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Thread: Rally Report: Official

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    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    Rally Report: Official

    Hexus Rally Car outing: Sunday 5th December.
    QinetiQ’s Longcross venue, Chertsey.
    The Carfax Stages, Oxford Motor Club.
    www.oxfordmotorclub.co.uk

    Well, it was grey….mild but grey. It’s like that at 7:00 am in December. We rolled across the security bridge and into the venue. The banked track underneath the bridge loomed through the fog, and the cones were just visible on the chicanes on that banking. Wet tarmac, and fog. Excellent, Smithers

    Scrutineering for our Astra 1.6 was a doddle, and we were surrounded by equally over engineered cars, as we laughed and joked, stomach’s in knots, with the other rally crews. The odd car was pulled out for safety items, but not the Hexus Beast. Oh no…. we might be heavy…and underpowered but we are well built.

    Having recently put some big lamps on the front (Hella Rallye 3000) the cold air intake was a tad blocked, so the air box has undergone some large hole-drilling in it’s underside and she was sweet. The exhaust is now a 1 box, with some smoothing in the down pipes, and its loud and angry. Not as loud as the Quaiffe gear box though. And recent rolling road showed us at a mighty, devastating and wholly understated 105.4 bhp at the fly wheel!! That should keep the mighty 160bhp Honda VTECs at bay….NOT. Nor the Sunbeam’s with their twin cam 16v units revving to 8750.

    No matter. Rallying is in the heart, and the stage times we do, are our times, and the smiles (and screams) are our own. Damn this was to be a fine day.

    Stage one: 16 cars in our 1600 class. It’s a 6.3 mile stage, and because of recent suspension work, we now have mammoth over-steer in the tight sections. Plus we have opted for MaxSport tyres at £44 per tyre, rather than my beloved Michelin’s at £105 per tyre. Go figure the reasons. Pressure? Start with 26 psi in the front, as they’re gonna get damn hot and hard, and 28 rear.

    In an attempt to stop people getting too air born at the top of the steep ramp here at Longcross, a large chicane (showing on the maps) had been added at the base of the ramp.

    The timer counted down, and Stage 1 was live, flat 300 into tight 90 left, 50 metres, tight 90 left, and then fast left/right swoop and join the main track. 1 minute later as we turned the Astra into line up for the ramp, grabbing 2nd from a tight 90 right, it was clear that the marshals had (rightly) made it mild chicane, a mild slow down, not a nasty evil chicane, and I spotted it, Dave sussed it, tweaked the Astra for a straight line and we blatted through it, gunning up to 4th gear, and we crested the top pretty damn fast… into a tight-ish slippery 90 right! Dave had his work well and truly cut out as it was a defined path lined with cones, rather than being a big open space like last time, and we had to stay between them. Then straight back down a 1in2 ramp, and into an off-camber left, past the service area, and into…..the Snake.
    Part of the venue is the feared Snake (a series of powerful, long curves that undulate and give off-camber tail-looseners AND high compression “more grip than you can handle” curves, so while you go through these blind crest “S” bends and get thrown around, your ribs get battered by the hugging seats. The Snake it tree lined…and in December the snake is LEAF LINED.

    Never before have I felt sorry for British Rail, and their infamous “Leaves on the Line”, but HELL….we needed to be ON THE racing LINE, because the clean bit was 1 car wide, no more, and the rest was leafy slush. Fast right, over mild crest, into long 180 left, first dipping, then raising up to blind crest, long 180 right, over top into the right, down into huge compression, grabbing 4th then 5th gear (ohh my ribs), then up straight over a totally blind (trust me Dave) crest, into downhill 180 left, mind the greasy leaves, going back up, into fast off camber right, into long mid 180, scrub speed to tightening right….

    The arse was waaay out to the left, as we crested the last, and round she came, but this car is SORTED, and Dave was SORTED..and snick, snick, down two gears, to 3rd, while he piled loads of lock on, and the next section called us

    Long fast right, round the flat track to enter chicane on left, stay wide, see your way through, slight lift….bosh-clang…there goes the door mirror on the side, (but hey, its supposed to fall off ) and up from 4th to 5th and catapult to enter next chicane on right, and clunk, thwack, the cones gets royally whacked out of the way. Flat 150 fast left, stay to left, enter HEAVY chicane on left, go right, back left

    This chicane is hard. It LOOKS fast, but the back of the chicane is not easy to see, and its tight…brief tyre lock-up, round comes the arse, and the exit is just waiting….superb!

    3rd, 4th, 5th…..our rev limiter is set at 7500 (about 98mph) but this engine is pants above 6500, so he guns it as best it can manage, until the banked section and we never hit max, and lifts a tad for the chicane on the banked track, straight lines her, drift way too wide on exit, I note the next time would be better a tad slower for a better line, enter the next perfectly, and off to merge with another car that is just starting.

