Darren Hughes - Racing Driver...

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Congratulations to Darren who passed his ARDS test at Castle Combe circuit on Thursday 19th February. Darren's now organised to race in the Subaru Cup against Karen this season. We wish him well, but not too well!

Looks like this season is going to be real fun with a great bunch of drivers and an interesing mix of cars in the Nippon Challenge incorporating the Subaru Cup. It's just a shame I'll be missing a mate to chat with during the racing, as he'll be out there himself.


Pull!

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Darren and Richard have been working hard lately to finish the mandatory safety requirements on Rexy. Darren finished wiring the electrical cut-out and Richard had done all the plumbing and nozzle location for the fire extinguisher. Following this, they organised the pull-cable location in the scuttle panel and Richard organised the fixture of the pulls within the cabin.


Rexy will be used in this format at a test day at Silverstone on Friday 27th February. Following this, we'll be fitting some rollcage door bars and a good deal of rollcage padding. Another interesing development at Silverstone will be the fitting of the new Ultralite alloy wheels wearing the control tyres.


Cool Runnings...

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The weekend saw a number of jobs done on Rexy despite the freezing temperatures. After the coolant issue at Rockingham, I drained the coolant and replaced the coolant hoses with new SFS silcon items. New coolant was mixed and the system filled carefully. The car was warmed up and I checked the levels topping up where necessary, ensuring the fans kicked in where required. The car is currently fitted with a decent reservoir cap from my road car Impreza. Once happy, The car was taken for a good hard drive before being parked up immediately and left running. There were only a couple of little bubbles that appeared in the expansion tank, but certainly none of the frothing and over-flowing that had been seen before. Here's hoping the problem is solved.


I removed the driver's seat and drilled a hole through the floor for an eye-bolt fixing. This was secured with a small steel spreader plate underneath the car. The 5th harness strap was then clipped in and the seat replaced.


Finally, whilst snow was falling heavily outside on Sunday evening, I was in the garage fettling the new centre console panel. It's now fitted with the electrical cut-out switch and a guide bracket for the pull-cable. It's also got the extinguisher pull-cable and rain light switch fitted. The panel and bracket now need painting and the application of the required stickers and it can be fitted into the car.


Rexy Rocks!

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The gang went to Rockingham on Saturday 31st January to try the new and improved Rexy on track for the first time. Unfortunately, he disgraced himself by spitting out a fair amount of coolant. We'll be trying to sort that out when the weather improves. Another annoying problem was that our new camcorder had a habit of shutting down after only a few seconds on track. This meant no in-car footage and I'm left wondering if it's due to excessive vibration. That will have to be sorted out as well!


Apart from that, Karen enjoyed the handling of the car and the almost total lack of body-roll. Grip from the old Bridgestone tyres was better than expected. There was some minor tyre rub against the body of the car, but this may have been peculiar to Rockingham thanks to its blend of crests, dips and camber. Braking seemed pretty good despite using some standard front pads. With the cooling issue sorted, Rexy has real potential to be a terrific race car.


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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