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Nate K
Nate K New Reader
12/31/20 8:06 p.m.

With an overheating engine, it was time to go through the head and put in a new headgasket. With the head off I put a little work into porting:

We were also getting much too familiar with changing brake pads after every single race. We were using Hawk Blues and stock brakes with ducting, but we needed more mass. However going with bigger brakes, meant bigger wheels, bigger tires, which would all keep adding more weight to the car. Not to mention when we had spares of everything, it's an expensive changeover. So we keep changing brakes...

We had an S14 subframe (95-98), but with ChumpCar rules we would have to take points for installing it. Cutting/welding the S13 subframe to match the geometry however was free. The S14 subframe has less antisquat, which gives a little better grip under power. Here you can see my very scientific measuring..


 

Here you can see how raised the front of the control arm is on the S13:

Compared to the mostly flat LCA on the S14:

This was my solution:

 

When putting the engine together we tried to use an S14 front cover.. and discovered that it causes an oil leak..

We had some room in points, so we put on a header that had come with an engine:

Then fit the factory heatshield over it:

We had seat sliders, but they were stiff to adjust and we never moved them. So in order to drop the seat a little more, I made some custom seat mounts:

We also used an Airbake cookie sheet where the exhaust goes near our heel. This worked fantastically! I kept melting the glue on the heel of my shoe previously.. and it would get quite toasty and uncomfortable.

We also installed some more lights for our next race which would have some night running:

With the engine together and running and car cleaned up, we were ready for the next race!

 

Nate K
Nate K New Reader
1/6/21 11:20 p.m.

Ugly Rain (10/24/2014) - 5 hours - Portland International Raceway:

With a typical Northwest weather day facing us, we put our wet weather good luck charm on our antenna:

We also got a sneak peak at the trophies for the weekend, and there is an AT-AT, I want it!

Dave starts in the car on a mostly dry track in 44th place. He still has a bad habit of holding the steering wheel at the top, but is getting much better overall. He runs a 1:35.9 and is in 14th place, but if it wasn't for the penalty laps (for winning a previous race) we would be in 2nd!

Nathan Feigion takes the second stint and it has started to rain. His drifting experience really shines here as the car sliding a bit here and there does not spook him and get him to slow way down like some of the other racers. Portland gets extremely slick in the rain, but from geese laying their unpredictable marks on the track and rubber worn into the groove. Coupled with no elevation change on the track, it just gets really slippery. As Nathan's stint goes on the traction gets worse and worse, but he gets up into 8th place.

I get in the car next, and while the amount of hydroplaning is definitely very disconcerting, I also have experience drifting on this track with my V8 car. There is a fine line between brave and stupid, and I try to keep from toeing too far over the stupid line and let the front-wheel drive cars go when I am hydroplaning too much and try to keep it on the track. At one point I am coming up to the chicane, a very slow right-hander. I am on the brakes and slowing to turn in a little late when suddenly out of the corner of my eye I catch a yellow CRX that is flying into the braking zone. I turn the wheel to the left, and the CRX goes flying past my nose, missing by inches! Whew, this is nearly the same as what took out our Hawaii 2-4-Oh car!

Towards the end of the race I am in 4th, right behind 3rd (Celica Supra) and 2nd (Jetta?). 1st place is our full two laps of penalty ahead of us. With thoughts of an AT-AT on my mind.. I push forward trying to get by the two cars to try snag 2nd place. After the VW blows the braking zone into the chicane, I'm now just behind the Celica Supra which I manage to be patient enough to get by when he also outbrakes himself into the chicane on a later lap. Both cars are just behind me, but  as they battle it out behind me they collide allowing me to take home 2nd place. I got my AT-AT! Still one of my favorite trophies ever, as it is the only 'mechanical' one. With the MOV penalty laps, it would have been *really* close with 1st place.

 

Rain, With A Healthy Dose of Wind (10/25/2014) - 13 hours - Portland International Raceway:

The next day we have our longest race yet ahead of us, 13 hours long. Nathan Feigion starts this one off on a wet track in 43rd place. It is slippery, but starting to dry some. Nathan is putting his drifting skills on display as he slip-slides his way to the front of the pack, although with a longer race we now had 3 "Margin of Victory" penalty laps.

Dave gets in the car on a mostly dry track, which still has the treacherous damp areas at the edges and wet soggy grass all around it. While he is nervous over the radio, he keeps it together and brings the car back in one piece.

Nathan Feigion gets in the car next, and the rain is back. While he is out there, some severe wind picks up, and starts destroying pop-up tents! We manage to get multiple ratchet straps across ours to keep it from folding and falling apart, but some tents decide to jump the wall and make a run through the hot pits while others just decide to fold in half and give up life where they are. Again Nathan slithers through traffic and keeps us in great position.

I get in the car next, and it has started to dry out. Nathan Feigion gets his chance to drive the Paul Newman's Revenge 240SX. He has very similar feedback to them as I gave, much too stiff without enough damping and way too much pedal force for the brakes. The wind is still really kicking around, which in most cases is not affecting the race much. However at one point I get to the back straight where I see some leaves swirling around in a little dust devil. As the car hits it, I get tossed around a bit and have to correct. Definitely not what I expected to see out on track!

Dave goes out next for a dusk drive, which is one of the most difficult times. He forgot to put masking tape on his visor, so he didn't have the option of using that to block the mirror. Having lights shining in your mirror and constantly changing lighting conditions is always difficult.

I go out next and it is now fully dark. I have my masking tape on my visor, so I am able to help block out the really aggravating bright lights in the mirror. Compared to the last time we drove at night though, we have now switched to a convex mirror instead of the multi-panel 'wink' mirror. This makes it much better! Now two white dots means there is a car, rather than making many different reflections in the wink mirror.

Dave goes out for our last stint, and while we complete 395 laps compared to the winner's 393, we finish the race in 3rd place due to the 3 MOV laps. We were behind the #10 Martini Racers VW Golf and Dog and Pony Show Mahre Brothers, both fantastic competitors and great people to hang out with. Luckily it rained most of the day, so that is the only reason our brakes made it that far! We swapped the brakes in the evening again and get ready for a third race of the weekend.

 

Still Burning Oil (10/26/2014) - 6 hours - Portland International Raceway:

I get the honor of starting our last race of the weekend in 9th place. This race our MOV penalty has finally dropped off, so no penalty laps! It is wet and quite slippery out (even more so when some fuel is spilled on the track), and I am struggling to keep up with the front-wheel drive cars on the slick track. The back straight is nearly a game of chicken as there is a partially dry line on the right, and a wide sweeping off camber turn (back straight is really a misnomer). I turn over the car at the end of my stint at 8th place. I haven't lost anything, but didn't make up a lot of ground.

Dave goes out next, fairly quickly having to dive off track to avoid a spinning Miata. It's still slick out there, but just barely raining. PIR is like driving on an ice rink in places with our car able to easily spin the tires in 3rd and 4th gear. During Dave's stint he is braking for the chicane, and locks up the brakes. He manages to avoid a car and use the runoff into the chicane, but it's a close one! The sun is out and Dave pits the car in 5th place, having made up three places!

