Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
Here's just some of the fancy hardware I took this year. I entered 5 NASA events and came away with 4 firsts (see pic).
Going back over my notes, I did a total of 17 days on track this year! 4 lapping days, 2 days instructing and driving students, and 11 days of competition against others and the clock! Everything held up well. In fact, my worse issue was a cracked rim on my very last day this year.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
The final MW/GL region NASA event of 2009 was Oct 3/4 @ Putnam Park outside Indianapolis. This was our 2nd trip to Putnam this year I was excited to return with the car 'dialed in'.
I came away with double wins again in TTB. I ended up missing my class track record by .6 at this event. I think if I would have brought new tires I could have gotten that easily.
Over my last 4 events, I ended up with 8 wins and 3 track records. It was great to get the car dialed in and just learn to drive it like hell!
Check out the vid --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rq0Rdl4sVI0
Friday, September 18, 2009
Back in June I competed in my first Redline Time Attack event. I emerged with a 2nd place finish in my class and my first ever real podium. I sent in an article that included the last minute changes I made in the preceding week and covered my experience at the event. And the RTA staff decided to post it to their homepage! Direct link to the article below; check it out!
Redline Time Attack!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Click HERE for video.
First ever trip to Gingerman Raceway in South Haven, MI.
I ran a little on Friday at the test-n-tune day just to get a feel for the track. I actually cracked some exhaust brackets and had to head to the trackside shop for some welding!
Saturday I started out in the 1:36x range. I made a few suspension adjustments to help dial in the car per the advice from John Mueller. Ended with 1:34.2 and 1st in TTB.
Sunday I decided to toss on my new tires and go for my best lap in the noon session. Came away with a 1:32 flat even though I blew a corner by overbraking and had to downshift and probably lost a good .02. That time was good enough for the 2nd fastest TT time of the day - out of 23 cars.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Went up a day early to Gingerman as it would be a new track for me. Ran into some issues midday Friday. My exhaust brackets literally cracked; both in the rear and at the downpipe! Was fortunate to have a trackside shop to do some quick welding!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
The top is a nearly new stock red Brembo caliper. The lower is my RF caliper which has been discolored from high braking temps on the track! A true badge of honor!
Last night I switched in new front Hawk pads, new front rotors, switched in 1 new front caliper, switched out the tires and bled all the brakes with AMSOIL DOT4. Whew....
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Last week I received a new set of Hawk brake pads for the rear; backups!
I am still awaiting a set of front rotors en route from KNSbrakes.com and we'll be all stocked up with backups!
Friday, August 14, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
I'd like to say thanks to AMS Performance for an awesome tune that held up under the grueling conditions. I'd also like to extend a formal welcome to AMSOIL as they are now officially helping to support my car as well. I ran their engine oil and brake fluid for this event. I was extremely impressed with the AMSOIL brake fluid! Also thanks to Hawk Brake and Hoosier tires for their generosity towards NASA.
Lots of rain and lightning on race day meant a delay to the start. The first session was downpour filled and I had nothing but Hoosier's. I ended up with just 2 dry sessions after lunch to fire out a lap. Unfortunately I had to start from the rear of the grid since my only posted time sucked (R6's on a damp track from earlier in the day). So passing basically 10-15 cars in 8 laps I was able to squeeze out a 1:22.5 which actually broke the class record. The next and last session of the day I got in some clean laps and posted a 1:21.1 and took the TTB win and better the class record.
Aided by brand new stickered R6's, a small suspension tweak and my 2nd day of running this brand new track I ended up with a 1:19.3 to win TTB again and bettered the class record!
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
First session of the day I mounted up a set of r-comps that I got used recently in order to save heat cycles on my Hoosier R6's. Unfortunately I overheated my brakes; lost them completely and suffered a pretty major off. I was pumping my pedal to the floor and using the e-brake to no avail. Yikes!
I came back in feeling extremely fortunate I still had a car. I did a complete flush of the brake system, completely removed my underpanel I had installed, tried to pull out all the weeds I could. I also mounted up my stickier Hoosier R6's while I was at it.
