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Thread: GavinR's Scimitar Historic Rally Car

  1. #81
    Pit Crew Decade Plus User GavinR's Avatar
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    Re: GavinR's Scimitar Historic Rally Car

    Leukaemia Historic - 13th May 2017

    Always a favourite of mine, this year they had a great entry of 68 cars - 58 Historics and 10 in the modern Targa Class.
    Carrie and I were seeded 2 after our good results in 2015 & 2016.

    Once again, there were 16 Tests and 6 Regularity sections and an hour to plot the route before the start, but there were slight differences with 2 new Tests around lunch and one of the regularities started in a forest!

    We started with 3 Tests at the Racecourse, and we're always a bit slow on the 3rd one, taking time to make sure we write down the 4 codeboards correctly. The first regularity started well but we lost a bit of time later on when we forgot a speed change on a narrow tarmac white, assuming the lower speed would be for longer, and we dropped 10s at the next control. The next 3 Tests at Combe Farm also started well, but on the second one I could hear "tinkling" from underneath as one of the exhausts started to drag along the ground. We finished the test and stopped to have a look and found the rear silencer was missing. Luckily it had dropped off on the Finish line and the marshal brought it over. The mounting bracket had broken off the silencer but after 10 minutes it was back on and I managed to rig up a new hanger out of 2 jubilee clips and a spare exhaust clamp which I had in my tool box. The 3rd test we took a bit more gently and it held together, but we managed to pick up a 10s cone penalty as well.

    Onto the second Regularity there was a bit of confusion when the first marshal hadn't arrived (so the control was scrubbed) but we were very close on the next 2. The next Test was a new one - a smooth tarmac road through some parkland, past a nice house with the owners out spectating, and up to the finish. After a quick coffee halt where we made back our time dropped fixing the exhaust, we had 2 more Regularities to take us towards the lunch halt. Although they went well, the first one a blast through a very nice smooth forest, and the second one back to the usual lanes. Just before lunch there was the second new test, a short one through a very mucky farmyard, which was great fun, even the handbrake worked it was so slippery!



    Leaving lunch we were lying 4th Historic although about a minute behind the leaders. We went straight into Regularity 5, all going well, then into a Test. Near the end of the Test we did a cone manoeuvre on a concrete pad and as we exited we nose dived into a large muddy puddle (!) and carried onto the finish. As I stopped at the marshals I could hear the electric fan more than normal, but didn't worry about it too much as we had another Regularity to do. It was quite a long one and as we continued I saw the temperature was still rising - normally it gets hot on the Tests then cools down on the Regularities as we're going gently. We would have lost a lot of time if we had stopped, so I drove as gently as I could and still maintain the required average speed, even turning the engine off for a mile on a downhill section (!) which helped slightly, but we dropped 40s in total here over 5 controls, worrying about the engine affecting our concentration.

    All this brought us back to Combe Farm for 3 Tests where we had time to stop and have a look. I had a look at the radiator and found it was full of mud - when we had dived into the puddle the un-original air scoop in the front valence had dug into the wet mud which was then blown into the radiator and dried, thus blocking the airflow
    I scooped as much mud out as I could and after 5 minutes to let the engine cool down, we headed into the Tests. Once again we had exhaust problems - the same rear silencer came off, this time somewhere in the middle of a Test, so at the end all I could do was tie the centre pipe to the chassis and hope it held together. It didn't slow us down on the next test as we were 6th quickest only 2s off the leaders!

    There were 4 more tests to finish, but I kept my foot down despite the temperature being off the scale. On the final test, back at Chepstow Racecourse, I switched the engine off as soon as we crossed the Finish line, and had just rolled up to the marshals when steam started coming out of everywhere! Bearing in mind I'm running Evans Waterless Coolant which boils at 180 C, I hate to think what temperature we'd got up to! Carrie got a time and the marshals offered to tow us round to the finish. I was worried we might get excluded for not finishing under our own steam so I waited 5 minutes, started her up and drove gently round. After a cooling off period, I looked under the bonnet and found no split hoses (silicon ones are obviously strong enough to withstand the pressure), just steam escaping from the radiator cap.

