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Cliché track car title.



BIFCAIDS

ClioSport Club Member
  340i M-Sport & 182
Well, as the title states this is “another track car thread” blah blah blah.


The Start.

So where did it all start? Well I’ve always joked about having a project, you know like restoring a car or building a track car. Anyway in December I joked to my Mum and Dad that we should get a track car, something not too expensive but good like a BMW E36 328i or a Clio 1*2. You know something that can hold its own on track and is a good base car and my Mum was the first one to jump on the idea, which took me by surprise.

I soon realised it had something to do with the fact my Dad was after another motorbike and both myself and my Mum wont let him have one (bad accident over 2 years ago). So he decided we should go halves, it gets us out the house and it’s a bit of father son bonding. We then decided on a budget for buying a car and that we wouldn’t go any higher than 3K so then we could get ourselves something half decent.

Cars.

So my Dad started looking at cars regardless of what I was suggesting he ignored me and instantly started looking at Subaru Impreza’s, Ford Focus ST’s, Fiesta’s and BMW E46’s. I told him to stop looking at Impreza’s because they drink fuel and are turbo’d, like wise with the Focus ST. Plus I don’t want to buy something with a turbo because if it goes pop its rather expensive to fix. I managed to convince him the Clio was the best thing to go for, cheap, fairly reliable, and cheap to fix and work on.

So we started trawling Piston Heads, eBay and Auto Trader. We had seen some really nice Clio’s, couple of Cups and a few 172’s. Then we spotted what could be our Fisher-Price in Wolverhampton, a Titanium 182 with the Cup visual pack, full Renault service history and family owned from new (2 owners) in rather good condition from the pictures. The price was good but we didn’t intend on paying it, who does that especially when you know what you’re doing with it.

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I contacted the owner Paul and arranged to go and view the car the upcoming weekend at the crack of dawn as he had “others interested”. So I organised with him that we would turn up early with the intention of buying the car, I was excited all week up until the Friday before we headed down.

I received an email from Paul telling me the car had been in a bump a couple of weeks before when he last drove it but there was no visual damage apart from the fact he couldn’t open the bonnet. At this point I didn’t think to have the car HPI checked as PH said it was clear, so that’s what I did and the only thing that concerned me was the fact it said it was a 1599cc. :confused:

The Saturday.

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We set out from Warrington at around 6:30 to get to Wolverhampton for around 8:15 and there the car was.

She was disgusting, covered in moss, centre cap missing, Milltek exhaust hanging low, dent in the bonnet and fogs all rusty and cracked. I was disheartened by the condition even though I knew we were going to track it, but when parting with cash no matter what I'd like to think I’m getting something in good condition in exchange.

The inside was worst than the outside, minging doesn’t cut it. It smelt of dog and was full of crap. We took it for a test drive, starting with me stalling it because it had been sat. Anyway, the car drove great sounded great just didn’t stop so well, no knocks and no bangs. We arrived back at Pauls after the test drive and got down to brass tax, he wanted £2450 for the car but considering it was minging and it had, had a bump and we couldn’t open the bonnet. I went and offered him 2k he then said 2.3 and in Mike Brewer fashion I said “meet me half way and you’ve got a deal”, he pulled his face for a minute then said ok and I replied with “hold out your hand”, the deal was done. We got the car insured and headed for home, which was eventful having to pure water on the windscreen down the motorway.

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First thing we did was head for our local body shop to get the bonnet open and roughly remove the dent in the front edge of the bonnet. 10mins later bonnet was working and the bonnet was roughly dent free (I mean roughly).

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Got her home and cracked all the cleaning gear out, nothing too serious just a good scrub. After a 3 hour clean she looked like we could have solder her on without the help of Ed China for a grand profit Hahaha.

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Time to check the car over and gather parts.

So first thing we did seeing as the car wasn’t stopping so well was check the brakes, the fronts seemed to be working but the rears still had a rusty disc even after driving from Wolverhampton and a little bit more. We ordered new discs front and back with pads, so Brembo HC discs with pads for the front and standard Renault items from Wolverhampton Renault. While we were at it we also ordered Goodridge Braided lines (funny story about that, well I laugh now but I wasn’t f**king amused at the time).

I then decided while bored off work I’d clean all the arches to some extent and give the car a minor paint correction. Everyone details track cars right? Also at this point I ordered a stud conversion kit from Driftworks £50 I think it was all in (studs and nuts), cheaper than everywhere else.

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Then while the car was parked in the garage we noticed there seemed to be a leak from the rear drivers side shock, so another order went into Wolverhampton Renault for 2 front shocks and 2 rears. Now I hear you all say but why no springs or top mounts, that’s a good question and come to think of it I don’t know LOL. Must have been something to do with being rather excited to just get stuff done, plus I’m all new to this project stuff anyway we’ll come back to the springs and top mounts later.

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(That was after 2mins.)

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I then sourced some OZ F1’s off a race car guy named Russ in Cumbria, got those for a nice price and got them off to Tilling wheel refurbishment in Preston (highly recommended). The wheels were done and dusted and looked brand new, I was so impressed with the quality and finish. I got the old Rimwax out (its crap but it will do) and gave them a quick once over with some Stardrops then gave them a coat of wax.

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We decided to head off to Demon Tweaks to see what seats my Dad could get his fat arse in. I’ll be honest I’m not fat but I’m stocky, so It was important to see what seats we could fit in.

