Well that was some weekend! Started off being told that our tow car (work pool car) will likely need a new engine which was surprising given it is 6 months old and only done 5k miles…. This created a dilemma about no tow car for Sunday’s Targa Rally. Thankfully Suze found a Transit van with tow bar for hire at short notice. So that was collected late Friday.
Then it was on to the rally, all was fine on Saturday with the Transit being an excellent tow vehicle even if it was a 10 year Transit with 140k miles on it, the van felt very solid and like it could do more than that mileage again.
Sunday morning and queuing for scrutineering I noticed a pool coolant under the car…. Not what you want to see at the start of an event. Jamie Turner soon diagnosed it as a water pump leak. At this point hiring the van seemed like a very very good idea! So we filled up the header tank and ventured out on the first run of tests.
I’m not always great on the first run of tests, and this was compounded by constantly watching the temperature gauge for movement. Luckily the temps held even with some steam coming from under the bonnet. We returned to the paddock and then used some borrowed stop leak from Sheldon (many many thanks for this), and then headed out for Suze’s tests. This worked a treat and I can recommend the Ravenol stop leak.
The rest of the day we were able to push the car as hard as normal, the sticker List 1B tyres we had were great fun.
Then in the queue for my and the cars final test, steam started coming out of the bonnet! We had come this far, so we chanced it and carried on. We both check the temperature gauge during the test a lot, but carried on pushing hard and got to the finish with barely enough coolant left. Thankfully there were no more tests as I doubt the car would have lasted…
After all that, we finished up 9th overall, which was pleasing after a slow start, which at one point we feared we may not even make.
Many many thanks for the help from the as ever great rally community, especially Jamie for his advice and guidance and Sheldon for the stop leak. I am amazed it lasted as long as it did!
The ZR is now off for a little holiday at the Rover Centre, for them to fit new cam belts (VVC’s have two belts) and a new water pump.