For us the winter period provides time for engineers and mechanics to do those all-important jobs which you never seem to get a chance to do through the season. As usual we have left everything until the last-minute and with only 4 weeks to go (at time of writing) the list of jobs is still long and complex. Here are some of the highlights!
Dry Weather Setup – we had some help from Rob Wheldon from Raw motorsport late in the 2017 season to help improve the car’s setup and managed to improve 3 seconds over our previous best at Donington. Doing the same in the dry won’t gain us as much time as this but will definitely move us forward on the grid (more on this in a later article).
Flatten Floor & Sump Guard – to decrease drag and improve top speed. This year’s calendar has some high speed circuits and the Delta was not the most aerodynamic of cars out of the factory.
Engine & Gearbox – as per February’s article, race engines need lots of tender loving care to deliver 500fwhp lap after lap after lap. Engine and gearbox out, stripped, checked and renewed where needed. To re-install without a leaking as the engine to gearbox seal is metal to metal and it is really hard not to have this seal weep small quantities of oil when running.
Air box – make and install a custom aluminium air box to separate air entering from the light cluster from the engine bay, hopefully reducing intake temps and adding power.
Re-fit doors – a pig of a job which will take a couple of days. Those who have seen the car up close would have noticed some “less than factory quality” shut lines with the fibre glass doors.
Investigate & Fix Knock – there is currently a knock coming from the front suspension or steering which happens on load. We need to find and fix this vital part, so we don’t end up driving straight in to a wall at any movement.
100’s of Small Jobs – including securing the LED headlights, tidying up wiring loom, securing the coil packs with a cover, fixing the rear light cluster seal, sealing up the 100’s of holes in the floor, installing the driver’s cooling fan plus much more.
Once we have done all this work is done we then need to take the car to a circuit or rolling road to perform a shakedown. After any major surgery it is wise to make sure everything has been put back in it’s right place and there are not going to be any dramas over the next race weekend. Finally testing needs to be booked prior to the first event to get me up to speed, back on the pace and ready to hammer in some good laps during qualifying.
It was great to chat to Guy and other Lancia Motor Club members at the Race Retro event at Stoneleigh in February. We were honoured to welcome Miki Biasion to the stand and we had a great chat about the car, what we achieved last year and our plans for 2018. A real down to earth guy who clearly has a passion for all things Lancia.
Back in early 2017 we borrowed a Mitsubishi Evo 4 when the Lancia wasn’t quite ready to race. For 2018 it is available to arrive & drive from JJ Performance, our engineering partners and builder of the Lancia. Also joining us on the grid is a Subaru Impreza STI and Toyota Celica GT4! Give John Sheilds a call on +44 (0) 1296 655 255 (http://www.jjperformance.co.uk/) and compete head to head with ourselves and other 90’s rallying icons out on the track.