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Re: [Fot] CVAR Feb race weekend report Part 3

To: FOT <>
Subject: Re: [Fot] CVAR Feb race weekend report Part 3
From: Duncan Charlton <>
Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2012 20:43:24 -0600
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References: <AA2A9D94E881449E8E4601E94E3980F5@kramerde634093>
The view from the 1952 Morgan driver's seat (running in Group 4, the
"preservation" class) was usually filled with a black '58 Corvette or Greg
Blake's silver TR3, although there was the occasional Allard or  open-wheeled
FJr to contend with.  New tires... sheesh -- my qualifying lap was 3 seconds
better than my fastest lap in November on the same 2.9 mile TWS circuit, and
my fastest lap for the weekend was another two seconds faster yet.  That meant
the Healeys were no longer ahead of me all of the time.  The car now has
competition stub axles but I'm keeping the front drum brakes in place for now,
and they don't seem to be a disadvantage on this particular track, where I
don't actually use them all that much.  Since the FJr guys wanted to have
school during race 3, they accepted the back of the grid, as did the Corvette,
so Greg and I started alongside each other in the front row.  Nice to be able
to select the gear and rpm that suits me best at the rolling start.

I managed to get into an abrupt spin at Turn 3.  My GoPro video shows that I'd
blipped the throttle while downshifting out of fourth gear just before things
broke loose.  I turned into it and released the brakes but the end-swap
happened too suddenly to catch and the car went off the track backwards.  No
harm was detected and only the Empi Crusader got by on that lap.  Although I
had pushed in the clutch to avoid stalling, the engine was off when I rolled
to a stop.  Curious.  The Morgan seemed to run without fault until the second
to last lap of the final race on Sunday when I couldn't get it out of fourth
gear.  I have the gearbox cover off now and it's clear that the problem is not
in the shift lever mechanism.  There is something down inside the ancient Moss
gearbox making graunching/scraping noises when I turn the driveshaft while
holding the clutch down, and there is intermittent gravelly resistance to
rotation.  I am now wondering if the spin and engine stall relate to the onset
of the gearbox problem.  I had initially attributed the spin to brake
imbalance (thinking the rears locked while downshifting) but the reason for
the engine stall wasn't obvious.  All will come clear in a few days.

Others had mechanical problems, although most of them didn't cause offs -- a
Lotus FJr lost a steering rod at Turn 3 but went straight off the track
without incident, and a Healey 100-4 suffered a mysterious sudden engine
stoppage, exiting the inside of turn 2.

The best part for me, other than improved lap times, was getting to remove the
big X from the back of the car.  I'll post video highlights (including a tour
of the track) to YouTube when my Internet signal improves.

Duncan Charlton
Elgin, TX
1952 Morgan Plus 4 #6 red


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