Following Al Boulton’s diagnosis at Donington the balance of the car seemed somewhat improved by stiffening up the front dampers and ARB a bit but I was keen to see if the rear aero could be improved. Readers might recall that at present I’ve got the front splitter as high as it will go to maintain balance.
So I started thinking about improving the rear spoiler. Colin’s tried simply extending the existing rear spoiler and adding a return at the top to act as a sort of gurney flap which is quite easy to do but it seems the jury’s out at present on how much benefit this gives – Colin’s gut feeling from testing it out at Anglesey was that he found he could reinstate the frontsplitter at the lower level while still maintaining aero balance. I was also interested in adding some end fences to try to make sure the air at least goes over the spoiler – most of the quick class R cars seem to be using them.
I also dragged the old wheel rack from the patio with a view to modifying that and refitting it to the trailer, it’s a pain transporting the wheels inside the motorhome. After a bit of measuring up I chopped the base off, shortened the legs a bit and re-welded it together. After a lick of Hammerite it was ready to go back onto the trailer.
I also got around to making a start on sorting out the wheels that were damaged at Snetterton last year. All 4 wheels were damaged with the right front being scrap but the other 3 being salvageable. The right front tyre also had a chunk or rubber missing from a sidewall but the other 3 look fine although they’re part worn. I came back from Donington with 4 new tyres on the car and the other set of wheels with worn tyres, one rear is just about done, the other rear is OK for trackday/testing in the dry and the fronts are OK. I also have a pair of only slightly worn rears that I bought off Tony Gaunt last year which to be honest I’d forgotten about! So I loaded everything into the car and nipped down to ATS and got the slightly worn rears put onto the spare rear rims and all the tyres taken off the damaged wheels so I could make a start at refurbing them.
I also treated the engine to some new oil and a filter. I has originally wanted to fit a remote filter to make changes easier but the oil cooler take off adapter makes that difficult. So it’s a case of grubbing round underneath the exhaust manifold and getting oil all over the undertray.
The aluminium sheet I’d ordered to make the spoiler eventually arrived and I set to a bit of fabrication on Monday evening. It’s a pity but it’s more cost effective to order the aluminium online, even as a full sheet it’s cheaper than the local stockist but since ClickMetal charge according to the size you order it makes it a no brainer. Pity this 4′ x 5′ sheet of 1.5mm aluminium sheet arrived on a pallet that needed 2 of us to carry it!!
The spoiler was actually longer than the pair of steel angle irons I use for folding sheet so it was a bit tricky bending the main angle in it. I then riveted a length of aluminium angle across the rear edge to both stiffen it and act as a gurney flap, then riveted angles down each end to fix it to the hinge plates. Then it was time to make the longitudinal strakes that would act as end fences to try to force a bit more of the air over the spolier. Here’s a pic of the nearside strake.
And here’s a pic from the other side showing how it’s fixed onto the bodywork, couldn’t think of a neater way of doing it really, I resorted to the shorter tabs as trying to get a bend on the returns was beyond my meagre skills. On Wednesday night I got the offside strake made and fitted and that was it, job done.
Although the next race is at Anglesey on the first weekend in August I’ve booked another trackday at Donington on 21st July. I’ve been trying to organise a day with Tim Gray for ages – in addition to his general tuition and car setup ability he has quite a bit of experience driving the Baldwins BDN, albeit in Bikesports guise. He’s been otherwise engaged for previous trackdays but is free for this one. I wonder if he realises the magnitude of the challenge facing him I’ve also invited Brian along to come and have a drive. So far he’s fabricated all the parts for five of these fantastic cars and to date he’s yet to drive one. It’s an open pit lane day with Bookatrack so guaranteed not to be too busy and driving standards should be good. Hopefully we can optimise the car setup and Tim can beat a bit of sense into me.