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Tuesday 26th April 2005

TVRCC Challenge first round

Graham Walden reports on the opening round of the 2005 season at Brands


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The TVRCC Challenge season opened at Brands Hatch the weekend before last (16 April) and the Black Cat Racing team was there. Driver Graham Walden provides the lowdown.

We connected the new Tuscan's ECU and fired up the engine for the first time the week before the first race, the build timetable having not gone quite according to plan. A tip there is don’t move house a week after buying a new race car.

That gave us a week to sort out any little issues. The plan was for a rolling road test on Monday morning, chassis setup Monday afternoon and pick up tyres from Dunlop on the way home, to be followed by testing at Mallory Park on Wednesday morning and some fettling during the week.

Things started to go wrong first thing, when the Tuscan spat a water hose off. A few moments were lost sorting that out and getting the engine to idle before it was time for the power runs.

Not good, showing only 120bhp at the wheels and running very weak. A few more checks were made, but everything came back fine. The car was loaded back onto the trailer while we scratched our heads.

That evening was spent checking wiring, resistances and voltages, before dismantling the fuel injection system. We tested it on Tuesday and spent the evening putting everything back together. Wednesday we returned to the rolling road for a re-test but with the same result.

At this point we considered changing the blown engine in the Tasmin for a spare and taking that, but the Tasmin really needs a differential change as well so that idea was dropped. We decided to try changing the fuel regulator and fitting a lambda gauge to monitor the mixture, and take the Tuscan anyway.

Thursday night was spent once again in a cold unit sorting out a few loose ends and fitting the fuel regulator.

On Friday it was the long haul down to Brands, followed by a couple of beers in the Moore Racing Truck, before a cold night in the back of the Transit. The ice on the inside of the van the following morning confirmed it was cold.

Qualifying

We made an early start as we were in the first qualifying session, so we prepared the car for scrutineering, all the little jobs that we'd planned to do during the week.

As Pops took the car for scrutineering I took our spare wheels to Dunlop for tyres. By the time qualifying came they still hadn’t managed to get them on the rims, so we would have to use the old slicks that were on the car. I was really looking forward to that considering the track was cold and damp.

I took qualifying very gently, keeping off line and out of everyone’s way. Really just trying to get a feel for the car and make sure it felt ok, this was after all the first time I had driven the car and the first time it had been in this configuration.

We hadn’t even had time to drive it around the paddock and see if the gears and clutch worked. I gave the loud pedal a few stabs on the start straight, before coming in after four laps to check the plugs. We pulled a spark plug and it looked fine -- not too weak -- and I trundled out for a few more laps, still taking it gently but starting to have a little play.

As expected we qualified right at the back 28th out of 30, but we were happy enough. The car felt basically sound, even at deliberately slow speeds (about 10 seconds off the pace) the car felt alive to my inputs and very easy to place on the track.

We then decided that if we could fit the lambda gauge then we would run in the first race. The sensor had already been fitted on Friday, so it was just a case of wiring up the gauge and finding somewhere to put it. This gauge has a very simple display showing if the engine is running weak or rich. Running the engine very weak, as the rolling roads had shown, risked serious engine damage such as burning a valve or melting a piston. That kind of engine damage could put us out for a few rounds and blow the season.

Just before the race, our tyres were finally ready so they were bolted on and we headed off for the track. The portable compressors that Dunlop were using struggled to get the tyres seated on our rims. They had to stop doing everything else to get enough air to get them on.

Race 1

I took the first few laps quite easy watching the gauges, making sure everything looked fine, as well as scrubbing in the brand new tyres. The gauge was showing the car now running rich if anything, but under full throttle the engine was cutting and stuttering at about 4,500rpm. So with the readings fine I started to press on a bit, short shifting to avoid hitting the stuttering.

