Tuesday, 30 August 2016

3 in a row

Just got back from the Open sport Nationals at Shakespeare county raceway, it turned out to be really good event with predominantly hot and sunny weather and just one fairly impressive thunderstorm.

Qualifying didn't get off to a great start, we had a couple of iffy runs trying to find a setting that worked, but the track improved each day and eventually we found a setup that proved to be very consistent.
On the first run we used the setting from the last event at Shakey where we ran a 7.28, it really didn't work and the bike nearly crossed the centerline. So, we tried again in the other lane and it was better but still spinning the tyre. So, we went for a lower start % and much longer build time on the nitrous, this helped a lot but still not great, however the right hand lane was not as good as the left and the same setting on the next run in that lane produced a really great 7.28 at an incredible 186.64mph - a whole 5mph faster than we had been previously.
The time was enough to put us in the number 1 qualifier spot in the unusually small 5 bike field.
Allan Davies seemed to be running ok with a string of 7.6's, Dave buttery found himself at the end of the track regularly and ran a 7.7, and well done to Pete Le Gros who finally got into the 7's with a 7.8 on his Nitro twin. Dave peters had a terrible weekend and in an attempt to find a way down the track he ended up taking the teeth of the primary gears and was out of the show.
Race day was a bit silly - ran as an 8 bike field but with Dave out that left 4 bikes - so a lot of bye runs! I had a bye in the first round as did Allan, but i didn't want to run the right hand lane so ran for lane choice. It was Dave buttery that won in his matchup with Pete, both had good runs - Pete with another 7 and Dave Buttery with an impressive 7.3 but Dave blew the turbo in the process and so was out anyway. It left Allan and me to have bye runs into the final, and again we ran to try and get lane choice - which we did.
In the final Allan got away first which is pretty unusual and took me a little by surprise and i spent half the track chasing him down. I crossed the line first but what i didn't know was Allan had pulled a redlight and handed me the win regardless.

That leaves us in a good position in the points so far, and we are also winners of the Shakey Championship. It also makes it 3 event wins in a row and gives the new bike an unbroken winning streak - every event it's entered it's won! I'll say that now because in less than 2 weeks time we are running in the European finals, and the chances of winning that ......

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Second Half

Just a few days to go until the second half of the drag racing season kicks off again with the Open sport Nationals at Shakespeare county raceway. This will be round 4 of the 6 races in the championship and it should be a great event, with 2 days of qualifying (Saturday & Sunday) and eliminations on Monday.
The entry list isn't great in terms of numbers so far but there are usually one or two last minute entries. The Funnybike class looks like this:
Dave Buttery
Allan Davies
Dave Peters
Pete Le Gros
And Me

We are hoping to get a few runs in over the weekend as we have a few things to try out, mostly to do with the nitrous system, and I've recently added a nitrous pressure sensor to help interpret the data better.

It's going to be quite busy after this meeting too, as just 2 weeks later it's the Euro Finals at Santa pod, and 2 or 3 weeks after that the National finals too.

Finally finished my angled milling table, and in the process of making it i discovered my mills column was miles out of alignment, basically the column has been bolted and pinned/doweled at the factory in the wrong position, so when the head is tilted over it doesn't line up with the table. I've had to do a lot of work to get it straight again, and it really didn't help that it was doweled into that position.
I'd still like a nice quality mill, mine is good but it's little things like that that make you want a mill made by someone that cared.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

9 years ago

9 Years since i started this blog. I did it because i found it hard to find information on the net about how to get into drag racing and what all the technical mumbo jumbo meant. 9 years later and i'm pretty conversant with most of it, but as with most things - the more you know the more you know you don't know! So i'm far from being an expert.
Anyway ...... the blogs had a steady following, 100,000+ visitors and i get many people come up to me at race meetings to say they like it, so i hope it continues.

Lots happening at the minute, I've had the top end off the engine to replace some loose epoxy in one of the ports, and ended up replacing most of it anyway, it's quite easy to do - preparation is most of the work.
Been some progress on the new cylinder head too, valves are cut and I've started on the final version of the retainers which I'm making on the lathe out of titanium bar. getting the taper spot on and a good finish is key, but I'm happy with the ones I've tried so far.

I've also been researching and experimenting on ways to keep nitrous bottle pressure up during a run. There are a few tricks and various ways of achieving this apparently, so i've come up with my own particular version and will do some tests at the next event at shakey.

On a different note - i first went to Santa Pod as a spectator aged about 21, back in 1993ish, we went to the the Main event and the European finals for many years afterwards and still go to them now. I never imagined i might one day be racing there, never mind at one of the big Euro events. But, i've passed my medical and got my international/one event license.....and so for the first time i'll be entering my bike in the Top Fuel bike class at the Euro Finals in September! So it's pretty real now!

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Two in a row

Consistency was a strong theme for us this weekend. The 1st run was a little off but was needed just to get everything settled. After that it just ran like a fast bracket bike, 7.29, 7.27, 7.29, 7.29, the speeds varied a little 170-174ish and were down significantly over previous events, especially the last meeting at Shakey where it ran 181mph.

The 7.27 was a personal best time, and the incremental times on all runs were among the best it's run so far. One of the highlights for me were the 60ft times, a string of 1.07's and a 1.06, which is really on fire!
Due to slightly wet weather there were only 2 qualifying sessions on Saturday, 10 bikes made a qualifying pass in total and a 7.29 put us in second place behind Fil Papafilippou who ran a stunning 6.71.