As this is some what of a budget track car we wanted to ideally get something that was cheap but still good quality, because we could of easily picked up some eBay jobbies that would have probably folded once we turn in LOL. Anyway we found that my Dad and myself could fit into some Sparco Sprint seats, so once we got home we ordered two seats from JJC. Then hunted around for some harnesses, didn’t realise these friggers were as dear as the bloody seats (naïve on my part). After speaking to @f0xy he suggested searching eBay for some TRS 4 point harnesses with 3” wide straps so I just did a general search for racing harnesses 3” straps, after scrolling for what seemed to be an hour I found some Sabelt harnesses exactly what we wanted and two pretty much brand new, I bid £100 and won them.

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I ordered 4 Michelin PE2’s and had them fitted at a local Kwik-Fit, not my idea but the lads were good with the wheels and only charged £7 a wheel. Once the tyres were fitted the lad marked two of the wheels for the rear of the car as one was slightly buckled and the other was so buckled he put a full strip of weights on it, I suppose that says a thousand words about the state of the wheel.

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I went off on a tangent and one day just decided sod it I’m going to pull all the seats out now, so got to work in the garage removing the rear seats and seatbelts. More Dog hair, tablets, A-Z of Birmingham and about £3 in change was found result LOL. Front seats well I didn’t have a clue so gave Mr Fox a call he came round a couple of days later and we got them out he gave me a hand, it was a ball ache with the exhaust in the way. Also at the same time we noticed the numpty who fitted the Milltek system put the lamber sensor in the de-cat so the engine light was on. So we whipped that out and f0xy had an old dead one so we bunged the hole up with that. That was an event on its own LOL, we had to heat the lamber sensor up to remove it but there was WD-40 (unbeknown to Jordan) on the floor, I’ve never seen Jordan move so fast when he lit the blow torch, he nearly lost his eye brows hahaha still laughing now.

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At this point the car had no seats and no wheels on it, so we decided now would be the perfect time to change the dampers on the car, so we started with the front. We got the passenger side strut off and realised the spring was snapped at the base (remember me saying about not changing the springs and top mounts?), so that scuppered that job so I got on with finding out how much springs from Renault were… £95 a corner, Christ on a bike considering the dampers cost me £38 for the fronts and £37 for the backs I was gob smacked. So I got on with looking for alternatives you know like Cook sport’s and Eibach’s, Cook sport were sold out and I did email them but they never bothered getting back so put my money in Eibach’s pocket instead at £155 for the set I was chuffed.

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They arrived a few days later and me and my Dad cracked on with fitting the new suspension. We then went to fit the seats (are you getting the gist we make quite a lot of school boy errors yet?). We had no sub frames for the seats, FML at this point. We had everything bar the bloody sub frames, so I was straight onto the For Sale threads and as if by magic someone was selling some so I snapped his arm off and picked them up the following day. We then proceeded to fit the seats another event, lots of swearing and awkward positions.

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The brakes were woeful, as I’ve mentioned earlier, my Mums 1.2 stopped quicker so we got on with swapping those over to the new items we ordered a few weeks prior. Then we fitted the stud conversion kit and bled the brakes properly.

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So car on the ground fitted new suspension, wheels and seats we thought right lets go for a maiden voyage. We set off out car felt great, really tight nice and new, but when turning slow you could hear like a nock/crunch from the drivers side suspension so we got back home and left it for the night. The following weekend we got the car in the garage as I had a sneaky feeling we didn’t put the top mount back in, in the correct build order… no sh*t.

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Crushed Bearing FML

So two days later Wolverhampton Renault delivered two new-style top mounts for the car (theme going on here). We got everything built back up and took the car out and it was Champion.

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All that was left now was a few niggley jobs like air ducts for the brakes, dog bone mount that I ordered out of the blue after Jordan suggested one and fluids, not to mention the braided lines.

Air ducts were simple, ripped the carbon canister out did all the relevant stuff you need to do with it nice neat tidy job. Rather than bend the bracket for the horn I just undid and re-attached the horn in the way upside down which left me with plenty of room for our 100mm duct. While we were at that we removed the Acoustic valve that was still in there from before the Ktec filter was fitted, which afterwards the car idol’d at the correct revs after all this. (Anybody shed some light?)

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Ordered Gearbox oil and Brake fluid knowing full well the car was heading to the garage to have the braided lines fitted. Can I say for the record a job we COULD have done ourselves but my Dad couldn’t be arsed, so he paid for it to go in and have work done. So we had the gearbox oil done, lines and fluid.

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During this time Id sourced another wheel on eBay and had it powder coated to match the others. I had a call off the garage while the car was in saying that the braided lines were a little short and that they could fit them but he would have to rig something up (there’s me thinking oh must be like millimetres short, learnt a lesson in the process). So I said ok as I just wanted it done. So once we got the car back from the garage I went about swapping the new wheels over only to notice something rather wrong. After the car being in for the braided lines…

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At this point I flipped my sh*t because this was a simple job that we could have done ourselves but no some f*cking clown shoe did this. No wonder they didn’t fit, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG! He said, “Well if I fitted the lines where you’ve just said there would be a weak point anyway”. Now lets get this straight as you’ve probably guessed I don’t really know my way round a tool box or a car but f*ck me sideways I know its wrong because it’s a high pressure line that’s crimped on the metal brake line attached to the beam. Only its not now, because its attached to the Copper line you’ve made yourself. “Well if you buy two more lines we’ll fit them free of charge”, now at this point this is where my Dad and me almost never spoke again. He was happy to pay for new lines and get them done but my argument was, why should we when they f*cked up a simple task even I could have done myself. We didn’t speak for a week while he sorted everything out because I wanted nothing to do with him or the car, I was royally p*ssed off.