    We went inside to get some dinner and await the results.
    We finished 6th Overall Historic and with only 23s covering 2nd to 6th overall it was very close!

    Many thanks to the organisers and marshals for a very enjoyable event, and thanks to Carrie for a good job navigating.


    I think I was very lucky not to have damaged the engine - if I'd been running a normal water / antifreeze mix it would have boiled a lot quicker causing us to stop.
    After the engine had cooled down, I added 2l of Waterless Coolant which I had in the boot, and drove home very gently.
    A few weeks later, I drained the system and removed the fan and radiator, showing just how blocked up it was.



    After a few hours of pouring hot water over it (no effect), spraying with a hose pipe through the fins (no effect) and finally resorting to the pressure washer, the radiator fins are clear.
    I've also made new rear silencers from 2" universal sections and some intermediate mounts - the plan is to do the middle pipes in 2" as well when time and funds allow. The current system is the standard 1 3/4" so going up to 2" straight through silencers should release a bit more power and not make it much louder. A quick test drive showed everything working correctly and the temperature holding steady.

    My next event is a small Targa Rally run by Bath Motor Club at Kemble Airfield near Cirencester next Sunday
    GavinR

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    Re: GavinR's Scimitar Historic Rally Car

    i went for a gentle test drive last night and everything is working well, even the overdrive switches in and out smoothly which is a bonus

    The tailshaft seal stops leaking when the car is on level ground, so I'm going to leave this until after this weekend's rally (and will try to remember not to park uphill!)

  3. #83
    Pit Crew Decade Plus User GavinR's Avatar
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    Re: GavinR's Scimitar Historic Rally Car

    Kemble Targa Rally - 11th June 2017

    This was a new event run by Bath Motor Club at Kemble Airfield near Cirencester. The airfield is still used commercially, but there is a corner which can be used for motorsport. I usually do Targa Rallies in my Escort, but as the Escort is being rebuilt I decided to have a go in the Scimitar, with Carrie navigating. It was also a good opportunity to make sure everything was ok after the Leukaemia problems!
    We didn't expect to do that well against the more modern cars, but were looking forward to an enjoyable day

    There was a good entry of 55 cars and 6 driving Tests, each of 1-2 miles long with a bit of lapping. The cones were well spaced and there were some reasonable straights in places. We made a good start, lying equal 3rd after the first test. The next 2 tests were a bit longer, but we dropped back slightly as the other crews learnt their way round and we were 7th at lunch, although it was very close. Various crews were getting lost on the Tests and getting large penalties for this. The diagrams were good, and all the cones numbered, but sometimes it is difficult to describe the route quickly enough!

    The afternoon Tests were slightly different with the longer ones first and finishing with the shorter one. The first one we started our second lap just ahead of a Mk1 Mexico driven by Andrew Lees. Although I try to ignore anyone behind me, we would leave him down the straights only to be caught up at the next set of cones, but overall were slightly quicker. On the next test, the crew lying second got a puncture and dropped back to be 4s behind us, and with another crew slightly lost this moved us up to 5th, just one second behind 4th.

    We had a good go on the last test, beating the car in front by 3s and the car behind only gained 1s and were pleased to finish 4th Overall, winning the Class and also getting best Historic. All in all it was a fun day out, we had a good clean run and the Scimitar was going well

    Next event is the Ross Traders Historic on 22nd July
    GavinR

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    Re: GavinR's Scimitar Historic Rally Car

    fantastic and a great write up as always

  5. #85
    Pit Crew Decade Plus User GavinR's Avatar
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    Re: GavinR's Scimitar Historic Rally Car

    After the problems scooping in mud on the Leukaemia, I thought it was time to remove the scoop and put the front back to how it should be - although it's still galvanised sheet
    Also, to make sure all the air goes through the radiator, I added another sheet to join the front valance to the steel under the radiator

    After cutting the sides of the scoop off, I cut some mesh to fit the hole, clipped some nuts onto the mesh and screwed it into place, making it quick and easy to remove

