View Full Version : Knockhill trackday.

17-05-2011, 08:10 AM
A little history first for those who missed my posts in my build thread..

I was unable to get reverse, it was suggested I drain the oil and check for anything amiss. Draining the oil and finding the thrust washer from between 2nd and 3rd in pieces wasn`t a good start...

On Tuesday, I stripped the gearbox so remove the Qaife LSD. I had a spare, totally standard gearbox which I also stripped, fitted the crownwheel from that to my Quaife and rebuilt it. This meant I had a quaife in a standard MK3 Gearbox. This doesn`t sound so bad until you realise that gearbox has a rather high Final Drive. It does 96mph in 3rd !

Rebuilding the box before fitting on Wednesday afternoon...

Took the car for a test drive to check the box was OK and to fill up with Fuel ready for loading onto the trailer. The engine expired. 6.5k in 2nd, off the throttle and an inlet valve dropped the head, this destroyed Cylinder 4

When I mean destroyed, this meant the piston was not even there ! :shock:

Engine out and stripped, removing the sump and I found the piston. It was a little smaller than expected...

I had a spare engine, this was missing all the ancilliaires, which I swapped over from the broken engine. Bolted up the gearbox, refitted and took it for a test drive Thursday evening. Luckily it was OK, but the plan of getting the car on the trailer and loaded up had slipped behind schedule. We loaded everything up Friday morning after I`d replaced a leaking camshaft seal and remade the exhaust manifold joints as they were blowing.

Left home at 1pm, which wasn`t bad at all.

The weather on the M62 was as forecast. Showers and heavy rain..

We took the M6 route. I`d had the ECU Map changed to an `economy` one, I see an average of 2mpg improvement when towing now. Resetting the MPG meter when leaving home, 142miles later, I`d averaged 26mpg. When towing, with the tyre rack, thats very good !

A few hours later and we arrived in Scotland.

Steve Gill sent me a text.

Calls cost a lot, texts even more. Please ensure you had your visa stamped at the border as you`ll* be unable to buy the basic necessities such as food, fuel and cabbage patch dolls without it.* REMEMBER Hitting a Haggis on the head is NOT a victimless crime. Have a good stay

Cutting across the A70 saw some lovely scenery adn a really nice road. Without the trailer, I`m sure it would be fantastic ;)

Called the see Steve and Zoe. Zoe made a lovely meal, even us over 40`s enjoyed it :whistle:

Mat set times on GT5 Steve & I struggled to beat.

The girls sat and chatted

Steve concentrated, but still couldn`t beat Matty.

It was really good to see them, I told Lou it was time to go. "Why ?" Because it is 23:45 and the Travelodge is half an hour away, thats why... Time had flown, we`d had a smashing evening. :thumb:

Across the Forth bridge to the Dunfermline Travelodge. Trailer secured and we called it a night.

17-05-2011, 08:11 AM
The alarm was set for 07:00, as Knockhill was only just over 10 minutes away, we didn`t need to get up so soon. I woke at 04:30, 05:40 and 06:15 :whistle:

After the problems earlier in the week, I was very apprehensive. The car had been fine on the test drive, but I didn`t know how it would be on track. Until that first session was out of the way I wouldn`t be able to relax...

After the usual `Travel Breakfast` and a cup of coffee, we set off for Knockhill. The forecast had been rain, but it was a lovely morning.

The drive to the circuit is not bad at all. Its in the middle of nowhere, no neighbours to complain about noise and set in a really nice area. I`m sure the traffic for the big events is horrendous though.

Arrived, unloaded the trailer and had a walk around the paddock, talking to a few other drivers along the way.

The Briefing was without doubt THE best I`ve ever been to. Some people can make it sound as if they are having a chat in the pub whilst telling you what to do, this guy was one of those. It was under 10 minutes, everything was covered. The bottom line was `Enjoy yourselves, don`t be idiots and try and keep it on the tarmac`. Superb.

Sighting laps ? Nah, they don`t bother with those, just a traffic light system at the end of the pits and thats it. Went out for 4 laps, back into the pits for a quick check under the bonnet. All OK so back out again. After a few laps, the low oil pressure buzzer sounded ! Nooooo....! Gauge showed all was good, but I drove back to the pits to check. Fortunately, the wire on the sender had dropped off, phew.

Did a few sessions with Mat, the circuit is fantastic. Fairly slippery tarmac, and some great corners, blind crests and large kerbs. The twisty nature of it really suited the Golf, much like Cadwell or Anglesey Coastal.

