Monday, 28 November 2016

Through darkened skies, rays of hope beam down........

“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” – Joshua J. Marine

As tough as what 2016 has been, having to make changes, having to adapt to circumstances and having to overcome medical difficulties including surgical operations, perseverance has been absolute key in coping with most of these as well as overcoming some of the many other challenges.  During December 2015 my Boet spent the festive season with me and during that time a clapped out yet still roadworthy Datsun J was acquired with the intention of building it to race car in 2016.  It was duly transported down to Cape Town where was slowly built all while the build up of the engine, transmission and suspension parts were also slowly collected and assembled.  Many curveballs were also thrown in during this time and the challenges were huge BUT the 'never say die' attitude is at last about to be triumphant.  What would have taken only a few months to build under normal circumstances has taken close on to a full year to achieve the same result.  At times I guess it would have probably been a lot easier to just throw in the towel and to simply walk away due to not being able to do what you once could do but as I have stated before, that is not how we were raised.  Within the next few days or so, the final product of perseverance through pain and discomfort will finally be revealed.

My creation of this photograph somewhat depicts the dark days of difficulty during these times against the backdrop of Killarney race track with the race car nearing its final completion and shining from above are the light rays of hope indicating that all is not yet lost no matter how difficult it may be at times.

As my Boet is unable to physically do the testing driving of the car himself, he has asked me to be his test guide and for which I am truly honoured in having been asked to assist him with.  We do tend to take our racing rather personal and the edge of competitiveness that has existed between us is still there, so do try and understand his frustrations during this difficult time.

The final touches must still be completed during this week but most of that is now in the capable hands of the bodywork fitters and trimmers and the sign writer.  During the course of this week (28 Nov - 01 Dec) these final touches will be made and I will only make the trip down to Cape Town on late Thursday afternoon to see it 'in the flesh' so to speak.  Friday (02 Dec) all going well I will get the opportunity to commence the test procedure, the bedding in process and the final setups in the hope that by the end of the Saturday (03 December) we will have reached our target lap time goal.  All going well it should then be ready for the commencement for the 2017 season and it will make its official race debut during the Passion For Speed event to be held in the first week of February 2017.

Thanks Boet
Hang in there!!

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Time to look back and take stock.

It has been quite a while now since my last blog postings but it is not because of a lack of interest nor for making or finding the time to reflect on what has taken place over the many months that have since passed.  To say that 2015 was a tough year would be putting it rather mildly yet each day that has also since passed in 2016, we were given a new day to take upon its challenges, its difficulties and its knock downs in life.  You see, this is not about me or my wishes.  Well actually it is in a sort of way.  It's not either about wanting to set deadlines and targets.  It's no longer about how soon or how quick can we build or even rebuild cars, race engines or even just being at the race track.  It is no longer about when will we get back to the place we so love and doing what we have done for all these years.  In fact, far from it I may add.  For now, its just all about being together whenever we can and to just work through this all.

Sometimes, no matter how strong willed the intentions of one may be and no matter how determined one may be there simply comes a time when the human body and mind eventually says, that's it, no more, time out.  It cries out 'I'm tired, I can't go on anymore' yet each day it is expected that no matter what your body tells you, or tries to tell you, you must try and simply ignore it and just push on.  After all, that's how we were both raised by our parents.  Never quit, never give up and always give your utmost best even when it feels that you are on your very last breath.  Well sometimes no matter how hard you try, nature has a better and stronger plan and short-circuits all your very good intensions.  Now don't get me wrong, this is not about seeking any sympathy or even asking for help in some sort of way.  It's not even about painting a sorrowful picture of sorts or to attract any sort of attention.  In fact it is more than likely the very opposite.  It's something just best kept quiet about and as time passes hopefully nature will heal all its own wounds and life will return to normal without as much as anyone even noticing it.  Yeah, dream on.

Each day so far this year, it has been a hard slog but not once was the towel thrown in.  You see, my boet is a determined fighter and at every given opportunity he will pretend and say I'm fine, there are other people that are worse off than me.  Everyday, no matter how difficult a day it may be, there was a smile, even if it was half hearted at times, a laugh, even if it was somewhat forced and even a time to crack a joke yet behind those disguises was someone in agonizing pain and continuous discomfort.  Each and every day added to the difficulties of just being able to get up and run a successful business come hell or high water.  I was aware of my boet's signs quite a while ago already, I could pick it up in his mannerisms, his speech, his ways and noticed his ever declining determination.  Yet as much and as hard that I tried, it was an impossible task to simply accept let alone sit and watch helplessly as lethargy literally took over more and more each day and as everything just slowly grinds to a halt.