Even with the power disadvantage I managed to make up about seven places, with a few reasonably daring overtaking moves. On the last lap I caught Tim Broughton having a good run in his Class A Tasmin. With a good run around the last bend I almost managed to overtake him on the line, Tim managing to maintain second-placed TVR by about 12 inches. Overall not a bad run, with some good overtaking, I even managed the fastest TVR lap. [Graham finished fourth and got 20 points. Ed.]

Race 2

With the car handling nicely, the gauges showed we weren’t damaging the engine even under power, the second race was looking interesting. Even from a starting position of 21, a TVR win and a good top 10 finish were looking possible.

Right from the start we battled through the traffic giving the crowd some entertainment in the hunt for the lead TVR. The track was much dirtier off line now it was later in the afternoon, and running round the outside of a few cars I could feel it there was less grip than in the morning. As I was pushing harder I also managed to overheat the outside front tyre, not surprising as we had not had time to get any pressure data, and had set the tyres at a base line pressure.

Pushing harder the car was also a bit of a handful to balance into paddock hill bend, possibly due to the brake balance not being quite right, but still nice and quick when I did get the balance.

After about six laps I’d made up about seven places and was closing in on the lead TVR at about a second a lap. Coming into Paddock, I ran a little wide on entry trying to settle the car, as I started to turn in I got a bit of understeer which pushed me wider still and onto the dirty outside of the track. From there the game was up, I could see how dirty the track was and with the speed I was carrying there was no way I could make the corner, instead I slid gracefully into the gravel trap.

You can guess at the comment I made to myself as I made a futile attempt to drive the car back onto the track. The car was well and truly beached.

Aftermath

Back at the paddock after the race a quick check of the car showed everything was fine, just covered in gravel. So overall a successful weekend that could have been brilliant -- but that’s racing.

It was great to be back in the saddle after the winter layoff and I’m now really looking forward to the season. Provided we get the time to sort the engine and do some testing it should be a good year.

There were quite a few people suffering first round of the year problems, especially Simon Bowes in the Griff with oil pressure issues but I'm sure they’ll be solved soon.  Kevan Gore got off to a good start in Class B claiming both wins, and Tim Broughton will be unstoppable in A judging by his Brands performance.

The competition is shaping up to be interesting with little to choose between the front runners. The next round is a TVR-only double-header at Pembrey so expect fireworks. Watch this space.

Thanks to George Carter for pictures and Graham Walden for the words.

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Author Discussion

griff2be

Original Poster:

4,931 posts

153 months

[news] 
Tuesday 26th April 2005 quote quote all
That's a very fine looking race car you have there young Graham

Chassis 33

6,193 posts

168 months

[news] 
Tuesday 26th April 2005 quote quote all
griff2be said:
That's a very fine looking race car you have there young Graham


It is a fine car now he's figured out how the disable the wall magnet at the back, how does he disable the gravel magnet though???



Regards
Iain

(PS Sorry Andy & Graham, shouldnt be so mean)

Guy Humpage

4,080 posts

170 months

[news] 
Tuesday 26th April 2005 quote quote all
I managed to get a couple of photos of the TVRs from the race.




Other shots from the meeting can be found here: http://truckosaurus.smugmug.com/gallery/488525

Graham

15,333 posts

170 months

[news] 
Tuesday 26th April 2005 quote quote all
[quote]

[Graham finished fourth and got 20 points. Ed.]

[/quote]

Thats actually the series standings

the results were


Race 1:- 3rd TVR (2nd in class)

Race 2:- dnf



Guillotine

5,343 posts

150 months

[news] 
Tuesday 26th April 2005 quote quote all
Beautiful car Graham, good luck for the season.

is this a usual tactic? using the first meeting as a shake down session? obviously confident!

best of luck at pembrey, hope to see you there.

andy
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manek

2,954 posts

170 months

[news] 
Tuesday 26th April 2005 quote quote all
Graham said:
[quote]

[Graham finished fourth and got 20 points. Ed.]



Thats actually the series standings

the results were


Race 1:- 3rd TVR (2nd in class)

Race 2:- dnf

Thanks for the correction Graham.

