Saturday, 27 June 2009


Umm, TD at Brands Hatch did not go so well, I had a good drive in the GT6 over to Brands around the M25 fighting and sparring with the continental lorries and got to within 1.5miles of Brands Hatch when disaster struck!

I was coming down 'Death' hill (Yep, the locals call that section of the A20 that, nice name) when the car lost drive, I managed to freewheel around the roundabout at the end and into the Texaco PFS. Quick look underneath to discover the OS driveshaft hanging out of the hub. Spent an hour attempting to get the shaft back into the CV joint to no avail. The best way to have attempted the job would have been to have taken the shaft of the diff end, push the shaft back into the outer CV and put bolt the shaft back onto the diff. However this would have entailed getting under the car supported on a small trolley jack on a hill, thinking about either the car falling on me or the car running down the hill damaging the underneath made the decision to get her recovered home easy! So first use of Peter James Insurance breakdown recovery system. Must say the company who picked me up, PJM from Swanley, were excellent, the recovery man took alot of care and was very courteous, not bad as he seemed to be suffering from the mother of all colds!
I must say thanks to Richard and Hilary Brake and Mike Banks for stopping and helping to move the car, they pushed the car up a part of the hill, no easy push, so thanks very much. Its great the help one receives from fellow CT members, all the members I come across are very friendly and pleasant.
I spoke to Dave Pearson, and he has sent me some new 1/2'' longer shafts, these will cure the problem, I will fit these next week and hopefully the car will be good to use for the impending Club Triumph Autosolo at Buntingford.

Managed to get home by 17.30, immediately leapt into the Focus and drove back to Brands Hatch. I took my crash helmet back with me and enjoyed passenger laps in Michael Helm's TR6 and Andy Martin's Vitesse (6003VC-Ex Works Monte Carlo Vitesse-I think driven by future Le Mans great Porsche driver (911 and 917) Vic Elford), both being great cars and very well driven. Mike showed me some great lines and boy did he attack the corners in the car, the ride over the rumble strips being impressive! Mike told me that the car has hard springs, but as is usual for cars when on a track the car felt lightly sprung. However I felt the roll was abit too much, Mike agrees and I believe he may source a stiffer anti roll bar for the front end.
Andy's Vitesse is a beauty, very well tied down and just it goes where he points it, very good-who said Vitesse do not handle? The biggest difference I felt between the two cars was the extra grunt afforded by the 2.5 engine in Mike's TR over Andy's triple weber'd 2 litre six. This was the first time I had been in Andy's car, and I was totally won over by the car, the attention to detail is superb, minor things like the seat belt webbing used to pull the perspex side windows up and down, the authentic haphazard layout of the dash being two examples of the hard work that has gone into the car when built by Canley Classics and by Andy since he got her back 3 years ago. Andy often uses the car for work, how many ex-works rally cars are used for commuting!
Andy and Mike are both proper enthusiasts and good members of Club Triumph who get out there and use their cars. Thanks to them for the fast but safe laps of Brands!
As usual Paul Michelmore was terrorizing the circuit in his glorious six pot injected Spitfire, what a car. I must get Paul to take me around a track sometime, sure it will be fun! I reckon Paul's car is as well sorted as a Spitfire with a six cylinder engine could be. If ever there was a car that makes me think about moving the engine back in my GT6 then Paul's car is the one, terrific! Also great to see Richard and Hilary Brake having fun in Richard's injected six cylinder Spitfire, afterwards in the pub we had a chat about the rear suspension of the car, Richard feels some more work being needed to tie the rear end down. He has just fitted CV driveshafts to the car, these being a design using Escort and Volvo parts, as many have found after moving away from Rotoflex driveshafts he has found the driveability of the car to be very much improved.

Whilst at Brands is was great to see Doug and Katie Foreman who were taking the opportunity to have passenger rides in various cars. I was pleasantly surprised to see how well Doug is looking after his horrendous accident in early March, what a resilient chap!
Also present were Dave Picton and 'Fred', Slezak, Dave using his mk2 Jag and Fred using her mk1 2000. This 2000 is another great car that is used in alot of CT events, as usual Fred was driving the car in her spirited manner. Talking later on I was told that Fred is driving her newly acquired Spitfire mk3 to Finland where she lives and works at present, good luck to her on that mammoth drive. Evidently Dave has bought her a nice toolkit for the car so she should be ok if any problems occur!

On the subject of roll, my 2.5 rolls alot, as previously mentioned I have bought some harder bushed arb links for the car, it will be interesting to see how they affect the roll of that car, there always seems alot of lost motion on the normal rubber bushed arb links.

Anyrate after Thursdays fun I now seem to have 4 Triumph cars and not one runner amongst them! Looks like Sunday will be busy!

I am comforting myself with the thought that if the driveshaft had popped out whilst driving around Brands Hatch it could have been disasterous!

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