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

captdistraction

GrumpyRacer
1,850
1,499
Phoenix, Az
RACE RECAP: Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park East Track 1/15-16/22

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After finishing last year with a few kinda crappy race showings (making heavy leverage of the "starters get points" rules to close out the championship ) I wanted to have an opportunity to try and race. I've been in a slightly different role at work that pays significantly more, but I hadn't started to realize the difference so I was still very cash-poor going into this race. I ran on scrubs that were handed down twice - basically every session I was cording a tire and was about 1.4 seconds behind my best times at this track despite the great weather. That said, the track was also very dusty and covered in runoff aggregate which complicated matters (or added some additional color to "cowboy exits"). Typical for me - I wasn't able to take the Friday off before the event so I showed up Saturday morning not fully prepared. After some argument with a neighbor, I moved to nearly the gate entry as far away from the paddock and grid as once could be. Not the start I wanted to the weekend- but sleeves were rolled up.
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I made the warmup session on Saturday and not much to report, qualifying went alright as I was focusing on running older tires (4th overall). I did find that I was nearly out of brake pad, and the box of pads I brought to the track weren't the right ones (two sets of used pads which felt like the right weight - next time I'll label boxes). So after some careful shuffling of pads to get the most out of what I had, I was set to race.
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The race was somewhat eventful - we had a number of spec miata cars "supersize" to ST6 and join the race (11 cars!) to make our total car count 27 which is great for the smaller AZ region and arguably is a lot of cars for a 1mi track. As the race kicked off, I found myself 4th place chasing Ken Orgeron (BMW M3, ST3), Tage Evanson (Honda Civic, ST2) and Alex Petitdemage (Spec Ford, ST3). I didn't quite have the pace but I was able to keep with them, however after a few incidents we had some unusual yellow flag situations. We had a standing yellow flag for a errand corvette become a waving one, followed by another waving flag at the next station become a full course caution. The first 3 cars all made passes between these stations, with Tage very nearly completing the pass against lap traffic right at the station (which is legal if you could made it, having passed the incident but before the next waving station). Ken wasn't as lucky as his pass was under the full course caution (and ultimately didn't impact him as a battery issue took him out of the race later) but Alex made a couple more passes under full course caution which requires a reposition to last. That's a shame as he had a hell of a drive and usually isn't found ahead of me.
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During the full course caution I was behind the miatas that the other folk had passed, and unfortunately one of the cars slowed and broke, which opened a wide gap between me and the 3 cars ahead. Once back to racing, that gap was too much to claw at with little time remaining. One last quirk was that a car crossed in front of me on the hot track, going from outside to the infield - I'll post video soon but it was a pucker moment and just was not what you expect to see in a race without some sort of flag or warning. I'd argue (and did argue) that as an organization we didn't run a smooth race with flagging and safety vehicles doing odd things, but the end result was that due to the DQ (waving yellow pass) and the two repositions - I was now first overall and in class. Sometimes winning is about doing the right things and being aware of what's going on. I'll get the video of that race soon, the race director has my memory card as he's still reviewing all the incidents.
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Sunday I missed practice as we were still sorting out issues from the previous day's race - having to work with the race director and the rules book to ensure we gave everyone a fair shake (as I'm still the super touring director - which I'm not responsible for on-track behavior, but I am consulted for stuff like this)
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Qual I did get some new pads put on the car (right ones this time, some custom "extra thiccccc" GLOC R18's from @OPMustang Tim that barely fit but work awesome).
795BA907-2512-4EAB-86E8-EDB88A5EA4DE.jpeg I found myself 3rd overall with the times being very close (I ran on corded tires from the previous day, just thought I'd challenge myself to run sub 1:00.000 on them- and did despite a hell of a sideways entry onto the straight. I'll also get video soon there, I wish I hadn't gone in so hot as getting that right would have put me on pole or at least the front row:
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Stage was set however and these 4 cars (on another 22 car field) all had a shot at the lead in a very wild race. Immediately in chase of Ken and Tage, who were battling it out for the first 3rd of the race - finally Ken was pushed a bit wide by lap traffic and he had to let me by to get my swing at Tage. I followed for a while, finding I was able to easily outbrake the lead car - however I made an error down the straight in trying a late dive bomb that sent me off track (there's a safe abort area I knew about and took). I was just a bit late on the initial deceleration and off-line did not have nearly the grip I had hoped for. I recovered quickly, and despite losing a few spots, a full course caution set the stage and once we restarted the combination of a great launch by me and the lead cars trying a 3-wide entry into the first corner led me right back into the mix: a couple laps later I found myself moved up to 2nd overall and 1st in class, crossing the checker. The video is wild:


