The Library Muse
Spring is here, the birds are back, small mammals are out of hibernation, and the racing season is on. Those racing red-necks known as NASCAR have been active since February. And by now F1 has run two of twenty one scheduled races, their longest season yet. The 2016 season opener appeared to be a continuation of last year, with Mercedes on top, even though Ferrari should have won except for a gamble on a choice of tires after a red flag stoppage. This year new rules the left the track empty for the last 2 ½ minutes qualifying. Even the NBC TV announcers weren’t happy with the new system.
But the big story has to be Haas F1 racing. An entirely new team that scored in the points in their first outing. Haas has been a big name in NASCAR for years and is being touted as the first American team in F1 in thirty years. I question that. Even though the owner, Gene Haas, is an American, the engine and running gear are Italian (Ferrari), the chassis is Italian (Dallara), and the team principal is an Italian (Guenther Steiner) with a German sounding name. The drivers are French and Mexican. Sounds very international. Congratulations to Haas Racing for a job well done.
The Greatest Moments of Gran Prix
Jon Stroud & Liam McCann, 2014, 111pgs, photos, hard bound
This is an updated version of a book originally published in 2007. It’s small in size, 6x6 inches, but the printing is also small so there is more content than one might think. Just have your reading glasses handy so that you can read about some of the most iconic moments in gran Prix history. Some are off the track. Back in 1958 Stirling Moss won the Portugal Gran Prix driving a Vanwall. Mike Hawthorn was second in a Ferrari, but was disqualified after the race on a technicality. Moss protested and got Hawthorn’s point reinstated. At the end of the season Moss lost the championship to Hawthorn by one point. Can you imagine Michael, Lewis, or Nico doing that today?
|-- ~~ Bill Mennell
Fix It With Steve...
Lots of SMILES from the ‘Fix-It’ garage this weekend! About four members visited on Saturday, including one in his MGB, as we had work going on three jobs simultaneously.
First the TR6 cylinder head got rebuilt with nice unleaded gas exhaust valves. The MGB engine got its oil pump and rear engine plate fitted and on the main project of the day, we got lucky, I think …………. Fingers crossed!
Task in hand was to find the problem with a 1965 MGB with low oil pressure (about 10psi at hot idle and 60 running) after only 2000 miles from a professional engine rebuild in California. We were expecting to pull the engine out & strip it down to look at the oil pump and crankshaft.
We thought we would start with the relief valve on the side of the block. Getting it out wasn’t too bad & we found the packing piece that’s supposed to be between the plug of the valve and the spring was missing. A $1.50 item missed by the rebuilder. These were fitted to the ’65 cars onwards, in other words those cars with 5 main bearing cranks. However, getting
it back together was more difficult. The exhaust had to come off and then we had to replace bent studs to get it back on.
The reward was a 10psi gain in oil pressure, 20 psi at hot idle and 75psi at speed. Now 20 psi is on the low side but well within the acceptable tolerance and just a touch of the gas pedal sends it right up above 50psi, so I am thinking this is a result! Certainly the part was missing & certainly installing it has made a significant improvement. A whole lot of time, effort, hassle, not to say $’s avoided. Definitely a cause for a SMILE or two. We will monitor things over the season to decide if further investigation is needed, but for now a big job has been avoided.
Sunday was a short day due to a race in the morning. So I tackled the Morris Minor starting motor in the afternoon. Put the new one on the car & tried to start it. Motor spun but did not engage on the flywheel so I took it out & checked the dimensions, number of teeth etc. against the old one. Everything looked good so I put it back. Not surprisingly same result, nothing.
(Continued on page 7)