Pre-Christmas update

Posted on: 18th Dec 2009

As Christmas approaches, we look forward to having our new Engineer Craig Andrews join us. He’s heading this way from Africa and let’s hope he has a plentiful supply of warm clothing and a great sense of humour. It’s very cold and there’s probably more to do than he is expecting.Like all the other teams I’m sure, we are embedded in that somewhat frustrating phase of trying to execute all our modification plans without running out of either time or budget or sanity. The pressure is certainly high. Are we focusing on the right areas; can we manage all this without turning the machine into an overweight pterodactyl; will all or any of it work; will we be ready in time to test, prove, practice, dismantle and ship? All these questions gnaw at you the whole time.One of the sad things is that we simply can’t go into detail on what we’re doing. It’d be wonderful to have some dialogue and debate here on what we have planned, how we’re doing it and what we hope it will achieve. But, like the rest of the opposition we need to hold our cards close and hope that maybe, just maybe, we can arrive at the first race with one or two ideas that no-one else thought. Maybe that could translate into an advantage on the track! Even a tiny 0.2 second one… Dreams are free!The fact is, it really is fascinating stuff... exactly how hard do we suck our thumbs to balance the cost, weight and time of a potential mod against it’s real (or perceived!) benefit? Well, some things are obvious, some require complex scientific calculations and others are just a gut feel. Sadly, as I’ve mentioned before, it’s virtually impossible to test each specific mod on its own and come to a sound conclusion. We generally test with several at a time, hope to see the benefit and go with it. I’m sure that lots of bad mods end up ‘in service’ because their disadvantageous outcome is masked by a good mod!And don’t forget the rules…everyone will be scrutinising not only the new Technical Regs but also the Race regs to see where there might be an advantage. No-one wants to arrive at the first race of the season to find they’ve missed a trick somewhere.At least our MXS is here in England. It might be a 2 hour drive away down at Roger Targett’s place near Stroud but at least it’s on the same continent. Unlike many other team’s, we can visit regularly and when it comes down to testing, I don’t have to leave England for a few extra weeks living out of a suitcase. We’ll be doing that for many months in the summer so it’s good to have that extra time at home with the family.On that note, we wish our fans, friends and fellow competitors a wonderful Christmas (or ‘Happy Holidays’... whichever applies, the sentiment is the same) and all the best for the new decade.