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robzracing

ClioSport Club Member
It’s running and on the dyno as I type this!
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Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

robzracing

ClioSport Club Member
Very happy with progress today.
Collected another new starter this morning. Fitted it and all good. The car was starting but didn't seem very happy with the existing map. Some adjustment to the throttle position sensor helped it to idle but it was still tricky to keep running while moving it.
Anyway, after an hour and a half drive I finally arrived in Bletchley for the dyno work.
After an hour or so of tinkering and Steve checking through the map the car was idling much better but he was surprised how far off it seemed from the last time he has mapped it.
After a couple of hours he had built a new map for the car and began the power runs.


Quite daunting listening to the car spin up to the limiter after putting it all back together. Constantly running through your mind, "Did I torque all the head bolts properly? Did I set the timing right? Did I tension the Aux belt?" etc!

But at the end of it all Steve couldn't quite believe I hadn't done more to the engine as it appears to have found another 24bhp!

Admittedly this was a different dyno but all the same that seems a significant increase and he had to change the map quite a bit to get there.

I guess the proof of the pudding will be at the weekend.

Finally looking forward to it!
 

robzracing

ClioSport Club Member
So, 2 weeks later and I think I'm ready to update this!

Oulton Park was eventful and anyone who follows me on any kind of social media will know the story already.

On this occasion I was taking the family away with me for the weekend as this was a Bank Holiday weekend and our race was on the Monday. Oulton Park was holding a Family Fun Day on the Sunday, splitting the 2 days of racing that the CSCC were holding.
So, we drove up Saturday afternoon and arrived at Oulton late afternoon, in time to slot the car into one of the garages as the day's racing came to a close and people went home. It could stay there all day Sunday and be ready for us Monday morning.

Once we dropped the car and the trailer off we headed to a lovely little cottage that I had rented for the weekend about 20 minutes away. So far the family were happy so I was too!

Pit crew showing off.
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We shall definitely stay here again when we're back.
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The Sunday was a bit of fun (as the day's name implied) but the weather was changeable meaning teenage daughters' moods were too! But I had a chance to catch up with a few people before we decamped to a nice pub for food and then heading back to the cottage.

Monday morning was an early start and miraculously I managed to get everyone out and to the track by 6.30. Signing on and scrutineering was early as we were the first qualifying session of the day at 8.30am and would also be the first race of the day straight after lunch.

As last year was my first race at Oulton and I spent most of that behind a safety car I still am very much a novice at this track. However, similar to Cadwell it is a track that rewards you when you get it right and punishes you when you get it wrong.
Despite the track being dry I was still trying to wind up the pace by the time I came in for Paul to drive and only managed to get us up to 10th out of a grid of 40.
But as I stopped in the pits smoke bellowed out of the bonnet. Upon opening it we discovered the oil filler cap had come off and oil had sprayed everywhere!
We spent 5 minutes cleaning as much as we could off and trying to find something to cover the filler cap with. A latex glove and a cable tie did the trick!
Paul went out for 4 laps and put us in 3rd!
I understand why this is his favourite circuit in the uk but I've got a long way to go to get on that pace. In fact, his fastest lap was disallowed for exceeding track limits, otherwise we would have been 2nd.

As soon as quali finished the heavens opened and the rest of the day remained showery.

With no wipers on the car along with a more thorough clean of the engine bay (thanks to Triscia my wife) we gave the windows a good coating of rain-ex.

And as we loosened off the steering arms to adjust the tracking slightly they promptly announced that the race time was being moved forward by half an hour and 10 minutes later we were called to the assembly area!

A mad rush to abandon the steering adjustments and tighten everything back up ensued followed by a quick change into the race suit and up to join the other racers.

Waiting in the assembly area with the engine running I noticed the temps approaching the point at which the cooling fan would cut in. This is a problem that I still haven't solved but when the cooling fan cuts in the car cuts out. Not ideal!
I had already raised the temperature at which this happens but it still reached it and sure enough the car died. On a cool wet track I wasn't too concerned but it was stressful enough heading into a wet race (which I hate anyway) with no wipers, starting in a position on the grid that I hadn't earned myself and knowing that this could be a problem.

