Thursday, April 10, 2014

NASA Two Day Season Opener

     I got extra lucky for this weekend.  The way my work schedule fell I noticed I had Monday off, allowing me to stay at NJMP for both days instead of just one for once...although I spent days going back and forth in my head if I should really spend the extra money. I picked up the car from the shop 2 weeks prior to the event, still having all the work to do that's listed in the last post.  Of course it took me until the exact last minute to be ready to go.  Alignment took 4 tries or so since I couldn't manage to get the wheel dead straight, then went further wrong the first time I tried to correct it.  Tried to change the rear diff fluid, but good old Mitsubishi changed the diff fluid containers and now my fluid pump can't attach to the bottle and of course I didn't have any suitable empty containers around.  But above all the tune was being the biggest bitch.  With the new o2 housing I gained almost psi of boost all the way across the board which led to my injectors going static at about 6k rpm, and going lean to >12:1 at about 6500.  I dropped a bunch of WGDC out and still couldn't get it in check.  Then it hit me...turn on boost control.  BOOM, problem fixed, sometimes its better to let the ecu take over.  The car was making in right in the 345whp/300wtq range SAFELY.

     Travel to the track was uneventful for once, and the weather forecast was looking damn good.  Got to the track Saturday morning, reg'd, tech'd, said hi to the evo homies, and got ready for first session.

First Session - Needed to get used to the new tires, went out slow.  Right away I knew the new z2's were very different from the r3's.  The bet way to describe it is that the RS3's used to feel like they were digging in and taking a set in the track, whereas the car now feels like it is sitting up on the tires.  Basically, the z2's gripping feels very close to how the rs3's felt just before/as they started to slide...on the other hand right from the get go the technical pieces of my driving felt quite good.

     I cant remember many other specifics of sessions that day, but I did some laps that felt decent, however my line through 2-3-4-5 was honestly quite terrible.  I tried some things, talked to Joe/Marc/Thai about the line and improved slightly, but the car continued to feel like it was gonna slide every time I went through that section and I got slightly annoyed at how I just didn't feel comfortable with the car as I pushed.  On the upside, there was some AWESOME racing to watch between sessions, as well as having plenty of time to get my camera out and take some pictures which I haven't done in quite awhile.

     Sunday was even better weather, but most sessions were planned to be combined group 1/2.  Obviously that turned out to be a mess, 40 cars rush hour traffic like.  Through someone elses bad luck (a blown up Speed 6...rods found on the track blown up) the schedule got shifted and group 2 got 2 solo sessions back.  car still felt the same, driving was decent, had fun.  The last session I ran though was great as we were grouped with the instructors.  I tried to keep up, but there was no chance.  Experiencing that speed differential was nuts, I was giving point bys as fast as I could...but i think I still managed to pick up a few things.

     I'm still happy with the car, it survived, it performed well, basically just continued to be great and allowed me to have some damn good fun.  My fastest timed lap of the weekend was in the 1:25 range which basically means I have some slight idea what I'm doing (Joe Ascoli and his evo set a new TT3 track record of 1:09 for reference...), but I certainly should be sub 1:20 with the current car setup.  All time is being lost in 3-4-5, and lifting halfway down the front stretch thanks to wonderfully wobbly front wheels.

     It's pretty lame I won't be on track again until some time in June.  Time to start playing with the S2000 and hopefully get some auto x in.  Plus I have a bachelor party in Miami to look forward to.  Need to figure out my front end wobble, and get a better alignment on the car, then just drive it.

     I'm still working on editing video and pictures.

Picture set can be found here  -

Quick vid using both cameras:

I'll add a better video this weekend probably.