Over the past few weeks the old Capo has had its ECU (brain!) pummelled, all in the name of research. The release of the freeware program – TuneECU, saw a flurry of activity as some of us tested its functionality against the long-serving TuneBoy package. I can say without conviction, it works, it’s stable …. in fact it’s now my programming tool of choice for the Capo.
So on a lovely sunny and warm Friday, while Jan was away in Rome, I decided it was about time the Capo got a run to make sure everything was ok and it wasn’t short of a few marbles after all the brain surgery. I wasn’t sure how low the snow line was on the Gran Sasso, but I guessed it was worth a look.
Duly suited’n booted I headed out toward Farindola, then detoured through Macchie and Vicenne on some very narrow and deserted mountain tracks. The heavy scent of damp woodland giving way to a wonderful aroma of burning logs as I skimmed past lonley building not yet abandoned to the mountain. Back at the main road I turned west, climbing through Rigopano and the eerily atmospheric woodlands, finally popping out at the top with a view of Campo Imperatore (Little Tibet) that never ceases to amaze. When I left home it had been a balmy 19ºC, now it was down to 3ºC …. the ‘Halvarssons’ suit kept me toasty and it was a good excuse to test the heated grips!
The roads coming up are sadly in a terrible state and made all the worse with lots of leaf mulch and a fair sprinkling of rocks and bits of tree. They are however thankfully quiet … I only saw one other vehicle on the way up, so you can take advantage of the whole road to pick the best bits. The roads on the West side though are another story, sweeping bends, fantastic surfaces and excellent visibility.
I stopped for a while, just enjoying the tranquillity before heading down to Castel del Monte, a quick refuel then onward to Villa Santa Lucia Degli Abruzzi, Offena, Brittoli and towards home before dark. If I said I saw half a dozen vehicles the whole way, I’d be exaggerating! In the end I’d really tried hard to stick to bobbling along in ‘tourist’ mode ….. I couldn’t resist it any longer ….. I just had to go back up the road, turn around and give those bends a damn good spanking! The Capo runs beautifully, pulling like a train and happily using the extra 1,000 RPM before the rev limiter kicks in. Only thing to sort out is a slightly nervous tickover, a smidgin more fuel added on the ‘Idle trim’ should sort that out. Happy days!
Back in the barn, the Capo is contentedly ticking away to itself as it cools down, while I tweak the map in the ECU one last time. Then it’s lights out, night-night old girl ….. till tomorrow.