The rain starts to fall again as Nathan Feigion hits the track. Later Nathan tells me that he "had a moment" in the car on the back stretch. I say, "Oh yeah, me too" but don't think too much of it. His moment was quite a bit different than mine.. While going into turn 8 he shifts into 4th gear and the back end starts moving to the right. No big deal, Nathan countersteers with it to the right and gets it under control. The next turn, turn 9, is known as the back straight, but as I said earlier, it's not a straight. It's a long sweeping right hander with a cement wall on the right, and then grass and cement wall on the left. If you touch the wall on the right, you are bouncing off of there and then through the grass and hitting the outside wall. I've seen it multiple times, often times it totals the car. This is where Nathan has his "moment". At close to 100mph he is steering right, on the drying line next to the wall, and the back end starts moving out on him. He keeps his foot in it, just calmly countersteering, now starting to look at the wall towards his right. As the back tires get into the more wet pavement the car continues to rotate and he has to give it another big helping of countersteer, now looking right at the wall. Easing out of the gas he manages to get it back in line without it tank-slapping into the wall, which is now just inches off the right side of the car as he continues down the back straight. He shifts into 5th, shakes his head a bit, and continues on.

Nathan takes the car home into 3rd place, with the Mahre Brother's Dog and Pony show in 1st place. On this engine even though the head was nicely rebuilt, we are still burning oil and having to add oil at every pit stop. Our next race is at Laguna Seca, so we decide to build an entirely new engine and bring our current one as a spare. It's three days of racing in California, and we don't want a possibility of not being able to race all three days.

 

At the end of the day our lucky duck helped us to bring home three different trophies.

The now all-too-familiar for us impound. Look at those tiny brakes! Also look how filthy the car was.. those are silver wheels. During impound we have to jack the car up and let people look at the car for 30 minutes. Most people were pretty uninterested or baffled when they looked at our little 4-cylinder engine and super tiny stock brakes. After impound we would then put the wheels back on, bring it back to the pits, jack it up and then swap the brake pads out, bleed the brakes, and then typically leave when it's dark and we longing for a nice warm bed.

Now off to go build a new engine and a way to store it..

Nate K
Nate K New Reader
1/6/21 11:52 p.m.

Every engine we have had so far has burned oil. Enough oil that we are checking the oil at every pit stop, adding a bit, and heading out again. We are jealous of other cars that roll into the pits and don't even pop the hood. Since this engine burns oil after a fresh head, we know that it's bottom end, so we yank it out and keep it as a spare.

Another thing I want to work on is getting more real-time feedback from our data in the car. It is very useful to look at the data later and see why one driver is faster than another, but sometimes I want to know if it's faster to take an earlier apex, but I won't know until I get on a laptop later. I have a Race Technology DL1 with the small display, but trying to read numbers on that in a corner is nearly impossible. I decide to see if I can make something that will be easier to see.

This is my first proof of concept, just learning to drive some LEDs and an LCD display. Initially this is just based off of a potentiometer for input.

The next evolution is to get it talking to the Race Technology through serial. For this first test I was using horizontal acceleration as the output since it's easy to change.

The further I tilt the DL1, the more the LEDs show.

Next I got some multi-colored LEDs, a dimmable LED driver, a smaller Arduino, and fit it into an old stereo faceplate carrying case.

The LEDs are Red/Orange/Yellow/Green/Blue as they go across. I also added water temp, water pressure, and oil pressure warning lights.

With that project out of the way, we also wired up the car with wireless video. We chose to go with the setups used for RC airplanes mainly due to how expensive it was to use cell phone data for race car video. Being able to see what the car was doing live on the track seemed like it would be really handy with a monitor in the pits. This led to an interesting looking little blue antenna on the car.

This transmitted back to our pit station exactly what the GoPro was seeing.

We got our freshly rebuilt engine into the race car:


 

So we then moved to making our transport setup for our spare engine. With a little hacking, chopping, and welding, we had a car that would roll into our race trailer.

We added the shelves to help make use of space:

At home in the trailer:

Good use of space and neatly packed with our spares for Laguna Seca:

Nate K
Nate K New Reader
1/9/21 12:44 a.m.

My friend Matt and I attended college together, and after living on the East Coast for quite a while, he was now living in Boise. As he is an aviation enthusiast and pilot and he flew his Van's RV-6A over to meet us in Washington State. He had done some autocrossing with an RX-8, but had never actually driven on track. He was going to ride down with us while we drove to Laguna Seca.

This was a three day event spanning Friday to Sunday. We drove down and arrived on a Thursday, went through tech, then loaded our car into the garages. This was our first time having an actual garage and it was really nice! Even though we had nothing to plug into it, it was cool seeing the nitrogen plumbed on the wall where the pros use it. We had racers coming from all across the country for this race, including Tubby Butterman Racing. They have some Hawk Blue brake pads for us they brought with them, but we decide to leave the mostly good pads on the car. Our first race is only a six hour, and with Matt in the car we figure he won't be using nearly as much brake as we do (Bad idea! Bad idea!)

To Finish First, You Must First Finish (7/3/15) - 6 hours - Laguna Seca:

Since the race starts under yellow, we put Matt in the car first so he could have a chance to feel out the car a little before racing. Going from autocross to straight to a race start at Laguna Seca is definitely a way to jump straight into the deep end of the pool. Not ideal, as it is very intimidating. There are plenty of walls, elevation change, and gravel traps at the track. Luckily since it's also one of the most famous race tracks in the world.. Matt knew the layout from various video games.

How to build a 1 32 scale Carrera 4 Lane Digital Laguna Seca California  Speedway Race Track | Monster Hobbies on Patreon | Speedway racing, Slot  car racing, Racing

Matt was very nervous about wrecking our car and was trying to get used to things while not getting in other people's way or cause any problems. He runs a very respectable 2:00.8 lap time, excellent for never having driven this car or on track before! He's doing a great job of watching his mirrors and giving people room when disaster strikes on lap 16. Matt is going into turn 6 when he downshifts into 3rd, and it's just enough to upset the back end of the car. He tries to catch the slide, but it pitches him off to the right and he spins off track. A camouflage  Celica Supra dives off track to avoid him, and narrowly avoids the crash.

Matt is spooked and wants to come in, so on lap 18 he pulls in the pits. We talked to the Celica Supra driver later who is insistent that we never touched their car, although their camo paint is smeared up the nose of our sparkling blue front bumper all the way to the hood. I don't even quite understand how there isn't really any damage. That was a close one!

Nathan Feigion gets into the car with a little over 5 hours left in the race. He brings us from 29th all the way up to 7th during his stint, running a 1:51.3!

Dave gets in the car next and he is struggling a bit. He hasn't played all the video games that we have, so the track is not nearly as familiar to him. He spins early on, which shakes his confidence. However by the end of his run he has done a 1:57.6 and we are in 8th place.

