Friday, July 27, 2012

Updates/Upgrades - Thx to GP Racing

As I've noted previously, prior to our last event, GP Racing took the car for an array of upgrades, updates and maintenance.

One of the big updates involved a new custom brake ducting solution.  This involved sourcing some Fiberglass headlight deletes and running larger ducts down to the upgraded brake duct inlets.  Everything came out looking great too!
Along with the headlight deletes, we also removed the front crash beam (14+ lbs) and relocated the front tow hook.

Probably the most time consuming update was a corner-balance.  As seen here, the fire suppression bottle was relocated to the trunk area and several plates were fabricated and bolted into the spare tire well to help with ballast and weight distribution.
All very time consuming efforts, and all aiming at pulling weight off the front of our AWD beast.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mounted pics - BFG R1's

Found my camera and pulled the pics from my last weekend at Mid Ohio. Pics of the fitment from running 265/35-18 BFG R1's on my 9.5" Volk LE28 rims. First set of BFG's I'd ever tried. Tight fit; ended up rolling the front fenders after quals.

I went to the BFG R1 - like a lot of other NASA racers - because their contingency is now a ton better than Hoosier if you're racing. BFG offers nothing for TT though, but I hope that will change as I think more people would run them and would try the brand new stickier BFG R1-S which is supposed to compare to the Hoosier A6.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

#929 Evo - FOR SALE!

Hard to believe, but the #929Evo is currently for sale.  It has been a tough year to find time to get it out to the track with some crazy family issues taking up a lot of time.  Throw in the fact we are trying to start a family and there just is not enough time throughout the year and something has to give - let my loss be YOUR gain!

Let this post serve as the official FOR SALE listing.  You can select the '2012 car setup' link to the right or click HERE to get a solid description of all the aftermarket upgrades currently on the car.  Beyond that, please contact me (pitchn at gmail dot com) for further information, pricing details, spares, truck/trailer combo's etc.  The vitals are a 2006 Mitsubishi Evo IX with 25,000 miles, caged and ~390whp @ 3000 lbs for $23k.  Email:  pitchn at gmail (dot) com

Friday, July 13, 2012

Mid Ohio - 7.1.2012 Race

After qualifying on the pole with a decent 1:34.2, we had another long break until the race; 3+ hours I think. I took the time to drop in the Hawk DTC70 front pads I had just picked up as I wanted to see if they would hold the brake system hold up better throughout the race. They are a touch high torque than the DTC60's I've been running mainly for the past 3 years.

Besides setting the ballast & fuel load, there was really nothing else the car needed. I started to pack up what I could as I'd be heading the 7+ hrs home right after the race and the day was heating up; already well into the 90's.

At the noon driver's meeting I got to stay behind as I was 1 of the 3 pole-sitters for the 3 waves we'd be having. A first! Being on the pole, I was told to maintain the speed of the pacecar after it pulls off all the way to the green flag - which would be 35mph. This is a very difficult thing to do with all the anticipation around you too!  The plan after Sat was to be more aggressive with passing and lap traffic - although there were already some close calls during the warmup & qual sessions!

The Race
Coming out of the keyhole after the pacecar pulled off we were in the 35-40mph range as expected. I had just downshifted to 2nd but was pretty high in the rpms, and as expected our speeds started to creep up just a little. I didn't want to touch the brakes and 'brake-check' anyone (maybe I should have) so I was trying to decide if I should shift into 3rd or not - right about the same time the green dropped and I was NOT ready. So I got a horrible jump; and would be chasing once again!
Just like the previous day, I was right on the tail of the leader and got a good run out of T1 (1:30 in the vid) only this time he blocked the inside line so I couldn't get in there to pass. I jumped outside instead to try and preserve all the momentum I could, but was definitely out-braked and gained nothing.
I'm not sure what the difference was, but for the first several laps I would be fighting some 4-wheel skidding; mostly started from understeer and backing out of the throttle. I'm not sure what caused this, the only difference was I had a bit less ballast in the rear since I came in 50lbs over my min after the Sat race. This definitely didn't help my chasing cause and led directly to an off in T11 that lost me a good bit of time.

Around the 6th lap my pedal started getting long. I pushed really deep into T1 at one point before it caught and caused ABS to kick in I think. I then did some quick pumping on the next straight to bring it back - same on the backstraight. On the next lap or so - #8 I think - I was weaving through traffic and around a cone going into T2 (aka The Keyhole) and not sure if I braked a bit later than normal since I was offline and couldn't directly see my brake point or what, but the pedal just wasn't there. If you brake too late into this corner, you miss the uphill section and then it transitions to downhill through the corner - and I couldn't slow down enough to make the turn. This is about where I ended the video as the next part wasn't good... Offtrack, through the sand to the right a bit and the rearend caught the tirewall. DNF. With damage to the driver's side of the car, most predominant in the rear quarterpanel. Sucks.

It also turned out the lead PTA car in front of me - that was ran off between T1 & T2 (9:30 in my vid; on the far left) had cooling issues from that off and had to nurse it around to the finish, so I would have gotten around him quite easily.  Sucks too; Traffic!

