March 4, 2004

ARDS test

Passed my ARDS! It was a good day, but with quite a lot of waiting around in the afternoon when we had the medical and a couple of high speed laps. There was also an autotest which was probably the best bit.

Caterham unfortunately didn't keep a record of how much lead they added to the car, so I'll have to take it out and weigh it at the weekend.

My race suit has arrived!

Posted by charles at 1:05 PM

March 7, 2004

Speedo, tonneau and tow car

Finally got round to fitting the tonneau today, and at the same time I fitted the bike speedo that I'd bought a couple of weeks ago.

Speedo was first. It's a fairly simple task of attaching the sensor the wing stay and running a wire into the engine bay, down the chassis tubes and into the cockpit. You do need to extend the supplied wire which is slightly fiddly. After debating where to put it, I decided on just below the oil pressure gauge. I wanted near the fitted speedo, but unless you put it over the top there's nowhere that's particularly visible. I haven't yet calibrated it for wheel size or been out (too wet today) so that will be the next task. In the picture below you can see the tiny magnet used to trigger the sensor (thanks Steve!).

I then went on to fit the tonneau. I had to cut a slit behind the drivers seat pocket so that it would go over the hearest. Apart from that, it was fairly straightforwards if a bit of a pain to have to keep pulling it off to fit the next set of fasteners. I've fitted it over the half doors and one popper won't reach so I'm going to use some velcro or DualLock to keep it down in the wind.

Whilst I was at it, I secured the washer bottle to stop it disappearing as I go over a curb.

And I bought a tow car! A lovely Nissan Primera 2.0 SE with a beige interior. Pictures to follow when I pick it up next week.

Posted by charles at 6:10 PM

March 17, 2004


Well, I took the plunge today and ordered a Brian James Minno trailer with 'Academy Pack'. I'm picking it up at the beginning of April, just before my test day at Silverstone. Given that Caterham have offered ECU upgrades for racing it's just as well as I can leave my ECU with CML whilst I'm there. The Nissan Primera is now fully tow bar'd and ready to go!!!

Posted by charles at 9:11 PM | Comments (1)

Andy Skinner said:


I am on the thinking of ordering a 2005 car and have been following your story with interest. Could you give me a rough idea of how much extra should I budget for, (excluding tow car, travel etc) but including trailer, build, training, safety stuff etc. I am not on a very tight budget, but would like to know what I am letting myself in for!

Thanks Andy.

March 27, 2004

Bits and pieces

I did quite a few little jobs today. Bled the brakes and got a much better feel initially, but after driving 50 miles I?m not convinced. The other problem (now and before the bleeding) is that the brake pedal goes too low/accelerator is too high to heel and toe easily. I?m reluctant to move the accelerator because it is against the forward stop, but I raised the brake pedal a little by adjusting the nuts on the plunger.

The tonneau is fully fitted ? with some Dual Lock for extra security (it was windy today, and doing about 80 on the motorway this afternoon the front tonneau popper came undone! Hence some added Dual Lock :-)). I also refitted the popper base properly where Caterham had pulled it out the bodywork using the rivet washers that Steve sent me (thanks Steve!).

I also had a strange squeak from the passenger seat and removed it, only to find that everything seemed tight. However, on putting it back in I manged to cross thread one of the mounting bolts/captive nuts and now can?t get it undone as the captive nut in the rail isn?t captive anymore! I started Dremelling off the head of the bolt and got about 80% there before I had to switch cutting disk. I then destroyed 5 disks in rapid succession as they keep catching on the split washer under the bolt head. I?ll need to go out and get some more tomorrow to finish it off. I?ve ordered a replacement rail and bolt from Caterham so it will be fairly easy to sort when it arrives.

Finally, I straightened the steering wheel which I?ve been meaning to do for ages.

Test day week after next at Silverstone ? but bloody Stowe!! Picking the trailer up from Brian James next weekend.

Posted by charles at 7:37 PM

March 31, 2004

Seat out, American 7 Review, tow car service

After buying some 'real' Dremel cutting disks (not cheap!) I got through the rest of the seat bolt head without breaking any more. The seat is out and the replacement rail and bolt has arrived from Caterham so it should be pretty simple to fix now.

Thanks to Den (Dirty Den), I've put up a video of a review of the 7 by the American magazine Autoweek. Download it here but beware because it's 50Mb.

...and the Nissan has gone in for a 36,000 mile (large!) service today.

Posted by charles at 10:10 AM