Works style rally car preperation for the clubman budget
"OOPS, THIS IS GOING TO HURT"
Well in keeping with the new year theme of "out with the old and in
with the new" we find ourselves looking for a new shell to replace our
old one which is looking decidedly second hand at the moment. I suppose
you can't leave the explanation as short as that so here's the gory
details. See if you can spot the excusses, I'll highlight them in red.
We brought the car out to compete at the
quarry two days after christmas and after passing scrutiny decided to
walk the track to see just how slippy the the cold damp morning had left it. We found that one or two corners had still some frost left on the surface
from the previous night so we both agreed that caution would pay
dividends today. I was first up and completed my two laps fairly
incident free, apart from getting a little too sideways over the finish
line, must remember to take it a little easier there next time. So the
morning moved on and it was my turn again, the sun had started to rise
and most of the damp spots were starting to dry a little, so
I decided to push a little harder and when coming over the hill to
approach the start finish line I gave what in hindsight was a little to
much throttle for the grip available. The ass of the car broke into a
drift that Colin McRae would have been proud off, only difference being
that he would have allmost certainly choosen a place with more space to
complete the manouvere, as it was I was starting to come to the
realisation inside the car that this was going to hurt! From all
reports the roll looked quite entertaining from the outside,
unfortunately I didn't get to truely appreciate it as I was to busy
inside praying that the bloody thing would stop rolling. At this point
my colleague and co-funder of the BMW would like me to point out that
despite all my excuses, that the actual cause of the roll was the pilot
running out of talent rather the grip .
We managed to get the car back on to the trailer with the aid of a few
people pushing as there was now a rather large hole in the sump
preventing the engine from being started. The following pictures show
the extent of the damage, which at first doesn't look to bad but as
ever the devil is in the details.
Doesn't look to bad does it? That is until we had a closer look. The
shell took the impact quite well and the cage did what it's supposed to
do and kept the passenger cell fully intact. Thats where the good news
stopped though, there was some rips in the front bulkhead where the
front of the car had tried to part company with the rest of it, the two
front wishbones were bent like a banana when the car landed back on
it's feet. The front subframe was twisted, power steering rack had
burst, the rear axle had shifted 3 inches to the right and was pointing
two wheels in totally different directions! The roof behind the cage
had taken the brunt of the impact and had driven the rear C pillars
down into the rear quarter panels. Just to show how compeditive an
engine BMW make, during the impact a few feet before the finnishing
line, the engine, gearbox and driveshaft decided to try and part
company with the car and make a dash for the finish to save grace.
Unfortuately they hadn't notified the radiator or sumpgaurd of their
intentions. Result? Two burst engine mounts, two burst gearbox mounts,
a burst driveshaft carrier bearing, a burst engine sump and a burst
After assesing all the damage and taking
a deep breath we decided that a reshell was the only way to go, so two
days later we went out and arrived home with this...................
I know exactly what your thinking, how do we allways manage to find such pristine examples of such a hard to find model. Well in all fairness, she's got more panels than the last one started with!
As I type preperations are well under way on the new shell and
we are flat out to make it out for the next event on the 13th of March,
my colleague plans to make some modifications for when it's my turn to
drive next time including the use of some heavy duty bike stabiliser's.
I fail to see the funny side of this
Click back soon for the next installment !