Brands indy 13th May

Now we're getting down to business. The car is in limbo with some correcting required but well on the way to being truly sorted.

First up it now has a new pro road and track BGH sierra box. Thing is the diff is still the original 3.62 which does not maximise the ratios so the whole car is noticeably over geared; shift up and there's now a definite lull before you hit the sweet spot and the urgency of the acceleration has been muted somewhat.

Secondly, I now have my new Mog rial rims and have obtained some part worn slicks but the approx 1.8/1.9 negative camber on the car is set for radial road tyres and is way too much front and rear for Avon ACB0 slicks.

Finally, some recent research has indicated that having my front 250lb stiff race springs coupled with a normal soft rear spring as in the standard progressive items is a sure recipe for gigantic understeer ! This, hopefully has been the major root of my handling issues.



So the car is really in a major transition phase but I decided to give it one last trackday for the hell of it before getting everything else properly sorted. I was also interested and curious to find out how the lazy diff setup would actually feel on track despite the fact that all along I planned to go with the optimised BHG/3.92 combination.





Well apart from the fact that on the last session the box pissed its oil all over the track and onto someones visor (i suspect the seal to the prop) the car ran very well. Oil pressures were good as ever and temperatures seemed very good. At the close of play although the stack showed maximums of 110c for water and 100 for oil, the times when i looked at the temps immediately when starting a cool down lap after a session, I only saw figures in the 80's. It also ended up quite a hot day so for the moment it doesn't look like an oil cooler is needed.

Something minor is also afoot with the brakes. I noticed toward the end of the day that the brake pedal travel seemed to lengthen and you had to put your foot further in to get the same braking. Whilst I dont think the actual braking effect was compromised, the feel did change and its another thing that I will need to investigate.


As for handling.... well, the first thing was that I wasn't exactly bowled over by the grip from the slicks. Comparing movies from 2 months ago its pretty clear that they didnt really afford me much extra grip over the CR500's.... hard to believe but thats the way it was. Thing is, the two corners where I would expect to notice a huge grip increase are druids and clearways but the handling of the car was pretty poor in both these places. So whether the slicks couldn't ever come into their own because of the poor setup, or whether they were past their best from too many heat cycles, or whether the 1.9 deg camber was prohibiting them from working properly I do not know. But one things for sure, I was no quicker through druids or clearways compared to my visit in February and I found that the car just wouldn't bite and grip round either.

Looking at lines, my path into druids could be taken more classically, edging to the top of the track more but even so the understeer i got there later in the day was simply abysmal. Maybe I should have messed around with pressures a bit more .... on the day I just got them to 22 hot and left them there.

Finally, the actual turn in has improved since the last visit as i'm running even more toe-out now, possibly a little too much .... the videos show that the car is pretty nervous over the undulations leading up to Paddock. Although i could oversteer on the throttle at the Andy Walsh training day I was unable to do this on the slicks. With the unsuitable camber, the new rim sizes etc. theres too many variables at play to know anything for sure but what is certain is that the front and rear springs need to be matched before I can properly assess whats going on elsewhere.




Good news is that the box, although a bit lazy with the current diff, works far better and doesn't sap all my concentration. I can pretty much forget about changing gear now and in addition I altered the awkward quaife quickshift so that its now like a any normal quick and easy shift.

My confidence is growing with the car and im acclimatising to these new levels of speed. Turning into paddock maybe 5-10mph quicker has earnt me over half a second, Im carrying more speed through graham hill bend and Surtees is now a feather with no braking and a turn-in the right side of 90mph. All of this adds up to a net drop of around 1.5 seconds. Of course there's lots more to come and i'll definitely get back to brands again once the handling is properly balanced and the new diff is in. Its quite amazing where you can get time from..... just over the small distance between the entry to Paddock to the end of the apex rumble strip, a few more mph drops you by over half a second !


The easytrack day went well with only 1 stoppage that I remember. The 262bhp cossie powered SV caterham (pictured above) complete with elite sequential box was definitely a bit of a showstopper and I had some great laps with that car. Beautifully prepared and very very clean ! A number of SR4's in attendance as per normal and also a beautiful black SR4 which definitely looks way better in the flesh.


So next up is to fit the new 3.98 diff with the modified ramp angles (which should help understeer), try some 215lb race springs at the back, set the front camber and fit the rear 0.25 DeDion ear and possibly even fit some upgraded dampers whilst im at it.





Some new views this time ..... looking through the rollbar at eye level ! I like this view a lot... everything looks way faster and its closer to the actual experience. 2nd camera is bust at the moment so no rear or ground views sadly.


Cossie 1
Windows Media WMV

following the 262bhp Cosworth Cat

Clear Lap
Windows Media WMV 9mb

not one of the quickest but one of my clear laps in the morning

M3 and RadAttack !
Windows Media WMV 21mb

SR3 can't outdrag me but i let him past anyway only for him to go through paddock at 10mph ! A second SR3 also redefines 'overtaking by consent'. In summary: don't run with these cars if you're easily scared !!!

Cossie 2
Windows Media WMV 11 mb

the elite sequentialed Cossie again

Integra Catchup
Windows Media WMV
15 mb

one of those imported integra thingys

Porker + cat
Windows Media WMV 17mb

some of my first laps of the day .... a nice 993 rs, couple of caterhams, a Ford mk1 escort and a lovely looking Golf R32. I took 2nd out of druids here, in hindsight should have done that all day !

Maurice Reeves II
Windows Media WMV 12mb

Shame, last session and it ends here just before we get to take revenge on that pesky black golf !

February/May comparison
Windows Media WMV 9 mb

comparison with lap from last time and with a reset lap to see the gain from each area of the track.


The Jackals Racetrack 1998 Richard Morris