Well, having got through the DC without blowing up the engine or putting the car on its roof you might think that this would be a cheap year for race-car maintenance. If such was your thinking, then allow me to disabuse you of the notion that a race-car is anything put a four-wheeled money-pit.
Rebuilding the 6 shocks didn't some cheap this time, as we'd managed to abuse them fairly comprehensively. So Powertec were able to take a Dh 5k bite out of my wallet. Then we decided that we ought to revise the front shock mounts to make sure they didn't fall apart again. Oh, and the gearbox was getting really cranky towards the end of the rally, so I decided to rebuild that as well, and sent it off to Sam at 1000 Dunes Garage. But the amount of parts required made it completely uneconomical to rebuild, so I bought a new gearbox instead (another Dh 8k). To be fair, 5 years of rallying meant we'd really had our money's worth out of it- some people change them every year! Plus another Dh2k for a new chain and sprockets for the transfer box, which was worth rebuilding. The good news was that I now had a high performance clutch ready to install from those nice people at Mantic. Except that when Saluki Motorsport started to fit it, they found that the splines on the pressure plate didn't match. My fault - there's an adaptor from Nissan to GM splines on the end of the gearbox, so we didn't need Nissan pattern on the pressure plate, but GM pattern. Doh! Anyway, Mantic (bless 'em) are sending me a new one FOC. What nice people!
But of course it doesn't stop there. Because the car is now 5 years old - Glen built it in time for the 2008 DC - so now all the dated components expire this year. This means the seats, the harnesses and the fuel cell. The good news is that the fuel cell can be re-validated for another two years - if you don't mind the hassle of sending it back to ATL in the UK. Seeing as a new tank is over £4000 (yes, that's four thousand quid!) and the testing and recertification is likely to be around £350, that's a no-brainer - even after you pay the courier cost. Seats and harnesses can't be re-validated, so that's another £1500 or so.
Oh - and the helmets! The FIA, in their quest for ever improved safety standards, have decided that we have to buy a new set of hemets meeting the latest 'Snell 2010' FIA standard. So that's £450 a pop.
Bugger, I forgot about tyres. Maybe I can get away with only 4 new BFG 275/70R16s at Dh 1000 each.
If you tot that lot up, and add in a random figure for workshop time, you get to something in the region of Dh 40,000.
Which is why, dear reader, that unless you are disgustingly wealthy, incredibly well sponsored or completely barking mad, you should never, ever think about getting involved in motorsport.
(I must leave you now, they're coming to take me away, ha-ha...)