well, what can i say. was today worth the last 7 weeks of torture getting the car finished?
24 hours ago i was so down about things, would have gladly called it a day. shrew acted as my personal samaritan once again, calming me down and offering help advice and most importantly all the parts i needed from his very own sud.
then proceeded to fix the faults first thing while i went and did something else, can't remember what? but was a huge relief to find he'd fixed all the faults for me cheers mate, you're a star
so after making all sorts of excuses to delay going out i finally ran out of them so took to the track.
i'd spoken to ted, bryan and rodger about expecting the car to be a tad tail happy with the cobbled together suspension.
i wasn't wrong!
back stepping out all over the place.
good fun though
shrew was then coaxed into getting a passenger wristband on to come out for some fun.
we had a few laps of giggles with some over-steering moments around an dabout, hall bends being a particular favourite of mine.
then confidence got the better of me, a spin at the goosekneck was followed by another spin less than a mile later coming into the mountain.
time to come in for a rethink.
something i should have thought about but didn't, was tyre pressures. rodger and co gave me a talking to and told me to get them set better. we all agreed that 30+ psi in the back was way too much! not much heat being built up.
so i dropped them down to about 22psi and things improved no end once some heat was built into them.
it now seems that cheapo road tyres can be made to peel like race tyres once warm enough
so after the dinner break we went out for some more fun. loving the car with its' wayward handling, not the fastest but very much fun
rich came along for a ride which i think he enjoyed. although i don't think we had any spins did we?
did a few more laps, between the delays for cars breaking down and stopping the sessions.
then with half an hour or so of the day left ted came in for a ride.
trafic was a bit of an issue, with cars being caught at the twisty bits.
so i hung back a bit to give some track space for the hall bends section, as near to rallying as i could get with the pendulum build up through the twists.
trouble was i found the limit of the rear grip on that lap, back end stepped out a fair bit and try as i did i didn't quite get it back and we grazed the armco, well thumped it really along teds side
we both expected the damage to be a mess so were suprised when pulling back into the pits to not get looks of horror from shrew etc. when we got out we both couldn't believe the damage was so slight.
front wing has a crape and a dent, door pretty much unscatthed, rear arch pretty dented and both wheels are scuffed badly but otherwise it's ok.
am i angry it's damaged? hell no! that was always the plane, to build a sud to have fun in and not worry about the odd scrape.
it's nothing that can't be fixed easily.
of all the changes from standard the car has most performed pretty well.
front brakes were excellent. no fade, strong retardation, good feel despite the pedal travel. the nissan brakes were perfect, getting very hot as could be felt after we came in, but never feeling like they were wilting
engine pulled pretty strongly against some modern cars, not embarrassed on the staright bits at all
no issues with fuel surge with the swirl pot, glad i fitted that now. just need to fix the fuel gauge so i know how much i have in the tank!
gearbox was spot on. 1.2 ti gave nice close ratios with all 5 gears being useful. we were pullign a good few revs in 5th up park straight
quaiffe diff seems to work well, understeer was hardly ever a problem save for the downhill mansfield corner.
that needs some work. front way too soft, back is probably not far off being ok but with the fronts so poor with spring rate/ride hieght/shocks then it's so out of balance it's funny. well, fun to drive anyway.
i was told that the inside rear wheel was seen to be in the air quite a bit, into the mountain especially
tyres? for cheapo road tyres (matador fronts & admiral rears) they didn't do too badly once the pressures were better set.
came in most times with the rubber nice and warm, with the soft bits peeling over
thinsg to do this winter?
sort the suspension.
coilover struts will be built up using 2.25" springs.
proper tyres, toyo R888 like what ted uses most likely. on talking to him they've performed very well and actually doen quite a few track days for him already, so although not exactly cheap they will give good mileage
take some weight out, glass will be taken out and lexan fitted.
roll cage will be beefed up linking with the strut tops front & rear. to put the weight back in!
proper exhaust will be designed by the shrew meister
other than that, not a lot else.
would love to also do the omex & thottle body route but there are more pressing things that need sorting at the moment.
about 6 months time
a big thanks to ted for the inspiration at donnington 7 weeks ago watching you go around in your sud really spurred me on, all the effort was worth it in the end.
and sorry for putting the car in the barriers while you were enjoying the scenery
also huge thanks to shrew for getting me through the last few days of what was becoming almost unbearable, and of course for fixing the last few little jobs to let me get on track
rodger for the supply of the car in the first place, and plenty of encouraging support building up to today and during the day. not forgetting making a huge effort to come down from scotland for the weekend
thanks also to woody, rich, john and mark for bringing their own alfas out to make my first track day in the sud be one i will never forget
thanks also to bryan for all the advice on lines, although shrew isn't convinced i can or should really be attempting to take coppice flat in 5th, but i did try
but couldn't convince myself not
we really must make this an annual event speading it around the country
looking forward to the pics guys