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After a long, long wait that began last year in July after 4th gear on my 6spd shot its teeth everywhere, I finally got to get back on track...the REAL track. Since that incident last July at PMI, I have been on a mission to prepare the car for REAL competition this year in both SCCA auto-x and NASA time trials. Here's the list of things that I changed over the winter in preparation for the 2007 season along with kudos to those awesome vendors who helped me get there:

- Shepherd Racing built 5spd conversion from 6spd - the trans performed FLAWLESSLY during the entire event with not even a hint of grinding or notchiness. This trans is beautiful.
- Exedy Twin Carbon clutch - In concert with the awesome trans, this amazing clutch allowed me to shift as fast as I wanted whenever I wanted at any rpm and at any point on the track. Again, no grinding, no notchiness, no overheating - nothing. It also held all 400+wtq (Dynojet) with tons of load in 4th gear coming out of slow corners without a single slip.
- Gerrard-spec Ohlins package with Ohlin R&Ts, Works/Whiteline bushings, and Perrin endlinks
- 18x9.5 Enkei NT03+M +40 race rims with 285/30-18 Kumho Ecsta V710s. I don't know what's more impressive with this combo - the beauty or the performance. The grip was insane from this setup, yet it looked hot in action.
- VIP Garage Brake Kit - Centric slotted rotors, Teknafit SS brake lines, Hawk HP+ pads, and SuperBlue ATE fluid. My brakes were SUPERB through the whole weekend. I was a little worried how well they'd hold up knowing that I'd be MUCH faster into every turn due to the increased grip and improved suspension. I was carrying about 5 more mph down the straights, but my brakes not only worked, but they EXCELLED. Despite doing 9 laps on one session, I had 0 fade whatsoever, and I tend to go in very hot with hard braking, so it's not like I wasn't pushing them. Thanks to VIP for getting everything to me in a timely manner and always being able to supply things whenever I need them.
- Evo IX turbo - replaced my VIII turbo with a used IX turbo. In the process, I removed the ported/coated hotside from my VIII and placed it on the IX. I gained 25whp on the same dyno, so I'm sure this helped get around the track faster.
- Buschur TBE - I replaced my Megan TBE with the Buschur, w hich allowed me to save 10.0lbs exactly and probably accounted for 5 of the 25whp that I gained on the dyno, since I changed both this and the turbo between dyno tests. The Buschur TBE has a true 3" test pipe while my Megan had a resonated test pipe with 2.5" inner diameter
- Revolutions Performance Install/Dyno - thanks to Revolutions Performance in Colorado Springs, everything got installed/tested/dyno'd in time for this first event, and everything performed wonderfully. I couldn't do it without these guys.

So, as you can see, this was a LOT to do over the winter, but I planned it well, got all the parts, got it all installed, got it dyno'd, and got it on the track. I couldn't have done it without all of the aforementioned sponsors:

VIP Garage, Revolutions Performance, Buschur Racing, Shepherd Racing, and Exedy!

So, I started off on Saturday in HPDE4, and I turned in all my paperwork for time trials so that I could get evaluated by the regional director. I went out for the first session, which was cold in terms of the cars, the track, and the ambient temp while using my street tires to get a feel for things without going all out. I got loose on my 2nd lap, so I started braking earlier into everything and taking it easy. When I came in from the session, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had run a 1:44.5, which was a full second faster than my best ever time from last year, which was on RACE TIRES. So, with the new suspension and other mods, I was now faster on street tires than last year on race tires - good start! Oh, also, I didn't get a completely clean lap, so that 1:44 included at least one pass.

Next session, I put on my race tires, and holy crap...night and day difference. I was able to divebomb into every turn, hold my line, and power out of everything without hesitation. There was no pushing, no tailwagging, no scrubbing - it just gripped and ripped. However, I had tons of traffic through every lap, so when I came in and saw my 1:43.xx, I wasn't too excited. I knew the car was WAY faster, but I couldn't get free. What was happening was they were lining up the TT cars up front in order of their times, but then HPDE4 had to start behind the slowest TT car. Not a problem, since those guys were competing, and my times meaned nothing, but I still wanted to see what I could do.

Well, on the 3rd session, a car spun and hit a wall on t he 1st lap, so we lost that session. That left me with session 4 at the end of the day when it was much warmer outside (75*) than in the morning (40-50*). I again had to start behind the TT cars, but this time I was able to get free on my 6th lap. By then, the V710s are not at full grip, and of course the engine is down on power - mainly due to heatsoak with my stock FMIC probably. Well, I came in and saw that my best lap was that 6th lap, and it was a 1:41.6!!! Awesome, over 1.5 seconds better than last time, and a full 4 seconds faster than my best race tire time last year. I was satisfied with this, but in the back of my mind, I was pretty sure I could drop another chunk of time if I could get free on my first 2 laps.