    GavinR

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    Pit Crew Decade Plus User GavinR's Avatar
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    Re: GavinR's Scimitar Historic Rally Car

    The final event I did in 2017 was the Ross Traders Historic in July, finishing 8th

    Here is a report of what we've been up to in 2018, written by Carrie

    Bluebell Run Classic Tour – May – Forest of Dean

    With the Scimitar having sat in the garage for 9 months (bar its MOT and a shopping trip with myself to buy a new car), and the Leukaemia not running this year – we decided to give one of the non-competitive Classic Tours a go. The Bluebell Run, organised by Ross Motor Club, was chosen as it started a mile from home and meant I could finish work at 7.30am and still make the start in time! We arrived at the start which was at the Mining museum on the Speech House Hotel road and scrutineering consisted of: ‘’Do you have an MOT?’’ ‘’Yes – would you like to see it?’’ ‘’No it’s ok so long as you have one!’’ Compared with what we are used to, this made us chuckle!

    As usual the Scimitar was a little bit ‘’rough and ready’’ looking compared with the amazing (and immaculate) array of other classic cars. We started off using some familiar roads around home which would normally be used as road sections on the Wyedean Stages Rally. It was nice to do some sightseeing instead of worrying about average speeds and regularities, we usually get distracted by posh houses, large estates and historic aircraft on the proper historic events and forget we’re supposed to be changing speeds or averaging 22mph – although Gavin at one point did suggest we get some much needed practice and use the speed tables to give me something to do! I cannot repeat my reply – I was enjoying not doing much for once!
    Going over May Hill, we had time to get a marshal to take a photo of the car in the bluebells, then toured around the Ledbury area before returning to Ross on Wye and the route took in a visit to a Cider Farm which I was very well behaved at and spent nothing. We had a nice dinner at a river side hotel in Ross and got to know a few crews, but decided we were secretly too competitive natured to do these on a regular basis – especially when most crews around us kept getting lost and followed us to go the right way!





    East Anglian Classic – June – Norfolk and Suffolk

    The Chelmsford Motor Club event returned to the Norfolk and Suffolk lanes having been based in Essex for a few years. We travelled there on the Friday and enjoyed watching the planes as we passed the Duxford museum. After unloading at the start hotel we went to scrutineering where we found cakes being sold for charity and the diet went out the window! The Scimitar passed noise and scrutineering and we headed to Stowmarket to find our very cheap and quiet AirBnB self-catering cottage – we had dinner and plotted everything we had to while a monkjac deer happened to pass through the pretty garden!

    On the first road section (!)


    Saturday morning and we got the regularity sections to plot which we did pretty quickly and then headed off. Our usual average regularities were going ok with no wrong slots, hesitations or big blunders. Then came the tests. These were, shall we say, rather disappointing compared to the previous years – 6 miles in total all based at the same airfield – a few longer open sections where we could gain with the power and ruggedness of the Scimitar – but mainly quite twisty and lots of 180 degree turns around cones. I can only liken the technique to do these in the Scimitar to the anchor turns on the Pirates of the Caribbean films which need hours of preparation and setting up and at least half a mile to perform the manoeuvre (go watch the films again and you will understand)!

    I was told off mid test on the first one as I was thoroughly over excited to see a fly by taking the place by the battle of Britain Memorial Flight as they made their way to Great Yarmouth air show – who can blame me, not often you look up and see a Lancaster, Hurricane and Spitfire flying overhead! Damage limitation was the name of the game on these unsuitable tests and then onto the regularities again. We got to the finish and enjoyed a lovely buffet laid on by the hotel and found ourselves 6th overall and 2nd in class which we were happy with. The detailed results showed we were 5th on the regularities and 13th on the tests!

