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Brmc Autotest


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#1 Trissy B

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 11:23 AM

Hi. Please move if this isn't a suitable place..

 

I have owned my mini 17 years and its now “finished” (although its never done is it?!). It’s not my daily drive and often doesn't get used. I’ve wanted to properly get out and use it, not just going to shows (which aren't particularly up my street).

 

Because of this I have joined Bognor Regis Motor Club and have signed up to do their Clubmans Autotest championship, consisting of 5 events over summer. I did a bit of research on this and didnt find much – so I thought I would post up a blog which might help others get involved!

 

20 quid joining fee plus 12 per event so far.

 

My mini is a 1971 saloon. Standard 1275 metro block, MG metro cam, big valve head, RC40, K&N filter etc, so nothing particularly special (even though its special to me of course!!).

 

Hoping maybe to do Autosolo's in the future and maybe even some Sprints (although I might want a bigger engine!).


Edited by Trissy B, 26 June 2018 - 07:30 PM.


#2 Trissy B

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 11:26 AM

Autotest 1

 

First Autotest was a gloriously hot and sunny day! There was maybe 15 competitors on the day, some sharing cars. There were a few MX5’s, and old Midget, me and a handfull of 2 door hatchbacks.

 

The day started with signing on, coffee and scrutineering. This wasnt at all arduous, the marshals just wanted to see how to open the bonnet, where the battery was and I put yellow tape around the negative lead of the battery.

 

I have yoko A032’s all round and had decided that this wouldnt give good grip on the grass so brought some Cosmic’s on ebay for 100 quid with tyres with a bit of grip. I stuck these on the front and kept the yokos on the back.

 

At signing on you receive the course layouts which you need to memorise. We did 8 courses over the day, two each round and you get two go’s on each i.e. 16 runs overall. The courses were dauntingly complicated! But you have some time to learn and get to walk the course before each round. The cones are always in the same position too, just the way round them changes. This seems to help.

 

All the courses were done in first gear. Sometimes that ment quite high revs in first but this didnt seem to be an issue. Lots of handbrake turns around cones and it is surprising how easy the front pulls the back around, even if you have the handbrake right up!

 

My spot lamps were flapping about all over the place over the bumps so this was quickly fixed with cable ties.

 

All courses completed but I got a “without time” on a few runs as I went the wrong way! (very easy on some courses!). No issues with the mini, no overheating even though it was hot plus high revs. And no dramas on the drive home (20 miles ish). I didnt get to see the overall results, I wasnt top three of course! but get the impression I was somewhere 75% into the pack.

 

Overall, great day out. Mini behaved itself. I had a right laugh! Sign me up for the next one.



#3 Trissy B

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 11:30 AM

[/url]IMG_20180513_153950815 by Trissy B, on Flickr">http://<a href='http....kr/p/28hogKu'>42848599302_e1bb7edbfb_k.jpgIMG_20180513_153950815 by Trissy B, on Flickr


Edited by Trissy B, 19 June 2018 - 11:31 AM.


#4 Trissy B

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 07:53 PM

Autotest 2

 

So, I made it to the next one! A but less hot but much much drier. This made a huge difference and the car would handbrake turn much easier. Easier to handle generally and more fun!!

 

One downside of the dry conditions meant a lot of dust! Mid handbrake turn, a lot of dust came into the car. It took me a few runs to figure that closing the windows is essential! Also took a while to clean the inside of the car afterwards. Having a fibreglass flipfront means I have no inner wings. This also meant that that there was also a lot of dust and dirt over the engine bay including my recently serviced air filter (now serviced for the second time this year!).

 

The field where we carry out the tests became quite rutted at the end of Autotest 1, where this has hardened this has caused the field to now be a bit bumpy. The marshals suggested I might think about getting a sump guard on the next run as apparently the engine was hitting the floor at some points! Not that i could hear.

 

After the test the car was running like a bit of a pig. After checking a few basics I found the distributor clamp had come off and the timing was out. Blimming bumps clearly put the mini through its paces!

 

It was good to have another mini on this test, a rather lovely rally prepared Riley Elf.

 

Finished 5th out of 10, so not too bad. Slight improvement over last time. Next time i'm going to try 4.5J steel wheels on the back pumped up to 40psi and keep the 5.5J's on the front and lower pressures to 20psi. Maybe a sump guard too!

 

[/url]autotest1 by Trissy B, on Flickr">http://<a href='http...c.kr/p/LcEShC'>29011762668_d981cb4c32_z.jpgautotest1 by Trissy B, on Flickr

 

[/url]autotest2 by Trissy B, on Flickr">http://<a href='http...c.kr/p/LcERas'>29011758888_29da04885c_b.jpgautotest2 by Trissy B, on Flickr

 

35508744_10214208678669074_6533012219221


Edited by Trissy B, 26 June 2018 - 07:57 PM.


#5 Bat

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 10:26 PM

Hi,

Good to see someone competing in a mini rather than polishing it!

The most important thing is to enjoy yourself and you seem to be doing that just fine.

