Friday 17 April 2020

Ca$hback Big Bang 2002

project Ca$hback raced at Big Bang 2002

After 9 months of further work on the car, project Ca$hback hit the 1/4 mile dragstrip again at Santa Pod during Big Bang 2002.

There were once again a few problems, but the highlight of the weekend was a 15 second pass over the 1/4 mile.

Club members present, as best as I can remember, were Grant, Jeff, Gareth, Jon, Matt, Paul, Pete, Stu, Jim, and more.

The full story of our trip with Ca$hback to Big Bang 2002 is presented below.

Big Bang 2002

After an early start (6.00am at Pease Pottage) the demon dweebs / Team Ca$hback, with Grant (Stig) A-framing Ca$hback behind him, cruised up the M23, round the M25, and up the M1 to Toddington Services. After a quick stop, the cruise continued up the M1 finally turning off at J14 for the final approach to SantaPod, and the Team were onsite and tents pitched by 10.30am, leaving plenty of time to prepare Ca$hback for the days Run-What-You-Brung, or so we thought!

With the new Dellorto 48's bolted on Ca$hback was expected to burst into life, but this didn't quite happen. Some thieving sods had stolen the fuel line T-piece, so a frantic search and scrounging took place up the pits and trade stands. Finally one was source and fitted. But electrical problems were then found to be causing a lack of fire up, and after a few hours of trouble shooting, including swopping coils and batteries several times, it was concluded that the 009 all electronic distributor was broken. As none of us fancied pulling one from our engines it was looking bad for Ca$hback, until Nic.B.C passed by and mentioned that he had a new 009 with points with him. So this was rapidly aquired on "long-term" loan and fitted to the engine. With another battery, and bit of rewiring to bypass some other bad wiring, a quick setting of the timing, and Ca$hback fired up.

With the car now running, the 2 drivers (Grant and Gareth) signed on, and Ca$hback was ready to go. The 1st run (Grant) saw the return of the gear selecting problems and a time of 26 seconds. However the second run of the day saw an improvement, with a best time yet of 17 seconds over the 1/4 mile.

An evening visit and consultation with Paul-BOTCH-Venners ended with the advice to strap the gear box in.

Day 2, an Empi Performance parts gearbox strap kit was purchased, and fitted to Ca$hback to stabilise the gearbox upon take off on the startline. This supposedly simply task was in the end to take about 6 hours of blood, sweat and tears, and involved the help of a very large hammer, a hacksaw, and a big chisel, to modify the lower gearbox mounts to allow the strap fit properly. No track time that day, as the VWDRC were running, next RWYB on Monday.

Final day of BigBang 2002, and last chance to run Ca$hback in RWYB.
Unfortunately in was pouring down with rain, and did not look good for racing. Finally the rain stopped, and the track dried. Was it worth the wait ? YES. The first run of the day saw Ca$hback run a 15 second quarter mile (Nice one Gareth). Unfortunately the second run didn't go quite as well. Whilst pushing Ca$hback down the fire-up road, a knocking was noticed from the rear wheels / axle, but was it decided it was nothing to be worried about (little did we know).
About 3/4 of the way down the 1/4 mile strip the left hand rear wheel began to wobble violently and shed 3 of the 4 wheel bolts, resulting in the wheel almost coming off, and Ca$hback grinding to a halt. Appologies for holding up the racing for about 15 mins whilst we recovered the car from the track. Having spoken to the track marshalls, it was mentioned that had the wheel come right off, then Ca$hback would most definately have ROLLED.
The driver at the time (Gareth) was a bit shaken, but unhurt, but was glad he had been to the loo just before the run! After recovering Ca$hback and bolting the wheel back on, a final run of the day was put in by Grant (Stig), but the gear selection problems returned again, and a 23 second 1/4 mile pass was run.

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