Sunday on the Salt
The Speed Scotland crew put the EFG International Flower of Scotland to bed on Saturday night ready to run first thing Sunday morning and so we were on the Salt for a spectacular dawn.
Dawn on the Salt
A quick check of the car threw up a slight issue with the clutch, but there was an early morning wind from the canyon alongside the Speedway that would have stopped us running anyway initially, but we were on the line in perfect conditions ready to go before 9am. A short wait and the Flower was away and running for the first time in Speedweek in 2012!
Hot on the Salt
Waiting to run in the sun
A great launch, up through the first couple of gears and running well but some smoke in the cockpit suddenly got very serious and while I was quite relaxed at 200mph with limited visibility, once we got to the point with limited oxygen then I thought it was time to throw the chute... in fact I was forced to open the canopy as quickly as possible and to do this, I had to undo the belts so ended up doing around 150mph one handed unbelted!
A quick check over and it's nothing serious, just a seal that's failed and a couple of hours later, it's all fixed and we're ready to go again.
Final preparation for first pass
Oil leak fixed
On arrival at the Start, the whole World seems to have had the same idea... and we join a lengthy queue to run. A long wait then turns into a very long wait as the weather turns and rain blows across the course, and lightning strikes one of the timing beams so the course is shut-down. Eventually, having joined the line around 2.30, it's 6pm when we make it to the start line of the legendary long course. A worse launch but she's soon up on the cam and fires through the first 2 gears and is heading towards the 2 mile marker at great pace in 3rd gear when the familiar ?300 monkeys with hammers? break loose behind my head. Another major failure and its dip the clutch and coast off the course.
After the Flower had run so well on the first run, this is total heartbreak for the Speed Scotland crew, but on return to the pits it becomes obvious we've had a conrod failure in piston 1. Nothing we've ever experienced before and not our traditional transmission problem. One of those things sadly when you try and stretch limits on the Great White Dyno. It is of limited consolation that the fastest car of the meeting, the 'Speed Demon', also broke a conrod on his engine (although his conrod actually felt the need to see the big wide World and punched a hole thru the bottom of the block.
We’ve got another motor and the crew will start changing it first thing tomorrow hopefully for us to run again by last thing.
It’ll be a long hard hot day for all, and we’re a bit broken right now but we’ll fight on
Your "heat soaked and miserable" correspondent.