Monday, February 21, 2011

26 June 2010...2 DAYS OF THUNDER at QR

26th - 27th June 2010
Our annual date with the dark, winter months are not so great at 5am!

With waves of fog slowly rolling in we weave in & out of the concrete jungle aka the new to be motorway near Ipswich with the race car towed behind

At last there is light at the end of the tunnel & visibility is restored & views of the country side appear, we are off on our way to 2 DAYS OF THUNDER at Queensland Raceway
We arrive in good time just as the gates open, set up camp & get the car scrutineered

Note to self: I must stop going to the driver briefings!!!
Friday Practice!!! someone hits the wall at 150k’s, I believe he is ok, just what I wanted to hear, NOT & I had syked myself up to be calm this weekend. Luckily I had the support from Daddy's little Fan club, our darling daughter & family to keep me sane

To add to the fun/stress....
Bri manages to spin off coming out of the last corner onto the straight!!

Note photo of Bri at the wrong angle
All I could think was “lucky Jim wasn’t pushing you! Or he would have collected you”

A great weekend of racing even with showers on & off which was a bummer as always just before Bri’s sprint
Times were not as good as he would have liked, he was being responsible as he was being observed to get his open licence to enable him to race at Lakeside & QR rather than just a sprint Licence
Best time 6 1:10

The Highlight of this weekend for me, as well as Bri keeping the car upright after his OFF!!!
Was John English bringing a framed photo of himself racing our car at Surfers International Raceway in 1986 to show us
John drove our car as Wayne Anderson had come down with a bad case of food poisoning, John English retired with an overheating problem unfortunately

Well done sweetheart “You are the Man” object achieved, open licence now in wallet

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Blood, Sweat & Gears

Pinepac's ex mechanic Ken Hopper aka Hops, now racecar builder, has done us proud & the new spool, crown wheel & pinion were hand delivered last weekend from across the pond ie no freight charges from NZ, doesn’t get any better than this

To recap...
“previous phone calls, internet searches, head scratching, because the diff in the Mustang is an Atlas, out of a 3 ltr GT Capri made in the late 70’s, was not an easy task to find

Finally Ken Hooper in NZ, the Group A Mustang expert & ex Pine Pac Racing Mechanic, who built the car in 1985 & rebuilt in 2006, tell’s Bri why he can’t find one. Ken made them & Ken offers to make a new one for the car, out of his CNC Machine

Bri also broches the subject of another crown wheel & pinion also a 3.9 or a 4.11 ratio & Hops says “I can get one of these mate, but they are expensive, as everybody wants one”

Hops tracks one down in the South Is in NZ, so the deal was done with some fast talking Interpersonal Skills on Hops part on our behalf

The new spool will replace the one broken at Noosa last November, in its place has been the spare spool Bri took out of the spare diff,


stay with me....

the new beautiful spool is heat treated I might add!!!

which in theary means it won’t break like the previous one

In regards to this, according to Hops was probably one of the original spools used in the Pinepac cars which makes it at least 25yrs old.... so not a bad innings hey

These cars had several spare diffs with different gear ratios depending on now long or short the circut was

The new crown wheel & pinion is 411 which will be put in the spare diff along with the new spool, which will make the Mustang, hopefully, a lot quicker off the start line & improve the lap times on the shorter circuts, as currently Bri doesn’t use 5th gear

Cost involved for these shiney bits, $1,845 NZ, yet to be installed in diff housing!!!
On closer examination that will mean more expence!

Just as well I am a long suffering wife that dotes on her man’s hobbie!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

One Tree Hill

Top image by
29 & 30 May 2010
Here we go again just where has the year gone, we again made the annual trek to the hill climb at Mt. Coot-tha for the the Cootha Classic

Friday the eldest darling Son & heir goes to help Bri pitch our spot in the paddock & after unloading they got the car scrutineered, which makes for a lot less hurried Saturday morning

Or does it!! We are up bright & early!! At 5.30am!! Which is a bit cruel for a Saturday morning, he drives me around .... The track!!
This instils confidence in me for a stress free weekend of fun & frivolity NOT !! Those chicanes are very close together & that hairpin!! Tight as!!

Saturday we were expecting a great days Hill climbing, but the weather had other plans, overnight a typical Queensland storm rolled in & dumped lots of rain on the track, making the conditions very wet
Which I might add continued for much of the day, briefly allowing the track to dry mid morning & again in the late arvo!!

After the drivers briefing, practice laps started from around 9am, the number of cars was slightly down on the previous year but they had a good spread of cars, perhaps due to the economic climate?

