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emicen
02-25-2010, 09:57 AM
Thought I might as well start a thread for my race car even though its not a GT-Four, or infact a Celica. Its an 02 Mini Cooper to be raced in the Scottish Mini Cooper Cup at Knockhill with guest rounds at Oulton Park (on the GP Circuit) and Croft.

Well, finally got up to Knockhill on Saturday and picked up my car from Craig at Minimax who'd been doing some work on it in the off season (and doing a remarkable job not getting pissed off at my barrage of phonecalls about when the suspension was going to be back from getting rebuilt!)

Here it is loaded up on the transporter:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/Mini/20022010808.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/Mini/20022010809.jpg

Massive thanks to Gerry at Performance Tek (http://www.performancetek.co.uk) for the loan of his transporter without which I'd have been seriously gubbed. Book it an MOT and try driving it home being the back up plan!

I went up to Knockhill with my mind set on renaming her and painting her white for this season. I've since found out its unlucky to rename cars so she'll be staying Keira and since theres a lot of all white cars entered this year, looks like I'll be coming up with a new paint job too.

So since I dont know what I'm painting it, I decided just to remove some of the graphics at the moment and focus on getting her MOT'd so I can use it on the roads for a laugh and to visit companies looking for sponsorship.

She's now parked up at HWS Motor Engineers in Dumbarton (http://www.hwsmotorengineers.co.uk). Here's how she started the day:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/Mini/21022010813.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/Mini/21022010814.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/Mini/21022010815.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/Mini/21022010816.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/Mini/21022010817.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/Mini/21022010819.jpg

I'm mighty impressed with my trusty hair drier. Must have been on for 4hrs solid and didnt hit the thermal cut off once!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/Mini/21022010822.jpg

Here's how she'll be for the next while.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/Mini/21022010825.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/Mini/21022010832.jpg

Next on the cards:
- new tow straps front and rear
- firex bottle recharged
- new race seat since the one in it is out of date (maybe, not sure if it has to be in date)
- rebuild the spare rear calipers and fit them
- refit the AST suspension and set it up
- replace the windscreen for its MOT
- find some washer nozzles for its MOT
- find some sponsors
- give it a new paint job
- powdercoat the rims
- buy and fit a timing transponder
- reweld the cage mounting plates
- fluids service and general once over

(The MOT is the UKs annual roadworthiness inspection, don't know what the US equivalent is)

Murgatroy
02-25-2010, 12:38 PM
Some states don't even have an annual inspection, and few states, have anything similar to the Ministry of Transport test. It is fair to say that if the US had something national like your MOT, half of our cars would be off the road. Chaos would be pulled because of her windshield and lack of an exhaust.

Shadowlife25
02-26-2010, 07:41 AM
Wonderful thread, and Welcome! :)

4thgenceli
02-26-2010, 07:52 AM
Some states don't even have an annual inspection, and few states, have anything similar to the Ministry of Transport test. It is fair to say that if the US had something national like your MOT, half of our cars would be off the road. Chaos would be pulled because of her windshield and lack of an exhaust.
What are you talking about? We have California you know :P

Yes.. some states don't have it, other's do, while some (like mine) can't make up their mind.

187flatliner
02-26-2010, 08:41 PM
shyt oregons a breeze to pass inspect/deq......my sisters merc passed without a hiccup....350,000 miles smokes a quart a day and runs way to rich.......i was surprised......or maybe the guy was hitting om my sister.........?

emicen
03-01-2010, 06:18 PM
Only a couple of pics from this weekend and one is actually Celica related!

My damn phone decided to delete all the other pics so only got these two. Start of the day:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/3a1e28c8.jpg

Got the front bumper off and had a look at what damage it was carrying from last season and ducktaped the bits that needed a little bit extra support. Reconnected the sidelights and indicators (for some reason the plugs had been ripped off a couple of the wires). Got the number plate light working again, just need to figure out why the reverse light isnt working now. Got the mirror caps and wing off and painted them matt black. Repositioned the race seat to suit my size and prefered stance. Replaced the battery in the lap timer I found so I now just need to buy a pitlane transmitter rather than the whole caboodle (50 vs 150). Did a fluid check and stripped some clips etc to shave some weight.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/9203fc84.jpg

This Carlos Sainz was parked up on the 4 post ramp when I got there. The hole in the sill was mahoosive! Thankfully, the owner is getting it fixed rather than the current default in the UK which is largely break them for bits.