    On one of the Tests



    Ross Traders Historic – July – Ross-on-Wye

    Another nice local event – we scrutineered the night before and came home to have dinner and do the plotting in comfort. The event started at the Ross on Wye cattle market and as usual we got the regularities plotted quickly. The first test was around the cattle market and we received a round of applause near the finish with a lovely “donut” around the final cone in such a big jalopy. We then headed off to the first regularity, again the morning went any problems but occasionally the distances were a bit out. Two more tests back at the cattle market, again receiving much admiration of Gavin’s car control and we headed out into the country again. A lovely lunch was followed by my favourite – plot n bash navigation whilst driving to Mitcheldean for a good test at the business park. Then our big disaster regularity – typically the one that almost passed by home – a miscommunication in the car and me not being decisive enough, led to a massive wrong slot losing us 4 minutes. We tried to get back on track with the distances and timings but never really managed to. A few more tests at Goodrich Castle proved so dusty we were driving blind at times, I thanked god that Gavin had been to the venue before, so I was very trusting when I read out square right and square left around pond and he couldn’t see beyond the bonnet yet didn’t back off! The Scimitar set some impressive times at these two tests and we headed off to the finish in Ross. Simple you may think – follow the road book map to the pub you may think – yes, but no! It was very warm inside the car so both windows were wide open and we were doing a steady 60mph on the dual carriageway back to Ross when I went to turn a page and the wind grabbed hold of the road book and whipped it out of my hand and straight out of the window! Thank god we didn’t need it anymore! Gavin reminded me of this on the next event whenever we had the windows open and I have navigation or maps in my hand!

    Overall we ended up 7th overall despite the disaster – the detailed results showed us 12th on the regularities and an impressive 4th on the tests.


    St Wilfrids Historic – August - Yorkshire

    We’ve done this event twice before and really enjoyed it with good results – so after a year off we decided to go back to Ripon. We travelled up on the Saturday and got through noise and scrutineering quickly before going a lovely pub we stayed in two years ago – as the room has a very useful table for plotting the navigation. We plotted what we could the night before and were pleasantly surprised to find that 6 out of the 8 regularities were plot n bash

    It was raining in the morning but luckily it cleared up by the time we started and it kept the dust down at the forest tests. First regularity started just outside Ripon by the race course and the shorter, but very busy sections, with lots of speed changes in a short distance, seemed to suit us as I couldn’t get so distracted by the lovely scenery on route! It seemed we were right and the plot n bash sections helped us as I was getting them on the map quickly and Gavin is very good at driving the first few miles on his own – checking the speed tables and telling me where he was on the road so we could keep travelling along smoothly. I also enjoyed the fact that we may have been able to play a psychological game with the cars around us (as well as my self-confidence) by plotting on the move and starting the sections immediately while they stopped and plotted.

    The Boltby forest tests (used years ago on the Riponian stage rally) were brilliant and suited the powerful Scimitar and Gavin’s ability to drive practically blind as all I had was a hand drawn diagram that had far less corners on it than there were! We were just about stopping at the codeboards to write them down without wasting any time, although one we sailed past a bit too far but I was sure I could just about make out the letters and told Gavin to go – thank goodness I read them correctly as we didn’t get any penalties!

    Lunch halt was at High Paradise Farm Tea Room in Boltby forest and we enjoyed baguettes and cake with the chickens, dogs, ducks and horses. Off to more tests in the forest and we were really enjoying getting the Scimitar sideways and it handles surprisingly well – despite having a close look at a ditch on the exit of a hairpin! A few cars retired in ditches on these tests so we prayed and the car just kept going in its normal rugged style. A few more regularities before the finish and we were pleased to be only dropping a few seconds here and there and keeping on par with the more experienced crews who are out regularly.

    A lovely carvery at the finish and the results were taking a while, so we left our number with a friend and fellow competitor and started the 4 hour journey home knowing we’d had an enjoyable day and would be in the top 10. On the way home we had a message to say we were 4th overall and 2nd in class. Detailed results showed us 3rd on the regularities and 9th on the tests.

    Footnote: An error in results (the last Regularity penalties were not included) means we should move up to 3rd overall, subject to MSA approval.