Only missing 1 session, I lined up after lunch with a dirty car and fired a first hot lap that pushed me to first in class. Making just a few minor tweaks throughout the day, my times kept coming down. I ended up with a 1:36.2 and 1st in class out of 4. I also had the 4th fastest time of the day out of 20+ cars besting several cars that were in TT classes higher than me.
Weather was again gorgeous. I studied my data overnight and decided to 'brake less' basically! lol. I also looked and I was .7 away from the track record Sat; so I was pumped. In the first session I had some whacko tire temps, but still fired a time close to Sat's best. Not many changes here. I corrected the pressures and tried to dial in more front camber. I set out looking for the track record. I came away with a 1:35.3 - setting a new track record!
Friday, July 17, 2009
I'll try to post some updates from the event this weekend. NASA TT event at Autobahn just south of Joliet. This is the same course we just competed at last month with Redline! However, as compared to Redline we'll be running about 50whp less but much much better tires - Hoosier's vs street tires!
It will be interesting to see how the times shake down. Follow twitter for some updates.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
1. July 18-19 - NASA Midwest @ Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, IL
2. July 24 - GRM Hankook UTCC @ VIR (13 hr tow)
3. July 25-26 - NASA Mid-Atlantic @ Virginia International Raceway (VIR)
4. July 25-26 - Redline Time Attack @ Nashville Super Speedway
So right now I am holding 3rd in the NASA Midwest TTB points lead. Out of 3 events, I've only made it to one of them. I skipped the opening event and the other I missed because of a personal conflict.
I've ran the opening East Coast Redline event and placed 2nd. There are a total of 4 East Coast events.
The big potato of them all is the UTCC event at VIR. This is invitation only so it's a huge honor just to be selected. It's an 800+ mile tow plus there's some mountains to worry about too. hmmm.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Street Class AWD Overall:
1st - Tony Weisenhahn - 1:35.708
2nd - Nathan Pitcher 1:40.389
3rd - Dylan Peterson 1:40.796
I came in Saturday in my NASA TTB trim. I was frantically changing out parts between practice sessions and could not have got it done w/o help from the AMS crew
The car ran flawlessly on Sunday; on a day when a LOT of other cars had issues. Even in the high temps and pushing a ton of boost on the stock turbo.
Time Attack session #1!
I came out pretty hard and was coming towards the last series of corners when I saw I was catching a car really quickly. It looked like it was barely moving. There were no flags from the corner workers and I was trying for my hot lap, so I kept going and hoped I could get around the car before the next corner. Not so lucky. The car went into the corner on the inside and slowly crossed towards the outside. I had to waste the lap. So I braked hard - locked up a little and jerked right to the inside to make it around rather than risking a collision. I ran a 1:44x. Since my tires were hot, I decided to toss away the next lap and even let a car or 2 around. I wound up for the 3rd and final lap of the session and fired a 1:40.873 I had no idea, but I was actually in 3rd at this point.
I knew the practice times the Turn In Concepts WRX was running and new it was out of reach. I was just hoping to make the podium somehow!
Time Attack session #2!
Judging by the fact 2 AWD cars were ahead of me I assumed I was in 3rd. Either way, I knew I needed to just go out and put down the best lap I could and let the times sort themselves out. I fired 3 hot laps, according to my Traqmate, I ran: 1:40.922 - 1:40.396 - 1:40.383 and had no idea where I sat. I suppose if my radio was hooked up I could have been listening...
I squeezed my way into 2nd place.
Big thanks to AMS and Girodisc for overnighting me parts on Thursday to get me fixed up and able to attend. Big thanks to AMS for an awesomely safe tune that I ran hard with confidence and also for a little on-site tech support Saturday! Also thanks to Mueller for some very neutral handling JIC coilovers.
Here's 2 laps from the first TA session. Wouldn't ya know, my camera tape ran out before the 2nd session started....
First vid - my best lap of the first session (no idea why the sound gets off).
