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We could not have wished for better weather to kick-start the race season and testing my FIA XK140 at ‘Glorious Goodwood?

Also, this was not going to be just another normal Track Day. The reason for this was that I was introducing my new co-driver for the 2011 and 2012 race seasons.

Melvin Floyd is co-director at CKL Developments Ltd, based near Battle in East Sussex. I had kindly invited Mel to race with me for this and next season, to which he kindly bit my arm off, I mean graciously accepted!!

The whole idea is for Mel and I to race together this year and for he and I to get used to the car, shake it down over the season to make it fast and reliable and prepare it for the Le Mans Classic in 2012.

Mel has a lot of race experience and we have shadowed each other over the past five years when he co-drove with Chris Keith-Lucas in CKL’s XK120 (The Red Peril!)

The day started well with Mel ‘passengering’ with me while I drove the first few laps, so that he became used to the car’s handling capabilities and engine characteristics.

Then it was my turn to passenger Mel! This was slightly uncomfortable, as I have never let anyone else drive or race the car to date. And she’s very precious HA HA!!

Mel’s style is very smooth like mine, but I wondered, how he would treat the engine and gearbox, both of which (Especially the gearbox) is completely original being a three ‘Synchro’ JL Moss box of some vintage.

It transpired that 2nd gear is really not the gear of choice with a gearbox that is 56 years old. However, we discussed the merits of the engine configuration and that it has a lot of ‘Low-down’ torque and, with sufficient speed carried through most corners, 3rd is a perfectly adequate gear in most situations.

In addition, this will be the first time that the car will have been raced on Dunlop CR48 ‘L’ section cross-ply tyres. I must say that the car handled extremely well allowing us both to four-wheel-drift out of corners such as Madgewick and Lavant, two beautiful constant radius, double-apex corners.

The car is now back on Drum Brakes all round for 2011 and, with the able assistance of my Engineer Keith Martin, it appears that we have finally sorted out the braking capability through much experimentation over the last twelve months. Fingers crossed though for Donington where the true test will be over thirty minutes of qualifying and a one hour race.

Steve Andrew, the CEO of Applied IT Solutions also came down and supported us during the day and took some excellent photos of us on-track (Thanks Steve!). See Web Site shots!

We also tested my new MWS Dastle Racebox as to it’s suitability for making tea (??) etc, complete with portable generator etc. Great fun!? Pictures of the Dastle Race Box with the new MWS Livery can be seen under the `Gallery` Section of the web site.

So all in all, it was a very enjoyable day and we achieved a lot in a short time. This was of course the pre-cursor to the new Donington Festival where Mel and I will be racing the XK on the 30th April for the first time. Let’s hope that both the car and the inter-personal skills work well?!

Therefore the first race event will be at:

Donington Park on the 30th April and the 1st May.

NOTE: Our race will be the Royal Automobile Club’s
‘Woodcote Trophy’ on Saturday.

We would love to see you at our MWS marquee with our new 2011 MWS banner branding and the latest MWS product brochures displaying:

Motor Wheel Service International Ltd – Wire Wheels since 1927

All the best!

John DR

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