Rain did little to dampen our enthusiasm
Bri again looked like he was having a ball in the Mustang, getting plenty of smoke off the line for his sighting run
Wow baby! Remember, darling you can often pick up half a second over some of your competitors just off that start line, so don’t waste it in smoke!! Thankfully this one wasn’t timed
Did I mention the treacherous, hazardous, slippery conditions, with the drizzling rain & running with slicks!
Bri did you not bring to mind only a few minutes ago Jimmy Richards walked past us, looked at you, smiled & pointed to the tyres & said “great tyres” !!!
You say she’ll be right, you haven’t got time to put on the Wet weather tyres. Unfortunately, at this venue your trailer isn’t in your paddock area, trailers & tender vehicles were kept down the road, miles away with quagmire access, due to the rain
Just bring to mind darling your saying ”Whilst I can afford the car, I can’t afford to break the car...

Sunday dawned a tad clearer, the track had dried over night making it better for the competitors with slick tires to run

Oh God!!! Breathe, exhale, breath, exhale, I tell myself, as I’m running towards track side as the crash happened. Through the trees & leaves all I could see was a bits of yellow, in my minds eye it was Bri’s hood I was viewing between those trees. I have never moved so fast in all my life up that hill, over the little creek, through rocks, greenery & past a snake! I kid you not! Adrenaline pumping & all to get to my MAN. I breathe a sigh of relief as I see the red Torana on its roof, the proceedings come to a halt for 30mins whilst this poor guy’s car is turned back onto its wheels & is towed away

Three cars later & 1st run for the day, I hear him take off, engine revving, he slows for the 1st & 2nd chicane, powers off up to the hair pin, back firin all the way, then down towards the finish line where he caught up to a!!
Sunday Driver WTF!!!
He, Bri, was given the go slow signs by the officials just prior to the last chicane, BUT given NO yellow flag for a re run!!
Oh well them’s the breaks, Grrrrr
2nd run… SHIT!!
Bri makes a daring move & decides to miss a gear off the start line! & all with little Bro watching from Perth!! Wouldn’t that make you rip your ration book!!
Yahhh missed gear recovered, momentum not hurt in anyway, he is away racing up the hill once more.

He comes back with a big smile on his dial, adrenalin pumping “Shit that was good”

Ohhh I wish I could have a smoke now, so proud of you sweetheart, week one of givin them nasty cancer sticks away

Despite the rainy weather on Saturday all the competitors enjoyed 6 runs over the 2 days of competition

Bri won his class “Group A touring cars” coming away with not one, but two trophy engraved crystal glasses to show for it....

Cheers my darling, I drink to many more fun weekends like this

Saturday, March 13, 2010

"The older I get, the faster I was"

Saturday 27 February

I must admit to feeling a tad nervous, but then I rethink

I have Number 2 Son in Kapooka, one day heading off to War!!
So why in the world do I need to worry abt Number 1 Son & Husband out on the Race Track!!

I soon find out it doesn’t work that way with me
I tell myself to breath, exhale, breath, exhale

Black as Pitch at 5am & we are rolling on down the road heading to the Triple "T" Day - Try, Train or Test at Morgan Park Raceway, Warwick & the Super sprints tomorrow
5.20am & light descends finally on my world & I relax as I can now keep an eye on the kangaroos & the wild life in abundance grazing on the road side
We meander up the Cunningham’s Gap at 40ks an hour! Soon speeding along at 60ks, ohhh we really do need to upgrade the tow car! The fuel gauge is moving quicker than the Speedo

Now into the main Range National Park
“Listen to that squeak”! he repeats all the way up the climb

“Beware of Rocks” says the sign
Piss Off!!!
he couldn’t care less abt rocks!!!
He can hear a squeak! which is driving him nuts!!
Relax, we can now move on, it’s definitely bell birds in the bush, ...ahhhh...bless his soul...

