ARCA 2008 Race 2 Post Report

Day 1
Was it worth it? Well, at first no. I was sleep deprived. The car wasn’t fully setup to my satisfaction, but I was on the track. The smell of fuel was starting to wake me up a bit – no, I lie I was very tired.

I passed Tech and got dressed for my first practice. In my mind – “Don’t crash and let the cars climb ahead of you”.  That kept echoing in my head.

The car drove funny – Lots of under steer entering the corner and lots of scary moments when touching the brakes. The civic just wants to pitch left and then right. Maybe I’m doing stupid things like braking through the corner.

In the rush of things I left my tire temperature probe at home and had to  borrow one from Ant. I checked and WTF, 86F for tire temps.  Frak! I must have drove like a Grandma. 2 minutes later I looked at the gauge and I see I picked the caliper setting – oh, brother. So I make a blind adjustment for tire pressures as qualifying is just 40 minutes away.

Qualifying starts up and I talked with Ant and he suggest I take it slow and follow behind him for a bit to get myself ready. I haven’t actively driven for awhile so don’t take risks and don’t over drive. At slow speeds the rear end still wants to come out and any curbing has to be taken as a slide in – I can’t hit the curbs straight on.  The last 5 mins I break away from Ant as i need to qualify in my group. First try I hit 210kmh (data logger) down the straight and I chicken out at marker 2 for braking – the car is just unsettling. It just darts under heavy braking. I kept feeling the rear left locking up. The next approach was just violent. The datalogger shows 225 kmh and everything seems normal until I applied brakes. I get pitched sideways violently at marker 3 (talk about waking up).

I have no video footage since I can’t reach over and turn the camera on and then re buckle – the footage I do have is of just the sky (I moved the camera when I hit record).

Day 1 ends with a lot of frustrations the car is acting funny and I am seriously sleep deprived. I am driving slow, I can’t attack the markers like I would do and the car is just feels too fast. I let a lot of cars pass since I am unable to keep up with them – the car understeers and oversteers and the vibration is getting worst

Gord comes by every so often to check up on me and Ant as well and offer advice on what to do and offer some tips – Thanks!!

Day 2
7AM back at the track. Fill up fuel and wait for my pit crew to show up so I can bleed the brakes. I’m still locking up the rear brakes which is unsettling. the trick at the moment is to lift early and squeeze the brakes. To be honest a lot of things on the car is still too new to me. Some quirks may not be quirks at all but it’s better to play it safe.

Practice run – morning runs are always a bit scary. RCMP is dusty, wet, and cold in the morning no matter what. That just how the track is. I drive out and the car feels better. The car is still just as violent when wanting to slow down. I’m still fighting the steering wheel and boost by gear is now messed up (I decided to drop boost).

Qualify – Jason comes over and tells me I’m driving like a girl well ok he said grandma to add to insult – lol . I go out and try and follow the other EG that is in ITGT. I kept up, but lots of white knuckle moments.  As I get closer toward corner 1 to pass he goes in way too deep and flys past 2 and off around corner 3. We almost tangled into each other.

Race 1 – I buried the needle past 240kmh – I don’t even see the needle and… I officially have gone off course.

Race 2 – Hooseirs changed – holy frak were these tires fun to drive on. Steering response is easy, the car feels light and quick. What is odd is it took 2 laps to scrub in the tire for heat and then after that grip grip grip and then less grip less grip and holy crap greasy everywhere. I still can’t find the reason for the excessive vibrations and the rear is still locking up. Through the weekend I keep testing the rear caliper and it seems ok. In between lots of bleeding of brake fluid.

Endurance race: At the 40 min mark I get a bit worried with the fuel gauge running past the 1/4 mark. Fuel economy needs to be worked on for the next tune.

Things I learned for endurance races:
– Fuel is very important
– Fuel splashed in eye is bad (Thanks Gary for helping flushing my eye out)
– No power steering just kills the arms (every bump I have to absorb and keep the steering where I want)
– had friends / pit crew for fuel in the hot pits – I didn’t think anyone was there but Gary told me after he was standing by in case Ant or I ran out of fuel (use them)

***

o I’m still disappointed with S200. It’s not the end all FMU. There are quite a few quirks and issues that makes me want to switch back to Uberdata where I can at least solve (write my own code) to patch the issue. Support from Hondata has been shit. They keep pointing at me and I say the datalogs show otherwise… and then a few weeks later they release a patch.

*******************

Thanks to sponsors Screamin Paint Works and My Tires.

A big thanks goes to (in no real order):

Ant – I absolutely would have thrown the towel in. Thanks for buy premium gas as well so I could leech off fuel from you.

Gary – Thanks for that late night run to help me get a spare ECU

Randy from STRD for lending me his ECU and S200

Ricky C for giving me hints and advice in what to do.

Gord – Dude thanks! So much enthusiasm and energy. Thanks for letting me pester you with questions and holding my hand on race day.

Matt – Always, giving me ideas / troubleshoot on how to fix things.

Dan – Borrowing the Trailer

Tire Bob (No, Tire is not part of his name but that is what I call him) from Urban Expression who was able to put on and off tires in one day and then redoing them again and only charging me half 🙂

Super Dave – Thanks for helping me take off the factory hood latch. The latch from the heat jammed and wouldn’t release. The only reason I kept the latch as the car is parked sometimes on the street. Anyway, the EG is now a few grams lighter 😀

My Sis and Simon – Thanks ! Would have sucked a lot more doing it all by myself

Part 1      Part 2

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