Dutton Kit Cars and their owners

I went to the KitNet track day at Castle Combe today in my Legerra. It was cracking weather and I had a good day. There were positives and some negatives. So starting with then the positives: My new tyres performed well and took 5 seconds off my lap times (down to 1m 35sec), I finally got the Legerra over the ton at 100.3mph on the straight, I met a load of nice chaps and did a lot of chatting plus, to round off the day, I drove it home at the end of the day. Two of the chaps were Duttons - but don't ask me their first names because I don't remember.

I spent all day yesterday preparing the car for today. I didn't manage to finish fitting my new seats so I had to revert back to the old ones. The new ones hold me better so I wouldn't have to brace myself in corners as I do now. With all of the extra grip from the tyres (Toyo Proxes R888R's) then the steering forces were quite a bit higher and it was quite a workout.

They say that racing improves the breed but it only served to find weaknesses today. I lost 2 of the bolts off my alternator, so had to grovel around under the hot and oily car. Luckily the organiser had a good selection of bolts in his support vehicle. (In the background of the picture you can see the Dutton brothers putting the remains of their car back on their trailer after hitting the tyre wall at Quarry)

I also had to remove the windscreen wipers because the wind was blowing them across the screen.

I had part of the brake light switch break off.

I also had a heater hose come off when I parked up, so I had to get the jack out again to remove the front wheel to get at it.

My day finished a little early when the car developed a 'misfire' which doesn't appear to be an electrical problem. So it now sounds like a Subaru. The 'misfire' didn't just happen, or I would have noticed the change, it just developed. I rather fancy that it got a little worse on the drive home.

It could have been worse: early on in the day I managed to get 3rd instead of 5th on the straight and saw the rev-counter returning from over 7000 rpm. That could have been a bit of a mess but it survived. I also found that I had to watch the revs because it didn't feel like it needed to change up until over 6500 (yes, that happened a few times).

So, overall it was a good day. I enjoyed the driving, the mechanic-ing and the racing. And I enjoy having the aches, up to a point. I am a bit concerned that my 'misfire' might be something more serious but that'll give me something to do over the winter.

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Comment by James Doulton on August 24, 2017 at 20:40

My son didn't make any excuses funnily enough, but the guy following him said that he had come off the dry line in order to try overtaking. He also said that he thought that the rear tyre pressures were too high. Turns out they were 25 psi and the car was much better with the pressure reduced to 15 psi at the back, 17 psi at the front, which was how it was when I then drove it.

Comment by rob saul on August 24, 2017 at 12:01
Nigel manselll,s excuse at Monaco in the wet when he crashed
" my tyre hit the white line and that was it"
Comment by James Doulton on August 23, 2017 at 22:39

My editing went awry on that and there was a big discontinuity. He was completely undeterred by his little spin and continued to press the faster cars who were being overly cautious in the corners.

I was standing on a grass bank overlooking the corner where he came off. I was with another chap whose son was driving his car. He was very worried about his son but enjoyed my son's little problem. Then, two laps later, his son managed to get his car tail wagging from side to side on the straight leading up to that corner. The swings got bigger and bigger before spinning off the track - still on the straight! 

We were both glad that nobody was hurt and no cars were damaged, and the egos remained undented.

Comment by Steve Kerswell on August 23, 2017 at 16:43

Very good, seems to be pushing on, carrying speed etc. well done. Pity I cannot hear the engine :-)

Comment by James Doulton on August 23, 2017 at 8:31

Here is a clip of my son driving my Legerra at Castle Combe, and coming off the track!


Comment by Steve Kerswell on August 18, 2017 at 16:12

keeping my fingers crossed has served me well with my old Dutton :-) However when my eyes go look out :-))

Comment by Steve Kerswell on August 17, 2017 at 10:31

I had the same James. Changed the fluid and its not repeated itself. Fingers crossed 

Comment by James Doulton on August 17, 2017 at 8:24

I had a look at the car briefly last night and I tried the brakes - they were fine. The pedal wouldn't go down more than a short distance and it was perfectly firm. Any residual movement felt like it was flex of the bodywork. So after a 10 mile blast on the motorway at 80mph, the brakes went very spongy but when the car is cold then they are firm. That sounds like something is causing a bubble when the car is hot. So I guess the first thing should be to replace the fluid. Does that sound right?

Comment by Roy Kemp on August 15, 2017 at 11:07

Must have a crack at this track day malarkey sometime. I am just concerned that the red mist appears... 

Comment by James Doulton on August 14, 2017 at 22:22

Today was another Kitnet track day at Castle Combe. I had spent the weekend fitting my new Intatrim seats ready for a day's racing...

The day started off wet but dried up by 10:30 and stayed dry for the rest of the day. 

After my son drove the Legerra in the first session (in light rain), it had overheating problems in the pits because he didn't run the car for a few minutes to cool down before switching off. So the track was nearly dry by the time that I got a drive. The car was going well but I was being a little bit reserved.

My son took it out for a second session but the car developed an exhaust leak (between manifold and down pipe) and only got a couple of laps. Eventually we managed to bodge the exhaust but not before the track stopped for lunch.

After lunch he went out but came back saying that the car was losing power. We fiddled and waggled and he went out a few more times for one lap before we decided that it was probably the coil. Luckily there is a motorsport shop on the Castle Combe site that had a replacement and we fitted that. That cured the power loss problem, but not before making my back very sore bending over the engine compartment. So he took it out again for one lap and now the exhaust patch had come off, so we called it a day - defeated.

Then, when I was about a mile from home, the brakes failed - a proper pedal to the floor jobbie! The day was rounded off by finding that my GPS data recorder had not recorded any data.

All in all, another typical Dutton day out.

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