    Now we’re on it, as the enemy has just started THEIR stage, and we have to do the lap again, and ….

    Whoosh , we merge, and the Civic has to tuck in behind, as we charge down to the 120 right, around the fencing, keeping wide, lifting, braking, turning in and drifting wide, and as I look over my should, movement hindered by very tight harnesses, I hear it…the unmistakeable rasp of 8500 revs and a gear change, and before we get to the “bus stop” ramp to the left that we have to go into, less than 200 metres, Dave has to let the Civic go past, round it comes, we follow it into the bus stop, and the Jap beast is carrying way too much energy and as we turn inside its radius, our car light from the ramp, so theirs virtually air-born, the Civic wipes out a dozen cones, and regains balance, and we’re on her, inches between us….100 metres to 180 left, tight, slippery, the Civic runs wide, we’re on her, up the inside, but now we’re back to the 90 right tight, to the ramp….and that’s it….see that power….stone me…look at THAT….that thing ROCKETS up that ramp, we crest it, and as we turn, the Honda is already dropping down the other one.

    Some you win. Some you lose. Some you keep the hell out of the way of

    End of Stage 1: Tyre pressures: Front 38 Rear 29. Heart rate? Guess where all the work is being done in MY car? We drop those tyres back, and wait for the service section time to finish. We lift the bonnet, look, put it back on. Nothing to do. Heaven
    Stage 2 was same but faster

    Stage 3 and 4 were in reverse, and now we are reaping the benefits of lots of prep. VW Golf: Dead. Civic: Dead. 205 : Dead. The class is shrinking

    And all the sad faces, the over-powered beasts with a zillion horsepower and wild men at the reigns, all being loaded up and driven home, to cold garages, and many frustrating hours of bruised knuckles, trying to get them running again.

    Not Hexus Astra. Not today. 105.4 bhp aint much…but HELL it goes like a missile when we’re on it. In fact….it goes: PERIOD J We’ve been there, done that, worn the disheartened T-shirt. Not today. Today Longcross gets a good portion of Quaiffe-ness goodness…and it gets very happy smiles from Dave and I towards the MaxSport tyres. Strong. Grippy. Nice. CHEAP. Good buy.

    OK, lets pick out some other stuff. Later in the day, having dropped the tyre pressures stage after stage we’re sorted….they are permanently hot, as is the back exhaust box, which must be feeling a “straight-through” heat issue. Its scorching HOT

    We come DOWN the steep ramp, no chicane, just flat in 4th at the top, 6700rpm in 5th at the bottom (and CLOSE your eyes as you wait for the sump to rip off) and the ride height is IDEAL, and 50 metres to tight 90 right into bus stop right, and as we go up this evil concrete side ramp (less than 2 feet high) and intend to come straight back down it, the arse goes RIGHT up, RIGHT round and we are more than pointing out of the exit, and only by the grace of a small springy tree sapling, do we straighten up.

    NOW we are RALLYING J fetch the t-cut we may have a scratch.

    But best moment: Subaru Impreza, who are ya? We merge for the second lap of stage 5 and there it is, joining in front of us, and LOOK at that power, it just erupts away from us, but 300 metres later, into the next medium left, hook right, back onto the track and we’re with it, and clearly up a gear (no kidding, with THIS differential we’re up 10 gears) and we live with it right up to the next chicane, but we know this chicane is narrower because someone else has already whacked it, hard, and the Scooby doesn’t see that, and so as we change angle for the attack on the cones, the Subaru doesn’t, messes it up, and as it down changes we explode from the other side of the scattered cones, we are alongside…for 3 seconds anyway, and its off again. But the tight 180 right looms and so does the SNAKE J Yeah….Snake me baby one more time, that Scooby is clearly pressured (by my humble Vauxhall?) and we stay with her the entire lap, 3.2 miles, until the split, when we go right to finish and the Scooby goes left for their second lap. It’s not THAT glamorous really, because there is now a Sunbeam closing on us and they must have taken 20 seconds out of us on the same stage, but hey…we lived with….no we MOVED IN WITH SUBARU for over 3 miles. ‘AVE IT. They must have held us up for the Sunbeam to catch us….(keep kidding myself, even I’ll believe it one day)

    And then…..the finale….oh yes. The dark. Now let’s not mess here. When it gets dark, it all goes brown. Not black. It goes a funny browny grey colour. The road. The trees. The cones, the pallets, the fences, the hay bales, the gravel edges, the LEAVES…they are ALL brown. We have 2 normal headlamps and 2 Hella 3000’s with 110 w bulbs in. The big boys, in their big toys, cars costing £70,000 are running lamp pods with 6 high intensity gas discharge lamps, worth over a grand alone. They clip onto the ready prepared brackets, and each lamp is angled to cover a different piece of road. But our Hella’s are good.

