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alfadriver
alfadriver UltimaDork
4/28/15 7:03 p.m.

In reply to simontibbett:

Nice mix of cars- at one time, I think I knew the owner of the Alfa you started with early.

Stang_guy03
Stang_guy03 New Reader
4/29/15 8:27 a.m.

VERY COOL STUFF!!

hobiercr
hobiercr GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/29/15 9:41 a.m.

Great video. I'll have to make some time to watch it all. I was paying attention to your car on track and saw your dicing with the white GLC. We got to talk to him in the paddock on Saturday but I never saw your car so didn't et a chance to say hi. Really looked like your car was running well!

simontibbett
simontibbett New Reader
4/29/15 7:36 p.m.

Thanks you all!

Yeah the GLC was a quick little car! One of his crew guys spoke to me for a minute on the grid, nice guy, never got over to meet the driver and check out the car. I was paddocked on the pro side at the back near the hill tucked in next to Gene Felton's setup.

I can't wait to get back out there!

simontibbett
simontibbett New Reader
7/28/15 4:37 p.m.

UPDATE...

It has been a while! The car has not been raced since The Mitty which was covered above so there wasn't a lot to update. The car needed very little work between then and this past weekend's SCCA SARRC/SECS weekend at Road Atlanta. The only prep work that I needed to do was an oil change, nit and bolt, and I wanted to replace my steering wheel and try to fix my leaking oil cap issue.

Starting with the wheel, it's nothing special, just a suede Sparco out of my old Mazda3 race car. I just like suede. :)

Next up was working on the catch can. The small hose is what was being used, the large hose is what was coming off the valve cover, so it went from large to small. I figured it should probably just remain large all the way to the can. Easy fix, just go to Home Depot and buy a plastic fitting, drill, screw in, done.

So the weekend started off Thursday. I was just towing the car over to the track with our hefty budget rig. Friday I was picking up brand new Hoosiers and would scrub them in, I decided against the Friday test day so instead went out and did some laps on the outside of the skid pad to try and heat cycle them.

Qualifying kicked off on Saturday morning and I knew that would be my best shot at setting a good time especially since I had brand new sticker Hoosiers. The cool morning air (cool compared to the heat later) helped me to run a 1:47.8 which was good enough for pole in HP and 6th overall. The car felt like a new machine with new tires. The level of grip I now had was unbelievable compared to what I had been using and I was almost three seconds faster than my previous best time and that was the first time out, no other setup changes.

Race one was shortly after lunch and the temperature was now in the "it's too hot" range. The race went green and I held onto my sixth spot the best I could but with EP and GTL cars around me that didn't work out. I think I fell back to seventh or eighth overall but had a good time trying to keep up with an EP RX-7. I could hang with him from turn three until turn seven but he'd leave me in a dust of pre-mixed rotary fumes on the back straight.

The race was a twenty minute race and with a few minutes to go the car filled with smoke and I was done. I was worried I may be leaking but also concerned it could be on fire so I drove to the turn ten cut through where I knew workers were. Luckily there wasn't any fire but there was a massive oil leak. It turned out to be a busted oil cooler line. Luckily an easy fix but sadly something that prevented me from finishing the race and causing track maintenance to go clean up my mess.

Sunday came with higher temperatures. My race wasn't until close to 2:00 in the afternoon so the temps would be near their peak then. Despite Saturday's DNF I would be starting 5th overall and 1st in HP due to the way qualifying works. The 4th place car didn't make it to the grid so I ended up starting in 4th and on the second row.

The race got underway and I had a good start despite falling back to 5th. I was still leading HP but trying to hang with the faster cars the best that I could for a good overall finish. About halfway into the race I felt the car start understeering badly and thought it may be from the tire pressures going too high from the heat so I started to back off a little, then the car also started misfiring. My wife told me on the radio I had five laps to go so I decided to keep at it despite my lap times drastically getting slower and slower. With three laps to go the Rabbit just couldn't continue and I had to pit and retire the car. I was fairly upset but still managed to place second in HP despite not actually crossing the line. To me it wasn't a real finish though. That understeering issue? Yeah one of my new tires got a puncture so I think that answers my handling concerns. I’m lucky it didn’t deteriorate.

Overall the weekend went well despite two races ending prematurely. I learned a lot about the car, had some good racing, and felt what new tires can do. We'll have the car back out in September for the HSR races at Road Atlanta or maybe earlier for the SCCA weekend at Barber. Updates to come on what I find in reference to the misfire.

