Archive for the 'rally' Category

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Last Minute Panic

Be prepared for the last minute panic is my usual advice to newcomers to the sport, and its good advice as far as it goes.  Its not always easy to prepare yourself for something that crops up out of the blue at the last minute, but you can guarantee, as eggs is eggs, that there will be a last minute panic.

I had sneakingly suspected that really organised and experienced teams didn’t have this problem, but as the years go by, we seem no less challenged by the last minute panic!

Anyone who says that cars, especially rally cars don’t have a sense of humour is wrong!  Mine, MuddyMoo, certainly has a twisted sense of humour designed to keep us on our toes.  In the past four years we’ve done everything from chassis welding to changing A-Frame bushes at the last minute when we should have been loading up.

As it happens it seems that the latest member of the Friesian Racing herd is also inflicted with the last minute panic disease, only this time it is terminal.

Following a slight missfire at the Longmoor Loco stages just before new year, we took ShammyMoo for a session on the rolling road as we suspected a carburation problem. A compression check later and it turned out that a poorly seated valve was in fact the culprit and a top end engine rebuild was the result. With less than a month before the event, given that the winter modification list was a long one with a run at the Kiloli British Historic Rally Championship in the offing, we had no time to lose in firing the engine back into the car and getting back to the rollers.

The second session with Andrew Bradley at Bradley’s Garage in Shipton under Wychwood was equally concerning. This time Shammy’s head cried enough with a hairline crack in the water jacket spraying a fine jet of coolant out.at anything over 7500RPM.

Engine out again to get the head welded. Re-assembly was last weekend’s task, the last before heading out to the Bulldog Rally on Friday. Unfortunately, although we got the engine back in and running, it wasn’t running at all well.

Having gone through the whole ignition system without curing the problem, our attention then turned to the intake. We then found that the inlet manifold was distorted where it meets the head. We don’t yet know whether this is our problem, but with the cut-off for withdrawls from the event looming at 2100 PM on Sunday night we decided that we would be better off saving the money and taking our time getting to the bottom of the problem.

This is immensely disappointing given the amount of effort that Nigel in particular has put into the car during the closed season. We can’t wait to get out on the stages and take up our side of the two car Imp onslaught on the British Historic Rally Championship. Instead a slightly dejected Nigel and Henry will be heading up to Welshpool to provide support for Geoff Taylor and Steve Greenhill, in the hope that they may be blessed with better luck this weekend.

My theory stands – always expect a last minute panic! Usually they can be sorted, but occasionally they will totally catch you out. I guess its one of the things that make Rallying such a compelling hobby, you never know what’s around the next corner!

ShammyMoo all stickered up

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Put ShammyMoo’s smart new Kololi British Historic Rally Championship decals on at the weekend, just in time for the obligatory last minute panic on Monday morning, of which more later.

Video – Small clip of the Cambrian

We are 20 seconds in – but don’t blink it is very short.

In-car footage to follow in the next post 

Shammy Moo had a great time at a big boys rally – The Cambrian

Following the Neath Valley Stages in August we swapped the power sapping mud and shale for a proper multi venue stage rally –  the Cambrian Rally on 8th October. Based in Llandudno, there were 6 stages through the Penmachno, Clogaenog and Alwen forests followed by two passes through the stunning 2.94 mile Great Orme tarmac coast road which follows the headland facing theIrish Sea.  Being on a cliff face seemed less of an issue than the 3” high kerbs which meant the punishment for untidiness would have been severe (3 wheeled Chamois at the very least!).

Penmachno is said to have spectacular views but we didn’t notice!; Clocaenog (like the Great Orme a famous ‘Lombard RAC’ stage) was very fast with lots of technical bits and hairpins that had to be got right!

Neath Valley Stages

Neath Valley Stages - Photo by Peter Jackson

This was our third rally with the Chamois and we were fortunate enough to have Mike Dent – ‘Moose’ and Sam Thompson servicing for us. Mike built the Haydn Paddon Impreza which won the production class (Group N) WRC championship this year. Whilst Mike and Sam didn’t need to put a spanner on the car all weekend we did end up with significant negative camber on the OSF wheel following a severe bump left by a combination of Escorts and WRC’s digging ruts. Mike noticed it early in the event but after checking it was nothing serious kept it from the crew so we wouldn’t back off!