Eventually we headed out onto the track for the green flag lap and then formed up on the grid. But again, the trouble with being at the sharp end of the grid is that you have to wait quite a long time for the rest of the grid to form up. Sure enough the temps rose again. Just as it was about to cut out I decided to turn the engine off and wait. Unfortunately, just then the 5 second board went out and I had to start the car up again just as the red lights came on on the gantry.
The lights went off and I lit up the front wheels with too much wheelspin before quickly changing into 2nd and regaining traction. As we approached the first corner the fan cut in and the car died! s**t! I went in to the corner with one hand trying to find the reset button and cars swamping me from behind. Somehow I managed to bring the engine back to life but not before losing about 9 places.
Once around the first corner the track was dry. Apparently the showers we were having were very patchy! Only as we approached the last 3 or 4 corners did it become wet again but this made it very difficult to judge braking points and get a feel for how much grip there was. I spent 2 or 3 laps trying to settle in to a rhythm and gradually start picking off cars until a car on a previous lap decided to empty it's sump all over the track at Cascades, a fast flowing corner with tricky camber. So, of course like many other cars around me I soon found myself spinning towards the barriers before the rear wheels biting and then flinging me back across the track. Fortunately no damage but another few places lost. Paul was going to have his work cut out!

So, I spent the rest of my time behind the wheel slowly picking off cars and trying to deal with the continuing showers and changing grip but with hindsight I was not being nearly agressive enough and should have passed many more. I think the spin knocked my confidence slightly in conditions that I already have confidence issues with after my crash at Cadwell a few years ago.

Anyway, I bought the car in for the change and Paul jumped in and started to make up places.

He was up to tenth when he didn't come round again. That was the end of the race for us.

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The engine had died with what sounded like valve failure and Paul had killed the engine as soon as it happened.

So a disappointing end but I still had fun. It's just frustrating after all the hard work to get the car ready. On the up side, Paul set the fastest lap so at least we know the car is fast if we didn't already!

Back at home the following day this is what I found

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There doesn't appear to be any real reason why a valve snapped. Watching the video back and examining the rev telltale on the ECU doesn't reveal an over rev at all. None of the other valves or pistons are showing signs of touching and the lifters all seem to be good. I suppose we will never know but what I do know is that I need some new pistons and yet again the engine is out of the car! Fortunately I have a spare cylinder head which has now been stripped ready to go to be cleaned and the battle is on yet again to get it ready for the next race at Anglesey.

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Here's the on board footage if you have a spare 20 minutes or so.

 

NorthloopCup

ClioSport Moderator
The supertechs are still only a friction welded valve. It’s just higher up where they make the join when compared to the original Renault valves, so this could be a reason why they’ve failed.
What valve springs are you running? If the seat pressures are too high, that won’t help.
 

robzracing

ClioSport Club Member
The supertechs are still only a friction welded valve. It’s just higher up where they make the join when compared to the original Renault valves, so this could be a reason why they’ve failed.
What valve springs are you running? If the seat pressures are too high, that won’t help.
I'm running Supertech springs as well but not the double ones. I sent them down to Nick at PMS to measure and supply me with the correct shims for them.
 

bloke

ClioSport Club Member
  dan's cast offs.
first time i've heard of one fail. i'd be looking for something that caused them to go, as mark said.
 

robzracing

ClioSport Club Member
first time i've heard of one fail. i'd be looking for something that caused them to go, as mark said.
Believe me I have! It's a bit of a head scratcher. The only thing I can think of is that the lifter stuck momentarily. Either that or it was a rogue valve that fatigued over time.
Although the rev limit was only 7800 I think I'm going to lower it slightly now. Not that that will help with a mechanical over rev but I can't really think of anything else and I definitely don't want to go to solid lifters.
 

robzracing

ClioSport Club Member
The last few weeks has been a combination of saving funds for the rebuild and the waiting for pistons to arrive from the states.
Last week I was away with the family on holiday but before I left the pistons arrived and I had time to brief Thurston Engineering before I left.

The new pistons are made by JE and come highly recommended by Nick at Pure Motorsport.

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As one of the rods had also twisted by a thou during the failure I managed to source 2 being sold used on Ebay which I got for £50. Worth a punt as a complete new set is £500! Fortunately one was good!

While I was away I received regular updates from Thurston, mainly to tell me to order something or give me news about more work that was required on the engine!
It seems the centre main bearing was a little loose so the block needed to be worked to sort that out and then line bored again. Having been done twice now this block really is at the end of its life so I need to start looking around for a donor engine to prepare.

