WDMS - Chapter 209 - February 2013
Track Day - Dyno Day - Drag Testing - Drag Racing
The run-up to Tx2K13 came quickly and with precious little spare time. Last year it was tough enough getting two mostly-ready cars to the various events, this year we threw ResQ into the matrix. Anna’s silver supra was mostly ready, but would need ‘converting’ to the drag setup. Scratcher had just won both days at a NARRA event, resetting lap records both days (and winning a free set of Pirelli race rubber to boot!), and would need about a day of work to get ready. ResQ had been a plain-and-simple thrash since we picked it up a handful of weeks prior to the event. If you're not familiar with TX2K, check out www.tx2k.com and have a look. It is a four day car meet with a track day, dyno day, and drags. In the evening there are meets in various places along with burnout contests, bikini contests, shows, etc. If you're a car person and like them fast, this is the place to be. 1000rwhp is almost passé...it's incredible! If that sounds like something you'd like, plan to be here for Tx2k14 in March!!
Full details on the first chapter of ResQ can be found here: http://www.witchdoctormotorsports.com/ch198.htm
Day 1 – Thursday – Track Day / Time Attack at TWS
So….let’s get this started with Day 1 of TX2K…Thursday….Road Course Day. Well, actually it begins on Wednesday evening because that is when I took ResQ down to TWS and parked her in the garage. We wanted to display ResQ, Anna’s silver supra and, of course, I needed Scratcher there to compete. So, late on Wednesday I drove ResQ down and Anna brought me back. NOW, we are ready to start with the track day!
Above: Really clean NA Supra that looked great on track, and a serious F430 that I'm shocked didn't make the finals.
Well before the dawn, I pull up to the TWS gate with the rig and pay my 5$ and head inside. The paddock is a huge mess with the TWS folks saving paddock spots for another event starting the next day. So I parked just outside the main paddock, and then moved ResQ over closeby. I unloaded Scratcher and checked lugs and air pressure and gave it the external once over. I had the bodywork off the previous day and everything was good to go mechanically. I put in the memory cards for the camera and data system and then wandered on over to the lounge for the driver’s meeting. It wasn’t too long and centered on safety. Most everyone was an accomplished racer or solo’d driver (not needing an instructor) and the event was ready to go. With only a half-day, we’d get a few sessions to establish quick times and then the fastest 5 or 6 cars would do a 3 lap shootout for Time Attack honors at the very end of the day.
Above: Super clean MkIII and ResQ as the sun came up
The first rule for the Time Attack is that there is no rule. This is pure, run-what-you-brung. Some full on race cars were there (like Scratcher), as well as street cars on all-season tires. Mostly, it was serious track hardware (acr viper, highly modded gtr’s, an F430 challenge car, prepped vettes, etc - all on r-comps or slicks) with folks who knew their way around TWS. I was lucky that two of the guys from the local TAMU FSAE team showed up to help crew. I’ve been helping them with their FSAE race car, specifically building wings and other composite parts, and they wanted to check out my ride that they’d seen in the garage. Both of them have a lot of car experience and are more than capable with tools and with Scratcher being pretty simple, they were adept pretty quick. It’s always great to have crew!
Above: Anna's twins...
First session out, I go it alone and shake the car down. This is when I get a lot of air pressure growth and this is typically a throw-away session. The car felt fine and did what it does best and I came in after a half-dozen laps. My wrenchers Alex and Travis helped me turn the car around and after the other groups of cars went (we alternated), it was time to go again. It does not take a lot of convincing and soon Alex was sliding in the passenger seat and away we went for Session 2. The air pressure was now correct and we had some heat in the car and although we had some traffic I nailed a few laps pretty good. We had one more open session and after we again turned the car around Travis slid in for a ride and away we went. We got pretty lucky after a bit of traffic on the outlaps and got a fairly clean lap only to have Scratcher bobble a few times and die on the backstretch. Wha? It would almost fire back up, but it would not stay running. It was the end of the session anyway and I stopped on the pavement and it was a quick flat-tow back to the paddock, but I was bummed. I was really REALLY hoping it was simply out of gas as I had not added any that day, and that is what it turned out to be. We dumped some fuel in it and it fired right up. Doh! In the quickness to get everything done I assumed I had enough for 5 laps. Wrong!
Above: Alex dumping some go-juice into Scratcher.
With our open sessions done, we walked the paddock and talked to a lot of folks. Anna was on the winner’s circle in the hot pits doing an upcoming calendar photoshoot and it was nice to relax and mill about. We checked out the board of standings and saw it was the #LoneCamaro chased by a gaggle of 5 GTRs. This would be fun! Actually, they only had times listed and transponder numbers and the top time was a 1:44.9 and at first I didn’t think that was me! I was on near-dead tires and really pedaling it out of the corners to keep the crusty rears from spinning too much and figured we were running high 1:46s at best with my 180lb passenger (and passing two cars that lap as well).
