Sunday, December 04, 2011

Tap, tap, is this thing working?

Well, it's been a while. Google changed the way Blogger worked a long time back, and I never got around to migrating my blog to the new system. But now I have, and it's time to log the rebuild of my car. Why a rebuild? Back a few months to Pembrey - my last race for 2011. It's Friday testing, and I'm just happily making my around the hairpin. Suddenly there's an almighty bang, as Gareth Cordey drives into the side of my car at around 70 mph. Turns out later his brakes had failed. It was an enormous impact. The side of my car was crushed - fortunately most of the energy being absorbed by the side-impact bar and the roll cage. The cockpit was somewhat narrowed, and it was tricky to get out, but I was completely unhurt.
Gareth's car was even worse, the whole front end was completely trashed. Given the location of the damage, there wasn't much chance of fixing it "in place", so it meant a complete strip-down and then shipping the bare chassis off to Arch Motor (who produce the chassis for Caterham) for a full rebuild.
After a few weeks at Arch, I went to pick it up. It's looking very spangly and new!
When I originally got the car, I decided not to paint it. Caterham were asking the best part of a grand for a full paint job. In the past I've sometimes regretted this - the bare aluminium is hard to keep looking good. So this time, I've had various inside parts powder coated, and I'll be having the outside painted "Kawasaki Green" - a nod to my earliest days of bike racing, when I started on a Kawasaki KR-1S.

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