So its now the only 182 I guess with 6 braided lines (Woooo), I also fitted some heat shield for the master cylinder because I believe they get quite hot with where they are in conjunction with the manifold.

We got the Flow flex Dog bone bushes fitted, that was fun I now know why they are half the price of Power flex based solely on fitting other than that its fantastic. A 20tonne press couldn’t fit it, anyway in the end we sorted it.

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Up next was Engine oil and filter simple job we did, used Fuchs Titan and a filter you get from Opie oils, all the fluids we bought were from Opie.

Some stickers turned up from Michelin, its not what you know its who LOL. So I got about fitting them and a few other stickers I wanted for the car.

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The #TALE sticker is for Adam Lewis who was a friend of mine who died last year from Adult Sudden Death Syndrome. He was also a member of the forum and knew quite a few of the guys so Its important to me to show support for a foundation his family have set up in his name called The Adam Lewis Effect. I also thought it would be funny to put a Little – Tikes sticker on the car seeing as I was calling it the Fisher price My First Track Car (behind the registration plates) LOL.

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Also mounted the camera in position, with Araldite LOL.

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The First Track Day.

Jordan told me about a month prior to doing most of the above that he and a few other members were heading the Anglesey for a Javelin Track day on the 19th of April and that we should go. You know great day and great track, all weather dependant obviously so I though f*ck it lets go for it. So I booked my Dad and myself on it and luckily enough Rob Harrison was booked on and had hired a garage for the day so we decided to share.

Idea being, we would drive across to Anglesey on the morning and do the day and drive back all in the same day. Without knowing my Mum had booked a B&B about 20mins from the track, couldn’t recommend it more.

Getting ready to go.
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Kettle, Mugs, Biscuits, Coffee, Tea and Sugar (Best equipped garage at a track day).
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If there is 15 of you then check availability and get it booked he's happy to have a B&B full of track day chumps. The owner is a petrol head so he’d love it (Taldrwst Farm House http://www.taldrwst.co.uk ).

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The Big Day

Woke up after a fantastic nights sleep to a beautiful morning and view, albeit a fresh one.

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After not even a 20min drive we arrived at the circuit for about 7:15 and met all my friends who were waiting for some bugger to come and move their BMW E36 out of our garage and we milled about. We started to empty the cars into the garage and get the cars ready for the sighting laps.

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@Jonff

We went and signed on (can someone explain the whole numbering scheme when you sign on?), and booked tuition but the afternoon was the only available time so that had to do. My Dad did the sighting laps while I sat in with him, once we’d done that I was eager to get out and learn the track. My Mum decided she wanted to come out with me on my first go and it was fun, she was squealing and laughing we had a blast.

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I’ll be honest I didn’t have a frigging clue what gear to be in or what the correct line was for each corner, I know he basics of driving a car around a track but this was a totally new track to me its not even like I could have known it off a game LOL.

Before we knew it, it was lunch. So I took a couple of photos, nothing great they were done with my iPhone.

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First up for instruction was my Dad, now previous to this he was slow. He had no confidence in the car and lets face it your first time on a track is intimidating, so the tuition will help solve some of this. After 3 laps you could see he was already far quicker and more confident and it was great to see the car, the very thing we’ve built together blasting around the track.


Then it was my turn. I get in the car and the instructor told me all about my Dad and how well he improved in such little time, said he’d got him out of turning in to early and to not be afraid of chucking the car around (within reason).


We set off down the pit lane and we’re on track and he gets me to drive around for the first lap the way I have been in the morning then went about correcting my mistakes. These of which were changing gear too much and not using enough track when either entering corners or exiting so that’s a massive lesson already. Then we got down to how to make me quicker as he said he was quite impressed with me already (big head I’m s**t at everything), so we did more laps and we then started to stick with cars that were quicker on the straights I loved every minute of it. Once the 20mins was up he said I was smooth and didn’t do much else wrong I just needed to not try and over drive the car because he could see that’s what I was doing.

About 15mins after that I went out again this time with the camera on to record it.


My Dad went out again with me as passenger and actually bullied a Stock Hatch Saxo, which made me proud because of how much he had improved over the morning LOL.

So 5 o’clock came and we all packed up and headed for home, it didn’t seem to take too long driving back though my Mum insisted on driving the Clio home.

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The following day I booked off work to give the car a clean and put everything away, so many rubber skids up the car and bonnet, who knew.

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So to present day, we’ve booked our next day… Oulton Park 20th May and after having some more instructions on my driving and what else I can Improve on based solely on my vid we should be better off yet again.


Next on the cards is a Safety devices half cage, OMP dished steering wheel and probably replace all the bushes for Polyurethane items most likely Powerflex after the Flowflex debacle. There’s nothing else to improve on, the car feels great drives perfectly can’t complain.


Spec list

Renault Sport Clio 182 (2005)
Visual Cup Pack
Carbon Ktec splitter

Milltek Cat Back system
Ktec Induction kit
Flow-Flex Dog Bone bushes

Renault OZ F1 15x7”
Michelin PE2’s 195/50/15
Stud Conversion kit

Eibach Sport line Springs
OEM Dampers and Top mounts

Goodridge Braided Brake lines x6
Brembo HC Discs + Pads Front
OEM Renault Discs + Pads Rear
Motul Dot 5.1 Fluid

Sparco Sprint Bucket Seats
Sabelt 4point 3” harnesses

SJCAM SJ4000 1080p camera

Mike
 

BIFCAIDS

ClioSport Club Member
  340i M-Sport & 182
Its hard to say because between bleeding and changing everything we didn't really drive the car. The brakes were shocking before hand and I mean really bad.
 