This is a great start to the regional championship - I wasn't planning on going after it again but its certainly a possibility now with a couple great performances to set the stage. The real target is to race at the national championships at Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca in September. I'm working on getting the budget together and hopefully find some support along the way!
 
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5,325
6,073
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
I absolutely love how nasty this car sounds, Chris! Fingers crossed for your season!
Nice that they can have racecars that sound like racecars....mine sounds like a vacuum cleaner.

GO CHRIS!!
 

captdistraction

GrumpyRacer
1,850
1,499
Phoenix, Az
RACE RECAP: Chuckwalla Valley Raceway 2-19/20-22

Going to try and keep this one short - one of my favorite tracks to visit and a good clean weekend of racing was had. I didn't bring anything to the table or meet my goal of besting my previous personal best of 1:52.78 which is a ways off of the ST2 record of 1:50.76. That said the car ran great, had no issues (outside one of the wheel hubs starting to complain by the end of the weekend) and a lot of fun was had. My best in the weekend was a 1:53.025 which wasn't great, but not bad on scrubs that ended up cording every session. The big takeaway from the weekend is that I'm too fast a driver to do this old tire stuff, and hopefully with improved budget that I can start bolting on some faster tires and go chase the leaders a bit better.

It was also great to race again with @ArizonaBOSS - who ran his car in ST1 due to a weight / power issue. I hadn't raced with him since running with ProAutoSports - and since I've left that (expensive, crashy) series we hadn't shared a track

Saturday Racing:

Saturday's race ended in an early finish for me as a black flag at the usually-unmanned T7 station brought me in just before the white flag lap, and by the time I re-entered the field the race had ended, leaving me P12 overall, P4 in class.

Sunday Racing:

Sunday's race was much better, though again P8 overall P4 start and finish with no change - didn't have anyone to race but myself. I spent the time trying to get some consistent laps and good data, and work on a few bad habits I could feel sneaking in. I definitely accomplished that as my data showed 3 good back to back laps separated by less than one tenth:
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Next for this car is a return to Wild Horse Pass East track - not much will change as I will again run crappy tires as I'm working to qualify for nationals (and I'm doing ok points wise in the regional championship, leading by 80 points)

However, I have made some longer term developments to help me become more competitive:
  • Some new wheels are on their way from @APEXRaceParts , including wheels from their new forged line which I am very much looking forward to the advantages provided by those wheels and their innovative features
  • a Cambered Axle assembly was ordered from TMO partner vendor CorteX Racing - dressed with 3.73's, a T2R (upgrade from my T2), floating rotors and their watts link kit
  • a PWR radiator will replace my mishimoto (though I hadn't had any cooling issues)
I also dynoed the car as the engine now has more than 15 hours of runtime, I was surprised to find that it had significantly increased (as nearly every other competitor had found lower numbers on this dyno):
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This resulted in a painful bump of 21 NASA ST average horsepower and 15 max horsepower - which pushed my required race weights up significantly. Between the tire pressures and different dynos, I'm not too terribly surprised but its a healthy mill for sure.
1645908841247.png


Photos from the weekend:
CVR-22-NASA-10.jpgCVR-22-NASA-17.jpgCVR-22-NASA-21.jpgCVR-22-NASA-41.jpgCVR-22-NASA-56.jpgCVR-22-NASA-66.jpgCVR-22-NASA-91.jpgCVR-22-NASA-92.jpg

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5,325
6,073
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca

captdistraction

GrumpyRacer
1,850
1,499
Phoenix, Az
anyone is welcome pay to have their decals on my car :)

