Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I love it when a plan comes together (and when my car works!)

     Another track day along with its emotional roller coaster has come and gone.  I lucked out and managed to get a three day weekend for this event.  Got on my way a little later than I wanted to on Friday morning thanks to spending a half hour on the phone with my credit car company dealing with some fraudulent charges...awesome.  The route from where I am out to Pocono goes right past my parents house, so I was able to stop home for a little while and see my mom for the first time since she broke her leg, which was definitely nice.  Got out to my hotel, which was just a tad sketchy, around 8pm and went on a little adventure to find some beer and a WaWa.  Only to find that PA has some weird ass liquor laws...and buying beer at a pizza shop.

     For various reasons I got little to no sleep and finally got out of bed around 6am Saturday morning, got some breakfast, got to the track around 7.30....and then the bad luck hit.
     It was a tad bit foggy as you can see, wound up not clearing up until almost 1pm which was a little shitty, but it gave me time to wander around and meet some new people as well as hang out with some current friends.

     Go Time...first sesion we went right out on the big (north) track which uses nascar turn 1.  It was pretty damn interesting and speeds were easily in the 120+ range minimum.  Learned the track asll went well.

wait...did I just say things went well???  YES I DID.  I must have prayed to the car gods just enough.  THE BRAKES FREAKING WORKED.  No drama, no shudder just bled speed instantly and so smoothly.  It was a down right beautiful thing.  It is epically awesome when you go out and the car just works and you can focus on driving and just going fast.  I found out that i actually can be progressive and control my braking when I know in my head that they are going to work.

     Next up was the South East course which is short, but very technical and pretty fast for what it is.  First session on this track I figured out the line and thought I was doing well.  Had a quick turn around right back out onto the big track and had a nice clean session and pushed harder...to the tune of 130mph on the way into turn 1 and carried 115mph through and out the other side...it was a pretty damn cool feeling.  That's officially the fastest I've ever gone in a car.

     Back to the southeast course.  I had been chatting with some of my evo buddies, and Jordan (one of the NASA NE head instructors and an evo racer) said he finally had time to go out with me for a session.  I have been looking forward to this for a few events now, as the Evo is a special beast and I needed to be shown how to appropriately drive it.  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.
     After three laps Jordan asked if he could drive my car and show me how to do it.  Yup, I felt like less of a man after that.  I was absolutely stunned at what my car could do, and how weakly i was actually pushing it.  After that awesome demo, I took the wheel again and went after it.  Check the video:

     This was a damn good weekend even with the weather delay.  Good friends, fast cars and high speeds, what else can be said about that.

(pictures courtesy of my dad)

     Jordan gave me some great feedback and told me I made some very big improvements after being shown how to do it (the word flick was applied HEAVILY to driving the car).  He also added that the car felt pretty good overall, brakes were very good but it felt to him like the car was lacking some front grip.  Our collective thought is that the tire pressures I run were dialed in with my weak driving, so they probably need 1-2psi taken out when driven correctly.  That plus a little more camber and I should have a very solid car to improve my skills with.

     I actually did have one tiny issue, the car started to eat the inner shoulder of the right front tire after 2 sessions.  Luckily I caught it and rotated front to back.  By the end of the day the drivers front had also started to show signs.  This is more evidence for me to change up the front alignment and I will probably get the tires swap side to side and get the worn edge on the outside.

     Next event is up in the air...I will update when I know.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Vacation's are great....until they end

     Another vacation has come and gone.  Surprisingly I actually accomplished 98% of what I wanted to on the car...still didn't get the damn kiggly in.  Got the brakes all rebuilt and nicey nice, wasn't a bad job at all.  The dust seals were definitely cooked and hardened but overall they didn't look terrible.  I'm sure it won't hurt to have upgraded anyway.  I wound up only replacing one rear sway end link since the drivers side wound up coming loose after a little work and was able to be adjusted, while the passenger rear needed lots of cutting/sparks/brute force.  In hindsight I probably should have just replaced the drivers side even though it moved...oh well.  
     I've got the ecu boost control pretty dialed with just a little work left to do from 6k rpm up.  Had a few hiccups and found that that my RPM/gear table is a tad off so I was getting weird interpolation on one of the tables, and just yesterday with some help found why my boost error was logging all wacky.

      Overall, the car is an oil and brake pad change away from being ready for pocono next weekend.  Pretty excited to get back out on track.  It looks like for DE we will be running the south east infield which doesn't look terribly exciting, but I'm sure it may prove otherwise for me somehow...but it is kinda lame I won;t get to be out on the NASCAR pavement.  Either way track time is track time.

     Unfortunately it looks like I might be doing this event with out my dad/crew chief.  Shortly after I left my parents house to end my vacation my mom wound up breaking her leg pretty good ad spent two days in the hospital, had a rod put in and all that good stuff.  Looking like the crew chief will have to be a nurse instead.

 photo photo_zps61251ba7.jpg

 photo photo1_zps9bf4ba3a.jpg

     If my luck holds out, I will be hitting NJMP again 2 weeks after pocono.