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Pete and Ben's Rotary Racer
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Ben
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2001 BMW M5

PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Well, we’re a bit behind with the updates and the season’s over, so time to bring everything up to present.

We had a good 6-7 weeks between the penultimate (Kendrew) and final (Cadwell) rounds of the series – plenty of time to do the last few necessary jobs and make sure everything was in tip top condition for the last sprint of the season. Naturally, we ended up just doing other stuff for the majority of the time – in approximate order:

I bought a thoroughly foolish, high-mileage bahnstormer:

2017-11-06_12-24-47

Pete bought the trusty Subaru from me:

2017-11-06_12-25-05

I spent a week driving this little treasure around an island in the Med - a 1.3S with 35,000km on the clock from new. Owned by my grandfather for the last 25 years, it’s totally original and remarkably un-rusty – I’m seriously considering importing it if it’s ever sold!

2017-11-06_12-25-29

The ever-trusty Subaru spat out its head gasket a few weeks later. Yes, we’re still friends…

So, what actually needed doing? First up was to rip out the Sparco Sprint seat we’d fitted before Kendrew – it was a cheap steel-framed seat with no lumbar support, and as a result was cripplingly uncomfortable for Pete during the long drive up from Kent. I had taken over possession of the RX8 in the meantime, and managed to find another Sparco to go in (seeing as we already had the base and sliders) – this time an earlier fibreglass unit which was much more comfortable. So far so good.

We also had a get together weekend with a certain Mr Beans who has been itching to get their hands on it in an attempt to strip some additional weight. We only had two rules:

1) Nothing sharp near the driver
2) Everything that currently works, has to keep working

2017-11-06_01-39-32

You can see where this is going, right? [Wink]

Fettling done we took the car out for a quick run to check all was in order. Cue the check engine light! Now this has come on before (you may remember my spin at Kendrew? I think I spun the engine backwards which kicked up a cam position sensor error which we were able to clear). We didn’t think too much of it at the time – it was broad daylight, nothing else seemed broken so we threw it in the garage (unlocked and with a window open to keep some air circulating), everyone went home and I ordered an OBD reader from Amazon. Without thinking too much of it, we also booked a trackday at Bedford for the day after the sprint, as a ‘last hurrah’ before winter set in.

A couple of days before race day I decided to drive it to work to give it a decent (50 mile) run and make sure all was well. Pulling it out of the garage is always a bit of a rigmarole with my driveway – there’s always at least one car that needs shuffling around to make room. While I had the RX8 out I plugged in the new OBD11 reader to see what the engine code was, and…. nothing. Not just no codes, the reader didn’t even register the car! I tried it in another car, and all was good, so the OBD11 port was mysteriously dead. Hmm. I locked the car and went back inside.


…except I didn’t, because the remote locking didn’t work either. And (it was dark, so I noticed these things) neither did the few remaining interior lights, nor did the dash light which registers an open door. Curious.

Still, on the basis that it still started, ran and stopped I drove it to work the following morning, where some more curious faults manifested themselves. The radio wouldn’t turn on – neither would the centre console screen which shows temp, fan speed etc. Trying to work out which was the demister took a while! On top of that, the trip-meter would reset every time the ignition was turned on. Really weird.

With two days to go before Cadwell, I gave Pete a call and ran him through the ever growing list of faults I’d found. The following conversation went pretty much like this:

“Does it start?”
“Yes”
“Does it stop?”
“Yes”
“Do the lights work?”
“Yes”
“Excellent. We’re going racing.”

He’s very wise, is Pete.

So we drove to Cadwell, where it rained.

IMG_6488

Now I’m not very good at Cadwell – I’ve driven it once, two years ago, in the rain, in a Westfield on semi slicks. So when it rained overnight, and continued to rain most of the morning, I wasn’t too impressed. You may be thinking this sounds like a long list of excuses, and you’d be exactly right [Laughing]

The morning was pretty eventful, with a packed paddock, a couple of dozen new competitors and plenty of slippery leaves through the woodland meaning several competitors had spun and a few had bounced off the barriers. Now if you’ve been paying attention (here comes another of those excuses) you’ll know that I’ve managed to spin the RX8 at least once at every round. It’s safe to say I was a little nervous! Still the times were coming down as the track conditions stabilised, Pete and I were running 3rd and 4th respectively in our class of 14, with a couple of tenths separating us. Despite our initial nervousness the car was running well, bar a hastily replaced coil and HT lead which had come unseated and disintegrated.

