Dutton Kit Cars and their owners

So, yeah. It didn't go all too badly in the end. Actually, come to think of it, it went really well. Car was super reliable all day. Nothing broke, nothing needed tweaked. Oh, I needed to duck-tape a headlight back in place. But, other than that, it was perfect.

Managed to get the front brakes bled after a few goes. How many times did I let the poxy wee reservoir run dry in the process and have to start again? About four. Anyway, despite chucking the caliper back together with all of the original seals, it seemed to work.

And, it started no problem. Pretty good start to the day.

We got down and got kicked off. As my last go was in Jan I was pretty-much right back into it. Steve,however, hadn't had a shot since July. So he'd pretty much forgotten how to Autotest as well as drive the car. So he racked up a pair of apair of WDs (wrong direction - you get fastest in class time + 20 seconds) on the first two easy tests, looking like a right knob in the process.

Car's handling well. Understeer problem solved with the new (but 1980s new old stock!) double-width bushes hanging out of single width brackets. We increased the front PSIs to 25 to lighten the steering and it's not gone skiddy on us. Handbrake is nice and sharp, and the foot brake is feeling solid, but pretty wooden. Not enough to lock the fronts from 20mph-ish.

Lunch time and I'm kinda bottom half of the field, in among some teenage yoofs in Micras and Clios. The kind of lads you'd see on a street corner and push your keys between your fingers in case you have to hit any of them. Not bad, and definite improvement - first two events in the car were a case of the main field, then two dickheads at the back trying to figure out how to work rear wheel drive. But due to his morning indiscretions there is still one dickhead in a Dutton at the back.

Unfortunately, this is where I cock up myself. I make a slight navigational error on my first run, miscounting the number of markers to pass. Second run I lose the back end a bit, decide to do some do-nuts instead of backing up, then accidentally go the wrong way down a slalom. Boom. Double WD = Steves time + 20 seconds. Fucked it.

Anyway,we get to the end of the day with no more problems. Except both of us completely botch the bottle run, which thankfully doesn't count towards times. End result? Despite the cock-up, I've still came 13th out of 15, beating one of the yoofs in the process. Steve's dead last, but his driving improved a hell of a lot throughout the day. If you took away all our penalty scores he'd have been just a couple of seconds behind me, not bad for his second event. Without my penalty I'd have been 8th or 9th, which would have just been amazing considering how shite I've been so far.

So, another to-do list that I'll ignore:

  • Do full-width kit properly as it seems to make a difference.
  • Get brackets fabbed onto adjustable bottom arms.
  • Bleed fresh fluid through entire braking system
  • Replace air filter
  • Make fuel gauge work
  • Attach headlights properly!

If I'm around, next one will be May 1st. Then maybe a production car trial if I can wing the Dutton through as a production car!

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Comment by Steve Kerswell on April 19, 2016 at 14:53
Good stuff Roy, never mind the time it's taking part that counts........Yeah right :-)))

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