I get in the car last, so it's all up to me now. Having a new driver in the car our original goal was to crack a top 10 finish. We had dropped to 14th during our pit stop, but I'm pretty consistently below the 2 minute mark so we are looking OK. The car is working great, the coolant temp is perfect and engine power is up to normal. Adequate, but not great, just like normal. It's now lap 150, there's just 30 minutes left in the race and I'm in 10th place. The brakes don't feel right, not stopping as good as they have been. I have a very fast and aggressive BMW behind me, so I point him by, not wanting to try fight with him with unknown brakes. He goes by me, and I tuck in behind him for turn 11, the extremely sharp left-hand turn before the straight. As I get to the brake marker I hit the brakes, AND THE PEDAL HITS THE FLOOR! Since I'm not slowing down, to avoid rear-ending the BMW I yank the wheel to the right and fly off into the gravel trap.

After I get pulled backwards out of the gravel, our undertray scooped up enough gravel they might have wanted to send us a bill! When talking to my dad afterwards he asked me if I had tried to use the emergency brake. I told him, "There was zero time for that! All I could do was yank the wheel to avoid hitting the other car." The interesting thing was when I watched the video back.. I actually start pulling the e-brake, but because I had just swerved the back end starts coming around. Going sideways into a gravel trap is a major risk for rollover. I put the e-brake back down while counter-steering with my left hand to try get the car going nose-first, and mostly succeed. All of this was essentially reflexes from drifting, as I didn't even remember touching the e-brake!

The cause of all this? Me being cheap/lazy with the brake pads, and thinking that the car would make it six hours on slightly used pads. Once the pad was gone, the piston over-extended and blew brake fluid all over when I went for the brakes that last time.

Tech Tip #12: Brake pads don't have linear life. A pad with 100% material stays cooler than one with 50% material, so once the pad is low it goes quickly! 50% thickness is beyond 50% of it's lifespan.

Now for a late night replacing calipers, pads, bleeding, and sweeping up a massive amount of gravel that we needed to return to turn 11..

And for the video highlights of the race:

 

Nate K
Nate K New Reader
1/10/21 2:46 a.m.

At Least the Brakes Were Good (7/4/15) - 7 hours - Laguna Seca:

With our brakes sorted out and some sleep we were ready to hit the track again. Matt had told us he didn't know if he wanted to get back in the car again, but we knew we needed him to get another chance so we figured we would talk him into it later in the day. Dave went out first. And for the first time, we got the lucky drop of the flag and we started in 1st place! Dave was feeling a little more comfortable on track, and pulled off a 1:55.4! There are a lot of fast cars (and drivers) out there however, and Dave drops down to 11th when he is stopped for a red flag. Once he can move, Dave pulls into the pits and the crew dives into action. After a little bit of troubleshooting, we find that the water pressure sensor has failed and is leaking. We engineer a quick plug for it and seal it up. This drops us all the way back to 44th place, not looking good for today.

I take the car out next partway into my stint, I am trying to work my way around a gray 5-series BMW. The car is fast, but the driver is erratic and having issues with oversteer. I find out later that he is an experienced Spec E30 driver (experienced.. not necessarily skilled). I can't keep up on the straights, but can reel him back in again in corners. As I follow him into turn 11 I see him go wide and he is going off course. This is my chance! He will have to back out of it and I will have a chance to sail by. Except... he doesn't back out of it. Major Mistake #1: Even though he's fully off track, he stays in the throttle... and comes back on the track fully sideways! I aim left trying to miss his car but the gap is closing quickly. There just isn't enough room, and while I manage to miss his car by about one inch.. I am pointed towards the barrier and there is now no avoiding it. I smash the barrier with the front, then the back, then come to a halt. I now have a smashed car, and the guy that needed to just back out of throttle has a perfectly intact car. But he's not done yet.

There is a massive cloud of dust on track now and he is sideways on track on the left side of the track. This is off line, where nobody drives. Major Mistake #2: For some reason he panics, thinking someone may hit him, so he floors it trying to turn the car around quickly. The cloud of dust is mainly on the left side of the track as well. Mopar 4 Life (Dodge Neon) suddenly sees the BMW reappear out of the dust onto the racing line and turns left to avoid the BMW.

And.. here's where we get to Major Mistake #3: Not being able to do a cool turnaround like a stunt man. He over-rotates, and now is coming back LEFT! Mopar 4 Life is trying to dodge, but the BMW driver thinks he is a Mustang leaving a Cars and Coffee and won't stop until there is some destruction.

At this point the BMW driver's insatiable appetite for chaos has been satisfied. The Neon slams into the BMW sending steam, glass and car parts everywhere. The BMW is totalled, and the Neon that has been towed from across the country has a destroyed front right corner and a broken windshield. Three smashed up cars due to one driver's poor choices.

Tech Tip #13: If you go off track, don't try to be a hero and save it. Just back out of it, gather it up, make sure it is safe to enter the track, and get on with your race.

After I get checked out for a concussion (all good) I limp the car back into the garages. Time to fire up some A-team music and get to work! We assess the damage, and aside from all the smashed up sheetmetal, our worst problem is the lower control arm. We don't have any spare arms, and this arm is custom. We had cut and welded extra metal into it to lengthen it for more camber.

This arm is supposed to be straight across the top.. that's pretty bent. On the plus side, the area I had welded up showed now issue.

Even if we can find a stock arm, we would need both arms, and then we would destroy the outer edge of the tire. Time to try fix it.

We borrow a torch and try getting it hot and putting 1 Lard-Ton of force into it. That doesn't work.

We end up cutting it most of the way through, bending it, then welding it back up. We had reinforcement metal borrowed from Wrecked'em Racing and a welder I believe borrowed from Tubby Butterman. Fellow racers are so awesome!!

We used some chain binders to pull the corner of the car out some and were feeling pretty happy about our progress. It's July 4th, the race is over, and the day is winding down. Wayne from Scrap Attack walks over to see how things are going, and says, "Hey, you guys are using the factory radiator brackets. We never use those anymore as it tends to crack the plastic end tanks if you hit something." I pull off the brackets and sure enough, our radiator is cracked! Thanks for saving us from some more pain Wayne! Unfortunately.. while we have an entire engine with us, we do not have a spare radiator. Time to see if we can fix this one. I had heard of 'plastic welding' using zip ties, so I grab my soldering iron and melt the crack together and use zip ties for filler.

We had hopes of watching some fireworks and hitting Monterey for some nice food, but instead it was a late night finishing up the car. We managed to get the fender straight enough to fit back on the car and were done for the night. I was a little leery of the radiator fix, as I didn't know how well it would hold up to vibration/heat during the race, but we went back to the hotel to get some sleep.

I woke up at 3am and could not stop thinking about the radiator. As I lay in bed I was trying to think of what I could do to make the fix more robust. RTV on it's own wasn't going to help, but if I could cap it to contain the RTV that should hold up. Unfortunately it was at the post on the radiator where the crack was, so I needed cap with a hole in it. I realize if I use a washer I could hold some RTV in. But if I wait until we go to the track in the morning, the RTV won't have time to cure. At around 4am I slip out of the hotel room, and head to the track. It was a little weird arriving in the dark and working on the car in the brightly lit garages with a ton of race cars and me being the only person there. I put together my washer stack and got it all RTV'd together. While I didn't get very much sleep, I felt a whole lot better about the robustness of the fix now.

