The 2017 Ultra 4 King of Wales event started with a sunny dry first day on that Welsh mountain side, but within 24 hours the Welsh weather took its revenge … in came the rain, fog producing the liquid black mud …
In the words of James Ayre, team AT Racing, #181, this was their weekend on that wet mountainside ;
King of Wales .. what an event !
We left early on Thursday morning to make the King Shock tuning to set up the new coil overs on the car which made a massive difference to how the car handles and took the track, Gerardo Iribe really knows his stuff !
After sorting a few little issues after tuning we were onto pretty running Friday morning which went less then well mullering a track rod on a nasty stump a couple miles in which luckily we carry a spare for on the car.
So swapped that out then carried onto the JLR steps where it all went wrong, I managed to wedge the nearside front tyre in all gap while on the power trying to clear the gateway snapping the half shaft which took out the end of the diff, we also noticed that the rear locker wouldn’t engage leaving us with 1 wheel drive ! So after winching out of the section and crawling back to pits we stripped everything down. I’ve got to say all massive thank you to Paul Dunn for driving back to his unit and collecting a diff for us to use which we welded up and after making a bodge repair to the locker with some o-ring material and super glue we were fixed but through and let this we missed qualifying and so ended up starting the race dead last.
Saturday went much better making good work of the rocks and making good progress until the steering box lost all its fluid leaving me with no power steering for half a lap we managed to make it around and change the box and went back out for a much cleaner 2 and 3rd run but on the 4th we spat 2 belts in 1/4 of a mile and ran out of spares, realising that a panhard rod had pushed the coil over onto the belt with time running out we retired from the day.
After some more repairs we set out in Sunday next to Ryan and Paul Dunn tussling for position a few times until we hit a bad hole which sheared a power steering pipe meaning meaning a walk back to pits and with some great help from garage may we managed to carry on. But when we started again we realised the wiper motor had failed and only making it a few hundred yards between windscreen cleans we decided to kick out the screen to make better progress then we made it to the JLR rocks where a bit too much hoonage on rover axles snapped a rear half shaft but we decided to carry on in 3wd meaning winching every rock section and hill as it just wouldn’t push on tiny tyres and no grip at the back. Michael Brownie Brown worked ridiculously hard for the next few hours getting us around the course but after 4 and and half hours we finished our one and only lap if the day. This lap was enough to secure 3rd place in class, which after everything that went wrong we were so happy with.
A massive thanks to Brownie for working so hard on the car with me and out of the car for us to finish where we did we got round because of his determination and grit I can’t thank him enough. Also a big thank you To Philon Parpottas and the buzz racing crew for such a brilliant weekend, all the help and hospitality it’s great to spend the races with you guys ! To Jess Alvarez for her help in the pits and to everyone else that helped us this weekend I hope I can repay you all back in some way soon, and of course to Richard Crossland Chris Bowler JT Taylor and the whole ultra 4 organisation crew and marshalls for helping the races to run, We had a brilliant time and can’t wait for more ….
Text & Image credits; James Ayre