Bargain!

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Another two lightweight BBS alloys were found and won on eBay last night. This means Karen can have two spare Falken ZE512 tyres mounted on them to see her through the rest of the season in case of problems. In the end, the alloys themselves cost £10.53, but for a while it looked as if they were going to be a steal at 99p!


Shakedown Results...

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Friday 16th March saw Karen, Richard and a group of friends attend a trackday at Hullavington airfield with Motorsport-Events (www.motorsport-events.co.uk). This was to be used as a shakedown session for the car to see if the suspension changes had made any improvements and whether the clutch was ok.

Initially, the car felt extrememly stiff. It was also quite loose at the rear exiting some of the corners. We were concerned that perhaps the suspension was now too stiff and/or the Falken tyres were lacking grip. It seems high tyre pressures were to blame and some adjustments sorted everything out to our satisfaction.

We were very surprised when Sam Maher-Loughnan appeared as if by magic. He's the reigning MR2C champion, and an experienced ARDS instructor and racing driver. He was attending to test a BMW 3-Series Britcar. We all chatted happily and asked him to drive Karen's car for a few laps just to give some feedback...

What a display! Sam seemed to be enjoying himself. His corner speeds were immense and some of the drift angles he produced were worthy of the Japanese D1 Drift champions! His verdict on the car was that it was very good and that it simply required another couple of psi out of the front tyres to remove a trace of understeer. Obviously we were very grateful and pleased with the result. Thanks Sam!

Unfortunately for Sam, the Britcar he was supposed to test had thermostat problems and blew out all its coolant just as he was due to jump aboard and trial it. Hopefully the problems will be resolved soon and Sam will find himself with a seat in the Britcar championship this year, as well as being able to defend his championship where possible.

Meanwhile, Karen continued to get a feel for the new setup, Lance drove his Mini Cooper S, and Seth had great fun driving well against some much more expensive machinery in his track/drift oriented Nissan 200SX. A great day was had by all, and it bodes well for improved performance from Karen in the MR2C for 2007.

Pictures available for viewing here: Hullavington 16th March


Powerstation Revelation.

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Saturday saw us travel to Powerstation (www.powerstation.org.uk) to have the geometry reset. Our friend Lance helped with the loading of the trailer and came along to check out the Powerstation experience.

We arrived to discover a club from Wales doing a collective dyno run to compare their power figures from a varied selection of modified “Yoof” culture vehicles. We checked in with Jerry and he proceeded to get the MR2 on the ramps and begin the alignment.

When completed, it turned out the Powerstation guys were happy to delay their already belated lunch to allow the MR2 on the rollers when the Welsh contingent had finished their power runs. Andy took the controls of the car and did a quick trial run to check grip levels on the rollers before going for the red line!

We were delighted with the final figure which saw 122.1bhp at 6960rpm. That was the official flywheel power figure for the car when it was released. So to achieve that on an engine having done 118,000 miles was great. However, the Welsh boys all walked away shaking their heads in disgust. Maybe they expected much more given the racing demeanour of the car.

Many thanks go to Lance for his help during the day, and to Dirk, Jerry and Andy of Powerstation for their hard work, patience and generosity.


Tale Of The Trial By Trailer.

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After weekends of work on the front garden to add a new tarmac section and secure gate, followed by weekends of digging out block paving and laying concrete, the large storage shed was finally moved and standing space was created for Karen's trailer.

Last night saw the collection of the trailer from soon to be fellow MR2C racer John Wilson #17, and the attempt to secure it in its new home. As we pushed it into its allocated space I was getting rather nervous that despite our careful measurements it was going to be too long! However, it fitted very snuggly with a mere 6 inches to spare.

We were supposed to be getting the race car geometry set and a dyno run last Monday, but unfortunately the Powerstation crew had to go to Donington Park and so we'll be trying to get everything done this coming Saturday instead.


About Karen Phillips

  • Karen races her Impreza WRX in the Nippon Challenge, a race series for Japanese and Asian cars. Karen has now been racing since 2006, having started in the MR2 Challenge.
  • Please check this site regularly for updates on Karen's progress through the season and developments with her race car.

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