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Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Editorial Assistant
10/28/15 8:23 a.m.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/rfbksAynLsw

This wild creation won the Grassroots Motorsports $2015 Challenge. Andrew Nelson, known for posting 10-second Challenge drag times, broke the ladder bar on his V8 Volkswagen Beetle on his very first pass. After hours of welding, Andrew and family had mended the suspension well enough for one more run. They made that single run count with a 10.396-second time, earning them a healthy win in the drag racing portion of the Challenge.

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captdownshift
captdownshift UltraDork
10/28/15 8:55 a.m.

I absolutely love that the winner this year is a beetle. Proof that it's still an amazing platform for cost effective fun and performance.

DaveEstey
DaveEstey PowerDork
10/28/15 9:06 a.m.

What front suspension is on that Beetle?

The_Jed
The_Jed UberDork
10/28/15 9:07 a.m.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UberDork
10/28/15 9:13 a.m.

How did that fare in the autocross? It looks like it would be awful, so I'm surprised to see it in 1st place overall. It must have a second wheel/tire setup at a minimum, right?

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Editorial Assistant
10/28/15 9:21 a.m.

They actually placed 6th in the autocross. Not bad at all.

sanyarcosean
sanyarcosean Reader
10/28/15 9:30 a.m.
What front suspension is on that Beetle?

The Beetle used the front suspension from Andy and I's 2004 Challenge car which was the 77 Nova. Kind of fitting that part of the car that started it all was along for the ride when he won! Nothing about that front clip is stock however....

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UberDork
10/28/15 9:33 a.m.
Ed Higginbotham wrote: They actually placed 6th in the autocross. Not bad at all.

Nice! Looking forward to reading more about it.

simontibbett
simontibbett New Reader
10/28/15 9:36 a.m.

That is really really cool! haha Beetle FTW

iceracer
iceracer PowerDork
10/28/15 10:43 a.m.

It has a Beetle body, therefor it is a Beetle.

Just like the Ford, Chevy's and Toyota ARE because of their engines and front fascia in NASCAR.

Just feeling grumpy this morning.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 PowerDork
10/28/15 11:20 a.m.

Wow, that thing left the line HARD! Love to know what the 60' time was.

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
10/28/15 11:56 a.m.

In reply to 1988RedT2:

1.455 IIRC

TheV8Kid
TheV8Kid Reader
10/28/15 1:08 p.m.
ProDarwin wrote: How did that fare in the autocross? It *looks* like it would be awful, so I'm surprised to see it in 1st place overall. It must have a second wheel/tire setup at a minimum, right?

https://www.youtube.com/embed/wX2qPDuK60Y

jstein77
jstein77 SuperDork
10/28/15 1:15 p.m.

43.0 is an excellent time, less than a second off of FTD. Who was the driver on that run?

TheV8Kid
TheV8Kid Reader
10/28/15 1:21 p.m.
jstein77 wrote: 43.0 is an excellent time, less than a second off of FTD. Who was the driver on that run?

Alan McCrispin. (I think that is how you spell his name)

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
10/28/15 1:23 p.m.
jstein77 wrote: 43.0 is an excellent time, less than a second off of FTD. Who was the driver on that run?

More than one second. The PACC Beetle was right in the mix with all the top cars then Texas A&M put up a DOMINANT time that left the field behind. Still massively impressive to build a 10 second drag car that can hang with some pretty stout autocross hardware.

drainoil
drainoil Reader
10/28/15 1:47 p.m.

Would like to see this face off against Farmtruck's Beetle

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
10/28/15 3:15 p.m.

The sixth place finish was deceptive.

I was in 2nd place with an extremely well sorted Miata on non-DOT legal rubber and suspension that would rival national champions. I also had a driver with 3 national championships who had driven the car before the event.

When I realized Andrew was only 0.7 seconds off of me in the autocross, I knew he had won, because I knew I couldn't be within 0.7 seconds of him on the drags.

spin_out
spin_out Reader
10/29/15 8:05 a.m.

Wrap your head around that. The bug was 7 tenths behind a Miata that would dominate (probably by a couple of seconds) at a local autocross. Then it puts down a 10.3 second drag time. I can't think of any super car at any price that could do that.

Oh, I believe the car it bested in the drag run was Sean Culkin's car that ran a 12.1 at some point.

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
10/29/15 8:25 a.m.
SVreX wrote: The sixth place finish was deceptive. I was in 2nd place with an extremely well sorted Miata on non-DOT legal rubber and suspension that would rival national champions. I also had a driver with 3 national championships who had driven the car before the event. When I realized Andrew was only 0.7 seconds off of me in the autocross, I knew he had won, because I knew I couldn't be within 0.7 seconds of him on the drags.

