CCC Training day at Manfeild - 28 Sept 2013

Comments from the event organiser ......Richard Kelly

The track day went well despite the hurricane force winds and rain.

We had 14 CCC member in action on the day out of a total of 34. 22 in total were pre-paid, so it is very worth keeping that going as we probably would have had no takers given the weather otherwise.

It was some of the most intense driving I have done, and while I am glad to have had a chance to test the Radical in the rain, wow, it was tricky! Watching a brand spanking GT-R lose it in a straight line and spear off the track made a good point to me of how treacherous it was.

Oh, and it fined up just as we were leaving for what would have been some nice slick running time... hmmmm.

As usual, massive appreciation to Ron Robertson and all the great people who got wet and cold so that we could play in the water.


Manfeild Report, RSK Business ...... Stewart Collinson


Manfeild was a first for me. First day at the track and first run of the RSK. This was going to be n important shakedown in the run up to certification.

There were a few desperate actions needed to prepare the car. I’d removed the rear toe arm mounts because my garage tour laser show made it clear I had bump steep toe out. This would have made my normal bad driving atrocious because as it was the back wheels would have tried to pass the front around every corner. This was finished on Friday before Manfeild with a dodgy wheel alignment using string.

Then a brake bleed in an attempt to cure a mysterious soft pedal. No air bubbles but still no real firmness to the pedal. Very effective brakes though, huh ….. Then a light went on in my head to match the red brake light. The brake pedal lever arm is 7:1 and the master is a small 19mm diameter. With this much force I was massively over pressuring the brake lines – maybe over 3,000 psi . This explained the two blown hydraulic brake light switches. So content that I had the brakes to stop well, this problem went into the fix later category.

Hire a trailer, buy 100% cotton overalls, clean helmet, get video app for the android (surely the most important bit) and examine weather forecast. Rain showers in Feilding grrrrr but since my club night show and tell I’m used to getting wet. Nothing prepared me for the 2.5 hour trailer haul with cross winds and sheeting rain. Arghhh.

Frustration mounted at Feilding as I went to the wrong gate twice – slow learner. At least the deluges were now down to a half hour basis.

Excitement was mounting. My son Nick and I ensconced ourselves in the last available (and flooded) garage and signed in. Video footage shows me babbling like a coked-up chimp so the adrenaline must have been flowing.

First session, reverse out of the garage. Engage first gear and snap… I must have turned into Popeye as I’d snapped a gear change rod where it joins the change cables.

In swoops Robin Hartley who declared himself a master butcher of bodges. In 20 minutes we had concocted a repair using a 6mm bolt, a vice clamp, a chip of wood and a piece of string.

Then on to the track. First sensation, back wheels sun up on the wet pavement. Robin was following and said I left two dry lines into the first corner. I was so wound up I’d almost forgotten how to drive. Goodness knows what gear I was in. Second sensation, the blow off valve gasped and my heart skipped a beat. This always gives me a start.

Then on to the inner straight with puddles everywhere. First right, the front wheel noisily scraps the inner wheel arch, and I feel the clerk of the course swinging his binoculars our way. Then foot down. I hear Nick alongside saying, “Oh shit oh shit” as the tyres bit and the car accelerated.

In the right hander on to the back straight the rear steeped out slightly in the slippery conditions but it was an easy catch. Back straight was a blur of wind, roaring and gasping – and that was just me.

Coming past the pits my mind finally caught up with the car. This is a beginner’s session with a strict max speed and I’m a beginner in an unproven car with my son as passenger. The next few laps were sedate.

Boost seemed to be on again off again. Scraping of the front tyres was disconcerting. However, the car ran straight, no vibrations. The vice grip gear change was easy. Power plentiful. Smiles aplenty.

Back to the pits and all was well with no leaks only some spilt oil burning off the manifolds. Robin spotted a nut working its way off. And we need a bilge pump for wet tracks!

Rear vision was almost nil. One mirror had fallen off on the trailer trip up and the centre mirror doesn’t clear the rollbar harness mount.

Nick had a go and proved to be a cooler driver than me. As passenger I watched the gauges like a mother hen over her chicks and looked out for traffic. All well. Nick flicked the boost controller and 5psi become 10. The monster in the engine gasped and we were rammed from behind by a runaway locomotive. Yikes back to 5psi please.

And so the day went on. Massive fun and no disasters. It was great to see the more experienced club members driving in the faster sessions spouting rooster tails of water.

On the last run I selected 10psi again. The driving gods surmised that they needed to stop me doing something silly. As I lined up the back straight they struck. Kapoof! An intercooler hose blew clean off. Testament to Subaru’s limp home mode I returned to the pits at an embarrassing 20mph blowing black smoke like Puffin’ Billy.

The clear message was stop while you’re ahead. The shakedown was invaluable. The fix list is remarkably short and includes: master cylinder size increase, inner front wheel arches, rear mirrors, bead roll the intercooler pipes. I’m also a bit worried about the low speed centring but maybe I’ve been spoiled by rack and pinion. High speed is very stable as the caster takes over.

My thanks to the organisers and officials, the master butcher Robin and my son Nick who proved to be a calmer customer than me.

Gavin James - running the Chaser at the training Day

 I intended on bringing the Treuno turbo as per last year, when Manfeild stole stole a couple of the Trueno's bearings. This has necessitated a complete engine rebuild with new turbo, pistons etc.... which is not yet quite finished.

So I brought my wife's Toyota Chaser - which ran very well with complete reliability.

Was a fun day, but we were going super slow with how slippery it was (Adam reckons 1:45, which is hilariously slow lol). I haven't looked at my video properly but as usual it looks way slower on video than actually doing it.

My favourite bit was chasing the Starvia in the... Chaser... for quite a few laps both of us struggling for grip coming onto the back straight, slide, correct, slide, correct one after the other. Then seeing dad (Green Niscort) going backwards off the track in my rearview mirror! Must have been pushing a bit too hard to close the gap!

In the wet the Chaser kept up with the Starvia no problem, it'd be totally different in the dry though. I was happy with how it handled and the straight line speed. The auto is very good too, being computer controlled I guess maybe it 'knows' what to do better than a normal auto. Brakes never ran out but the pads definitely started feeling wooden and the pedal got pretty soft so had to keep testing it early. I backed off at around 170kph on the back straight mostly and had to brake early.

The last run I went out when it was raining really bad and it was only me and the radical for about 10 laps, it cleared enough to push it after 3 or 4 laps, I must have done at least 20 laps on that last run.

A couple of guys cornered me asking what the Chaser was and what was in it. 
I was impressed with how well it went at the track. There would still be a big list of things to do for a dry day if I wanted to use it again...but that was never the plan really.

Basic details:
Toyota Chaser, JZX100, 1JZGTE VVTI factory single turbo and Auto.
STM power run showed 170rwkw (running very rich)  with just a freeflow exhaust and K&N panel filter in the stock airbox otherwise no engine modifications, even has the tiny factory side mount intercooler. Brakes are standard but nice big 295x32mm discs on the front, pads and fluid didn't handle the track that well so lots of brake tests and early braking.

Would be interesting to see what it would be like with some better pads, brake fluid and a dry track. But I'd rather get the Trueno ready instead.

Lots of interesting cars there as usual, was great being on the track with Richard's Radical basically with the track to ourselves. Given the conditions I actually had a chance of keeping up for a little while...sort of.

Many thanks to Dad and CCC for the invitation.

Gavin James

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