To try out the X-5 I went along to the National Indoor Finals, held at the
Batley Buggy Club indoor venue. The surface consisted of polished floor,
carpet, mats and a large double jump.
In the morning I finished off the car, and mounted the receiver ariel at
the rear of the car using an alloy mount. I missed the first practice, in
the second practice session I went out for the first drive of the car, It
was pretty clear that the car was under-geared (12 turn on a 17 pinion) so
top speed was a bit lacking, I was also finding it very hard to do the
large double, there was a small bump before the take off which was
unsettling the car and the car wasn't able to get up enough speed to clear
the jump. I had plenty of crashes in this first practice but but the car
held up well.
I changed the gearing by going to a 19 pinion, probably still slightly
under geared but a lot better speed. I also raised the car a little to
cope with the bumps better.
The first run out was a lot better, after a few laps I got into the feel of
the X-5 but it was still slow compared to other cars, it just felt sluggish
like there was loads of friction (which there wasn't).
I discovered the rear diff had loosened off so set that right.
run 2 was my best run, I changed to worn old mini spike tyres which gave
more grip than the shiney new ones from the practice and first round. the
car was really good, I was able to throw it around the track nicely and it
took the bumps and jumps perfectly, the car was still not as punchy as I
like but it the handling was great.
Run 3, I changed the shocks to inside on the wishbones all round, for more
grip, and put softer pink springs in place of red on the rear to try and
balance the front and rear grip. Again was really good, I got up to 1st for
a short while until I heard that fact over the speakers and lost my cool.
I was really impressed by the car at this point, for my first race, indeed
first drive of the car, it was going really well.
In the last qualifier I set off and was on great pace for about a lap
before the rear diff gave way and I had barely any acceleration at all, I
just played round for a few minutes thinking it was the slipper too loose.
I qualified 3rd in the E final, which isn't bad for a first go with the car
and along side similar ability drivers, If i'd had more time to sort the
diff and slipper settings then im sure I would have been in the final above.
From the start I got straight into 2nd and was quite confident in being on
pace to win but after a few corners I realised something wasn't right and
the back end was just too loose, I think the rear diff was set a little too
tight (just to be sure) and the back end was loose because of this and
breaking away too much when I pushed it.
I was quite gutted as I kept slipping places when I got out of shape on the
corners, the diff change (and tighten) had unbalanced the car.
|Overall, I have to say despite the small problems with the rear diff (not X Factorys fault), I was
really very impressed by the car. John price is racing the car during the
upcoming national series and we'll be long term testing the cars
performance, and I have to say after racing the car for the first time I
wish I were racing it instead of him, It really is a good car on the track,
it seemed a little more direct than the XX4 from which it takes the
suspension, but still very forgiving. It handled the bumps well and flew the jumps very well indeed.
Dan Greenwood at the indoor finals