Llandow sprint, July 16th 2011

Jul 25, 2011 update on grahamb's 1983 Ford Fiesta XR2 Mk1

BARC Wales Llandow Sprint 16th July 2011 5:00am depart 8:10am arrive 164 miles 33.0mpg Fiesta Top Speed: 103MPH in 4th gear

P1 it had rained heavily on the journey down from Leicester, and the circuit was very wet with lots of standing water during the practice run. We were to get three practice runs though, so there was plenty of opportunity to learn the track, on this my first visit to Llandow.

P2 more rain, more surface water, strong winds, very slippery.

P3 the track had dried out, and the rain had stayed away for a good hour, until the moment I got in the Fiesta for my 3rd practice run, and by the time I lined up at the start, though the heavy shower had now stopped, the circuit was again water logged.

T1 adjusted the brake bias to give more brakes at the front, the pedal had fealt quite dead, with little feedback, but the adjustment made a big improvement in pedal feel. Not a bad run on a drying track, but the heavens opened halfway round, and I could only manage a 91second run.

T2 fully dry, strong winds, cloudy but no rain, I made a very determined start, and recorded an 88.03s run to finish 4th in class, and 31st overall. I had a bit of a moment on the end of the first lap. Approaching the bus stop there was a split second where the car under heaving braking, turned left on me, so I came off the brakes, and the car straightened itself up. But this ate in to my braking space, and I entered the bus stop faster than I really wanted to. It recovered itself well, and I pushed quite hard round the rest of the 2nd lap, trying to remember the lines that Gary Thomas had described when we walked the course in the morning.

The Fiesta is running really well with no reliability issues and it is very exciting to drive on the limit. Not even any oil surge problems on the quicker corners, which I was sometimes plagued with when I ran the 2.0 Zetec. What I am suffering from though is a lack of grip, and this is partly down to the narrow 6yr old tyres, and the ride height and handling from the 15” wheels. I really must get a set of 13’s for next year, with some much fatter rubber, which should really allow me to get the most from the chassis.


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