Had a surprise visit from Dave Boulder and Justine who were on a weekend Scotland tour and popped in to say hello :)

Gemma Davidson had also called to see us along with the Kids. Unfortunately, Chris was en-route to Afghanistan for 6 months so couldn`t make it. :(

Ethan made himself at home in the X5

Mat was with me and we saw someone waving from the pitlane. When he did it for a few laps, we guessed (rightly) that it was a Northlooper :wave: It was Findlay, he`d popped in on his was to Ikea to say Hi and take some photos. He`d brought his helmet along, so the least I could do was take him out for a session before lunch. Some clear laps and then we came across a car who moved over, but then wouldn`t lift. There was no way I had the power to get past him, so I dropped back, got a good run and gained enough momentum to get past without drama.

I think he enjoyed the laps ;)

The Stig called in to say Hi.

Matty is definately NOT the stig :lol:

Catherine was getting on well with Beth.

The kids were all getting on well with each other actually...

I think Lou and Gemma talked more than they had ever done before. Lou said afterwards that seeing so many people to talk to made this one of her favourite UK trackdays for some time.

Matty halped made the Bacon & Egg butties :thumb:

During lunch these Cup cars went out, they were LOUD !

Alan (armour) and Rich called in, obviously passenger laps were in order :D

Lou had been out taking some photos.

VTec Mini.

I`m SO pleased I fitted the LSD for the hairpin :)

Andy was enjoying his laps

Not a bad backdrop.

Yep, i`m still here... :wave:

A group of guys from Liverpool had brought up half a dozen cars on a transporter and were having a great time.

Dave`s car looked to be going well

As was Chris. They were parked next to me in the paddock and we`d talked throughout the day. Chris span twice. both times I was behind him and the camera was rolling :whistle:

I took Josh out for half a dozen laps after lunch, even though you can`t tell from this photo, he really enjoyed himself :D

Back in the paddock and I took Ethan for a run to the main road and back, booting it in 1st and 2nd when we were clear of the pits. His face lit up and he had a huge grin on his face when we came back in :lol:

17-05-2011, 08:12 AM
I was out with Mat and the track was Red-Flagged for a breakdown. We joined the queue in the pitlane (the only queue experienced all day) and restarted behind a 205. Just before the video starts, Mat was asking if I`d had any good laps with someone else. I said I hadn`t, then had this great session with the 205 then Andy in the Caterham :thumb:
http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b207/wh00sher/UK%20TRACKDAYS/Knockhill%202011/knockhill.jpg ('http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7j01HTZnwE&hd=1')

A friend and her kids who live in Glasgow called over to see what all this `trackday stuff` is all about...


After taking out Rich and Alan, Iain (Fitz711) and we all had a chat before I took Iain out.

A woman from along the paddock came over and asked if I had some of the selfadhesive aluminium tape they could borrow. I gave her my roll but asked where she was from as her accent was local. Turns out she lives about 1/2 a mile away from me. Small world ! They were there for time attack and were running in the engine on this.

I was enjoying my laps

I saw Findlay at Carlube Corner. We`d spoken earlier in the day about getting certain photos, so I told Iain I`d take some kerb for the next 2 laps. In the hope Findlay could get a snap of us on 2 wheels. :thumb:

I found a photo on another forum taken from behind, just before I came into shot for Findlay...

Not everyone kept it on the tarmac. Fortunately, he didn`t hit anything.

This was q bit quicker than me on the straights, it looks a shed, but the guys who owned it were a really friendly Father and Son.

My soft setup meant the splitter was touching on the exit of the chicane...

The Golf was going really well. I`d started pushing on a bit more in the afternoon. The Gearbox is far too tall, 3rd will do 96mph ! This was a little frustrating, I was losing out to cars I`d normalyl keep up with on the straights, but it was either that or not go at all, so I just got on with it :thumb:

I did 250.4 Miles through the day, a bit of that was in the paddock, but considering midweek the car had no engine, I was rather satisfied at the end of the day.

Duncan arrived just as the day had finished, so I was unable to take him out for a quick session. He unloaded his car, there were plenty of closeup photos taken of his aero devices whilst he was doing that too...

After having a brief chat, we headed back to the Travelodge, quick shower then walked to the complex to have something to eat. Frankie & Bennys it is.

Father and son in deep conversation.

I only had 2 beers, but that was enough, I felt light headed after just 2. Lightweight...

Called it a night after a really enjoyable end to the day at about 10pm.

Iain had suggested the A68 was a much nicer road than the A1 towards Newcastle, I said I was towing, but he said it would be fine... After we`d sat behind a Horse box for 20 miles (along with a huge queue of traffic), I began to wish i`d gone on the A1 instead. It was a lovely road and I`m sure would be great to drive when clear, but with traffic, it was too slow. Lunch was more bacon and egg butties, then a pretty uneventful drive back home, taking around 5 hours.

We all thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, seeing so many people made it much better and for those who thought about going on this trackday and decided not to, you missed a cracker !.. :veryhappy:

17-05-2011, 08:31 AM
Looks like you all had a great time!

Another great report!

Might even make it up to knockhill again myself one day!

