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S197 FTWMS #50 S197 NASA Super Touring Racecar Build Thread Profile - S197 Mustangs

captdistraction

GrumpyRacer
1,797
1,374
Phoenix, Az
RACE RECAP: Bondurant Mondo with ProAutoSports

This is one of my favorite events that only happens once a year. The Mondo Bondo as they put it, where PASA takes over the Wild Horse Motorsports Park from Thursday to Sunday in their annual Thanksgiving track feast. No, not the lame dinosaur exhibit on the East track, but Pro takes the main track and its long straight and glues it to the Bondurant School Track and adding a few turns the other organizations pass on (they're challenging and like to eat cars and drivers who dare go a ten-thousandth over 10/10ths). The result is a multifaceted track over 2.7 miles in length

1606953883882.png

I wasn't planning on running but one day as I had been pretty ill in the weeks coming up to the event, bank's pretty broke, and had been pretty fed up with my race efforts from Bondurant the weeks before.

I had spent the week working on @steeda5 's new S197 racecar (a fairly carbon copy of mine) and we had just got it finished in time by the skin of our teeth. That all said, I hadn't touched my car up to the day before the event. In trying to find a solution to my recent spinning habit I picked up a Torque Arm system from CorteX Racing - my first part from them.I'll have a full comparison post soon to report on that part. The install was straightforward and I completed it while working on some other repairs. My off from Bondurant that ate the splitter had done more damage than I had initially seen; leaving a number of parts needing patching up and fasteners replaced. Running late as always, I thankfully had some push from my friends to get to the track and join the fun. A few more hurdles were had with my trailer (brakes are not working - scary!) and in picking it up from a accidentally flooded yard - in Arizona turning the clay into deep mud. Needless to say, no fun was had and the mood was bad. @ArizonaBOSS and others know just how to remediate that, with cold beers and copious amounts of arm twisting.

MONDO-112820-FTW-001.jpg

The car was ready to go after a few adjustments in the morning after unloading it - (CorteX is not kidding about shortening the LCA's 5/8" ). After a good many libations and a short sleep the night before, I registered onsite on Saturday morning.

We went out on track in a street group to warm up and immediately the car was noticeably different, even on old tires. I needed some time to get more confidence in the new setup but ProAuto's action-packed format meant a quick qualify session leads quickly to a feature race followed by the championship race all on the same day. I put the car 7th overall and 2nd in class for the first race (which determines placement in the second). The competition is very different than the usual group at NASA, and they're just as talented. I quickly found out as the start of the feature race led to a tight pack of cars and a good battle ensued with Hurley Hatch his stock-car styled truck that spent more time slideways than gripped up. I made it 2/3 of the way before a lack of tires and talent gave the position up. I ended up 5th overall but first in class!

MONDO-112820-FTW-002.jpg

Just an hour later, the championship race help even tighter battles as a GTO/unlimited class car ended up behind me. That driver was over a second faster per lap, and up to 5 seconds faster on Sunday when he wasn't stuck behind me; I was able to make my car wide enough and opened and closed enough doors to hold on to the white flag lap. Down the straight I fell into a trap with a perfect over/under as I was passed on the outside of a turn, defended the inside entry but pushed out wide and slow on the exit.

That race is absolutely among the most fun battles I've had; lap after lap with close positional changes and closer proximity racing than anything I see in NASA typically. Again a first in class finish, but 4th overall! Had I been able to hold on, the overall podium was just there for the taking but I ended up 1.2 seconds out. More libations, less sleep and we reset for Sunday. @steeda5 had some teething issues with his car rubbing parts between manufacturers, but some late thinking was able to get him set for the next day's action.

P1__2509.jpgMONDO-112820-FTW-003.jpg
Sunday featured a triple start endurance race lasting 60 minutes (or in our case, 68 minutes from release to checker!), broken up into 3 20-minute races with a pace car reset in between to tighten up the pack.

Having a radium surge tank installed meant I could fill the car with about 16.4 gallons of fuel and try to make it all the way to the end. I still had the old Hoosier tires, so my concern was around if I could even just keep the car on for half of the event - I've tried numerous times to bring home a working car from Mondo but it’s always been out of my reach. I've blown motors, broken parts - I've always been towed in by the cheerily sympathetic Kim DeWitt of their safety crew.

This year, something different was afoot. On old tires and with a nice head cold / sinus infection, I did not just make half the race as anticipated, I finished all 3 starts with a triple first in class finish!

Every race I started that weekend, I finished in first despite some close competition! I had the ever-fast Ken Orgeron in PS2 (ST3 in NASA) trade places plenty and despite some bad starts for me (Steeda5 is a race-start pro, he would blow me away on every start), I was able to claw my way to victory and more importantly put a working, intact, clean racecar on the trailer. No offs, no large mistakes (though in video, I do see an opportunity for a full second improvement with one simple change in how I drive the course), and some wins to help close out the racing season.

MONDO-112820-FTW-004.jpgMONDO-112820-FTW-005.jpg

Results from the last 20 minute race portion of the hour (extended 7 minutes with a caution - They really wanted us to run out of fuel on track!)
Screenshot 2020-12-01 173750.png

My original goal for the weekend was just to show up and see how the torque arm felt, stay out of people's way and just get some clean testing and seat time in; but in the end I had a dominant weekend.

A highlight in the enduro was a great battle with @steeda5 in his new car: for a first race in a track he hadn't visited a while it took me over 10 minutes to try and find a way to pass him, and when I did, I errantly overshot the braking zone of the main straight to make it work! He is going to be very fast very soon as the car and driver develop their chemistry.

Another highlight was Ken pushing me around the track for an hour. His PS2 car is incredibly fast but I also knew just where to plug up the track and buy some room with the new powerplant in the #50 car. The soundtrack is unbelievable, it has always been an amazing sounding car, but I dare claim it’s among the best sounding racecars I've ever heard.

P1__2518.jpgP1__2611.jpg

The big takeaways from the weekend were:

-Friends are what track days are all about
-The torque arm works well for my setup
-Training from Racer's 360 combined with the above made for one hell of a competitive weekend
-Try not to race with a sinus infection - during the enduro its a physical feat enough to fight the car, worse if you're coughing down the straight
-REVIEW the footage after the race - I could have easily found a full second if not more had I just looked at the video from Saturday and made adjustments going in Sunday. I was walked every time off the straight and all I had to do was drop a gear. The data shows it as well, dipping way down to 2500 RPM.

