Thursday, February 17, 2011

The calm before the storm!

This is all too organised for us!  It’s still a month to go before the racing starts and the car is sitting in the garage under a sheet ready to go . . .  well, with the exception of a quick diff change and ten minutes on the scales!   Everything is normally a last minute ‘super rush’ the week before the first meeting, usually resulting in very little sleep, but this year it WILL be different!
The plan is to get everything sorted and go out and do some testing next week at the Haird test day, then head off to the Ipswich practice night the day after.     I am really happy with the car but we just want to make sure everything is right so we don’t get to the first meeting to find any major problems.  Testing always lets you try the things you wouldn’t try at a meeting, if it doesn’t work then you can change it back without any consequence - whereas at a meeting it could result in a last place or a non-finish.   I’m a believer in “If it’s not broken don’t fix it”, but then in the same breath I think you need to try things and develop the car.  By trying different things you build up knowledge of just what effect changing things has on the car.    It also gives you the opportunity to drive the car a bit differently or run different lines that you couldn’t in a race.   I must admit though, it’s nice being in a situation where the I know the car is good and have settings we can go back to if I’m not happy with any changes made.   There is nothing worse than going with a problem then leaving at the end of the day having not cured it.
Just because the car hasn’t needed any work we haven’t been sitting quietly watching telly!  We have started the major task of clearing out the workshop.   My dad is a bit of a ‘collector’ to say the least and whenever he sees something he thinks might be useful it finds its way into a tray or a draw in the workshop, and after 12 years, it’s fair to say everything was bursting at the seams.   After throwing away two van loads of rubbish and buying some new cupboards to hide everything that’s left, we now have a tidy workshop.    It looks twice as big and we have a pile of things to sell on eBay!   Ross has set about painting the walls on his days off and I’m going to sort all the nuts, bolts, washers etc, into their own trays so we can find them easily.   Dad has PROMISED to keep things tidy, although I find this hard to believe!
Once we have finished the workshop all attention is being turned to the lorry.   We started to build it many years ago and although it gets us to the meetings, albeit with the occasional breakdown, it has never actually been finished.   It’s just the fiddly jobs that need doing now - like lining all the walls and sorting out the heating.   Hopefully we’ll get round to giving the poor thing its yearly wash and removing all the grime that seems to accumulate everywhere over the winter.   It still has lots of spares for the Saxo in there too, so maybe it’s time we took them out!
Racing really is an obsession for us and even when we’re not racing or working on the car we find ourselves doing things that are directly related to it.    Once it’s in your blood I think it’s very hard to get rid of it.   I can’t imagine a life without going racing. . . I wouldn’t have any of the friends I do or have done half the things I’ve done.   I still love it today just as much as the first time I raced and think I get more of a buzz from it now than ever before.   It’s crazy to think that I have been racing for over half my life having started in my little mini when I was ten.    I’m very fortunate to have a family and friends who are so dedicated to it as well. . . and my mum really is  ‘Saint Helen’ for putting up with dad and me.    We live and breathe racing and never once does she moan.   So thanks mum!
I don’t have any more news to report this week because - as the title suggests - it really is the calm before the storm while we wait for it all to start again.    I will be back and tell you about the couple of seasons I spent racing open Hot Rods before making the move to Nationals.
Thanks as ever for reading.
Until next time

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