 

 

Nate K
Nate K New Reader
1/23/21 1:54 a.m.

Will It Hold? (7/5/15) - 7 hours - Laguna Seca:

So after barely any sleep due to fixing the car, I was pretty beat. But I was pretty upbeat about our chances of the car holding together for the final day. Matt in his first ever race weekend, had not gotten a chance to drive on the second day.

After all the repairs, we still didn't know how the car handled or if everything worked. We sent Nathan Feigion out first to shake down the car. He started in 31st place, and the car is working good! Nathan slices and dices his way through traffic, while the temps stay cool and brakes are working great. By the end of his stint, he has made it up to 5th place and ran our fastest lap of the weekend at 1:50.4! For reference, the fastest time of the day was a 1:49.5.

Originally Matt had said that he didn't want to get in the car again, but we talked him into trying it out again now that it wouldn't be completely new and overwhelming. However, we don't do him any favors and we pull a rookie move, we forget to put up his window net. He gets black flagged and looped back around for us to correct it, dropping us to 21st place. Matt is a lot more confident in the car and is pushing it more, which does end up in one spin. He is really getting a lot more comfortable with the car and gets back up to 15th place. Then Matt gets a black flag for passing under a yellow flag. Oops! He pulls in, apologizes, and is off again in 22nd place. By the end of his stint he has made it back to 16th place before pitting. Matt pulls off a 1:57.7, a full three seconds faster than the first stint!

I get in the car next. I push as much as I can trying to beat Nathan's lap time, but I just can't pull it off. I got down to a 1:51.9 during my session, but did manage to get up to 9th place. On the plus side, the car is still driving around the track and the radiator fix is holding perfectly.

Dave is in the car for the final stint. Will the car hold all the way to driving on the trailer? Dave struggles a bit with some understeer, but pulls off a respectable 1:54.3 lap time and brings the car home in 12th. Success! Our only day of the weekend we actually finished the race!

The LED device I made showing "Time slip" worked.. somewhat. The refresh rate is not nearly as quick as I was hoping for, and if it ever lost communication it would just hang at the last value shown. So with the somewhat intermittent updates and not really being able to trust it.. it didn't prove to have a ton of value. On the plus side it did have a cool little startup animation!

Video overview of day 3:

 

So after the race we got the car home and checked out all the damage a little more closely. The front was really scraped up, but looked reasonably close.

With a little "footwork" at the track, the quarterpanel wasn't too terrible:

We had another race within a month, so we needed to work quickly. We got the car up on the lift, and yikes! That doesn't look right... A couple other tires had this as well, and we had never seen this before. I can only assume we were hitting the curbing harder than normal.

The track-fixed lower control arm:

We pulled the engine out to have better access to fixing the damage. Definitely a lot worse looking with the fender off!

I also did some comparison to my purple car.. and we discovered our left front strut wasn't where it belonged...

I welded up a quick and dirty strut pulling device:

I also made a backing plate to help pull out the left corner of the car:

Then with the help of a Porta Power a couple of excavators..

We got the strut tower brace to match my other 240SX and got the corner looking roughly correct.

Then I took a spare fender, some hammers, and some carpet, and I got the fender roughly back to the factory shape.

A little paint on the chassis, and it wasn't looking so bad.

I also wanted to remake the lower control arms, and then we could use the old ones as spares. I picked up some new arms from RockAuto.

I cut the arm and added in the new metal to space the arm. Again the reason for extended control arms was this was "free" in ChumpCar points compared to commercially available camber adjustment.

Next up I added a bridge across the bottom (with my OK at best welding skills on display here).

At this point I have two extended control arms that would likely be strong enough.

But to reduce stress on the joint, I then wrap the top with sheet metal and plug weld some holes in it.

I add some more braces on the bottom, and then I'm sufficiently happy that the rest of the arm will bend before anything I cut breaks (just like the last arm proved).

A little paint, and they are ready for the car.

And here is the car all back together. We added a factory front lip as well as a bit more of an air dam below that to try to reduce some drag on the straights. We always get killed on the straights, so every little bit helps. You can also see the aggressive negative camber we need for a Mcpherson strut car to have relatively even tread wear.

jfryjfry (FS)
jfryjfry (FS) Dork
1/23/21 9:30 a.m.

Glad to see you were able to bring her back to life.   That bmw driver made some pretty poor choices....

will someone please tape Dave's hands to 9&3????   His 11&1 driving style is making my eye twitch!

Honsch
Honsch New Reader
1/24/21 3:58 a.m.

A couple of notes for you:

1. Look into S14 lower arms, they're a little longer from the factory.

2. The FSM has diagrams with measurements for checking the straightness of the body.

Nate K
Nate K New Reader
1/24/21 1:21 p.m.
jfryjfry (FS) said:

Glad to see you were able to bring her back to life.   That bmw driver made some pretty poor choices....

will someone please tape Dave's hands to 9&3????   His 11&1 driving style is making my eye twitch!

Haha, his hand position drives me crazy too! I've talked about putting a bunch of blue tape across the top of the wheel and just telling him to never touch the blue tape. He has gotten better over the years, but bad habits are hard to break..

Nate K
Nate K New Reader
1/24/21 1:24 p.m.
Honsch said:

A couple of notes for you:

1. Look into S14 lower arms, they're a little longer from the factory.

2. The FSM has diagrams with measurements for checking the straightness of the body.

Thanks Honch! We were racing with ChumpCar at the time, which meant cutting/welding was free, but parts from a newer car would have added points to our car value. We were also adding more camber than S14 arms would have given. For the FSM diagrams, I have looked at them but have never actually tried to transfer them to the car.. I really should do a few checks as I know we are not 100% right now.

Nate K
Nate K New Reader
3/9/21 11:28 p.m.

These Brakes.. (8/8/15) - 12 hours - Portland International Raceway:

So after all the work to get the car straight again and a factory front lip added, we were ready to race in Portland. Our last event at Portland we had a 2nd, 3rd, and 3rd with 1st place eluding us. So we had a goal ahead of us!

Dave starts off the 12 hour race in 29th place. Dave puts in some solid laps and gets us up into 7th place. He's pushing the car hard, likely a little bit past his comfort zone. While approaching turn 10, he's still on the brakes a bit too much at turn-in, and the car starts rotating at 80+ mph. His countersteer is not quite quick enough, and to gasps of the people in the bleachers.. ("Oh no! Oh no!") he is headed off course...  towards a barrier! Luckily he is far enough past the barrier to not hit it, and gets slowed down before getting to the tire wall. If it was raining, the car would be a balled up mess, as cars don't slow down much at all in wet grass. However even with the Brown Pants Moment, Dave makes it up into 3rd place before pitting!

