Disaster strikes ahead of rounds three and four of the British Rallycross Championship

The curse continues to disrupt progress with the Bowes Racing Golf.
Labman culture 12 min read

Katie SimpsonPublished 11th May 2016

What a disaster!!

The curse continues to disrupt progress with the Bowes Racing Golf. After a disastrous second round of the British Rallycross at Lydden where we suffered catastrophic gearbox failure, we knew that we would be pushed for time whilst repairing the Golf for the third and fourth round at Pembrey last weekend. With a complete engine overhaul required and a completely new gearbox we knew we would be tight on time.

Following round two at Lydden, we purchased a new Golf MK4 to provide us with the necessary parts needed to repair and upgrade the Golf and to make the car more competitive and more reliable. After stripping the engine out of the newer car we still needed to remove the gearbox, replace the clutch and wait for the new Quaife straight cut Dog box to arrive. After a few weeks though I was informed that the gearbox would not be ready in time for the next rounds as Quaife were still waiting on parts for the kit. We made the decision to forge ahead and build the gearbox and get the car ready with a standard gearbox and differential.

After a few more weeks of hard toil the car was progressing but there was still lots of work to do. In the week leading up to the event we were still waiting for new engine mounts to arrive preventing us from putting the engine in any sooner. The engine finally went in on the Wednesday before the event and we were able to start adding the rest of the engine components. At this point things took a turn for the worse with the original drive shafts to fit, we were unable to replace the output shafts. We had to get the drive shafts shortened on the Friday before the event and increasingly more went wrong whilst building the engine. On the Friday night we made the decision to withdraw the Golf from the event. The workload was far too much for the amount of time we had left and with more and more problems emerging we decided it was not worth the risk of completing all of the work for one of the many new components to possibly break during a big event.

On a more positive note the Team Bowes/Labman Mini performed better than it’s ‘team mate’. With very wet conditions on Saturday and with the circuit being run in reverse (for the first time ever), Stewart Bowes came second in both rounds…despite lots of spins and driving on two wheels!!

Since the third and fourth rounds the new Quaife gearbox has arrived and is currently being built into the gearbox. Sadly our display at the World Rallycross at Lydden Hill has been cancelled but this does mean that we have plenty of time to finish the car and carry out lots of testing to make sure it is running perfectly ahead the fifth round in Maasmechelen, Belgium. We hope to see you there.

Thank you to Labman for being so patient with both us and the Golf during the tricky few months we have had with the development of the race car. Thanks also to Quaife for providing us with a new gearbox in return for a small sponsorship deal.