I woke up knackered after a long and bloody freezing day out the previous day at Silverstone (Sun 20th Apr) for the 1st round in the 2014 WEC.
Lashings of coffee set-up me and the brother-in-law to watch the BBC iPlayer highlights of the Chinese Grand Prix. After not too many minutes into it however – I became excruciatingly bored watching the procession of cars with precious little overtaking action. After losing interest completely I wandered off to look at my piccies from the Silverstone WEC race.
What I ask you is the point in fighting to see whatever snippets of non-live televised F1 boredom the BBC has to offer when for a relative pittance you can get yourself off the sofa and out of the house to watch the most brilliant races within a race at the WEC at Silverstone or other venues in the WEC programme. The sight and sound of LMP1 and indeed LMP2 cars repeatedly scything their way through the non-too-slow field of LMGTE cars is truly awesome with inter and intra class battles unfolding all of the time.
The end result of the inaugural 2014 WEC race (a bit early due to bad light and increasingly heavy rain) was also interesting with Toyota taking 1st and 2nd and Porsche 3rd after both Audi R18 cars crashed out.
Stuff F1 – from now on in I’m going to focus on the new breed of endurance cars – well I would if the media took a blind bit of interest in televising and/or reporting on it!
After the dyno running-in and set-up of the engine, Steve and I both thought all we would have to do is insert the engine back in the car, connect everything up and away we go.
It didn’t quite work out that way, there were a few snags, but Steve and Dave thankfully sorted out the last few issues and I headed up to Wembley on a cold and wet Friday afternoon to pick up the car.
I called Steve at Jaz on Tue 11th Feb to see how he was getting on after he’d picked-up the engine from Neil Bainbridge’s dyno the Saturday before. The good news was that the engine was “almost” in the car. The “almost” was due to bit of a problem with modifications to the oil cooling system – he suggested I visit the following day to see what was what.
My mate Stan and I headed up to Jaz on the 12th to find engine man Dave at work underneath the car which was up on one of the Jaz ramps. The engine was fully fitted and attached to the gearbox which had remained in the car whilst the engine rebuild was in progress.
I called Jaz on Mon 3rd Feb and got the great news that, at long last, my engine was being run-in on the dyno at BS Motorsport.
Earlier, Steve had temporarily given up on his fight to bore out the mis-matched 2.0L inlet manifold to 2.2S spec. However, through a fortunate and timely parts swap, he got hold of a proper matching 2.2S manifold to stick on the engine which enabled dyno testing to go ahead.
Steve had delivered the finally complete engine to Neil Bainbridge (who heads-up BS Motorsport) a couple of weeks previously, but we had to wait patiently for Neil to return from his annual pilgrimage to Daytona and then for him to then catch up on a backlog of other engine jobs.
With running-in under way – I arranged to meet Steve at the dyno the following evening (Tue 4th Feb) to discuss the running-in results with him and Neil and to observe adjustments and further power runs to optimise engine set-up and performance.
An email from Steve at Jaz explained the latest delay in getting my engine onto the dyno test cell for running in and fine adjustment.
When fitting the inlet manifolds, air boxes and air tubes onto the throttle bodies Steve noticed a difference in the diameter of the bores of one inlet manifold when compared to the other. Would you believe it? Two different inlet manifolds!!!
During a service at Jaz early in 2010 – Steve expressed his concern about the state of the underside of my car. Use of the car in all weathers over a number of years had started to take its toll and the floor pans and sills were becoming distinctly frilly round the edges.
Steve pointed me in the direction of Bruce Cooper at Sportwagen.
I was reading an article in the Nov/Dec 2013 edition of Classic Porsche about a recent celebration at the Nurburgring of the late, great Stefan Bellof and it reminded me of the times I’d seen him race in Group C endurance cars in the early 80s.
I was fortunate to see him during a period where he was one vital half of a wonderful racing partnership with Derek Bell driving a Porsche 956 in the Rothmans sponsored factory team. What I didn’t realise was that Bellof was idolised by a young up and coming fellow German driver – Michael Schumacher! Shades of the Vettel & Schumacher relationship in more recent times.
This event has been held annually for a number of years now to coincide with the weekend of the London To Brighton Veteran Car Run. To show the cars Regent Street is closed is closed off between Oxford Circus and Picadilly on the Saturday to allow a range of the veteran cars participating in Sunday’s run to be viewed at close quarters. Their owners also tend to turn up clad in matching period costume which makes for quite a spectacle.
Sorry folks – I had hoped to be reporting back on the results from dyno testing today but Steve at Jaz has still not managed to retrieve the throttle bodies. It looks like the engineer working on them is missing presumed on half-term holidays.
The good news from Steve is that the fan is sorted and ready for him to pick up en route to BS Motorsport for the dyno test. He’ll fit it before plugging the engine into their test cell.
Work prevented me from getting across to Jaz earlier but It was clear upon arrival that Dave had been a busy man. The engine was looking almost complete with heat exchangers, cam covers, timing chain covers, MFI fuel metering pump, engine tin ware, modified shroud etc. all attached. The quality of finish on each individual compent just takes your breath away.