Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mid Ohio Sunday - 7.17.11

Sunday actually started with a fog delay! 
I had decided to run the car with the stock wing today. For that, there would be some prep work needed. I put the best tires back on - which meant the corded tires would no longer be in the rear; lol. I pulled some weight in the car as I had 4pts to play with since the Kognition wing was off the car. I also lowered the LR ride height some to help the car turn left. 1st session...fog delayed! I took a passenger out and the car felt pretty tame (not loose like others in the paddock feared); just ran a 1:42x as I was in slow traffic and the track was slick in spots.

Session #2 was fun. The car rotated very well through the fast right-handers and even turned left where it wouldn't on Saturday! It took a few laps to get used to the rotation with different steering inputs and I was picking up speed until I caught traffic. (And by catching traffic I mean the same horrible TTF car that caused a train of cars every session). Best was a 1:35.1; although I was on pace for a 1:34x... This again locked me into 2nd of 6th.

Session #3 was around 1:30pm and would probably be my last as I had a 7.5hr drive home. I ran a best of 1:35.2 with the same story - I was on pace for a rocket of a lap until I caught the same TTF car and the train behind him.

All-in-All I was very unhappy with the car setup on Saturday. I was making changes to things every session to try and make it turn left and accelerate from mid-corner w/o pushing. I know a big rear wing (with no undertray mind you) just is NOT to my liking. That's where me and my suspension guy have differing opinions. I tried it; hate it. I was up pretty late Sat night trying to decide how to change the car for my next trip to Mid Ohio.

I managed to roll back a portion of the new setup changes on Sunday and was happier with the car. It was much hotter and I was having a tough time finding my braking points and running a solid lap before traffic; a train of traffic on lap #2 or #3.

I keep trying to tell myself finishing 2/6 and around 9 of 56 cars isn't bad for a setup I hated. Besides the 1 TTA car in front of me; everything else was higher classed so it's not like I was slow. 1 lower class; TTB had a winning time of 1:39 so we had a group of quick TTA cars! I already have some ideas on how to prep the car differently for August - and I can tell you the STOCK wing will be on it!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sat 7.16.11 Mid Ohio

I lined up in the morning with R6's in the front and crappy (partially corded) old A6's in the rear. I wanted to run a time good enough for top 15 out of the 55 cars registered in TT. I also wanted to be safe with the new setup changes including Kognition wing back on, more aggressive alignment and more toe. I fired a 1:37x that slotted me into #8 on grid and was pretty happy. The car felt pretty good, not scary or loose or anything. The new set of front Hawk pads felt really good!

Session #2 I mounted up 2 new tires in the front (only brought 3 new ones!). I ran a 1:34.7 and the car felt pretty good. It wasn't rotating the way I wanted in the right-handers and the left-handers it was fighting me a bit but it was a great start. That landed me 2nd in class out of 6 with tops being a 1:34.2 ran by a Vette.

Sessions #3 and #4 I stuck with the same tire setup and tried to push the car more. It did NOT like it. The more I tried the less it'd turn left. I made a wing adjustment and it didn't help; loosened the front rebound; didn't help much. It was getting warmer and I was fighting a loosing battle with times, but still wanted to get the car to rotate and turn left for the next day! I ran several 1:35's.

With Session #5 being my last session and still being locked in 2nd of 6 I decided to pull the wing and put the stocker back on and the R6's back to save my best ones. If things felt good; I'd go with it the next day. And guess what... it rotated! The bueaty of my Shep rear diff was back under throttle! My Sunday setup would change!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Autobahn Sunday - 07.10.11 - 1st place in TTA!

For Sunday I knew I needed to make a change. I decided the simplest was to pull the Kognition rear wing and put the stocker back on. The car felt much better when I was there in April and I ran the stocker back then. The Kognition was definitely producing downforce, but since I don't have a front splitter to balance it out, with my current alignment/settings it's just too much for this track right now I guess.

So I lined up Sunday with the stock wing and ran a 1:33.4. Car definitely felt looser in turns 3 & 4 where I had to left off the gas earlier. And the bandaid was still holding! Still though, I wasn't as fast as I was in April. I looked over my traqmate data and see I was loosing time in the braking zone of T1 of all places! So I set out to correct that in S2 and ran a 1:33.4 again! I assumed at this point the tires much be nearly shot.

