We did it!
A drizzly day in Bedford (that almost didn’t happen due to EasyTrack going under) but great fun.
The morning started out very greasy and slippery, and with the added bonus of a hail storm. The decision to run with the roof down all day was put in question for that bit at least. At least that has made the decision for us that we are going to keep the roof for now, less hassle with covers and the like in between sessions.
Initial thoughts on the MX5 was that it was a nightmare to control in the wet, and maybe it was a bit more broken than we thought…
However, the afternoon was sunny and dry and she was predictable and great fun to drive. Easily the slowest car there on the day, but we didn’t embarrass ourselves too much. A few spins during the wet, and one more in the dry was all the drama in the day.
Things we learnt about the car:
These Mazdas are hardy little beasts. Sitting outside for 2 years, one oil change later and a little bit of welding and she survived 40+ laps at 10/10ths with no real issues. She was pretty much out on the track for most of the day, with three drivers it was a matter of a quick handover and out she went again.
We have a bit of juddering under braking, and at one point she was pulling to the left. We probably need to do a bit of work on the braking system. New disks and pads and callipers on the front is most likely needed. No fade to speak of though.
The juddering could also be the bushes, so the front wishbones we couldn’t be arsed to replace? We should probably do that.
The “interesting” handling in the wet was probably a factor of two things. Firstly, the tyres are most likely shot. Standing for 2 years won’t have helped them and they are 5 years old already. Need to decide if we go with some road tyres or track tyres next. I expect we’ll just put some Toyo Proxes on to start with and see whether the Yokohama Paradas that are on it currently were the issue.
Secondly, the camber and alignment is all over the place, but no point in sorting that until we change the front wishbones too.
That’s pretty much it really, might swap out the alternator as it is bit rusty and likes to seize if you don’t start the car every few weeks.
A successful day all in all. Plan is to get together to do the rest of the work on the car, and then book another day. Maybe Brands Hatch next.