It finally reached a point where the eventual decision was taken for him to close his business due to simply not being able to spend as much quality time as was required and as was demanded by the business.  Staff had to eventually open up his business at the crack of dawn so as to get the workshop up and running and ensure that a days work and new business could be completed all while medication and a lorry load of tablets kicked in in order to just be able to move .  Some days were often only spent half day at work as my brothers body simply could no longer keep up the demanding pace required that was once just the accepted norm.  Staff had to also close and lock up the business at night all while the medication just barely kept the pains and lethargy at bay.  This was no ordinary life anymore, but he pushed on.  Our racing had come to a grinding halt as result thereof.  All our racing cars were eventually sold off as there was simply no more place to keep and store them let alone be able to work on them.  This is not what was ever planned, it was simply what had to be done given the circumstances.  Luckily I did manage to keep my own project race car which I have been painstakingly busy with for approximately 7 years already but even that looked like I might just have to one day just accept that it might never happen.  We did eventually find a safe place to store my project race car where to this day it is still kept under cover while I still continue to source the many parts before it can even further commence being built.  The business was finally sold early this year and the stresses and difficulties of running a busy motor car workshop have for now been put behind my boet.  My hopes were already somewhat dashed back in 2015 when it became apparent that due to his ever declining medical condition there was simply no chance of having my race project ready by the beginning of 2016 yet I remained positive.  A fair amount of progress was still made during 2016 with me sourcing some rather hard to find and rather unique parts still needed and at times I still saw a glimmer of hope that just maybe we would now be able to have it ready by the beginning of 2017.   Reality still unfortunately dictates otherwise and due to the complexities and time still required to build it properly I will in all probability write off 2017 as well and start looking and hoping now towards 2018.  Expecting anything more would simply not be appropriate right now given the current medical circumstances.

My boet has been through a lot in more ways than one from a medical point of view but each and every day I still phone him, try and try and motivate him. We chat about getting back to doing what we once both loved doing together albeit it tough at times.  We just simply take it each days as it comes now.  The business is gone so making ends still meet brings on a whole new set of challenges working from home doing the odd job.  The monthly bills still need to be paid and the medical doctors still need to be visited for checkups as well as the ongoing medications prescribed which all still add to the now very much different everyday life.  As he said, there are people far worse off than him.

We will race again one day even if it means we do it in wheel chairs from the old age home.  That's just who and how we are.  It's unfortunately in our blood and our genetic make up.  If we do eventually get it right, it may not quite be like in the past but by remaining focused, determined and if nature just lets up a little bit we might just be able to get something together one more time.  The challenges will always be there, the difficulties will remain and the obstacles to overcome are perfectly understood but by simply sitting back and throwing your hands up and saying 'I give up' and in turn allow the mind to become negative will simply not ever achieve anything.   There may still have to be some huge lifestyle changes necessary in order to move further forward but together we will drive each other to attain our common goal to one last time be together on the track doing what we love best.

"Be proud of your pain for you are stronger than those who have none".

Thanks Boet.

Tuesday, 08 December 2015

Crickey Moses, what happened to 2015

They say the older you get the faster you were and that seems to apply to the years as well.  The time has just absolutely flown by.

Well looking back to the last post made in October of 2014 I must say that a few things have changed.  For one, the mighty 140Z was finally parked for good and was eventually sold off to a good guy who is smitten with Datsuns especially the B210 type.  Yes, it was a hard decision but at the end of the day it was a decision made, stuck to and there are no regrets in making the decision.  It was and always will be a very special car that delivered greatly, was a great crowd puller and was admired by many within the racing world.  To say it is missed is probably an understatement but the memories will live on forever. It currently still holds the Killarney lap record for a 4 cylinder 8-valve normally aspirated car at 1:21.3.  Long may it remain as such.