MONDO-112820-FTW-007.jpg

Onward and upward, more great stuff planned for 2021! One last event with NASA this weekend, but I'm not sure the car will pass sound - we shall see :) Big thanks as always to everyone who helped make this happen, the folks at ProAutoSports, the great competition, and the support from @OPMustang Tim - OP Mustang, @APEXRaceParts , Titan Fuel Tanks, and many many more.

P1__2480.jpg

P1__2485.jpg
 
Last edited:
4,621
4,533
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
RACE RECAP: Bondurant Mondo with ProAutoSports

This is one of my favorite events, that only happens once a year. The Mondo Bondo as they put it, where PASA takes over the Wild Horse Motorsports Park from Thursday to Sunday in their annual Thanksgiving track feast. No, not the lame dinosaur exhibit on the East track, but Pro takes the main track and its long straight and glues it to the Bondurant School Track and adding a few turns the other organizations pass on (they're challenging and like to eat cars and drivers who dare go a ten-thousandth over 10/10ths). The result is a multifaceted track over 2.7 miles in length
View attachment 60231

I wasn't planning on running but one day as I had been pretty ill in the weeks coming up to the event, pretty broke, and had been pretty fed up with my race efforts from Bondurant the weeks before as noted in the last report. I had spent the week working on @steeda5 's new S197 racecar (a fairly carbon copy of mine) and we had just got it finished in time by the skin of our teeth. That all said, I hadn't touched my car up to the day before the event. In trying to find a solution to my recent spinning habit, I picked up a Torque Arm system from CorteX Racing, my first part from them. Simple enough in design, I'll have a full comparison post soon to report. The install was straightforward and I completed it while working on some other repairs. My off from Bondurant that ate the splitter had done more damage than I had initially seen; leaving a number of parts needing patching up and fasteners replaced. Running late, I thankfully had some push from my friends to get to the track and join the fun. A few more hurdles were had with my trailer (brakes are not working - scary!) and picking it up from a fellow racers home had some challenges as they had accidentally flooded their yard - in Arizona turning the clay into deep mud. Needless to say, no fun was had and mood was bad. @ArizonaBOSS and others know just how to remediate that, with cold beers and copious amounts of arm twisting.

View attachment 60233

The car however, was ready to go after a few adjustments in the morning after unloading it - they're not kidding about shortening the LCA's 5/8". After a good many libations and a short sleep the night before, I registered onsite on Saturday morning and we went out on track in a street group to warm up, immediately the car was noticeably different, even on old tires. I needed some time to get more confidence in the new setup, but ProAuto's format meant a quick qualify session then a feature race then the championship race all on the same day. I put the car 7th overall, 2nd in class for the first race (which determines placement in the second). The competition is very different than the usual group at NASA, and they're just as talented. I quickly found out as the start of the feature race led to a tight pack of cars and a good battle with Hurley Hatch his stock-car styled truck that spent more time slideways than gripped up. I made it 2/3 of the way before a lack of tires and talent gave the position up. I ended up 5th overall but first in class!

View attachment 60234

Just an hour later, the championship race had even closer battles as a GTO class car ended up behind me (that was over a second faster per lap, and up to 5 seconds faster on Sunday as he wasn't stuck behind me); I was able to make my car wide enough and opened and closed enough doors to hold on to the white flag lap, where down the straight I fell into a trap with a perfect over/under as I was passed on the outside of a turn, defended the inside entry but pushed out wide and slow on the exit. Probably among the most fun battles I've had lap after lap with close positional changes and closer proximity than anything I see in NASA typically. Again a first in class finish, but 4th overall! Had I been able to hold on, the overall podium was just there, but I ended up 1.2 seconds out. More libations, less sleep and reset for Sunday. @steeda5 had some teething issues with his car rubbing parts between manufacturers, but some late thinking was able to get him set for Sunday.

View attachment 60235View attachment 60242

Sunday featured a triple start endurance race, lasting 60 minutes (or in our case, 68 minutes from release to checker!), broken up into 3 20 minute races with a pace car reset to tighten up the pack between each. Having a radium surge tank installed meant I could fill the car with about 16.4 gallons of fuel and try to make it all the way to the end. I still had the old hoosier tires, so my concern was around if I could even just keep the car on for half of the event - I've tried numerous times to bring home a working car from Mondo, but its always been out of my reach (I've blown motors, broken parts - but I've always been towed in by the cheerily sympathetic Kim DeWitt of their safety crew). This year, something different was afoot. On old tires and a nice head cold / sinus infection, I just didn't make half the race, I finished all 3 starts with a triple first in class finish! Every race I started, I finished in first that weekend despite some close competition! I had the ever fast Ken Orgeron in PS2 (ST3 in NASA) trade places plenty and despite some bad starts for me (Steeda5 is a race-start pro, he'd blow me away on every start), I was able to claw my way to victory and put a working, intact, clean racecar on the trailer. No offs, no large mistakes (though in video, I do see an opportunity for at least over a half second improvement with one simple change in how I drive the course), and some wins to help close out the racing season.

View attachment 60236View attachment 60237

View attachment 60232

my goal was just to try a single day, see how the torque arm felt, stay out of people's way and just get some clean testing and seat time in; but in the end I had a dominant weekend. A highlight in the enduro was a great battle with @steeda5 in his new car - for a first race in a track he hadn't visited a while, it took over 10 minutes to try and find a way to pass him, and when I did, I overshot the braking zone of the main straight to make it work! He's going to be very fast very soon as the car and driver develop their chemistry. Thankfully, no metal bent but what a race. I had Ken pushing me around the track for an hour but I also knew just where to plug up the track and buy some room with the new powerplant in the #50 car. The soundtrack is unbelievable, its always been an amazing sounding car, but I dare claim its among the best sounding racecars I've ever heard.

View attachment 60243View attachment 60244

The big takeaways from the weekend were:

-Friends are what trackdays are all about
-The torque arm works for my setup, and works well
-Training from Racer's 360 combined with the above made for one hell of a competitive weekend

View attachment 60239

Onward and upward, more great stuff planned for 2021! One last event with NASA this weekend, but I'm not sure the car will pass sound - we shall see :) Big thanks as always to everyone who helped make this happened, the folks at ProAutoSports, the great competition, and the support from @OPMustang Tim - OP Mustang, Titan Fuel Tanks, and many many more.

