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Mr Sheen's Sabotage - Anglesey

Thursday, 31 July, 2014 - 19:00
The Saboteur

The sun was shining brightly on the first Friday of the school holidays, and after a bit of a scare with a leaking head in the morning; the team were now ready for Angelsey. Some might say that holding the farthest race meeting on the first weekend of the summer holidays was a mistake. In fact most of the people spending Friday afternoon parked on the M25, M6 or M1 would say so with vigour.

It took six long hours to cover the 250 miles between ARF HQ in Bedfordshire and the track in North Wales. But we got there, and thankfully, unlike most of the folk braving the roads that day - we didn't have any screaming children to contend with.

Saturday morning
Qualifying went well with Billy getting pole for both races, and although the car wasn't quite up to form after the head change (post Rockingham) we were feeling confident for the win. We were the last race before lunch and were already planning an afternoon on the beach, or the bar, or the beach bar! But racing doesn't work that way... Almost before the red starting lights had faded to black we began to notice that we were down on power. David Bartholemew in the number 17 car seemed to have so much more waft than either the Batten 3 or Cowleys dream machine. He came steaming up on the straights each lap, and it was only Billys defensive driving and speed through the corners that kept David at bay. Inevitably though he found a way past. We still had the edge in the twisty bits, and it seemed that things were shaping up for a good battle for the number 1 spot. A lap later though, that all changed; as the Batten 3 passed the pitwall it sounded as sick as the proverbial dog, and we'd gone from looking for a win to hoping for a finish!

Fortunately the car kept going and although it was about 6 seconds off the pace, Billy managed to bring the Batten 3 home in sixth. Once we got back to the awning and took the back off, it soon became apparent that a huge lump of rubber had been thrown into the timing belt (probably while Billy was defending offline), and it had knocked it out by two teeth. Well that would account for the sudden loss of power then! We also found that one of the brand new Irridium sparc plugs was failing, accounting for the general malaise. Just then Billy came in and put things into perspective:

Billy: "Do you know what the biggest problem was in the race?"
Team: "No?"
Billy: "Which ever fool left the can of Mr sheen under my pedals!"

We finished Saturday in the bar, and Mr Cowley finished it leading the championship. Not for long though... The second race on Sunday was comparatively uneventful, but another solid win for team ARF.

We are hiring: ARF are looking for an inventory assistant with atleast 5 years experience in spit and polish logistics. Should you know anyone, drop us a line!

Finallly - A massive shout out to Derek and the guys from All Things Micro. Their help and support in replacing our Race Computers serial board (after I put a drill through the original one) meant we were able to get live telemetry running for the first time during the race. More on that coming up in the RaceTech section soon.