David Coveney

Of broken toelinks (Anglesey May and June 2006)

A bit of a long time since the last update, but here we go…..

At the end of May I did the MGOC Anglesey weekend sprint and, on the day before I did a trackday at the same place. All seemed great at the start of the trackday – the Elise going beautifully and showing itself well even amongst sticky tyred race cars. I was confident about the sprint.

But then, about half way through the day, the handling seemed to go somewhat awry. I put it down to the tyres going off, but the handling never seemed to return to where it should have been. Oh well – I continued on. The next two days I competed in the sprint but as there was only one Elise (me!) I accepted a class amalgamation into the mod-prods. All slick shod race cars and there’s me with standard road tyres. But I do like a challenge :o) Day one I did ok and came second, and day two I won it by a modest margin. Happy enough I went home, parked the car up, and didn’t think about it. My times hadn’t been amazing, but I didn’t worry.

Two weeks pass and the car is unused. I have enough to deal with on my house refurbishment without stressing about the car. I hopped in and drove off to Anglesey for another sprint – this time with Chester Motor Club and just for the Sunday. I was a little late and going at an, erm, modest pace along the A55 when I hit a bump and…. weave. Weave?! That was a new feeling. I wasn’t sure if it was me being tired or the car but it certainly did feel a little out of sorts.

Once I arrived I started checking over the car and then found the source of all my problems – the rear nearside toelink was rattling around like it was about to drop off! Not good for handling, and potentially dangerous too! I managed to tighten it a little, and others were a great help offering parts and assistance. In the end it was tight enough to nervously compete for a single run before I decided to cut my losses and head for home. As the Elises were once more under-represented I ran alone this time and got my win and, more importantly my championship points – though if you run alone you can only get the equivalent of second place.

This coming weekend I’ll be at Aintree and there’s a great field, including four Elises. That’s more like it! It should be a fun event, so long as my toelink can be sorted by then. I’ve ordered the Eliseparts kit as Lotus are all out of replacements. It means spending £280 instead of £30, but this is the problem with competition cars. Sometimes you need to spend in order to keep alive in the championships and compete effectively. The upside is that the new kit is substantially stronger than the old and should put up with years of track abuse.

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