Servicing and Repairs
Your local diagnostic expert
New generation diesels a speciality
2009 Hill Climb season
The new season kicked off this month for us and after the winter lay up the car decided that it would try my
patience by developing a leak on the front brake calliper seals at the test day. A few frantic phone calls and the
good news was that the seal kits were still available. With the car still on the trailer from the test day I set
about removing the callipers and replacing the seals and then bled the brakes.
Off to Gurston we went and when I unloaded the car I took the opportunity of trying the brakes by driving around
the empty paddock. The front brakes were not stopping the car so I decided to have another attempt at bleeding the
system to remove any air left in it. This was reasonably successful and the pedal seemed to be firmer, however
another trip around the paddock showed that the brakes were better but not up to the usual standard. By this time
it was getting dark so I put the car to bed and settled down for the evening with a beer and very good company.
Make sure that you have regular car servicing so that you are always driving a safe vehicle.
Saturday dawned windy cold and slightly damp. It was unfortunate that Dee was due to run first again this
meeting so she had to take the car out for her first practice run with a slightly spongy brake pedal but with lots
of reassurance that it would be OK.
She came back saying that they did not feel as good as normal but did seem to be working. I strapped myself in
and went out for my first practice. The approach to Karousel was reasonably quick and the entry was almost as quick
due to the brakes not slowing me down as much as I expected. On returning to the paddock we had another attempt at
bleeding the brakes.
The class today consisted of myself and Dee in the 240Z, Steve in a TVR Griffith sporting a 5.2ltr engine, Bob
in a Porsche 911rs and Dave and Phil in the 3.9ltr MGB.The first timed runs left me trailing behind the TVR.
I sat on the line for my second run and watched the TVR disappear round Hollow bend and then into and out of
Karousel. The lights had gone green for me to go so I built the revs up to launch speed dropped the clutch and left
in a howl of tyre squeal. Instead of grabbing second gear I managed to go into 4th and my heart sank. For a split
second I considered changing back into 2nd but dismissed the idea and just kept the throttle nailed to the floor
until it was time to grab 5th for the approach to hollow. I was furious with myself for making that mistake and
throwing away the chance to post a quicker time but carried on with the run determined to try to get the car into
Karousel with more speed.
As I cruised into the top paddock and switched the engine off I resigned myself to a second place to start the
season.The look on Steve’s face told a different story, I had actually gone quicker than him by 3 hundredths of a
second taking the class win.
Dee had 4 consistently quicker runs throughout the day and it was obvious that her confidence was building both
in herself and the car.
Saturday evening was spent with the usual BBQ and the odd bottle of beer and much planning in my mind on what I
was going to try to do the next day.
Sunday was an excellent day, with a dry start and the sun trying to break through early on. The class was bigger
today with a Mazda RX7, a Gilburn, an E Type Jag and an MGF joining the car from yesterday. That gave a total of 10
drivers. Practice went very smoothly with the brakes improving with use. Dee was very consistently reducing her
times down the close to her personal best and I was concentrating on certain parts of the course that I knew I was
loosing time on.
The 1st afternoon run from Dee produced a personal best time 2 tenths quicker than her previous and then came
the final run. David (one of the MGB drivers) and I stood at the start line and watched Phil take his last run in
the MGB, which was a good mid 41 second run. Dee rolled onto the start line and when the lights went green built up
the revs and then as if launched from a catapult shot off down the hill. The first shock was when the speed trap
recorded 81mph. This was her fastest by 4mph. Then the intermediate time came up as she rounded the top of Karousel
and it was a lot quicker than before, in the 22 second bracket.
We could hear the engine working hard as she headed off towards the finish line and then stop the clock on 40.62
seconds with a finish speed of 82mph. This was a clear 2 seconds below her best ever time and an indication that
she had found her confidence again. This time was good enough to claim 7th place out of 10 runners in the class and
just .64 shy of taking 6th place.
Word got down through all the marshal posts before Dee bought the car back for my last run and without exception
all the marshals were out by the track applauding her on this display of courage and determination. They can all
remember the accident she had a few seasons ago.
Greatly over shadowed by Dee’s achievement I took my last run but although it was a little slower than the first
I won the class again.
The June meetings can not come round quickly enough.