  172
Was the carbon cannister in the way to fit the brake ducts then. I could do with some but im not removing the cannister as its there for a reason.
 
  Porsche 944
Thoroughly enjoyed reading that, great thread and nice work. Must be a blast to have done something like this with your old man!
 

BIFCAIDS

ClioSport Club Member
  340i M-Sport & 182
Was the carbon cannister in the way to fit the brake ducts then. I could do with some but im not removing the cannister as its there for a reason.

Yeah it was, it's not like we could have moved it over either. I've seen a guide for moving it and they could bend the bracket to allow room for the pipe. We couldn't because the canister and bracket were one piece. yes its there for a reason but its not really a road car anymore.
 
  172
I might be able to go down that slippery slope as me and the missus might be getting a brand new vw up which means I should be able to do what I like to my car :DI've been all supportive and encouraging it on purpose so I can have my wicked way of having a track car hehehe
 

BIFCAIDS

ClioSport Club Member
  340i M-Sport & 182
So where do I begin, well obviously the next track day after Anglesey.

After Anglesey we booked Oulton Park, this was a circuit I’d been looking forward to booking, as it’s my “home” circuit being only 30mins away. Oulton Park is, in my eyes one of the best circuits in the country and it’s my favourite track. It’s technical, full of elevations and has plenty of fast straights.

After Anglesey we didn’t really need to do anything to the car apart from make sure It was ready for the next track day, which considering we had no issues previously it was just the basics like, the fluids.

20th May 2015 Oulton Park International.

The day started quite cold and overcast, we got to the track early doors as always so we have enough time to unpack the cars, get everything ready and get some breakfast from MSV’s finest. We signed on, booked tuition and had the briefing, I let my Dad drive for the sighting laps (habbit I’ve got into now when its just me and him), at this point I was really excited as I’ve only been round Oulton Park as a passenger with @f0xy, @ROB91 and @Rigby.

After a quick blast out I handed the car over to my Dad for his tuition session, I wanted him to get the benefit of getting the most out of the day and after him it was my turn. I got in the car with the instructor who then tells me my Dads said I’m really good, I don’t know where he got that from. So I then had to explain I’ve been around Oulton a few years previous on the Fosters circuit when I did one of MSV’s M3 experiences, but in no way did this mean I was good.

(insert photo of said day)
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(pot luck it's my fave number as well)

So after a couple of laps driving without any input, we started the 3rd lap braking a lot deeper into Old Hall turning in late squaring the corner off , staying to the left and moving over to the right for Denton’s for Cascades brake turn in… after another 3 or 4 laps I was so much quicker and I’d learnt so much in such a short time, it really does show tuition makes such a difference.

After all that excitement we were back in the garage and my Dad was talking to the guy in the next garage who happened to be in a mk1 Clio with a 1.8t vag engine. Turns out the lad who was in the next garage was from Warrington and is also a member on here (Awful I know but I can’t remember his username). We had a good chat and he gave me some advice for a few bits. That’s one thing I’ve learnt from doing the track days, everyone is friendly (I say everyone) generally lol.

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Again another flawless day, this car is bloody brilliant I absolutely love it.

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(Dad)

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(Dad)

(Me)

(Dad)

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(Dad chasing this Ferrari 328, who wouldn't let him past)

A few months after Oulton I decided I wanted to venture into the world of “semi slicks” as I felt we were at that stage or at least I was. So I started looking for another set of wheels so we could get some more track focused tyres as the PE2’s were pretty a solid tyre in the wet and cold, but my opinion was that they would be hurting after another 1 or 2 warm/hot track days and they were really my wet weather tyres.

After some good long hunts on eBay and the likes I looked at getting some “new” wheels, Team Dynamics to be exact. I looked at them not really for looks but weight and price, they are light wheels but also a set of 4 were coming it at sub £400 (at the time). So I was about to start the ball rolling when Rob told me Joe was selling his OZ F1’s complete with a scrubbed set of R888’s for £400! So straight away I was on the phone and I snapped his arm off.

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I thought the car looked awesome on them even though my original plan was to not get a set of wheels in a loud colour.

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Not much was done to the car after that just basic maintenance of the car or so we thought…
 

BIFCAIDS

ClioSport Club Member
  340i M-Sport & 182
26th October 2015 Donington Park.

Donington Park, one of those circuits I’ve always wanted to drive on since being a kid playing TOCA Touring cars, such a fast track with a beautiful view (if you get chance to look). As Donington is a little further than you really want to be travelling to a track day (2 hours for me) a few of us stayed in a local Travel Lodge at a services 5 minutes from the track itself. We headed out for some scran, after driving around getting to 1 or 2 pubs that were no longer serving food (at 6pm, what pub stops serving then?) we found a pub that was still serving food so we settled there.

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After plenty of track talk and general piss taking ,we headed back to the hotel for some well needed sleep. We woke up the following morning to an extremely cold and ever so slightly damp Donington, we grabbed some breakfast from the services and headed to the circuit. We got set up in our garages and headed to sign on and book tuition and wait for the briefing in the pit lane. Anybody who’s been to Donington for a track day will know how strict they’re on noise limits. So we’re there having the briefing and Dave (Open Track) starts talking about the noise limit and how its only 95db (someone correct me if I’ve got it wrong), as soon as he says that a bloody plane flys over head. I s**t you not I’ve only heard one thing louder and it was a ex F1 Benneton from the early 90’s, it left me puzzled to why their limit is low for track days but who am I to question it.