View attachment 60240

View attachment 60241
After the trials and tribulations you had early on with this car I must say Good job and well deserved wins!
 

APEXRaceParts

Race Proven, Street Approved
Supporting Vendor
640
911
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Bay Area, CA
Nice work Chris!
 

captdistraction

GrumpyRacer
1,797
1,374
Phoenix, Az
Thanks all, some video content from the weekend: (I'll cut these down to a highlight reel soon)

Saturday Feature Race:

Saturday Champtionship Race:

Glorious FULL HOUR of racing action on Sunday:

These should show up in glorious 4k60 at some point as YouTube finishes crunching the 142GB of data I just sent it 😂
 
Last edited:

Ludachris

Chris
Staff member
Moderator
1,322
1,411
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Newcastle, CA
RACE RECAP: Bondurant Mondo with ProAutoSports

This is one of my favorite events, that only happens once a year. The Mondo Bondo as they put it, where PASA takes over the Wild Horse Motorsports Park from Thursday to Sunday in their annual Thanksgiving track feast. No, not the lame dinosaur exhibit on the East track, but Pro takes the main track and its long straight and glues it to the Bondurant School Track and adding a few turns the other organizations pass on (they're challenging and like to eat cars and drivers who dare go a ten-thousandth over 10/10ths). The result is a multifaceted track over 2.7 miles in length
View attachment 60231

I wasn't planning on running but one day as I had been pretty ill in the weeks coming up to the event, pretty broke, and had been pretty fed up with my race efforts from Bondurant the weeks before as noted in the last report. I had spent the week working on @steeda5 's new S197 racecar (a fairly carbon copy of mine) and we had just got it finished in time by the skin of our teeth. That all said, I hadn't touched my car up to the day before the event. In trying to find a solution to my recent spinning habit, I picked up a Torque Arm system from CorteX Racing, my first part from them. Simple enough in design, I'll have a full comparison post soon to report. The install was straightforward and I completed it while working on some other repairs. My off from Bondurant that ate the splitter had done more damage than I had initially seen; leaving a number of parts needing patching up and fasteners replaced. Running late, I thankfully had some push from my friends to get to the track and join the fun. A few more hurdles were had with my trailer (brakes are not working - scary!) and picking it up from a fellow racers home had some challenges as they had accidentally flooded their yard - in Arizona turning the clay into deep mud. Needless to say, no fun was had and mood was bad. @ArizonaBOSS and others know just how to remediate that, with cold beers and copious amounts of arm twisting.

View attachment 60233

The car however, was ready to go after a few adjustments in the morning after unloading it - they're not kidding about shortening the LCA's 5/8". After a good many libations and a short sleep the night before, I registered onsite on Saturday morning and we went out on track in a street group to warm up, immediately the car was noticeably different, even on old tires. I needed some time to get more confidence in the new setup, but ProAuto's format meant a quick qualify session then a feature race then the championship race all on the same day. I put the car 7th overall, 2nd in class for the first race (which determines placement in the second). The competition is very different than the usual group at NASA, and they're just as talented. I quickly found out as the start of the feature race led to a tight pack of cars and a good battle with Hurley Hatch his stock-car styled truck that spent more time slideways than gripped up. I made it 2/3 of the way before a lack of tires and talent gave the position up. I ended up 5th overall but first in class!

View attachment 60234

Just an hour later, the championship race had even closer battles as a GTO class car ended up behind me (that was over a second faster per lap, and up to 5 seconds faster on Sunday as he wasn't stuck behind me); I was able to make my car wide enough and opened and closed enough doors to hold on to the white flag lap, where down the straight I fell into a trap with a perfect over/under as I was passed on the outside of a turn, defended the inside entry but pushed out wide and slow on the exit. Probably among the most fun battles I've had lap after lap with close positional changes and closer proximity than anything I see in NASA typically. Again a first in class finish, but 4th overall! Had I been able to hold on, the overall podium was just there, but I ended up 1.2 seconds out. More libations, less sleep and reset for Sunday. @steeda5 had some teething issues with his car rubbing parts between manufacturers, but some late thinking was able to get him set for Sunday.

View attachment 60242View attachment 60235

Sunday featured a triple start endurance race, lasting 60 minutes (or in our case, 68 minutes from release to checker!), broken up into 3 20 minute races with a pace car reset to tighten up the pack between each. Having a radium surge tank installed meant I could fill the car with about 16.4 gallons of fuel and try to make it all the way to the end. I still had the old hoosier tires, so my concern was around if I could even just keep the car on for half of the event - I've tried numerous times to bring home a working car from Mondo, but its always been out of my reach (I've blown motors, broken parts - but I've always been towed in by the cheerily sympathetic Kim DeWitt of their safety crew). This year, something different was afoot. On old tires and a nice head cold / sinus infection, I just didn't make half the race, I finished all 3 starts with a triple first in class finish! Every race I started, I finished in first that weekend despite some close competition! I had the ever fast Ken Orgeron in PS2 (ST3 in NASA) trade places plenty and despite some bad starts for me (Steeda5 is a race-start pro, he'd blow me away on every start), I was able to claw my way to victory and put a working, intact, clean racecar on the trailer. No offs, no large mistakes (though in video, I do see an opportunity for at least over a half second improvement with one simple change in how I drive the course), and some wins to help close out the racing season.

View attachment 60236View attachment 60237
Results from the last 20 minute race portion of the hour (extended 7 minutes with a caution! They really wanted us to run out of fuel on track)
View attachment 60248

my goal was just to try a single day and see how the torque arm felt, stay out of people's way and just get some clean testing and seat time in; but in the end I had a dominant weekend. A highlight in the enduro was a great battle with @steeda5 in his new car - for a first race in a track he hadn't visited a while, it took over 10 minutes to try and find a way to pass him, and when I did, I errantly overshot the braking zone of the main straight to make it work! He's going to be very fast very soon as the car and driver develop their chemistry. Thankfully, no metal bent but what a race. I had Ken pushing me around the track for an hour but I also knew just where to plug up the track and buy some room with the new powerplant in the #50 car. The soundtrack is unbelievable, its always been an amazing sounding car, but I dare claim its among the best sounding racecars I've ever heard.

