2016 Season

25 07 2016

So, after a good ending to the 2015 season we were at a bit of a crossroads. To be fully competitive in the mini miglia championship we needed another 10 – 15 horsepower. Similarly if we were to continue in the Welsh Saloons at Pembrey we needed more horsepower to compete with the 16valve opposition. It suddenly occurred to me that I could have my cake and eat it… If we built an engine with 1380cc, higher spec cam and slightly up the compression ratio we could get the HP back and still be allowed to run in the Miglia invitation class, as well as being more competitive in the welsh saloons…

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So, using the existing unit as a basis a new spec was planned. I sourced some 73.5mm forged omega flat top pistons. Sadly when boring the existing +020 miglia block there was a failure and so a new block had to be used. We opted to use a billet 310 scatter cam and also upgraded all the valve train with race followers, race pushrods, new exhaust valves etc. CR was pushed up considerably from the miglia regulation 11:1.

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On the rolling road we got a big increase in HP and torque over the old miglia spec 1293 so essentially the plan had worked. However, the problem now was reliability…

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An annoying problem with pushrod sleeves leaking oil into the combustion chamber causing excessive smoke had reared its head, so a last minute borrow of Sam Summerhayes’ spare head allowed us to race at round 2 of the Welsh Saloons at Pembrey. However, we didn’t get any further than the end of the 15 minute qualification session when head gasket failure curtailed the days proceedings.

Without going into too much detail we had run into quite a few problems which necessitated a complete strip down and redesign of the engine. Sadly all my funds for entries were eaten up by the unscheduled rebuild and so the season as far as chasing championships was gone.

Special thanks at this point have to go to my old friend Jim Darling who paid for some race spec Cometic head gaskets which whilst not cheap, are much much better than the Payen BK450’s which we had experienced several failures with in recent times.

With the rebuild complete, and just prior to the Brands Hatch Mini Racing Festival, we set off for JPR Tuning rolling road in Yate where our luck took another bad turn. The MBE ecu packed in just as we were about to start a power run. I was ready to throw in the towel but after a Facebook plea, Endaf Owens sorted me out a replacement and after a clandestine meeting in a motorway services with James Cuthbertson who kindly delivered it to me we were back in the game. A bit of jiggery pokery on the laptop to transfer my map over and the Brands dream was on again.



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