So started the day well, got a grip for the track straight away. It’s such a nice flowing track and it really doesn’t seem that long when you’re going around it, the fast flowing sections and blind corners make it a treat. Once I’d had a few laps I got my Mum out on track, thing is prior to this I’d had her driving around Donington on Project Cars with my wheel set up. This was so she had an idea of the track layout and where she was going and she didn’t do bad at all, her biggest downfall on track was worrying about who and what was coming up behind her.

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(Mum & Me in passenger seat)

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(Dad and me)

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(Me and Adam, hounding whatever the hell that thing is)

Soon after that she had a session of tuition as did my Dad, they both did really well apparently but I somehow didn’t end up with the same instructor who I was supposed to be booked with and instead got myself Adam Christodoulou. He jumped in the car and introduced himself as Adam and he asked me about the car what I’d done to it and then told me to set off “lets see what you can do”. So after a lad he started pointing out to me where I was going wrong and how to get quicker, I couldn’t believe the speed I was carrying through some parts of the track and he was really impressed and told me the only learning I need to do is in my head as I could do it all. Once we returned to the pits he then told me he drove for Mercedes in GT3, which promt a Facebook friend request and a follow on Twitter (insta fan) ha ha ha.

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(Dad, is he tripoding? maybe by 1mm ha ha ha)

Later that day, I was out with my Dad and he was getting quicker and quicker and braking what I thought was later and later into the Esses after the back straight. Before I decided he’d had enough we came down the back straight and he started braking at the warehouse, only the car wasn’t stopping and we nearly ended up in the gravel at the Esses. Luckily his quick hands chucked us around the chicane and into the pits to see what the crack was.

Turns out, our Brembo pads gave up the ghost, in that last session with my hero Dad. I mean I blame him as he was driving but at the end of the day it was actually both of our faults. This goes back to my statement before the track day “Not much was done to the car after that just basic maintenance of the car or so we thought”. Of all the things we checked on the car, I mean Christ we changed the engine oil, oil filter and brake fluid even!

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Thankfully this happened at 3:30 which meant we missed out on an hour and half of track time which is a lot better than all day, but it’s a school boy error we won’t make again and this is what its all about. Everyday is a school day. It was a fun drive home to say the least from Donington, engine braking whenever I needed to stop GRIM.

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(Me)

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(Me)

The heat was on after the fiasco of Donington, we had two weeks to get the Clio back on the road ready for Oulton Park. Full set of front discs were ordered (Brembo HC) and I bit the bullet and ordered Carbon Lorain RC5+ front pads as an entry level pad, jesus they are worth the money you pay for them! They never seem to fade in performance, I know people have had issues with them crumbling, but after 4 Track days they’ve been superb.

So the car was now ready for our 2nd visit to our beloved Oulton Park.
 
  Megane r26
Great thread, just had a read through!

What a great project to enjoy as a family, clios really do make epic track cars!

I love angelsey and oulton, 2 of my favourite circuits I've done in the past couple of years.

Donington seems to be my handicap, I have good and bad days there which is a shame as I only live 10-15 minutes away so think I may treat myself to some tutoring there next time


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JB21

ClioSport Club Member
Good read mate, I done exactly the same with brembo pads at Oulton, they lasted less than half a day from new and I was blacked flagged due to them setting on fire as they were metal on metal, the drive home was fun. Can see them sparking braking into Lodge...
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welshname

ClioSport Club Member
Great write-up. Didn't even realise you had a thread on here.

Out of interest how did you find your first RenaultSport? You're one of the few who went from a non sport and didn't go for a sport immediately after. Was it a let down or not?
 

BIFCAIDS

ClioSport Club Member
  340i M-Sport & 182
Great write-up. Didn't even realise you had a thread on here.

Out of interest how did you find your first RenaultSport? You're one of the few who went from a non sport and didn't go for a sport immediately after. Was it a let down or not?

Cheers mate, yeah I posted it up a LONG time ago and forgot about it.

As for my first Renault Sport, well firstly I thought christ its quick but the suspension was bolloxed so my first impression was slightly tainted. I suppose once I'd replaced the suspension etc it felt like a different "animal" and I'd quite happily own another as a daily car, but it just won't ever get anywhere near the BM. I'd literally own a sport as a second car, not so much for weekend just whenever I fancied a change and it would have to be Liquid Yellow or a Trophy and standard.
 

BIFCAIDS

ClioSport Club Member
  340i M-Sport & 182
Oh forgot to add, when we went to Oulton Park that first time I had a bit of a panic on. It was after lunch and my Dad was driving the Clio, anyway I was on the pit wall watching and he drove past at a good speed and about 30 seconds later the Red flag went out. I sh*t, because the Red flag only comes out when someones binned it. I stood on the wall and the waiting game began, we all know that game, you're looking down the pit lane or at Dear Leap fixated and scanning all the cars that appear. Cars were flooding in but no Dad insight, my heart sunk. I thought, I hope the cars alright not too bothered about the old man and as I said that he appeared.

He rolled down the pit lane and just kept repeating "its destroyed", what's destroyed? He said he came out of Shell Oils Bend and there was bits of Clio and grass all over the track, a Clio Cup had ventured too far over to the left on the exit of Shell Oils and speared off to the right, hit the wall and came back across the track finishing on the grass it all started on, Ouch!