emicen
08-18-2010, 03:16 PM
Right, big update time (sorry, I'm copy pasting from another forum so some smilies may not work)

[End of March-ish]

Been a bit busy so havent updated this much but project has basically gone through umpteen twists and turns and left me pulling my hair out on numerous occasions. After battle royale and much stress I got her race suspension back on and off to the MOT station:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/39ffd361.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/edaadb39.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/dd2afcce.jpg

After that I had more stress and I am now qualified to panel beat small dents, replace bonnets, cataloy stuff and align panels. Lets just say, bonnet pins will be an OCD item for me from now on and bonnet through the windscreen at 80mph is exciting to say the least!

Anyways, here she is at Knockhill last Sunday on the first test day of the season for us. Again, big thanks to Gerry at Performancetek for the transporter borrowing!

Was my first time out on track in a car basically ever. Had a single seater experience at Knockhill when I was 18 (10 years ago), had 5 laps for my ARDS test 2 weeks ago and had an afternoon dicking about on an airfield in my mate's M5 last year, but outwith them, my last proper racing session was when I was 13 in karts!

So off we went without much of a clue what we should be doing. You get to the pits and take the car off the transporter and get signed on etc. Everyone else is beaving away checking this and that. I'd checked and changed the oil the night before and checked my water level, so gave them a cursory glance again and all was well. Checked I'd done the bonnet pins. Checked the wheel nuts. Checked the bonnet pins again. Checked and noted tyre pressures. Jumped in and off for my first session. Only got 3 laps but was ok just for sighting and getting a slight feel for the car.

Went out for 2 more session before lunch, about 15mins a piece and then we had another 3 sessions after lunch at 25mins a piece.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/872e2222.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/86faed20.jpg

Was pretty happy with my performance in as much as I was consistent through every session with all my hot laps being within typically a 0.3s range and my times dropping consistently in each session.

I now need to go back to the guy that set up my suspension to get his suggestions for what I can do to cure a couple of handling issues and also to review the tyre wear with him to see if we were running optimum camber etc.

Mechanically she's going to get a nose to tail bolt check, all the bodywork finished (it looks ghetto just now but that was all we had time for to get it out on track), rear brake calipers are getting rebuilt to cure it's desire to brake sideways on a couple of corners, full fluid & filters refresh, new plugs, damn good clean to get all the gravel out from my couple of rallycross moments and wire in my timing transponder.

---------- Post added at 02:54 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:51 PM ----------

[Mid-End April]

Well, Saturday and Sunday were the first races of the season. Rushed about the week before getting all the last niggles sorted out and Friday afternoon she was all done and ready for the weekend. Fresh paint, fresh graphics, freshly powdercoated wheels with a couple of new tyres on.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/6d6a8d63.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/45fe8aa9.jpg

Set off on Saturday up to Knockhill to be greeted by glorious sunshine. Well pleased. Out for the first session and came back in running 65 flat as my best. Not happy, should be faster than that, I’ve run 64.3 previously. Tweeked the tyre pressures and that improved things a touch.

Second session, my windscreen wipers jammed on due to a problem with the body control unit. Coming out the hairpin I was busy fighting with them trying to get them off and buzzed the limiter in second. Limp home mode being the result. Bugger. Game over for the day, Craig Noble at Minimax helped me out though and reset the error codes and that reset things for Sunday so not all hope lost.

Sunday arrived, pissing down. Even sleet at times. Now my set up is a finger in the air one (albeit researched a bit online and actually not too bad in the dry). In the wet, all I could do was loosen off the rear ARB and see how she went (oh, and bought a couple more fresh tyres, not having part worns on the back in those conditions with KH’s notorious slippy kerbs!). Talked to Sandy Forrest before going out (KH instructor who did my ARDS test) and he re-iterated the whole stay away from the kerbs thing.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/34379b4e.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/a264b4d7.jpg

Well, my set up in the wet was horrific. Only way I could get her to turn through the top of Duffus without understeering on to the litter was to trail brake and then poke it in to a slide and just catch it before Leslies was negotiated backwards. (these are the corners used for the UK Drift series!)

I got held up a bit in traffic but got my 3 laps in, backed off a bit to take a flying lap, got a good drive out the hairpin up the start finish straight and… BOLLOCKS, chequered flag out. Net result, qualified 11th.

