Easter Thunderball 2012
Santa Pod April 6th – 9th
The new Showtime FC was scheduled to make it’s track debut at the opening event of the 2012 season. Unfortunately a combination of “new car niggles” and wet weather scuppered our plans.
All the team assembled at the workshop on Friday, which was not a scheduled race day for Pro classes. We set about completing all the little things which are so important when preparing a race car – 99% OK is not good enough!
Cable, line and hose routings checked for potential chaff points, cockpit controls checked for accessibility and smooth operation, access to inboard chassis components, levelling the body, mounting and checking the parachutes, plus a myriad of other things as they cropped up and finally checking every nut and bolt on the car for tightness. A few jobs were left that would be best completed trackside on Saturday.
Rain greeted us on Saturday morning, the car was taken trackside and our pit area and awning set up. The car was ready to fire early afternoon and preparations were underway when…..Bang! One of the hydraulic lines to the jacks ruptured leaving the back of the car on the ground and the front in the air with it’s jack locked in the extended position. A fellow competitor repaired the line for us and then the complete system had to be bled, by which time it was the end of the day.
Sunday and we were going to fire the car. Before that a last check that everyone knew who was doing what as this car has a few differences to the old one. All OK and the engine was fired on Methanol only. No apparent problems.
Check and re-check all systems etc and prepare to fire on race fuel. The engine burst into life but was running lean, shut off to investigate. The motor was stripped as we would for a routine service and there was a problem with the blower and possibly the fuel management system. That was it for the day.
A spare blower was fitted Monday morning and all systems “dry run” to check operation. The motor was fired again on race fuel and everything was A OK, downloaded data confirmed all systems working. The only thing that wasn’t working was the weather as the meeting was called off at lunchtime due to rain.
A frustrating weekend at times but we were left in the knowledge that the car is fully prepared, tested and race ready. We now look forward to seeing it on the track at the FIA Main Event at the beginning of June.
Thank you to everyone for supporting us in 2012, ARP, Arrow Precision, Earls Performance, Ferrea Valves, Nimbus Motorsport, Panelcraft Graphics, Torco Oil, Webster Race Engineering, Whiteley Brooks, Willans Harness