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  Megane r26
Love oulton but it doesn't take prisoners kindly, carrying a lot of speed in many places

On to brake pads I must admit I always take a spare set with me in the Meg


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BIFCAIDS

ClioSport Club Member
  340i M-Sport & 182
Well the whole not taking any spares like pads is a thing of the past and was learnt after that 3rd day lol.
 
  Megane r26
Well the whole not taking any spares like pads is a thing of the past and was learnt after that 3rd day lol.

Yeah I take little things like that and plugs, couple of spare coils and a crank sensor then just tape, zip ties and a few common fasteners lol


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BIFCAIDS

ClioSport Club Member
  340i M-Sport & 182
Yeah I take little things like that and plugs, couple of spare coils and a crank sensor then just tape, zip ties and a few common fasteners lol


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Wouldn't mind that's stuff we've always had We take so much, full assortment of tools, axle stands, different lengths and types of cable ties, about 3 different lamps, a big screw driver, box set with about 6 different screw drivers, s**t load of bolts, nuts, washers, leccy tape, long sockets, short sockets, 1/2", 1/4", imperial, metric, i get the piss taken out of me lol.
 
  Megane r26
Wouldn't mind that's stuff we've always had We take so much, full assortment of tools, axle stands, different lengths and types of cable ties, about 3 different lamps, a big screw driver, box set with about 6 different screw drivers, s**t load of bolts, nuts, washers, leccy tape, long sockets, short sockets, 1/2", 1/4", imperial, metric, i get the piss taken out of me lol.

Me the same mate, me mates take the piss but as they say piss poor prep = piss poor performance, or at least that's what I say haha


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BIFCAIDS

ClioSport Club Member
  340i M-Sport & 182
14th November 2015 Oulton Park International.

After the incident at Donington and getting everything back up and running It was time to head to Oulton Park. November isn’t renowned for being blisteringly hot and that is exactly what it wasn’t. The night before it was clear and there was quite a bit of frost and ice, we arrived at a rather dark and damp Oulton Park with @f0xy and @ROB91 and a few of the others and got set up as you do.

This time the whole gang were driving so Me, Mum and Dad (see what’s happening here, my Mum is muscling in on father son bonding), so as me and my Dad had recently been around Oulton under instruction we got my Mum booked in for tuition so she could get the most out of her time in the car. Thing is with my Mum she is a good driver but when it comes to driving on track, she doesn’t drive quick enough and worries far too much about cars catching her up (even if they’re not behind her). This all comes down to confidence so getting her tuition is key whenever we do a track day. Me and my Dad had a session each before my Mum went out and the track was brilliant, nice and dry and there weren’t too many cars out on track.

After watching her get caught up, she then left those same cars I was really proud, considering she has no confidence on track she did really well.

We swapped the wheels over for the R888’s and got one with some quick sessions and the heavens opened. At first it was just spitting and very fine but light drizzle, I just carried on like it was still dry and grip didn’t feel any different all until I locked up going into Hislop’s and then I started to notice the lack of grip on the R888’s. Possibly down to confidence I’m not sure but it was dinner time and it was raining much heavier so on went the Michelin PE2’s.

I went out again after lunch and just drove the car the same way I was before lunch but with the added benefit of the grip the PE2’s produce. After 15mins or so I came in and handed the car over to my Dad, telling him to just drive it like its dry. Sadly after the heavens opening fully my Mum didn’t want to drive so the day was done for her, which meant brews were ready as soon as you entered the pits ha ha ha.

Later that afternoon I had a good battle with a BMW 3 series compact, but at this point you couldn’t see anything due to the spray so I was using his brake lights as reference. At one point I was so close to him but he didn’t want to let me past until he was horizontal exiting Lodge and didn’t have much choice.

Another thing I like about track days is some times you always end up having a battle with someone who is of similar ability, I know you’re not supposed to be racing each other but it does happen but there’s that respect (90% of the time).

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(Dad)

(Me)

So that was that, the last track day of 2015. No incidents and the car performed faultlessly again, she really is a dream.

During the winter we didn’t do much to the car other than let her get dirty on the drive as I was short of cash and starting a new job in January so the 182 took the back seat.

Around March I’d persuaded my Dad that we should really get a roll cage for the Clio considering what we were doing it would never go back to being a full road car again. After pointing out what happened to the Clio at Oulton earlier in 2015 it didn’t take much, so we started looking at our options. At first we looked at a Custom Cages, then some one pointed me at SW Motorsport but after I’d seen some of his work and how long he took we soon scrapped that idea. Then I thought well what about Mark Fish, he/they supply Safety Devices cages and they are a well renowned company and I can get some discount for buying in a group buy.

I emailed Mark and ordered a 6 point cage, single door bar (you should see me getting in a normal car, absolute joke), cross rear with harness bars. Had some issues with the group buy as you do, but we got there in the end. Now we needed to find somewhere to get it fitted as going down to Marks place was just not feasible. Soon found a place in Cheshire and not too far away in Congleton, Amery Motorsport. These guys used to run a car in the Clio Cup and fit cages for other teams so they had good experience and they seemed to know what they were doing. They arranged for us to have the cage directly delivered to them from Mark Fish and they would let us know when it arrived so we could drop the car off.

This was also weeks before our first track day of 2016, Anglesey.

While we waited for the cage to be fabricated I went about removing some of the bits we didn’t need behind the dash that would be a pain in the arse to remove once the cage was fitted.

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Out came the tweeters and Airbag, removed the alarm sensors, Sun visors, A pillar trim, interior sill plastic and the carpet.