For an idea on closing speeds into some of the corners, check out the 6:25 mark and tell me WHEN you seen that car!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

7.1.2012 - Mid Ohio - Race Qualifying

This is vid from Qualifying on Sunday morning with the camera out back.  Love the audio on this!  Buschur tuned and catless Buschur exhaust with their small rear muffler.

We were gridded for quals based on our warmup times - which I had a high 1:35x and was slotted first.  We leave the pits to an immediate green flag, so I run about a 7/10's lap trying to heat the tires and maintain a decent gap but w/o catching the rear of the field. 
Nailing it right away on the BFG R1 tires wasn't ideal, but I didn't really have a choice with 50+ cars in the field there was never going to be clear track.  I had a skid right away in T1 that cost my .7 seconds in looking at my data.

I think the first lap was a 1:34.2 - if not for the skid in lap #1 it'd been a mid 1:33; and a low 1:33 had I not had to let off right at the end to dodge the black car.  Lap #2 was worse; a 1:35x so I pulled it in after that.  Man how I was missing the open track of TT at this point!  My time still took pole position by a 1/2 second.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

PTA Race @ Mid Ohio 6.30.2012

After arriving at the track around midnight ET Friday without much drama, I had a few short hours of off-and-on sleep and started unpacking the car early Saturday as it had a total of 10 tires (mounted and unmounted) inside the car.  As I started to prep it as the rain creeped in and after the driver's meeting the rain ended and I decided to mount the rains for warmup.  I wanted to feel out the differences in the car after the corner-weight and the suspension tweaks as well as bed in the new pads and rotors all done by GP Racing.  And I'd yet to run the set of Hoosier WETS that I picked up from a fellow Evo guy.  With the track still soaked and slick I didn't take too many chances with all the slower cars in our rungroup, but the times from warmup would set the grid for Qualifying.  We'd be racing with 50 other cars including 30+ Spec Miatas and 5-6 Honda Challenge 2 cars that would all be running at best 10 seconds a lap slower; some would be 20-25 seconds a lap slower so you can imagine the closing speeds down the straightways we'd be seeing!  Overall I ran a 2:07 and would be gridded 7th for quals.

I mounted up the new 265 BFGoodrich R1's for qualifying and really made no other changes.  I new with all the cars in our group, it'd be difficult to get a clear lap after the first 1-2 laps so I'd need to hit it immediately which isn't ideal for tire pressures/temps - especially on brand new tires!  Exiting the pit lanes for Quals, we have an immediate green track so I easily passed the 5 SM's in front of me prior to T2 and then modulated my speed enough to stay clear of them and setup for my qualifying laps.  I ran about an 80% lap and all felt good until the first turn combination (T13-T14) where the car emitted a horrid high-pitched screech until throttle and I knew something was wrong.  I wasn't sure if it was in the engine or the tires rubbing badly but I knew I wasn't going to improve on the crappy 1:42 I ran so I came in.

I opened the hood and pulled off the new undertray and started checking all the intercooler coupler connections - thinking that was the leaking screech sound.  Everything up top looked good, but there was a loose connection with the LICP and that would be the issue - a simple one!  So we fixed the LICP and tightened everything else up.  I also took the opportunity to change the oil which was on my list to do that evening.  And while we were at it we rolled the front fenders a bit at the DS showed some rubbing.  We had about a 4.5hr gap before the race so there was plenty of time - it only got hotter as the day went on!

For the race itself I would be gridded 3rd overall in the first wave of about 10 cars.  Wave #2 would be the SM's and the Honda Challenge guys would be 3rd; I think with a possible standing start.  The start on the backstraight went fine, I was able to take 2nd and get right on the leaders butt.  Coming onto the S/F straight I got a good run through T1 and took the inside line into T2 and the position.  I led for about 3-4 laps I think as we started hitting the slowest of the traffic.  My lead went away several times because of traffic and we actually traded the lead a few times working through traffic until around lap 8 when I made a bad traffic decision and was passed on the inside of T1 and then was gapped by more traffic slowing me down.  Around lap #10 or so the pedal got a little soft; the brakes had been great until then - but nothing I couldn't work with.  Oil temps were above 285 pretty much the entire time.  The tires held well for the first 1/2 of the race, but the 2nd half my turn-in was crap.  Race pace was 1:35-1:36 the entire way unless traffic slowed us which is just flying imo.
There were a few local yellows that I picked up some time through and about 6 cars off in 3 consecutive turns when I was gaining but a very very slow SM held me up and they checkered the race right after than on lap 14 and I'd take 2nd.

So we learned a ton from the race and how the car would change throughout the laps at Mid Ohio with respect to the tires and brakes.  Traffic was horrible as you can see in the vid - and I knew that traffic management would determine the winner.  David and I (1st and 2nd) both finished on the podium in TTA at last year's NASA Nationals so we knew each other's pace would be fierce.
Inside the car was; HOT.  I'd been debating a coolsuit and wish I'd pulled the trigger.  Ambient was low-mid 90's with zero clouds and racetime was 2:50pm.
All 3 of my ACD lights came on again; maybe 3 laps in and I think that was affecting rotation (or the new ballast in the trunk).  The car itself ran great with respect to the Buschur tune - nothing to complain about there!