R.I.P.S. FED RB30 Finally Expires

Well, I suppose it had to happen one day but unfortunatly "the old faithfull" failed due to a silly mistake following an unusual situation not an issue with the engine itself which is really gutting for us.

We'd done our usual warm up and 3 qualifying passes, (an 8.3 after somoking the tyres off the line, a 7.49 and a 7.48) all went well and the track was starting to heat up which ment we were going to lean on it a bit harder and try to get the times down some more.

The last qualifying run was at 12:59 and after we'd packed the chute and topped up the fuel we all settled into our chairs to wait for the call for the first

round.

There was a lunch break and delays for some reason and time just flew by, without taking much notice it was soon 3:20 and we were told we'd be up in about 15 minutes.

We pushed the car up to our usual waiting spot about 20 meters from the start line and waited for the cars we knew would run before us to come out for their runs.

We'd usually have about an hour between runs and then we'd fire up the engine when there were 2 runs to go till ours, that gives us time to get some heat into the oil and coolant and for me to settle in and prepare for the run.

We didn't give it a second thought that there'd now been 2 1/2 hours go by since our last run and all of a sudden, out of the blue, we were called up to the line, we started the motor and I made my way to the burnout box while the guys wiped stones off the tyres.

I was on a bye run, running on my own, therefore no-one to wait for and I was given the go to do the burnout, I did the burnout and backed up as usual.

I came into stage, once again with no-one to wait for so it all happened pretty quick, come up on boost and left just as usual, it hooked up real nice and I felt I was on for a great run, about 150 meters out, all of a sudden I lost power and smoke started pouring from the exhaust, the motor was still running and I just presumed we'd blown the turbo, I kept coasting, presuming everything else was OK and then near the finish line my visor got covered with antifreeze and I couldn't see a thing, I ran through with an 8.8 @ 96mph still not knowing what had happened.

Once I'd slowed a little more I opened my visor so I could see and the safety guy at the end of the track was signaling me to pull left and shut down the motor, it was still running and I shut it down, pulled to the left and came to a stop as quick as I could.

I was still in the car and confused about what could have happened because I had antifreeze on the screen, on my helmet and on my race suit and there was no sign of oil as far as I could see but then the safety guy told me there was oil on my side deflectors in front of the rear tyres.

As we were towing back to the pits I saw the clean up crew on the track just after the finish line so we stopped and asked if they needed a hand, we were told to get the car to the pits in case we could fix it before the next round.

Once back at the pits and we found a hole in the side of the block and the undertrays and nappy full of oil and mangled parts we got the pit runner to radio the guys on the track to see if they needed us down there but were told it was all under control and not to bother comming down.

We were all scartching our heads as to what could have happened then it started to come together once we looked at the data.

My water temp was just 35c when I started the burnout and 60c at the start of the run, we had a sudden loss of oil pressure during the burnout and it was low during the run.

We have since found the oil filter had collapsed due to the oil being too cold and although there would have been 130-140psi going to the filter (instead of 80-90 when up to temp) we had MUCH less than we usually would have at the engine/crank during the run.

We were leaning on it pretty hard (2.5 bar boost) and the old girl just decided to throw No2 out the side.

Although gutted that we didn't get more heat into the motor to get the oil pressure down, it really has done a huge amount of work and given us over 3 years of trouble free racing with 100s and 100s of runs with a huge amount of them in the 7s, all with 2 oil changes, 1 set of spark plugs and a set of rings and bearings about 15 months ago.

Its also lucky we had big undertrays and a huge nappy because there was a real risk of fire and oil under the tyres.

I'll get pictures of the damage a.s.a.p but it looks very bad and I'm not sure how soon we are going to be able to fix it all.