[B][U]Pictures:[/U][/B]

[IMG] http://i964.photobucket.com/albums/ae124/simontibbs/B4DF528A-86DD-4C76-A735-58C04E97AA09_zps7v7iskjs.jpg[/IMG] [B][I]Loaded on the big rig.[/I][/B]

[B][I]I barely knew what to do starting from the second row.[/I][/B] :P

Race 2 Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SY5UEi8dhX8

Stang_guy03
Stang_guy03 Reader
7/28/15 7:40 p.m.

You had tough weekend in some ways, but watching your video makes want to go out buy a car to join you out there. It looks like so much fun. What kind of speed where you carrying? I was watching your shift light through the one section and you just rowed right up through the gears. Good luck in September and keep posting cool stuff!

simontibbett
simontibbett New Reader
7/28/15 8:40 p.m.
Stang_guy03 wrote: You had tough weekend in some ways, but watching your video makes want to go out buy a car to join you out there. It looks like so much fun. What kind of speed where you carrying? I was watching your shift light through the one section and you just rowed right up through the gears. Good luck in September and keep posting cool stuff!

Thanks! I honestly have no idea how fast it's going. I meant to mount my phone with Harry's LapTimer on it but couldn't find a solid mounting spot.

simontibbett
simontibbett New Reader
10/27/15 2:31 p.m.

UPDATE...

So as you may have guessed we missed the HSR race. I ran across one issue prepping the car and got involved in trying to fix the stumbling issue that I just had to decide to skip it to avoid possibly missing out on seat time and losing my entry fee. The issue was I stripped a spark plug hole. The good news is it's currently at a shop being fixed. Then while at the shop he discovered some loose bolts and stuff under the car...so ALWAYS remember to nut and bolt your car! Luckily mine is done now, I usually do before an event but hey he saved me some time, he's also replacing a wheel bearing.

I also had some nasty steering play so I have a fix to that, if you're a VW guy or girl, check out Tech-53!

www.tech-53.com

Going to the shop:

So what's next? The ARRC! Next weekend! I'm excited and hoping to go out with a good finish, keyword being finish.

84FSP
84FSP HalfDork
10/27/15 9:56 p.m.

Loved seeing this run at the Mid Ohio IT Spectacular a couple years back. It's an animal!

simontibbett
simontibbett New Reader
11/8/15 11:48 a.m.

Editing...

simontibbett
simontibbett New Reader
11/8/15 11:57 a.m.

So the 2015 American Road Race of Champions was all about the rain which we saw all week for the most part. Some groups got lucky and could run slicks, others didn’t even have the option.

We got there on Wednesday after a longer than desired lead up to the weekend. We considered my starter to be going out so I changed it. Well after changing it the car sounded awful whole starting, or at least the starter sounded weird. So after scratching our heads we took that off, put the new one back on, and would just use a hammer to start it as it seemed to work that way. Well after putting the old starter back on, the hammer wasn’t really doing much, just occasionally by luck. So we had the new starter tested, it was actually working but even on a machine sounded bad, so we discarded it and found another starter AutoZone could have me that night for $40. Sold. So we got that starter, put it on, and that was that. There was one other concern though, what if the push button was bad? So we spent more time replacing the existing button just to be safe.

After the starting issues were solved Friday rolled around and it was time for the first qualifying session. I got in to start the car and the car turned over unbelievably slow. As if the battery was dead. Once it fired I told my wife I wasn’t shutting it off on the grid. Well once I got down there the track didn’t go green as quickly as I would have liked so I needed to turn it off to be safe. Luckily it did finally start once they gave a two-minute warning and the session was underway. The track was slick. I had one set of Hoosier wets to use the whole weekend. They had one other race on them from back in March so they still had some tread depth but I couldn’t find grip. I haven’t bothered touching the suspension on the car all year so really I could have probably sorted it out some that way but I’m a believer in just driving what you have during a race weekend unless you really know what you’re doing. I’d rather race a car I’ve known all year than throw in some adjustments that make me go backwards. That’s what test days are for! Despite the dirt track style driving tactics, I managed to finish first in HP (only one other came out that session) and I think seventh or eighth overall.

Once we got back to the paddock I needed to determine what exactly was causing the slow start issue. Once it was running it was fine but if I stalled on track or something there was no guarantee it would restart. While glancing around at the starter again though I knew it probably was not starter related I saw my alternator cable...um…unplugged. So I got excited thinking all that was needed was to put a new connector on the cable and find the other cable then I would be good to go. The car has the alternator wired to a switch to turn it on and off, which I always have it on, but maybe it was never on if it had been disconnected forever, at least the small switch wire. I finished all that wiring and we tested it again, this time still getting off readings on the voltmeter. The only other option for the time being was to plug it up to a battery charger until my next session.

Second qualifying came and it was still wet, maybe even more wet than before which made the car actually feel a little better. Once again I finished first in HP so would start from pole in class, though there were only three HP cars. I was also once again in the top ten overall.

