February 9, 2004

Goodwood track day

I set off at 06:30 to Goodwood for my first track day in the Caterham. It was about as good a day as you can expect in February. The car went very well, and seemed pretty well balanced in the dry considering that it hasn't had any sort of setup at all and is still riding too high. I was seeing 125 mph at the end of the Lavant straight (rather strange for a car with a supposed 112 mph top speed - and I'd only just got into 5th gear) which felt pretty good. My newly fitted half doors did a sterling job and I am now convinced they are a perfect balance of visibility and wind protection.

I was in the 'Intermediate' group and found that I could keep up with, or even overtake, most of the tintop cars in the session in the dry - as soon as the track got wet (which is did for two sessions) everything was going past me! There was also loads of understeer which I know can be reduced by changing the front ARB for a thinner one. [EDIT: Except for the fact that there is no thinner bar than the Orange one, and you can't remove the bar completely under the Academy regs which would be the other option in the wet. The Roadsport series do allow you to remove the front ARB completely]

Steve (Grubbster) came down with his daughter and friend Dave and took some pictures.

The car is now due for its 500 mile service and a well earned oil change. Of course, I was sticking to the 5K running in rev limit all the time at Goodwood :-).

Posted by charles at 3:52 PM | Comments (2)

Simon Parfitt said:


You mentioned that you were getting a bit of understeer and that a thinner ARB may have helped, what colour ARB have/did you have fitted to the car?

Charles said:

Hi Simon,

I had the orange ARB - i.e. the standard one with the car (although I have been told that the orange ARB supplied isn't the *real* orange ARB whatever that means!). Understeer can be reduced by changing to a thinner bar - but I made a mistake in the original post as there is no thinner bar than orange. In the Roadsport series you can remove the bar completely if you want it (i.e. in the wet).


February 10, 2004

500 mile service and setup

I've booked the car in for its 500 mile service at Dartford. It's going in this Saturday and I'll collect it the following Saturday. Apparently it's 4 hours labour, so the price doesn't seem bad in that context!

I'm also going to get the car minimum weight set (with some lead ballast), ride height, suspension set up and flat floored. I'm still hoping to get down to Colards at some point, but time is running out and it's easier to get Caterham to do it whilst it is there anyway.

Posted by charles at 11:36 AM

February 26, 2004

Back from service

Got the car back from the service. Only downer was they had removed the driver's side half door (fair enough) but had pulled the riveted popper base out of the aluminium panel in the process. I riveted it back on when I got home but need to get some rivet washers to hold it tight. Steve Grubb (Grubbster) is kindly going to send me some.

I've attached the print out of my car setup that Caterham gave me. You can see that they didn't get the weights completely evenly balanced - I expect that its very difficult given the driver location. They did have to add a hell of a lot of lead! [although I don't know how much - outstanding question with Caterham].

One thing the sheet doesn't say is that camber on the fronts is approximately 2 degrees negative.

Posted by charles at 7:00 AM

February 28, 2004

ARDS Test Soon

It's my ARDS test on Wednesday, and I still haven't started swotting up (hope Kim isn't reading this!) although I have watched the video once. My race suit still hasn't arrived from Grand Prix Racewear either!

Posted by charles at 7:03 PM