Nathan Feigion is in the car next, putting in solid laps and moving forward in the pack. 19 laps into his stint I hear over the radio, "I think I've got a flat tire or something." Oh no! We aren't quite a prepared Nascar crew... we are in the pits for 6 minutes changing the tire before sending him back out. This knocks us back to 12th place, giving Nathan some work to do. Nathan then proceeds to set our fastest lap of the race (1:33.98) and get us up into 5th place.

It was my turn next, and I have my sights set on a podium finish. At this point we have gotten a trophy every single race in Portland since our first 3rd place trophy and I don't want to break that streak! I put in a straightforward two hour session and pit in 3rd place.

Dave goes out next, and then pits in 1st place! With four hours left, Nathan Feigion is back in the car. On lap 318, disaster strikes. No brakes! Nathan uses a combination of engine braking and emergency brake use to get the car slowed down, repeatedly pumping the emergency brake like Flintstone ABS. The car skids just past our pits with the rears locked up and the front brakes on fire! I hit the brakes with the fire extinguisher, dousing the flames and my hopes of a podium finish.

We jump into action to repair the car. This is the first time we've tried to do a caliper swap live during a race. And ... as you might imagine, it's HOT!! Like still smoking after being removed and on the ground kind of hot. The reason we lost brakes is our pads were so far gone that the piston popped out of the caliper. Again. Dave swaps the caliper on the right while I change the pads on the left side. I can't grab anything, even just my glove grazing the caliper is enough to send an instant wisp of smoke. I am trying to use a tool in each hand like some kind of caveman salad tongs. We get the new pads in and some new fluid in, and then bleed the brakes. Total time: 15 minutes. Not bad for a first time doing a hot change in the pits! In the picture below, you can see the caliper smoking on the ground.

 

This brakes thing is getting ridiculous. To have 1st place snatched away due to brakes like this is frustrating. This will be our last race weekend on these brakes.. These Hawk Blue pads provide fantastic stopping power and feel, but in combination with stock brake hardware they just get too hot and disappear (even with our ducting). They used to be fine, but as we get faster we push the car harder.

I jump in the car last, and we are down to 7th place. I do what I can, but there's no making up for a 15 minute pit stop. We finish in 5th place, not too bad considering that included a flat tire and brakes+caliper change in the pits!

Video overview:

 

Honsch
Honsch Reader
3/10/21 4:18 a.m.

That right there is why we stopped running Chump.

Too many people trying way too hard.

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr PowerDork
3/10/21 7:42 a.m.
Nate K said:

These Brakes.. (8/8/15) - 12 hours - Portland International Raceway:

So after all the work to get the car straight again and a factory front lip added, we were ready to race in Portland. Our last event at Portland we had a 2nd, 3rd, and 3rd with 1st place eluding us. So we had a goal ahead of us!

Dave starts off the 12 hour race in 29th place. Dave puts in some solid laps and gets us up into 7th place. He's pushing the car hard, likely a little bit past his comfort zone. While approaching turn 10, he's still on the brakes a bit too much at turn-in, and the car starts rotating at 80+ mph. His countersteer is not quite quick enough, and to gasps of the people in the bleachers.. ("Oh no! Oh no!") he is headed off course...  towards a barrier! Luckily he is far enough past the barrier to not hit it, and gets slowed down before getting to the tire wall. If it was raining, the car would be a balled up mess, as cars don't slow down much at all in wet grass. However even with the Brown Pants Moment, Dave makes it up into 3rd place before pitting!

Nathan Feigion is in the car next, putting in solid laps and moving forward in the pack. 19 laps into his stint I hear over the radio, "I think I've got a flat tire or something." Oh no! We aren't quite a prepared Nascar crew... we are in the pits for 6 minutes changing the tire before sending him back out. This knocks us back to 12th place, giving Nathan some work to do. Nathan then proceeds to set our fastest lap of the race (1:33.98) and get us up into 5th place.

It was my turn next, and I have my sights set on a podium finish. At this point we have gotten a trophy every single race in Portland since our first 3rd place trophy and I don't want to break that streak! I put in a straightforward two hour session and pit in 3rd place.

Dave goes out next, and then pits in 1st place! With four hours left, Nathan Feigion is back in the car. On lap 318, disaster strikes. No brakes! Nathan uses a combination of engine braking and emergency brake use to get the car slowed down, repeatedly pumping the emergency brake like Flintstone ABS. The car skids just past our pits with the rears locked up and the front brakes on fire! I hit the brakes with the fire extinguisher, dousing the flames and my hopes of a podium finish.

We jump into action to repair the car. This is the first time we've tried to do a caliper swap live during a race. And ... as you might imagine, it's HOT!! Like still smoking after being removed and on the ground kind of hot. The reason we lost brakes is our pads were so far gone that the piston popped out of the caliper. Again. Dave swaps the caliper on the right while I change the pads on the left side. I can't grab anything, even just my glove grazing the caliper is enough to send an instant wisp of smoke. I am trying to use a tool in each hand like some kind of caveman salad tongs. We get the new pads in and some new fluid in, and then bleed the brakes. Total time: 15 minutes. Not bad for a first time doing a hot change in the pits! In the picture below, you can see the caliper smoking on the ground.

 

This brakes thing is getting ridiculous. To have 1st place snatched away due to brakes like this is frustrating. This will be our last race weekend on these brakes.. These Hawk Blue pads provide fantastic stopping power and feel, but in combination with stock brake hardware they just get too hot and disappear (even with our ducting). They used to be fine, but as we get faster we push the car harder.

I just in the car last, and we are down to 7th place. I do what I can, but there's no making up for a 15 minute pit stop. We finish in 5th place, not too bad considering that included a flat tire and brakes+caliper change in the pits!

Video overview:

 

Do you bed your brakes in and let them cool for at least 12 hours before racing?  

With hawk blues, this is an absolute must!

 

They go from lasting about 6 hours to at least 20.

Nate K
Nate K New Reader
3/10/21 10:13 p.m.
Honsch said:

That right there is why we stopped running Chump.

Too many people trying way too hard.

Do you still race? Did you find something you like better? We moved to Lucky Dog after Chumpcar left the West Coast.

Nate K
Nate K New Reader
3/10/21 10:22 p.m.
wvumtnbkr said:
 

Do you bed your brakes in and let them cool for at least 12 hours before racing?  

With hawk blues, this is an absolute must!

 

They go from lasting about 6 hours to at least 20.

In most cases (like this one), we did not. Sometimes our bedding was prior to the race where they had a long time to sit. Other times it was just using the practice time to bed, so they would not have had 12 hours to cool. I hadn't heard this before, in our experience we didn't see that much of a difference. I think for us the biggest thing is the mass of our brakes was so small that we just got them too hot, even with our ducting. The stock front brakes are only a 9.8"! Notice the white paint on the brake pad..

A 10 lb rotor just peaks at too high of temperatures.. but this was our last race weekend with stock brakes... it gets fixed. :)

Honsch
Honsch Reader
3/11/21 3:00 a.m.
Nate K said:

Do you still race? Did you find something you like better? We moved to Lucky Dog after Chumpcar left the West Coast.

Dude, we've probably met.  I've come over and talked to your team a bunch of times.

