Finally the day we’d all been waiting for…we arrived at Goodwood with mixed emotions, which soon settled as we unloaded and set up.
We got scrutineered, but unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to have a practise so it was on to the parade lap which quickly came and went, and then it was time to leave Luke on the grid. Barry dropped the flag, they were off! Ruby’s start wasn’t the best, due to being stuck behind a few cars. We stood with our team of supporters and waited.
The Phoenix flew past, then R-podS and then to our delight Ruby swiftly glided past in third. Next lap we’d moved up into second and we stayed there comfortably with a lap advantage on third.
45 minutes in and the shiny new target pit board went out. Ruby came in but we our pit stop was a little bit longer than expected, meaning we’d lost our lap advantage.
3 laps into the second stint, disaster struck! R-podS had caught Ruby’s rear end, causing her to spin leaving R-PodS with no room causing it to T-bone Ruby.
The car returned in a rather sorry state as the crash had left the whole right side panel smashed, battery holders ripped off and chassis rail snapped, meaning we had to retire from the race.
Not even Gaffa could save her this time! R-podS went on to come second with just a dent and a few scratches. We finished the race in sixth, but couldn’t stop pondering on what could have been. We were all pleased with Ruby’s performance up until the accident. Well done to all the teams that raced in F35 & F24, it was a great days racing!
Here's Luke In Ruby just taking the chicane at speed.
- Luke & Laura
>Dunsfold Park Race Report 07
Just one week, and a lot of late nights, after Bedford we were back and ready to race this time though, we were at the Top Gear Test Track for the Surrey heat.
This time we brought a spare set of batteries to practise with, so after an impressively thorough scrutineering we were ready to go out and do a lap or two to get a feel for the car.
Things looked good, we were quicker than at bedford and worked out we should have been able to Qualify for the F24 National final, which really boosted moral.
We lined up next to a car that one of our drivers had, had a good battle with at Goodwood so I was really eagerly anticipating the start of the race. The flag went down and row by row we were released. Swoosh pulled away cleanly.
We were consistently putting in lap times around the 2mins 30secs mark and were well on our way to qualify! Moral was high.
The first hour was up so it was time for a driver change, but as the heart shaped pit board went out the rear diffuser made a rather off putting noise I knew instantly what had happened so I nursed the car around the rest of the track.
We swapped over drivers and taped up the diffuser.
A few laps into the second hour and it was clear our driver had settled into the car quite well putting in some very consistant lap times and taking some beautiful lines through the chicane.
Until disaster struck, although it wasn't initially for us. Car number 27 rolled at the tight corner after the chicane and the red flags rappidly went out so Laura broke as hard as she could whilst entering the chicane, unfortunatly though, this caused a kingpin mount to bend rendering the front wheels useless as they could no longer steer effectively nor spin as the brakes had locked on.
After 1.5hrs of intensive work on Swoosh we were back on track but it was clear we weren't going to qualify this year. Eventually we finished 25th out of 28 with 46.8miles 60 laps had we have completed the entire race we would have achieved roughly 74.88miles and would have put us 45th on the grid for the national final.
We still plan on being there for the F35 race, we may be down but we are certainly not out just yet.
>Bedford Race Report 07
After the Summer break it was straight back in to it with the race at Bedford Autodrome. The mission was clear we had to qualify.
We decided not to go out during practise, mainly because we only had 2 sets of batteries with us. So we set to work preparing the car for the race.
The time soon came for us to line up. All of the cars got away cleanly and after our first lap it was clear it wasn't going to be our day...
Although we proved reliable, not having one issue over the entire race, we were 13mph slower every lap compared to the Sussex heat at Goodwood just before the summer holidays.
We brought the car in to the pits to look over and make sure there wasn't something obvious slowing it down but to no avail so after 15mins checking we sent it back out.
Unfortunately the race continued in this manner causing us to finish 10th out of 18 with 52.08miles.
Now that myself and the rest of the team have a bit more time to ourselves (unfortunately not to work on the car) We have decided to spend sometime updating the website, so bare with us whilst we go through a few changes because as I'm sure you understand with websites, its not always easy to get everything right first time!