    With no more events until next year, the Scimitar is back in the garage and will be taken for a full valet at my local car wash who advertise that they clean rally cars!
    GavinR

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  8. #87
    Pit Crew Decade Plus User GavinR's Avatar
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    Re: GavinR's Scimitar Historic Rally Car

    Hughes Historic Rally - 1st June 2019

    This year we are just doing 2 events, the Hughes Historic and the St Wilfrids in August

    The Scimitar was put through an MOT in Feb and then Carrie and I did our own "Tour of the Cotswolds" in May, covering 150 miles without any problems, we found some lovely roads and byways and stopped for a quick look around Badminton Estate

    Before the Hughes I gave the Scimitar a good check over, tightened the exhaust in a couple of places, greased everywhere, checked all the fluids, replaced the rubber fuel pipes with newer spec rubber pipe, fitted a better passenger wing mirror that I can actually see out of and finally a set of full race rear brake shoes - I was running fast road before and they sometimes overheat so I wanted to try something else!

    The Hughes has been running for many years and is based in Kent, starting and finishing near Brands Hatch. It was not an event we had done before but it is known for good tests and tricky navigation so sounded like a good challenge. Last year's navigation was on the website so we practiced on that which always helps.

    There was a healthy entry of 54 cars with 40 historics and 14 more modern cars doing a clubman event but following the same route and instructions as the historics. The evening before the event we were given all the test maps and most of the Regularities so we plotted them - some took a bit of time and we had trouble with one section trying to find a campsite on the map in a sensible place but we got there in the end. Talking to other crews at the start, they had similar problems and some who had bought the maps a couple of days before the event (instead of a couple of weeks) found they didn't have any campsites marked at all as a new edition had been published!

    The first Regularity was quite short and we were a little late at the final control but nothing to worry about.



    Next we went into Mereworth Woods, an Army Training Area which was used for a Jogularity (which is a type of Regularity often used on private land with tulips for navigation and times given to be at each tulip). This is sometimes simple and sometimes difficult, especially when you have never been into a venue before. We dropped a total of 50s in here compared to the top crew's 11s but a lot of others could not keep to the pace. It was great fun though, at one point we were 5s behind a Volvo 144 who was 5s behind a Porsche 911, all doing a steady 30mph through the trees!

    Back out on the road for the 3rd Regularity, a longer 30 mile section with 4 controls. Once again we were late at all of them and it seemed that our tripmeter was reading slightly long so when we got to the coffee halt we adjusted it to try and correct the error. It was a bit strange as it had seemed accurate in the woods. At this point we were 6th overall.

    After coffee we had another short Regularity and this proved difficult for everyone - the organisers had warned us about a difficult Give Way junction and decided to position a marshal there to help us exit the junction, but there was too much traffic for the marshal to be of any use, so after waiting for over a minute, I edged forwards and someone let me out. Then it was trying to catch up the lost time and the next control was unmanned so we just had to put down the time of day and didn't know how far out we were from the time schedule - if this sounds confusing, it was very confusing for us and we had another control to get to at the right time but we couldn't work that out either! So we lost a lot of time here. Talking to other crews later on, it seemed to be down to luck whether they got out of the junction quickly or not.

    Finally we reached Hole Park Estate for a few Tests before lunch. The first Test started in a large field where a 6 foot path had been cut through some long grass, finishing with a short loop of gravel. We followed our instincts through the grass and I kept my foot down around the gravel loop and set the fastest time for the historic section



    The second Test was along a concrete farm road which didn't suit us as well, but the 3rd was around an even bigger field, great fun but I clipped a cone and we got an extra 10s penalty.
    This took us to lunch where we had moved up to 5th. It was a good lunch and Carrie had time to enjoy the sunshine / sort out the maps ready for the afternoon, while I had an extra helping of cake!!!



