Racing - 2006 Gardermoen

One of the first things you notice about Gardermoen is that there's not a lot of space. We had to move this funny car body every time we left our pit area. The exceptional number of entries in all the FIA classes packed the space to its' limits.
How not to start a ProMod car! The starter problems that first showed themselves the previous weekend in Mantorp visited us again in first qualifying. Here we see Luke desperately trying to squirt fuel into the butterflies while the rest of the crew and most of Gordon Appleton's crew push. The car started but on the run the car went quickly into tyre shake so Andy shut off early.

Click here to see the first push start and a brave start line marshal standing in front of the car signalling Andy to shut down; click here to see the second push start.

The rest of Friday was spent finding various faults with the starter and its mounting, fixing the fault but not fixing the underlying problem. We had borrowed 3 starters from other teams, reworked parts and adapted them to fit but at the end of the day we did not have a working starter.
The key failing component was this three lobed dog clutch which engaged on a similar fitting on the front of the crankshaft. The final one on the left is just battered, on the right we have one broken in three pieces, one which only made one start and then sheared and one which wouldn't turn correctly because of the crack in it.
At a late stage on Friday the team decided to convert to a conventional starter arrangement rather than the front mount. The problems were that we didn't have a conventional starter, we didn't have a ring gear on the flywheel for the starter to engage, we didn't have a mounting on the motor plate for the starter or a hole for the starter pinion to go through and no pocket on the bell housing to cover the starter pinion.

We borrowed a starter motor from Gordon Appleton, a ring gear from Mats Ericksson and tools from just about everybody in the FIA pits.

Here we see Andy drilling mounting holes in the motor plate while Jerry and Bowser provide light and check alignment.

Later Luke and Tom work from the inside.
And by next morning it was done and we were in the staging lanes once more.

Notice the low flying aircraft, Gardermoen is right next to Oslo airport so no complaints about noise there.

Will it or won't it?

Well it did and the 6.26 time set on Saturday morning was good enough for number one spot

One of the hazards of qualifying number one is the TV interview. Here we see the main commentator at Gardermoen recording a piece for Norwegian television.
Race day provided quite a number of dramas but also an opportunity to take some different pictures including this trip down the narrow but scenic return road.
After two rounds of racing the jury rigged ring gear gave up so another one had to be fitted, this time borrowed from  Sverre Kahrs. Here we see Bowser, Andy and Luke struggling to fit a cold ring gear on a hot flywheel while Tom and Stefani look on.
And then suddenly it was the finals. Well not exactly, checks following the semis showed that several valve springs were in poor shape so the decision was made to change both cylinder heads. The turn round time was tight anyway so it was all hands to the pump, hence no pictures.

The change over only took 35 minutes which is a testimony to the skills of the crew and the team work involved.

The final was good news and bad news, a new European speed record, a 6.24 personal best elapsed time but a red light (which you can just see) meant the win went to Micke Gullqvist.

Click here to see the burnout, click here to see the run and the crew reaction.

To the winner the spoils ... Micke and Andy at the prize-giving
One of the treats on the long journey home was travelling over the Malmo-Copenhagen bridge.
Date  26-Aug-2006
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Movies by  Spike