I was going to run at least 1 more session and I wanted to make some change. Talked it over with a friend and I made a 1-click rebound adjustment - note this is the FIRST TIME this YEAR that I've touched the suspension settings on my new AST's since they were installed (they've been that good). Amazingly enough I felt the 1-click adjustment! The car rotated better through 2 specific corners and I was able to drop a 1:32.5 to end the day. That time held to win TTA for Sunday - although I wasn't able to reset my April track record of 1:32.1

Here's a good vid from Sunday. It's me and Jeff in his Evo; running nose-to-tail 1:33's.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Autobahn Saturday 7.9.11 - Working through Troubles!

Saturday I went out for the morning practice session with a passenger.  I lined up with my buddy Jarrod behind me as it was his first time in TT; 2nd time at the track and I wanted to show him the lines.  I ran a 1:37 and qualified 7th in grid.

I went to switch in 2 grippier tires for the first timed session, but realized an issue.  The car was covered in thick fluid by the driver's front tire.  I figured out it wasn't fluid, but axle grease - apparently from when I had my trans pulled recently.  I cleaned everything up as best I could and decided to go out for just 1-2 laps in the 11am session before the heat really set in as I needed a time.
I ran something like a 1:33.8 but the car was pushing in the turns; at turn-in and I had to get out of the gas more than once as it pushed mid-corner when I went back to the throttle as well.  I had the Kognition wing on and it set to the lowest AoA.  I also had some sloppy lines as I was bothered by the axle boot issue and was getting used to the new shiftpoints in my new longer 4th gear.  I was sitting in 2nd of 5 cars.
But the real fun was a very near incident during the session that caused me to take some evasive manuevering!  I was following another Evo; we were running 1:33-34 laps and we came up on a much slower Miata with a passenger.  The other Evo passed him between T4 and T5 and I was setting him up for an inside pass in T5.  While the other Evo was completing his pass, the Miata started to spin sideways mid-corner.  I left off to not T-bone him as he caught it.  But as I reached back for the gas, he jerked left again and I jerked left and went off-track to avoid him again.  The guardrail was insanely close at this point as well as an upcoming flagstand.  I turned right but the car kept going straight!  I brought the wheel back straight and slowly turned right and it took that input and I was able to avoid hitting anything.  Fun...  Vid below!

I checked the car after the 11am session and it messier yet.  I decided to let it cool and try to figure out a fix (if there was one).  I was posting to facebook for advice and texting with Boostin Performance; who pulled the trans.  I got a few suggestions including tape, superglue, zipties, trashbags, more tape, etc.  I also sourced some fancy volcanizing 'fire' tape from the paddock area. 
I let everything cool and went to work on the car.  I started with superglue; let it dry; then went with electrical tape (sticky) and the fire tape back-n-forth.  Then 2 zipties at the end with some electrical tape over them!  I skipped the 1pm session as I didn't want to rush things. 

Well into the mid 90's by now, I lined up for the 3pm session with no other changes.  Went out and the track wasn't great but I put down another 1:33x and the car was clean underneath!  That in itself was a success for me!  The car pushed worse being things were hotter and greasier at this point.  I chalked it up mostly to the high afternoon temps and took 2nd out of 5 for the day.  1st was a 132.8 that went to the reigning 2010 TTA Nat'l champ who happened to put his car in the wall in the 3rd session.  We'll see if he can get it fixed for next weekend at Mid Ohio so we can battle again!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

New Config 4K! (yes another config)

Pulled all the brake pads out just to verify them.  Front have more wear in 2 weekends than I thought they'd have but they are ok.  The rear still had ST43's in them, so I decided to put new Hawk DTC60's in there so I had the same compounds all around.

Did a few other maintenance items as well, tightened up a few things, gave it a quick wash etc.

But the bigger news (right) is we'll be debuting yet another new configuration setup for this weekend's event at Autobahn Country Club. We've had Config #1, #2 & 2K so far. We'll call this 'Config 4K' config 4K - for the new longer 4th gear, and the rear Kognition wing.
The pic to the right shows the front bumper off (again) and the stock fmic back on as well.  The gearing change cost us some mod pts so I had to shed something else something and this was the choice.  Hope to get it back together and loaded tonight!