Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Winter Diary of Miglia Refresh

Well it’s been a few months since the last race of the season which for me has by far been my most enjoyable and successful season to date, somewhat banishing all the negative memories of bad luck over the previous couple seasons.

Normally after the final race of the season the Miglia sits in the trailer/garage for a good few weeks before I can find the enthusiasm to look at it again knowing “that's it” for a good few months until the season kicks off again normally around April time.

However, this year was slightly different in that a number of Mini 7 Racers have entered the Birkett 6 Hour Relay at Silverstone which has been running since about 1950! (I also think a few of the gentleman racers out there this year probably raced in that inaugural race as well !!)

So no opportunity for any 'down time', after Croft the car was straight back in the garage up on its axle stands with all the normal post/pre-race checks carried out, mainly consisting of checking for play in bearings, balljoints etc and a general nut and bolt check, the engine was removed and the 'spare' installed for the Birkett event as to me the is no point in risking depositing the main engine all over Copse Corner for a 'fun event'. 

Birkett 2014
Those of you associated with the Mini 7 club will be fully aware of the Birkett exploits as there is a write up in this year's Pitlane for those of you not yet members... better join then you can have a read! But suffice to say it was not very smooth from my perspective which included a trip into the gravel trap at Club! However, that’s not to take away from a genuinely great weekend.

Anyway back to the close season shenanigans, it never fails to amaze me just how quickly the season does come around again, and if you don’t start next season's preparation in plenty of time March very quickly turns up bites you on the bottom and you’re not ready for testing. So this year I was on the ball and ready to start the close season re-build nice and early... in that I loaded the car up and dumped it at Owens Fabrications over the Bridge for some Winter TLC. Dropping the car off at Endaf's is always an enjoyable experience for anyone interested in motorsport a visit to his workshop is a must. Engineering at its finest and always time to talk cars and gossip. And if you’re lucky a nice cup of Welsh coffee (not had any biscuits yet though so perhaps I’m not spending enough!).

The big bonus this year on the chassis development front is a few suspension tweaks that we don’t think have been tried yet. It’s extremely hard to find new developments on a car that will give you a slight edge when you are limited with regulations but also to a car that has been raced for 50 years there is not much that has not been tried every which way you can already, so fingers crossed for the first test in March we will then be able to find out if we have been chasing shadows.

The engine is as it has been for the last couple years and has been shipped off back to the Mecca for A-Series engines - Swiftune Engineering in Kent. There is an old saying you get what you pay for in life and sometimes the cheaper option ultimately turns out to be more expensive in the end which is why I have no qualms about using who I think is the best out there. OK so you may get it cheaper elsewhere but considering the abuse these engines get I have never had a catastrophic engine failure to date (fingers crossed that continues) so to me it’s money well spent and not only that I think Swiftune have a few tricks up their sleeves this year as Mini 7 reaches its 50th year of racing everyone wants their name at the front end!

So that’s it for the moment on the Winter progress, the car is due to be ready end February, a Brands test has been booked in March to test the suspension updates, then once the main engine is back around end March we are rocking and rolling for hopefully an even more successful season!

No comments:

Post a Comment