Above: Guess who 1009177 is? Below: Jeremy's roadrace GTR looking great with the skycamo dip!! (pic from NARRA event)
So after wandering a bit the top 6 cars were brought to the hot pits for the 3 lap shootout. We’d launch with about 20 seconds between us each and each get three hot laps and fastest time wins. The six of us drivers were chatting and I said my outlap was going to be pretty quick since it was still warmed up. Great group of guys we all had a great visit about the track and the event. Right before we were headed out, I heard Peter asking his son about the ride he had just taken on the track in a GTR. Peter is the organizer of the Tx2k event and his 15 year old son Justin has been in a lot of fast cars (well….at least fast in a straight line…heh). Justin said it was a ‘cool ride’ and I jokingly told Peter ‘What? You didn’t want to put him in a domestic car??’, to which Peter said he had no idea Scratcher was even available. I told him he was welcome to ride during the Time Attack and Justin quickly said he was ready to go. Brenda, Peter’s wife and (protective) mom to the fearless 15 year old did not seem quite as ready. She expressed some concern, but knew he really wanted this ride.
Above: Anna takes time out from a calendar shoot to get a few snaps with Scratcher.
So Justin slides in the car and Travis gets him belted in and quickly briefed on ‘don’t touch anything’ and ‘waive your hands like this if you are not ok’, and ‘keep your shield down as soon as the car is moving as small debris flies everywhere’. Justin seemed pretty calm and enjoying himself. After I slid in the car and belted in, I looked over at him before we put our helmets on. “You ready for this?” I asked and Justin looked at me pragmatically and said “Paul, I’ve been in 1500 horsepower Lamborghini's, I’ll be fine”. I smiled and said “You ever pulled over 1.7 lateral G’s at 100mph before?”. He lightly squinted at me and seemed to be trying to mentally process the numbers to relate them to something, so I just smiled and put my helmet on. This would be fun.
Above: Finals (note the add-on cameras) with Justin experiencing serious lateral G for the first time. Photo from www.1320video.com
We formed up in the hot pit lane, one black camaro with a GTR next to it, a GTR behind me and a GTR next to him with another pair of GTRs forming the third row of two. Six vehicles, and by far and away the least expensive was on pole. When the six of us were chatting previously, one of them asked how much money I had in Scratcher and when I told him he said he had more than that in his transmission alone!
Above: Find the #LoneCamaro. Also, Dusty's gorgeous wide body Supra.
Starter gets us going and off we go, I ease onto the track and take a nice easy outlap, working the brakes and tires to get everything nice and warm. Coming out of the carousel, I tap Justin’s leg and give him a thumbs-up and he returns the gesture. By the time we hit the esses Scratcher feels great and I open her up. At the end of the front straight I bury the brakes to shed 50mph of excess speed and out of the corner of my eye I see Justin’s helmet instantly rotated and pin against his chest. As we come down the banking he regains forward vision again and seems ok until I again shed 30mph for T3. On the end of the first lap we nearly catch the last GTR and I drop back a bit to pass him cleanly during lap two. Justin braces for the brakes in the zones now and still gives me a thumbs-up when I do the same. Lap three starts and we’ve got clear track and I push the car fairly hard but the rear tires are really protesting on most every exit. Scratcher is unique among the cars I’ve driven where nearly-dead tires hinder forward bite more than anything else. Most cars I’ve driven in anger have the fronts be more of an issue and turn-in and braking suffer more than corner exit, but Scratcher turns great even with very well worn fronts. Weird.
Anyway, with no in-car timer I just have to believe that we went fast enough to do well. We come down the hot pits and slot into formation as the grid person told us to. Justin was all smiles and asked questions about the transmission and brakes and shifter and tires. Brenda seemed pretty relieved. Heh.
The six of us drivers chat a good bit as the crowd gathers and Peter brings the trophies and sponsors over for the presentation. I fortunately ended up on the top step (with a mid 1:45) with the big trophy and Rossi was all happy to get the trophy from Peter. We hung out a bit and chatted with the group more and shared stories. With all of us being track addicts there was no import vs domestic issues like I’d been seeing online. It was actually pretty funny in contrast because at the event everyone gets along great and we all talk about our cars and what we try and accomplish with them and chat about racing lines and brakes and tires and whatever. However some of the online stuff got heated into race car vs street car or v8 vs boosted v6 or whatever. Those keyboard warriors need to step back from the monitor and attend an event to realize we are all just car junkies anyway. Too little time for haters!
