Well, I say all day but that is not entirely true. It stopped for a while after round 2 and the organisers decided to sweep and vacuum the puddles away.
Then after two minutes of the first heat, it rained again.
My car-share buddy for the day was James Alexander, and his “gazebo” turned out to be the Khyam tent of my dreams – so we were very comfortable in the rain with shelter on all sides and a good spot right next to the track.
Round 1 was a race of many firsts – my first run on wets, my first run at WLRC, and my first run with my newly waterproofed electrics – and it went pretty well. Within a few laps I had found a rhythm, and managed a 15/307-ish, which wasn’t blindingly fast, but was good enough for 7th in the round (from a field of 30-something). I was pleased that the electrics survived the full 5 minutes – something a lot of cars were failing to manage.
Round 2 was not so good. As I drove to the line, the car came to a complete standstill. No steering, no throttle, no nothing. Turns out the receiver had got wet despite the blu-tack around the openings. My theory is that since the blu-tack is not a perfect seal, small amounts of water trickled down into the receiver as the car was sitting in the pits between rounds, and all it took was one corner to shift a droplet of water into the wrong place on the circuit board. After a good warm through in the car (soundtracked by a Motown Chartbusters compilation), the receiver was working again.
By round 3, the rain had eased off and the track had dried a little. I wrapped the receiver in a balloon kindly donated by Michael Warren – it was even a “factory” red to suit the TOP Scythe. I put a tie-wrap around the neck of the balloon and filled it with Mugen Super Grease as a quick water seal. The electrics worked perfectly for the whole race – sadly the car had chronic understeer because of the lack of standing water – there is nothing like a puddle to get a car slowed down for a corner! I only manged a 15/304, 13th in round.
Round 4 was almost a carbon copy of round 2 – except this time I didn’t even get the car onto the track. It simply refused to switch on. Another damp receiver, which I assumed was caused by condensation gathering in the well-sealed balloon. My setup change of laying the front shocks down by a hole didn’t get tested.
The meeting format was a little different, four rounds and one final instead of the usual three and two, with the best two from four round-by-round results determing the grid. I was 13th overall.
Before the B-final got underway, I dried the receiver (again) and wrapped it in a balloon (again). This time I chose not to seal the neck with grease, hoping that the airflow would stop the condensation forming. Sadly, the tie-wrap alone wasn’t enough to keep the water out, and within 3 laps the car was going crazy in the middle of the track. Yep, a soaked receiver again…
Next idea is to either put the receiver in a sealed box, or coat the circuit board with Liquid Electrical Tape.
Despite being another disappointing day on the track, we had a laugh in the pits which made up for it!
PS Not very impressed with the durability of the BRCA wet tyre… cracked a wheel in my first run on the new set, and one of the rears is already on the verge of ballooning up and tearing through the tread. The Schumacher wheels get rather wonky too…