View attachment 60243View attachment 60244

The big takeaways from the weekend were:

-Friends are what trackdays are all about
-The torque arm works for my setup, and works well
-Training from Racer's 360 combined with the above made for one hell of a competitive weekend
-Try not to race with a sinus infection - during the enduro its a physical feat enough to fight the car, worse if you're coughing down the straight
-REVIEW the footage after the race - I could have easily found a full second if not more had I just looked at the video from saturday and made adjustments going in Sunday. I was walked everytime off the straight and all I had to do was drop a gear. The data shows it as well, dipping way down to 2500 RPM.

View attachment 60239

Onward and upward, more great stuff planned for 2021! One last event with NASA this weekend, but I'm not sure the car will pass sound - we shall see :) Big thanks as always to everyone who helped make this happened, the folks at ProAutoSports, the great competition, and the support from @OPMustang Tim - OP Mustang, @APEXRaceParts , Titan Fuel Tanks, and many many more.

View attachment 60240

View attachment 60241
Great write-up - fun read. It's evident you're having a blast in the car, the wins are just icing on the cake. :) Keep it up Chris.
 
4,621
4,533
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
I went back and rewrote the race report, I'm not sure what I was on when I wrote the first drafts 😂. Likely some of the cough meds
LOL I have to re write all my stuff over and over too so I get it.
 

captdistraction

GrumpyRacer
1,797
1,374
Phoenix, Az
RACE RECAP: ARIZONA MOTORSPORTS PARK WITH NASA AZ
(RACE 1-2 2021 ST SEASON)


I'm way behind on this stuff, but here's a quick catch up: I ran at AMP, a local sound restricted track (not my favorite). The car hasn't traditionally been very competitive here as the sound restriction seems to create tons of heat on my car and sap tons of power.

I'm going to cheat on the race report and use the one I sent the NASA folk as their series leader - also available on NASA Speednews: https://nasaspeed.news/race-coverag...g-kicks-off-2021-at-arizona-motorsports-park/

We kicked off the NASA Arizona Super Touring 2021 season at AMP this last weekend, and it was interesting to say the least. Some unusually warm weather (aren’t we tired of saying that) led to some great racing conditions after a close call with rain the day before.
Arizona Motorsports Park, known as “Arizona’s Safest Road Course,” is a 2.26 mile - 16 turn, and reversible track with a few passing zones and one big challenge: a sound restriction that forces the NASA crew to setup a single file of cones on one section of the track to ensure that competitors remain compliant with the local sound ordinance.
Saturday the track was run in the clockwise configuration, and the Super Touring competitors kicked off the season with gusto: In a mixed class race with 944 and Spec Miata, the Pole Position went to Ken Orgeron in his #199 BMW M3, followed by Erik Davis in the #6 M3 and Chris Wynne in the #50 Mustang. Tage Evanson rounded up the ST group in his #17 Honda Civic having missed qualifying. As the race kicked off, Orgeron and Davis immediately took to a closely matched battle while Wynne threw his mustang off track in the first lap (a continuing tradition). Tage Evanson quickly moved up through the pack eventually taking the lead in a narrow margin of victory, just 0.303. The ST3 class featured the close battle of the BMWs as Ken Orgeron took first place in class with Erik Davis less than a second later across the line. Elliot Freireich in the #15 Spec Ford Racer rounded out the Podium in ST3. ST4 was won by Ricky Johnson in his #00 Mini Cooper whose fast lap pace was faster than half of the ST3 field!
Sunday’s race featured a slightly smaller field, with Erik Davis taking the honors on pole position with a blistering 1:42.758, followed by Ken Orgeron with a 1:44.081, Brian Turner in his #524 Porsche 911 and Chris Wynne rounded out the 2nd row. The race start featured some clean close racing, but by the end of the 2nd lap a suspension failure on Erik Davis’ BMW took him out of the lead and ended his race early – though setting a ST3 track record in the process of 1:42.308! Ken Orgeron was able to cruise to victory, winning the race overall and in class. Brian Turner turned in a 2nd place finish after a long battle out of class with Chris Wynne and the ST3 podium was rounded out with Elliot Freireich again. The race was ended in red flag early due to several cars being disabled after incidents in other classes that required safety workers to be on the ground.


NASAAZ-013021-Sat-RACE-078.jpgNASAAZ-013021-Sat-RACE-114.jpgNASAAZ-013021-Sat-RACE-151.jpgNASAAZ-013021-Sat-RACE-179.jpgNASAAZ-013021-Sat-RACE-189.jpgNASAAZ-013121-Sun-Race-012.jpgNASAAZ-013121-Sun-Race-113.jpgNASAAZ-013121-Sun-Race-195.jpg

Not much to report, I didn't do much great driving or set any track records but I guess I did manage to significantly bend an Apex wheel beyond the point of repair, and I blew the jethot coating off my new headers both inside and out. I won't run that exhaust setup again. I did also start to see my weird right turn cutout issue at this event, growing progressively worse on Sunday (thankfully we were under caution for so long). I also managed to back out a watson/howe balljoint from its socket; I need to order a replacement stud for it and rebuild it soon, but for now I swapped a spare in.

On a positive note, I did get to test the Autosport Labs TireX sensors finally, they immediately provided very valuable insight into my alignment setup.

Saturday's race (with self-induced lap one suffering)

Sunday's race
 

Ludachris

Chris
Staff member
Moderator
1,322
1,411
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Newcastle, CA
RACE RECAP: ARIZONA MOTORSPORTS PARK WITH NASA AZ
(RACE 1-2 2021 ST SEASON)


I'm way behind on this stuff, but here's a quick catch up: I ran at AMP, a local sound restricted track (not my favorite). The car hasn't traditionally been very competitive here as the sound restriction seems to create tons of heat on my car and sap tons of power.