Cheers  :proud:



#6 Trissy B

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Posted 30 July 2018 - 08:37 PM

Autotest 3

 

The third Autotest was last week - so hot and dry conditions, not the torrential rain this weekend! If I thought the last round was dry and dusty, this one was on another level! Huge clouds of dust on every handbrake turn.

 

The excitement started even before I reached the event this time. Having very recently had the suspension set up and 4-wheel alignment done, the car is running really nicely. Just before leaving home I fitted my spare cosmics on the front with old tyres and set the pressures to 28psi. On the ride it was feeling very strange and was pulling a lot to the right. Turns out, one tyre has turned into a balloon! They are old tyres but I was surprised that could happen.

 

[/url]IMG_20180730_202622907_BURST001 by Trissy B, on Flickr">http://<a href='http...c.kr/p/MvVPoq'>29874733288_f4ce287aa1_z.jpgIMG_20180730_202622907_BURST001 by Trissy B, on Flickr

 

 

[/url]IMG_20180730_202536858_BURST000_COVER_TOP by Trissy B, on Flickr">http://<a href='http....kr/p/28yo9xj'>43029638984_fdb15a6983_k.jpgIMG_20180730_202536858_BURST000_COVER_TOP by Trissy B, on Flickr

 

 

The tests went well and I found a lot more 'flow' this time. Having reduced front pressures to 20 psi I think this got me more traction. After lunch I tried fitting the standard 3.5J wheels to the rear, pumped up to 40 psi; this made a decent difference too.

 

After a few complaints from neighbors (there cant be many as its in the middle of the country!) it was decided that the dust was too much as the neighbors, marshals and competitors were all getting covered and the tests were finished early.

 

I finished 3rd out of twelve so am really happy with that.

 

Lots of toys to play with next time out - If I get enough garage time to sort everything out.

 

[/url]IMG_20180730_202404752 by Trissy B, on Flickr">http://<a href='http....kr/p/29zpnzJ'>43697551232_4d109e1a39_k.jpgIMG_20180730_202404752 by Trissy B, on Flickr

 

[/url]IMG_20180619_131422752 by Trissy B, on Flickr">http://<a href='http....kr/p/29DFqb8'>43745947731_d6a35a22fd_k.jpgIMG_20180619_131422752 by Trissy B, on Flickr


Edited by Trissy B, 30 July 2018 - 08:41 PM.


#7 Allrounder

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Posted 30 July 2018 - 08:54 PM

Glad your having fun and improving on the results. Club grass autotests are a great springboard to other disciplines which can become addictive. Keep it up.

#8 Cooperman

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Posted 30 July 2018 - 09:33 PM

I have never been able to remember the tests need I need a navigator to get them right!!



#9 Trissy B

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 07:27 AM

Thanks all for the encouragement. Remembering the tests is very tricky indeed! It was harder on the first round but now I've had a little practice they are getting easier. We are allowed to walk the course once before each pair of tests which also helps. 



#10 Allrounder

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Posted 21 August 2018 - 09:00 PM

A little more encouragement for you. After a year or 2 of local club events and are ready for a new challenge there are Nat B events out there.

Don't make much sense without the test diagram but here is a link to the Whitchurch event I did at the weekend.

https://youtu.be/0J-b2yzqBIg

#11 Trissy B

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Posted 23 August 2018 - 06:34 AM

Hi Allrounder- that video is great! Looks quick. Do you have a 'special' car or just your normal roadgoing mini? I see you have a wheel with the 'turney knob' 😀

I have booked an autosolo at grands hatch in sept. I think this might be more my thing.

#12 Trissy B

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Posted 02 September 2018 - 07:46 PM

Autotest 4

 

Well, the forth round of the Autotest championship was last week. As I’m unable to make the last round, this is it for me this year. I believe that they only cound the best four rounds out of five for the championship so at least I have a whole set of points.

 

Due to a lot more rain, the field was a lot greener and less dusty. Despite all the recent rain, the ground was still pretty hard which made it great conditions really.

 

I managed to get two of my new Cosmic wheels refurbed in time with lovelly grippy brand new yoko A008’s. This combined with the standard 3.5j’s (on 30 year old shiny tyres!) on the rear proved pretty good around the cones. Something I will be replicating again next time (or next year).

 

All of the tests were more complex this time with many combining both clockwise and anti-clockwise turns which made remembering the course that bit harder. Also, a bit more reversing and faster tests (in which I even got into 2nd gear (shock !!)).

 

Only 5 entrants on the event this time (the usual crowd) plus the usual marshals, which made everything run much faster and we got through all ten tests in no time at all. I had a great time, enjoying the challenge and the faster paced tests.

 

Results were a totally mixed bag for me though and although I got the fastest time on at least a couple of tests, I got terrible times on at least 2 as well! One test I was ‘without time’ on both trys due to taking cones to the wrong side.

 

Finished third which sounds great, but only out of five! Anyway, I had a good day so lets see where I lie in the final standings. Somewhere in the middle I suspect which is fine by me.