As is always the way, with my next race at Brands Hatch next Sunday (25th August) and having just got back from holiday things are going to be tight!
The bottom end should be ready for me to collect Monday afternoon as the balancer couldn't do anything until the weekend and the dyno is booked for Thursday afternoon. Up until this morning I still had a new head to prepare as well before the engine can be assembled, so that is what I have been working on today.
Fortunately I run a fairly standard head with no porting or gas-flowing. The only thing I did on the last head was polish the combustion chamber. As this seemed to work for me last time I have done the same again. Who knows whether it really benefits from it?

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As well as this work, all the mating surfaces got cleaned and dressed, cam journals honed and head and cam cover painted. Tomorrow / Monday I will lap the valves in and assemble everything hopefully ready for when the block is finished.

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A mate who races in the same series has offered to give me a hand for a couple of evenings to get the engine in the car so barring any hitches I think we could make it. No time for any testing though and my new co-driver will be going in to qualifying having never driven the car so if we do get to the race on Sunday I don't expect we'll be in the running for any silverware. But I'll be just glad to get back out on track!
 

NorthloopCup

ClioSport Moderator
The last few weeks has been a combination of saving funds for the rebuild and the waiting for pistons to arrive from the states.
Last week I was away with the family on holiday but before I left the pistons arrived and I had time to brief Thurston Engineering before I left.

The new pistons are made by JE and come highly recommended by Nick at Pure Motorsport.

View attachment 1430406

As one of the rods had also twisted by a thou during the failure I managed to source 2 being sold used on Ebay which I got for £50. Worth a punt as a complete new set is £500! Fortunately one was good!

While I was away I received regular updates from Thurston, mainly to tell me to order something or give me news about more work that was required on the engine!
It seems the centre main bearing was a little loose so the block needed to be worked to sort that out and then line bored again. Having been done twice now this block really is at the end of its life so I need to start looking around for a donor engine to prepare.

As is always the way, with my next race at Brands Hatch next Sunday (25th August) and having just got back from holiday things are going to be tight!
The bottom end should be ready for me to collect Monday afternoon as the balancer couldn't do anything until the weekend and the dyno is booked for Thursday afternoon. Up until this morning I still had a new head to prepare as well before the engine can be assembled, so that is what I have been working on today.
Fortunately I run a fairly standard head with no porting or gas-flowing. The only thing I did on the last head was polish the combustion chamber. As this seemed to work for me last time I have done the same again. Who knows whether it really benefits from it?

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As well as this work, all the mating surfaces got cleaned and dressed, cam journals honed and head and cam cover painted. Tomorrow / Monday I will lap the valves in and assemble everything hopefully ready for when the block is finished.

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A mate who races in the same series has offered to give me a hand for a couple of evenings to get the engine in the car so barring any hitches I think we could make it. No time for any testing though and my new co-driver will be going in to qualifying having never driven the car so if we do get to the race on Sunday I don't expect we'll be in the running for any silverware. But I'll be just glad to get back out on track!
Please tell me the cam journals have been measured in terms of clearance after the hone?
 

robzracing

ClioSport Club Member
A busy week this week with the engine block having a couple of last minute issues meaning I didn't get it back until lunch time on Wednesday.
With Dyno booked for Thursday afternoon the pressure was on!

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Valves lapped and installed

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Block back with sexy pistons!

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Firstly I assembled dry, using an old head gasket and old head bolts, timed it up and rotated it checking the valves cleared the pistons. I knew the should but couldn't afford to risk it.
After that it was stripped down again and then built back up with new bolts etc, anaerobic sealer and everything torqued properly.

By this time a mate had come over after work to lend a hand, so by 11pm when he left we had the engine in and had started connecting everything up. I continued until 1.30am leaving just the throttle bodies to fit and fluids to fill in the morning.

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So, by lunch time on Thursday (today as I type this) the engine was ready. I turned it over for a bit with no plugs and fuel to allow oil to circulate and build pressure. Then I went for the real thing.
Thank god it started on the button!

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setting off for Rainham

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Needless to say, it's a stressful time seeing your engine on the dyno. I felt like an expectant father pacing up and down outside the delivery room waiting for the doctor to bring news!