I'm going to cheat on the race report and use the one I sent the NASA folk as their series leader - also available on NASA Speednews: https://nasaspeed.news/race-coverag...g-kicks-off-2021-at-arizona-motorsports-park/

We kicked off the NASA Arizona Super Touring 2021 season at AMP this last weekend, and it was interesting to say the least. Some unusually warm weather (aren’t we tired of saying that) led to some great racing conditions after a close call with rain the day before.
Arizona Motorsports Park, known as “Arizona’s Safest Road Course,” is a 2.26 mile - 16 turn, and reversible track with a few passing zones and one big challenge: a sound restriction that forces the NASA crew to setup a single file of cones on one section of the track to ensure that competitors remain compliant with the local sound ordinance.
Saturday the track was run in the clockwise configuration, and the Super Touring competitors kicked off the season with gusto: In a mixed class race with 944 and Spec Miata, the Pole Position went to Ken Orgeron in his #199 BMW M3, followed by Erik Davis in the #6 M3 and Chris Wynne in the #50 Mustang. Tage Evanson rounded up the ST group in his #17 Honda Civic having missed qualifying. As the race kicked off, Orgeron and Davis immediately took to a closely matched battle while Wynne threw his mustang off track in the first lap (a continuing tradition). Tage Evanson quickly moved up through the pack eventually taking the lead in a narrow margin of victory, just 0.303. The ST3 class featured the close battle of the BMWs as Ken Orgeron took first place in class with Erik Davis less than a second later across the line. Elliot Freireich in the #15 Spec Ford Racer rounded out the Podium in ST3. ST4 was won by Ricky Johnson in his #00 Mini Cooper whose fast lap pace was faster than half of the ST3 field!
Sunday’s race featured a slightly smaller field, with Erik Davis taking the honors on pole position with a blistering 1:42.758, followed by Ken Orgeron with a 1:44.081, Brian Turner in his #524 Porsche 911 and Chris Wynne rounded out the 2nd row. The race start featured some clean close racing, but by the end of the 2nd lap a suspension failure on Erik Davis’ BMW took him out of the lead and ended his race early – though setting a ST3 track record in the process of 1:42.308! Ken Orgeron was able to cruise to victory, winning the race overall and in class. Brian Turner turned in a 2nd place finish after a long battle out of class with Chris Wynne and the ST3 podium was rounded out with Elliot Freireich again. The race was ended in red flag early due to several cars being disabled after incidents in other classes that required safety workers to be on the ground.


View attachment 63082View attachment 63083View attachment 63084View attachment 63085View attachment 63086View attachment 63087View attachment 63088View attachment 63089

Not much to report, I didn't do much great driving or set any track records but I guess I did manage to significantly bend an Apex wheel beyond the point of repair, and I blew the jethot coating off my new headers both inside and out. I won't run that exhaust setup again. I did also start to see my weird right turn cutout issue at this event, growing progressively worse on Sunday (thankfully we were under caution for so long). I also managed to back out a watson/howe balljoint from its socket; I need to order a replacement stud for it and rebuild it soon, but for now I swapped a spare in.

On a positive note, I did get to test the Autosport Labs TireX sensors finally, they immediately provided very valuable insight into my alignment setup.

Saturday's race (with self-induced lap one suffering)

Sunday's race
Have you tried Swaintech coatings? I had some good luck with that on my old turbo car platform.

Sounds like you were able to push the car pretty hard - bent wheel, ball joint backing out, header coating burning off... bravo! I'll have to check out the videos later today.
 

captdistraction

GrumpyRacer
1,797
1,374
Phoenix, Az
Blew the jet hot coating off? How does that happen?

I’m not sure, but I’m real frustrated:

I can get them recoated but it will take a month or more and won’t be free. I never had an issue with wrap, which I feel was more effective anyways. I was surprised a NA car exceeded the egts this stuff supports but it’s flaking off the outside and the inside coating liquified. These engines don’t like being corked up.

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I’m not sure, but I’m real frustrated:

I can get them recoated but it will take a month or more and won’t be free. I never had an issue with wrap, which I feel was more effective anyways. I was surprised a NA car exceeded the egts this stuff supports but it’s flaking off the outside and the inside coating liquified. These engines don’t like being corked up.

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View attachment 63108

That sucks. I haven't had issues with mine, but I haven't put that many hours on it yet. That's crazy, though. Did it gum up the O2 sensor?

FWIW, I ran a test at the collector of my wrapped mid pipe and coated header. Header was 65-80* warmer than the wrapped mid pipe. This was only a couple of inches apart. I ended wrapped my headers again. A lot less heat in the engine bay and under your feet.
 

captdistraction

GrumpyRacer
1,797
1,374
Phoenix, Az
I'm not sure on the o2 sensors (I did inspect one and surprisingly it was clean in appearance - yet the mufflers and x-pipes were littered with bits of chrome-like aluminum/ceramic. I should replace them, I'm just super exhausted of spending money (especially while my career is in one hell of a rut) - i have some leftover wrap, I might just wrap these in the off season but for now the mini starter is hanging in there ok and all the wrapped harnesses are doing fine as well.
 

captdistraction

GrumpyRacer
1,797
1,374
Phoenix, Az
RACE RECAP: CHUCKWALLA VALLEY RACEWAY WITH NASA AZ - MAD MAX DUSTERDOME
(RACE 3-4 2021 ST SEASON)

Following up an exciting first round for the NASA AZ region, we visited the fast Chuckwalla Valley Raceway in the middle of nowhere, err, Desert Center California. Weather was a bit windy to say the least – so much so that several sessions were delayed due to dust visibility. The track is 2.68 miles in length and 40 feet wide with 17 flowing corners and some elevation changes sprinkled in. Famous for "The Bowl", Chuckwalla offers a bit of everything. While this event was not a crossover event with NASA SoCal as it has been in the past, some Californian folk joined the NASA AZ regulars for some great racing! (and to show off all their money - woo).

IMG_3352.jpg
While initially beautiful, the wind and dust made for pretty miserable camping weather but I was able to get out to the track a bit earlier than my usual last-minute runs so I worked on the car with some last minute noise-enhancing (and hopefully power-enhancing) changes:

IMG_3343.jpgIMG_3351.jpg
I picked up some borla over-axle pipes/resonator deletes the night before (true 2.75" all the way back, there the oem pipes neck down to just 2.1" at the resonators). I did some last minute header wrap and installed them and was more or less ready to go.

Saturday:

Practice went fairly well on Saturday - though the Cali folk were pretty aggressive. Turned in some slow fielding laps but felt good about where I needed to be for the qualifying session. I did get a black/transponder flag but didn't give it much thought as I entered the hot pit lane to go across the timing scoring trailer to make sure they matched my TX number to my car - as its been an issue in the past (and something we talked about in the driver's meeting). Thinking I was set, I went on about my day.
CVR21-38.jpg

I was not set.

