Archive for August, 2009

A quiet few weeks

Posted in Hillclimbs, maintenance, Sprints, upgrades with tags , on August 25, 2009 by Paul Lawrence

Since Fintray things are looking pretty good in the championships. With only 3 days of hillclimbing and 4 of the sprints to go, I am leading my class in the hills and currently leading the overall Scottish Sprint Championship. I really dont want to jinx things and would love to win both of these titles after a fantastic opening year for the Bogey.

The hills will require John Hamilton (last years champion) to beat me into second place in the three remaining rounds to draw on points but then beat me on the number of wins. So all I need it one victory or for someone else to pip John to take class A4.

The sprints is much more of a surprise with only a few people really capable of taking the title from me unless I really screw things up. Fingers crossed. Graeme Bremner is the primary challenger in his supercharged Exige and needs to take three records out of the remaining four days to pip me to the title. Either way I have had an awesome year and would love to finish with a win. If I can also take records at Golspie (less likely) or Boyndie (more likely) I could take the title.

Meanwhile the car has had an oil and filter change, further suspension tweaks and also a general maintenance session to see the rest of the year out. One major addition which unfortunately isnt working yet is the Racelogic traction control box that I picked up off ebay. The unit is installed but I am having problems picking up a valid rpm feed and also the tests of the ignition cut has shown the age of my spark plugs, so a new set is on order. Essentially the plugs foul and the car ends up running on three cylinders. 

David from team Xoomspeed is helping with the rpm feed and we hope to have the system ready for testing at Forrestburn, if not Golspie. I have suffered in wet conditions to the cars with TC and hope this will level the playing field a little. So a big thanks to David, who is a bit of an electronics wizard. Check out xoomspeed.com to read all about their Vauxhall powered Westy with David’s own traction control and data logging system the Xoombox.

The wheel sensors proved to be tight fit on the Raceleda uprights and extra bolts needed to be fitted to allow enough pulses per wheel rotation. Essentially if you are fitting this to your car, feel free to get in touch. I cant wait to get the launch control working, never mind the full TC.

More posts soon.

Fintray 8th and 9th of August

Posted in Hillclimbs with tags , , , on August 13, 2009 by Paul Lawrence

The Clerk of the Course introduced Fintray as “Welcome to Sunny Fintray”, how right he was. As a resident of Dyce for many years and having watched the Fintray hillclimb for many years as a youngster I always enjoy doing my home from home event.

To win here last year in the blade was fantastic but to lose earlier in the year to Ross due some silliness on my part needed to be remedied. Unfortunately Ross wasn’t to be there for my revenge and was on his stag night (silly bugger) but John Hamilton who is leading class A4 was to be there on the Sunday. So my strategy was to beat the record for a full 6 points on the Saturday and then try to beat it again the following day. 12 points would see me catch John and put it all down to who wins at Forrestburn at the end August, with hopefully Doune not being needed and I could go for the record there too.

The track was in fantastic condition, much respect to Grampian Automobile Club, the track is essentially an access road for a working farm with a barn placed in later year right on the corner of turn 1 – Ruin which see’s loads of cow manure and takes some cleaning. Big thanks to the chaps who put in the hours to make this all possible.

So a nice and gentle 31.06 to start, I knew there was loads more to come, so felt confident. Pushed harder in next practice to beat Ross’s record with a 30.01. Third practice introduced my first 29, which is a bit of a barrier at Fintray and into the respectable times. So a 29.66 left me confident with a Matty and Russ sitting just under 2 seconds behind. Russell was very much on the pace with a 30.5 only a few tenths behind my best time in that car, so I was really happy for him. More seat time and he could really be there.

It was good to see the Morrison’s out again and we all worked away on getting them more competitive over the weekend. It’s always fun to play with a different car, setting up dampers, ride heights and also get those really naff poly bushes working properly. Much respect to the father and son team for improving throughout the weekend, especially good to see young Stuart gunning the car away from the line and dropping by over 6 seconds on day one alone.

Gran and Mum arrived during lunch, so with my 92 year old gran in the crowd I wanted to put on a good show. It was great to have the whole family there, with Jen and the kids enjoying the sunshine too.

So down to the line, much to prove, I did exactly what I needed and set a new record of 29.70. I was now carrying good speed through Ruine and taking a much tidier line through the hairpin . To be honest, I didn’t want to beat the record again and make it harder for myself, so I thought I would enjoy the next run but nearly beat it with a 29.80. So a fantastic day with lovely weather and good banter saw me back to Russell’s tired but confident for the Sunday.

Up early and to the track on Sunday morning. Weather not looking so good, with maybe a few showers due, so I would need to take my opportunities if the entry point was to be realised.

First run saw a tidy 30.30 and I felt on the pace, would the weather hold out. Next run say a slower 30.51 with the weather beginning to break. Unfortunately the third run was with a 35.73 with everyone closing in the wet where I couldn’t use the power of the car. What was to happen after lunch?

I put in a really nice 29.41 on the first timed run to John’s new pb of a 30.59, Matty was back in a low 31 and Russ on a 31.75. Could anyone really help me out and beat John. Matty had been looking better and better and thought he had pipped John with a 30.30 in his last run. This would have been good enough for a win earlier in the year and set a new record which shows real improvement from him. Good going mate. John pipped him with a 30.19 and good enough for 4 points and second place. I put in another good run and lowered record by another 5 100ths of a second to 29.36. This time was good enough for 2nd fastest road car behind Donald in that brute of an Evo. Very pleased with this result and puts the pressure back on John for Forrestburn.

This can be regarded as my best result of the year, with Fintray being such a short hill (around 30 seconds) and taking a whole 0.98 off the record and being second fastest road car was a real boost for Ninja Bogey Racing and leaves me confident for the sprint and hill class awards which are now very possible. Fingers crossed.

