Unlucky Devil

“The FIA European Finals at Santa Pod is the best way to spend your birthday. One of the reasons I enjoy this event so much is that it usually falls around my birthday….. 39 again!

We started our race weekend with quite an unexpected problem…. we had issues with our Bruno Drive and a torque converter. This meant a drive to Essex to get replacements! This racing is easy right?

Once we had built a new converter out of the two, that matched our spec, everything was back together. We had another little issue with starting and the idling of the engine… Anyway our first qualifier saw us lose the blower belt in the burnout, I kept the car idling down the track just reaching the first turn off.

Photo courtesy & © Julian Hunt
Julian Hunt perfectly captured the moment the belt ripped free! On its exit it damaged the belt guard, throttle cable and the bonnet so the evening was spent repairing and replacing those parts….

Wing damageThe next day, still with starting/ idling problems, we managed our second ever quickest run, a 6.50! However, the previously repaired bonnet came apart through the finish line and took part of the right hand front wing with it…. but we had qualified! So, another evening was spent repairing more fibreglass!

Our first round of eliminations was against David Vegter…. a tough pairing but not impossible. Unfortunately it was not to be…. keeping the car running after the burnout was the problem so our day was done.

20130908_Euro-Finals_004

The weekend was really trying for the whole team…. and the wallet!


On to the National Finals. Would you believe we still had a chance of winning the Championship!!! Our performance and reliability had to be first class, and I know that the performance is there (plus more)! It’s the reliability that has caused us headaches though and, true to form, our gremlins were still present. The first and second qualifying sessions were missed and we only just made the final session with literally minutes to spare… all due to the ongoing starting and idling problem. We made a decision to literally just drive down the track to post a time and qualify.

The evening was spent discussing what we should do and concluded the correct answer to our problems was to sit out the next days eliminations. The car isn’t broken, it just isn’t running right. I know it can be rectified. So the winter will see the problems sorted and spares sourced…. the trouble is we have too long to wait to get back out there. The encouraging part is the data we have PROVES we have more performance available and the car is a blast to drive!

Would you believe we finished 4th in the MSA British Championship…? If only we could have kept the early season performance going!

THANK YOU to the crew this year, it has been hard fought. Gareth, Joe, Andy, Lee, Tony and Adam. Belinda, you get the biggest thanks for supporting me and putting up with us all. Our sponsors…  Lucas OilNGK, AllyFabDentRepairsCustom Coach Trimming and Originals Hot Rod Supply Co... are without doubt, the absolute best… I have said it before but I am truly grateful.

So, look out for the updates during the winter…. I know we will have a few things to share!”

Cheers,

Wayne

Lucky Devil in the Final!

National Finals 2011“Well what a weekend we had at Santa Pod’s National Finals!!! It started Friday when Tony had to be taken to the hospital with quite a nasty cut to his finger… the waiting room at Bedford A&E is another story…

Back at the track, we did everything possible to qualify well, but it wasn’t to be… only one driver managed to run a six in qualifying, that driver being Roger Moore. We ended up 4th with a 7.19 at 205 mph.

Eliminations on Sunday saw us against Andy Wright in round one, what we didn’t expect was Andy hitting the wall during the burnout…. which gave us an automatic win.

National Finals 2011Round two was to be the the race of the weekend. We were paired against Roger Moore who had to beat us and then Graham Ellis in the final (assuming he won his semi final) to be the MSA Pro Mod Champ 2011. We pulled a good light and kept in front of Roger all the way to run a 6.96 at only 175mph to Rogers 6.99!!!

Roger was gutted, as you would expect but he had other things that nearly prevented his weekend even starting… his race rig was destroyed in a motorway pile-up!!!!! Too familiar for my liking. Roger and his crew were lucky to get away without injury and the car was good too. Santa Pod did a great job getting him to the track from the recovery yard.

Runner up to season champ Graham EllisThe final was between Graham and ourselves. We did our very best but went up in a cloud of burnt transmission fluid from our BrunoDrive transmission, although Graham had his own issues and only managed a 7.5 to win… Graham won the meeting and the championship, well done!

 

The teamTHANK YOU!!!! to Dennis, Adam and Tony, my crew. Belinda and Joe and of course our sponsors, Lucas Oil, AllyFab, Originals Hot Rod Supply Co. and E.D.A.… we couldn’t do it without you all.

Roll on next year… more of the same, and bit more!”

Wayne

One Lucky Devil…

“On our very last run of the season, I had an interesting ride! Usually, just as I cross the finish line, I reach up and pull the lever to deploy the twin parachutes and wait for the ‘hit’ of the chutes to scrub some speed off and then start to apply the brakes. This time nothing happened! When you are doing a little over 191 mph, you start thinking quickly, VERY quickly!

Photo courtesy of Phil GraystonI realised that for some reason the chutes were not doing anything, so I started to use the brakes whilst trying not to burn them up, so I was feeding the pedal in, easing off and feeding it in again. It soon became apparent that I was fast running out of tarmac before the field starts at the end of the shutdown area at Santa Pod!

The safety marshals at the Pod (who do an awesome job) soon realised that I had a bit of a job to do as I was hurtling up the top end. I soon took a lot of speed off thanks to the four wheel disc brakes, and made the decision to not try and make the return road turn off! The car came to a stop about 15ft short of the field and literally seconds later the marshals came running over, fire extinguishers in hand. “Are you okay?” was the question, quickly followed by the comment “your brakes stink!”.

Well, yes I was okay, good experience actually, and yes the brakes did stink, with quite a bit of brake dust floating about in the car, no harm done. I was pushed back and on to the return road and inspected the chutes. They had opened on the run, but just kind of fell on the floor, and didn’t catch any air until too late, so didn’t make any effect. The reason appears to be the pilot chutes are a little bit “rough around the edges”, so they will be replaced over the winter period. A few other bits and pieces will be updated / changed over the winter including a brand new supercharger!!

Photo courtesy of Phil GraystonThis will give us more available boost pressure, which in turn allows us to add more fuel to the mix and create more power, helping us to get in to the six second zone……

Thanks to everyone, we are looking forward to next season…….”

Wayne

Photos courtesy & copyright Phil Grayston

Season Round Up

Photo courtesy of Peter Donaldson“Well after all this bad weather this year, you could be forgiven for thinking we wouldn’t have much to write about. The Summer Nationals at Santa pod saw us back in to the sevens with a 7.77 losing out to Andy Robinson in the first round.

The European Finals was next at the beginning of September. This is my favourite event of the year as it usually falls on or around my birthday, a great way to spend your birthday. The trouble this year was, we saw even more of the dreaded wet stuff, it rained and rained, we had only one shot at qualifying and unfortunately I didn’t make it!

Photo courtesy of Peter DonaldsonThe National Finals at the Pod was our last opportunity to get some good runs this year, and what a great weekend. We ran a new personal best of 7.19 at over 191mph, still not in that magical 6 second zone, but considering our distinct lack of track time this year, and the fact we are tuning the car ourselves as a team, I don’t think we did too bad. The car ran faultlessly all weekend, arrow straight, with no damage, and we also managed to get some more valuable data to continue our tuning programme for next season.

Over the winter we have a few upgrades to do performance wise as well as the usual between season stuff.

So that is our first season in Pro-Mod, all that is left to say is a massive thank you to all my crew, everyone at EDA, Webster Race Engineering and the tireless crew at Santa Pod, they deserve a medal for all the hard work this year.

I can’t wait for next season!!!”

Cheers,
Wayne

Photos courtesy & copyright Peter Donaldson