So near, yet so far…

9 04 2014

And so the 2014 season is just around the corner, starting with my local round at Castle Combe but it seems that despite all the effort we are not going to be ready.  Combe is a circuit I know better than any other having raced there in the mini7 between 1997 and 2002, as well as countless Miniworld trackdays so I’m really disappointed to be missing it. But when it came down to it it was the same old story – running out of time and money, but mostly money.

The car itself is nearly ready, but that is not the problem area. The associated costs of circuit racing in the UK are crippling for someone of my means and for a sport that says it is struggling for new participants it really doesn’t help itself. For instance if you want to get a licence you have to purchase the ‘Go Racing’ pack from the RACMSA (£195). Then there is the ARDS course which at my local track (Castle Combe) is £320. It’s £250 at Brands Hatch so I will probably be going to Kent for my course! Then I will require a medical (£45) before I can get my RACMSA licence which at least is free with the ‘Go Racing’ pack. And then I will need to be race registered with the mini7 club which will cost £195. Once I race I will be required to run a transponder (approx £280) and a camera (£150). Add to this a racesuit, helmet and gloves and you can see how it all adds up. Some of these items I have managed to acquire through ebay but I’m somewhere in the region of £1100 short at the time of writing this. I could just bung it on the plastic but I’ve never really been one for that – probably why it takes me years to build racecars!

I suppose it wouldn’t be so bad if I hadn’t let my license lapse, or that my old racesuit / helmet / gloves are now out of date albeit in perfect condition. Anyway, this is the last time I’m going to moan about it as I’ve bored everyone to death I’m sure 🙂

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So, the windows from ACW Plastics were collected and what a fantastic job they did. I went for the dark tinted option, and although as always it was a bit of an arse ache to fit them I think they look fantastic. ACW are based in Nailsea quite close to my Bristol base so I went to their workshops to collect. No matter what race car you have I wouldn’t look any further than them, they beat everybody in the market on quality, price and service. Great guys and real race enthusiasts.

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I’ve spent quite a bit of time doing little jobs like connecting the oil and water gauges, fitting the bulbs to the headlights and taping them up and fitting the wires. The plug leads were not easy to find being a bit of a hybrid. Eventually Mark Wanstall of Rightline Motorsport tipped me off as to which model used the same leads so once I knew that it was easy to just order some from ebay. I also ordered some race leads from a company called Formula Power, so now I have a best set, and a set for the spares box.

Which leads to the wiring. I’m not having much luck in this area. The car was a mini7 running on a distributor and lumenition, but now its a miglia it will be running an MBE engine management system. I need someone to mate the new ECU into the existing loom as well as incorporating the Stack tacho. I have a lead on this so hopefully by the next blog I will have some news…