Well it had to happen I guess – our first DNF (did not finish). In reality it was more of a DNS (did not start), we didnt even mange one run on the course before we flooded the engine with water and killed it.
Round 5 of the Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship was at the Bovington tank training ground in Hampshire, its a course we love – very rough and technical and we were relishing the chance to further increase our lead in the class (other than dropped rounds we were still leading) but it wasnt to be.
In the day leading the race and on race day itself the course was deluged with rain and at Bovington with the tanks compacting the ground any rain just sits there so the course was effectively a series of jumps followed by 3 feet deep trenches of water.
So first run we set off, visibility was nigh impossible with each water splash covering the screen with so much water the wipers couldnt cope but we made progress but towards the end of the first run the car began to miss fire and then cut out completely. We got it going again and limped back to the pits.
A quick look at the oil confirmed our worst fears, so much water had been taken in by the roof scoop (thats right – roof, right at the top of the car) that it had over whelmed three filters and a paper filter and flooded the engine. Despite changing the oil (three times) changing the spark plugs, coils and everything else that it could affect the car continued to missfire and we were forced to pull it.
Massive shame for us, up until now we’d completed every round and it was that consistency that put us into the lead but no more, we didnt even finish one run, thats just depressing.
Hard to really put the blame on anything but ourselves the roof scoop was well protected and multiple filters but in hindsight the amount and depth of the water meant we should have re-routed it before we ran at all such were the conditions.
Back at the workshop the damage was severe, one bent rod as well as other internal damage means the engine is likely junk, means it was an expensive 5 miles of racing but thats motorsport sometimes. As a result no video report for this round – seemed a bit of a waste of everyones time standing in front of a camera crying – its not the oscars after all!
Last round is back in Wales in November, with our DNF for this round it will be a straight up fight between the two Yamaha YXZ1000R’s for the win, the Polaris entries struggling all year with CVT belt issues sadly. Its not a course we’ve ever driven before so will be a tough ask to beat Neil in his Yamaha who has years of experience at the venue but will give it our best.