Above: big trophy for Ros! Huge thanks to Travis (tamu) and Alex for the help!
Once we got home, the first day was not quite over. I left Scratcher in the trailer but put ResQ in the air to swap over to the rally wheels and tires and to raise the suspension a few inches since we wanted it to look the ‘Rally’ part! We then wiped down ResQ and the silver car and loaded them for the next morning, which would come all too early.
Day 2 – Friday - Dyno Day
We left before the sun came up with a quick stop down the road to top off the tanks and grab some caffeine to clear our heads. Two supras scooting south speedily…what could go wrong? Actually, nothing. We got to Hennessey before most of the rest of the crew and began to setup for the dyno day by getting vendors in their spots and organizing our materials. Last year we had dyno’d 85 cars (that has to be some sort of record…) and we were looking to do it again.
Above: On our way to the dyno day! Guess which one of us sped up for the raised rail-road tracks? Below: ResQ at the end of a line, drew a LOT of questions and got snapped a ton!
Sadly, the tons-of-cars-dyno'd wasn’t meant to be. While we got the cars wrangled quickly enough, dyno issues struck both the 2wd dyno (rotational pickup sensor board) and the awd (brake controller IIRC) dyno early in the afternoon. We tried fixes, but nothing worked and we didn’t have the replacement parts so we ended early, but up until then we were on the pace of 2012. Argh!
Above: First panel of dyno day, and a really cool t-shirt. I know you are shocked, but the guy with the t-shirt didn't have a girl with him. Who would have guessed??
Interestingly, when the day started we could not get anyone to dyno. The big power cars all want to wait for a crowd and there is no crowd without a big power car. So sub-200rwhp cars get strapped down because nobody else is in line. Then pics of the board get posted and folks complain "where are the big power cars??" ...Yeah, like we push away a big single supra to run a freaking honda civic. Ug.
Above: Exotics....all of them! Chris' 95 RHD GTR was immaculate and drew a crowd everywhere it went!! Dyno'd strong as well.
Still, lots of really cool cars, big dyno numbers, crazy setups and insane builds which is pretty much normal for Tx2K.
Day 3 – Saturday – Test N Tune
Saturday dawned and we began the silver car’s (clearly this car needs a name…) transformation to drag car by changing over everything and taking out what we don’t need to go 1320 feet. It was early afternoon and we decided to pull Scratcher out of the trailer and put the silver car in and head to the track to test a bit. We needed to test because a LOT of things had changed. First off, the rear wheels and drag radials had been replaced by a set of wider Weld’s and hoosier slicks to take 10lbs off each rear corner. The rear springs and dampers were replaced with softer coils and a double adjustable custom valved JRI units. Further, the brakes were modded to up the launch rpm so Anna’d be leaving the line with another 400rpm and more boost in hand. There were other changes as well and track time is what we needed. Sadly, by the time we got there and ready, there was time for only one pass that afternoon but it went well. Anna hadn’t ever run a true slick and they ‘walk around’ a lot and at 120mph when you are used to radials, a bias tire can be interesting. Anna took it in stride reporting ‘no problem’ after the pass. The launch wasn’t too pretty as I’d guessed too soft on the bump, but we’d begin dialing that the next day. All in all, a great day and Anna was mentally ready to attack Sunday just as soon as it could get here.
Above and below = Different 5th gens, but both TT'd.
Day 4 – Sunday – DRAGS!!!
It was early and we were in line for the qualifying for our group. Anna’s old class has mostly gone away so we get bumped into a class where 9 second cars live, but we’re ready to play. The class is just light of a full bracket of cars so as long as we make a pass we are in, but we’re likely to be seeded poorly. Regardless, we’re here to test the new combo and get it to come out of the hole quickly. Sadly, we’ve got the same evil headwind as last year, but that’s how it is. We’re here to get the car to 60’ and get Anna used to slicks and anything beyond clean runs is a bonus.
Above: Anna and Ros in the lanes for some testing.
The pass on Saturday had the car completely squat in the back and hit the bump stops and unload the rear, Anna lifted for a moment and then got back in it. So I stiffened up the rear two sweeps and the first pass of Sunday it bottomed again. I attributed more of it to Anna launching the car harder with more boost in hand so for the next pass another 4 sweeps of bump and as she launched this time it just barely kissed the stops and then came back up. Last test pass was 1 more sweep of bump with three less sweeps of rebound and the car really looked great through the first 60’ and our short times showed a nice decrease. The brake mod was allowing her to now launch at over 4000rpm and she was only using the footbrake to hold the car, not having to time a handbrake release with the foot brake release as the tree went to green. This would ultimately be quicker as she got the hang of it, and much easier as well.