The little 1200 Datti has for the past 12 months been stuck up on a 4-post lift and remains up there until we can decide exactly the route forward to take.  During that time a decision by MSA to revamp the 'Historic' rules was thrashed out over 2 lengthy boardroom meetings lasting in total some 6 hours and to which I was a part of.  In a nutshell, the majority of the 'Historic' rules, baring some minor engine block clarification as well as cylinder head wording and suspension clarifications, saw that effectively the majority of the rules as was originally decided back for application in 2010 remain as such.  Capacity rule was thrown out as was balance of performance.  The pilots of such wonderful thinkings and ludicrous ideas soon had egg of their faces and not long afterward they all resigned from the positions of empowerment only two find that sanity prevailed at the end of the day.  Enough about that for now.  What was somewhat surprising is the turnaround which later ensued by the WPMC Classic Car category who uncharacteristically decided to do their own thing by moving to a pre-87 period cut-off which now also includes the pre-77 category.  To make things even more complicated the pre-77 races are already combined with the Fine Car category race and run just slightly ahead on the start grid and will likely further also include pre-87 in time to come.  (Good luck score keepers.)  All this in the belief that it would attract more cars and competitors.  Need I say it has not really had the desired effect at all (as yet) and last but not least the proposed set of pre-87 rules were thrown out by SPORTCOM and sent back to the drawing board as they excluded front wheel drive cars.  Let's see what 2016 holds for us on the long circuit.

To say that we don't miss or talk about the past would be a blatant lie as we do discuss the past from time to time.  In some of our most recent chats we have even considered the option to bring the Datti down from its 4-post perch, refresh the engine, give it a good once over and we may even land up doing the February race at Killarney coming 2016.  It's not a definite but hey any excuse to thrash the old Datti once again in anger. Also there is still the TOMEI project which has had to take a further  back seat during 2015 for a host of reasons but plans are in currently progress as we speak to use much of 2016 in tackling the project in full force at a quieter location. With luck, health and some much needed funds we hope to make the 1st race of 2017.  See https://www.facebook.com/tomeidatsun for some details and pictures of the intended project.

For now both Datsun drivers are still in full swing on the dirt oval and are currently midway through the 2015/2016 season with the holidays now ahead.  We will likely resume at the end of January 2016 and will then head through until just before the winter season sets in before we finally call it a day.  A lot of excitement, challenges and thinking is yet to be done but nothing has changed in our outlook towards racing, other than we are getting on in years and will have to face up to it that sooner or later we will have to call it a day. Till that day arrives, we race.  See https://www.facebook.com/richardsbrothersracing/

It would be rather uncharacteristic of me not to thank my 'boet' for all the effort, building of new oval track cars, preparation as always and unquestionable dedication to spending quality time together.  Words don't quite fully describe it but hey, its always truly appreciated.

Thanks 'Boet'

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

So there we were.

Wow its been such a long time since I have found the inclination let alone the time to continue my blog so now is perhaps as good a time as it will get.

The year 2013 ended with a only a reasonable amount of successes throughout the year for both of us all said and done but most certainly nothing to write home about.  Probably the highlight of 2013 for me was my 3rd attempt with my Datti at the LUK 3-Hour held at Aldo Scribante where we not only entered the sprint races but the 3 hour endurance race as well.  Basically we used the sprint races to get used to the track conditions and worked out a lap time strategy from there for the endurance race.  On previous occasions to this event we ran bearings at both prior events with absolutely nothing to show.  To our absolute amazement we used far less fuel than we bargained for, killed only 5 tyres, destroyed the exhaust headers which left my ears ringing for almost a week thereafter and managed to get 3rd in the historic car category. What a fantastic achievement from a well prepared little car all thanks to my boet.  Third time lucky as they say!!  Other than that not really much to write home about for the year and we thought that come 2014 everything will be bright and rosy and a good year to look forward to all things racing considered.  Little did we know......