I'm with The Flying Lumberjacks, we currently race a VW Fox station wagon in the PNW with LDRL.  We used to have the car with a big axe on the roof but I think that was before you guys started.

If you ever have any weird 240sx questions I'm the guy to ask.  I've owned one since 1991 when I bought one new.  I've probably got more seat time in one than anyone else on the planet.

As for your brakes, you've probably solved that but Q45 rotors and calipers would work well if you address the brake balance.  I ran them for a long time on my turbo street car.

Nate K
Nate K New Reader
3/13/21 12:15 a.m.
Honsch said:
Nate K said:

Do you still race? Did you find something you like better? We moved to Lucky Dog after Chumpcar left the West Coast.

Dude, we've probably met.  I've come over and talked to your team a bunch of times.

I'm with The Flying Lumberjacks, we currently race a VW Fox station wagon in the PNW with LDRL.  We used to have the car with a big axe on the roof but I think that was before you guys started.

If you ever have any weird 240sx questions I'm the guy to ask.  I've owned one since 1991 when I bought one new.  I've probably got more seat time in one than anyone else on the planet.

As for your brakes, you've probably solved that but Q45 rotors and calipers would work well if you address the brake balance.  I ran them for a long time on my turbo street car.

Ah, I feel silly! You already said that on the previous page.. I remember the big axe, that was awesome. :)

Yeah, brakes were upgraded after this particular event. Losing 1st place due to brakes was just too much.

Nate K
Nate K New Reader
3/27/21 12:20 a.m.

Just Keep It Together... (8/9/15) - 6 hours - Portland International Raceway:

On our second day of the weekend, we are on old tires trying to use up our 15 inch to get ready to switch to something bigger. The sun is shining as Dave takes the first stint in the car. He starts in 15th place, and battles his way all the way up to 3rd!

Nathan is in the car next, battling with an SC300 and MK3 Supra turbo. Both cars have more horsepower than us, but our cars light weight helps in the corners. Nathan pits with us in 2nd place behind the SC300!

I get in the car last. I put in a solid session and we finish up the race in 3rd. I didn't quite hang onto the 2nd place, but we got our trophy!

Highlight video:

 

After the race, it was time to figure out what we were doing with our brakes. I want to go overkill, as we really need some serious life. We have been overheating the brakes due to such little mass in the rotors. The front calipers would start leaking about every other race, and the pads needed swapped around every 7 hours. We had originally resisted upgrading brakes, as light weight was one of our few advantages and bigger brakes meant bigger heavier wheels/tires.

We pick up some adapters that will allow us to bolt Wilwood calipers and use 350Z Track rotors.

The four-piston Wilwoods calipers are significantly bigger than the stock single pistons. I ordered the smallest caliper Wilwoods, which is almost a perfect match hydraulically to the single piston so the rear brakes could be left alone.

Rotors go from 9.8" (10 lbs) to 12.8" (21 lbs).

We first try fitting them behind some factory 16" wheels, trying to not add any more wheel weight than we have to.. but they just don't quite clear.

While the 16" just didn't quite fit, some 17x9 fit great:

In addition to more weight, the pads are significantly thicker:

Here's an example of how tiny the stock rotors looked in there.

The difference in tire is pretty significant as well:

The 17x9s with 225s definitely change the look of the car:

I tape up the brake ducts to try keep some heat in them, and head out to bed in the brakes. We are running Raybestos ST43 pads, and wow do they squeel! But.. it's a race car and if they are going to last, I can live with that. The brakes were already plenty enough to lock the tires, and the new brakes feel just as strong. The pedal is definitely softer with the extra fluid going from single piston to four piston. Now these should last, next up it's time to see what they can do!

Nate K
Nate K New Reader
3/27/21 1:47 a.m.

PIR Holy Moly! Enduro Sprint Combo (10/2/15) - 7 hours - Portland International Raceway:

This is our first race with the new brakes, and a new format for us. This week is a combination of endurance and sprint racing, and we had only done endurance races so far. We also had ChumpTrucks in two for this weekend! These are some pretty wild beasts and very entertaining.

I take the car out for our first practice runs with the new setup. While the extra grip feels good, there is something unnerving about the way the car handles. When I push the car really hard and get a lot of lateral G's, the back end starts to get nervous. Pushing hard into turn 10 (very fast left hander), the car seems great.. then suddenly a snap of oversteer. We had been running both front/rear swaybars, but when I pull into the pits I decide to disconnect the rear sway bar to see if that helps the back end. As I'm laying on the ground unbolting it, someone swings by to tell me, "Dude, when you were going through turn 10 you were three-wheeling!" Well, that explains it.. and confirms that disconnecting the rear sway should help. I take the car out again, and confirm that the snappiness is gone and have my dad take the car out.

For this first race, Dave starts in 19th place. This time around it was just my dad and myself racing. Dave gets us up into third, and it's now my turn.

The extra grip feels great, although with cut factory springs there is a decent amount of body roll. The brakes squeal any time you touch the pedal, to the point where it becomes completely engrained into my brain and I can pretty much ignore it. I turn our fastest lap ever in the car at 1:33.7 and return the car in 3rd place.

Dave is in the car again, and gets called for a black flag for passing under yellow. I reviewed the video later, and was not able to find it happen. The black flag knocks us back to 9th place. It's now getting dark, and an out of control Acura Integra hits both my dad and a Probe while dive-bombing into a corner. Luckily the damage to our car is minor, and Dave continues on and pits in 5th place.

It's dark now so I get my stripes of tape on my visor and jump in the car. It's time to see if I can turn this into a podium position! The headlights are definitely not as bright as I would like.. but they are somewhat workable. I have to use very specific reference points on the track. Exiting Turn 6 becomes ".. roll in the throttle, aim left.. 1 second.. 2 seconds.. white paint stripe, turn right... Ok, there is the apex of 7.." In some ways I actually do slightly better at night, as it FORCES me to use my markers exactly. There's really no ability for my brain to try to get my throttle foot to lift coming to a corner early.. because I can't see it. I turn a 1:33.4, our fastest ever PIR time before it starts to lightly rain and throw some more variables into the mix. Since most people slow down at night, I was able to work my way back up to 3rd place again. Another trophy! This time it was a very cool looking dragon. And the best part? We did not touch the brakes at the end of the evening!

Video Overview:

 

Nate K
Nate K New Reader
3/30/21 11:36 p.m.

PIR Holy Moly! Enduro Sprint Combo (10/3/15) - Sprint #1 - Portland International Raceway:

The sprint race addition to the event is an absolute blast! When we have a long race, you never want to venture too far away in case you are needed. But for the sprint race, if there is an issue the race is over anyway, so there is no problem going to the stands and watching. This is also one of the only times we've had that many competitors up in the stands together. It was a great atmosphere and a lot of fun.

Dave takes the Sprint #1 and finishes 9th overall, 3rd place in B class. Classes were done by engine size, and we were in the 2-3 liter class with our KA24DE. 