One of the many highlights of the weekend was watching the big cars out on track. Good to see the continued presence of two contrasting cars, the Robb’s with the big Judd and also Jonathon Rarity throttling that Ghost of his. Stuart Robb Jnr finally beat the record with a stunning 25.28 with Snr also getting under the record. This record had stood for 20 years and needed sorting. They were not to be in attendance on the Sunday as the last run had bust the clutch, but well done to the father and son team.

Two new cars were also in attendance which by the end of the weekend were challenging for FTD. First the Raptor, developed by Graeme Wight Racing, an all new chassis and design based on the Predator with a 1600 Busa installed. Lee drove very well over the weekend was both surprised and delighted to take the C5 class win the Sunday just behind James Brimm’s in a Gould who took Sunday’s FTD. A car with much more to come and only a few 10th’s behind was the awesome Indy Car Cosworth powered DJ Firestorm of Wallace Menzie’s. This car is very early in development and will in my opinion be the fastest car on the hills next year. Lets just hope that Wallace does some Scottish events to keep us all entertained.

No official NBR photographers were in attendance so I will have a rake around flickr for some shots in include in this post.

Kames – 1st and 2nd of August

Posted in Sprints with tags , , , on August 5, 2009 by Stephen Hynds

Kames hosted rounds 10 and 11 of the Scottish Sprint Championship, and also two rounds of the British Championship. The British Championship had previously came north of the border to East Fortune but this year Kames was quite rightly given the nod. The EACC organise an excellent event and I’m sure we’ll see the British guys back for a visit next year.

Paul hadn’t originally been able to make Kames but after a change of plans he managed to get a spot on the reserve list before being promoted into the runners and riders. It was a first for Kames to have so many cars that a reserve list was even needed.

In the time between the last event and this one the car underwent some work including the removal of the suspension. The dampers were sent to Procomp Motorsport who overhauled them and supplied some new springs. The suspension only arrived back on the Wednesday as there had originally been no rush to get it done. However putting it back together was a relatively straightforward. I guess the Ninja Bogey crew are getting pretty used to rebuilding things now. Even I have my uses. Another modification was purchased during the break but this will be the subject of a larger post once it’s installed and working.

The early forecast for the weekend had been for rain, rain and thrice rain but by the time Saturday came the forecast was looking a bit better but not great. As I headed down to the circuit it was heavy rain until we were only about 5 miles from Muirkirk where suddenly the skies cleared and the sun shone through. When we arrived at the circuit Paul had already completed his first practice run on a wet but drying track. By that point the cars that had been out on track and the aforementioned sunshine had dried the track nicely.

Kames - IMG_0748

The second run was much more promising with a time of 77 seconds, just shy of 4 tenths off Paul’s own record of 76.63. By the first timed run the conditions were perfect and a time of 76.33 lowered the class record by 3 tenths.

Kames - IMG_0737

Surely a sign of good things in the second timed run? Unfortunately it wasn’t to be as a small rain shower happened to coincide exactly with class A4 being out on track.

Kames - IMG_1064

A real case of what might have been, but a class win and good points none the less.

Kames - IMG_0612

Matty managed a good time but was pipped for second by British Championship competitor Ian Parr in a rather interesting double entered Sylva Riot. Unfortunately the Lambies suffered a mechanical issue after their first practice runs and didn’t make it out for the timed runs.

Ross and his dad Roy weren’t out with Ross’ Westfield but had instead brought Roy’s Gould GR375 to compete in class C5. The car is a real work of art and very quick. Kames isn’t as big and wide as some of the southern sprint venues but the big C5 cars looked awesome.

Kames - IMG_0959

Ross qualified in second for the run off to decide the British Championship points but was beaten by Stewart Robb Jnr. and Snr. in the end. However his time was nearly a second under the old circuit record and wasn’t too far off the Robb’s which is very impressive indeed.

As is traditional at Kames the track is run in the opposite direction the next day. The Sunday layout is slightly longer trial than the Saturday one as it is run over 3 full laps rather than 2 and a half. If the weather had been good on the Saturday then on the Sunday it was positively glorious. I was sporting the usual red face on Monday as evidence of that. It was even said that for some of the later runs the track was getting too warm for the big single seaters!

Unfortunately the Lambies hadn’t resolve their mechanical issue so there was only to be the four challengers for A4 honours again. The first practice run to shake off the cobwebs delivered a reasonable time but the second saw an 84.74, just half a second behind the class record.

Paul’s dad cooked up a storm with bacon, sausage and egg for everyone at lunch and we were all eagerly anticipating the timed runs to see if Paul could claim the clockwise record to go with the anti-clockwise one.

The first of the timed runs was an 84.31, 7 hundredths of a second shy of the mark. Surely it was on for the second run? I was stood at the far end of the circuit armed with the camera and it looked like a good run was in progress. As Paul rounded the hairpin for the 3rd time I knew it was going to be close. The car crossed the line and as I looked to the clock I couldn’t quite believe it – 84.27. A 4 hundreths improvement, but still 3 hundredths short. So close but yet so far. It’ll just need to wait to next year now.

Matty came out the victor in the battle with the Parrs for second place with a great time of 86.06. If my calculations are correct this is 2.7 seconds faster than his previous best at Kames in that direction. Very well done indeed.

Ross managed to dip a tenth under the circuit record on his second practice run in the Gould but the timed runs and the run off weren’t quite as fruitful. A 4th place finish is certainly nothing to be sniffed at against some very experience competitors. Stewart Robb Jr once again took the overall honors as he dropped the circuit record by 1.3 seconds.

So all in all a great weekends racing at Kames, and a good points haul for Paul.

For all my pictures from Saturday look here.

I’ll update the post with some pictures from Sunday when I get them finished.