Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Castle Combe April 2012

Quattro I and Quattro II

The second race of the year was at Castle Combe motor racing circuit. This has generally been an early season event and as it is a wide race track, it is normally run as a single two hour race.

It is a simple triangular track, three main comers and three straights with kinks in each, plus the addition of chicanes in two of the straights. The lap distance is 1.85miles (3k) with a slight downhill along the main straight, when going clockwise.

The weather forecasters predicted the worst day of the year so far and they were not wrong. There was continuous heavy rain and very strong winds. When Steve and I arrived, there was a small group of competitors huddled on the sheltered side of one of the buildings. Unfortunately we don’t bring enough people to the race track to justify them opening the cafe. When we joined the group, there was a general discussion going on about whether to abandon the meeting or to shorten the race.

A number of people then volunteered to brave the conditions and do a test lap. Ian Fardoe’s video can be seen here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCZe4d2q6gM

This was the first time I had seen Quattro II in a working condition. I had initially made enough parts for two and sold an almost complete pile of bits to Graham Sparey-Taylor, for him to build up. The main thing he was short of was a head fairing; I had chopped the other one down for the ROAM trip. He made his own, rather lovely, carbon fibre version from the original mould, as seen on the right of the picture. Graham has also taken out my original moulded pedal box and replaced it with a tubular steel bottom bracket support. This was because there was insufficient adjustment in the leg length and he also wants to add an electric assist at the front.

The conclusion from the lap testers was inconclusive, with some saying it was too dangerous and others wanting to go for it. I took Quattro out for a lap and was pleasantly surprised how well it handled the conditions. In the end it was decided that there would be a half hour mass start race for anyone who wanted to compete. Steve was keen to have a go in Beano but I quashed his enthusiasm as I didn’t want the job of mending it if he did crash.

We lined up on the track and started the race, not realising that Ian Perry and Ian Fardoe were still out on a warm-up lap. For the first time in many years, I found myself leading a race. As the wind was predominantly blowing up the hill, I found my pace was much more even than normal at this circuit. My forward vision was OK as I can look through the vent hole at the bottom of the screen, trying to find the apex of the corners was a little more difficult because of the raindrops on the screen. Inside Quattro, I could tell the conditions outside were bad, but I was amazed how little I was being blown about. Before the race, I was worried about the effect the side winds would have on my rear steering, but if anything, I think if may be compensating for the side gusts.

I maintained a high speed but not flat out for the majority of the race and kept checking the mirrors as best I could. I was consistently passing other riders but had no idea where the two Ians were. Unfortunately for me, the first time I saw Ian Perry in my mirrors, was on the last corner when he came sprinting past. It was a fair result however as he had to make up a lot of ground on me due to his late start. I am also happy because his machine, Wobbly Bob is a cut down version of my Bubble and Squeak.
Ian Perry and Wobbly Bob at Monza 2011
Wobbly Bob 2012

These are the provisional results for the day.
Ian P.                8 laps. 36.13.   m/o
Miles K.            8 laps. 36.16.   m/o
Ian F.                8 laps. 38.11.   m/o
Andy F.             7 laps. 40.55.   u/p/o
Guss N.            7 laps. 41.15.   st/sp/u/p/o
Geoff B.            6 laps. 38.20.   Sp/u/p/o
John L.              6 laps. 38.41.   m/u/p/o
Yoshamora.      5 laps   36.27.   st/sp/u/p/o
Sam K.              5 laps. 36.51.   m/u/p/o
Graham st.        5 laps. 42.31.   m/o
Martin D.           4 laps. 38.59.   st/sp/u/p/o

Clare k.             1 lap.    5.51      l/st/sp/u/p/o
Barney h.          1 lap.    6.13.     u/p/o
If I am not mistaken, the points from this race added to my Hillingdon points puts me first in the championship! It won’t last unfortunately.
My average speed was about 24.5mph (40kph), which I am quite pleased with considering the conditions. Graham was not quite as lucky in Quattro II as his pedal fell off halfway through the race. He can’t blame the designer for that one though!
My Quattro was un-changed from the tests we did on the velodrome in Reading. I did leave the extended tail off as its benefits were dubious and I spent some time finely tuning the tracking the day before the race.
Our next event is on 20th May on a velodrome in Scunthorpe and I am hoping to add some spats (wheel fairings) before then.
CAD Image Quattro with Spats

1 comment:

  1. Real bad weather, but Miles and the Quarttro don't have problems with that.