Things didn’t go to plan this year, but nevertheless we had a highly entertaining Classic & Sportscar Meeting.The last week before CSM started of in a rather troublesome way. With the ratios sorted on George’s gearbox, everything installed and ready to run, we had a terrible whining sound eminating from the bowels of the box. This was probably due to this box having spent 10 years or so in hibernation in a car, before the rude awakening at Rudskogen. So, after some lip-biting, Doc decided he wanted to run the blue car for sake of development. So we pulled the motor from Pumpkin, and transplanted the box to George.
Arriving at the circuit, we found the usual: a fantastic turnout, cheerful people and scrutineers in a good mood. And RAIN. Tons of it.

The car passed scrutineering with flying colors (HTP!), and out I went for a first test. I immediately overshot the turn-in after the straight; the front brakes locked instantly, and the car was everywhere, but otherwise the gears were spot-on and the engine pulled like a locomotive on steroids.

We did a spot of setting up the car; involving ride height, ARB, camber, toe and shock absorber settings. We also opted for the Yoko 048Rs instead of the ACB10s. We knew the main problem was that we were running Carbon Metallic pads, and we didn’t bring anything else…

A nice BBQ, a couple of beers when the rain let off for a few minutes, and after socializing for a bit we got a decent nights sleep in Casa Commer.

Out for qualifying on saturday it was still very wet indeed; the car was now a couple of miles better to drive, and I was slowly gaining some experience of this new machine. However, I could not get it to slow down, which was a tad unnerving at times. No other major tricks were done, so we gassed it up and out we went for the race.
My start was pretty decent, but I got stuck behind a faltering Mini in the first bends while I was passed by cars left & right. A couple of hairy moments later I was starting to feel a bit more comfortable, and a dice with a Fiat 128 and a Mini kept me smiling for the rest of the race, though with brakes I’m sure I would have been several seconds a lap quicker without problem. It was a matter of trying to feel the brakes, which is very much different in an Imp compared to the Mini which is very nose-heavy. Dreaming of softer pads, I even managed to fail to count down the laps, so when I got a perfect run on a Mini in the final hairpin I didn’t realize it was the last lap, and let up to let the leader lap me. Bummer.

The race:

The following barbeque party and socializing was superb, and we kept it all going until about 2 in the morning.

Freshly awake the next “morning”, we checked over the car, and found that it was missing a bit too much water, and when we tried to fill it up, it pi**ed out again from the front of the cylinder head. A faulty gasket, or so we think, just leaking water out. Engine perfect apart from this. So…we decided to not risk it, and pulled the motor and stuffed in the spare motor. This took us less than two hours, including transplanting the carburettors & manifold, and fitting other hose-ends to the oil filter housing. A personal best for Doc!
Everything seemed fine; we didn’t get a test-run unfortunately…because when I drove out on the formation lap it misfired horribly above 5000 RPM. So I did the start, and headed for the paddock, semi-gutted as it was now dry, and I was really looking forward to stretching mine & the Imps legs.

A bit of hands firmly on the hips, head-shaking, cursing and talks of bringing in exorcists followed, before we did a blind-test out of experience: we replaced the rotor in the dizzy. Instant fix.

The following “AAARGH!”-eruptions & raving rants scared the remaining living moose out of the Hedmark forests. This is the 3rd duff rotor we’ve experienced. Add it to the list of other NEW parts that have arrived in KACK shape this winter: ignition points, Main Power Switch (didn’t think that one possible), gearbox, carburettors, rev counters, temp gauge, etc.

So, after swallowing the initial über-disappointments, we started feeling rather snug. After all, the car hasn’t in fairness had any testing, setup or rolling road sessions, and I am barely dry under my armpits when it comes to racing a RWD car. We didn’t do that badly, and the car is demon quick. With some more tooling, driving and dirty tricks we’ll be able to give some more 1300cc machinery some stick.

Doc has already started rebuilding Pumpkin into a new shell up to George’s specs, and we’ve got two new demon engines on order. With the HTP-proper blocks.

Next year, we’ll have our HTPs, and we’ll be racing from day #1. Can’t wait for winter to come and begone.

And If you know a demon exorcist, please give us a call.

Photos: Unni Erland