In the first round i met Dale Leeks, who left me on the tree which is quite unusual but his race ended prematurely when the bike wouldn't change gear and we took the win. In the semi finals it was like old comp bike days, and i ran against Allan Davies. Allan however had been having a terrible weekend, damaging pistons and had to work hard to build an engine out of parts to even make eliminations at all. His poorly engine did well to run a 7.7, but we ran yet another 7.2 to take the win.

And so we were in the final - against Eric Richard. Eric had run a couple of back to back 7.4's so i knew we had to make a clean run. Eric left first but i'd pulled ahead by 60ft and never saw him after that. And so, we took the win with yet another 7.29.
That makes it two events in a row!
In the points championship we are a little further ahead now, but it's by no means a safe lead - 190 points or so is only 2 rounds.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Summer time

Only a few days to go until the next event - the Summer Nationals at Santa Pod.
Really good entry in all the bike classes at this meeting, with 12 bikes on the entry list for Funnybike:

1    Dave Peters    Ulverston    Suzuki GSX        1327cc
4    Stuart Crane    Sheringham    Suzuki GSX        1640cc
8    Dale Leeks    Bury St Edmunds    Suzuki GSX        1640cc
10    Dave Buttery    Wigtoft    Suzuki GSX        1428cc
12    Thomas Joswig    Germany    Kosman Suzuki        1327cc
14    Lorcan Parnell    Kings Lynn    Storm Puma        1500cc
21    Pete Le Gros    Fleet    Nitro Harley        120ci
22    Phil Crossley    Lancaster    Suzuki GSX        1500cc
26    Shaun Branch    Horspath    Suzuki GSX1100        1425cc
30    Filippos Papafilippou    Greece    Suzuki         1570cc
34    Eric Richard    France    Suzuki Hayabusa        1300cc
42    Allan Davies    Flore    Suzuki GSX        1500cc

Amazingly, we have a slim points lead at this stage, but 70 points isn't a safe margin by any means.
Plus this is only the 3rd event of 6 so really it's still wide open.

I haven't done much to the bike, just checked it over and maintenance stuff. I'm not 100% sure what happened on the last run when the nitrous seemed to stop flowing, but i have a feeling i didn't refill it properly as it weighed less than usual afterwards, and it was probably picking up less liquid and more vapour sending it really rich.
Based on this, the plan is simply to run it without any major changes to the setup and see what it will do on a clean pass.

Meanwhile, back in the batcave...... the 30ton press is very nearly complete and had no issues popping a GS750 crank to bits. I'm just waiting on a fitting for the pressure gauge to arrive and i'm going to need a bearing separator.... eBay should come up with something!
I had some 1" thick plates plasma cut with cutouts just for crank purposes, a little machining and they should do the job nicely. I've no idea how to put a crank back together, but i'll have a play about. Hopefully without anything breaking free .... presses are a bit scary!

Sunday, 5 June 2016

It's all about the weight

Race, Rock n Ride turned out to be a pretty good weekend. The weather held out (mostly) and there were more people there than i expected, but we didn't manage any demo match races with any of the other funnybikes. We just ran against whoever was at the front of the queue.
We did 4 runs in total, and had little niggly issues with all of them. Traction was an issue on Saturday, we experienced wheelspin at the top of 1st gear on each run and that usually sets the bike up to go left wich it did. A 7.6 and a 7.5-  on and off the throttle wasn't too bad however.
On Sunday the first run was strange in that the bike took ages to leave the line. It seemed to just sit there revving but not moving, and a 1.33 60ft time said it all. It's not run that slow to 60 since the lockup clutch days. We serviced the clutch but couldn't find anything wrong, i even marked the tyre up on the rim thinking maybe it was slipping, but the next run proved it wasn't. the last run on Sunday made the whole trip worthwhile. It wasn't without issue, at 1000ft it went flat and the data showed it going really rich like the nitrous had stopped flowing but still ran a 7.33. But the incremental times to that point were all our best ever..... 1.0774 60ft, 2.937 330ft and 4.563 to the 1/8th. All times that point to a good 7.1 maybe even a 7.0?? who knows.
Suddenly it seems a 6 second pass maybe isn't so far away, and one easy area to gain a little something towards that 6 is if i lose some weight, so I've been eating carefully, no chocolate, no bread, no grains at all in fact. And so, it's bee falling off slowly,  and i see it like this ....if lose 10kg that's nearly a tenth of a second!

Other snippets of stuff ... i resumed progress on building a hydraulic press for the workshop. I bought the ram and pump 18months ago, but this weekend i got the steel channel to build it and have been drilling all the holes to bolt it together. Next step is to get some thick plates water jet cut, and mount the ram and pump onto it.
My van has been getting some upgrades too, I've had to fit new locks to the front doors after they both failed, so was reading on the Iveco forum how to change them when i came across an article that tells you how to enable the cruise control feature simply by buying the windscreen wiper stalk of a model with cruise control. So i checked on the steering column and sure enough the connector is there for it, so i got the part number and bought one -for the grand sum of £50 inc post. Bargain.
And lastly, i have another batch of Lectron WOT switches to make. Had them water jet cut but there's still a bit of machining to to. I have a few ready £45 if ya want one.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Just for fun

It's been a long time... years in fact since we last went to a Run What You Brung event, but this weekend we are off to Santa Pod for Race, Rock and Ride, an all new bike only event.
We hope to do a few runs over the weekend, but just for fun, it's not a race meeting for us, we just want to try things and show a little support for this new event.
It also makes up for the fact we aren't going to the Main event next weekend, an event we've been to as spectators for a long time.