    The only problem was when we went to leave, the Scimitar started and died a couple of times (which it often does on when very hot, I think due to fuel vaporisation) and then the starter packed up So Carrie ran off to grab Alan Wakeman who was out in his Peugeot 205 a couple of cars behind us, while I got the tow rope ready. Alan towed me round the field a couple of times and I managed to bump start the Scimitar and we made the control with about 30s to spare

    There were 2 more tests in Hole Park similar to the first 2 then onto another Regularity, this time with 2 controls and it was the one with the campsite in the navigation. We drove round our route and it was only when we were nearing the end we thought we might have gone wrong as we hadn't seen a single control yet - we had been expecting one near the campsite but there was nothing there. A further look at the map and we spotted our mistake - there was a shorter route to get to the campsite so we had missed a control.
    This event cancels the worst lateness penalty at any control for each car (it's one way of trying to remove the element of luck from the results, e.g. if 5 cars get stuck with a herd of cows, then they would get that penalty removed), so we decided it was better to go back and find the control rather than carry on and get a 5 minute penalty for missing a control. Back on the right route we found the control and everything was fine, we were just 15 minutes late on the road now.

    The next test was at a farm, short but interesting, we were 6th quickest here.



    Another Regularity took us to an afternoon tea halt - this time we got caught up with another competitor who was not quite doing the same average speed as we wanted to so we lost a bit more time here, and also missed a codeboard although we're not sure how - either I drove past it or it had gone missing (as all the cars after us missed it as well).
    To make up time we drove into the tea halt and straight back out again (I couldn't have turned the engine off anyway!) - we were 7th at this point.

    There was one final Regularity which went surprisingly well given the problems we'd been having with the other ones, then it was back to Mereworth Woods for 5 tests. These were very good and it helped to have done the Jogularity in there earlier so we knew what to expect, although I did manage to overshoot one junction and clip a cone on another test, but we set some quick times.

    At the finish we had a good meal but the results seemed to be taking a while so we decided to head home as it was getting late and we had a 3 hour drive, and we didn't think we had done well enough to get an award! After a hour or so driving, Carrie checked the results online and we were pleased to be 5th Overall and 2nd in Class

    We hope to be back next year and hopefully the experience will help us to do even better!

    GavinR

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    Pit Crew Decade Plus User GavinR's Avatar
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    Re: GavinR's Scimitar Historic Rally Car

    St Wilfrids Classic Rally - 11th August 2019

    Run by Ripon Motor Club in North Yorkshire, this was the 4th time Carrie and I had competed.
    The route was similar to last year with regularities North and East of Ripon and over the Yorkshire Moors together with Tests on grass and in a couple of forests.
    There was a good entry of 64 cars, with Carrie and I seeded at 10.

    We started from Masham Town Hall on a rather dull day with showers forecast and headed to the first 3 Tests held at a local Autograss venue which we'd used before. The 2nd test had a shortened route due to the grass being very wet in places and they were all very slippery. We took them sensibly making sure we didn't make any mistakes and were 9th fastest.

    Next there were 3 regularities - the navigation was quite easy but there were a lot of speed changes, some at distances and some at the time controls. We thought we had it figured out and expected the first control after about 6 miles, so when we came across the first control at 3 miles, we were very confused and not sure the speed we should be doing after it!
    One of the challenges of regularities is you don't have time to stop and think so we carried on at what we thought was the correct speed but at the next 3 controls we were quite a bit early and lost a total of 46s on this one, compared with the top crews who lost around 10s.

    It was only on the road section between Reg 1 and Reg 2 that we realised what we were doing wrong and things improved after that, although still not up to our usual standard - we were 21st when we arrived at the first forest tests in Boltby. The tests were great fun and the Scimitar was going well, using decent forest tracks with some more slippery bits off the side and by the time we reached the lunch halt next to the forest at High Paradise Farm Tea Room we had recovered to 13th.





    Back out on the road for the afternoon, we were getting the hang of all the speed changes and our times were improving! There was another short forest test at Pry Rigg followed by a long regularity over the Moors before doing the test again. It was drier the second time and we were 4th and 5th quickest on these, some long straights helping here. The final regularity took us north again and used a famous ford at Caydale Mill - you join the river, drive along it for 100 yds then turn right to get back onto the road, and it was a bit slippery underneath! Lots of photographers on the exit but I havenlt seen any pictures yet.
    This took us back to Boltby forest for the final 3 tests, a repeat of the morning tests but there had been a heavy shower in between so we were only a few seconds quicker.