Did a hub swap as I had killed a pair at chuckwalla (those curbs be lookin' fine)
IMG_1839.jpgIMG_1838.jpg

and the T2R showed up. I'm very curious about how much change this is to the newer T2"R" 2.7:1 Boss Diff I currently have. My understanding is it is a bit less strong, and doesn't have the updated gears that the boss unit has, but it does feature a 4:1 TBR which will be nice on corner exits, but less nice on corner entries (which honestly, are typically a bit of a struggle that I keep the setup loose specifically to deal with)
IMG_1869.jpg

Not sure of timeline yet but hopefully be showing off some sexy new wheels (at sexy new angles) before too long :)
 

captdistraction

GrumpyRacer
1,850
1,499
Phoenix, Az
Ooooooh which APEX set did you go with?
Some more EC7, some VS-5RS in 18x11. I'd love to explore the 12 but just don't have the budget (or trailer space) to widen up the car significantly or wrap tires on it.

Before too long, some VS-5RS in 19x11 in GT350 fitment will happen. I'd love if they did a bronze but I'll hop on whatever as those wheels look awesome.
 
5,325
6,073
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
Some more EC7, some VS-5RS in 18x11. I'd love to explore the 12 but just don't have the budget (or trailer space) to widen up the car significantly or wrap tires on it.

Before too long, some VS-5RS in 19x11 in GT350 fitment will happen. I'd love if they did a bronze but I'll hop on whatever as those wheels look awesome.
Not to mention that flares are a problem....nothing good on the market that I have found.
The ones I have were a prototype and no more exists or will exist....and they aren't perfect.
Had Apex been making 11's when I needed them I would have gone with that but they weren't....so I figured if I was having custom wheels made I might as well go all the way.....because that's how we roll.
335's are only 1" wider and while that's good, its also a hassel in a lot of ways.
Many more issues than just getting them under the car, but that's a whole topic of its own.
If I was doing the car from scratch now I would just go with 11's.
And that's my 2 cents.
 

captdistraction

GrumpyRacer
1,850
1,499
Phoenix, Az
RACE RECAP: Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park East Track II 3/12-13

our second visit to this track this season - for some its boring but I enjoy the racing opportunities this short little track provides (despite making repetitive mistakes). This report will be brief, some self inflicted wounds cost me on both days; however made it out the other side alright with more series points. More importantly I'm now qualified to register and compete in the national championships. This weekend however was all about mylaps (garbage) x2 (doubly crappy) transponders ([email protected]#%*) and using up old scrubs.

For Saturday, the car was pretty benign, but I missed warmups as I had some duties as ST director to deal with. The night before I dropped the trailer but didn't unload and prep the car (or buy fuel for that matter) to instead be a bit social in celebrating @ArizonaBOSS 's birthday.

However in qualifying, I thought I had made enough effort to get on the front row - just to receive the transponder flag while on track, indicating my transponder was not working/reading by race control. I stayed on track to just get some practice time in and see if I could push some old tires under a minute after they had warmed up. I did meet the goal per my race dash's GPS timing, but I would have to start the race from the back. No big deal, only 2 class competitors.

In the race, I went from the back with the small bore cars all the way up to the front pack where regional director Tage Evanson's civic was cruising and Ken Orgeron's dialed in ST3 BMW was in close pursuit. I think with 1-2 more laps I might have been able to get by them. That said - what I thought had fixed my transponder didn't work and I had yet again been served the flag. I finished 3rd overall, 2nd in class (from a scoring perspective - though I can't claim contingencies since no timing). Solution for the transponder involved superglue/CA and some parts are now a permanent assembly.

Sunday I rotated all the tires (as my stock of depleted michelin scrubs dwindled), rotated brake pads and replaced one used pad with another (as I had uneven wear - common on the outside pad on the "outside" biased corner with c-clip based axle systems). This time we had a qualify race based on a random draw - a format I hope to repeat in the future as it was a real blast. I drew P8, but a couple unfortunate car failures moved me up to the 2nd row, with a ST1 pontiac (yes, heard that right) and ST4 BMW were in front of me. With TMO member @mattlqx on the start flag station waving the green, I managed the best start of my racing career, able to launch the car in 1st gear and pinpoint-accuracy nail the shift to 2nd at the right RPM to slingshot around the ST4 car and put myself aside the very powerful solstice (yes, I said solstice - featuring LS power).

