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SORC

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rwalton

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Well not exactly the race I had hoped for, but not all bad either. It started at Hastings Motorsports Park (MPH) on Wednesday. I unloaded the car, took a warm up lap then on my first full RPM up shift to 3rd the clutch went to the floor. Once I got back into the pits I discovered the fitting which holds the fluid line to the slave cylinder (I'm sure it has a name) was not conected to the slave cylinder. I slid it back on and it seemed to click and be tight. I was not pleased with my mechanic but thought no harm. So I quickly filled the master cylinder and went back out on track. I gave it one more lap to make sure all was well then it happened again, same spot same gear. No clutch! I was glad I hadn't called my mechanic to tell him he was fired because it was obviously not his fault. I pulled the spring clip off and bent around a bit to make it fit tighter and I was convinced it would not pop off again. by this point I had lost a lot of brake fluid so I cleaned everything with brake cleaner, filled the master cylinder again and decided to hit the track again. I was very careful and took a couple of laps to get up to speed and everything seemed to be working fine. Then I started to notice the clutch slipping and I wasn't smelling clutch and it only happened at high rpms. Into the pits again! I looked everything over and I noticed it was still dripping brake fluid and it was coming out of the bottom of the bell housing. I was sure this was not a good sign. Apparently some of the brake fluid had found it's way down into the clutch. I sprayed some brake clean into the bellhousing with the car running and working the clutch. After it all cooled and dried I went back on track. It seemed to ok for a couple of laps but when I began torun harder the clutch was definitely slipping.

So to make a long story short we tried to clean it again but it didn't get better.I came very close to loading the Contour and driving home to get the Trans am but decided I didn't want to drive 15 hours. So I did not run the one mile shootout and dropped down from the 115 class to the 100 class for the road race. I decided why not, it needs a clutch any way so I ran it. The car sucessfully ran the 100mph class with a badly slipping clutch. I didn't get very close to my time, ended up 3 seconds off my target time. These races have gotten so competitive that unless you are under one second you have no chance, I finished 10th. A navigator would have helped, even driving the slower class it's tough to drive and run your stop watch because the road is very technical.

It was a great weekend, I got to drive some very fast cars (friends with money), only two cars left the road and no body got hurt, the car sounds great and ran great (except for the above) and that is racing!!

Now it is time for a new clutch, a few minor additions per the Bonneville rule book, four new skinny tires and off to the salt.

 

Rob

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