View from Pit Lane – Edition 3

Life certainly doesn’t get any easier, that’s for sure. After a long wait the spare standard engine found its way to the leafy lanes of France, courtesy of Mark, for the French part and Richard Freeman for the UK part of it’s journey, thanks chaps. We must also thank David Wood Performance for doing the rebuild and set up .That was the last day of April so it gave us 9 days to swap motors and sort the electrics ready for testing on May 10th.

Matt turned up early the following weekend to take charge of the procedure, it was to be the first time for either of us to change the Triumph engine. So after a cup of coffee to wake us up and bring us to peak performance, we got stuck in, as it were. With the tuned engine out it was a good time for another coffee and I thought it would be wise just to test the fitting of our exhaust to the new motor, only to be aghast at what we discovered. It didn’t fit, not even close…This rather unexpected situation called for more coffee, a quick review of our circumstance and to formulate a hasty plan of action. 

We rapidly deduced that our options were, somewhat limited. We need another exhaust. I pulled rank and, against Matt’s will, we carried on with the exchange in the hope of finding an exhaust in double quick time. You gotta keep optimistic. Having attained a reasonably advanced state of finishing we called time. Just leaving a few hours work to finish off when the new exhaust arrived. 

After a couple of days extensive searching the internet and calling up old contacts from the UK, it become blatantly obvious that these things were rarer than a Politician telling the truth, forcing the decision to pop the tuned motor back in, for the Monday test. What joy!!! Going back to a previous ‘View FPL’ it always goes down to the last minute. On the wet Thursday morning, Matt squeezed some time off work to help with the heavy lifting, then left me to do the fiddly bits. I fired her up, to much relief, on the Sunday morning just after prayers and she breathed into life with no dramas. Happy days.. Which brings us nicely to testing at Le Vigeant.

Also over the course of the weekend we were notified of the cancellation of the race meeting at Pau Arnos due to our Covid restrictions here in France. Although disappointed it gave us another month or so to sort an exhaust.
Le Vigeant is our local circuit, so we travel light, using one of our vans and a borrowed awning, in case it rains, which it did, but we only lost one session and the remainder were all dry. It was also a chance for Rik to get a feel for the Dunlop tyres which we are obliged to use as they’re the controlled tyre in both the championships this season. Throughout the day Rik steadily improved, looking increasingly more at home finishing the day with his personal best lap time and reporting that the tyres ” were good from the go get”, some kind of racer jargon I’m not familiar with, which translates to awesome or close to it. So all good, I’m pleased to report.

We’re on a reserve list for more track time over the weekend of 23/24 May so hopefully we’ll get out there for some more fun.

There’s a slight change to the programme which was brought to my attention last night. Now its complicated and I would hate for you, the reader, to nod off so briefly;
The Navarra meeting 12/13 June has been combined, by the organisers, to run WERC and LMNA together and we’re entered in both, but we’re not. I’ve withdrawn our entry for WERC because we can’t conform with the standard regulations. Concluding that our first meeting will be with the LMNA on full power still at Navarra. Which also gives us another month to source an exhaust .

Until the next time, have fun.

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