By the way the children(adults) are getting very tall!

17-05-2011, 08:36 AM
great write up as usual Nige - I would love to do Knockhill - and you got perfect conditions for the day

as for all the engine and gearbox work prior to the event - you are a legend Nige :-)

Dave B
17-05-2011, 08:43 AM
Great read as usual, we are so glad we called in for an hour, superb weather, great location and top roads to and from. I'll hijack your trip report with mine.
Went to Scotland, rode round alot in the rain, came home. Top weekend :thumb:

17-05-2011, 09:25 AM
Great read, Nige :veryhappy:

Really pleased that you all had a super trip up to Knockhill. Shame that I couldn't make it. Maybe next year & hopefully Chris will be around as well next time :thumb:

17-05-2011, 09:27 AM
Good to see you loving it Nige - knew you would and knew it would suit the golf :D

Dave car went bang in a very big way on the sunday morning unfortunately dropping oil right down the back straight and into braking to the hairpin :(

great air at the chicane :thumb:

17-05-2011, 09:40 AM
Nothing short of a triumph to have your Golf ready for Knockhill.
Well done and nice read & pics there. :thumb:

Oh, and I notice that 'welcome' is the same word in Scottish and Irish... 'Failte'.

17-05-2011, 09:48 AM
Originally posted by Rory@May 17 2011, 10:40 AM
Oh, and I notice that 'welcome' is the same word in Scottish and Irish... 'Failte'.
Rory Rory......................both are Gaelic :-) don't you know Alba is Gaelic for Scotland

the Scots coming out in me GLOL

17-05-2011, 09:50 AM
Fair point Martin, makes sense. :shame: :thumb:

17-05-2011, 09:51 AM
Brilliant :D

Really good to read you had a ball :thumb:

How greedy were you with those kerbs :shock:

17-05-2011, 10:11 AM
Originally posted by Rory@May 17 2011, 10:50 AM
Fair point Martin, makes sense. :shame: :thumb:
:thumb: only "joshing" as the US says

hows life with you Rory?

17-05-2011, 10:12 AM
What an amazing achievement getting to the track day at all!!!

17-05-2011, 10:25 AM

17-05-2011, 10:32 AM
cracking read as always. I know all the weekend racer guys (liverpool lot) but havent found any pictures of you amongst there shots yet sorry!

Matty & Cat really getting tall now tho!

also have to say i want Steve and Zoe's fish tank -


17-05-2011, 11:29 AM
Great report Nige :thumb:

Mega day out, I got a serious case of knockhill face/head, sunburn is just dying down now :lol:

Cheers again for the laps, next time at the ring :thumb:

Neil Mac
17-05-2011, 12:28 PM
epic, as usual :thumb:

17-05-2011, 12:57 PM
Originally posted by texas2201@May 17 2011, 11:11 AM
hows life with you Rory?
PM on it's way rather than clutter Nige's thread. ;)

Chris D
17-05-2011, 01:58 PM
I'm glad you enjoyed it, Nige ;) . Looks like Jemma and kids had a great day too, thanks to you all for looking after them :thumb: .

The weather looked good for you too. I told you it was in the middle of nowhere.

I definitely need an LSD for that hairpin.

This time next year we'll do a Northloop day at Knockhill :thumb:

17-05-2011, 02:44 PM
Reminds me that I need to upload my pics and fill in some of the blanks. :D I'm sure Picasa will allow me to crop down the big-air shots off the original image and retain reasonable quality.

Thanks again for the PAX, Nige & great to meet you all.

17-05-2011, 03:01 PM
Originally posted by Chris Davidson@May 17 2011, 02:58 PM
This time next year we'll do a Northloop day at Knockhill :thumb:
There may be 2 of us on it then :lol:

Mate, it was good to see Jemma and the kids, just a shame you couldn`t be there too. 2012 it is :thumb:

17-05-2011, 03:46 PM
Can you imagine Geoff doing Knockhill, Poor git would have to set off a week before lol

17-05-2011, 04:31 PM
Originally posted by Nige@May 17 2011, 04:01 PM
There may be 2 of us on it then :lol:

Mate, it was good to see Jemma and the kids, just a shame you couldn`t be there too. 2012 it is :thumb:
I might be up for that. Wrong time for me this year tho :(

18-05-2011, 09:59 AM
great pics Nige was good to see u all xx

Zoe Sherratt
18-05-2011, 05:36 PM
Great report! Was fab to see you all again even if I did put my foot right in it with my dinner guests ;)

31-05-2011, 01:39 PM
typical-the weekend i go to the ring you go to kbockhill lol glad you had a good time

02-06-2011, 12:03 PM
Ace report as usual Nige. Did you find the knockhill regulars a bit more "commited" than other track days. Had a few good battles last time I was up there but some of them got quite close. How many miles has your golf done now?