And thankfully the news is good! She made almost identical power to the previous build with a forecast of more to come once the engine loosens up a bit.

So a small list to go through before the race on Sunday but at last I can say with some confidence, we are racing this weekend! Watch this space.
 

Chambers_RS

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 172 Cup&Leon K1
Rebuild looks impressive 😎

Can I ask, how have you routed the feed and return pipes from the in tank pump to the wheel well? I can’t see a route 😂
 

robzracing

ClioSport Club Member
After the 2 engine failures this season I think i was due some good fortune.
This weekend at Brands Hatch nothing was guaranteed! Having only had time to run in on the dyno there were any number of other issues that could potentially raise their heads and scupper the day's racing.
Added to this I had a new guest driver with me this weekend and although he came recommended he is a novice racer and to add to that had never driven Brands Hatch.
Perhaps I was foolish allowing someone with these credentials to drive the car but I made sure he signed all the relevant paperwork first!

So, early start on Sunday morning even though quali wasn't until midday I wanted time to set up and settle in.

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6 am departure

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7am arrival

For 2 years in a row I've been at Brands Hatch on one of the hottest days of the year. Great if you're a spectator, less great driving a car on the limit with no aircon and wearing a duvet. (which is black)

I took the car out to start quali. We had decided I would do just 10 minutes, make sure everything was ok with the car, bank a lap or 2 just to be sure of a half decent grid position and then let my co-driver have some time to get used to the car and learn the track as best he could.

At this point I either need to make excuses or eat humble pie, because by the end of the session he had settled into a nice rhythm and beaten my time by 3 tenths putting us in P6 and 1st in class for the start!

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waiting for quali to start

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Obviously, I was very happy with this result and the car had performed faultlessly. My only regret was that we didn't put the new tyres on for qualifying because in the heat the tyres on the car were way past their best. All we could do was swap front to back and work with them.

As Jonathan was driving on the pace we decided to split the race evenly, with me starting and him completing it. My only worry was getting punted in to the gravel on the first corner and he not getting a race, particularly as I was on the outside on the grid.

Our friends Chase Racing in another Clio were behind us on the grid by one place and therefore on the inside line. It was the first time we had out qualified them and I knew they were going to do their best to get past at the start. Had I been driving solo I probably would have tried to make that more difficult than I did and consequently they did get through. Having said that, it was a complete bunfight through Paddock Hill bend and through Druids, where I was in the middle of a 3 car wide drag around the hairpin.
A couple of people tried to make ambitious dives around the outside of a couple of corners but both lost out and as the leader spun on the infield coming out of Clearways I managed to pass one more car putting me in 5th at the end of the first lap.
Missing a gear at the end of the second lap demoted me back to 6th and that's where I stayed, with me and the yellow 306 in front of me getting stuck behind a Honda Integra in 4th who had the legs on the straight but was way too cautious into the corners meaning the front 3 started to get away, including our friends Chase Racing in their Clio.
After 10 laps the engine of the 306 failed in front of me and as they retired I slowly climbed up the ranks as pit stops started.

By the end of 20 minutes I came in for the driver change which went well thanks to some rehearsal during the day and Jonathan went on to bring the car home in a solid 5th place and 2nd in class.

During his stint the track fell under the dreaded "Code 60" while a car was recovered. This is essentially the same as the F1 virtual safety car, where all cars have to drop to 60KPH until the flags go in.
Unfortunately a good few cars at club level racing do not have speedos and have no way of knowing how fast they are going. Failure to comply is punished harshly with a 60 second penalty at the end of the race.
Happily, we have a pit lane limiter on the steering wheel which drops the speed to 60KPH in 3rd gear. Unhappily, Jonathan missed 2 flags when they came out before he saw them so we, along with almost half of the grid received a 60 second penalty dropping us to 7th.
Fortunately we still secured 2nd in class and this concluded a very successful day considering how the season has gone.

Next stop Thruxton in a month's time. With new tyres this time.

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robzracing

ClioSport Club Member
Rebuild looks impressive

Can I ask, how have you routed the feed and return pipes from the in tank pump to the wheel well? I can’t see a route

There is space for the hoses to run above the tank and between the body and then into the spare wheel well through two drilled holes.
I’m sure there’s a photo further back in my thread.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

massivewangers

ClioSport Club Member
  Several
Glad you had a relatively clean weekend and the car performed well. A shame about the penalty but a good weekend all the same, so well done!
 

