- Saturday, 7 February 2015

Burning the candle at both ends

I feel like I've been neglecting my blog lately, but to be honest I've been working so hard on the van that I've barely had time to think about much else - I've worked on it solidly every weekend since Xmas. Thankfully the backbreaking work (my knees need a holiday and I've lifted my own bodyweight in plywood) is paying off and it should be finished in good time! Evenings in the week have been spent working on my logo and putting PR info together to email out - I basically have two jobs but it will all be worth it come the Spring :D

If all goes to plan I should even have time to apply a colour scheme to it (bright green for walls, white ceiling  & grey for the carpet) similar to the colours on my blog I guess but it's more of a coincidence than an attempt to make everything look the same. I really want it to look interesting inside and painting it all white is too boring, plus I will just mark all the walls. I have the end plate bonded & bolted on now so the shower tray and shelves are the next step - the shower is laughably lacking in head room (1.2m!) but at 800 x 630 its ok for me as I'm only 5'8 and the hot water system I just bought will heat 9ltr of water in about 20 mins so I'm really looking forward to using it. Despite the below zero temperatures in the UK it's really warm in there, in fact it has more insulation than my house! I made a tyre rack on Friday night (rock n' roll), the aim being to get all the bits needed to secure the car and other bits completed ASAP so I can collect it early March.

I've invented a new game called 'how many times can you bang your head on the tyre rail in 5 minutes' too... To be fair though I'm really pleased with the way it's all coming together, I think I've managed to build it all relatively lightweight and the floor is really rigid now it's all bonded and riveted together inside. I'm getting fed up with the roller shutter door though as it's really hard to get it to close so I think I'll ask Josh at JAF Fabrications to make me one out off ally and fit some gas struts - it will save more weight and act as canopy when it's open. Then it's just getting all the last bits together and figuring out where to stow it all before I get all the electrics and gas for the boiler hooked up mid April.

I've entered the CFM now (class Open FR), so it suddenly seems very real and I'm more aware than ever of the need to get in the car and spend some time behind the wheel. I've decided where to go testing which is exciting, it's funny but I've just had to focus so much energy on the big Renault that the small one has taken a bit of a backseat. So with Spring round the corner I will be heading to Blyton Park in late March for a full day where I can really get to grips with driving the car. This will be followed by a practice day in early April at Loton park, and finally a half day at Curborough with a small group of friends later that month, which should put me on a good footing for the first even (HebĂ©crevon) in early May. 
I've decided to run on Avons, after deliberating on the Michelins for some time - they are a quick tyre and last year's FR class winner Antoine Betzel ran on them. However they don't last as long as the Avons from what I understand, and as this first year is not going to be cheap one I can't afford to be buying more than one set of slicks & wets this year. The plan is to get them fitted for Loton Park as I will run circuit tyres at Blyton, that way I should have a good feel for them once I get to France - 3 months to go and time to start memorising the hills on YouTube!

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