Yep, his performance numbers were brutal. He left no doubt who earned the win this year.

2002maniac
2002maniac Dork
10/29/15 12:16 p.m.

What made the A&M miata so dang fast at the auto-x? I know the mumpkin is very well sorted so I was a bit shocked to see the A&M car beat up on it so badly.

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
10/29/15 12:27 p.m.
2002maniac wrote: What made the A&M miata so dang fast at the auto-x? I know the mumpkin is very well sorted so I was a bit shocked to see the A&M car beat up on it so badly.

The Driver, power, sorting, and seat time! A&M Dudes a stud.

Our car coughed its way through runs 1 and 2 so our driver only got 3 clean runs. Our drivers a compete and total bad ass as well but he has a total now of 8 runs in a clean running car and is very methodical and works his way up to the limit. He was knocking 1/2 second + off of each run but he never was able to get it to lose traction so he was still below its limits. He has now put 11 runs on that car and never hit a cone. I think our car and driver had a win in it but we were not able to put it together that day and A&M did. Oh yeah, and at least 50hp extra didn't hurt.

Robbie
Robbie Dork
10/29/15 12:29 p.m.
2002maniac wrote: What made the A&M miata so dang fast at the auto-x? I know the mumpkin is very well sorted so I was a bit shocked to see the A&M car beat up on it so badly.

Corn + Turbo. TONS of weight reduction. These are just my guesses after perusing the paddock around both cars.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
10/29/15 5:51 p.m.
2002maniac wrote: What made the A&M miata so dang fast at the auto-x? I know the mumpkin is very well sorted so I was a bit shocked to see the A&M car beat up on it so badly.

A&M and I spent a lot of time exchanging notes. Bottom line, they had what we did not (but we also had what they did not). We paddocked side by side, and I think we both learned from each other.

Ryan (team leader) and I ending up agreeing- put the 2 cars together, and we'd have a perfect car.

We outdid them on suspension, but they beat us on power. We were running a 1.6L, they had a 1.8L. The engines are not the biggest difference in of themselves, but the 1.8L permits a vastly improved turbo setup because of the availability of the downturn exhaust manifold, which allows for a bottom mount turbo- more space, better pipe routing, no more boiling brakes, etc. They had a much bigger turbo.

But they also had the tuning down. We both had megasquirts, but in honesty, I never learned the basics of tuning the megasquirt. We were getting such bad info management from the squirt's interpretation of the sensor inputs that we finally basically shut down all inputs, and ran only off the base map. Our best times in both the autoX and the drags were run with no input at all from the onboard sensors.

Also, I have to agree with Mr. Joshua. Gotta give credit where credit is due- seat time, seat time, seat time.

Our car was much more stable and predictable. We had a lot more suspension then they did, and I also still like our tire choices much better. It ran flat, never did anything badly. We just didn't give our driver enough power to work with, or enough time to maximize it. This was a team time management loss, not a car loss (In other words, my fault, not the car's).

We played the game more like methodical old guys. We did everything in very repeatable ways. We honed our effort a piece at a time. A&M was a bit more wild and raucous. When the time came to go for broke, they pulled out all the stops, and it paid off. I applaud their effort, but am not sure what they did is very repeatable. (I remember 1 team mate running off from our conversation saying, "Oh no- I think they may be running at dangerous boost levels!)

A&M had never run the 1/4 mile. 1/8, but not 1/4. Their car was frightening at 100 mph (Ours was just getting started). We traded notes in the paddock, and they successfully made some improvements on track. Bravo!

Our win over them in the Concours made them worry a bit that we might have knocked them off the silver medal level of the overall. I wasn't worried about it- I missed 1st place, and saw no difference between 2nd and 3rd.

I don't know if they gave it their all. I know I held back. The math said Andrew had won, and I continued competing, but did not see the point in blowing up the car if an overall win was not possible. I know how to beat them next time. I don't know if they know how to beat me.

I wouldn't call it a beating. It was a neck-and-neck chase between both of us throughout the day. We were extremely close until their last autocross run where they pulled out all of the stops, and we lead them most of the night on the drags. Bottom line- they beat us. But they did not beat up on us.

I hope A&M will chime in. I'd be interested in hearing their spin on this, and if they agree with me (or think I'm full of hot air!)

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
10/29/15 5:53 p.m.

In reply to Robbie:

Forgot weight- I'm pretty sure our car was lighter. 1850 lbs wet last time I weighed it.

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