Then, as is the way with motorsport, things were shaken up a tad. It stopped raining at lunch, so the track started to dry, and – due to the frequent stoppages – it was announced that we’d only be running 5 runs instead of six. The first run after lunch saw me a whole five seconds quicker (and 3 secs in front of Pete), and I was starting to feel pretty confident. The track was still pretty damp but definitely getting faster, and I was confident I could improve on the last run.

Then something else happened – one of the high-powered Evos running in the top class managed to throw a rod through its block (and rad!) crossing the finish line, and during the 40 minutes it took to recover the car and clear up the resulting oil slick, the track dried more. A lot more, in fact.

IMG_4208

So, the deciding run was to be my first ever dry run at Cadwell. I managed to improve my time by another three seconds, but could immediately tell that I could have done much better. Pete, a veteran of Project Cars, knew the track better than me and drove an absolute blinder – so much so, he caught up with a previous runner and was awarded a re-run. So, basically, he had a free practice run in the dry [Wink]

Still, his final lap was just fantastic – knocking almost nine (nine!) seconds off his time, finishing first in a class of 14 (including a well-driven Exige which is usually considerably faster), and knocking my sorry effort down into fifth place. I think he was pretty pleased with this [Laughing]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5-dttmaKtw&t=

2017-11-06_12-26-23

Still, I managed my own little piece of glassware for 3rd overall in a much faster class championship – don’t forget I started the year in the Westfield, so all my points counted towards that class.

With that done, we headed back down South to Bedford, to give the car a last hurrah before winter. It was actually pretty interesting being on track with other cars, and being able to see each other’s driving first hand over a few laps. As expected the little RX8 didn’t have a lot of pace down the straights (particularly noticeable with a couple of McLarens tearing round!) but certainly held its own in the corners. Of particular note (and quite satisfying after my previous day’s efforts) was pushing a GT3RS round for a couple of laps, before bailing when it became clear he had no intention of moving over for us…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06-5eBVxz5k

The car ran very well all morning, although our brakes were limiting us to three lap stints (no warm up laps for the sprint car though!!). We started suffering with heat issues in the afternoon so called it a day early, but still managed to chew through an entire tank of fuel and had a lot of fun haring around with each other, and giving a few passenger rides too.

So, that’s it for now. First job is to move the car back down to Pete next week – we’re going to scratch our heads with the weird electrical problems, although a bit of investigation at Cadwell showed a couple of cut wires in the boot which looked to have shorted against the bodywork… It looked like someone wasn’t paying attention to the rules! [Laughing] Suffice to say, all touching rights have been revoked [Wink] Our initial thoughts are that the CAN BUS system has taken a whack, or the immobiliser side of the ECU has blown, but who knows. Job for winter! We’re also planning a few other constructive additions, in particular a roll-cage and harnesses, along with some stiffer ARBs and a complete brake refresh. More on that little lot as it happens [Smile]

2017-11-06_12-26-46

IMG_0308
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2001 BMW M5 (Bahnstormer) | 2004 RX8 231 (the Racecat) | 2001 Volvo V70 (Swedish eBay barge)
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Magic Beans
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1998 Toyota MR2 Mk2 Turbo Rev5

PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

It was all part of an elaborate scheme to net Pete his first win. I did my job well [Mr. Green]
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pistol pete
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Ben wrote:

“Does it start?”
“Yes”
“Does it stop?”
“Yes”
“Do the lights work?”
“Yes”
“Excellent. We’re going racing.”


[Dancing] [Dancing] [Dancing] [Dancing] [Dancing] [Dancing] [Dancing] [Dancing]

awesome write up sir!!!!
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pistol pete
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Passed it MOT yesterday.. another year of thrashing it ahead [Smile]

p.s. i also fixed what someone broke [Laughing]
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Ben
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Joined: 01 Aug 2008
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2001 BMW M5

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

pistol pete wrote:
Passed it MOT yesterday.. another year of thrashing it ahead [Smile]

p.s. i also fixed what someone broke [Laughing]


[Dancing]
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craig




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1994 Toyota MR2 Mk2 Turbo Rev3

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

pistol pete wrote:
Passed it MOT yesterday.. another year of thrashing it ahead [Smile]

p.s. i also fixed what someone broke [Laughing]


MOT high five!
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