Head Mechanic, aka, Bri did a fabulous job with the diff, as the car ran like a dream all weekend, as preformed as she should
The day was well & fast with 3 untimed runs each

Bri says, the most nerve racking part of the whole weekend, was sitting in the passenger seat, with Jaime driving the Mustang for the first time. We are going home to see if there are any dents in the passenger fire wall, where Bri was breaking hard on the brake pedals, where there wasn’t one!
Jaime you did a brilliant job, we are so very proud of you, first time out in the car & the first time driving a left hand drive
Yahhh baby, thats my boy

The nemesis is found early on
Bri attempted a bit of turf removal, the big off down the back 4 corner, & he turns the Mustang round in a circle! there's all sorts of chaos going on, cars are going off into the grass left right & centre, as not too T bone him
OMG!!! HOLD ON.... for the rest of the weekend he’s not as quick around THAT corner

So Jaime thinks, I will not be out done by My Daddy

If Dad can spin his baby around then so can I, BUT even better

I’ll do it coming onto the home straight, after carving through the field, passing 3 cars on my way through, to be leading the pack at Number 8 corner & with the checkered flag in sight.

He does a 360 spin!! almost, if he had mounted the bank! colliding with a group of marshalls, now it’s his turn to relinquish the lead

Sunday 28 February

Bri ran with number 35
Jaime with Number 62

There’s was no time for fond reminiscing, with family & friends, the pace was fast, with 2 drivers in the one car, there really wasn’t a moment to stop
They had cars racing on the Track, cars in the staging lanes & cars waiting on the dummy grid, so they were able to get 5 timed runs each

I was able to relinquish some of my pit duty’s as Zoe took on the load, like a duck to wáter, changing the boys transponders (lap timer) covering numbers, coffee maker & general dogs body

She even became team manager at times!! with tips on braking etc etc!
I, on the other hand found it quite daunting, when she tells Daddy to brake later at the end of the SHORT main straight!!
Hey love I think, they are already barreling down there at abt 190ks & deep breaking into the turn, trying to leave their feet off the brake for as long as they dare!!!
Don't encourage them to be fulhardy!

But I will give her that, it worked well, I admit

The slicks did their job & had great cornering grip

Bris 4th time out, he was on a mission & was trying to find his Groove ....
Oh decisions decisions, The Apex, The center of the apron, Staying close to the wall, or as Far away from the wall as possible, or On the ripple strip or Not??????

Fuel used 60 litres, with 15 runs

Brian Jaime
46.630 50.526
47.160 46.515
46.199 47.194
47.418 45.986
46.370 45.866

Great day, but pissed off my son was quicker than me!! LOL, he shares on the way home
But I will put it down to to youth, he says
The older I get, the faster I was

Give it away!!! & become team owner & sponser!!!! NO WAY!!! darling
You still are the winner in my world

All in all an excellent days racing with a very big effort put in, & great to be able to share it with members of the Family

What did you say?
Oils aint oil,
Ahh now she has a nasty oil leak in the brake master cylander & with the fluid being $112 per litre this will be fixed pronto as this is, liquid gold a dripping!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Quick Fix!!

November 2009

Off for a ride goes the Pinepac Mustang, taking a wee ride up in the air on the hoist

It was the diff & not the axel!

Bri pulled out the axel & it was in perfect condition, pleased now we didn’t ring to get one of the boys to bring up the spare axel off the bench! & bring it to Noosa

The Mechanic, aka Bri found a pile of metal shavings at the bottom of the axel housing!

A broken Spool was the culprit!

& for people like me with a bit less knowledge on how this works, It effectively locks the diff, so both wheels turn at the same speed all the time
So it seems my Bri tore the spline that turns the axel & if the terminology isn’t quite right for you Rev heads reading this out there, get over it, this is my blog!
Will I ever get my head around all this car stuff?

It seems he tore that sucker right out the middle of the spool!
How on earth? Yes you may very well ask, as I did
“I could have been running to much negative camber on the back axel or just too many hill climbs with sharp corners which in turn put to much strain on the spool”
ARG! I see!!!

“Just pop down the street & buy a new spool now”! says I
Not that easy to find I can tell you
Now the phone calls, internet searches, the head scratching begins, because the diff is an Atlas, out of a 3 ltr GT Capri made in the late 70’s, not an easy task to find

Finally he rings Ken Hooper in NZ, the Group A Mustang expert & ex Pine Pac Racing Mechanic, who built the car in 1985 & rebuilt in 2006 & upon asking where he got the spools from Ken replied, he had made them
I can see the next thing will be the old spool & spare axel will be taking a wee holiday across the pond to NZ, so Ken can make us a new one!!
& yes I was right
that is just where it is heading, all wrapped in bubble wrap

In the interim, as a quick fix, Bri took the spool out of the spare diff & took it to Ozzie diffs to set up. Four hours later & another $50 of diff oil, Bri has the new spool in place
Hopefully this baby holds together, as yet to try!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

"You Play, you Pay"

Friday the 13th Nov 2009, 6am & we are on road heading for “The Hill” to the 12th annual running of Historic Noosa Hill Climb
Off to the National Park, up the picturesque, Gyndier Drive at, Tewantin, regarded is one of Australia’s premier hill climb courses & after walking the 1.5 ks up this baby, I agree wholeheartedly, 14 right, left, right, left, turns, I can see the weekend is going to be loaded with lots of thrills and spills!