    A short drive took us to the finish at Thirsk Auction Mart and a well deserved roast dinner and pudding, always a good way to finish a tough event.
    We finished 8th overall and 4th in class, coming 6th on the Tests and 15th on the Regularities, and a very enjoyable event.

    So that's it for the year, just the 2 events, but we hope to be able to do more next year, depending on which other events I'm doing.
    GavinR

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  10. #89
    Pit Crew Decade Plus User GavinR's Avatar
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    Re: GavinR's Scimitar Historic Rally Car

    Over the winter I did the usual thorough check of everything as our historic season was starting earlier in 2020 with the Ross Traders having moved to 1st February 2020
    It was also an afternoon / evening event and as Carrie and I had never done anything in the Scimitar after dark, we entered Tavern Motor Club's New Year 12 car rally on Friday 10th January

    During the day, I took the car for an MOT and the friendly tester adjusted all 4 headlights to the correct angle
    I had also fitted some part worn Dunlop winter tyres as they should be better on the roads than my usual forest tyres

    The rally started and finished at Tavern's usual meeting place, the Royal British Legion in Dundry, and the route was 45 miles around the roads south of Bristol, including the maze of lanes around Nempnett Thrubwell. Marked maps were given out and we set off just after 8pm along with the other 9 competitors.

    The organisers are both good Welsh Road Rally navigators and are used to the speed of the top Welsh competitors, so the route had a lot of short sections and marshals to slow everyone down.
    As it turned out, it made it very difficult to keep on time and we were dropping a minute or 2 on most sections and were almost over the time limit by the halfway point. Luckily there was a time recovery section here, and the 2nd half had an extended time limit so we pushed on and got to the finish with a few minutes to spare.

    At the finish, the results were going to take a while because everyone had dropped a lot of time, and there were a lot of controls to check, so we headed home.
    The event had gone well for us, a couple of hesitations but no wrong turns and it highlighted that there was not enough lighting inside the car for Carrie to do anything apart from follow the map, so a bit of work to do before the Ross Traders.

    The next morning, we received the results from the organisers and were surprised to be 1st Overall by a minute

    We found out later that a lot of crews had dropped time on one section where the marshals was giving the time the cars should have arrived, not the time when the cars actually arrived!
    Carrie spotted the wrong time while we were still in the control and got the marshal to change it, so we benefited from this!


    Over the following few weeks, I fitted a Brantz Rally Timer - this has a clock and a stopwatch with nice bright red numbers, similar to the trip meter, as well as replacing the cigarette lighter with one that actually worked, adding a strip of LED lights stuck to the bottom of the dashboard above the glove box door, with a piece of card above it to stop any glare on the windscreen, and finally replaced the old Avanti map light with another LED light above the passenger door - this lights up the clipboard so the marshals can see where to sign, making their job easier and more importantly quicker! The central auxiliary switch panel had 2 more switches added and I have a spare feed for another light if required.



    On the mechanical side, I just adjusted the rear brakes and tightened and greased the handbrake cables, so all ready for the Ross Traders
    GavinR

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    Re: GavinR's Scimitar Historic Rally Car

    i am old enough to remember external "marshal lights" being banned
    Last edited by alladdin; 14-02-2020 at 22:11.

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    Re: GavinR's Scimitar Historic Rally Car

    Ross Traders Historic - Saturday 1st February 2020

    After a year off, the Ross Traders was back with a new organising team and a completely different format with 9 Tests and 2 Regularities inside Caerwent, and 3 Regularities on the public road.

    Just over 40 cars had entered with Carrie and I at Car 7.
    I've only been to Caerwent twice before, the last time being 10 years ago, and Carrie had never been so we were looking forward to an interesting day trying not to get lost...
    And with the event starting at lunch time, the last third of the route was going to be in the dark!

