Aintree Sprint, June 25th 2011

Jun 28, 2011 update on grahamb's 1983 Ford Fiesta XR2 Mk1

First event in the Fiesta at the Aintree (Liverpool) Sprint on Saturday 25th June.

No real dramas. 47th O/A from150 starters. 2nd fastest front wheel drive car My Fastest 0-60 recorded was 5.4s

Aintree Sprint, 25th June 2011 5:20am depart 7:40am arrive 120 miles 34.5mpg

64ft (seconds) 2.71 - 2.58 - 2.66 - 2.62 - 2.56 Bechers (seconds) 38.51 - 36.53 - 35.14 - 35.40 - 35.08 Speed (mph) - - 115 - 115 - 115 - 115 Time (seconds) 58.05 - 55.85 - 53.50 - 53.81 - 53.48

P1 Broke the lower gearbox/engine steady bar. Basically the nut that secured the rod end to the tube, had sheared off. The prospect of driving home again after just one practice run wasn’t one I wanted to entertain. Malcom Evans, the owner of an immaculate red anglia, parked next to me, said to find Jon (the chap who did the drivers briefing) and say to him “Malc says do you know if Owen is working today”, which I did. A Westfield owner standing talking to Jon over at the start area, asked what the problem was and I explained I needed to find a MiG so I could repair my broken engine steady bar, and he rang the local MOT garage to see if Owen was at work. It turned out that Owen was out for the day, but I was told if I could use a MiG I could use theirs. So I removed the broken steady bar from underneath the Fiesta, unhitched the trailer from the Subaru, and drove the mile around the corner, to Aintree Motors. I borrowed a new nut, used their bench mounted grinder/wire brush, to clean up the bar. And I quickly and very thoroughly MiG’d the two back together.

15minutes later I’d refitted the steady bar, and the spare top steady bar that braces the gearbox to the bulkhead. But having missed my P2, I joined the back of the last batch of T1’s and was quizzed as to why I was running so far out of order. I explained to the CofC that I’d had to get some welding done to repair the broken engine steady bar, and he asked if I’d told anyone I was leaving the circuit. At which point Jon piped up “Ah, welding, broken engine steady bar. Yes he told me”. Smiles all around, and I was allowed to make my 1st timed run. Lots of mechanical noises, however, and when I returned to the pits I remembered that the steady bar was supposed to pull the bottom of the engine rearwards, to prevent the gearbox hitting the passenger side suspension tie bar. But as I’d just bolted it all back together after the repair, the box was hitting the tie bar. And so I set about removing the steady bar again, jacking the rear of the box up to tilt the engine/box forwards, shortening the steady bar and bolting it all back together. No harm done, just paint missing from the suspension tie bar where it rested on the box.

I also removed the two rear bump stops that I’d made during the week, as it was apparent that over the bumps out on track, the rear end was crashing down on them, limiting the travel of the rear suspension too much. So after my T1 run, I removed the rear wheels and quickly removed the stops.

T2 Another better run, getting more used to the paddle clutch (day and night compared to a normal one), and my gear changes were starting to get easier.

T3 I tried too hard, very scruffy run, went slower than my second timed run, T2

T4 The final run of the day, I made my best start (0-60 in 5.4s, 64ft of 2.56s), and went quicker than I’d been all day, just a few hundredths off my PB from 2006, in cool conditions with a strong headwind on the finishing straight. Very Happy

Conclusions: Lots to do. There is a small brake fluid leak on the rear proportioning valve, that I need to take care of, and the fluid has lifted the paint, so it all needs cleaning up and respraying. The rear of the carbon bonnet lifts over 100MPH and I need to reinforce it to prevent that from happening. The exhaust tunnel is getting very warm on the short section where I haven’t used the reflective heat shield underneath the car, and as a result, the fuel lines inside the car are getting warm through heat soak, which is raising the temperature of the fuel and costing me valuable BHP. The top gear of the car is too low for sprinting. On every timed run I crossed the finish line at 115MPH, which was 7600rpm in 5th gear. When I changed from 4th to 5th, the revs only seem to drop by 1000rpm, and the car quickly reaches terminal velocity.

Overall I’m very happy with the Fiesta. The box is great fun to drive, and I will get quicker at gear changes in time. The 2 degrees camber I’m running don’t exactly help me get the power down away from the line, so I need to perfect my launches. My fastest 0-60 was 5.4S so its not all bad news. I may need to fit taller tyres to raise the top speed on the faster circuits, or get the gearbox out for a trip back to Quaife to have 5th gear changed for a taller ratio. Right now, the taller tyres is the easiest option, and I can get some wider tyres in at the same time.



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