We spent the rest of the afternoon scratching our heads and the fact that no parts store within even a reasonable distance had one in stock we had no choice but to just plug the battery in overnight and run on Saturday without the alternator working to its fullest. Friday night had some more fun when my wife locked the keys in our car when we were getting ready to leave. Thank you AAA!

Saturday morning was wet, much wetter, and it looked downright nasty. Not only was the rain coming down much harder than it had been but we arrived to find probably half of the canopies people had setup mangled into balls of worthless aluminum. Luckily our nicer of the two EZ-Ups took the overnight weather without any issues, our second one was needless to say D.O.A. So after that was dragged out of the way we got to prepping the car, there wasn’t much to do thankfully aside from the basics. There were two morning warmup sessions, one for closed wheel and one for open wheel cars. We opted to not take part to avoid any unnecessary risks. As race time came around the rain had stopped but the track was still very much a wet weather track. The pace lap was useful to take note of any standing water spots but if you have driven Road Atlanta in the wet you know exactly where those lakes will be. The green flag flew and boy was it slightly crazy. I could not see a thing from all of the spray and heading into one we were three wide. I decided to just keep my cool and hold my line, luckily everyone made it through but I lost a few spots that I was able to make up the same lap.

After a lap or two we all settled into a groove and I was somewhat alone on track. I knew I just needed to keep turning clean laps to win HP and to finish after not seeing the checkered in either races back in July. Probably close to halfway through we had a full course yellow after a Thunder Roadster lost it heading into turn 12 and made decent contact with the wall. With that cleaned up the green flag came back out and we were back underway. Once again I found myself fairly alone on track so the job at hand was to just drive smoothly and not make a mistake.

After forty minutes the checkered flag came out and the race was over. We won HP and finished tenth overall. It was a good weekend, it’s always fun to drive in the wet, and a good way to end the season. We also got a victory lap which was cool. So that pretty much concludes our 2015 season. I wanted to do a couple more weekends than I was able to but I’m so thankful for what I was able to do this year. I need to thank Bittercube for their support at the ARRC, NOIZY Brands, Mama’s Boy which is a great restaurant in Athens, GA, Tech-53, MotoSolutions for fantastic Raincoat and Fogtech products, and everyone else who supports me.

I have some plans over the winter, primarily to clean up some wiring, put a new alternator in and check that of course, timing belt, etc. Additionally, I plan on putting a new seat in, a new fire system, dropping the fuel cell to check the foam in it, and more upgrade/maintenance items. The car will be ready to be back on track in February which isn’t that far away but at the same time it’s very far away.

[B]Stay tuned for more! Here are some photos, I’ll upload video later.[/B]

Haha…

Yeehaw!

Post-race impound. Representing Bittercube!

Shameless sponsor plug in.

Want quality wireless bluetooth headphones and/or a speaker?

Victory lap, thanks to one of the workers for the pic.

Post-race.

The podium.

chandlerGTi
chandlerGTi UltraDork
11/8/15 5:51 p.m.

Nicely done, one thing with the starter is the bushing that the nose pushes into is brass. It wears out and gets a little sloppy which causes all kinds of noises during starting. I replace them with a tap threaded in which forces it out. Then tap the new one in with a socket. If you already knew that just disregard...

I like the pics!

simontibbett
simontibbett New Reader
11/9/15 7:57 a.m.
chandlerGTi wrote: Nicely done, one thing with the starter is the bushing that the nose pushes into is brass. It wears out and gets a little sloppy which causes all kinds of noises during starting. I replace them with a tap threaded in which forces it out. Then tap the new one in with a socket. If you already knew that just disregard... I like the pics!

I thought about that as I do have a new bushing but since we were in a rush didn't put it in, hoping it would be fine for the weekend. The starter was loud on the car but also really loud on the test machine as well. I had not heard about the tap method, thanks for the tip I'll add that to my winter plans!

simontibbett
simontibbett New Reader
11/17/15 7:19 p.m.

Threw a little video together:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_1NbgIjEgM

simontibbett
simontibbett New Reader
11/17/15 7:20 p.m.

Threw a little video together:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_1NbgIjEgM

https://www.youtube.com/embed/I_1NbgIjEgM

vwcorvette
vwcorvette GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/17/15 9:01 p.m.

Very impressed. Looks like fun. What's the engine in that thing? 1.8 I assume.

simontibbett
simontibbett New Reader
11/17/15 9:07 p.m.
vwcorvette wrote: Very impressed. Looks like fun. What's the engine in that thing? 1.8 I assume.

Yep it's an 8v 1.8

Skervey
Skervey Reader
11/18/15 7:27 a.m.

