A great day of racing in general @ 22nd Casino Mykonos Langebaan Gymkhana on 18 April 2009
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This must be the best event so far, all our expectations were thrown out the door at arrival to the track on Friday evening at early entry. We where so scared of the rumored paving’s that everyone told us about.
What, we thought to ourselves, if your are competing for a decent time and not there to be a showoff the paving’s isn’t that bad. Obviously from time to time an honest accident from pushing to hard does happen, but hey, isn’t that what racing is about.
Our first few runs went quite well, learning all the correct lines with the bakkie following with the escort. We played around with tire pressures, stiffness of the bakkies rear suspension, while improving our times on each run. I must admit, Ruan is starting to get to grips with the Escort, I honestly believe that the car was driving Ruan around until our 3rd run in it on Saturday, Ruan proved, that he is in control of it and have learned it’s tricks. On the 4th run he was really giving the car a bit of
it’s own medicine, locking up brakes, sliding it towards the paving on hard braking, on exits of corners drifting it towards tires.
On the navigation side of things, we had times in the bakkie that there were more confusion than actual facts about the correct routes, but we pulled thru and only had one very badly driven line due my fault and not his, but, the rest of the factual confusion came from his side. A phrase in Ruan’s words: “Ek moet aan my navigasie werk”.
We learned a few valuable lessons on this event, the bakkie needs more work than we thought, the idea
from day one with it was to use it as a vehicle to learn the track better, but hey, we all want to go faster as this kind of motorsport is starting to grow on us. The bakkie will need a lot of work on the front suspension, fitting a set of kick ass semi slicks isn’t the answer. Camber, Caster, bigger anti roll/sway bars, stiffer springs this is what help times. As the Escort is living prove of it. Not even a bigger engine will help, if you can’t get that power to the ground or carry that speed thru a corner, you wasted your money. This goes for the escort to, it needs a Limited Slip Differential or a torsion diff badly. We are confident that this vehicle has not shown its full potential.
We will be doing our home work on getting the bakkies front suspension in shape and drool about a Quaife for the escort. Anyone wanting to donate one, get in touch we will drink your beer and place your own stickers on our vehicles.
One the last run with the escort, just as we entered stage 4 of the route we heard this loud clap, peep peep peep, something is @%$#&^, was the only thing that you would have heard in the cockpit. Just as we exit a right hand corner and where at full throttle the differential gave in. Well as they say, something has to give. But still what a disappointment to a otherwise perfect day.
We will be taking it apart int he week to figure out what was the weakest link in it, we suspect a spirale gear. Welding on leaf spring also proven a very bad idea, as the bakkie broke one on Sunday afternoon as we arrived back in Cape Town. Never will we weld on tempered steel again.
Thanks to all our friends that helped make this day a success, without your effort this wouldn’t be possible.