PIR Holy Moly! Enduro Sprint Combo (10/3/15) - Sprint #2 - Portland International Raceway:

I get in for Sprint #2, and start of in 7th place. I get a good jump at the green flag, with two Mustangs and a Porsche 924 turbo in front of me. A pesky Miata keeps making his way into the fight, but eventually falls out of it. I slowly pick off one car after another, until the Porsche and I are battling it out. I pass him, he passes me back. He can't shake me but I can't stay ahead of him. Finally as we keep pushing each other further and further, he spins while braking into the chicane. I win the race by 36 seconds, which means we ge a "Margin of Victory" penalty of 36 seconds applied to our next couple races. This isn't exactly fair to my dad, who was out next.

Sprint Race #2 Video:

 

PIR Holy Moly! Enduro Sprint Combo (10/3/15) - Sprint #3 - Portland International Raceway:

Dave goes out for Sprint #3, and he finishes in 12th overall, 4th place in B class.

PIR Holy Moly! Enduro Sprint Combo (10/3/15) - 6 Hours - Portland International Raceway:

The next race is a six hour endurance race. The car has been working great, and the brakes are still working nice and strong. I start the race in 19th place in the late afternoon. I have the top of my visor taped up in preparation to act as a sun visor. I am battling it out with various E36s, including #177 Finally Racing. They drive clean and are fast, and are difficult to pass. I finally manage to sneak by them, then it's on to our friendly rivalry with the Dog and Pony Show Mustang. I pit in 3rd place with a fastest lap of 1:34.5.

Dave is in the car next, and the sun is really killer at this point. On the front straight it's directly in your eyes. Dave also employs the taped visor trick and starts putting in some solid laps. The sun sets, and eventually it's completely dark and Dave is still circling the track. He sets a lap time just a second off of my pace at 1:35.5 and pits in 2nd place!

I get in the car and things are going well. The car feels good and I am creeping my way closer to the Lexus SC300 that is in 1st place. One problem however, is my headset never got plugged in so I have no communication with the pits. The Lexus is factory rated at 70 more horsepower and is also a great handling chassis. It's heavier than our car, but this is a bit of David and Goliath. In the dark my headlights finally pick up the black Lexus in front of me. I pressure my way past the Lexus, but then get caught up on lapped traffic and the Lexus disappears into the distance. I can catch them in the corners, but they have the horsepower advantage. I manage to get by them and keep them behind me by the time the race ends, only to find out that I was actually a lap up, and I fought that hard just to give us an extra lap of Margin of Victory penalty. Oops!

6 Hour Endurance Race Video:

 

PIR Holy Moly! Enduro Sprint Combo (10/4/15) - Sprint #4 - Portland International Raceway:

It's a new day and Dave goes out for Sprint #4, and he does great! With the MOV penalty of 26 seconds for winning a spring + another 30 seconds for winning the endurance race, he runs a personal best 1:33.9 and finishes 4th overall and 2nd in B class, which would be a 1st place overall with no time penalties!

PIR Holy Moly! Enduro Sprint Combo (10/4/15) - Sprint #5 - Portland International Raceway:

I take Sprint #5, and with the 56 second penalty I effectively need to lap the entire field, in 30 minutes. I am very focused, and in the Zone. The first lap I get past all the cars except for the two MK3 turbo Supras. The second lap I make it by them. My brain is calm and my senses are heightened. I am noticing things that I have not felt before. I can feel precisely how much grip I am giving up when I am not smooth enough on the brakes exiting the last corner. I can see the path I want to take through traffic ahead of me as if the other cars are just cones in an autocross course. Well.. moving ones that don't want me to pass them, but you get the point. I feel like I have hit the next level in my driving, and I am extracting that extra little bit out of the car I couldn't feel before. During this session with 18 laps, I turn 10 laps faster than my previous fastest lap! In those 18 laps I manage to lap every single car... except one. And while I don't get a trophy for this race, I came off the track feeling like I had really won something. I had just found the next level in my own driving and ran a 1:31.984, less than a second off of the fastest lap of the weekend in our little 4-cylinder!

Sprint Race #5 Video:

 

PIR Holy Moly! Enduro Sprint Combo (10/4/15) - Sprint #6 - Portland International Raceway:

Dave gets in the car for Sprint Race #6. We are now down to just a 20 second handicap for me having won a sprint race. Dave finishes in 4th place, 1st in B class.

PIR Holy Moly! Enduro Sprint Combo (10/4/15) - Sprint #7 - Portland International Raceway:

Well it sure was fun being in the Zone in the previous sprint race.. but I'm not quite there this time. Things are going well, but I don't have Super Feeling or even Spidey sense. I get hung up trying to get past one of the Toyota Supras, and while I can get a good run at him, I just can't get a pass to stick before he walks by me on the straight. I also have a 20 second time penalty, so I need to also put more than a 20 second gap on him and that's just not happening. I finish the race in 2nd overall, 1st in B class.

Sprint Race #7 Video:

We got a super cool Batman trophy for our 1st place in addition to a little Predator for my sprint race and the dragon for 3rd place the first day. A very successful weekend!

And here is the best part.. I measured the brake pads after the race. We used up only 3 millimeters of front pad, and essentially none off the rears. That is with 13 hours of endurance races, 3.5 hours of sprint races, and another hour of practice! Finally some brakes that are not a maintenance nightmare, this is the best upgrade we have ever done for the car!

You can see the rears were hot and working.. but no measurable loss of pad thickness.

Here's a view of the dust shield turned brake duct. You can also see our camber spacers, currently set to 'MAX' (the other side says 'POOP').

 

A new series called Lucky Dog started by Cathy McCause popped up, but with their first race happening in the same month as our Chump Car race, we were not planning on doing it. I was contacted by Mark Scholz, who's rental driver had caused our crash at Laguna Seca. He said his car was not going to be fixed in time for the race, and he wanted to give us his spot. Wow, not going to turn that down. Thanks Mark!

It was originally planned to be my dad and myself again. Then disaster struck and my dad had a heart attack and needed a triple bypass. While the surgery was successful and he was going to be OK, there was no way he could race. One of our friendly rivals #177 Finally Racing put together a Get Well card and signed it with their whole team, forever cementing them as an awesome team and great friends. Now with a new series and a free entry, I asked Nathan Feigion if he would sub in, and he was up for it. So next up will be a late October race at PIR with Lucky Dog!

therealpinto
therealpinto Reader
3/31/21 2:07 a.m.

I love the ST43's on our Primera, they have been great. Too bad it's not a shelf option for that (custom ordered via Frozen rotors) and that's kind of a pain being in Sweden. The import process is quite costly and takes time...

...but so far they have been worth the effort. 

Gustaf

Nate K
Nate K New Reader
3/31/21 12:00 p.m.
therealpinto said:

I love the ST43's on our Primera, they have been great. Too bad it's not a shelf option for that (custom ordered via Frozen rotors) and that's kind of a pain being in Sweden. The import process is quite costly and takes time...

...but so far they have been worth the effort. 

Gustaf

They really can't be beat for lifetime, I have heard they used to be referred to as the "magic pads" due to the such an extremely long life. Obviously bigger pads and more mass made a big difference, but we went from 6-7 hours of life up to 60, and we only swapped them at this point due to the amount of taper. If we had rotated them earlier we could have got even more life from them.