Off we went in the first race, my best start ever. (also my only start ever!) Was slightly hectic for a few laps then I got my head down and took off after Geoff Gillies. Had a really good battle with Geoff, really close but no contact, had him a couple of times then messed up the hairpin and let him back past and missed 3rd gear going up the straight the second time to let him past again. Finished in 10th.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/9bfc2b3c.jpg

Second race things were drying up. I didn’t get off the line very quick and found myself having to defend for the first few laps whilst the pack got away. Once I got rid of the following cars I again took off after Mr Gillies. Finished up chasing him across the line again but now that the track was drying and my setup was more at home, I posted the 6th fastest lap in the race so was quite hopeful of moving up the field in the final as I reckoned there was more to come.

First few laps of race 3 were quite hectic but I closed in on the leading pack rapidly and found myself at the back of a 10 car train. Got round the outside of the car in front coming through Carlube on to Hislops/Railway but then there was contact with his front wheel clipping my drivers side rear wheel, ending with both of us in the tyres. I recovered the initial slide to stop her going headfirst in to the tyres, but it whipped back the other way and I tank slapped the tyre wall at ~80mph and its been widely commented it’s a miracle the car didn’t roll.

Lots of late nights coming up if I’m going to get her out for the 8th/9th May meeting.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/15d2d1ea.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/2ac3a842.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/196baa5a.jpg


[Bout a week after the smash, end of April-ish]


Got the rear quarter panel off now and the door etc. She's looking a bit naked, cant decide if its better or worse than with dents in :yuck:

Anyhoo, here she is stripped down ready to begin rebuilding. Got myself a new water pump since the radiator took care of the old one's pulley:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/1abd85ed.jpg


Here's a section/slab of the fibreglass/cataloy that was on the rear quarter from a previous repair before my time. Once all fixed up she may well be lighter than when she started, and she was already one of the lightest on the grid I believe. Might have to look at ballast :yikes:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/b497eac8.jpg

Just waiting for a mahoosive delivery from MiniSpares now and the rebuild can commence. Its amazing how tough Minis are for a small car.

---------- Post added at 02:58 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:54 PM ----------

Race meeting two this weekend, a double day affair because we were sharing the event with the British GT champsionship card. So Global Lights (distinct “meh”), British Formula Ford and the GT Cup.

Testing on Friday was the first time I’d been in the car since the smash, hadn’t even managed a road test. Indeed, as of Friday morning the car wasn’t fully assembled and the bumper still needed painting! Session one, missed due to running late. Session two, car wasn’t turning in at all, panic. Scratched my head a bit, checked tyre pressures, scratched some more, phoned Kenny Brown and he gave me a couple of ideas. Session three, back in the game!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/b95938ba.jpg


Saturday morning and it was an early start getting her through scrutineering since we hadn’t had time on Friday. Another rather disappointing qualifying from me, only myself to blame really, lines in to Clarks and the hairpin were abysmal. So tenth on the grid for race one.

Got off the line really well which got me the jump on Steven Brewster. The next 4 laps were spent with him chomping on my bootlid and having to play a serious defence to keep him behind me. He briefly managed to dive past coming in to MacIntyres when I wasn’t fast enough to defend but I knew he wouldn’t get it slowed down and nipped back through on the inside in to Butchers as he ran through the gravel. After that his car seemed to drop off a bit which allowed me to get my head down and chase down Alan Waugh who was chasing Carol Brown. Last lap so decided it was time to make the move. Took an absolute flyer through Duffus and Leslies and got right up behind him coming in to the chicane and luck shined in my favour with him running wide on to the gravel. Up the inside in to Clarks, defended along Hislops/Railway straight (exactly where race 3 ended last time out!) and in to the hairpin. He got a better run out the hairpin but I managed to out drag him up the hill and got 8th by about 12 inches.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/214f99a4.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/cc79ab28.jpg


Race two starts in the finishing order from race one so I was in 8th along side Geoff Gillies with Carol Brown in front. Good start but I had to back out coming through Leslies due to traffic and had Alan pushing me hard for the first couple of laps. Thankfully traffic behind turned their attention on him and with Alan having to play defensive I could chase down Geoff and Carol battling for 6th. Just to ensure my mother had her heart in her mouth one more time, last lap, last corner, side by side past my previous crash site in to the hairpin. Again, snuck past on the inside coming up the start finish straight and managed to out drag Geoff to the line. (photo robbed from AMD87’s flickr account, Carol leading in to the hairpin with me defending from Alan Waugh)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/c7d1a64e.jpg


Race three the grid is reversed somewhere between 5th and 8th depending on the draw, same as race 3 in the BTCC. 8th place was picked so 6th ever race would see me lining up on the front row.

