Wednesday, May 2, 2012

April Summit Point Showdown w/ NASA

What a weekend.  Going into it, weather forecasters had been predicting 60% chance of showers which meant packing all my rain tires (full wet, intermediate) as well as dry tires.  The thought of having to put the car on jackstands and anxiously looking at radar maps was not very appealing to me.  However, as I arrived at Summit Point on friday, the weather was absolutely perfect.  Latest forecast was now delaying the rain!  For those of you who don't already use it, NOAA's "forecast discussion" feature is very informative.  Written in some cryptic government worker shorthand, it provides valuable discussion on how the fronts are moving, etc.  Anyhow, enough of my newfound meteorological skills.

I had relatively low expectations going into this race.  I had some old friends over at RRT (FYI: under new management now) corner balance the car and tweak my alignment settings.  I pretty much just wanted the car to perform ok given that it was down on power the previous shakedown at VIR (BMWCCA Race weekend).  There was an oil leak in the oil separator o-ring which I hoped would be gone with its replacement.  For the first session out, no dice.  I could smell burning oil again from it dripping onto the headers.  I decided to just run with it and run with it I did.  I was clicking off 1:19s in qualifying which was good enough for a new GTS3 track record.  Now all I had to do was replicate that in the race.  That typically is a little bit harder to do since there tends to be traffic.

In the race, I leapt out to an early lead and being light on traffic, I decided to go for the flyer lap.  1:19.3 is the new GTS3 Summit Point track record now.  My logger showed possible 1:18s!  (though high 118s ;) ).  I was in pretty good position to win the race, but on the last lap in the last corner, a Mustang spun out in front of me.  At first I made a quick decision to go for it, but as the car came back around from its spin, I could tell the driver did not have "both feet in" as they say, and the car started rolling back.  Not looking to destroy my front end, I checked up fairly hard.  Unfortunately, my competition from behind was coming at full speed.  I lost the lead and finished in 2nd place 0.4 seconds behind :(


On Sunday, I qualified with a 1:18.8!!!  I knew the 1:18s were there!  With a solid time, I had no worries about the upcoming race.  However, at the start, Scott Bresnahan in a 996 leapt ahead.  I was slightly worried I would end up getting stuck in 2nd place again not being able to pass a more powerful car down the straights.  I gambled with a more risky pass inside the carousel and my dive plane paid the price.  I would eventually get a fast run out of T10 to make a quick pass and then never really looked back after that.  Being a 40 minute race and being on Hoosier A6s meant I had to nurse the tires a bit so I just maintained my lead.


Despite running no brake ducting, continued testing of my brake fluid of choice, Wilwood EXP600, proved it could handle the heat.  The fluid is fairly "value priced" and in my opinion, better than Motul RBF600.  I had also been using PFC01s all around on stock sized rotors and PFC DirectDrive rotors.  All of which can be purchased through  :)

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