Monday, February 25, 2013

The end is in sight

I’ll let you into a little secret  -  I’m sitting in the kitchen typing this wearing my racesuit!  It’s been a winter of eating, drinking and merry-making and this morning I suddenly had this worrying thought that my racesuit might not still fit.  It’s a snug fit at the best of times and there wasn’t much room for expansion, but all’s well - it still fits and a crash diet has been narrowly avoided!

I will begin with my car.  After many long hours in the workshop and many more by TPR Signs it is nearly ready.  I have a few silly little jobs left to do, then a big setup and it will be ready for a shakedown test to make sure there are no major problems before I can set it loose in anger and give it some proper testing laps.  With the work that’s gone into it and all the changes I’ve made it will be like having a brand new car, so I’ll have to learn to drive it again.  The engine is all in and running now and I have never heard anything else quite like it in a National Hot Rod.   Much to my father’s delight it sounds like a BDA in a rally car and if it goes as well as it sounds I have definitely made the right decision!

I know I’m biased but I always think the car looks pretty smart when I bring it out at the start of the year and improving it this time was always going to be a challenge for Jay. Well, I can safely say that he has done it.  He spent literally hundreds of hours on it and the end result is truly stunning.  I’m very lucky to have Jay and Sarah not only as sponsors but as friends, and if things go to plan we have a couple of ideas on the go that will hopefully be seen at some point over the coming months.  Watch this space!

As well as my car, John (Sibbald)’s has been parked in the workshop waiting for some attention, and with time rapidly escaping us we had to get on and finish it.  I picked John up from the airport on Thursday night and dropped him off again on Sunday afternoon and with thanks to Ross and my Dad we took it from a bare spaceframe to a complete car in that time.  While I was at work, John headed off early on the Friday morning to collect his engine from Anderson’s, and then in the afternoon we set about getting it back together.  By bedtime Friday all the suspension was sorted and fitted, the chassis had been touched up and the engine was sat in the hole.  Saturday morning saw John being a scrap-man in the morning followed by a couple of hours fishing in the afternoon.   The fact we had very little time and a car nowhere near finished then kicked in, and it was time to start burning the
midnight oil.  After a late night Ross had all the panels on and John and I had finished the rest of the car (except a disaster with an oil filter) and it was ready for Dad to begin setting it up on Sunday.  When I dropped John off at the airport the car was very nearly done and another evening working on it should see it ready to take to the test track as well!

I must admit it’s lovely to walk into the garage and see the two cars sitting there ready to go.  It’s been such a hectic winter and I’m looking forward to both cars being back on the track.  There are so many people I would like to thank, who without their help and support it wouldn’t have been possible to get everything done… they know who they are and that I really appreciate it!

The plan now is to finish the cars, load the spares into the lorry and do some testing. Don’t ask me where or when as I have no idea yet but it will all sort itself out I’m sure. It’s less than two weeks until the first meeting, so time to get organised and make a plan I suppose.   Until I met John I was the most organised person in the world but his disorganised ways must have started rubbing off on me!

Before I go I just want to say a massive “congratulations” to Hot Rod driver Robert McDonald and his partner Lauren on the birth of their daughter Ayla.  She’s lovely and I can’t wait to meet her.  Only ten years and we’ll be building her a Mini!

I’ll be back before the first meeting with a final update.

Thanks as ever for reading.

Until next time


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