Even though we were doing the speed limit towards town
I could hear the longgggg line of cars say behind us, “Joy of joys” as we come to the 2 lane part of the highway
Engines racing, tyres screeching & so the hordes rushed past us!

All too early we hit the Gateway congestion of traffic & we come to a halt!
So much so for leaving early enough to escape this, not early enough it seems!
Luckily within 15mins, we are again rolling happily along with no more hold ups

The day looks very overcast!
Radio forecaster says, a mainly fine weekend, wonderful
But wait they have now changed their minds!
Showers expected, with storms!!!
ahh discussion ensures

But fear not we are prepared; we have the wet weather tyres at the ready on the tyre rack, if needed
The sky looks very like the dust storm of last month!
The radio reports “A smoke haze over the city from small fires around Noosa!!”
Yeah right! just where we are heading!
“Visibility is down from 8ks from 20ks”
Yea Gods & little fishes!!
We arrive, set up camp & familiarise ourselves with our surroundings, then head for the air-conditioned comfort of our Unit

Saturday dawned bright & sunny & warm, ohhh soooo warm
More than 165 cars were entered & nearly 10,000 spectators lined the road over the two days to see some of the world’s oldest & most valuable cars do battle
Thrills & Spills were right with more than a few crashes, but after all it’s a professional motorsport event,” so what more do you expect
It wasn’t all smooth sailing though with a couple of the vintage cars coming off second best after accidents, thankfully no one badly hurt
A Ferrari & a jag, & a RX7 to just name a few, either took a detour off the side of the mountain!!! or into the wall

Bri was running with number 18 so was one of the first starters, he managed to get in 4 runs, the sighting run was 75 & the last run of the day was 72

Ohh this is looking pretty good!

“Darling you need to be not quite so much the crowd pleaser at take off, with all that smok’in, sreetch’n tyre shit, you lost valuable seconds with that ” I tell him

The Mustang, being a race car & not road registered, had to wait up the top of the mountain until there were 20 or so cars ready to come back down the track together

During the last run down of the day he thought he heard 2 loud bangs!!

He backs into our pit area with some difficulty, on his return down the mountain, wheel spinning with one tyre!!
He's head down bum up under the rear end of the car for some time, BUT!! all seemed well!

Oh & did I mention the Group A Pinepac Mustang Touring car! in that total of, Thrills & Spills, previously?


Well add it to that total! now!!
The big bang was something after all

The weekend came to a depressing conclusión!

She wheel spun on the way to fuel up, for the first run of Sunday morning!
I had to climb out & help push her up an incline, 2 Gallant Gentleman rushed to my assistance

Bri just said a few choice words! & drove straight back to our pit!!

Either a broken Axel or a broken diff!!!
Thus cancelling out another good days racing!

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Different Kind of Oil Leak

Good grief...I swear, I know now ....“Oils aint oils”

There are bloody black oils, red transmission fluid, pink or red power steering oily shit

Purple differential fluid, coolant fluid which could be! green, yellowish or reddish with a faint, sweet smell

There is heavy light tan or black gear oil, brake fluid or as we have here shock absorber oil

& then there is ... Is it a drip, a seep or a leak or even a slow seepage,

I have heard it all, the whole debate

Yeah I know this conversation has come up before!
dripping oil wrapped in strips of torn cloth!!!

All I know is yes I have noticed it, darling !

I have noticed the smoke, smelt the burning odour caused by the oil seeping onto the hot engine or from coming into contact with hot exhaust parts, yes indeed & yes I have mentioned this before I know,
but this is my blog & I will rave as much as I see fit!

Why is it gaskets continue to leak oil?
All very frustrating if you don't find & correct the source of the problem
To date! We have had

Diff spewing oil @ 2 different times, one pinion seal, 2 diff axel seals
2 engine oil coolers
a leaking oil catch tank
a brake fluid reservoir leak

Now it’s the Koni Shocks turn @ $I000 each to replace, thankfully only 2 seals were needed $200 dollars!
Hmmm....what next??? me thinks!

ahhhhhhhhhh & now we have it dear readers, looks like we have a wee Engine sump oil leak????? Enough said