    We started with a loop of 3 Tests, all 2-3 miles long, using reasonably detailed diagrams which showed the roads we were using but no buildings. Test 1 went well (5th quickest) but on Test 2 we went the wrong way at a T junction and nearly ended up back on Test 1 ! We managed to retrace our route and found Car 10 (an early Lotus Elite) coming out of the same T junction so we followed them to the end of the Test. The 3rd Test we started behind a Mk1 Escort with a slipping clutch - we nearly caught him after a mile but then he got going better and wasn't holding us up, so we continued behind as it was clear they knew where they were going better than we did
    Next we did the first public road Regularity which started East of Chepstow and cut across to just North of Tintern Abbey. This went well although slightly out at the first 2 controls we were on 1s at the last one so happy with that. Back into Caerwent, we were surprised to be 7th at this stage, helped a lot by the organisers setting the maximum times for the Tests at 20 mph which meant that only 12 cars had beaten the maximum on Test 2 and our 3 minute wrong slot only cost us around 30s



    3 more Tests followed with slightly different layouts to the first ones. Test 4 we thought we'd gone the wrong way so lost a bit of time here, then on Test 5 I was getting the handbrake working well when I pulled it a bit too hard and there was a loud crack from the back end and I nearly slid into a kerb. After this the handbrake was non-existent, one of the rear brakes was binding and the brake pedal was getting closer to the floor so I backed off a bit. At the end of the Test there was nothing obviously wrong (no fluid leaks, etc) so we continued sensibly, but still setting top 10 times.
    Before the afternoon halt, we had a Regularity in Caerwent which was plot and bash - Carrie was given a map of Caerwent with some buildings highlighted with numbers on and a list of the order which to pass them. This was straightforward although I couldn't drive fast enough to maintain the 30mph average, but after 2 controls we were on the perimeter track at a slower speed so this was fine, almost keeping up with the top crews.
    At the afternoon halt we were still 7th and I checked the Scimitar over as well as I could, adjusting the rear brakes but finding one side would not adjust up so maybe the adjuster had broken. The clutch pedal was also on the floor but I wasn't sure I could adjust that in the time I had, and the clutch wasn't slipping, so I left it alone in the hope it wouldn't get any worse!



    As darkness fell, we got ready for the next 3 Tests, Test 7 was similar to a previous Test, but Test 8 joined 2 together making over 5 miles and Test 9 was just a bit shorter. They went ok - I turned up a dead end which looked like it went somewhere so had to back out, the brake pedal was getting closer to the floor and becoming less effective, and I was having trouble changing gear, sometimes needing to press the clutch again when in neutral to get the next gear, and when the rear brakes are failing, changing gear helps a lot! I thought briefly about heading home but knew it would be easier once we were out of Caerwent so we carried on.
    The last bit in Caerwent was another Plot and Bash Regularity, this time starting on the perimeter track where I drove for 2.5 miles while Carrie plotted tulips onto a map which was printed on the back of the tulips, not an easy task, but she had it done before I'd got to the 2.5 mile mark. The organisers had found some gravel tracks to link the perimeter track to the main area, through the quarry and back up another one, we missed one turning but realised quite quickly, only to miss it again on the way back
    Finally we finished this section and headed out through Chepstow to the final 2 Regularities to take us to the finish at Ross on Wye.

    The first one we had plotted in the morning and it seemed fine, but we missed a loop in the middle and picked up a 5 minute penalty.
    The last one was plot and bash using grid references and Carrie got these down quickly but was unsure about 2 of them. We got to the first control slightly late, then I pulled over after the control to have a quick look - one was near the A40 dual carriageway and I remembered a triangle on a junction we'd used before and the other was on a smaller road where there's an unmarked layby, so we carried on quickly. Right at the end we missed the last turning - we both saw it but decided that it wasn't the one we needed, only to come back later, so this cost us another minute.

    We had a quick meal at the finish and headed home as we expected the results would take a while with a lot of crews missing loops and having other queries to sort out!
    But after all the issues, we were pleased to finish 6th overall and 2nd in class, not far behind 5th but over 7 minutes behind 4th

    All in all it was an enjoyable day, and credit to Ross Motorsports Club for putting on a challenging event
    GavinR

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