Well, dear reader, the event of 21st December did not happen, but was postponed to January - and we missed that date too. But today the Beast finally escaped from the clutches of Saluki Motorsport, and the amount of work Robbie has put into the suspension redesign is simply awesome.
It wasn't just a matter of fitting new to replace old - it was a fundamental redesign. A whole new rear sub-frame was fabricated to mount the top of the new bypass shocks, which go down through the floor, through the coil springs and onto new axle mounts. This subframe also incorporates the spare wheel rack, and mountings for the jack and the compressed air bottle. It's a bolted assembly, allowing removal for access to the tank.
At the front, two new turret assemblies hold the tops of both shocks, and are braced across the engine with a bolted member, removable in case the engine needs to come out. The whole deal is a masterpiece of fabrication, and I an enormously grateful to Robbie and the team at Saluki for their hard work.
The new Merin tank is in, as are the gorgeous Corbeau seats, which give me a better seating position with my knees that bit further from the steering wheel, plus extra hip-room.
As I write, new(er) tyres are being fitted, the old BFGs which served me well for 5 years(!) are being retired with honour.
Tomorrow's event is a 2-hour 20km circuit which we'll probably run 5 times, near Lihbab, and the details are here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emirates-Desert-Championship/535975483151541. Richard Bailey has once again 'volunteered' to help out, and we're heading out at 6.00am.
In related news, I am happy to announce that Rick Carless is back from the 2014 DC! After an absence of a year he's been suffering from withdrawal symptoms. He's decided that five days in the desert, with skinned knuckles, sunburn, late nights and sand in every orifice is too good a gig to refuse, and we're delighted to have him back.