DONINGTON PARK, 15 SEPTEMBER 2007

HER NAME WAS LOLA

Her Name was Lola!

 

The Diary of Ecurie Scalpel Hot Shoe, Simon Diffey

 

VSCC, SeeRed Meeting, Donington Park, September 14-16, 2007

Saturday

Meet up at 7am. Found only spot in paddock left spare. Unloaded truck and

took Miserable Riley for slap up breakfast.

10am

HUFFAKER

After towing the car around the paddock a lot with it occasionally popping

and banging immediately after it had sat with the switches off, I tried the

fuel switch in the up for off position!!  With another tow lap of the paddock

it burst into life just in time to go out for qualifying.

 

The engine felt very strong and torquey just going to collecting. I did 3

settling in laps, gauges good at 80 degrees water and 80 lbs oil, engine

felt strong with plenty of power to spin an inside wheel on the chicane exit

and out of Redgate.

 

On lap 4 going down Craner, just off the throttle, I went back on the gas

and the engine note changed slightly and the acceleration to Old Hairpin was

dulled which made me immediately de clutch and switch off. I coasted up to

the old Bridge ( Which Nigel Mansell smashed into with a Sierra Touring Car)

and rolled back behind the barrier.

 

I jumped out to find water running out of the front choke of the Webber.

Head Gasket or cracked inlet port, I though, and game over!

 

Meet disappointed and bored Monson family, have nasty burger lunch and

observe complete lack of respect by family of the Prof.

 

SAT noon.

Teach Chloe Monson to drive my pick up truck around farm land. We stop in

the middle of a field and switch off.. I say " Now, think about what we have

been doing and imagine you are in a position where you have got to go and

get help and need to use a car, what are you going to do?"

 

Obviously I expected her to go through the start up and clutch control

routine with out instruction, but no, she turned her head, looked straight

at me smiled and in that charming Anglo Irish accent said  " Use my mobile

phone"  like I was completely stupid!!  I'm getting old...,I gave her 10

out of 10, it could have been me, when I too thought I was indestructible.

 

Saturday Evening

Took Old Mother Riley home to Gypsy Cottage Luton and out to the Knackered

Ferret in Flamstead for Steak Pie supper and spoiled him with fresh cotton

sheets in the spare room.

 

SUNDAY

9am scrutinnering.

Another big breakfast for Riley.

As the car is Peeble Beach 2 pack Disabled Blue and complete with a Demon

Tweaks anodized engine bay we sailed through with an instruction to use

longer lower wish bone bolts so they actually meet the nyloc nuts!

 

Collar Marcus Pye for FIA Photos and expose corners. I notice movement in

new drive shafts and rear bearings as Riley tightens rear wheels, but am

assured is ok on closer inspection.

 

Cruise round in qualifying, car nervous as hell with poor brakes and only 60

degrees water temp.

Discover rear bearing packs loose and all shocks wound 16 clicks off to full

soft.

 

Also nearside tyre touching bottom wish bone under cornering. I go a buy a

wheel space and drill to suit in Nuttals truck.

Riley sorts bearing adjustment and we go for 8 clicks on all round with 16

lbs tyre pressure all round as we don't know what it should have.

 

Introduce Riley to everyone in the trade and take him to the Caterpillar Box

for gold plated sandwich lunch.

 

5.30 Race,

Make good start up the inside of Redgate and get over taken a few laps later

by Van der Crash in his 1500 Cooper Bob Tail and Barry Woods in the Lister

Jag.

 

I find that by pushing a little I can easily stay with them and we change

places all race, until the passenger door flies open onto the road through

Craner Curves necessitating unbuckling and the inevitable loss of places!

 

Owners Notes:

 

All of these comments have been taken on board and having edited out the most abusive remarks work has already started to improve matters all round.

 

The Huffaker experience is VERY disappointing to say the least so we are planning to have the engine back to Nick Swift urgently.  The car is being entered into Monaco so we do not have too much time to make it right.

 

The Lola didn’t do too badly bearing in mind it was fresh out of the box.  Lots of little things need sorting and the list has already been supplied to Don.  Now it is down to setting up the car so it drives properly and safely.  A test day is called for where I will ask a more polite driver to take the wheel and try and get a proper answer to the handing issues.  Watch this space!

 

PS – “Riley” is the unfortunate Stuart Riley who is used to a higher class of operation all round.  However, seeing as he has no friends we employ him on a charity basis.

 

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