Manek


[/quote]

patsmith

11 posts

126 months

[news] 
Wednesday 27th April 2005 quote quote all
Well Gra thats a good looker. I'll see you at Pembrey, hopefully having scrubbed in new Yokos at the TVR track day at Cadwell. I am hoping the new engine and 'expert mapping' will result in more progressive power delivery, rather than last year's 'turbo on and into the gravel' typeof power.
Cheers
Pat

jellison

12,744 posts

163 months

[news] 
Friday 29th April 2005 quote quote all
God that was a confusing read - I thought the TVr challenge only had TVRs in it! How come there is a pick of the Tuscan following Sud Sprint (great car). An what is all that about fastest TVR lap - was it an allcomer race that was being talked about.

Hope you get the 120bhp issue sorted. I hope it should have at least 3x that!

Good luck in the ALL TVR Race.

Guy Humpage

4,080 posts

170 months

[news] 
Friday 29th April 2005 quote quote all
The Brands race was a sub-class of the BARC Sports and Saloons (sponsored by 'Track and Race Car' magazine), hence the other non-TVR participants.

Graham

15,333 posts

170 months

[news] 
Friday 29th April 2005 quote quote all
Yep it was a mixed race.

For 2 rounds this year we are joining with the barc saloons in an invitation Class. All of these rounds are At BRITcar events and its a way of testing the water to see if we want to run as part of the Britcar event next season or stay with BARC.

The Next Shared Round is Brands Gp at the end of the season.

All of the other rounds are TVR only.


It was an interesting experiment, made all the more interesting by qualifying at the back of the grid!!!


30 Cars on the Indy circuit is quite busy and made for some interesting overtaking..

The TVR numbers were a bit low as the event was massivly oversubscribed very quickly with quite a few TVRs not getting an entry.

I was pleased with the Lap times though they compaired very well with last years, only .2 second slower this year straight out of the box and down a bit on power..


Its now only three weeks till Pembrey and all i've had a chance to do to the car is clean it !!!!! and then 2 weeks after that its KnockHill !!!!!


So we'd better get our finger out....



Power when running properly should be about 240 Bhp from the fairly standard 4ltr chim engine. But will give the same power to weight as the 5ltr Griffs we are up against, although we do get a weight penalyt for the big brakes on the Tuscan.


G

jellison

12,744 posts

163 months

[news] 
Friday 29th April 2005 quote quote all
Hmm - doubt they would allow mine in.

What lap times were you doing? And do you think you know what IS the problem with the motor - goo that it at least finished but a real worry those roller numbers. My TR4 make 240 - 250bhp. 54.4 last Sunday on 205 Yko 32's.

Graham

15,333 posts

170 months

[news] 
Saturday 30th April 2005 quote quote all
jellison said:
Hmm - doubt they would allow mine in.

What lap times were you doing? And do you think you know what IS the problem with the motor - goo that it at least finished but a real worry those roller numbers. My TR4 make 240 - 250bhp. 54.4 last Sunday on 205 Yko 32's.



is the block based on anything remotley they put in a TVR ?

the engine prob we had on thr race day is different to the earlier problem so no dont have a clue at the mo, other than its an EFI issue..

we were doing mid 55's not bad considering the mileage and the motor trouble... I think full on Tuscan challenge cars with 500+bhp/ton and slicks do 49's

so when running properly and from the relative ease a for a 55 a couple of seconds off that should be the proper pace, and not as far behind a TC as i expected, but then it is a relativley short tight circuit, somewhere like snett there would probably be a much bigger differnce


G

griff2be

Original Poster:

4,931 posts

153 months

[news] 
Saturday 30th April 2005 quote quote all
Graham said:

jellison said:
Hmm - doubt they would allow mine in.