So if you spot anything that you think we may have missed just drop us and email and we'll try and sort it out.
>Goodwood Race Report 07
The second 5:00am blurry eyed start of the week, but we were off to Goodwood this time, a new chain guard fitted and other changes made. We arrived, unloaded and got ready for scrutineering. A few quick checks and we were off. I was in ruby, then I was told to give the front suspension a test by giving her a ‘wiggle’, everything seemed fine, then the king pin mount came away from the chassis causing the front right wheel to fall off. We wheeled her back and got to work. After half hour of scrounging, a trip to Homebase, a meter of 8mm studding, some nyloc nuts, a motor change and a name change, we were all fixed and ready to get scrutineered for the F24 race. Passed scrutineering, then it was onto the grid!
The race started and swoosh disappeared into the distance, a few laps later she came in on the recovery trailer, the trip had gone and the gear changer came off. Luke fixed the problems, then sent me out for a drive. After two laps getting used to the gears, I somehow managed to over take ‘The Phoenix’ from Seaford College, the trip went so I pulled over and rung the team so they knew I was coming in. After sorting out the trip, sacrificing my socks as a cloth for the cooling, Luke sent me out again. As the laps past, I kept finding myself overtaking and being over taken by ‘EVO 3a’, we both came into the chicane at the same time, I tried to slow down while going round the chicane to give EVO 3a some room, then the Ruby in Swoosh decided to show herself. The steering jilted, and shot me across to the other side of the track, thankfully I managed to miss EVO 3a and regain control, but it gave the crowd something to watch! I managed to spot the team, and I waved my arm franticly in an attempt to say I was coming in. I took a slow lap just to be careful. I came to ‘Woodcote’ the corner just before the chicane, and had another steering mishap, which lead to me spinning off track. A marshal came to my rescue, and helped me turn round and get back on track. I slowly took the chicane and entered the pit lane. I met the team and tried to explain what had happened but being in the pit the second time, they didn’t know about my spin. They quickly sorted the steering and checked the cooling. After Swoosh completed some more laps, she came in again just before the end of the race in fear of smelling the motor ...or feet! As there was about 5 minutes till the end of the race, we thought it was pointless risking the motor, so we retreated back to the paddock. Even though we broke down and missed the F35 race, it was a break through for Ruby/Swoosh; after being so close at Rockingham, she finally completed a lap in a race! A few tweaks need to be done over the summer ready for Bedford, roll on September!
>Rockingham Race Report 07
The day began in a bit of a haze at 5:00am, but it seemed to begin when we left at 6:00am, after a 2 ½ hour drive we finally arrived to a rather empty Rockingham, only a few another teams had arrived. We got out and checked Ruby over on the trailer; to make sure she’d made the journey undamaged. While we were waiting to find out our pit, we went over to see TSR and their vast number of cars, because they’d also entered The Shell Eco-mileage Marathon which was over two days after Greenpower. After a quick chat we ended up back with Ruby showing off her Constantly Variable Planetary hub. We drove over to our pit, while the boys got her of the trailer; I filled in the paper work and got the transponder.
We made a quick few tweaks, and then we were off the scrutineering, after waiting about 20 minutes and being questioned by small primary school children, its was our turn to be scrutineered, we passed but needed to file a bit of the steering arm away so the brake cable didn’t rub, we quickly did so, then lined up just to showed we’d done it, then somebody came and asked the question ‘Is that Phatman..?’ Luke explained how it was actually the mould for Phatman’s bodywork generously donated by Tendring. But we were impressed somebody still recognised it.