It was Friday and the call came in from Mark that the cage would be with Amery the following Tuesday, so we arranged to drop the car off with Amery on Saturday. The excitement was building and it was only Monday, I had it in my mind it would take them at least a week to do it all (no idea why). I got a phone call on the Thursday telling me we could go and collect the car… I was gob smacked at how quick they completed the job.

We headed down on the Saturday, as it was the most convenient day for us and there she was all caged up. The guy then explained how they did every process and showed us the finished product, the level of work is second the none. They removed the headlining and tidied all the wiring for things like the auto wipers and interior lights etc, fitted the cage without marking it, the mounting points and welds were extremely tidy and they had even painted the boxes Titanium. They also scrapped off the under seal that had bubbled underneath and resealed the car.



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We got the car home and went about fitting the passenger seat and harness and just generally admiring the car, sad I know.

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The eagle eye'd will notice I removed some of the sound deadening but not all of it and thats because I burnt my bloody hand, so its something Im going to do this Winter.

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Now we needed to get the car ready for Anglesey, so general service of the car to make sure everything was spic and span. While we were at it we fitted a Pure Motorsport Thermostat, It wasn’t something we really needed as cooling had never been an issue but sometimes my Dad just buys stuff so long as its his money I’m not bothered.

More to come...
 

BIFCAIDS

ClioSport Club Member
  340i M-Sport & 182
2nd May 2016 Anglesey Trac Mon.

“f*cking wheels come off, I recon”...

So like the year previous year we booked in at Taldrwst Farm House except this time we booked the entire B&B for the whole gang, me and the misses, Mum and Dad, Jordan, Rob, Sarah, Joe, Tom, my cousin and his misses.

The day didn't start all that great though, where we were meeting Tom arrived first and witnessed a bike accident and had to ring for an ambulance, which happened to be the air ambulance. That should have maybe been a sign of whats the come.

We arrived around 4:30 and decided to go to a local pub for some Tea and a couple of beers, the only problem is that Anglesey is full of little villages and the Welsh who apparently aren’t too keen on some of us English. So with the advice of the B&B owner we went on the hunt for a pub, first one was closed indefinitely, second was a no go so we drove about 20mins the opposite direction and found a lovely pub with a massive car park. We walked in and had the run of the pub it was great, good beer, music and a pool table what more can a person ask for.

It seemed we weren’t the only ones going to Anglesey, as an MX-5 turned up with a Noble M12 (Gulf esk) and I think there was a Racing Blue 182.

After some great food and loads of Banter we headed back to the B&B, which again was another faff, as we had no idea where we were going. Once we got back everyone pretty much went to bed we were all knackered.

The following Morning woke up bright and early and headed down for breakfast, we then noticed the weather. It was absolutely chucking it down and with Anglesey being on the coast it doesn’t just rain it absolutely batters it down.

We arrived at the circuit for 7 and found our garages, got set up and headed for signing on and the driver briefing. At this point the weather was no better and if you’ve been Anglesey you know from the pits you can easily see the sea, well you were lucky to see the other side of the track.

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Once the sighting laps were complete I took my cousin out in the car, this was his first time in the track car and on track. I’ve never known him to be so quiet ha ha ha, we got some really good laps in considering the conditions, even caught a R26R up and a GTR… Go me (lets not look too much into it).

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(Me)

My Dad went out as did my Mum again (tuition was booked for her) and the rain started to subside, I went out for another session before lunch and I was hammering it. The track had dried enough so you could really push on, so I was flying apart from the odd Caterham coming past.

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(Mum and Me)

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How much difference 3 hours makes.

(Me)

I also took the misses out for the 1st time, which was interesting. Did some good clean laps then our garage sharing friend went past before the 1st corner, so I tried to keep up... went wide and had my first off ha ha ha. I know what I did wrong, turned in too early with too much speed and it just understeered so as I got to the kerb on the outside rather than keep turning I decided to straighten the car up went grass tracking which was uncomfortable. This resorted in a pit visit and inspection before heading out without the bad omen onboard, obviously it was her fault LOL.

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(Mum and instructor)

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(Mum)

The chequered flag dropped for the end of the session and I headed back in to the pits, I had the great idea of swapping the wheels straight away to save time after lunch, as it had brightened up.

Jacked the car up and swapped the wheels over on both side and went around a nipped the nuts up with a wheel brace (1st mistake). My Dad then came into the garage and noticed the wheels had been swapped over so decided to nip them up seeing as he’d not seen me do it and knows I can be forgetful (2nd mistake).

So lunch ended and my Mum wanted to go out with me as passenger, we were out for about 20mins and every now and then I could hear a squeaking but thought nothing of it and we completed the 20min stint. She’s definitely improving but still lacks the confidence she needs to push on and let the car drift out of corners.

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(Mum and me in the morning)

(Mum)

We had the garage to our selves originally but someone who had a Radical couldn’t get the car in their garage because of the ramp into the garage so asked if we minded sharing, I wasn’t fussed so we shared the garage. In the afternoon he offered to take me out in it, so I jumped at the chance. At the same time my Dad said he was going to go out with my cousins misses, I was like ok cool I’ll wave when we go past ha ha ha.

While I mucked about getting all awkward 6ft 1” of me into a Radical and getting belted up the session was Red flagged. I sat there and thought for gods sake what now? My Mum walked over and said “its your Dad”, I just closed my eyes and rolled my head back whilst sat in this Radical with this lad I’d only just met… Awkward!!!