In qualify - I had a decently clean lap1, but again the TX flag came out again, indicating I wasn't getting a hit. I again pulled into the hotpit lanes to talk with the grid staff, wiggled my mylaps x2 transponder "racekey" (racer-money-relieving-device) and saw lights, so I re-entered. I was able to get one more lap in before the checker, but when I got back to the paddock, I showed as not having a time in qualifying, I would have to start from the back, despite having a mid-pack lap recorded on my telemetry system. I looked into why I was having this issue and found the culprit:

IMG_3355.jpg
The x2's racekey had broken off its retainer tab and could move off the contacts required to engage the transponder. They had already recalled this part once and the "fix" was to put this additional piece of plastic in the holder for the device, but I guess it created enough pre-load to snap the cheaply molded plastic. While x2 offers a warranty while you have their bullsh-t subscription service - it doesn't cover this. It was suggested to buy a new transponder (which I just renewed this one for 2 years). I found a replacement race key on ebay and hopefully soon I can see if it will work with my existing transponder. I rented one from the NASA AZ crew. Cliffs: NASA AZ awesome - Mylaps anything but.

CVR21-13.jpg

Starting from the back of the Big bore pack - I decided to try and make the most of it and go after whatever I could get - knowing that the top portion of the field would be way out of reach as the socal folk brought some heavy weapons to our blunt knife fight. Race was going well and I was picking up pace until the engine lost all power coming out of a right hander and sidelined me. I pulled way off track in a safe location so they could hopefully keep the race going without cautions - the safety crew came to check on me, but misconstrued my response to "are you ok" as being that the car was ok too... they took off and didn't come back until the following HPDE session, realizing their error. In the rush to get me in to the pit, my front bumper beam and tow hook were damaged as they took off a bit hard when setting up the tow strap. Bummer but was able to patch up. Once back to the paddock they dropped me at the impound so I could do my series leader duties, we had to dyno two cars. Unfortunately, I wanted to look at my car and get a bottle of water, but the requirements of the series kept me away from my car until dark. It was a pretty frustrating day - the competitors were fine on their dyno, but I was parched, exhausted, curious if I had windowed a motor, and the howling wind and dust did not help matters or mood. Eventually I was able to get back to my trailer and my car was waiting for me, the safety crew had pushed my car back for me to my stall (I compensated with many offerings of beer).
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Video from the race:

Sunday:

Went over the car and couldn't find anything wrong - did as much as I could in the dark and in the morning bypassed the onboard surge tank, cleaned the crank trigger sensor, did a crank relearn and checked everything once more. In practice, it was again so dusty that there were times you were going over a hill blind as if a car had been off track creating huge dust clouds with zero visibility. The Cali folk were again impatient (a recurring theme), but my car ran well, outside a minor hiccup I was able to run it very hard for the whole session. In qualifying, there was basically one lap of clean track and I was able to put the car in the top portion of the field.


CVR21-59.jpg
One minor issue was that I had corded 6 of the 9 Michelin S8M's I had brought to the track - so we made the decision to last minute flip a tire to put the slightly corded edge inside on the rear where it wouldn't see much use for the race. However, I did run out of time and forgot to bleed down the tire, so as I ran to grid and got in my spot - I recounted all the pre-checks before the race, and realized we probably still had 60psi in the tire! I pulled off grid and went back to my stall, and luckily the NASA AZ director of instruction happened to be by my stall airing up his tires and I was able to get him to bleed down the tire for me - just in time to watch grid be released. this was a mixed class split small and big bore race with 36 cars, and I was able to tuck behind the small bore / spec miata group. I left about 2 turns behind them to allow them a clean race start - already a half lap behind the big bore folk, and as the green, err rainbow flag flew for them I allowed 4 turns before I started working my way through the pack. I was dead last, but I thought I'd at least run the car hard and see if I had fixed it. Well, come to find out its sorta fun starting dead last and picking up 25 spots. A big highlight was that I came up on a ST4 mini cooper driven by Ricky Johnson towards the end of the race - he usually is very pleasant in letting me by (something I've chided him before). Well this day, he took that advice and nothing came for free - we had a full lap free-for-all with 7 position changes and some close racing. I had to use a miata as a pick down the straight to make the pass stick. While I had a huge power advantage, his mid-corner speed was slightly higher than mine meaning he could get back in front of me and kill off momentum as needed.

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Sunday's video:

The battle with the Mini:

So far for the season, this has put me in decent shape in ST2 -
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so while its a bit of conflict of interest, I'm going to race to the end and see if I can get some more embroidery done on my champion's jacket. Daytona (NASA 2021 Championships) is looking bleak from a budget standpoint - work has not been going the way I had hoped (company is evolving in a way that has less of a need for me). However I'll try to do the local races and am at least able to keep the program afloat.

I've not had time to go through all the maintenance on the car (as I've been stuck behind a desk), but here's the list of what I'm trying to get to:

  1. Install and integrate an AIM Solo DL with all the mustang engine parameters with my racecapture system, writing custom CAN integration (using the smartycam output)
  2. Move my fuel pressure sender to the rail
  3. reinstall the meziere water pump - having tested it to be equal in performance to the normal coyote pump
  4. front end repairs (new tow hook - thanks Capaldi Racing!), fix air ducting damaged a few events ago
  5. change oil
  6. change transmission fluid
  7. change differential fluid
  8. Change coolant/water
  9. new rear pads
  10. Change a leaking front crank seal - I didn't get the seal depth right the first time
  11. new front rotor rings (thanks @OPMustang Tim and crew!)
  12. Clean up all the dust
  13. Reinstall the surge tank (since now I can collect more useful data on it)
  14. Build a new splitter as the plywood one is nearing its end
  15. repair the transponder
  16. Clean the air filter
  17. build a new better front camera mount to reduce vibration
  18. Align the car, the front toe is off and its costing me performance, not to mention make adjustments as indicated by my tire temperature data
1615142144477.jpeg1615142172281.jpeg
So far I've changed the front seal and worked out the software side of the AIM integration. I have events the next two weekends back to back so some of this will get put off for a bit. Until next time.
 
