racing

Car Life: Beauty in Refinement – Honda S2000 – SingularEntity.com

I met individuals of the Singular Entity crew at various track events over the last few years.  Nice guys with a passion for cars and telling a story in a unique way.  I’ve been a fan of their photography and videos for a while.

Austin and I spoke often about supercharging and data logging because he built a track Miata with a Rotrex supercharger and there’s a pretty small group of us that are running these hard on the track.  Austin asked me if I’d be interested in being featured in one of their videos and my response was an enthusiastic “yes”.

It was fun to see the filming side of the process.  We spent probably 2 hours filming the interview portion in my shop and another few hours filming street driving shots near my house and on Chuckanut Drive.  It’s really interesting to see how they condensed all that into 6 minutes.  It was a chilly spring day in the Northwest with overcast skies.  Not ideal driving or filming conditions.  Chuckanut Drive is an amazing road that follows the coastline of Bellingham and has really fun corners and beautiful views.  The massive trees lining the road kept the asphalt shaded and wet.  Grip levels were low especially with cold temps and R888’s.  Fortunately, traffic was also low and all but one shot was done in one take.

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Here’s the description of the YouTube video:

Born a natural Honda nut, Jared brings new meaning to “DIY”. With a background in mechanical engineering, every part added to this car was designed and meticulously planned by himself. From working as a Honda technician to doing full blown CAD and custom fabrication work, Jared brings new meaning to a grassroots build. Everything with this car has a purpose from removing the A/C compressor and replacing it with a different compressor, to the V-mount intercooler and custom aero. Jared takes us through his Honda journey from his adolescent Civic days to the mature ownership of the S2000.

Power is one thing, but control is another. Having learned suspension setup from working directly with Ohlins engineers, Jared’s performed his own suspension construction magic of taking an ATV shock and applying them to an automotive chassis.

Addressing the torqueless Honda with a supercharger has allowed him to keep up with the high horsepower cars, with a measly 345hp to the rear wheels. Nowadays you’re more likely to see Jared blow away in the straights and in the corners if you ever see him coming up in your rearview mirror.

Special thanks to Jared for the additional footage

Cinematography & music produced by Singular Entity – Gary Chan, Austin Tsai, Ken Au-Yeung & Jonathan Lau

Thank you to the Singular Entity crew.  Check out their other videos and content:

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/singularentity
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SingularEntitycom/
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIXaRuRWhQVwDsZAWoiPoZQ

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Ridge Test and Tune

Attended a Test and Tune at the Ridge Motorsports Park on July 5th 2016.  Attendance was very minimal (day after the 4th of July) which provided plenty of traffic-free open lapping.  Primarily, this day was used as a shake down of the car after 8 months of minimal activity.  I experimented with a few aero changes and ran all but one session on new R888’s.  The open lapping format is perfect for running some laps, reviewing data, making changes, rinse and repeat.  The weather was overcast and low 60’s all day which also helped maintain track consistency.  Overall, a great day for testing.

I was initially planning to test some major aero changes but while doing some routine maintenance about a week before this event, I found some major issues that needed to be addressed before spending time on aero.  I dropped my oil pan and discovered some stringy plastic debris which looked like timing chain guide material.  A quick inspection revealed that the oil pump chain was damaged.  The three inner plates on one link were fractured and cutting into the chain guides.  I’m amazed that the chain didn’t fail completely as only the side plates on that link were intact.  I have no idea how this could have happened but very lucky I caught it before the chain failed and I lost all oil pressure.  I threw some new plugs in, inspected my original valve spring retainers, and adjusted the valves along with an oil and filter change.

