26 April 2008

Woodbridge Airfield Saturday 26 April

Back again, for more action with Javelin Track Days at our home circuit, Woodbridge Airfield.
After the last time we visited Woodbridge, with Gales force winds and the resultant shorter track, this time we were back on a longer circuit, albeit with some changes from the 2007 layout.

Drivers today were Merlot co-owner Martin Curtis and retuning driver and sponsor, Chris Gage from Cambridge Area Training, together with two more Merlot virgins, Andrew Evans and Tracey Sparling. Just for a change the weather was kind to us, no showers, no wind and sunshine most of the day.

After all the hard work Robbie Marsh had put in during the Merlot’s April refresher this was actually the first time the Team had ever taken the car out on track without Robbie in support, as he was on holiday, and it was not without some trepidation that the first few sessions were undertaken. Jon Elsey came along but took on the role of official track photographer for the day leaving the car in the hands of Martin all day, who is not certainly not know for his mechanical skills! We need not have worried though as the car did not miss a beat all day long.

Tracey spun the car on her first trip out but undaunted carried on. Chris also had a spin, but had a really good excuse for us all when he retuned to the pits!
Martin tried in vain to get the car to spin, as he has done on a number of occasions, but it just doesn’t seem to do it for him, and it just ends up with something more resembling drifting. (but don’t tell Robbie!)

Hot pursuit!

Merlot and friends.

17 April 2008

Refreshed for Spring

Project Merlot spent the first 2 weeks in April perched on a 2 post vehicle lift in the warm confines of the Cambridge Branch of EMG Motor Groups' modern, spacious workshop. The car has been undergoing some transplant & cosmetic surgery in preparation for the next visit to Woodbridge airfield with Javelin Trackdays.

A new clutch assembly kindly supplied by EMG Motor Group was installed along with a new gear change lever dust boot and the box filled with fresh 75W90 gear oil in an attempt to aid the failing 3rd gear syncromesh evident at the recent Woodbridge event. I also changed the clutch fluid.

A powerflow made cat-back exhaust system donated by Ady Neill (solargraphics.net) with a 3" tip now replaces the decrepid and failing Bosal system the car had been dragging around since the team had bought it.

Next, I removed the Axxis Ultimate brake pads from the front and fitted a set of EBC Green Stuff pads (donated by Eastern Region member Ailsa Thompson). Here it must be stated how well the Axxis Ultimates had lasted. After just one track day we were finding that Mazda pads were melting from the heat and needed at least a clean up and re-face before the next event. The Axxis Ultimates however have lasted for 5 events untouched and when removed, purely because they were looking a bit worn and we didn't want them to wear out mid event, they showed no signs of over heating at all. This is a brake pad I would happily reccomend and I hope the EBC's fitted now are as commendable. While the wheels were off I also changed the brake fluid.

The boot lid with its characteristic maybe even sentimental dents & holes has now been consigned to the skip in exchange for the new lid which was supplied by Dandycars and painted by DWR.

Project Merlot can be seen at Woodbridge Airfield with Javelin Trackdays on April 26th.