After 30mins, the car was back in the paddock. You know straight away its not good when it takes 30mins to open the track again. So rather than go and assess the damage I went out in the Radical. Wow, they are something else, they’re not lightening quick but it’s the sheer grip they have around a corner that makes them so bloody quick. I’d love to drive one at some point just to see if I have what it takes to even lap half as quick as some of the people who race them.

Time to go and check the car out, at this point I didn’t have a clue what had happened, how or where, I just knew it was bad enough to close the track for 30mins. My Dad was pretty beat up about it and didn’t stop apologising, I just told him to not worry about it and the main thing was he was alright, I’m not arsed about Hannah (I joke love her really). He then proceeded to tell me what happened.

Picture this, Right hander (Church) your pretty much flat out onto the back straight that isn’t straight it’s a super long sweeping right hander then you go up hill, at this point on a flyer in the Clio your doing 120 (top of 4th gear), you let off for braking into the slowest corner of the track (Rocket). “It was at this point Neil realised he’d f**ked up”. Breaking hard into Rocket from roughly 100-110 the studs on the driver’s side front wheel gave up and sheered, the disc landed on the backside of the wheel. My Dad in his quick thinking just kept on the brake but kept the car straight because he knew Rocket is the only corner with run-off and that is what saved the car. Had he turned he would have ripped the front wing off and the car could have potentially dug in, in the worst-case scenario.

https://youtu.be/M_Ay6CQJ1sQ?t=5m14s

Full Video
https://youtu.be/M_Ay6CQJ1sQ

We examined the car and damage wise it didn’t look too bad but when we got a proper look at the car it wasn’t great. The studs had sheered clean at the hub so the hub was bolloxed, as was the disc and spacer. This was because when the studs had separated they took a chunk out of the disc/spacer face, also in the event the disc was used as a secondary wheel inside the wheel. The bumper had been popped out and the bracket was bent, the wheel was basically scrap as the disc had gouged it.

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What do we do when we go to track days? We drive the car there. Without a hub the car was going nowhere. Thankfully Anglesey we kind enough to let me keep the car there for as long as I needed, all I had to do was ring up and tell them I was going over Britannia bridge so they knew to open the gates for me (20mins away).

That night I was on eBay and managed to source a hub from a 182, bought it and organised with @f0xy to go down the following weekend to swap it over and bring her back.

Hub arrived I cleaned it up and we headed back to Anglesey, It was bloody hot and there was a race weekend on (MX-5’s and Caterhams). We got the hub swapped over and half an hour later we were on our way home (2hrs there, 30mins to swap the hub, 2hrs back). So a massive thanks to Jordan for helping out with that. Because it was beyond my mechanical knowledge.

Once we got the car home we then decided what we were going to do with the car, the plan was to refresh absolutely everything on the front end. So I got a new hub for the passenger side, studs and nuts, ABS sensors, track rod arms, track rod ends, ball joints, brake discs, ARB bushes and last but not least wishbone bushes (inc refurb of wishbone itself). At this point my Dad decided he’d had enough of the small dent in the bonnet and decided to buy a brand new bonnet along with some aero catches, so now the car has a matt black bonnet but we’ve no intentions of painting it now, it looks quite cool.

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More minor damage from the incident.

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Old crusty wishbones and bushes, sadly no new pictures of them powder coated.

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We eventually got the car sorted and back on the road in August and I decided to shake the car down by driving to Oulton Park to see if there was anything on because years ago I happened to visit Oulton and James May was there with Jackie Stewart so you never know what you’ll find.

On my way there I took my time, but whenever I wanted to give it the full beans I couldn’t because there was traffic. I arrived at Oulton Park but it was closed, bummer! I headed home and every now and then I could hear an ever so faint knocking noise but it would then go away so I just sort of ignored it. By this point any noise in the car makes me paranoid after the wheel coming off. I got back to Warrington and the noise came back but it was a really loud knocking now so I pulled over. Walked round to the passenger side of the car and noticed one of the studs missing from the front wheel, then noticed another was ever so slightly loose. I foolishly drove the 1.5mile back home, got the car jacked up, wheels off and checked the remaining studs, they were finger tight! Now at this point I wouldn’t mind, but when we put the car back together myself and Jordan watched my Dad clean the hub and put Loctite on the studs and wind them in. We ordered more studs and repeated the process, a few days later I took the car to work again. When I arrived at work I checked the car and everything seemed fine, no noises except for one of the studs looking like it was a little further out than the rest but I put that down to being psychological. I finished work and decided to check the stud’s guess what, the stud was loose. I whipped it out and checked the rest, they were fine so drove home from Salford down the M602/M62 at about 55mph. I got about 2 miles down the M62 when I heard DAT NOISE “knock, knock, knock”, so I pulled over to the hard shoulder and phoned my Dad. “Alright Dad, can you do me a favour and bring the jack, and all the wheel bolts you can find for the Clio, I’m on the hard shoulder of the M62 Westbound”.

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Funny thing is the traffic going Eastbound then came to a standstill and who was in the traffic, my Dad ha ha ha. He eventually made his way to me and we got all the studs out “again” and replaced them with bolts. That weekend Jordan came round and we decided to check the drivers side, they came loose with just an allen key so we tapped the hubs, gave them a proper cleaning and fitted the studs with some industrial Loctite Jordan had. Ever since they’ve been spot on though, it was all down to user error and again we’ve learnt a massive lesson, DON’T TIGHTEN WHEEL NUTS WITH A WHEEL BRACE FT, ALWAYS USE A TORQUE WRENCH!

**(FT – F**king Tight)
 


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