Race 3 on the Sunday had me a touch nervous. There was the feint drizzling that can mean rain is coming or nothing to worry about roughly 20mins before the start. We elected not to change set up hoping it would pass. Bright sunshine as we moved in to the holding area. Sweet. Half way through the race before us with the cars now in the holding area and not really able to change set up, skies darken and it drizzles that bit heavier. Bollocks! Luckily it didn’t lie and going out for our green flag lap a quick test of the kerbs said Knockhill’s notoriously greasy kerbs were still fit for riding!

Off the line I got a flier, two car lengths ahead of Geoff by the time we went under the Beatson’s bridge. Unfortunately there was an “ambitious” dive up the inside that saw me taking to the gravel to avoid a smash, the diver airborne and 3 other cars hobbled taking avoiding action as cars went across the grass before turn 3 to avoid the carnage and others had to drive blind through the plume of dust. Came back on track in 8th but the driver’s side front suspension had taken a knock and the tracking was out (the post race hot pressure being 6psi north of where it normally would be). Made up a couple of places to finish 6th. Much better result than last race weekend, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed.

Lots of pictures of the carnage on www.power-images.co.uk

Got a couple of TV interviews over the weekend but seems appropriate to re-iterate my thanks. Hugh at HWS Motorengineers ( www.hwsmotorengineers.co.uk ) has worked tirelessly over the last 2 weeks getting the car back together and fit for the race. Also the marshals from the previous race weekend, when it all goes pear shaped its remarkable just how quickly they are on the scene making sure your car isn’t about to fireball, making sure you are ok and get the appropriate medical attention and getting everything back in order so everyone else can go racing again.

Think the next race meeting for me is going to be the round at Knockhill on July 25th now. The Speedfair double driver endurance race in June would be fun but the accident repair bill from the shunt has dented my budget quite a bit and since its all out my back pocket at the moment, unless I find a sponsor I'll need to preserve my budget for the rest of the season. The Speedfair race not being a championship round means I'm not losing points by missing it.

---------- Post added at 03:01 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:58 PM ----------

Just a quick one from Round 3 last weekend.

Another piss poor qually but I got the adjusters for my rear dampers afterwards. In the dry you want to run full hard on the rear, mine have been on full soft (ie wet setting) all year.

Set them to full hard for race one and went out to see how it behaved. Car was like night and day. Much better on turn in and could push on through corners I previously had to feather the throttle through. Very close battle but I ended up stuck in a group of cars holding each other up, same story in race two infact. Although my results were pretty poor, the racing was awesome, closest racing I've been involved in and absolutely no contact despite being under half a meter off each others bumpers through the chicane on occasion.

Race 3 was another close one, ended up being towed in after some contact knocked the roll pin out my gearbox but thankfully it didnt give until the cool down lap.

Back to the workshop and repaired, ready for Oulton Park this weekend!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/c93d5e56.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/77d9f1d1.jpg




So this weekend was round 4, our first away meeting at Oulton Park in Cheshire on the international circuit (biggest layout).

Jacked work in early on Thursday and headed up the road to borrow a transporter from Gerry at www.PerformanceTek.co.uk and went to get the car packed up.

At this point I was reminded why we name our cars after women. No matter no much love, money and attention you give them, they'll still hate you :lol: In this case I spent the next 2 hours chasing an electrical gremlin that was making the car cut out. Finally sorted it out and loaded up the car, 10pm. So 2 hours to get home and pack all my race gear and everything else for the weekend and get to asda for BBQ supplies.

Core kit:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/af272137.jpg

Just time for chips'n'cheese'n'doner before going out to collect Hugh from www.hwsmotorengineers.co.uk and head down south.

1am we left Glasgow, 5:30am we got to Oulton Park. 1 hours sleep, time for testing!

Now, oh my fucking god what a track Oulton is! Soooooo much faster and at the same time more technical than Knockhill. After last weekend I wad really debating whether or not to make the trip but seriously glad I did. There's so much history with this track and names that anyone really in to motorsport is familiar with. Cascades, island bend, Druids, shell oils hairpin. It's a completely different challenge to Knockhill.