2nd vid - first lap of the session - caught some traffic at the end unfortunately:
Monday, June 22, 2009
Wow, what a crazy few days.
If you read the previous post, I've been working on redoing the brakes seals as they've started to leak. I got everything together but came home to a big puddle of fluid on the floor Tuesday night (with a track weekend fast approaching). I ripped apart the caliper and found a chuck missing from one of my new seals. Check out the pic!
I made quick calls to AMS for brake fluid and Girodisc for a few replacement seals. Gotta love overnight express!
Thursday everything got delivered. I put in the new seal, bled all the corners again and went for a testdrive. A quick stab of the brakes (with my eyes closed) and the car slammed to a stop. I pulled some more speed and pushed them hard and locked up a front tire. SUCCESS! Did a few more stops to bed in my new pads to the new calipers. Then rolled back home to finally register for the event about 10pm on Thursday night and pack up for the trip!
Bottom line, got the car loaded and ready to make the trip towards Chicago to compete in my first Redline Time Attack event!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Well my front rotors were looking a bit sick - well severely heat cracked and a few cracks that were starting to spread. Nothing you want to break, so new rotors it is! I ordered a set of 'blanks' from knsbrakes.com - these are basically one-off copies of the stockers and have an excellently low price.
While I was at it, decided to get a caliper rebuild kit from Girodisc.com Once I pulled out the front pads, I seem some leakage so I didn't hesitate to replace everything up front. They look like new inside now!
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Changes included new AMSoil 10w40, a heatwrapped downpipe, a new Sparco seat and running 245/40-17 Hoosier R6's.
Saturday: Some light mist in S1/S2, S3 totally wet (everyone skipped), and S4 the best. Around 65 most of the day. Ended up with a 1:22.2 and placed 2/6. Contingency $$ from Hoosier and Hawk! I missed first by about 1 second to a much higher hp car.
Sunday: Good weather all day. Improved to a 1:21.5 Ended up 3/6.
Overall, the car felt good, a little down on power in the straights and needs a longer 4th gear for the track for sure. I don't think the gearing is well suited for this track, but that's how it goes sometimes. I've got a few ideas for small tweaks before the next event to help things out!
Click HERE for Video!
Monday, May 18, 2009
I made the jump to a truck and trailer! This would really help relax the weekends. The Evo wasn't the nicest to drive to long events with the exhaust, race suspension, race alignment (ie camber), rollbar, etc. Plus it's fancy scheme seems to catch a lot of eyes (coppers too).
The truck is a Nissan Titan 4x4 KC and it pulls very nicely. The trailer is an 18' ATC trailer.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Got an email from the head of the NASA organization today. I've been chosen for the spotlight driver for NASA Midwest over the next 4 or so days. It's not much, but it is kinda neat. Click HERE for the link.
On the right side, if you view my profile you can see some of my highlights, mods, and of course sponsors! So probably a good time to thank everyone that's gotten me this far which; especially AMS for helping tune such a reliable car for track abuse. Also, Muellerized for delivering me a suspension that actually turns the car w/o understeer!
Monday, April 27, 2009
Looking at the data from April 18th specifically as compared to last April at Putnam with a different suspension setup, my entry speeds are lower across the board from my last trip. My exit speeds are similar however. The mid-corner understeer I used to fight all the time; I did not notice at all. I believe this is what allowed my corner exit speeds to catch back up and my laptimes to be equal - even on less power and older tires.
So, I'm pretty happy with this outcome. I was not pushing the car for my best lap, and believe that I have another 1-2 seconds left out there especially with the new Hoosier R6's that I will be running. Next event - May 16-17 - Putnam Park with NASA Midwest!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Click HERE for Video!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Racing is an expensive hobby, there's no way around that fact. We try to supplement the best we can by working directly with specific sponsors for help. In addition, each sanctioning body works to bring a few contingency sponsors to the table as well. To qualify for the contingency, usually you need to run a specific brand part and display those logos - and of course place at the top of your group!
Hawk Performance Brakes. Hawk is continuing their contingency from last year.