Cambrian Rally - Photo by Paul Pierce

Out of about 120 starters we came 80th beating many serious rally cars with 3 times our power. We came 7th in the historic class (pre 68) swapping times with the Austin Healey 3000 of Graham Goodall (who has won the HRCR Historic Stage Rally Challenge) but Graham used his superior power to good effect on the Great Orme and ended up 40 seconds up on us over the whole event. We also began to get close to, and on some stages, take time out of some of the Minis (all 1300’s).

Penmachno stage of the Cambrian Rally . Photo by Geraint Evans

We’ve learned a lot about how to drive a competition Imp but even more about what we have done right and wrong about building a historic stage rally car. There is a list of developments planned to improve the car. It will all be pulled apart over the winter to check everything over and search out any potential problems and make some modifications. We plan to compete in the MSA British Historic Rally Championship next year. If anyone is interested and wants to know more about Shammy or rally Imp’s please contact nigel@friesianracing.co.uk and we’ll happily share what little we know.

ChammyMoo surfs to complete superb first event at Abingdon Car-nival – Press Release

Imp in the damp
As well as looking for the Brake pedal, Nigel appears to be lost!     Photo: Darren Rungasamy of www.reallyloud.co.uk

With their Singer Chamois (ChammyMoo) historic rally car build complete after a long seven months in the garage, Nigel Webster, FriesianRacing’s founder Henry’s dad in the drivers seat and Henry unusually in the navigator seat the crew set off for the Abingdon Car-nival.

In recent years the FriesianRacing representation at the Abingdon event has been with Andrew and Joel in their Peugeot, but a very wet Sunday 12th June saw the debut of Nigel and the Historic Singer Chamois rally car.

After months of work involving every part of the car and all its systems the 43 year old badge engineered Hillman Imp was taken to Abingdon Car-nival Stages rally to give it a shakedown before going into the Welsh forests and tarmac of Epynt! The driver, considerably older than the car, last competed in off-road motorsport in the 80’s, was very rusty. The Chamois (or “Shammy Moo”), who wasn’t rusty, performed faultlessly throughout what must have been the wettest day of the year. She shipped a wee bit of water inside, Henry said “all rally cars do that”, the gear lever knob came loose and the wind caught the lightweight GRP bonnet (boot lid in the case of the Chamois!) and damaged the hinge mount. The very minor issues were quickly solved by ‘safe hands’ Andrew who did his usual thing of scouting round the service van for the most unlikely of things to effect a ‘jury rig’ repair. Andrew was supported as usual by Sue plus Geoff and Linda Taylor. Geoff is currently lying 12th in the British Historic Rally Championship with his Imp.

Imp leads Mini

We would like to think we had just passed Mini expert Trevor Hancock but that wouldn’t be true! Photo: Darren Rungasamy of http://www.reallyloud.co.uk

Excellent grip from the Dunlop Motorsport historic tyres and rear engine/rear wheel drive didn’t prevent a tentative driver from braking too early and losing valuable time. In the fast technical bits around the buildings and containers of Dalton Barracks, Abingdon, the Chamois was very quick and up with the much more powerful ‘moderns’. It was the acceleration out of the corners, straight line speed and early application of brakes that meant that we did make much progress up the field – although having given away 300cc to the next lowest capacity car we did well not to come last by finishing 47th out of 100 and 7th in class. Not bad for first time out, the oldest car, smallest engine and (nearly) the oldest driver on his stage rally debut!

The Singer Chamois historic rally car has been built to compete in the British Historic Rally Championship in 2012 http://www.hrcr.co.uk/MSA_BHRC_Championship_2011/

We plan to compete in Class B1 (up to 1000cc for cars built prior to 31/12/1967). The car can only use those modifications that were homologated at the time (ie: no electronic ignition, ’period’ brakes etc) and only those engine and transmission modifications used in the 60’s.

Shammy Moo is now hoping to go to the Neath Valley Stages in August
http://www.threecountiescarclub.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=25&Itemid=3

ChammyMoo’s premiere!

We’re trying out ChammyMoo for the first time in the stages tomorrow at the Abingdon Car-nival.

The team are signed on and Chammy has passed scrutineering.  We set off at 0940, with Nigel at the wheel and Henry on the maps.

It would be great to see some Friesian Racing supporters there, especially as the event is for charity.


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