It was two months since we were last out at Bedford testing the Mazda. Progress has been made; a new racing clutch has gone in, we’ve done a full alignment and set the corner weights. It’s not all hard work, there was still time for pizza! The work on the alignment is just to make sure the car is as good as it can be, the clutch is likely to make a bit of a difference mainly off the start line. Over the course of a lap I would expect the times to improve by a couple of tenths at most. All of these changes are part of making sure that the car is ready for the engine work to come later.
For Cadwell Park, the day was in two halves. The morning gave me an opportunity to test the changes and make some alterations, whilst the afternoon was all about taking people out in the passenger seat. The car handles spot on, very balanced and is very comfortable to push hard. The new racing clutch takes some getting used to, it’s great on track but is hard work driving around the pits.
So whats next? The engine will be stripped down and the cylinder head is having some more work to correct the smoking issue – worn valve guides. We got through 2 litres of oil at Cadwell Park and it’s a bit excessive. The worry is that the car is dragging air past the valve guides and affecting performance, as well as having to burn off the oil that’s dragged into the cylinder. So K-Line valve guides are being put in to try and solve this. Then I think it’s a trip to the dyno to try and correct the air fuel ratio with some air flow meter adjustments and find the ideal ignition timing again for this engine. Then it’s off to Silverstone for Round 1 in April.