Friday, 25 September 2015

1st time for everything

The National finals was a great weekend for us. Not only did the new bike exceed expectations but we went from being number 8 qualifier to winning the event - our first event win since we started racing nearly 8 years ago.
It didn't start off great, the first run was fairly troubled, running bad spluttering and not taking full throttle. Data showed it running very rich at wide open throttle - as if there was no nitrous going in. So we removed the bottle to weight it only to discover the bottle had developed at rattle! - the dip tube that collects liquid nitrous from the bottom of the upright bottle had sheared off inside, and hence no nitrous on that run. The next couple of passes were much better but still with a really rich top end which was robbing us of mph and causing poor running.  However, by the end of the 3 qualifying sessions we were qualified on the bump spot - 8th with a 7.69 @  only 158mph.

That 8th position meant we faced a pretty big challenge as we were to meet Lorcan Parnell on the 'Storm' dragbike, which had run a string of 6.8second passes that weekend and already set a mph record of 200mph. I had a pretty good holeshot on Lorcan, and at 1000ft i still couldn't see him, but just before the line he came flying past to what i thought was the win. What i didn't know was that he had hit the wall at nearly 200mph and was disqualified. Luckily he was completely ok - the clutch and bodywork having taken the brunt of the collision.
We ran a new best time for the new bike on that run too, a 7.54 @ 171mph, just 0.01 off our personal best time. 
The next round also required a little bit of luck, as Dave peters blew the burst panel on his bike at the 330ft mark and left us to take the win. That meant, at the bikes first full event we had made it to the final! We were against Stefan Hagenstein who had been number 7 qualifier. I never saw Stefan on the run, he had problems and never left the startline. We ran another 7.6 and took the win. Our first ever.

By now we had worked out why the bike was running poorly in the second half of the run - we increased the nitrous jet in an attempt to burn off some of the fuel that was making it so rich, but when overlaying the graphs there was no difference at all. So it seems we have reached the flow limit of the small NOS solenoid we use. I have a bigger one and will fit it ready for the next and final round.  One of the other big successes that weekend - im my eyes at least  were our ever decreasing 60ft times. The old bike ran a best of 1.15 to the 60ft, and that was after 4 years of setup. With no changes at all to the clutch, just a longer bike and different tyre we went 1.14 then 1.12, and 1,10 and finally a really nice 1.09 in the final.

Speaking of the old bike. It's now been sold already - and suddenly i've got loads of room again in the cellar!

Thursday, 17 September 2015

The next event

It was only 2 weeks ago we were at Santa Pod, spectating and part time crew for Bob Brooks and Yellow metal racing, but we are headed back again tomorrow for the National Finals.
Just a 2 day event this one, and with a reasonable forecast and 11 bikes entered it's shaping up to be an interesting one with a real mix of different types of bikes. From the relatively simple nitrous bikes to turbo, turbo-nitrous, compound Turbo & supercharged methanol.
I have a nice shot of one of my last runs on the new bike at shakey. The picture is courtesy of eurodragsters Tog.

I've not made any significant changes to the bike as it was set up for the next test anyway. Just had the clutch out and serviced it and made a baffle for the fuel tank to prevent fuel splashing out of the breather under braking.
The event will feature the usual excellent coverage by, the live audio and other links can be found here:

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Open sport nationals 2015

The debut for new bike went well. The firstrun was a solo - no nitrous  'handling pass' just to check everything is ok. It was a huge relief when it went absolutely arrow straight, with no issues whatsoever, the time was a 9.0 at 145mph. The next couple of runs i had the nitrous back on but had problems with it at full throttle, it left the line ok but would nose over after a couple of seconds then not take full throttle at all. The best time being an 8.6 something at 137mph. That evenings investigations revealed i'd wired the nitrous solenoids up wrong and almost certainly the cause of the problem.
The next day we made it to the pairing lanes on 3 occasions and each time it rained. Eliminations didn't happen either due to non stop rain that day too.

And so, we have to wait 3 more weeks until the National finals at Santa Pod to find out how it goes. Now i know its ok i really can't wait.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Low & slow

In January 2014 i had 22 meters of T45 tube lying on the cellar floor. 1 year and 8 months later and it's been transformed into a race ready bike, and on Friday were headed to Shakespeare county raceway to run it for the first time at the Open sport nationals.
We'll need to do a handling run or two but with the engine, nitrous system and electrics straight off the old bike we should be able to put a bit of power in once i'm happy with it and try to find a setup that works.
There's now 7 bikes on the entry list for Funnybike, so that could mean a nearly full 8 bike field, but we could still do with another bike or ten turning up! Qualifying is on Saturday and Sunday, and eliminations on Monday. will be covering the event as usual, the event page can be found here:…/2015openspo…/default.asp

Monday, 17 August 2015

It runs ......

Had the bike outside, fuelled up and checked for leaks etc, and fired it up this weekend.
Dead pleased with the way it looks, it's hard to visualize when you build it in a small space and can't step back and see if it looks ok. Ran well, and everything seems to work. It's very nearly ready for the Open Sport Nationals at Shakespeare county raceway in 2 weeks time.  

Sunday, 2 August 2015

nearly done

Bit more progress with the paint job. 2 rolls of fine line tape and 4 rolls of masking tape later ....

Monday, 27 July 2015

A lick of paint

Made a start on painting the new bike at the weekend. It took hours to mask out, and there's 3 more colours to go yet!