What lap times were you doing? And do you think you know what IS the problem with the motor - goo that it at least finished but a real worry those roller numbers. My TR4 make 240 - 250bhp. 54.4 last Sunday on 205 Yko 32's.




is the block based on anything remotley they put in a TVR ?

the engine prob we had on thr race day is different to the earlier problem so no dont have a clue at the mo, other than its an EFI issue..

we were doing mid 55's not bad considering the mileage and the motor trouble... I think full on Tuscan challenge cars with 500+bhp/ton and slicks do 49's

so when running properly and from the relative ease a for a 55 a couple of seconds off that should be the proper pace, and not as far behind a TC as i expected, but then it is a relativley short tight circuit, somewhere like snett there would probably be a much bigger differnce


G

I think you're right Graham - Brands Indy isn't a power circuit so the difference isn't too great. Thruxton/Snett/Combe would be rather different I suspect.

It looks like I'm going to be doing the same as you - first time out in a new car will be 3 races at Combe - I can't see myself having time to test before the 30th and its a little worrying given all the work done on the car (and the new dampers). Still - at least my engine installation is standard unlike yours!!

How much would a full AJP race engined Tuscan with 6 pot brakes be clobbered in a TVRCC race (with 3 way dampers, cockpit adjustable brake bias and all those other things the TVRCC regs don't like...)?

Graham

15,333 posts

170 months

[news] 
Saturday 30th April 2005 quote quote all
griff2be said:


How much would a full AJP race engined Tuscan with 6 pot brakes be clobbered in a TVRCC race (with 3 way dampers, cockpit adjustable brake bias and all those other things the TVRCC regs don't like...)?


Andy YHM

jellison

12,744 posts

163 months

[news] 
Tuesday 3rd May 2005 quote quote all
Mine is an LS Chevy block (so not been in any TVR).

Should make 430ish bhp. If my bloody TR keeps being as unreliable as it is right know I'd be tempted to get a full cage in instead of the half one going in v.soon. Hate to bend it though - so more likely track it and compare times. Snett on 3rd Sept should show how fast it is - Monster Modded TVR day.

Graham

15,333 posts

170 months

[news] 
Tuesday 3rd May 2005 quote quote all


mmmm it is about time we has a racing Chimaera out there... I did look for one to convert before i bought the Tuscan, but like buses nothing for ages then as soon a i bought the tuscan 2 turned up

joospeed

4,473 posts

164 months

[news] 
Tuesday 3rd May 2005 quote quote all
Someone I know has just bought an ex tuscan challenge car .. been lying under a sheet in chesterfield in a garage for 3 years and i knew nothing about it.

worst bit is the price .. he's got it for 1500 pounds and all that's missing is the engine (obviously) and the front brake discs .. apart from that it's a pukka TC and apart from a few battle scars looks all ok.

bugger

Corin Denton

8,728 posts

154 months

[news] 
Tuesday 3rd May 2005 quote quote all
Nice to meet you up at the meet at Brands, fine looking car there mate!

hui

863 posts

134 months

[news] 
Tuesday 3rd May 2005 quote quote all
joospeed said:
Someone I know has just bought an ex tuscan challenge car .. been lying under a sheet in chesterfield in a garage for 3 years and i knew nothing about it. Worst bit is the price .. he's got it for 1500 pounds and all that's missing is the engine (obviously) and the front brake discs .. apart from that it's a pukka TC and apart from a few battle scars looks all ok.


It looks good but I bought mine in 2003 which was a good car and it cost several thousand 's to get it into race trim. Uprights, shocks, drive shafts, diff, etc. It would be interesting to know what the car's history is and when it last raced. There are quite a few "sheds" out there. Is it an old or a new car? Is the chassis straight? It goes on and on...!!!!

griff2be

Original Poster:

4,931 posts

153 months

[news] 
Wednesday 4th May 2005 quote quote all
I vaguely remember a conversation with someone a few weeks ago about a TC car in Chesterfield. It ended with a discussion about my spare chassis. Could be a totally different car - but if even if it has a bent chassis, 1,500 (if correct) is ridiculous! The gearbox and diff alone would cost more than that...
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