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43. Trackday Championship Round 3 - Anglesey

43. Trackday Championship Round 3 - Anglesey

Hopefully the worst post I'll ever have to do!

Booked in for the testday and the race, was the Wednesday and Thursday of the jubilee weekend.

Not to bad a drive to Anglesey for us really 275 miles or so. Not as bad as brands was.

Found a bar/restaurant near by which was right on the coast to stop at on the Tuesday night before heading to the track to setup the gazebos and tents. We were hoping for an uneventful testday so we could sit and relax and have a few drinks in the evening before the race unlike Silverstone where we were rushing around sorting the wheel bearing.

So literally 2nd lap of the morning there was a horrid sound coming from the engine bay. Got worse pretty quickly. So swapped over with James so he could have a listen, he was pretty certain it was gearbox. So I had done 3 laps and James literally a single lap.

Decided to get the car up on stands to have a good look. Drained the gearbox oil and sure enough, lots of metal so gearbox was toast.

Went to speak with the unique racing guys (they run 2 Mk4 clios and a Mk2 Clio) to say we were done for the weekend. Made a joke by saying don't have a spare gearbox in the back of the van do you. They replied yes we do, and with out hesitation offered it to us to use for the weekend! We'd only met these guys once before at Silverstone so massive respect and appreciation to them for giving us a life line.

So then we started on our first paddock gearbox swap. Was also the first time we had dropped the box out the bottom of the car. James and I work really well together (he puts up with me being stroppy and only happy to do things my way and I am happy to tidy up after James to keep things in some sort of order/system) so we had the box out and the spare box back in the car pretty quickly. 

So with the spare box back in and most parts re attached it was time to try starting the engine and give the gearbox a run. All in time to get out for the last hour of testing. No luck!! Engine sounded awful turning out and wouldn't start. We were worried something had happened to the engine so decided to call it a day so we didn't do any further damage.

So basically drove nearly 6 hours to spend a night in a tent, roll around on the tarmac of a paddock for a day to drive home again but hey! Suppose that's racing clios for you.

Think it was nearly a couple of weeks before I touched the car again, was pretty gutted really.

So started to investigated what was wrong, turned out it was a simple problem when we swapped the boxes over the starter motor dowel stayed in our gearbox hence when replacing the starter motor it was slightly misaligned so it was binding on the flywheel hence the starter motor wasn't able to spin fast enough to start the engine. If only be tried bump starting it, if only we replaced the dowel we could have been racing. But more importantly the engine was fine so nothing to sort there.

So gearbox was packaged up to be sorted. Clutch was also toast so sent that away to have the pads replaced.

Those are literally the only pictures I had from Anglesey so all in all not the best of weekends but had already started planning how we could make sure it woudn't happen again. Onwards and upwards!

Previous article 44. Gearbox Oil Cooler
Next article 42. Gear shifter improvements and a quick trip to Croft

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