Sunday, April 29, 2012

60 Bucks in Drill Bits Later...

A little back story...

     I used to run a resonated test pipe, which had a welded in o2 bung which was readily available for my wideband.  To meet noise restrictions at Lime Rock, I fitted a Berk High Flow cat, which did not have a bung.  Prior to install, I had planned on welding on a bung but due to my questionable welding skills, I chose the AEM no weld bung.  To my dismay (read - cursing and throwing tools) no drill bit in the arsenal was sharp enough to even scratch the Berk stainless steel...its serious high quality.

     Fast forward to today.  I had some garage time and had gathered a 1/2" carbide tipped drill bit, a 7/8" hardened high end bit, and my dad picked up a Harbor Freight D-Handle drill.


     Now I just need to figure out why I seem to be a little richer under boost than I recall the tune reading...I have an inherent (healthy) distrust for my wideband.

Sold off some parts (ported hot side, manifold,  swaintech'd megan o2 housing).  Last summer, I had set a goal of 375whp, hence the parts stash.  after the first track day, I quickly realized I have plenty of power for now and I'd rather make some suspension/braking/drivetrain mods that will probably make a quicker lap time than more raw power.  Especially in my rookie outings here.

     Also rotated the beat up tire to the rear, set tire pressure, checked the pads etc.  The RC5+'s show little to no wear which is pretty neat, but then again Lime Rock isn't a big braking track.  Rotors also still look great.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The First Round of Random Thoughts

Time between track days, as I expected, breeds a lot of thought about your car and setup.  Daydreaming, real dreams (even though I don't sleep much), and spending most of your free time researching, reading and re watching your in car video.

Results were finally posted for both the EMRA TT and Real Time Attack events.  I promised myself I wouldn't pay attention to times but...I couldn't help it.  Turns out the times I clocked from my video were pretty decent.  The times appear to be the fastest of the student group, and would have put me mid pack for my competition class.  Watching the video it isn't too hard to see where I can pick up some decent time between lifting early into braking zones, only running 60-75% throttle down the front stretch (car was over boosting in 5th), and being a little wide in turn 1 and going into the uphill.  

- 2 days prior to the event I logged the car and found it was knocking above 6800rpm, I have since fixed that (I think).  I definitely need to switch over to ECU boost so I can get the 5th gear levels under control.

- I jumped in a batch of harness bars from Buschur Racing to try and help rectify how bad I was flying around in the seat. A fellow evo driver warned me that some sanctioning bodies may be totally phasing out 4 point harnesses, so after an hour or so trying to interpret the NASA CCR (first go round with that), a call to the US distributor for Schroth, and some emails back and forth with the NASA NE tech director, I was able to confirm that there are two 4 points that will still be allowed (Schroth Profi II ASM and the Teamtech Jet Pilot...I'll be going with the Schroth.

- I will be getting an alignment, many fellow evo racers pointed to my front left tire issue more than likely being a toe issue. The car was hit in the drivers front fender last summer and I suspect that although I told them what camber to put back in that wheel, they may have set it to factory toe settings, and not matched the other side.

- I think I'm decided on picking up a set of Hankook RS3's (255's), and will probably wind up matching them to a set of 17x9 RPF1's.  As much as i want a set of TC105N's, I think they are out of the budget for this year.

I think that's it for now...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Pics/Vids from Lime Rock

Took me a while to edit the video because I apparently suck at using iMovie.  This is session 4, as shot with my GoPro.  According to the video I was running laps in the 1:15 range.  To give you an idea of how much time i left on the track, listen to where I lift below(it takes balls to drive deeper and deeper obviously...I'm also running out of 4th gear)

Here's the full edit of Session 4.

Click Here to go to the video at Vimeo

These are some shots my dad got from up on the hill.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lime rock ate my tire

     I should have started this blog sooner, since I'll probably have to jump backwards to post some stuff but...

     Yesterday I survived my first track day (and had a freaking blast!) with EMRA at Lime Rock.  I got 3 20 minute sessions in which equated to 60 miles on track.  My instructor was very helpful and showed me the line very well.  He went on to tell me that he was surprised at how quickly/well i picked up the line, and how big a jump in speed I made from session one to two.  Between the mass of students/shortage of instructors and the car control/understanding of everything I displayed both to the instructor and in class, I was allowed to do the last session (still with the novice group) solo, and they made suggestions as to which cars to try and follow (the more experienced guys/instructor pairings).

Session 1 - I was definitely nervous.  Not knowing how the car is going to react and basically having not had the opportunity to build high speed confidence in either myself or the car.  Drove the session and it FELT fast, but I'm sure it wasn't.  Had a very wide line everywhere, and pulled it tighter as I got more comfortable.