    As is Dave. Mr Keen, Dave to his friends, is a night rally man. In his other rallying career (with a chap called Andy Berry) he drives his classic Mk 2 Cortina, pre-cross flow, to various honours across the UK, and before that, his Mini 1275 GT. Thse events are at night. He’s a night owl. He has been night rallying since before I was driving. He’s good, and that’s just as bloody well because I’m good too. This stage is my back yard now. I know where we have to be on every section, to the inch, and I don’t care if you can’t ****-ing-well see where we’re going, you go THERE and we go faster..CLEAR? Good. Let’s do it.

    Tension? Hell this is AWESOME. Pitch black, only three miles per stage, two stages to prove our worth and to drag our selves from 10th in class. Six miles in total. We’ve already done 8 stages at 6.3 miles each. 50 miles. How on earth can we grab some positions in just over 10% of the entire rally?

    Big balls. No kidding. No ego. We were good. We really were. When you haven’t got power, you need something to level the playing field. The darkness. That’ll do me.

    If you look at the Fastest Stage Times on that web site ( www.oxfordmotorclub) and look at the last two stages, 9 and 10, you’ll see the top 10 times overall. In Darrian T90’s and Mark II Escorts worth £40,000. EX WORKS NISSAN SUNNY GTI-R’s.

    We did: Stage 9: 2:57 Stage 10: 2:58

    Now that is only 19 seconds off Top ten times J In both cases. We lost 5.9 seconds per mile. 105 bhp vs 275 bhp and 4wd. Ex Tommi Makkinen Nissan Sunny Gti-R.

    I think I can safely say:

    AVE IT

    Result: 8th in class, and 39th overall. We did it. In the dark. Me and Dave and Hexus. Pleased? Bet your ASS

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

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    Missing in Action CocoPops's Avatar
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    So the Good luck I sent worked then?

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    Капраз dkmech's Avatar
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    Well done chaps. I am obviously understating things!

    You done us proud! And the writing is superb as ever! And those little fights with the honda and the subaru - they must've made your day, coz they sure have made mine!

    Big thumbs up Zak!
    Tough on mirrors, tough on the causes of mirrors.

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    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    cheers fellas....a really fine fine day

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

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    Senior Member Tumble's Avatar
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    Nice report... why all the random J's tho??


    Deffo lending you me video cam for the next one (make a bracket hint, hint)


    Zak edit: I wrote it in Word format...some of the stuff I added showed as and some as J....dunno why
    Last edited by Zak33; 06-12-2004 at 05:39 PM. Reason: explanation of randon J's

    Quote Originally Posted by The Quentos
    "My udder is growing. Quick pass me the parsely sauce." Said Oliver.

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    Va Va Voom Lowe's Avatar
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    Superb work chap, glad to hear everything held out!

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    Rah - longest post EVER
    Glad you had a good one Zak

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    VTECmeous Vimeous's Avatar
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    Top post, top motoring, TOP RESULT!
    Congrats to both of you and long may it continue
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    But Why's It So Cold?. jon bda's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Nice going the pair of you!. Astra GSi for next season?.

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    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    thought long and hard about the engine.....

    2litre class is just TOO expensive. If we got a standard red top, we'd only JUST be able to keep up with the 1600's and we'd not be in their class.

    the 2 litre class needs £15k more.

    the 1600 class I am already in demands much more dough on the engine than I have to spare.

    Just gotta find some more dark rallying

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

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    F.A.S.T. Butuz's Avatar
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    hehe excellent report Well done sounds like your both having sooooooooo much fun!

    Hmm we need to get you some more power zakky dont we me lad? Can i lend you 100bhp? Dont know how the mechanic could sort it, i can email it to you if you like?

    Butuz

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    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    but then you'd have to change your Sig

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

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    Капраз dkmech's Avatar
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    He already should. Its already here. Not coming soon. As for 270bhp - apparently its 260 with boost up, so thats close enough.

    So don't worry Zak, take that 100bhp off him. I'd offer you 100 too, but i only have 60.
    Tough on mirrors, tough on the causes of mirrors.

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    Administrator Moby-Dick's Avatar
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    Zak - I wonder if you coudl steal the engine out of that chaps Nova ( the one with 150bhp )

    would be fun.
    my Virtualisation Blog http://jfvi.co.uk Virtualisation Podcast http://vsoup.net

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    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    I'd like that kinda engine....just gotta suss out HOW.


    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

  16. #16
    F.A.S.T. Butuz's Avatar
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    Thats true, ill change it from "Coming Soon" to "Coming Now" as soon as i get home.

    (ill be taking some video footage later in the week of the beast, you can hear the scary WRC rally car type noises she makes when i get her going)

    Butuz

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