Testing went quite well with my times falling all day, once I got my head round staying flat in 4th round island bend anyways (110mph, turn in, lift a bit to swing the tail in to a drift, peg it flat, brake like fuck down to 50 for the shell oils hairpin)

Then the rain came. Pissed it down!

Cowering under the gazeebo:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/0aea7874.jpg

Dry on Saturday morning though for qualifying, but slight problems emerged with my brakes. Enough meat for a couple of Knockhill sessions wasn't enough for the faster braking zones at Oulton and the pads got very low, making the passenger front start binding and by the time I came in it was metal on metal. Managed to borrow some pads from the guys at Tynecastle Garage to see me through and had a spare disc with me.

Touch worn:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/f37bb8e4.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/0c3876d1.jpg

11th on the grid for race one and the skies grew dark. In to the holing area, it started pissing down. Right, pull a set up out thin air. Rears down 8psi, dampers to full soft, leave the roll bar hard.

Good start but I nearly got squeezes in to the pit wall and had to let out, so instead hammered down the inside in to Cascades, cold tyres made that pretty exciting but I got through and then went round the outside at Island Bend (ballsy as fuck if I'm honest). Carnage reigned mid race when the safety car came out unfortunately just as my setup was starting to go off. Pre safety car I was faster through the corners and losing a bit on the straights, after I was having to defend like crazy. With one lap to go I couldn't hold off Alan anymore and he got past, leaving me to defend against Michael "Rambo" Rowan, just holding him off to the line. 11th to 6th, I can live with that.

Train heading out of Old Hall down to Cascades:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/fe53cb41.jpg


Draw for race 2 landed me on pole. Oh shit! 5 whole hours to stew on it but we lined up in the dry hopeful of a good run. Then I royally muffed my start and went from 1st to 5th by the first corner. Not happy! 3/4 of the way through lap one the safety car came out. Midway through lap two the reds came out. A big first corner shunt ha left Louise needing medical attention and they were being very careful getting her out the car. 15mins later we got moved in to parc ferme all rather worried it was taking so long. 10mins later the air ambulance rocked up and we all started to really worry! Turns out they were just dropping in.

Air ambulance leaving empty, thankfully:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/4bf3a72c.jpg

Now it's time for post event teardown. Gearbox rebuild, suspension bushes, brake pads and steering rack rebuild. Oh the joys...

More pics from this race available on MotorsportPhotographic

---------- Post added at 03:16 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:01 PM ----------

Turns out I was a bit optimistic when posting that last one!

Under the safety car at Oulton my engine drank quite a bit of oil. Like, 1 litre-ish! Not good. I had thought she was a bit down on power of late and this might be saying a rebuild was on the horizon, unfortunately she now smokes on cold start and needs new rings and valve stem seals. 300 for just the parts. Theres no point in doing them and not doing things like the shells etc as far as I'm concerned but we're then in to full rebuild territory and 4 figure price tags, so thats probably me out until the last round of the season :(

Here's a couple more pics from the last race:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/de14c2e8.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/27dc51cd.jpg

How she sits now, in the workshop:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/350f96b3.jpg[/img]

Then it'll be the offseason and the list so far goes:
- strip to bare shell
- remove all interior paint
- remove all exterior paint
- full respray
- fit new front and rear subframes
- ballast as appropriate
- replace wiring/BCU to kill electrical gremlin
- exhaust development for more power

---------- Post added at 03:16 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:16 PM ----------

Turns out I was a bit optimistic when posting that last one!

Under the safety car at Oulton my engine drank quite a bit of oil. Like, 1 litre-ish! Not good. I had thought she was a bit down on power of late and this might be saying a rebuild was on the horizon, unfortunately she now smokes on cold start and needs new rings and valve stem seals. 300 for just the parts. Theres no point in doing them and not doing things like the shells etc as far as I'm concerned but we're then in to full rebuild territory and 4 figure price tags, so thats probably me out until the last round of the season :(

Here's a couple more pics from the last race:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/de14c2e8.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/27dc51cd.jpg

How she sits now, in the workshop:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v729/emicen/350f96b3.jpg[/img]

Then it'll be the offseason and the list so far goes:
- strip to bare shell
- remove all interior paint
- remove all exterior paint
- full respray
- fit new front and rear subframes
- ballast as appropriate
- replace wiring/BCU to kill electrical gremlin
- exhaust development for more power