I wasn't able to get around cleanly, but that led to a great battle. Tage's Civic gets under me a few laps later as my desire to make a clean pass on the aforementioned solstice became fairly timid in nature, leaving the door open just enough for him to go two wheels off on the inside in the carousel turn- something I know damn well I should defend when he's behind me (as I've been bitten before there). I am able to follow him through with Ken Orgeron right behind me to pass the solstice, and we have a hard race until the Civic suffered a suspension failure that took it out of the race (and it had braking issues I had been pushing him to try and take advantage of). I end up holding off the ST3 BMW which was eating at my rear bumper to put my car on pole for the main race. Some good footage here:


For the main race I tried moving some tires around, trying to decide which was the 4 best remaining S9M series scrubs to use - and which corner to put them on. I guessed fairly well, outside the rear left tire. Once out on track it was obvious the pace was off a bit as Ken's BMW made it around me on the start (no small feet and took some big brass balls moves to go into the first chicane side by side with me) - his gamble was rewarded as I didn't have the pace to keep up and a gap grew immediately, with Tage now setting sights on my rear bumper. The car was almost uncontrollable as any bit of turning had the rear stepping out (as I didn't realize I nearly immediately corded and delaminated the outer 25% of the contact patch for that left rear tire). With the car sliding through every corner, I had to focus on keeping the car on track and not letting Tage's moves in my mirrors take my focus off execution to hit my marks. Some lap traffic came up which left me making a less-preferable outside move on a BMW who moved over my way and let Tage by. Frustrated and rattled, I couldn't make up the pace to keep with Tage until later in the race - a brake failure (pad complete depletion) took him out of the race again and I was able to cruise by for a 2nd overall and 1st in class finish. Lots of busy handiwork seen from the smartycam:

I have some pirelli scrubs to try for the next race at the Radford (formerly Bondurant) school track - a one day event and then I have nothing on the schedule until Nationals. So hopefully I can get the car sorted with the upgrades coming from Cortex Racing and Apex and find a practice day or two around the brutal summer to dial in the car and keep me sharp.

Speaking of Apex, a neat comparison: a 18x11 EC7 wheel with a S9M slick weighs 47lbs, a new forged VS-5RS 18x11 wheel with a Pirelli DHb weighs 42lbs. (both tires in the 300/305 category - 650/660 heights). Doesn't sound like much, but should be somewhat noticeable (and something I have to contend with for ST2 by adding weight to the chassis to compensate).

Some photos from the weekend:
WHPe2-12.jpgWHPe2-15.jpgWHPe2-16.jpgWHPe2-19.jpgWHPe2-20.jpgWHPe2-21.jpgWHPe2-25.jpgWHPe2-26.jpgWHPe2-27.jpgWHPe2-31.jpgWHPe2-32.jpg
 
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captdistraction

GrumpyRacer
1,850
1,499
Phoenix, Az
I love these updates. I watch the videos in their entirety every time and it reminds me of how badly I want to reach my goal of racing in ST2. Great stuff!
I'm glad to hear it and that it provides some value to folk :) I struggle with writing updates (particularly my NASA ST newsletter that often ends up in speednews), but the feedback definitely helps keep me going.

Hopefully will get back into the swing of documenting a few projects on the racecar as well, soon. Also need to get a photoshoot done on the new Apex wheels
 
5,325
6,073
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
I'm glad to hear it and that it provides some value to folk :) I struggle with writing updates (particularly my NASA ST newsletter that often ends up in speednews), but the feedback definitely helps keep me going.

Hopefully will get back into the swing of documenting a few projects on the racecar as well, soon. Also need to get a photoshoot done on the new Apex wheels
I confess, I also look forward to the updates.
 

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