The opening round of the 2014 season commenced with the Festival of Speed held beginning  February with the little Datti managing to finish qualifying and both heats but by the end of the 2nd heat the Datti had all signs of having run a bearing while the 140Z suffered a cracked bore and was sidelined from the initial practice session already.  With the 140Z out for quite a while all while trying to source a good used L20 block the little Datti continued throughout most of the 2014 season with bearing problems.  By mid season I had become somewhat despondent as no matter how hard we tried we were let down each time by mechanical woes one after another.  To add insult to injury, medical problems soon became apparent with my boet making it even worse but give up he did not.  On the odd occasion we would finish a race only to suffer bearing problems yet again early in the next round while at the same time the 140Z had by now found and fitted a new engine block and was ready to race only to find out that the brakes were now no longer functioning.  Brake boosters were changed, overhauled, vacuum piping was replaced and untold adjustments were made to the brake peddle adjuster all without success.  Finally in October a 3rd reconditioned braked booster was eventually found and fitted and we had brakes on the 140Z only to then find out it was too much brakes and in-turn within 1 lap we had now warped the front discs.  An after hours call was made to arrange for the discs to be skimmed on the car whereafter a brand new set of EBC race pass were fitted.  Around 9pm on the Friday night the brakes were bed in and we demon by comparison to the previous pads and at last we had the 140Z ready for racing.

Brakes just skimmed.

Came race day and lo and behold the 140Z qualified in pole position and it was huge smiles for the first time in a long time.  Meanwhile the little Datti felt strong on the Friday only to run.......yes you guessed it, bearings during qualifying just as the chequered flag came out indicating the end of the qualifying session.  Race 1 started with a huge expectation as the Datsun 240Z of Richard Quixley was 2nd and really on song throughout th whole season.  By turn one the 140Z was first into the corner and opened up and sizeable gap on the 240Z.  It was game on we thought but 2014 was not finished with us quite just yet.  By turn 5 the 140Z seemed untouchable and past the start/finish he slowed and pulled off at the end of the main straight with a blown cylinder head gasket.  And so we found not one but both cars out for the remaining race of October.  With the current rand/dollar exchange rate not in our favour and with the postal strikes still in full swing it is unlikely that a head gasket will be found and imported in time for the final November race meeting and will thus sit out until the new season starts in February once again.  At least we live in hope.  The decision has been taken not to repair the little Datti and instead it will now be stripped of its parts and the running gear which will be used to now complete the new TOMEI Sunny replica.  This has been a project in the making for a number of years while slowly sourcing special and specific parts as used in the original car.

For now we are both done and dusted with a rather miserable end to the 2014 season although it must be said that the Friday 'braai nights' held throughout the season made up for all the bad times.  So while we now sit and wait with abated breath as to how the 2015 will dawn upon us along with certain envisaged technical rule changes to be strictly brought into contention we will wait until then.   Will the 2015 February International takes place, who knows??
This leaves me only to thank one and all for the great times spent together at track side but more importantly to thank my brother who throughout the season even while not feeling 100% medically fit still made every effort to ensure that I at least got onto the track.  You are truly appreciated.  As for the results, shit happens.

Thanks 'Boet'

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Historic Motoring Circus

The time has come I believe where competitors that currently participate in classic/historic racing should take a drastic stand with regard to their future participation in today's ongoing historic circus.  It's also time for you, the dedicated competitor to take into account as to who actually pays for who to race and who incurs such losses each and every time a new broom decides to sweep clean.

Allow me to take you back to around the year 2005/6 where at such time the northern region (HRCR) had a separate set of Pre-77 rules to that of the (WPMC) Western Cape.  By and large both regions were doing the same thing albeit under a slightly different set of specified rules.  At no stage have the two separate regions ever competed against each other in any championship but have on the odd occasion raced on invitation (non championship events) at various venues around the country in organised events e.g. 2005 and the 2006 Bosal Historic weekend at the old Wesbank Raceway circuit as well as various Springbok series events held at Kyalami, Zwartkops and Killarney over previous  years.  I recall witnessing some of the best historic racing during these years leading up to 2009 when it was ultimately decided by both the northern region and Western Cape region to come together and formulate a set of rules together along with the MSA appointed body, the HMC (Historic Motoring Commission).  [See WPMC Rules 2009 and HRCR Rules 2009]
Many hours, days and weeks were spent formulating such rules by all parties concerned and which eventually sufficed both regions (these being the largest in the country) and which the HMC felt was both workable and enforceable.  Allow me to reflect such written duties of the HMC: (See HTP MSA document) 
  • The MSA Historic Motorsport Commission is charged by the BoD of MSA to approve all Club, Regional and National regulations relating to Historic Motorsport.  They are also charged with making sure that the regulations are adhered to and their TCs (Technical Controllers) have the authority to override any decision of a technical nature at the highest level. 
  • Clubs are encouraged to submit their own Regulations to the HMC for approval.  Clubs and the HMC TCs then control these regulations. The HMC will approve these regulations by mutual agreement with Clubs on issues such as time periods and lists of eligible cars to the various time periods.