Chambers_RS

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 172 Cup&Leon K1
There is space for the hoses to run above the tank and between the body and then into the spare wheel well through two drilled holes.
I’m sure there’s a photo further back in my thread.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I couldn’t see if a pic, page 5 is when you do the swirl pot.
I’ll have you get under mine properly and have a look.
 

Nafoff

ClioSport Club Member
At this point I either need to make excuses or eat humble pie, because by the end of the session he had settled into a nice rhythm and beaten my time by 3 tenths putting us in P6 and 1st in class for the start!

Great write up again mate and good to hear the engine behaved... the above made me chuckle though #awkward ;)
 

robzracing

ClioSport Club Member
A week tomorrow I will be setting off down to Thruxton. this feels odd for 2 reasons. 1, since Brands Hatch the car hasn't needed anything other than routine maintenance and 2, I can barely remember the last time I made it to 2 race meetings in a row!
Of course, I have been tinkering despite this. In October the final race meeting of the season is a double header at Donington with the second race being a night race! The whole meeting will also be televised (for televised read streamed on You Tube!) and our entry is already in! This means I need to sort out some decent lights and being October I should also probably have some wipers!
So, the lights are in hand and will be dealt with in the coming weeks but while I have had some time I thought I may as well make some headway with the wipers.

Some of you may know that last November my brand new van was assaulted by a bin lorry with the result being a stoved in rear end. As all this went through the insurance the body shop replaced everything on the rear including the rear wiper motor despite there being nothing wrong with the original one. Perfect I thought. I nice brand new (1 month old) wiper motor, single speed and light weight. Perfect for the Clio.

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So the past couple of weeks I've spent a few hours mounting and wiring this in.
Unfortunately I overlooked one major detail. The stroke of a wiper on a van tailgate is 180 degrees with the result being a rather comical wiper bouncing off the scuttle panel in front of the driver, across the screen and back onto the scuttle panel on the other side, hopping over my cutoff button and switching everything off! Perfect!

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A quick strip down revealed no easy way to adjust the gearing to reduce the sweep so it's back to the drawing board. I had bought a Laguna rear wiper which I had heard would do the job but unfortunately the one I bought is completely seized. I'll either buy another one of these or I may go for the Citroen AX motor which was designed for single wiper.
All this will have to wait until after Thruxton now and I will have to pray for another dry race. Long range forecast is good at the moment so fingers crossed.

In other news, I am planning a new livery for next year. nothing too drastic but unless my friend who owns Comms Quest wants to cough up for a season of sponsorship I shall be changing to my own company Jarman Tew Design using the same colour scheme.

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And finally, I only just noticed that I had a Driver Profile feature in the Brands Hatch program back in August! I hadn't even opened it until yesterday! Not sure when I gave them all this information but it's a little dated now so they must have had it on file from last year.

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robzracing

ClioSport Club Member
Thruxton 21-09-19
By lunch time last Friday the car was on the trailer and I was all set to head off to Thruxton. Weather forecast was good for Saturday and I was feeling positive.
The journey down was uneventful although I was spotted by an Instagram follower which was weird! And I arrived at the track just after 3. Plenty of time to get set up before heading to the hotel to check in and get some food.

Set up next to the guy who owns one of my old Clios. He was kind enough to offer me a place under his awning for the night so saved me the hassle of setting up the gazebo.
His weekend was not to be the best sadly.
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Friday evening was punctuated by a charity track walk which provided a great opportunity to discuss lines, gears and braking points with a couple of fellow racers. It's amazing how much wider circuits appear when you're not in a car. I would always recommend a track walk before any race; it gives you so much detail about the track.

Bearing in mind, the last time I was at Thruxton in 2016, I managed 4 laps in qualifying before the engine let go. So the days running up to the weekend were spent mainly on YouTube! So an early night was had after a couple more YouTube videos so I could be up early to prepare.

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As expected the next morning the sun was out and after an all you can eat breakfast I had a leisurely time prepping the car before Rob Quantrel (he's on here and a fellow racer) arrived at 10 ready to help for the day.
First things first though, I purchased a set of AO52s to replace my shagged AO50s which will be perfect for Donington next month. For this race I had a new set of AO50s on my TD 1.2s.

