Well, this weekend just passed I got the opportunity to work for a team running a few cars at the 24hr Britcar race at Silverstone.....
(Loads more pics with descriptions after the text)
The weekend started on the Wednesday night with a drive down to a hotel a few miles away from the circuit to meet the team and be there ready for an early start the next day.
7am Thursday morning we arrived at the circuit. 3 of the cars had arrived overnight, and we where still waiting for another to arrive from Ireland. The cars where a Mosler
an E46 M3, an E46 M3 GTR and we where waiting on the final E46 M3.
As we began to setup, the other M3 arrived (this was the car I was to be working on) and it was obvious that although it had been raced in Ireland there where a few things that needed doing to get it through scrutineering.
Despite not being ready for scrutineering, the car could still go out and do testing on the Thursday, so the drivers lined up and took turns in getting to know the car and track.
After a few laps however, it appeared the car was getting very warm. Even on tickover the temps climbed. So, then began the process of elimination, and the car got a new radiator, thermostat, various MAPs, water pump and hoses where checked where they had been looped back as there was no heater matrix. After everyone of these things the car still had the same problem.
So nearing the end of the day, the decision was made to pull the engine out and replace it....
We finished fitting the new engine Friday morning to get it ready for the 2 qualifying sessions - one in daylight and one in the dark - but we still had to get the car through scrutineering - the main issue being noise! Initial noise test came back at 109Db, the limit being 102!! So, off came the exhaust and we packed it with wadding - 107Db... It then came off again for more wadding, but it was packed so tight nothing was coming out of the exhaust and iot wouldnt rev...
We were offered another exhaust which was fitted which included a pair of sports cats, however these sat mm away from the gearbox and would have sent gearbox oil temps through the roof and would have killed the £15k Drenth sequential box well before the 24hrs. So, I came up with a solution...
Fitting the tops of Redbull cans in the join between center pipe and backbox - 94Db - result!
All this faffing with the engine however ment we had missed the daytime qualifying, and regardless of the night time qually we would be starting off the back of the grid, which TBH in a 24hr race wasnt such a big deal
So, Satuday comes round and at 4pm the 24hrs began. After 45 mins we had gone from last to 16th and holding station.
After 2 hours disaster struck! The engine had spat all its oil out of the breather! A quick camera inspection down a plug hole reveiled the rings had destroyed themselves and had seriously scored the bore. So, the decision was them made to put the old engine back in. 3 hrs later at about 10pm the car rejoined the race - dead last with the exeption of cars that had already retired.
It did however seem that the overheating issue had now gone, so the drivers could really push on through the night, setting the cars fastest lap after fastest lap.
As dawn broke, we where circa 45th but still in the hunt.
The car survived the race, and finished 34th overall, which considering the 3hr pit stop, plus a few others for other issues inc a loom breakage causing a misfire wasnt too bad
I finally got home at about 10pm Sunday evening, after being awake for 37hrs
......needless to say I slept well that night
Here are a few more pics from the event....
The M3 GTR
The other M3
Driver getting comfy..
Loom repair during race
Our car with drivers sponsor graphics...
Pit lane by night
M3 Left, M3 GTR right, and our car being worked on...
Our car by night
Our Team Manager and head Mechanic
On the grid - dead last...
GTR getting some work during the race - this ultimatly retired. It did a headgasket at about 1/2 distance, and after that was replace it dropped a valve with a couple of hours left to run
More fuel and tyres needed - we where allowed to put 75l in at each pit stop and that lasted about 70 mins - fuel was £3.50 per liter!!!
Mosler getting an engine change - check the gold!!!
Mosler getting fuel