Thursday, March 22, 2007

We're Racing Now!

It has finally happened.

On the next to last race of the season, we had more than one formula first racer in the field.
Barry Brussard had his Zink C-4 out and Rory White rolled is primer gray Panther to the line. Hugh filled out the field.

Mike Norton had a business engagement and couldn’t make it and I was still fighting front end problems and didn’t bring mine.

All the same it was nice that we had the beginnings of a class to run in and it actually began to show as soon as the flag dropped.

Hugh was grided first with Barry behind him and Rory in third. As soon as the starter waved the green flag, Rory slipped by Hugh and Barry took off. Hugh was able to stay with him but was not able to get past. It stayed that way for the rest for the race. Hugh was right behind him and had several chances to make a move, but didn’t.

Barry was having the usual "first race" problems. He seemed to have plenty of acceleration and good stopping power. Too much maybe, because somewhere during the first few laps he shut down all together and cloud not get it restarted. There seemed to be excess oil on the engine surface and we were worried about engine failure. (The next day we got a phone call from him telling us that the problem had more to do with an empty gas tank than with engine ailments).

In later conversations with Hugh, I learned that he had not felt comfortable trying to pass Rory anywhere on the track.

I tried to explain to him that he needed to get over that pretty quick.

After all, that’s what racing is all about.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

A Physics Lesson

The laws of Physics state that bodies in motion tend to stay in motion and that bodies at rest tend to stay at rest.

It axiomatic that the older the resting body the greater the amount of energy required to get the resting mass moving. Seventy year old bodies are hard to nudge off dead center once the momentum has died. Holidays are definite momentum killers.

It has been only by effort of supreme will that I have been able to pry myself loose from the sofa and back to work but at last it seems to be starting. We are now rolling the stone uphill again.

Of course, we have not been totally inactive in the interim.

The new stretched trailer axle has been drilled to match the mounting holes and has been fitted in place and the wiring has been run but no lights have been installed. The trailer is no longer upside down, but is standing sideways on end and tied to the carport frame to keep it from falling over. The next time we have four healthy bodies together we’ll drop it down right side up and put on the wheels. Then we can install the lights and bolt on the fenders.

I have already been down to the local Department of Motor Vehicles, gotten a title and picked up a tag for it.

The cold weather of the last couple of months has mostly passed. It is now possible to back outside without wearing enough clothes to make you look like the Mechlin man.

The biggest problem is the front axle assembly on the racer.

I seem to have gone from bad to worse with my selection of parts. I had removed the original front axle (which rode too high) and replaced it with an adjustable front bream that I picked up locally. Unfortunately the range of adjustment, which may have been perfect for its intended use, was wrong for this application. It put the nose right on the ground and could not be raised high enough to provide adequate ground clearance. I tried refitting the springs but that didn’t help.

Now I am faced with a couple of options. I can continue to fool around with the beam I have on the car and try to find a useful solution, or I can go back to the original beam and add an adjuster, which has been set up for my particular use. At this point neither is especially attractive in terms of the amount of work required for the results obtained. Especially since this will be the third go around.
On the other hand there seem to be no other options that will get me back on the track and the car into action.