Here we go again

Storage boxesThe first race of the season is now just a few days away and it’s going to be a really busy day. We’ve got two races in a day and, because Donington operate what seems to me to be a completely unacceptable testing regime, there’s no testing on the friday before the race. My view is that the club shouldn’t give the circuit our monies if they aren’t prepared to accommodate us for testing but I don’t hold much sway and so I’m going into two races on a new circuit (we’re on the GP circuit) pretty much blind.

The one slight saving grace is that the club have managed to get a test session into the start of the programme. This means that I’ve got two practice sessions and two races to fit in on the day, which is going to be a bit pressed, to say the least.

Hence, it was time for final fettling and packing up. I hope that I’ve made the latter a little easier by buying some new storage boxes for fitting into the bus. You can see them sitting in a pile in our hall at the top of the page. Their arrival was a bit traumatic though in that I had them delivered to the office and they arrived on a huge wooden pallet which gave the blokes in reception palpitations…

Cleaning up headlight covers-003One thing I wanted to sort on the car was the headlamp covers. Although they’re fine the way I’ve attached them means that grot gets behind them. Hence, I’ve adopted the radical approach of taping them to the bodywork. I don’t think they’ll fly off because other people have done this but you never know…

These boxes are, indeed, now all packed up and in the bus because I went to Snetterton last week for the first test of the season. I didn’t really find much out, mostly because it was wet but I was managing to get my race head on again. After sitting looking at the logs I can see all the places that I was too slow. The problem is, I really need a whole day’s testing at Donington to get myself up to speed and it seems unlikely that I’ll get anywhere near that for the reasons discussed above.

And, luckily, the headlamp covers are still attached… The only problem I had on the day, apart from the ones I expected like the new chain mysteriously acquiring loads of slack on the first session (they always do!) was that the button that put a track marker into the DL1 failed. I spent some of last weekend replacing the switch and rewiring this with a button just below the Dash4. After doing that for a couple of hours I realised that you could program one of the buttons on the Dash4 itself to do this. So, somewhat chastened, I took the new wiring back out again… Speaking of the Dash4, I had a lot of trouble last year with reflections from the display. I’ve attempted to resolve this by buying some anti-reflective film which is intended to go on a Nexus 7 and stuck some of this, with the aid of some gaffer tape, to the front of the Dash. It seemed to be OK at Snetterton, but if the sun ever comes out this year it might turn out to be not so good.

Race numbers returnFinally, I did what is becoming the auspicious start to a new season of putting the race numbers on the car. Yes, I know they represent the same cardinal value as last years, but they are actually new numbers.

I must admit that I’m looking forward to the season with slight wariness. The J15 is turning out to be a bit of a pig and I’m at a bit of loss what to do (other than the wholesale rebuilding already discussed here). I’m seriously considering either retiring from racing permanently or at least temporarily while I try and find some speed with this car… One thing I really ought to do is to get someone good to drive the car. I was talking to Tim Gray (last year’s RGB champion and the sort of chap who’d have won if driving a Tesco shopping trolley) and he did some testing with another J15 that’s racing with the Kit Cars. He was very complimentary about that and I wonder if I’ve gone really wrong somewhere…

2 thoughts on “Here we go again”

  1. Tim,
    Retire!!?? Permanently!!??
    I’ve been regularly logging into your blog for 6 years.. maybe more.. it’s always proven fascinating and has helped me in my own racing.. I’ve even moved overseas.. and I’m still checking in…
    So I’m sure I speak for loads of regular readers… You can’t retire!

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