Oil Pump Chain 3

 

Oil Pump Chain 4

 

Oil Pump Chain 1

 

Oil Pump Chain 2

I mounted a new set of Toyo R888’s (245’s) to a set of Forgestar 17 X 10’s.  I figured I’d try a “track day” type tire rather than burn up more Hoosiers if I’m not currently competing anyway.  This represented a major change to the cars dynamics.  The overall grip is lower than the Hoosiers as expected but the tires have significantly more slip angle and massive squirm.  Not sure if it’s tread squirm due to full tread depth or tire construction but the car was a handful.  The tires would take a set with a lot more yaw vs the Hoosiers and then they would rebound at transition.  The tires were very consistent and took repeated slides with no complaints.  Right out of the gate, I was running consistent 1:51’s on the R888’s.  After lunch, I put a set of Hoosiers (245 A7’s mounted on the same wheels) on the car and dropped 2 seconds with way less drama.  These Hoosiers are far from peak condition as they had over 10 long abusive heat cycles and are 2 years old.  I’m guessing they are a few seconds off the pace of a sticker set (estimated laptime difference between new R888’s and new A7’s is 4 seconds).  My fastest lap using 245 Hoosier A7’s at the Ridge is a 1:46 but that was before the change to T12 which I believe added about a second to my time.  The car is incredibly precise and crisp with the Hoosiers which confirmed my suspicion that the the R888’s were the cause of all the yaw action and not a chassis/suspension set-up issue.  I tried running higher pressures in the R888’s and it didn’t seem to improve the response.  I hear that this squirm gets better after a few track days – we shall see.

Observing the data shows a few things regarding track layout and tires.  The R888’s achieve nearly the same peak grip (as seen in max and min lateral G) but don’t achieve as much combined loads (as seen in G-G plot).  I’ve found the same results with sticker vs old Hoosiers as well.  You lose time in the areas of combined loading where you turn and brake or accelerate at the same time.  Below are screen shots of data comparing my previous 1:46 on Hoosiers (prior to T13 change) with the 1:49 on old Hoosiers and also comparing my fastest laps of the day on old Hoosiers vs R888’s.  A big difference with the R888’s is the instability under braking with minor steering transitions.  This instability required earlier and lighter braking especially into T11 (Thumb).  Red lines below are the 1:49 on Hoosiers in all data plots.

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Ridge 2

I went out for my last session a little after 4:00 PM and ran some cat and mouse laps with a very nice guy in a 996 GT3 with a 450 whp 4.0 liter.  The car was on Hoosiers and was fully prepped for track work (stripped interior, lexan windows, big wing, 2650 lbs, etc).  It was a very fun session as we were running the same times despite the GT3 pulling many car lengths on the straights.  Of course my GoPro battery died on the first lap of the final session so I didn’t get any video.

996 GT3 Sector One Design

 

991 GT3 Sector One Design

 

Ridge Sector One Design

 

964 Sector One Design

 

Ridge 4 Sector One Design

 

Ridge 3 Sector One Design

 

Ridge 2 Sector One Design

 

S2000 2 Sector One Design

 

S2000 3 Sector One Design

 

R888 Sector One Design

 

S2000 Sector One Design

 

Maryhill Hill Climb September 2015 – New Track Record

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Northwest Hillclimb Association held the Maryhill Hillclimb presented by Willamette Motor Club and NWAutoSports Association.
Maryhill loops road is a private road with a lot of history. The road was the first paved road in Washington State and the racecourse gains 900 ft of elevation in 2 miles with 25 turns. The road follows a canyon so in most places if you run off the road, you’re in for a flight and rough landing.
This was my first ever hill climb event and I entered in SCCA SSM class. I knew going in that the SSM class record was 2:06.473 so that was my stretch goal.

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I arrived on Friday to setup camp at the bottom of the hill and figure out how this all works.  There was a novice meeting Friday night which included a drive up the hill in a van.  The main take away was to start conservatively and build speed slowly over the weekend as this hill is unforgiving.  I was surprised to see the prep level of the roughly 60 cars entered.  Lots of race tires including Hoosier and Avon slicks as well as DOT-R Comps.  A handful of purpose built racecars including a hill climb prepped Legends car with front and rear wings and Hoosiers.  Also, the current overall record holder was there in his Lotus 7 style Locost with an LS engine, massive wings and steamroller slicks (~335ish rears, ~1900 lbs, ~450 hp).  There were also several 911’s including a 997 GT3, RSR Replica with a 3.5 liter, Loti, Exocet, Z06’s, STi’s, Evo, etc.  Many racers came with prepped cars and lots of hill climb experience including previous events at Maryhill.  Perhaps beating the SSM class record would be harder than I thought.

