Sunday, 25 March 2012

Cadwell Park Track Day

Last Sunday saw us making a trip to Cadwell Park.  The primary reason for this was to test the setup of a friends' Peugeot 205 GTi challenge car, however we were also there for a jolly around a track.

All was going well, until the car started puffing a bit of oil smoke (resulting in a black flag).  A few minutes back in the pits with some cable ties, gaffa tape and a plastic bottle and we were back in action.

There were a number of very nice cars on the track, including a very quick Renault Megane 225 Sport and an insanely powerful Subaru Impreza which was quite literally eating up the track.

Due to technical failings on my part (not turning the camera on), we were only able to get a couple of laps on video, the best of which are below.

Monday, 11 April 2011

More Car Woes

So, I got my car back last Wednesday after I finished at work. By Saturday it had voided itself of most of its oil.
The culprit ... a dodgy cam shaft seal which had been newly fitted with the replacement cam belt on Wednesday.

As you would expect, the mechanic who fitted the parts fitted a new seal free of charge and got the car back to me pretty quickly; making the oil in the car the third set of fresh oil in as many weeks.

This has highlighted the need to get rid of my car as soon as possible, so I am now actively hunting for my next car, ideally a 1.3 Rover Mini cooper sport.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Cam belt 2.0

A perfect example of what happens to your wallet when you snap a cam belt.
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Monday, 21 February 2011

Bill Cammack Rally - 2011

Last Saturday saw the annual running of the Bill Cammack rally at Manby Showground.
I was fortunate enough to attend as one of the service crew supporting car number 30.

The day started at 03:00 to begin packing our supplies and loading up the car to set off to the venue. We eventually arrived at the venue through pouring rain around 07:00, optimistic that the rain would stop.
20 minutes or so later, the car arrived and we set about unloading it.

 We had just managed to get the car unloaded and the gazebo up before the rain returned once again. 

We set about preparing the car for the first event while the driver and navigator completed the necessary paperwork. Unfortunately the rain continue throughout the day, making driving very interesting for people who had chosen slick tyres (seemingly everyone).

The only cars that seemed to be handling the rain on slicks was the Mk1 and Mk2 Escorts, which were unstoppable in the wet.

Stage one saw some a number of spills from drivers, including our own car; which collected a heap of tyres on the way through one of the tight chicanes. Most of the damage was purely cosmetic and was easily fixed during the period between stages.

A crumpled wing was pushed back into shape and the trim screwed back on. As for the bumper, which had taken most of the impact it wasn't as easy. The whole bumper was hanging down at the front, and the lower valance was smashed in front of the right hand wheel. Given our limited service time we had to make a speedy repair, involving lots of cable ties. The valance was stitched back together with cable ties after drilling a couple of holes in it, which survived to the end of stage two.

Unfortunately the end of stage two also saw the end of our rally, with a very unhealthy knocking coming from the engine. We decided it would be best to retire from the rally rather than risk further, potentially fatal damage to the engine.

Our driver had also managed to collected a hay bale when negotiating a different chicane, which has left a nice big dent in the passenger door. We were able to push the dent back out with a bit of shoving and a big foot.

Although we were out of the race, we stayed to observe the remaining drivers.  From our vantage point (inside a nice dry van) I grabbed a few pictures of the cars as they entered the stage. 

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

New Job, Day 8

Many of you who follow me on Twitter will know that I have recently started a new job. So far all seems to be going very well, I am enjoying a change of scenery and am enjoying actually being challenged at work (not like my old job). Some bits of the job aren't always fun (but no job is 100% fun), however I do get plenty of "tinkering time".

A lot of my time recently has been taken up with the task of cleaning up a giant mailbox. I decided that Powershell would be the best way to tackle this, however I know next to nothing about the language so a lot of it has been educated guess work and googling.
I have reached a stage where I have a working method, but it is terribly inefficient. Now I am working on version 2.0, which should be much quicker and kinder to the resources. Anybody who knows more about PS than me and would like to offer some assistance, feel free to ping me on twitter.

During quiet periods at work, I am trying to spend as much time as possible learning about the infrastructure stuff and what goes on under the bonnet in a bid to move in that direction. I am aiming to get away from support in the next 12 months or so, which will be a welcome step in the right direction for my career.

In other news, I have almost finished the website that I volunteered to make. It has taken a bit of time, given the house move and job change that have recently taken place; but it is as good as complete.
Some more web work will be due to start, once the facelift project at work gets moving; which will hopefully serve as a welcome break from support.

On a final note, my car (in typical French style) has decided that it wants some more attention (read money) and has produced a rather interesting noise. My front tyres are also just about legal for now, so will probably want to be replaced fairly soon.

I will be in the market for a new car once my first three months at work passes. All suggestions are welcomed.