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Quali was late morning so we were well ready for it by the time we were called to the assembly area. The aim was to scrub the tires in and then try and hook up behind one of the quick boys so I could get on the pace quickly. As I was driving solo I had plenty of time to learn hopefully!

And it pretty much went to plan! The boys from Chase racing in their Hulk green Clio almost won at Thruxton last year before their aux belt let go, so I knew they'd be competitive. Like me though, they had already had 2 engine failures this year.
So qualifying turned into a bit of a race! With me pushing hard and (unintentionally) forcing Dave in the Clio to outbrake himself on several corners! After a quick dive into the pits to check tire pressures and adjust I headed out again but I couldn't better my best time while chasing Dave and Dave's partner Ryan had already set a faster lap still.
After half an hour I was happy with 6th on the grid, 2nd in class and the car was behaving faultlessly.

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We then had several hours to relax until the race at 16:40. So other than a quick spanner check of brakes and a few pit stop practices we had little to do.

Rob doing the selfie thing and looking cool in headset!
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Me looking less cool.

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The race was awesome. This screen grab from my GoPro shows us all getting off the line. As you can see, it was tight! I made a decent start, went around the outside and headed into the complex in 4th place which is where I stayed for the first couple of laps.

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Eventually I got outbraked into the final chicane by another Clio, pulled it back again the following lap by getting a better exit out of the chicane and then lost it again along with one more place after getting held up by a backmarker who didnt know which way to go.

After a few laps the safety car came out to recover Justin in my old Clio who's engine had expired (again) and all of a sudden I found myself in 2nd place behind the safety car as a few pulled into the pits.
As the safety car went in, so did the leader leaving me to lead the pack off racing again. I held position for one lap before I pulled into the pits for my stop.
Our practicing paid off and I was away again in a little over 40 seconds.

For the rest of the race I took it steady. Rob kept up an outstanding job with the pit board and radio keeping me informed of my position and as I crossed the line I couldn't quite believe how I had come 3rd!

The Chase Racing boys had sadly done another engine and the pole sitter had also retired. Martin Addison in his wickedly quick 106 had a 60 second success penalty for already winning twice this season and these factors all helped of course. But considering this was my first solo 40 minute race I was pretty chuffed with myself!

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So onwards to Donington with just lights and wipers to sort out before then.

Video of the race here, along with a little cheesy intro!

 

robzracing

ClioSport Club Member
2 Weeks ago we had the final race meeting of the season at Donington. The finale being a 40 minute night race following the usual 40 minute race on Sunday afternoon. All the racing over the weekend was streamed on Youtube so we got plenty of coverage over the 2 races. Not always for the right reasons though!

There wasn't much to do after Thruxton. The car had run well; I'd hardly used the brakes so pads were fine and as well as the new set of AO50s I ran at Thruxton I also had the new set of AO52s to run at Donington.

We had booked onto the test day on Friday with a view to getting Jonathan more seat time in the car, getting him familiar with the track and also scrubbing in the new tyres. Of course I was praying for a dry day but the gods were not looking down on us unfortunately.

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The day started dry and we managed about 15 minutes of running before the rain came. Enough to get the front tyres scrubbed but not the rears, so we swapped front to back and ran like that in the wet for the rest of the day.

All went well apart from the inside fogging up even with the blower running but a trip to the shop and some anti-fog cured that. (amazing stuff)

Jonathan also brought with him a small amount of sponsorship from the company he worked for.. (they contributed to the new tyres)

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He has since left them!
Towards the end of Friday the scrutineering for the weekend began so we took the opportunity to get it done. at this point my day went down hill rapidly. While waiting in line for the scrutineers I felt something on my neck, went to brush it off only to be stung by a wasp! Of course I'm allergic, so I said see you later to Jonathan and took myself off to the medical centre.
An hour later, dosed up on Ibuprofen and antihistamines I got back to the garages with a lovely swollen and bright red face! So that was the end of my driving for the day. Jonathan did one more stint and then we packed up.
As we weren't racing until Sunday I had a day ahead of me free which was fortunate as the wasp sting symptoms weren't over.
By the evening I had a full body rash (very attractive) so managed a quick dinner at the hotel and then went to bed. In the morning I woke up with what felt like a neck brace on! The rash had gone only to be replaced by a rather swollen neck. (I certainly wouldn't have been getting a Hans Device on like that!)
So I spent Saturday watching a very wet day of racing interspersed with sleeping and praying I'd be better the next day.

