Kutuka Motorsport North






200kg overnight, now that's a diet...









                                                                                                                                                      That's what 84kg of ballast looks like.





24 hours before the race, still in class D trim.









DONINGTON is a non-championship race, and it features a night race to boot, plus a rolling start, so it's a complete change all round.


I'll be running as a class E car, but a poor man's version, it's a D with the wieght out. First step then is to gather some data from the blue car, so out come the scales.











































The surprise is that the car is so heavy. 1627kg, and that's in post-race trim, exactly as it finished Snetterton. Hmm. Pumping out the tank reveals that I was nearly 40 litres heavy. Oops. Still, it was quick enough. Couple of seconds faster than the next D car, despite the weight and the traffic. Makes you wonder.












































A charged impact gun and it is remarkable how fast a class D car comes apart. This is the trick to having built a race car out of a Jaguar instead of adapting a Jaguar to race. The interior flies out, but then it was held in with bolts instead of Jag clips, so one spanner does it all. To remove the rear seat is a problem, the rear window has to come out, but once out the rest follows quickly.


With the seat out the real weight falls out, there was 84kg of lead in, under or around the rear, and once the bolts are out - pre-drilled for the scrutineer's wire seals that they never fitted - the ballast is free and gone. Why so much? Well, if you raise the class limit 70kg what do you think happens?













































With the weight removed we're still D class legal in every way except the overall figure, this is all the extra stuff added to make it a D class, but the basic car is still the same engine and underpinnings, nothing tweaked, but the car is back to how she was originally built. The ride height noticably changes.


Next step, bonnet and boot. Remove and replace. Bear and his assistant have built a carbon fibre and fibreglass hybrid bonnet that comes in at an amazingly-low wieght. It's only a prototype, I'm testing the concept. If it works we'll try a full carbon version.












































Bootlid is a ludicrously-lightweight aluminium version, but time runs out, and it's not completed in time, I have to fit fibreglass. But the car is now 200kg lighter, indeed it's not too far different from the red car, and even when you factor in how much heavier Bear is than I, the known weight loss from the red car tells us what we've long known, Helen's shell is fundamentally lighter than Christine's. Why I don't know. There are large pieces of Christine's missing now, but it's still heavier. Probably quality control at Jaguar turned one out with thin steel or something.











































With the weight gone, time for the lighting. It's going to be dark. Properly dark. No lighting at the track, it's what you're carrying or nothing. Throwing away the old headlight bulbs it's time for 100W versions. No upgrades to the wiring, just fit them. Same deal for the spotlights. 400W should do the trick. It does mean throwing out the grille and risking the rad with no protective mesh, but it's the end of year, so frell it. Extra lighting in the form of a numberplate light, a self-adhesive led strip, and blue underlights for identification purposes are added. Might as well let the spectator know which of us is coming. The car is turned around in under 24 hours, and emerges as a class E. Time to go racing.




















Minibear measures up the new carbon fibre bonnet.



But then we took all this out overnight. Bonnet, boot, seat, spare belts, door cards, speaker panels, speakers, seatbelts, rear seat, glovebox, tread plates, 84kg of lead...




Back to From the Driver's Seat. HERE






Night mode. Fibreglass boot and taped rear window.



5 extra bonnet pins, meshless headlight surrounds, and extra spotlights. Sadly the engine is still the same as ever.




We have solved the mystery of who is going to drive Helen next season.



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Jaguar XJS Racing

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