They are super loud, although we finally realized they are mainly just loud if they are not hot enough. With fresh pads if we blocked our brake ducts they were quiet, and once the pad was ~50% used we could open the brake ducts again.

One thing I wish was better is their release. Especially noticeable when it's wet, for us when a brake locks you have to completely come off the pedal to get the tire to rotate again. It's certainly workable, just not quite as easy as the Hawk Blues we were using previously. ST43s have plenty of friction, and now that we have even bigger/stronger brakes it is too easy to lock up our brakes. I am looking at trying the Ferodo DS1.11, which is supposed to have less friction (~0.46 compared to ~0.55) and supposed to have a long life as well, we will see on the pedal release.

Raybestos Racing Performance: Technical Specs

Ferodo DS1.11 - Serious Track/Race Pads - SCC Performance

therealpinto
therealpinto Reader
4/1/21 1:08 a.m.

I can't really say I have felt those issues on the ST43's but maybe I haven't thought about it.

We tried DS1.11's and on our small brakes, they only just lasted 4 hours (1 race). In the same car (same small brakes, the P10) ST43's would do at least 3 races (probably 4).

With larger brakes like you have they might last longer but prepare to bring a set of ST43's to swap in during a long race...I'm afraid. 

Gustaf

 

Nate K
Nate K New Reader
4/3/21 10:53 p.m.
therealpinto said:

I can't really say I have felt those issues on the ST43's but maybe I haven't thought about it.

We tried DS1.11's and on our small brakes, they only just lasted 4 hours (1 race). In the same car (same small brakes, the P10) ST43's would do at least 3 races (probably 4).

With larger brakes like you have they might last longer but prepare to bring a set of ST43's to swap in during a long race...I'm afraid. 

Gustaf

 

Well that's too bad the life is so much shorter, but hopefully will give us the modulation we need now. We will still have our ST43s with us, thanks for the input!

Nate K
Nate K New Reader
4/4/21 1:39 a.m.

LDRL Howl-o-Ween Derby (10/31/15) - 7 hours - Portland International Raceway:

It was our first race with Lucky Dog Racing, and their first event at PIR (I believe it was their 3rd event ever). We knew we would be racing with a lot of familiar faces, just in a different format. Cathy McCause had been running ChumpCar on the West Coast previously, and we are a big fan of how she runs events, so we are excited! The weather is not great, but asking for dry weather in Portland in October may be asking for a bit too much. I don't mind a wet track, both Nathan Feigion and I have been drifting for years and we have also drifted a fair amount at this track. So to some extent the rain gives us a bit of an advantage. Unfortunately since we just upgraded to much bigger tires on our light car, this doesn't bode well for hydroplaning. This will be the first even with just Nathan and I driving, and we typically are battling each other for fastest lap (for our car), so this should be good.

Lucky Dog does qualifying as they have different classes, unlike ChumpCar. We go out for qualifying, and it is already sopping wet out there. When racing in the rain you have to be aware of the rubber worn into the normal racing line. The rubber makes it so much more slick, that the "rain line" typically just means anywhere that isn't the racing line. The problem is, it's impossible to go around the track without crossing the racing line multiple times, so you try to plan for it and do it where you aren't turning as much if possible. Portland has another unique feature as a track, and that is the Goose Poop. Depending on the day, geese may pepper one corner or another with their "banana peels". We qualify with a 1:55, which is a far cry from our fastest lap (1:31.9) but this still puts us in A, the fastest class. It's wet, but not raining too hard yet.

My Dad shows up for moral support, and even though the doctor says he can't race yet (after his open-heart surgery) he doesn't want to miss the event. It's great to see him walking around!

Nathan Feigion starts the race in 13th place, and the rain has really moved in now. Big puddles are forming and the rain just keeps hammering down. Hydroplaning is a serious problem, with multiple cars spinning on the track due to it. Nathan puts his drifting experience to good use however, and gets us up into 1st place on lap 12. You can see some drivers car very cautious after their car slides, and while we are not be rally drivers, sideways is pretty normal for us. As the rain continues to pound and puddles turn to small lakes, the high horsepower rear-drive cars fall further back and the front-wheel drive cars start to gain an advantage. The extra weight on their front tires and typically narrower tires than ours is allowing them to start catching up. At one point the rain lets up enough that Nathan runs a fantastic 1:35.9 lap! 

There's a track here somewhere..

 

Lake 10 (formerly known as Turn 10):

Lucky Dog does their pits slightly differently from ChumpCar, and we are not able to have anyone in the car while fueling. This is the first time we've done a pit stop like this and we are a bit slow. This is the worst weather I've ever tried to race in. It is so sloppy wet out there, and I am really struggling to pass the front-wheel drive cars at times. The "back straight" at PIR is actually turn 9, and when there is this much water it definitely feels more like a turn. The normal racing line is very wet, but off the racing line is so much water that there is severe hydroplaning. Trying to determine how fast is possible on the straight is a little mix of bravery and stupidity. Even though we have the factory defroster on full blast and good wipers, the visibility is atrocious. I have seen cars get written off in various walls at PIR, particularly on the back straight. While I'm trying to go fast, there is definitely the looming danger that the car could be written off if I make the wrong move. The track has a lot of grass around it, and grass does not slow down a race car.

This Camaro was not so lucky and needed a tow.

I make it through my stint in the car without any incidents (other than a few hydroplaning clean-your-shorts moments) with my fastest lap as a 1:54.0. I turn the car back over to Nathan with us still in 1st, a couple laps ahead of 2nd place, #177 Finally Racing in their E36 BMW. We manage to pit during a very long yellow to clean up an incident, and this fortuitous timing helps us even more.

Nathan puts in another stint filled with hydroplaning, slides and consistent lap times to continue to build on our lead. As long as we can avoid hydroplaning we can really excel out there. Nathan puts in a fastest of a 1:55.3 and turns the car over to me for the final stint on lap 154.

It's still drenched for my last stint, and I put in a 1:54.9 before taking home the checkered flag in 1st place. And to us the craziest part is, by FIVE LAPS! The combination of our balanced car, our drifting experience, and some very fortunate timing for pit stops really paid off.

There was nearly two inches of rain during our race! Here's a quote from the local news:

PORTLAND, Ore. – A drenching storm took its toll in Portland on Saturday, as nearly two inches of rain over a stretch of 6 hours in the metro area.  However, wet as it was, it was not the wettest Halloween ever.

According to the National Weather Service, about 3.69 inches of rain fell in October in Portland. Of that, 1.97 inches fell on Saturday.  Normal rainfall for October is 3 inches for the entire month, but the all-time record on Halloween is 2.44 inches - set back in 1994.

After reading these soggy statistics, you might be surprised to learn that October 2015 was actually the warmest October on record, according to KGW Meteorologist Rod Hill.

Driving on the edge of destruction for that many hours is exhausting, so now it's time to go dry up and be ready to do it all over again tomorrow!

Video Overview (only last two stints):

 

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