Simon Barlow and
Fire up the New BIG Motor!
Report, pictures, video and Sound bytes by Richard Stirling © 2006
Following on from the interview I did with Outlaw Anglia racer Simon Barlow before Christmas, I was keen to get "part two" of the story as to the conclusion of his serious engine problems which he encountered at the Halloween bash at SCR last October. So, last Saturday, I went round to see Simon and his excited crew who, it appears, have been spending Simon's hard earned cash with some relish!
It was a miserable day with relentless drizzle and thoroughly cold conditions - hardly the ideal situation for a first warm-up, but at least the garage was available so we weren't going to get drenched! As I arrived, the engine had just been installed and Simon, Crew Chief Phil and Team member Jason were all eager to get it started. It took me a few minutes to get my gear together and whilst I was getting ready, I noticed (with some alarm!) that the huge new headers were completely open and unattached to any sort of silenced exhaust system... As you can see from the pictures, the garage is in a completely residential area and I feared that Simon's neighbours would be advancing as an angry mob, the second it started up! Simon smiled, dispensed thoughts of angry neighbours with the flourish of a hand and punched the starter anyway! His new Chevy Small-block immediately burst into life and what a racket!! It sounded really strong, much louder and crisper than it did before with the old 'little' top end. Simon has grafted many new parts in place, courtesy of Andy Frost, and they have already run the motor at Peter Knight's so everyone was pretty confident that it was going to start first time - and it did.
They ran the motor for about 7 minutes with Jason behind the wheel and then shut it off to cool down a little and attend to the valve lash. Phil expertly dealt with that task and we'd barely finished off our cups of tea, before Simon decided to give it another blast! This second time, he ran it for a little less than 5 minutes (bless those neighbours!) and he really wound it up before pronouncing himself "pleased with the test" and ready to race. He will be out at the Power Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway on the weekend of the 1st & 2nd April 2006, where I will also be in attendance, with camera at the ready. I can't wait!
I took some photographs during the two warm-ups and I was also experimenting with a new T-bar arrangement with both my stills camera at one end and a new digital video camera at the other. The light was so poor, really, I can't really tell if it was a success or not, but never mind, it's something I've been wanting to do for a good while - particularly so with Nitro warm-ups in the pits, but we'll see if that works later in the season. So, for now, we have a video of the entire two warm-ups - back to back. It's a massive file, though (69mb), but it's a streaming windows movie, so it should start playing before you download the whole lot. I also had my digital talk box strapped to the T Bar, so I have separate sound files for each of Simon's warm-ups as well. These are much smaller files and certainly give you the flavour of the occasion. I hope you enjoy the pictures, video and sound bytes! See you at the track!
Copyright © www.topnitro.co.uk