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Kames Rally Time Trial - 5th September 2010

The team had a quiet year in 2010 and September saw the first competitive outing for over a year at the Kames Rally Time Trial.

The time trial has a slightly different format to a normal rally. There are 4 stage layouts and crews get 3 runs at each layout. The fastest time from each layout gets taken and added together for the total time.

The weeks leading up to the event had been a bit fraught as the engine was continually damaging pistons. After the initial rebuild piston 2 had melted completely so the engine was stripped and rebuilt. An error had been made with the timing so when it went back together we were confident it would be OK. A test day the week before the event seemed to be going OK but towards the end it looked like the engine had been damaged again. Another strip down showed another damaged piston so with so little time till to the event another engine was 'borrowed' and fitted.
A closer examination as to the cause of the problem showed that the distributer was damaged and was causing the timing to jump and was most likely the cause of all the damaged pistons.

After a few late nights putting the new engine in the car was ready for the event. It started ok although there were a few half spins on the first run giving an average time. The next 2 runs went much better which left the team sitting 3rd overall after the first stage layout.

The first run at stage layout 2 was a good solid run which set a decent time. The second run was going very well and would have been quicker but Gordon outbraked himself at the tight hairpin and overshot the junction. One run left but as soon as the car left the start line it became clear all was not well and it was down on power and sounded a bit rough. Fearing the worst we toured back slowly to service.
Sam couldn't make it to this event but Mick was standing in. The diagnosis was a faulty ignition coil so we swapped to the spare and everything seemed to be OK.

Onto the 3rd stage layout. The car just didn't seem to be pulling as well and the front tyres had given up all grip as well. This left us still 3rd overall but a second down on the car in front and more worryingly only 0.3 seconds ahead of the car behind. At service we found a loose earth cable on the ignition coil so this was repaired in the hope that would help.

On the last layout the car was going better and fixing the coil leads had definitely helped. Unfortunately this route was very tight and we couldn't get any speed round the slow corners. On the second run it was decided that Ian would work the handbrake at the hairpins which helped the time quite a bit but with only 1 run left the team were now back in 4th place overall. With nothing to lose we pushed very hard on the last stage with Ian again working the handbrake. It worked a bit better this time and the last corner was taken as fast as the car would go leading to an interesting moment going up the banks on both side of the road before finally getting it straightened up and over the finish line.
Two and half seconds had been shaved off the previous time and that was enough to push the team up into second place overall.

It was a good day getting back out and finishing an event and second overall and 1st in class was a real bonus.

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