Last edited:

captdistraction

GrumpyRacer
1,797
1,374
Phoenix, Az
RACE RECAP:WILD HORSE PASS MOTORSPORTS PARK EAST TRACK WITH NASA AZ - DIRT, MUD, AND ROCKS - OH MY
(RACE 5-6 2021 ST SEASON)

I didn't get too terribly far into my list above outside the big hits, refreshed some tires, but made it out to the WHPMPET paddock (AKA the f-ing desert adjacent to the track) as it rained. We paddock in the mud, I do more damage off track than on here as the splitter gets beat and the car just gets covered in crud, with the hot tires picking up every rock in the area and deposits them between the wheels or the brakes. Cleanup is a large effort here.

1616711660378.png

Whining aside, there's a track at that site - a small short track that separates the fast guys from the slow guys pretty easily - sub minute? fast. Above? spec miata. There's some good racing opportunities on this track, and it offers a challenging set of turns for big heavy cars like mine. There's a lot of reward for momentum and guts going into a few corners. This track had always kept me above 1:00.000 - so much so that my last visit had a 1:00.042 to dampen the spirits. Not so much this time. I was able to find a 58.48 - video of that lap below:



NASAAZ-031321-RACESun-039.jpg
Saturday's race I was still chasing the cutout issue - I struggled to get off corners - despite a 2nd place overall start and first in class, I was passed by Tage Evanson in his white supercharged civic as he was able to chip away at my mental capacity while I was in race + troubleshoot mode. He's an expert racer and bested me after a few laps of battle. Tage did however slow at the end, and we were in position to drag race to the checker - we were separated by .042 seconds - less than a foot apart at the line based on where we keep our transponders. He gets the win, but I certainly won't let him get away with that gamble in the future - I think I could have cleaned up a shift to have taken it.


NASAAZ-031321-RACESat-017.jpg
Sunday's race would go better - I was able to reel in Tage while in 3rd overall (2nd in class) - closing in and as I started to reach striking distance his motor/blower let go and off the track he went fairly early into the race. I ended up racing to the end, trying my best to get some fast laps towards the end of the race and focus on my consistency - it was great practice.



NASAAZ-031321-RACESat-021.jpg
My blurb for Nasa Speednews:

RACE REPORT: WILD HORSE PASS EAST TRACK

With some cooler weather and a venue change from the main track to the short but challenging East track the stage was set for some great racing. Some familiar faces joined the NASA AZ Super Touring group for rounds 4 and 5 of the series – In qualifying each of the first 4 spots were occupied by a different class car -

Timothy Bidwell put his #40 Porsche Cup Car on pole Saturday in Super Unlimited in his first run with NASA AZ this year, followed up by Chris Wynne in his #50 ST2 Mustang. Ken Orgeron broke into the 59’s for the third overall spot with his ST3 BMW M3 and Ricky Johnson 4th overall in his mini (but mighty) cooper in ST4. This showed that the tighter smaller track closed-up competition between the varied ST classes.

With the race kicked off (and with a few sprinkles of rain), Timothy sailed to victory overall, but the battle for 2nd and 3rd was very close: Tage Evanson smoothly worked from the back of the back to take that 2nd spot (and more importantly 1st in class) by just inches: 0.044 seconds separated him from Chris Wynne in the mustang. Their fast laps were separated by an even more close 0.036 seconds.

Elliot Freireich took 1st place in ST3 having moved past Orgeron in the M3, followed by Andrew Titus (welcome back!) in his Porsche Cayman. Ricky Johnson closed out the “W” in ST4 followed by up-and-coming rookie Kevin Kirkwood in his Subaru BRZ

Sunday featured warmer weather, clearer skies and racers were ready to go. This time Tage Evanson in his #17 Honda Civic found himself in pole position, followed by Bidwell’s cup car. Chris Wynne and Ken Orgeron set up the second row Followed by Ricky Johnson and Brian Turner in his #524 Porsche 911. Once the race started, Bidwell dialed up the speed to set a 56.878 lap and took the overall win. The ST2 battle was again close, but a mechanical forced Evanson out early. Ken Orgeron worked his way to victory followed by Brian Turner in 2nd place, and Andrew Titus rounding out the ST3 podium. In ST4 Ricky Johnson kept his Mini hustling for the win followed by Kirkwood.

NASAAZ-031321-RACESat-046.jpg
We did identify a battery as the source of my woes - @ArizonaBOSS loaned me a fresh PC680 to finish the race sunday. Saturday we had to jump the car a couple times to get it going, its my belief the PC680's are only good for a year or two. I did buy a larger AGM battery AND a spendy Antigravity ATX20-HD as recommended by @honeybadger and the folk at AG. I hadn't tried it yet but hopefully that resolves my issues.
NASAAZ-031321-RACESat-055.jpg
I still had a laundry list of items to work on before the next event the following weekend but I practiced some downright horrible time management, and had the perfect storm of work, life, and helping other racers kick me right in the soft spots. The car stayed in the trailer but more or less was ready to run.

NASAAZ-031321-RACESun-012.jpg


The series is going well - so far. We will have a lot more ST2 racers joining soon (the next event already is up to 8!) , but I hope to lean on these early performances in an attempt to get a 2nd championship embroidered into my jacket.
1616713002509.png
 

captdistraction

GrumpyRacer
1,797
1,374
Phoenix, Az
RACE RECAP: CHUCKWALLA VALLEY RACEWAY WITH ProAutoSports and Speed Ventures - the wild west.

