Tim cuts back on other folks’ cars to concentrate on playing with his own toys!
The damage to my racer’s engine looked bad at first – two pistons, cylinder head with chunk out and top of block marked. Frustratingly there was no obvious cause as it went between three and four, which is not the usual place to go - it’s hottest between two and three. I had a couple of used pistons we could use, so pal Oliver got the block skimmed and the pistons got a haircut to keep the compression the same. With a set of rings and shells it was back together using the swanky head I damaged five years ago. Keith Calver mended it, and despite the smaller valves it seems to work better according to my lap times. I’m now waiting to see how the original fares, as I’m booked in for my next race within a week.
The spare head that I damaged has returned looking dandy with the welding done and a miniscule bit faced off the surface to true it up. Laser welding is clever stuff - thanks Owlesbury Crankshaft Services in Winchester. In the meantime the engine got built and is sat to one side; it might get used in the Biota...
Which brings me on to a question. I would like to get the Biota together in some form, as next year is the 50th anniversary of its launch. I know that John Houghton is still about in Australia but I have yet to find out where he is. I’d like to suggest to him, and the other folk who own or were involved with the Biota to come together at some stage. If anyone has any clues please get in touch.
I treated my racer to one of the latest lithium batteries, as it is about 18kg over the minimum for an FIA car and 10 or so for HSCC (they weigh car and driver). As you may remember, we built the car within three weeks with whatever came to hand, so the battery in it is road-spec, weighing 11kg. The one I have bought weighs 1.1kg! We made a bracket for it and it started the car okay for the few times at home. When I got to Lydden, however, it would barely turn over so rather than risk not getting out to practice I changed it back at the last minute. That’s another query hanging over me for the next time out.
In my quest to keep costs down I normally ration my tyres to get maximum use out of them but I only have a set with full tread so I’ve sent a pair of tyres off to be poshly shaved and see how that works.
I have been so busy this year that I haven’t spent much time on the racer. One of the problems is that we have taken on playing with other folks’ cars, so I have decided to cut back and concentrate on my own toys!
Mended cylinder head. Mk1s in the barn with Tim’s racer awaiting its engine. New vs old batteries!