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Especially important at Hill Climb events…
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I started out on Saturday using some older Hoosier A7’s that I last used at the Ridge. The tires were old but all four were consistent so balance was good. The morning group got four runs in but the afternoon group, which I was running in, only got three runs as the sun was setting behind the hills and made for blinding light conditions. My first run was a conservative 2:15.  Second run was a 2:12 and third run was a 2:09.  The 2:09 felt fast and I was pushing hard enough to get loose in a few corners.  I watched #68 Cayman R tear up the track from the top.  The Cayman pilot was driving the wheels off that Porsche and he set a time of 2:06 on street tires (RE-71R’s).  Really impressive driving and had me questioning my own lap times.  Overnight, I swapped to my 10″ wheels with fresh 245 Hoosier A7’s.  I didn’t want any excuses as to why I was off pace.

 

Sunday morning was much warmer but a beautiful day.  It was decided that the morning group would get 4 runs and the afternoon group would get 3 so everyone had a total of 7 for the weekend.  My group ran first and I chose to take it easy for the first run as the tires were cold and had never been scrubbed in.  The launch was slow but the grip felt great after the first few corners.  Run one was a 2:04!  Now we’re talkin’.  A 5 second improvement from Saturday and a new SSM record.  I was still learning the course.  Maryhill is a difficult course to memorize as many corners look the same and the desert landscape doesn’t help.  Many corners had aggressive banking but the entire road has a pronounced crown so a traditional line starts out off-camber, transitions to on-camber at apex, and goes off-camber on exit.  The S turns included a wicked transition over the crown that needed to be managed carefully.  Run two was a 2:02.00 which, according to some of the regulars, was a new record for production based cars (i.e. Door Slammers).  Run three was a 2:00.280 and included a few mistakes on the bottom half.  The current top time of the event was #8 Locost with a 2:00.038 which was set on Saturday before engine problems put the car on the trailer for the rest of the weekend.  At this point, I had dropped at least 2 seconds every run so I was confident I could clean up the bottom of the course and run a sub 2 minute time.  4th and final lap started off well and the bottom half felt better.  Top half felt about the same but I was pretty sure I’d see a 1:5X on the readout at the finish but the time was a 2:00.475.  I still need to review the data to see where I slowed down.

 

 

Overall, I was ecstatic to take the class win, earn the “Fastest Door Slammer” award, beat the previous SSM record by 6 seconds, and beat the “Door Slammer” record by 2 seconds.  However, that sub two minute lap was right there and I couldn’t quite get it and it’s taunting me to return and I missed out on the “King of the Hill” crown by only 2 tenths of a second. The S2000 was flawless all weekend. There were lots of cars with more power, more tire, and more aero but this car is beautifully balanced and very consistent – I think the rookie in the Honda raised a few eyebrows on the hill.
There were two minor “offs” but no injuries (search Youtube for VW Rabbit crash – really nice guy and I feel bad for him but the video is hilarious) and a few mechanical failures but overall I’d consider it a very successful event.  The road is incredible and it really is a privilege to race there.  The competition seems like a tight-knit group as many of them compete in all of the hill climb events in the series and have for several years.  Competitors came from California, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Canada.  Lots of friendly and talented folks.  A big “Thank You” to WMC, NWAA, NHA, and Maryhill Museum of Art.

Link to Results: http://www.wmclub.org/results/15MaryhillResults.shtml

Link to some nice pictures from “valvecovergasket”: https://www.flickr.com/photos/valvecovergasket/albums/72157658873177792

Final Results:

1st Place SSM, 2:00.280, SSM Record, Door Slammer Record