This report I'm a little less excited to discuss - we're back to CVR in Socal but with PASA instead of NASA - not a series I normally run but a fresh mix of competition. As mentioned above, I didn't do a great job of preparing the car for this round, as it was only a week after the previous race. I put myself in a bad spot but made it to the track in time to get some rest and get to work. The format was odd given that SV and PASA combined the street group with the race groups for 3 sessions a day (fastest time qualified you for the race, which was race cars only and a normal sprint race format) - it made for a bit of a shiznit show trying to qualify while there's beginners, try-hard, and HPDE champions out on the track with you with varying amounts of awareness, visibility, IQ, skill and speed. I classed into the anything goes GTO class which included everything from 650HP vettes to stock cars. We ran clockwise both days.
Mar-20-2021-Speed Ventures (Sat)-Afternoon Sessions-ProAuto Group-Race (425pm)-CVR_2157_Mar202...jpg
Saturday: The first few runs were real slow, each featured a black flagging for all to get us off track while they towed in people - not much to report. The car threw a few punches at me, breaking a rear rotor and rock-etching a front wheel beyond use (thanks WHP East - I'm pretty sure that was a leftover from AZ) The car was overheating, and while I had run the Meziere waterpump on track before I'm not sure i brought the right combination of parts to CVR - the normal (nice appearance) front grill trades a bit of downforce and drag reduction for reduced cooling capacity and I think with the amount of time I spend on throttle in high RPM it doesn't quite work with the electric pump.
Mar-21-2021-Speed Ventures (Sun)-ProAuto Group-Grid-IMG_0077_Mar2121_820AM_CaliPhoto.jpg
Between the last qualify session and the race I ripped the hot pump off the car, draining it of water, installed a mechanical pump and made the race with barely a second to spare to the grid exit. Great help from Matt K (former TMO / Green Boss and Blue GT350s) and @ArizonaBOSS to make the race - which went fairly well. I started 7th and moved up to 4th and nearly had third, again missing it by 0.050 seconds as the 3rd place car was cruising as he didn't realize he was 3rd overall. He thought I was crazy as I tried to go by him at maximum effort down the straight while he was just cruising behind a couple small bore cars. @ArizonaBOSS made his triumphant return to racing and laid down some blistering fast times! I was super excited to hit 1:53's to his 1:52's (Don't worry, when he gets comfortable again and remembers what the right pedal does that gap will open right back up)
Mar-20-2021-Speed Ventures (Sat)-Afternoon Sessions-ProAuto Group-Turn 5 Distant (305pm)-CVR_0...jpg


Mar-21-2021-Speed Ventures (Sun)-ProAuto Group-Race-CVR_7636_Mar2121_1254PM_CaliPhoto.jpg
Sunday the car behaved itself, and in the race I started 4th overall, quickly moving to 3rd. The two cars in front of me (a vette and a chevy based stock car) battled from the get go and found themselves with cooked tires, just as mine were coming in. I was able to dip down into the 1:52's chasing them (a new PB! and something I had previously set as a stretch goal). The vette overshot a tricky chicane over a hill and drove off track, moving me up to 2nd. Closing in on the stock car, I found I had more pace and spent nearly two laps filling his mirrors until I saw us coming up on lap traffic in the "bowl" at chuck.

Mar-21-2021-Speed Ventures (Sun)-ProAuto Group-Race-CVR_7762_Mar2121_1256PM_CaliPhoto.jpg

Watching the lead stock car set up his pass, I was able to identify an inside lane as a possibility in the next turn after exiting the bowl and I had a feeling the slower traffic was going to keep to the right - which would block the stock car in. Sure enough, that's what happened so I executed a late inside pass, briefly taking the lead. What I didn't expect though, was for the stock car to react by hitting me initially (as I surprised him), but he stayed in the throttle which turned my car after ripping off the rear bumper, throwing me off track and ending my brief stint as overall race leader. I had cleared the front of his car in the pass, but splitting the lap traffic I had to compromise my exit speed. I forced the race leader into a situation where he had to lift, and that wasn't the result.

Mar-21-2021-Speed Ventures (Sun)-ProAuto Group-Race-CVR_7901_Mar2121_100PM_CaliPhoto.jpg

I was able to collect myself and get back on track, and re-entered the race once I realized the car was more or less intact (I wasn't sure of the extent of damage but I remember hearing all the fiberglass cracking from his body) - the car drove straight and reacted ok to throttle, so off I went. I wasn't sure where the other car went or where I was, but I had fallen back to 8th place, and was able to work my way up to 5th, dragging my bumper and a section of exhaust on the last 3 laps. If nothing else, I did have the fastest lap of the race for any competitor by a decent margin, turning in a 1:52.7

Mar-21-2021-Speed Ventures (Sun)-ProAuto Group-Race-CVR_7964_Mar2121_100PM_CaliPhoto.jpg


The damage includes the rear bumper cover, brackets, some slight sheet metal I took care of myself via a hammer and pliers, lots of small miscellaneous hardware, my exhaust and a couple muffler hangers, along with cracking the front bumper cover (I hit the splitter on some desertscape while out farming after the collision). All in its going to be around $1400. I'm pretty disappointed as I thought the contact was fairly avoidable (the initial contact wasn't a big deal, but staying in the throttle was). The driver and I talked it out and we shook hands on a bumper cover to get mine fixed - so that will take some of the sting off but still a spendy weekend. The series didn't have their race director present (as his car had broken earlier in the day), and I don't know ultimately what the fallout will be from this. I felt I had made a fair move, and one I'd probably make 10/10 times, but the result is I lost a few spots, had a broken car, and have to shake off the frustration. We'll see how this all plays out but I don't have sore feelings with the other driver, I understand his position and we were racing for the top spot. I think we both walked away learning something. As far as that series, I don't know how much more racing I'll do with them in 2021, as the risk seems to outweigh the reward (bragging rights, not even trophies for that race), and instead stick to NASA where I've been doing well.

I did send the whole race off to Racers360, and I'm very curious to get the perspective of the incident through the eyes of a pro-racer. I've done this a long time, but I'm ultimately still some club-level idiot who just happens to make enough money to execute on bad ideas.


Here's some media of the race, I hadn't blasted it on facebook since we're still working out details with the series and the other driver and I don't want to rock the boat too much until everything settles - but I don't think anyone would be offended by my post here:

Incident View from the tail of the two lap traffic cars, a miata that was laying down the hurt on a typically faster BMW - Also a user of the garmin catalyst which is a cool bit of kit!

Incident View from my nose: (showing the previous 2 laps as they set everything up)


On a more positve note: Sunday's race

and my fast lap - a 1:52.7 -

As they say, I'll be back. I have a month to the next event with NASA to get things straightened out.

Mar-21-2021-Speed Ventures (Sun)-ProAuto Group-Turn 2 (1030am)-CVR_3374_Mar2121_1036AM_CaliPhoto.jpg
 
Your telemetry makes me drool! So nice!

I think you'll love the AG battery. I'm coming up on year with mine and haven't had any issues yet. You might also want to grab their little bluetooth dongle. It''ll connect your phone and track levels/notify of any errors. Handy little thing
 

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