Saturday, June 27, 2015

Just trying to find a balance.

     Like Atmosphere says it "trying to find a balance, trying to build a balance".  In this case its an aero/suspension balance.

     After running my small original splitter with the kognition wing it was quickly obvious that it was not enough.  So I used that splitter as a template and built a nice 5 inch one with some endplates that in my head actually do something.  Loaded up on the trailer and headed for a 2 day event at NJMP during which I'd be on both tracks.

     Day 1 was Thunder (no chicane) and it rained the night before/most of the morning.  This didn't bother me because 1)rain is fun 2) it helps you visualize aero.  Spent the morning tooling around and playing in the rain while backing down the wing angle each session as it dried out.  On street tires, the car felt great finally!  Made a couple click adjustment on the rear shocks and was lapping very comfortably and going faster in some sections of the track than I ever have.  The car actually had some front end grip, although still felt like there was a weird mid corner wash out.  Ended the day with a 1:33 on street tires with the TT3 record being 1:26...that looks like progress to me.

Day 2 was Lightning, and it was going to he hot and dry all day.  Started the morning on street tires and quickly noticed the balance was again pretty good.  Turn 5 up over the crest really tests the setup, and that is where i discovered a serious mid corner washout with the front end (more on that in a minute).  The last session before lunch a very "smart" bmw driver lost his coolant in turn 3, spun off the track, started reversing back onto the track as I came through and caused a black flag all.  It then took 20 minuted to get him towed because he didn't drag the brake which led to the cable winding itself around one of his wheels and ripping off his front bumper.  
     For the afternoon I bolted on the new set of wheels I bought that were shod with BFG R1's (not the R1s).  Not gonna lie, I was nervous about trying out a tire that has next to no communication of letting go.  First session out I made sure to get them warm over 3 or so laps and then started getting progressively faster.  Was quite interesting and luckily uneventful but I was able to set a new PB on lightning of 1:17.98, which is slightly faster than on street tires.

     So remember that mid corner push?  I was running too soft a front spring for both the aero and the new tires.  I ordered a set of swift springs a month prior to the event and was lucky enough to have the box show up missing a spring.  3 weeks of fighting with the place I ordered from as well as swift and calling my credit card company, the second spring showed up the day I got back from the track.  The other issue was oil temp.  In 85 degree ambient temps with some humidity I was seeing temps in the pan of 235F+.  Increasing cooling is now a major priority.  I will be back at Lightning at the end of July with NASA.  I'm slightly getting bored with the same track all the time, but it is invaluable for testing purposes and improving the car.

     The ride to and from the track was MUCH more enjoyable this time with my new trailer....until i ripped my brand new splitter getting loaded up to go home...

     I will try and get some more video edited and some more pics from my dad.