We decided it was time to give Ruby a practise, we pushed Ruby into the pit lane with Luke driving. Luke got pushed off, I was filming from the pit wall with fingers crossed, as she was being pushed the motor cut in and of she went, she sped down the pit lane and onto the track, I could only imagine the priceless smile Luke must have had on his face after completing his first full of a track and have children shouting ‘Go on 92!’ from the grandstand. We saw him speeding round the track another 2 times, until on the main straight on his 4 lap, the chain fell off and had a lose connection. Luke pulled off the track, being on the main straight close to the pit lane, we could talk to him, find out what was wrong, get the tools ready then await his arrival. The recovery took a while so we missed the start of the race, but decided it was fixable, and that we were still going to race. It quickly turned into a one-man race for Barracudas because the newly converted ‘Maxx Factor’ was also having problems. With help from Josh and John-Luke from Trinity and support from Barracudas we got Ruby back on track. I eagerly waited on the pit wall waiting for Ruby to come round, the rain came, then I quickly decided he wasn’t coming back round. Ruby came back in on the recovery trailer and we decided to call it a day, pack up and head back to HQ. (We went to Rockingham with the view that if anything went wrong in the practise, we wouldn’t race, we’d pack up and go home because two of the team members had prior commitments. It was a good a test because then we could make a chain guard and make a few other changes in time for Goodwood and not have that problem there.
Just a quick update, we successfully tested our brand new Constantly Variable Planetary hub that was very kindly donated to us by the Aftermarket Technology Corporation http://www.nuvinci.com.
It proved a highly successful test and we gathered a lot of useful information and two new drivers made their debut in Ruby.
All thats left to do before Rockingham is now to bring it back up to race spec and trial it with the F35 motor in place.
Having spent a few weeks on repairs and finishing off a few bits that I couldn't get done in time for the season opener, We decided it was time to give Ruby a little bit of a shakedown. We decided that we would just test her on a few easy corners, straight line stability and how well she could pull away from a standstill, if at all, on the F24 motor.
I managed to "sweet talk" the Store Manager of a local TESCO to allow us to use the car park for the test, so we arrived around 5pm on Sunday 3rd June unloaded the car and prepped it for its first test run.
We walked the car around the track just to check it could turn sharp enough luckily it could, so I hopped in and after a quick push we were on our way.
I didn't take her any higher than 2nd gear as we didn't have a huge amount of space and this was just a shakedown however ruby ran flawlessly.
Here's a quick low quality video of Ruby doing a lap of the "TESCO Test Track"
After spending a long on the drawing board, Ruby finally made its debut at the 2007 Season Opener. Unfortunately however, we were unable to complete or start for that matter either of the two races we entered.
The day started off well and we managed to get the car to the start line in time, which can sometimes be a worry with a brand new car.
Four cars lined up on the grid with myself (the driver) and Ruby raring to go. Barry Shears dropped the flag and it was then I heard this big clunk, which after having been involved in Greenpower for a few years could only mean one thing....
.... The chain had come off and I knew full well it wouldn't just be a case of putting it back on. We tried this however, but as I predicted it needed to return to the paddock.
With the assistance of one of the Marshals and a certain Joshua Evans of TSR fame we tried to align the chain a little better, but with no real luck I soon decided that we should swap the motors over to get the car ready for the next race.
After mounting the motor, a couple of short test runs and some improved chain tension we decided to see if we could get a lap in the F35 race we had lined up for.
We had decided that we needed a long push to ease the drive in to action so josh pushed me out of the Pit but then Ruby suddenly pulled to the left naturally I tried to correct this by steering to the right but the steering then locked and Ruby hurtled towards a Marshal I knew this wasn't going to be pretty and tried everything I could to avoid it however Ruby had made it clear I was just a passenger. As soon as I stopped I leapt out of the car to check that the marshal was ok and to apologise/explain myself. I peeled back the "bonnet" to have a look at the steering I then saw that a Fibreglass steering bush had been broken when the car had been put under load.
So apart from the initial disapointment I still had a surprisingly enjoyable day. I also learned that one should never name a car after a pet. Ruby was a mad springer spaniel that passed away back in 2005 who lived her life in a somewhat erratic manner, and you may also be interested to know that Tigger was actually named after a pet and well, we all know what happened there don't we...
Anway I have certainly learned a lot and now all I can say is - BRING ON ROCKINGHAM!