have just finished removing the majority of the interior. There's just a few bits left to go and some tidying of the wiring required. I have also removed the sounded deadening from the floor. It's not quite as bad a job as I expected after reading posts on here, but it's far from fun. This is how the car is looking currently.

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It's pretty much ready for the roll cage to be fitted. I trial fitted the driver's seat, no picture unfortunately. The washers I used first time when fitting the subframe to the car were not up to the job, these have been replace with much thicker and slightly larger diameter washers now. These definitely would have pulled through in a crash...

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Roll cage is due to arrive in the next few days, I'll hopefully get it fitted in the next couple of weeks. The only job I really want to get done before this is to give the whole interior a good clean.
 

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Andropidis

ClioSport Club Member
I've spent a fair bit of time recently researching roll cages and getting quotes. I decided I wanted a full 6 point bolt-in cage. Weighing up reviews, prices, how easy each company was to deal with, etc, I ended up going with @Tom Johnson / Fulcrum Motorsport. All of the reviews were positive and all the pictures I could find of his work looked really good. If I had lived closer to Tom, I would have got him to fit it too, but 4 hours each way was a bit too far to travel. The cage was delivered to me on a pallet and was packaged really well. I got chatting to the bloke who delivered it and as these things tend to happen, it turned out he was into his cars too. We had a good chat about our cars and just as he was leaving, he said "Oh, I've had this truck remapped too" :ROFLMAO:
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Unfortunately, I can't weld so I had to get someone to fit the cage for me. I had seen someone post on here that they had got their sills replaced by Select Motorsport in Theale. As Theale is about 5 minutes from where I live and the work posted on their instagram looks so good, I decided here was the perfect place for fitting. I squeezed everything into the car and dropped it off on Monday morning, by the evening it was finished. I picked the car up on Tuesday and had a good chat to Matthew before leaving. His work was also fantastic and he had gone the extra mile. He sprayed up the feet after welding them in with the closest match to the colour of the cage he had, he applied underseal beneath everywhere that was welded, and he even wrapped my harness to the harness bar for me.

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I'm so pleased with the quality of both the cage and the fitting. If any of you are looking for a cage, get in touch with Tom. He's such a pleasure to deal with and you won't be disappointed with the product. Also, if any of you live near to Reading and need work doing to your cars, get in touch with Select Motorsport. Matthews work is top notch and he's also a pleasure to deal with. He's very knowledgable and gave me some great tips (both Clio specific and general motorsport / track day tips). He offers all sorts of services including welding, alignment and corner weighting and much more. He shares a lot of work on Instagram so it's well worth a follow. He's currently in the process of K swapping a Clio, which I was lucky enough to get a look at while I was over there.

You may have noticed the "Turn One" harness. This is a TRS harness rebranded (the FIA tags are still TRS). I found these for sale at K-Tec for £130 each! Bit of a bargain.

I have plenty of jobs to keep me busy, I've got a very long list. First thing will be to sort out the wiring inside the car as it's looking like a rats nest, and then get the dash back in.
 


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