Saturday, 9 April 2011

HCR and all that!

Well that was interesting, had a fun night's driving with Doug and Katie. The old car went well, apart from running abit rich-well in fact very rich! Jeez, fuel is expensive eh!

The event seemed quite weird. It started at about 06.30 when I missed two calls from Doug and Katie that would have told me that Doug had blown his Passatt up near Manchester. Doug was driving down from JOG where he had dropped a nephew off who was undertaking a bike ride to Paris in aid of a charity that supports Hodgkinson's disease. So it was arranged that Katie and I would meet up with Andy Martin and Michael Stern at Andy's house and then we would go to pick Doug up at a motorway service area. This ended up being Hopwood services on the M42. Anyrate we made the start venue at the Old Stone Trough, poor Doug looked shattered after his antics-still these Foremans are hardy creatures!

Once up in Lancashire, Katie drove the car for the first time for a mile or two to get used to the car, as the first part of the HCR was a Test, and Katie was driving we thought she had better drive the old car. Considering that her only experience of a saloon was driving Fred Slezak's mk1, to come 4th in this Test was top stuff-well done Katie. The event then consisted of driving around the UK attempting to get to all the Counties and venues indicated upon the listing that Dale Barker had given us. We were shocked to see that from Barnoldswick we had to visit various reservoirs that serve Manchester and Lancashire, then go to Nottingham and Lincolnshire and end up in Shropshire at Telford-blimey!! Once we had visited the Reservoirs, time was short so we decided to skip Notts and Lincs and get to Telford, which the car did with ease, in fact we were the first car at Telford! the car was not pulling full revs, so I had taken off the restrictive aftermarket air filter, this released some air and gave us more power. Bloomin' nice to see Dave Kent up at Telford, he's good lad is Dave really keen on CT events. Also withn him was his faithful dog called Brandy, she looks abit older than when they took part in the HCR last, but is still going strongely.

Doug and Katie had alternated the sleep up to this point, however Doug was still knackered so it was decided that Katie would drive and I would nav. This next section was great fun, trailing down to A483, A470, A479 and A40 towards South Wales, we had to visit various Castles on the way, all accomplished with ease. Katie was throwing the old car around with verve and seemed to be having a laugh! Before leaving Wales we used a great RBRR road, the A466 from Monmouth to Chepstow, for my mind one of the great UK roads if driven in the middle of the night. So far it had all been a bit weird, Katie when not driving, she had been 'flat out' on her iphone and had bathed the car interior with blue light from the device, and Doug kept waking up and appearing like some spectral vision in the back (Doug as many know is a big unit and takes up alot of the rear seat space),I started to think the 2.5 was haunted! Also for most of the night we had been experiencing a methane problem, reckon Doug had been at the scotch pies when in Scotland. One of the issues with the car is that I had put new door window seals into her, this caused the front windows to fall out of their guiding mechanism, making it tough to push the windows up or down, gotta say I wish I had sorted this problem out. Sound affects were added using the squeaky passengerr seat belt reels, yep, we were aboard the 'Fart Express'! Next was the M4/M24/A12 section to finish through dusk.I fell asleep at this point and was surprised to find out that whilst asleep Katie and Doug had been having fun, the car had gone up to highly illegal 3 figure sum. This car is fitted with a 28% J type overdrive and 3.45:1 diff, this results in 112mph at 4K in overdrive top-mile eater eh!

When back at Woodbridge, Katie drove the car in the second test, she has obviously got these saloon cars worked out as she came second on the timed section, however for the distance part of the test she could not see the cone and slightly mis-judged the distance from the bumper to the cone resluting in a 5th or 6th place. It was fascinating to see the car being thrown about and I had no qualms about letting her drive the car like this, the car sounds good. So that was the 2011 HCR, I have now done all of them and must say I do enjoy the event. Back in 2005 I found out about a 70/80s CT event called the 20 County Challenge, so we decided to run the event in 2005. The HCR is a evolution of that event. Dale Barker has now organised the last 4 number and has decided that a rest is needed. Ellis Stokes, Mike Helm and Andy Martin will organise the 2012 event, be great to see more CT types taking part.

After this event I have decided that I must sort out the cronic valve seat recession the car is suffering from. With this in mind I have taken the 2.5S head I bought from Andy Pearce to Roy Burrell this morning and have asked him to stick in some hardened valve seats, reduce the depth of the head to raise the compression ratio and do some mild porting. The head has stainless steel valves, bronze guides and A series valve seals. Should give the car abit more go, this should help on the forthcoming 10CR.

One mistake I made for the HCR was to take too much stuff, the boot was full!!! 3 up with this load made the car feel sluggish, 'turn in' was affected by this mistake. I will attempt to do the 10CR with a lighter load-I hope Doug may try this next time!!! It was good fun doing this event with the Foremans, they are a funny pair, at various points it was difficult to drive and concentrate as we laughing so much! Next year, I imagine Katie and Doug will be using their mk1 saloon, I will miss their company. That car should be something!

Next up is the CSMA Autosolo, I have entered using the Spitfire, however I would like to use the GT6 so will spend tomorrow working on that car. A few jobs need to be done: 1. Rebuild the clutch master cylinder. 2. Change gearbox mounts 3. Fit new propshaft 4. Change diff mounts 5. Re-fit the interior. A busy day then, so reckon I need to get some sleep!!! This edition of my blog does not seem to like paragraphs-I will sort this out asap-sorry!

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