Session 2 - Now knowing how the car was going to react, I had the goal of smoothing out the line and hitting marks/reference points.  Its quite amazing to be able to feel the handling difference when you get the weight transfer better and even though you are rolling  a lot, it feels more planted and in control.  I kept very long braking zones and attempted to turn in later and later until i was finally hearing a little feed back from the tires.  Instructor commented that in his opinion I was easily 5-7 seconds or more faster than the first time out (I did not run a transponder to try and prevent myself from hunting a time and could just focus on learning).

Apparently star specs can get VERY sticky when used correctly.

Session 3 - Little nervous to be going out on my own, but I had shown myself and instructor that I am capable and have the knowledge to go out and do it, I just need seat time.  Experimented with a new line through no name stretch/the esses, by making sure I put a tire on the inside rumble strip mid sector.  A few quick glances showed a gain of around 5mph down the back stretch and into the uphill.  Just shy of halfway through the session the tires got slippery, and were REALLY talking back.  The car started pushing pretty hard in turn 4 and 7 (into the downhill).  Had a moment in turn 4 that required a quick lift and some steering input to get pointed down the track instead of at the flag stand...pretty sure I was a little sideways...

checked my tires at the end of the day and discovered this on the front left.

     Overall, I was blown away by how good the evo really is on the track.  I have enough grip with how its setup up now to get considerably faster I think.  The RC5+ pads with no ducting and factory 54k mile rotors did great, and the pedal was there all day, with no issues what so ever (definitely helps you get comfortable when you have consistent brakes).  Next event will be back at Lime Rock on June 16th.

Priority List:
- Fresh alignment (wasted tire may be from too much toe, or possibly bad hot pressures)
- Dedicated track wheels/tires (RPF1's with either RS3's if they come off back order, or maybe R-Comps)
- Find some way to hold myself in the seat better
- Get the brake ducting done

Will hopefully get some other mods done right after that, before I head to NJMP...more on that later.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The beginning

...I'm almost positive that at some point I swore I would never start a blog.

     Unfortunately I don't really have any good explanation as to how my obsession with cars started.  I am the only gear head in my entire family, although my dad always did most of his own maintenance.  I think at some point, someone just made the mistake of letting me pick up a copy of sport compact car or something silly like that.  In high school I became friends with a few guys who owned mildly modded hondas which of course only fed in to the urge more...until I got my first car...a 1997 Subaru Outback, possibly the most unmoddable car ever?
     I'm just shy of my 26th birthday as I begin this adventure.  I got my license at 16 and have gone on to own 11 cars to date, including multiple tuned Saabs and one very heavily home built honda motor that spent life in 2 different chassis (and holds a naturally aspirated 1.8L dyno record of 212whp)    The evo is #10 and #11 is my current "beater"/winter car, a 2005 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT that I just picked up last month.  I can in fact tell you when I became interested in evo's.  In about 03/04 I was out with my car buddies at the local hang out spot one Friday night, as one of the guys who had graduated the year before (and worked at the local mitsu dealership) rolled by ever so slowly in a silver evo 8.  They were on my mind from that day forward.
     After 6 years of college and dealing with 6 months of job hunting (which involved many hours surfing forums and for sale threads), I landed an interview and was eventually offered a job.  Almost as soon as I solidified the job and found an apartment, I ran across a 2006 apex silver evo with 45k miles on it, mild mods that I would have chosen myself, and adult owned...and snatched it up as fast as possible since a basically unmolested 1 owner evo is a rarity.

But how did you decide to try and get into racing/track driving?

     Good question.  I began watching racing on tv at some point, and gravitated to open wheel racing and INDYCAR (I will NEVER miss watching the INDY500, and have attended the race once so far).  This slowly grew into watching every type of racing available on speed channel from every NASCAR series to F1 to Australian v8's...and slowly getting into learning the theory behind car setup and engineering.  My knowledge of car setup topics is pretty ridiculous, and I felt it was time to apply it in real life.  
     While attending the 2011 Baltimore INDY grand prix with my dad, he decided to tell me that if I'm so interested in this stuff I should just find some way to do it.  BIG MISTAKE.  After that, I spent a lot of time researching ways to get into racing and did a lot of reading on Formula 500/F1000/Formula ford type cars, but the cars are $20k plus and costs add up QUICKLY.  The next best option was to start attending HPDE's with the evo, and work my way towards a competition and eventual competition in Time attack events.

This all marks the beginning of that adventure.  Time to get after it.

How did you come up with Prescription Racing (RxRacing)?

     Quite simply actually.  I'm a pharmacist, this adventure will hopefully cure my itch to go learn to go fast, and in the process learn a great deal about engine/aero/suspension setup through hands on experience...kinda like a prescription for something...duh