A further decision was taken that the (then) newly formulated rules should be put into place for a minimum period of at least 3 years where after they could be reviewed only if absolutely necessary and were to commence and to be enforced as from the beginning of the 2010 season.  This for the first time saw that a set of 'national' historic rules were now in place even although both regions still did not compete against each another in a regional or even a national championship.  The northern region had already as far back as 2009 already drawn up a list of engines that were deemed eligible and which merely indicated what was already being permitted since before 2005 already by the then HRCR.  Effectively little or nothing had really changed and everyone carried on with the now enforced set of 'national'  rules.  During the month of July 2012 a meeting was held at Kyalami by the northern region section (by then the HRSA) and it was also attended by a representative of the HMC , Dave Richardson, where it was stated categorically that the various 'clubs' around the country had called for the cars to be slowed down. This was disputed in writing at such time (2012) by the then WPMC classic car category chairman and such was duly submitted to the HMC.   

[Good morning Mr Dave Richardson,

I write this mail to you as the current chairman of the Classic Car Section of WPMC.  I have listened to the recording of your meeting where you made mention that the introduction of performance limiting is being motivated from the clubs and you make particular reference to the WPMC Classic Car Committee.  I respectfully request that in future if you wish to make comments of this nature that you first check with me to ensure that these opinions are in fact the opinions of our committee.  For the record we have had no formal discussion on this matter and we would not express our opinion without first debating the topic with our drivers.  As such I respectfully request that you formally advise your members who attended this meeting that your comments relating to the opinions expressed by the WPMC Classic Car committee were made without any consultation with us and they are not the opinions expressed by our club members.  We are not saying that we oppose Performance Limitations being imposed and we are open to debating them but we strongly object to our name being used in this fashion when we have never formally expressed this opinion to you.


The then northern region saloon car vice chairman at the time was less reluctant to dispute such claim (makes you wonder why?) and effectively the subject was a closed matter, at least for the time being.

In a part reply from the HMC representative it was then subsequently stated:

[Hi ,

In view of (name withheld) mail which I have just replied and copied to you to, I have assumed that performance limitation is on your agenda. Regarding the recording, the context is that nothing major would be changed “without the clubs driving it” not that they were. My apologies if this was misunderstood.
 it went on further to state;

The HMC will not implement anything for 2014 without at least WPMC, ZOC & HRSA agreeing.

Kind Regards
Dave Richardson]
At the end of the 2012 season those very same rules were effectively up for renewal and or amendment yet the decision was again taken by all parties concerned including the HMC to retain the very same set of rules for the 2013 season. Effectively then, for a 4th year without any change to the rules.
At the commencement of the 2013 race season there was already an awkward awareness of potential outside interference and coercion with certain persons running up to the election period to be held in the northern region.  Around 13 March of 2013 the northern region held their category annual AGM where the various sub-committees were elected to serve their term in office.  By the end of the sub-category elections it was blatantly evident of how things were likely to pan out within the pre-77 category and many were now simply waiting for the 'new broom' effect to commence.  Exactly 11 days later on 24 March an email was released with proposed rule changes for 2014 with the specific intention of slowing cars down yet they used the reasoning that it was the racing costs that were the main reasoning behind such proposal. It was also requested that competitors provide the category with feedback and ideas in this regard.  A meeting was then subsequently held on the 15th April 2013 with the HMC along with the various sub-category chair persons where changes were tabled and which will have a huge impact upon the pre-77 category should such be non-democratically and or autocratically enforced.  In addition it would also appear that a decision to move the category cut-off date from pre-77 to pre-79 has also been taken again without any consultation or input from the competitors.