 

Currently rebuilding a front hub due to a knackerd ball joint and socket and also replacing a knackerd steering rack. I wonder how much fault the bumpy field has to blame for this?!!!

 

Trying my hand at AutoSolo in a few weeks at Brands Hatch. So I hope I get everything ready in time and we will see how that goes!



#13 Allrounder

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Posted 02 September 2018 - 08:18 PM

Hi Allrounder- that video is great! Looks quick. Do you have a 'special' car or just your normal roadgoing mini? I see you have a wheel with the 'turney knob' 😀

I have booked an autosolo at grands hatch in sept. I think this might be more my thing.


My car is a bit of a modified special. Road car yes, but because I use it for multiple disciplines it has some extra features. ATB diff, power steering and a torquie engine as well as the jockie wheel you spotted.

But still has all it glass, interior and steel body so not light weight at all.

Think you'll really enjoy the solo, not done the bands hatch one as it's the wrong side of London for me but they are extremely good fun and not as hard on the car as a grass autotest (unless their using the rally stage as on YouTube).

#14 Trissy B

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Posted 21 September 2018 - 09:01 PM

16th September - Brands Hatch AutoSolo

 

Well it has been a busy few weeks since the last Autotest. I decided to put the car down as VHI and not do an MOT. Regardless of that I got the car inspected by local 'MINI Motorsport Centre' and it's a good job I did! Car failed on a totally knackered ball joint and steering rack. I wonder if the bumpy autotests were anything to blame?!...

 

So, having already signed up to the Brands Hatch AutoSolo, I've had a lot to get ready in 3 weeks: new steering rack fitted, new front hub, wheel bearing, ball joints etc. Also have refurbed the last of my two Cosmics and got new A008's put on. All very last minute and the tracking was done on Saturday before the event on Sunday. Slightly annoyed as the car wasn't fully set up (camber and castor also) so wasn't behaving as nicely as it was... although the steering is dramatically better!

 

So, having made it to the event with a 75min journey; everything seemed bigger, better, more organised and more competitive than what I have been used to. Lots of higher powered cars; full on rally cars, TVR Tuscans, loads of MX5's, MR2's, BMW's, Caterhams etc. Lots of changing tyres and generally looking like people knew what they were doing!

 

The AutoSolo consisted of 2 tests laid out, one on the paddock area and one on the rally stage (1). These were completed 3 times with the best 2 attempts counting. After a lunch break the tests were then attempted in the reverse direction (with a bit of tweaking of the cones).

 

I finished the event in 31st out of 64 cars (however, only 43 completed). Really happy with that as most people seemed to be ‘old hands’ and had done the rally stage for instance a number of times over different years. There were 2 other minis but these werent in my class (historic). I wondered why/how the other minis were so much faster than me!! But looking at the final results they came 7th and 8th overall and were really quick. The newer sportspack mini in particular had a hydraulic handbrake and lots of positive camber on the rear (for flicking it about!).

 

Had a really great laugh and learnt a lot. If you want a good run you really have to ‘drive it like you stole it’!! I certainly will be doing more next year.

 


 

 

Queuing up behind car number 1, i was number 2!

[/url]FB_IMG_15373803918389683 by Trissy B, on Flickr">http://<a href='http...c.kr/p/MxmHHa'>29890908487_ab825c0222_z.jpgFB_IMG_15373803918389683 by Trissy B, on Flickr

 

Rally stage

[/url]FB_IMG_15373804033917593 by Trissy B, on Flickr">http://<a href='http...c.kr/p/MxmHCF'>29890908227_2590186994_b.jpgFB_IMG_15373804033917593 by Trissy B, on Flickr

 

[/url]FB_IMG_15373804944102009 by Trissy B, on Flickr">http://<a href='http....kr/p/29UPqpx'>43917256845_5e493eb17c_b.jpgFB_IMG_15373804944102009 by Trissy B, on Flickr


Edited by Trissy B, 21 September 2018 - 09:04 PM.


#15 Trissy B

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Posted 21 September 2018 - 09:14 PM

 

Hi Allrounder- that video is great! Looks quick. Do you have a 'special' car or just your normal roadgoing mini? I see you have a wheel with the 'turney knob'

I have booked an autosolo at grands hatch in sept. I think this might be more my thing.


My car is a bit of a modified special. Road car yes, but because I use it for multiple disciplines it has some extra features. ATB diff, power steering and a torquie engine as well as the jockie wheel you spotted.

But still has all it glass, interior and steel body so not light weight at all.

Think you'll really enjoy the solo, not done the bands hatch one as it's the wrong side of London for me but they are extremely good fun and not as hard on the car as a grass autotest (unless their using the rally stage as on YouTube).

 

 

Hi Allrounder, yeah the car looks really good. I saw at the AutoSolo that you can make the rear have positive camber to make it more likely to step out. Have you done this as well? His car certainly behaved totally differently to mine which has horrendous understeer. What final drive do you have?

 

Anyway - yes thought the AutoSolo was great and will be doing it again. Did I remember you mention the Abbingdon CARnival? I would like to do that next year and see the other events too.






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