Hoosier Tires! Hoosier extended contingencies to the NASA TT crowd.I switched to Hawk pads last year; the DTC60's and was planning to run them again. Tire choice was a big decision. I had it numbered down to 3 choices, but with the contingency announced, I'm definitely going with a Hoosier R6.
Monday, April 20, 2009
First day on-track for my in 2009! Instructed for the SCCA by user mock role-playing for new instructor candidates. Good event, good turnout, and good new class of graduating SCCA instructors!Had the Evo out hot-lapping at a slow pace. I was able to get 1 session of hot-laps in at the last however. I ran data aquisition but haven't analyzed anything yet. The car felt good, of particular interest was my new suspension setup and engine maintenance. The new JIC's felt solid and very predictable. Everything held up just fine; big thanks for Ron at Raw Performance for the maintenance work!
Pics from the event courtesy of Keith: http://www.chillybanana.com/pictures/thumbnails.php?album=276
Friday, April 17, 2009
NASA Midwest Schedule
April 25-26 - Road America - Wisconsin
May 16-17 - Putnam Park - Indiana
June 13-14 - BlackHawk Farms - Illinois
July 18-19 - Autobahn CC - Illinois
August 8-9 - BlackHawk Farms - Illinois
September 5-6 - Gingerman - Michigan
Sept 10-13 - NASA Championships at Miller Motorsports Park - Utah
October 10-11 - Putnam Park - Indiana
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
With every 'off-season' in the midwest comes a host of new parts for the car! Last year my single biggest complaint related to my suspension. Mid-year I had the car professionally aligned at AMS which did vastly improve the feel, but I still did not think it suited my driving habits or abilities. So, a large portion of time was spent researching and talking to the suspension guru's in the Evo land! I ended up selecting John Mueller's custom JIC's. These were at a very reasonable price-point, were already proven in TA competition, and used the correct amount of 'mod-points' for my series. Best of all, John and his staff agreed to work with me and further dialing in my setup as the year progresses. They also recommended a few bushings to upgrade as well.
Complaint #2 was that the car was running hot at the last 2 events. I talked with AMS about this issue and we believed this was probably related to high boost and added stress. To play it safe, I decided to accelerate some maintenance on the engine, add ARP headstuds and go with a larger radiator.
So listed below are the highlights of my changes for 2009. Note that to slide down to group TTB, I had to demod in a few areas to shed some of my 'mod-points'. I talked extensively with Mueller and AMS to get recommendations.
- Muellerized JIC Coilovers
- Remove Hotchkis RSB - re-install stock swaybar
- Install Energy Suspension Rear Trailing Arm Bushings
- Remove HKS Air filter setup - re-install stock airbox
- Remove aftermarket UICP & LICP - re-install stock piping
Misc (not including basic maintenance):
- Install ARP Head Studs - This will allow me to safely run higher than stock boost when needed
- Install STRi Oil Temp, Oil Pressure & Boost gauges - For safety and analysis
- Install AMS 5 speed shifter bushings - For improved shifting
- Install Mishimoto radiator - For safety as it provides more cooling ability than stock
Monday, April 13, 2009
My 2006 Mitsubishi Evolution IX has a base class of B. Last year, I had enough modification to bump me into the middle of A. Not knowing much about NASA and what I wanted to do, I ran without being maximized in the A group.
Per some rule changes for 2009, I decided to slide down to group TTB and be sure to maximize the car out. I spoke a lot with AMS Performance; particularly Chris about my power options given some more limited modifications. You really need to find the best recipe! I also reached out to about every suspension guru around including AMS Performance, GTWorx/RRE, Robispec, Muellerized, PIC/Pure, and Cusco/Nakabe to name a few. I could either strive for the max hp in my car, or really trick out the suspension. I would not have enough to do both. Of another big concern is what size and type of tire to run. In the end, I chose to run the best DOT tire I could in a modest 245 size - go with a reasonable 2-way adjustable suspension and use the rest of my points for power. I am excited...