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 Steve Kerswell on August 16, 2016 at 19:45

If you need help I'm only just down the road. Have hammer will travel :-))

Comment by James Doulton on August 16, 2016 at 18:31

I still have the original Cortina cylinder head, plus I have another EFI head, like this one, that was intended for my Melos. So if it is just the top end then I should be okay. I'm keen to find out what has happened, but my back is not so keen today!

Comment by Steve Kerswell on August 16, 2016 at 18:05

That's excessively low James, I'm surprised it ran. I would try again. Head off see if you have any valves left.

Comment by James Doulton on August 16, 2016 at 17:58

Just did a compression test to understand why the car sounds like a lawnmower today. The pressures were:

Cyl 1 : 195 psi

Cyl 2 : 155 psi

Cyl 3 :  55 psi

Cyl 4 : 20 psi

Houston, we have a problem!

Comment by James Doulton on August 16, 2016 at 8:48

Castle Combe do 'private' events throughout the week. This one was organised by KitNet, which is a club that started in Bristol. The founder works on the Airbus site which is next to my work. It was an open pit lane event with 30 places, all of which were taken. Open pit lane just means that there were no sessions, you just go out and come in when you want. They restrict the number of cars on the track at any one time but I never had to wait, I just drove up and they let me on.

Most of the cars had two drivers. One car crashed and another 3 or 4 retired and a few, like mine, needed work throughout the day to keep them going. In most of my video, there is no other car in sight, so there were probably only about 10 cars on track at the time.

Mine wasn't the slowest car. I overtook a BMW Z4M, who was being careful, and a few kits. There were a couple of tin tops that were very similar performance to me but I never got on the same bit of track at the same time as them. Everyone else was a lot faster.

Comment by Paul Sheridan on August 16, 2016 at 7:17

Sounds like you had a good day though, whats the idea of holding the event on a Monday?  Were there many people attending? 

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