7 October 2006

Tech Day Triumph

A LAST minute disaster brought out the best in Eastern Region members at their latest Tech Day. It should have been a triumphant hour, when everybody could sit back and enjoy a mug of tea before heading home. Modifications had been made to the club’s new car – dubbed Project Merlot - including the addition of a new four-point roll bar to prepare it for track days.But as members went to replace the driver’s racing seat, things all went horribly wrong. The team had spent the day adapting the interior with an angle grinder to take the roll bar, which was expertly bolted it in to place. But then they discovered the seat wouldn't fit back in. There was a dumfounded silence, as hearts sank in unison.A crowd of glum faces gathered round to ponder the problem. Mazda expert Robbie Marsh, the man who had to drive the Merlot home, was suffering a rollercoaster of emotions.“I love this car,” he’d been saying.When disaster struck, the weeks of hard work flashed before his eyes and he was heard to say “Oh scrap it, I hate it and I want to scrap it.” Then he declared “Let’s just go and leave it here!”It took Ken Ward, Steve Alleyne and Ian Ward to work out a solution. They decided where to cut the metal, to realign the bar. Then in the blink of an eye, the task transformed from a feat of precision engineering, to a scene worthy of Scrapheap Challenge.Two pieces of 2x1 timber and a roll of gaffer tape, combined with a burst of ingenuity, were needed as the team built templates to find the answer.Then it was Steve and his Mig welder to the rescue, to cut-and-shut the cage’s support bars, to safely make them fit. RESULT !!! Nice one guys....

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