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Monday, September 29, 2008

Buttonwillow 9-27/28


After doing some one lap datalogging runs
I finally took it out for some hot laps without a laptop in the pasenger seat. First time through Sunset on my flying lap and the FM throttle cable bracket snapped in two. Not enough tiime to ge it fixed by 7's Only before the day was through so I was done for the day. I left the .060" thick 304 FM bracket with Dallas at 7's Only and he fabbed a copy out of .125" mild steel for me to pick up the next morning.


Alternator pivot bolt backed out. Went over to 7's Only to scavenge one off a Miata in their boneyard only to misplace it about 30 minutes later. Went back for yet another one, installed and the car was all set. Sent Rob Burgoon out for a few hot laps. On his way down pitlane and about the enter the track, the throttle shaft broke (where they always break), sticking the throttle open. Rob immediately shut down. Haven't taken the manifold off and explored for broken bits of throttle/screw in there yet. Fingers crossed he shut it down in time to save the engine from ingesting anything harmful. You can see the burly cable bracket Dallas whipped up in pic of the broken throttle.

Manly Kao just barely missed going under 2:00 on street tires, 2:00.147 IIRC. So close! Anyway, that's a reprieve as I'd really like to be the first non-supercar under 2:00 on street tires

Steve Happel vanhap.com, the resident photographer at Buttonwillow got some killer hi-res shots of the project car catching air over the peak at Cotton Corners. I'll post those when he gets the disc to me.
The SV crew has begun a new tradition of hanging around the pool after the event. Drinking, munching AM/PM snacks and bench racing until we run out of beer. Then we cruise across the sreet to the Willow Ranch Restaurant, hit on the hot waitresses, order truck stop food and drink some more beer. So overall, a good weekend at the track and a solid performance from the project car. Three weeks until the next event for me to properly sort it out, get the wings on and whatnot. Oh yeah, I think I'm going to take my good friend Oli's suggestion not to paint it but do a body wrap instead. allprostickers.com in San Diego come highly recommended. Lotus chrome orange!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

First track event for project car

Worked straight through Thursday night getting it ready. Well, as ready as I could. I was concerned about the aero lift and cooling issues I would have with no body work so I put the marker lights and factory r package lip spoiler on. Didn't have time to make brackets for the huge ISC Racing air dam/splitter or APR dual element wing. No rear bodywork or race seats. I need harnesses so I cut holes in the stock seats for my 6 pt Team Tech's sub belts to pass through.
Ghetto but it's better than the 4pts Willans I had. Anyway, got it done about 5:30 am, went home for a much needed shower, loaded up and left for Buttonwillow.

As expected, I was falling asleep at the wheel so I pulled over for a half hour for some mini-nappage. Got to the track around noon. Running 13CW on Friday. Unloaded and rolled out for a recon lap at about 60% pace. Back in a lap later, few little tweaks here and there, then out again. Brought it up top about 90% and the car felt really good. Power from the mix and match engine was sensational, better than expected. A little too much starting pressure had me up to about 37 hot, too much for a sub 2000# Miata. Gordon's 2100# intercooled, water injected, Megasquirted, MP62 hotside was just barely pulling me. William's 99 with stock engine, race exhaust and coldside air intake making probably 125whp was not even close.

All in all a great day at the track. Afterwards, Aaron and a few of us instructors retired to the pool at the Red Roof for some liquid nutritional supplements. 24oz Fosters in my case. Well the sleep deprivation and 100* heat finally got to me. I started slurring my speech, and speaking incoherently. More than usual that is. Stumbled (literally) back to the room and slept for 12 hrs.

Today we're running a variation on 18CW. Aaron decided he hates brake pads and has us running the drag strip into StarMazda. You read that right. Riding with a first timer in a C6 Z06 touching 150mph in that pup was, ah, invigorating.

I have XP10 Carbotech's on the front but didn't have time to get the brake ducts made. Hopefully, I've got enough. I think I'll run XP12's in front for the next event. XP10's are fine a Spec Miata on 205's but the project beastie is
much faster.

I'm also going to log my laps with William's Traqmate. Curious to see the lateral in Riverside. It feel like the slight baking there overcomes any aero lift I may be getting so it turns harder there that anywhere else on the track.

Forgot one of the adapters for my laptop so I'm borrowing William's for the blog and to do some datalogging. Hoping to lean out the top end of the map a bit, free up maybe 5-10hp.

We're running 13CW again tomorrow. The plan is to go out when it's relatively cool and aim for a 2:02. With the 2:04.3 yesterday, I'm guessing I have the normally aspirated Miata lap record on 13CW. I'm sure an EP car would be faster but I've never seen on on 13 CW, the Cal Club uses different configs.

OK, time to drive...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

First blog post..

I'm going to try to post some sorta record of all the little projects I'm doing, reports from the track, progress on the track car and hopefully not to many boring personal details.

At the moment, I just got back from Church's dyno, it's 9:00pm and I haven't had lunch yet. A typical day. The very light experimental clutch combination I tried didn't hold. Slipping at 70kpa so we never got the MegaSquirt PnP map completed. It's on the 91 Miata trackday project car. Just swapped in a 1.8 motor that is a stock 02 bottom end with a mild ported, polished, .015 shaved BP4W head. Even at like 40% throttle it was making 115lbs/ft so that's encouraging.

Anyway, the plan is to pack up and roll out Thursday evening for Sppedventures at Buttonwillow Fri-Sun. Can't do that with a slipping clutch so I called clutchnet while at the dyno in Wilmington at about 4pm. They made me a clutch on the spot and I dragged the trailer all the way to South El Monte to get it. I would like to say now that I am damned glad I don't have to drive in that poo every day. What's the Mercedes ad? "Around here, you have to love what you drive". Yah, otherwise you would become depressed I guess. I saw many of them wearing bleak expressions behind the wheel today. None of them driving Mercedes though so maybe there is something to that. I was towing a racecar so I was toting my anti-depression medicine within arms reach. After running the gauntlet safely, arriving in the splendid somewhat smoggy squalor that is So El Monte, I grabbed the clutch. Clutched the disc? Mission accomplished, sun going down, nearly finished race car on the trailer sitting with an expression that said " I know you really don;t want to go back to shop and install that disc tonight but I tell you what, start me up right now and I'll make a couple of really glorius trips into the sweet spot on my engine's VE for you. Right now, you don't even have to take it off the trailer". I obliged, and so did the little red car.

GPS located the nearest Starbucks for some octane booster. Sign read "Sorry but we are closing this location September 28th". Wow, I almost care. Uncharateristically, the coffee was fresh and blooming with nuance and flavor. I had the strangest that its was like last hurrah for that little store. OK, so I think too much.

So I'm going to fuel up at El Pollo and attempt to get the disc in tonight. Sleep is over rated.