Second stop at the Ridge Motorsports Park for NASA NW Round 4. Great weekend with perfect weather, new lap records and great competitors. I set a new track record at the last Ridge event with a 1:47.845 and, based on datalogs, figured a 1:46 was possible with the right conditions and improved driving.
I started Saturday off with some old Hoosier A6 tires and was able to put down a 1:48.8 in the first session. #46 M3 pitted during the warm up lap due to power steering failure. I was looking forward to a very close battle – hopefully I can keep up with him at Portland. Second session on the same tires netted a 1:48.6. I finally got my predictive lap timer working and was on track to get a 1:47 but missed a shift coming out of the last corner. Weather was warm and sunny and temperatures were rising quickly which meant that fastest laps would be in the morning. I switched to a fresh set of Hoosier A7’s with the plan to lay down my fastest lap of the day. While in grid, we found out that a car currently on track dropped two wheels off and tore the drain plug off the pan which caused oil to leak from before Turn 13 all the way to Turn 5. Fortunately, after swapping a new pan in Saturday night, the brand new motor seemed OK and ran all day Sunday. Safety truck went out and spread oil dry but the track was a mess. I opted to sit that session out and let everyone else clean the track off. There was no way to run 100% with oil and oil dry on the racing line. The track looked like the crash scene from Days of Thunder and the first car created a full on smoke screen from all the oil dry dust on the straight. The following cars were driving completely blind. 4th session was very warm and there was gravel over the track in several places. I was only able to run a 1:48.0 which was good enough for first place but much slower than my goal. I swapped back to my old A6’s to run some fun laps for the 5th session. While in grid, some clouds obscured the sun which was much more comfortable. The track crew must have swept because all the gravel was gone. Cooler temps and clean track resulted in fastest lap of the day 1:47.909… on old tires.
Sunday morning was overcast but predicted to be clear and hot so I installed the A7’s for the first session knowing that conditions would deteriorate throughout the day. 1st session had a bunch of traffic. I think my first lap was clean and then hit traffic on every lap after that. Finished with a 1:47.420 which is a personal best and new lap record but it’s still not a 1:46.
2nd session was still overcast but getting warmer. First lap out was 1:46.85 followed by a 1:47.06 and a 1:47.00. Mission accomplished but not without a little drama… At the drivers download I learned that the timing system crashed and that only some people have lap times recorded and of those only the first lap before the system fully went down. My 1:46.85 was officially recorded – I got lucky.
Clouds disappeared and the afternoon was hot. I put on a mixed set of Kumho V710’s – some were from last year and have over 45 heat cycles and some were used tires that are 3 years old. I measured the durometer of two old sets and picked the softest 4 hoping that once up to temperature they would have equivalent grip. Tires were much slower but balance was surprisingly good. The last few sessions were purely for fun. #84 Evo corded his Hoosiers earlier and put on an old set of NT01’s so we were running similar times on similar worn out rubber. These were really fun sessions as I can slide the car around and do a little drifting without worrying about overheating and destroying competitive tires. Times were in the 1:52’s. I left my GoPro on after Session 2 when I jump out to help instruct a Hyperdrive student. That killed the battery so I don’t have any video from the “for fun” sessions (God Arm practice – HA!).
Urge Design AP Racing brakes are holding up well. I’m amazed at the Hawk DTC-70 front brake pad wear. I was wearing though a set of pads every three days before this kit and pads. I’m on the forth day of these pads and they don’t even look used.
Thanks to Hawk and Hoosier for supporting NASA racing, Andy and NASA NW crew for putting on consistently awesome events, and Urge Designs and Radium Engineering for the support.
Spent some time throughout the weekend datalogging engine parameters and testing engine airflow schemes. Before the event I made an intercooler exit duct out of coroplast plastic sign material just for testing purposes. I also experimented with covering the hood vent closest to the windshield so see if it had any effect on Intake Air Temp or Engine Coolant Temp. Initial results show that duct and vent block off don’t have a significant impact on AIT and ECT but I need to analyze the numbers compared to ambient temps to find the subtle changes/trends. I’ll post the results if I find anything conclusive. One note is that max water temperature was 178 degrees F / 81 C. That is with a Laminova oil cooler plumbed into the engine coolant as well.
Time Trial Group rolling out behind Nasa NW pacecar
Big Wings Required!
A view from #11 TT1 STI – this is one fast street car/driver combo.
Saturday: 1st Place TT2, FTD, 1:47.909
Sunday: 1st Place TT2, 1:46.858 Track Record – TT2
Final round of the NASA NW season is at Portland International Raceway on September 20-21