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Sunday, thankfully was forecast to be dry and that was to be the case.

We had got set up Saturday evening in the garages so Sunday morning was pretty chilled with qualifying not until 10.35.

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Qualifying was difficult with a few yellow flags and the car also picked up a slight hint of a misfire. We finished in 10th but with the 2nd place man sadly retiring quite spectacularly we were bumped up the order.

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A beautifully prepared Integra Type R that was only just back in the series after being punted off badly at Thruxton in 2018.

On the grid for race 1 I was lined up directly behind Tom Mensley who historically is the fastest Clio and a regular all out winner. So I planned to tuck up behind him into Redgate and try and stay with him through Craners. With a rolling start this had the potential to work well as long as Tom had a good start.
Toms gearbox blew as the lights went out and I quickly found myself boxed in behind him and losing places rapidly!

So the first few laps were spent making places back up but also trying to manage a slightly worse misfire which we apparently hadn't cured.

A safety car after 10 minutes or so bunched us all up and after the restart I was just trying to hold position while the misfire was hamstringing me out of each of the corners, yet at WOT the car was flying again. Very frustrating.

I handed the car over to Jonathan in 10th and while he managed the same issue I had a bigger problem ultimately put us out of the race.
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Coming through some backmarkers the car all of a sudden stepped out and spun onto the infield. So after establishing that the car seemed still to be running ok Jonathan limped back to the pits with a very sorry looking car.
The problem can be seen on the floor under the car!
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A bolt had come out of the end cover of the gearbox and dumped oil over the back wheels. So a frustrating first race of the weekend but we were determined not to let it end there.

New bolts and new oil sorted the gearbox. A bucket and sponge sorted the appearance and that just left the misfire.

So we spent the next few hours trying to diagnose this.

Coil pack and leads were changed. Plugs were checked. Injectors were checked - basically all the usual suspects. Nothing seemed to be working until while plugging and unplugging the coil pack the misfire all of a sudden went away! So, we put it down to a bad connection on the plug. Got the cable ties out and then took it for a spin around the paddock. It seemed to be fixed!

Before the night race there was a 30 minute "acclimatisation" session. Not a qualifying but still a timed session. So with lights on we went out to see what it was all about.
After about 20 minutes we were the fastest car on the track! The car was running beautifully and Jonathan was getting into his stride nicely too.
On the back of this I decided to make Jonathan start the race. He needs signatures for his licence so it made sense for him to try and get his stint done.

We started 7th on the grid based on our earlier qualifying time. This race was a mix of Tin Tops, Turbo Tin Tops and the RX8 series. He had a good start and made up a few places only for the race to be red flagged on lap one due to a car rolling at Craners.

So after a restart he still managed a few places and the car was going beautifully. After 15 minutes we were up to 2nd although a long way behind Andrew Jordan who is unsurprisingly in another class!

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BUT... as he came into the pits to change over, the dreaded misfire began again! F***k.

I came back out into 4th place and right behind Tom Mensley again. For a couple of laps I stuck with him and another Civic both of which I was quicker than until the corners when the misfire would appear. After a bit though the misfire started to get even worse and I spent the rest of the race nursing the car home, being passed by cars until we finally finished in 13th.

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brakes reached over 400 degrees!

So a very disappointing end to the season results wise, but still immensely enjoyable with the YouTube footage and commentary adding a really nice perspective to the experience. Hopefully next year we'll see more of that. In the meantime there will be an edited program going out on Sky and Amazon Prime at some point over the winter which should be good.

Some investigating to do on the car over winter too!

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another casualty of the race!
 

F12 Josh

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 182
I was at the Donington meeting, watched most of the day from the Hollywood grandstand. Interesting reading about the issues, the car looked to be flying, especially in the night practice. (y)
 

robzracing

ClioSport Club Member
I was at the Donington meeting, watched most of the day from the Hollywood grandstand. Interesting reading about the issues, the car looked to be flying, especially in the night practice. (y)
The night practice session was about the only time that the car ran (almost) at 100%. It was still misfiring a little bit. Still haven't got to the bottom of the problem, but then I haven't had much time to get into it since then.
 


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