Very cool looks very sketchy in the rain!

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson UltimaDork
11/18/15 10:15 a.m.

Sweet thread. What is your approx power to weight ratio? It seems to haul some booty.

DeadSkunk
DeadSkunk UltraDork
11/18/15 11:42 a.m.

What brand of wheels are those red ones? Rather unique, in a nice way.

Mezzanine
Mezzanine HalfDork
11/18/15 12:02 p.m.

Music in racing videos is usually annoying to me, but I really liked what you chose here. Mind sharing the artist and track?

Nice job with the editing too - I appreciated that you slowed down some of the hairy spots so we could pucker along with you.

simontibbett
simontibbett Reader
11/18/15 8:13 p.m.
Skervey wrote: Very cool looks very sketchy in the rain!

Haha yeah it can be a handful sometimes, easy to control though!

Adrian_Thompson wrote: Sweet thread. What is your approx power to weight ratio? It seems to haul some booty.

Not sure of the ratio, it has about 130HP give or take and weighs in at 2115 at the last race with me and almost an empty tank.

DeadSkunk wrote: What brand of wheels are those red ones? Rather unique, in a nice way.

The name is slipping my memory, I’ll have to look. I bought them from a fellow HP racer with a Honda, I bought them purely to run wets on. They’re light too!

DeadSkunk wrote: What brand of wheels are those red ones? Rather unique, in a nice way.

Yeah I’m usually against music too but I just learned how to use GoPro editor. Haha The track I actually found off a amateur music site, it’s called Enthusiast by Tours. Thanks for the compliment, I’m a “noob” at anything video. lol

Burrito
Burrito Dork
11/18/15 8:22 p.m.
DeadSkunk wrote: What brand of wheels are those red ones? Rather unique, in a nice way.

They are Gotti's.

simontibbett
simontibbett Reader
11/19/15 4:05 a.m.
Burrito wrote:
DeadSkunk wrote: What brand of wheels are those red ones? Rather unique, in a nice way.
They are Gotti's.

Thanks!

simontibbett
simontibbett Reader
2/9/16 3:45 p.m.

So the 2016 season comes shortly...very shortly. Happy New Years by the way!

The main focus for 2016 will be vintage racing. It's exciting, close racing, and the events are always epic. Plus it's a blast being out in the lone VW let alone one of the few FWDs playing with some very nice automobiles. I'll still run SCCA at Road Atlanta but I plan on doing some races with HSR at other tracks on the calendar.

Winter Plans:

-Timing belt yada yada job. -Install new fire suppression system. -Clean interior/paint as needed. -Install new seat bracket. -New brake pads and rotors. -Vinyl wrap car. -Drop fuel cell and check foam/fuel lines to hopefully avoid more stumbling issues. -Replace nuts/bolts as needed. Trying to replace everything reasonable just so it’s nice and new! lol

So, as with most things in racing, this list grows daily as I tear the car down or poke around. For starters, the fuel cell went from dropping it to check the foam to entirely replacing it. The foam looked ok so I ordered new foam anyway just to be safe, then I removed the bladder, and the manufacturer date was 1995! That’s a little too old! So to be safe it’s getting an entirely new setup.

The cell before removal. The cover was riveted in, so I had to drill the rivets out. I’ll put it back in with a way to remove it quicker.

Out of the car and ready to inspect.

Taken apart and deciding to say “time for a new one…”

As I got to looking at the seat bracket in the car, the side mounts could use new bolts and nuts, they’re probably what came with the seat, so I bought all new Grade 8 bolts/nuts to put in. I’ll also be adding a little reinforcement to the front of the actual brace that’s welded into the car.

The engine bay has been getting cleaned up all season with the little trackside projects or prep work projects. Specifically wiring related things. Well there’s more I see so more to do. Just simple things like cleaning up this pile of ground wires that didn’t have the best fitting connectors nor the best bolt to hold everything down. I’m also replacing the old scrappy metal airbox for a cleaner plastic piece, it won’t do anything performance wise but it will look cleaner.

Sketchy wiring like this will be a thing of the past!

The body has been stripped down and I’ve started doing some prep work for a vinyl wrap. I have never wrapped an entire car so it will be…interesting…if it works. If I fail we will just take it to Maaco and get a cheap paint job. The wrap we are going for is the old school Kamei paint scheme. It won’t use the signage but the color scheme. We’ll see what happens, if it’s too hard maybe I’ll just stick with the blue/orange.

The interior is stripped down a bit now to clean really well and paint as needed.

That’s about it for now, big updates soon when the new cell, fire system, etc. gets here. Then we’re off racing again next month! I can’t wait but it sure is coming up fast!

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