Whatever the intention is or may have been with regard to any supposed cost saving as originally alluded to in the email of 24 March 2013 is largely in my opinion nothing further from the truth.  Without elaborating in any detail on all the changes proposed, consider that most if not all Anglia's currently racing (nationally) will have to replace their engine blocks to conform to the maximum allowance of a standard 1600cc Kent block for which you will still be further penalized.  Others include the infamous Datsun 1200's which now have to use a maximum of a standard 1400cc A14 block specification which is only 200cc bigger than original compared to the Anglia's permitted 400cc capacity increase. (Somehow the Ford's are still favored.)
As for many others like the Mazda rotary's a balance of performance will now be introduced for those cars, such performance formulas yet to be announced and not to mention the sudden prohibition of perfectly legal porting that is to now be prohibited.  Effectively the HMC TWC (Technical Working Committee) has lost the plot as one fails to fathom how they derived to permit a 200cc engine capacity in some car makes while permitting a 400cc in others.  Does the Capri v6 Essex 3.4L still qualify?  No, the use of a standard crank will take care of that. In some cases they have not even taken into account of what was actually raced within the period.  So much for the commission being on top of their game.
Of course they also intend to conveniently prevent the SSS box shaped Datsun to run anything bigger than the L16 engine even although sufficient proof  exists to show that it was raced in 1972 in the SCCA Trans-AM 2.5 series with the L18 engine.[See article]
Yet in other cases they have all of a sudden permitted the use of equipment which was not even used or permitted within the period such as the Oettinger 16V cylinder head which was not ever available prior to 1977 and which was only permitted from 1981 in the 1600 Volkswagen Golf S (which stood for 'Soupapes par cylindre ').  It was homologated only in December of 1981 under homologation number 677 which means it could not have been homologated prior to 1977 for use thereof. [See proof]
They correctly first ban the use of the out of period Cosworth YB cylinder head and then at a later meeting change their minds to then allow it and all of a sudden to also allow a BMW M3 multi-valve cylinder head which is also from outside of the cut-off period.   How is it logically possible to run a 16V non period head cheaper than a 8V cylinder head if 'cost' was such an issue to them?  And so the list continues with omissions and changes not properly and carefully thought through but merely to please those few who are once again determined to change rules NOT to please the majority of existing competitors but rather some minority.
The rules which have been in place since 2010 and that were once agreed upon by the various regions and technical consultants (TC's) including the Historic Motoring Commission (HMC) and which were accepted and adopted by all the competitors of the Pre-77 category on a 'national' basis, are now suddenly no longer OK as from 2015.  At least that is what it appears to be by the sounds of it.  This comes upon after the AGM of the northern region Saloon Car category where it was specifically stated in the minutes of such AGM: 
Saloons as a category, is very healthy at the moment with the usual suspects at every race meeting. The standard of our cars keeps on getting better and better, so let’s all be proud of our achievements in this area. There are some great cars being built at the moment and we can expect their arrival in the new year. The trend with Saloons at the moment is if you don’t go big, go home, which is brilliant to see.
The proposed changes (such made without any input or any proper consultation with the WPMC) as intended will effectively ADD huge cost and expenses to many competitors to now simply throw away currently eligible and permitted engine blocks, forged pistons, con-rods etc. and replace such AT OUR ADDITIONAL cost to merely appease.

Competitors should now once and for all decide;

  1. Do we remain in this current  historic circus with such ever and on-going rule changes or do we throw caution to the wind and waste even more money (so much for them reducing our racing costs) which most competitors can simply ill afford in this day and age to merely please a minority group's thinking.
  2. Do you perhaps move on to a different race sector (e.g. Super Saloons) which would in all probability welcome you with open arms and thereby diminish the existing Pre-77 category substantially for them to carry on and do as they please as from 2015?
  3. Do the existing competitors (nationally) perhaps even consider forming a new category of club racing named something entirely different or perhaps even amalgamate with an existing category and withdraw entirely from the WPMC and HRSA's Pre-77 Historic Racing category as well as from the HMC who has clearly demonstrated its inability to be consistent, fair and prevent such ever on-going rule changes within the Pre-77 category in addition to its inability to live up to its obligation to merely approve such submitted regulations from each club/region? (Also remind yourself of what has become of the annual Retro 9-Hour event and which now enjoys only a mere hour at each race meeting.)

It is perhaps now time for you the competitor to finally sit down and think long and hard.  Think of what has already been proposed/decided by those that were supposedly elected to represent the interests of the sub-category's members.  Familiarize yourself with the club members constitutional rights.  Then finally ask yourself, do I continue down this same path yet again, wasting more money and continue in hoping that things will change.  The writing is on the wall.
(Einstein once quoted; "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.")