After everything ended, the regional director told me I had passed my evaluation and would be able to run time trials on Sunday. This led to a near sleepless night as I envisioned being 1st ouf ot he blocks in TT with nothing but wide open track in 50* weather!!! I had grandiose plans of doing a quick warmup lap, then hammering it immediately for laps 2 and 3. Well, the morning came, I lined up #1 amongst the TT cars, then took off. Coming around 9, I went ahead and hit the gas a little to get some momentum for turn 10 before the straight. I set myself for the best entry, then hammered it, but dohhhhh, sputtttttteerrrr, then BOOST. Crap, my copper plugs had fouled out overnight I guess, so anytime I was at full boost, I was sputtering. I didn't hold back, though. I kept going and romped through 3 straight free laps without traffic, then after hitting traffic and doing another lap, I came in. I knew I wasn't going to go faster, and I needed to change my plugs. Lo' and behold, I had dropped another _2_ full seconds despite the plug problem. I had run a 1:39.6 followed by a 1:39.8 on the first two full speed laps. Holy cow, a full 6 seconds better than last year on a track where anything under 1:40 is SMOKING fast.

As the rest of the day went on, it got warmer and warmer, and although the plugs got changed and worked perfectly, I could never beat my best time. I kept having trouble all day long with my shifter cables popping off the underhood bushings right in the middle of shifting, so it really put a damper on my quest to beat my 1:39.6. In my 2 later sessions on the race tires, I ran a best 1:40.3 and 1:40.5, respectively, which was still very good and faster than any other TT car, but it also told me to chill out and be happy with what I got. I went ahead and put the street tires back on and got ready to head home. I was very happy with how things went, but I knew I needed to fix a few things before the next event in April. I'll need some aftermarket underhood bushings and hopefully an aftermarket FMIC w/LICP - all from Buschur, I hope. :D

I unfortunately had a lot of trouble with my camera, so all I got was one lap when the helmet cam was mounted. It's still pretty cool, but it wasn't one of my fast laps or anything. I'll try to do better with that in April:

NASA-RM 2007 Event 1 - PMI, Pueblo, CO
Full download that can go fullscreen (72MB)

And some pics:




 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
As for the other cars at this event, here's some times and pics of the fastest cars out there to give you a frame of reference for my 1:39.6.

Fastest lap of the weekend went to a Noble M400 owned by Derek Whitis who finished 7th in the 2006 One Lap of America. He was here at PMI this weekend to practice for the 2007 One Lap. He ran a best of 1:37.6 and repeatedly hit other high 1:37s, so his car was extremely fast. Here's a pic and vid of him:

Whitis Noble M400 at PMI, CO



The next fastest car was what I think is a '73 Porsche 911, and it's a full race car. Up until the final main race of the 2nd day, his lap times weren't much to speak about. He was well behind what I was putting down, but during the final race when he was up against the Noble, he must have turned up the heat, because he clocked a 1:38.9, which beat me by almost .7s. Here's a pic of that car:



I was the 3rd fastest car in terms of lap times, but next after me was a gutted '69 Mustang that was also doing time trials with me, but he is two classes higher in TTR while I'm in TTS. He was an old guy that was a bit miffed at first when he saw my Sunday morning lap times, but it actually motivated him to rock out and pull out his best time of the weekend on the next session, and it was over a second faster than his previous best, so he got a little happier. We got along great and had a good time talking shop throughout the day. Here's a pic of his beast, and I'm guessing those rear tires are 355s?

(don't yet have a direct pic, but you see him in the background)

The next fastest that I know of was a Supercharged '93 NSX with carbon fiber parts all over it, a claimed 430rwhp, 2600lbs weight, and a great driver. This was all told to me by the crew of the car. :D The best lap that I saw recorded was a 1:41.1, and here's a pic of that bad boy:



The final car of note was one that everyone was gawking over, and it is owned by a friend of mine that I have been racing with since I first moved here a year ago. The car is an Ariel Atom - it is supercharged and already has a pulley upgrade, so it's quite a sight to behold. This was CJ's first time racing it, so he has a ton to learn, but I expect him to be blisteringly fast as he gets the hang of it and puts on some race tires:

 

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It really sucked not making it to that event Clay. I'm hoping to make it to La Junta, though my turbo set up is still not here and I've got a bunch of things I still have to finish up on the car. :( Not to mention this baby still isn't here yet. We'll see.
 

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I just moved to Pueblo and stumbled across the event as I was looking around so I pulled in to watch. Saw your car and that made my day. You were smoking everybody who was on the track at the same time--even blowing past Vettes on the long straight and whipping on the tight sections as well. Much fun to watch. If i hadn't had winter tires and a bike rack on the roof I would've been tempted to give it a try myself. It was fun to watch another EVO kicking A like that. Congrats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hah, great story, and welcome to EvoTuners. I think I saw your Evo out front near the PMI entrance. There was one there with a bike rack on Sunday, I think, and I was wondering what that individual was doing. I didn't notice that you got to come up to the track and spectate.

That's pretty sweet stumbling upon an event like that and being able to see another Evo in action. Glad I was able to put on a good show. :thumb:
 
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