Monday, August 26, 2013

Lime Rock Race Day Report

     I'm not sure the weather could have been any better today.  mid to high 70's and not a damn cloud in the sky.  It's always extra nice at lime rock when it's like that since it since in a little valley completely surrounded by woods.  Arrived around 10.30am while the Lime Rock club guys were still on track (the rich people who by country club style memberships.  Usually there are some high dollar cars there at this time of day, and today had the best attendance yet.  A few obligatory Porches, 2 SRF's, 2 Radical SR3's, 4-6 Ferrari 458 spiders (including one in an awesome flat merlot color), a Lambo Murcielago and to top it all off...a freakin Lambo Super Trofeo.

     Cut to the chase and I head out for the first session.  The run group was packed and included a bunch of ass hats.  Multiple people had difficulty keeping there car on the pavement, which got pretty frustrating.  I wasn't able to turn what i felt was a good lap with having to slow for a yellow or someone who refused to give a point by.  The car was under steering and severely lacking front end bite, it was basically plowing through the turn 2-3-4 complex.  Came off track and found my front tires had heated to a little over 39psi so I bled them down to 38 and checked temps (155ish Outer and Middle, 170ish Inner).  I then added a click to the rear suspension since I always start them soft to regain a feel for the car.  Wound up managing a 1:06.xx

     Session Two - Actually had some pace on track this time but kept getting held up by an ST class C4 vette who apparently didn't have any mirrors on his car.  He was 10-20+ mph off the pace around the whole track and absolutely refused to put his hand out the window and wave me by while ignoring blue flags.  Meanwhile...the car felt better through the tight section and was definitely rotating better.  I was focusing on the "flick it" method that Jordan had showed me at Pocono, and actually wound up getting a pretty neat slip angle feeling out of the car.  I think that i even managed to put it into a 4 wheel slide once or twice as I had to put in a little oppo.  I also worked on trying to be back on the throttle by apex as this was another evo specific technique mentioned so that the rear diff can start clamping and pull through the exit.  Maybe it's just my head, but it certainly seemed like I could feel the rear diff locking and the mid turn characteristics changing.  One second it would feel like i was about to have to lift to not under steer off track and then there was a very neat "pulling" (technically pushing?) back onto line where I had the car pointed

     Third session - Nothing that great to report.  I had added another click or two to the rear shocks.  The car felt better yet but overall really just felt all day like I had no tires under me.  I think my RS3's are beyond the competitive lap times portion of their life.

    The results? - In session two I somehow managed to click off a new personal best of 1:04.74.  Of course I was the only tuner class car, but surprisingly that time was good enough to top the 3 cars in Tuner MOD class which included an Evo that as far as I know was on Hoosiers, a 2011 STi on R888's and an STi swapped 2.5RS.  I'm taking that all with a grain of salt though...the other evo is either a terrible driver or running a terrible setup to be a second slower on Hoosier's and I really think the STi is a green driver also, but that being said they should have a higher level of modification on the car to be entering that class anyway...

     I had one other odd feeling from the car.  It's best described as the car "shaking it's hips" under braking.  It feels like as soon as the rear unweights it wants to dance around.  My initial thought is that worn bushings are allowing alignment deflection, as I made absolutely sure I was braking in a straight line.  I will have to investigate this further but it is also making me want to get some rear downforce on the car...

                                                             (click for the video)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Ever say something incredibly stupid?

     Like so ridiculously stupid that you want to take it back before it even finishes exit your fucking mouth?

...yeaaaahhhh I'm that guy tonight.

     Anyway...Started prepping for Lime Rock next weekend, should go super smoothly right?  L-O-L.  Put the kiggly in last week, which was a slight struggle.  Took some time to get the valve cover off CAREFULLY, 5 minutes to swap the HLA's, and then another 2 hours to put the valve cover most of the way back on only to realize that I had pinched a wire and needed to disassemble everything again, yay!  Got the car back together and started trying to flash a new map on with no luck, no problem the batteries probably just a little low since I haven't driven the car in two weeks.  Couple hours of charging, get it flashed, start her up and SWEET 3000rpm idle...I shut it down and walked away for two days.

     Long story short, I couldn't see anything obviously wrong.  Flashed a new map again, started it up and all seemed normal.  Weird.

     The tune us very close now just needs a small touch more WGDC from 6500rpm up.  Still having some weird boost error so I am a little hesitant to turn error correction on, but it should work well since I have gotten it dialed pretty close to where I want it.

     Today I pulled off the rear tires (which were the front for part of the day at Pocono) to assess how much inner shoulder wear I had done, and get them flipped.  It seems the inner shoulders got slayed more than I originally thought and I pretty much have no idea why.  The wear occurred while they were on the front of the car so my best guess is that they were just completely over driven?

     Oil change and brake pad swap and I'll be ready to go.  Pretty excited to get out on track and keep my mind off my other fuck ups...


Monday, August 5, 2013

Sometimes life gets in the way of racing (where the hell have I been?)

     Every once and a while life throws you a curve ball...or sometimes just beans you with w 100mph fast ball.

     After the excitement of the Pocono weekend everything was pretty much down hill.  Lets recall that my mom still has a broken leg...well as I walked into work on Tuesday my phone rang.  Unfortunately it was my mom calling me to let me know that my grandfather had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and has been put on hospice.

     Yeah...the rest of that day sucked.

     After an emergency trip home, having to skip the EMRA event at NJMP and battling a lot of even worse than normal insomnia, I started digging back into the tune on the car...and quickly realized that the boost map I was running at Pocono was shit.  6 revisions later I've got this (ignore the power numbers, the road wasn't perfectly flat, but the boost curve speaks for itself):

 photo boost17_zps923d0ef3.jpg

     I still need to do some work from 6k to redline since it's about 2psi short of my target.  This is not using any error correction yet, mostly because the error I'm logging is a little weird, and I don't want to turn on correction unless I have my head completely wrapped around it.  

     I should be  heading to Lime Rock at the end of the month pending life.  I'd really like to finally get the Kiggly HLA installed by then since I've had it sitting around for like a year.  Also, need to get two tires flipped so I don't do any more edge damage and wind up cycling out before the tread is gone (they have a ton of tread left).  Other than that, I should be able to dial in the tune and go on the hunt for a 1:04.xx.

     Hopefully a few things start to go my way...