NASA NW Time Trials Round 2 – The Ridge Motorsports Park

Another fantastic NASA weekend. Great weather and about double the turnout compared to the first event (120 competitors).

No major changes to the car since the previous event.  I fabricated an air deflector to direct air into the front brake rotor for additional cooling.  Only made one side so I could measure the difference with and without.  Post race inspection from race #1 indicated some uneven wear on the front brake pads.  The wear pattern indicates some caliper mounting flex – not sure if it’s in the slide pins, the caliper, or the uprights.

Time Trial competition was awesome with some very fast and super nice guys from Oregon duking it out for top times.
1st session – cars are not gridded by laptime so the majority of time was spent getting by slow cars and was only able to get one or two full speed laps in before the end of the 20 minute session.  Fastest lap was a 1:52.9 which put me in second place so far.  My previous fastest lap was a 1:59 on street tires so I was pretty happy with the speed in the first session while learning the track.  My only experience at this track was about 30 minutes of track time last summer.
2nd session – was gridded in 2nd place behind an E92 M3 (fully track prepared – aero, partially stripped interior, brakes, ti exhaust, etc) so I had open track for several laps until lapped traffic.  Immediately clicked off a couple of 1:51’s and a best time of 1:50.3.  Remained in 2nd place in class (TT2) and overall.
3rd session – 3rd place was a Porsche 997.2 GT3, also fully track prepared, who was right on my bumper during the warm up lap so I let him go by thinking he had more speed.  We immediately hit lapped traffic and both got passed by a E46 M3 wheel-to-wheel racecar while passing slower cars.  The GT3 missed a shift entering the front straight and I was right on his tail so I passed and slowly walked away.  Lap times were all over the place due to lapping cars but ran a few more 1:51’s and a 1:50.8.
4th session – Two E46 M3 wheel-to-wheel racecars had entered the TT competition in the third session in classes TT3 and TTU.  The one in TT3 took the fastest time overall so I was now gridded 3rd.  Three laps in and something let go on my car entering Turn 6 at around 100 mph.  Due to the clunking sound under the rear of the car, I suspected a broken driveshaft or differential.  I coasted to a stop near a worker station and waited for my first ever tow off track.  Turns out, the supercharger pulley sheared off and had a hard time exiting the car.  The 4 inch steel pulley spinning about 9,000 rpm bounced between the track and the car several dozen times (the clunking I heard/felt) before finally escaping to the woods on the side of the track.  
Day 1 = Game Over.
Finished Saturday in 2nd place with a 1:50.3.  Based on logged data, my theoretical fastest lap was a 1:49.4.  I finished 0.15 seconds behind the M3 and about 1 second ahead of the GT3.  Both cars were on Yokohama slicks which are 2.5 seconds faster than Hoosiers according to the 3rd place driver who had both sets of tires.  My Kumho’s are equivalent or maybe a little slower than Hoosiers.
I didn’t have a spare supercharger pulley but did have a shorter belt that bypasses the compressor.  I installed the belt and reconfigured the intake to bypass the supercharger so I could at least drive home.
Did some data logging Sunday morning to make sure the engine tune was safe and decided to run one session to get the points for the championship.  The 3rd place GT3 didn’t return on Sunday so I was hoping to get a 2nd or 3rd place finish.  I put in a single flying lap on Sunday morning NA (down about 175 hp) with a sub-optimal intake and tune.  I didn’t want to push it and risk engine damage with the crappy tune/set-up.  Lap time was a 1:56.4 which was good for 2nd place in the first session.  I then packed up and drove home.  Turns out the Evo in 3rd place improved his times and ended up bumping me to 3rd for Sunday.  The M3 that won on Saturday finished Sunday with a 1:50.5.  

Overall, it was a fun weekend and it was really fun mixing it up with a great group of racers from Portland.  It was much more satisfying losing on Saturday by 0.15 seconds vs winning at Pacific Raceways by 8 seconds.  The competition was great and the top drivers were very friendly and willing to share experience and set-up advice.  Still by far the fastest street driven car at the event… very close to being towed home however.  The turn out for the wheel-to-wheel races was much larger than the first event and there was even a few dedicated drift sessions with a Pro and Pro-Am drifter putting on a tire shredding show both directions on the track.
Pictures here (TT pictures are under HPDE):




Final Results:
Saturday: 2nd Place TT2, 1:50.319
Sunday: 3rd Place TT2, 1:56.447
Next event is July 13th and 14th at Portland International Raceway.

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