Above: NSX, GTRs, Mustang and XLR-V. Not what you see everyday, but this is tx2k!!!
First round we got a bye run, so we tested again. Second round was for real against a faster car and Anna game-faced the crowd-pleasing burnout and treed the guy who had a shifter or power issue as he laid down mid track, never having his bumper in front of hers. As she comes back to the trailer the car is running rough and a minor thrash to find and fix an ignition issue ensues. Dusty volunteers an ignitor but that does not help. Tommy (Bahn) comes through on a phone call and gives me three things to check but I didn’t need to go past his first guess. A coil clip had lightly unseated and caused the issue. With it cleaned and resecured the ignition miss was gone and within minutes we are going back to the line. Third round finds us in the lanes mostly shocked just to be this far and another much faster car creeps up with us as we crawl up through the staging lanes. Anna and I talk a bit and the plan stays the same as always. Ignore the other car, stage quick and be ready. Hold 4100 at the second light and get out of there quickly. The tires will hold, be ready to dance with the car as she squats and walks a bit and run her hard thru the traps. Suddenly, as we make the corner to line up, the other car turns and begins to leave. His crew guy tells me that they broke on the last pass and he was hoping we’d bail out and he could limp a run and advance with time to repair before next round. So another bye run that Anna ran very well and…bam….we’re in the finals.
Above: Reid's very clean big single turbo looked stout! And two more clean MkIVs waiting their turn to play!
So now we’ve got some time to relax at the trailer and clean up the car a bit, give everything a thorough look-over and mentally get ready for the finals. We get time to enjoy the atmosphere, chat with the tons of folks that come by and visit and simply relax. Finally, it is time to get ready so we migrate on over to the lanes with the big boys…the finals.
Above: Waiting.... Below: Lining up with Zach for the finals
We see that we get to (errr....have to?) run against Zach Webb and it is an all-Supra MkIV finals. The crowds and photographers will like that. Zach’s car is a big single, capable of easily running more than a second faster than us, but we’ve gotten this far so just maybe lady luck will make one more pass with us down the blacktop. Anna is in the zone in the car and we’re talking over the radio. She is ready and focused. With the hoosiers, lane choice really does not matter to us because the car simply hooks no matter what. As long as the surface is decent and the skins are hot, we just go forward nice and clean. Decent burnout and creep up to the lights and there is a large crowd in the stands now. Anna assures me she is going to get the jump with a last minute ‘I got this’ and the cars both trip the first lights.
Zach and Anna both play sloth to the second light with Zach reaching it a few seconds before Anna. The tree went quick and both their reaction times could be measured with a freaking sundial. True to her word, Anna got the launch and she really came out of the hole hard, but Zach was just a breath behind her and when he got the legs under the car in 2nd gear it simply motored on by. Zach, being the gentleman that he is, backed out a bit and didn’t totally thrash us, but his win was ‘commanding’ to say the least. I met Anna at the trailer and she got out and gave me a big hug and said ‘oh well’, but I was so very proud of her swimming with the sharks and mentally performing at a very high level while doing it. No time for a debrief as we headed over to the tree for the big trophy presentation!!
Above: Peter, Anna and Dusty...a nice big trophy and an envelope with money. wh00p!!
As I wrap this up and look over it, I didn't take very many pictures of GTRs and there were just a SLEW of them there. I guess seeing so many of them, I just tuned them out. There were a LOT of them at the track day, lots at the dyno and tuning day and yet even more at the drags, with some of them running extremely quick. Next year I'll get a more rounded photo file!
Back to the wdms news page: http://www.witchdoctormotorsports.com/news.htm
NEED MORE PICTURES/VIDS?
Order the official Tx2K13 Video for hours of footage here: http://www.mvpmotorsports.com/Templates/frmTemplateM7.asp?SubFolderID=0590&SearchYN=N
Check out a slew of ChadBeePhotos at the link here: http://www.gtrheritage.com/topic/668-official-gt-r-heritage-tx2k13-photo-coverage-100-photos/
914Grafix non FB: http://s1270.photobucket.com/user/914grafix/library/Auto%20Events/TX2K13?sort=3&page=1
TeamRevvolutions' pro-quality Day1/Day2 video: http://www.revvolution.com/blog/2013/04/tx2k13-event-vid-days-1-2
TeamRevvolution's Day 1: http://www.revvolution.com/blog/2013/03/tx2k13-day-1-texas-world-speedway-track-day
TeamRevvolution's Day 2: http://www.revvolution.com/blog/2013/03/tx2k13-day-2-dyno-day-at-hpe
TeamRevvolution's Day 3/4: http://www.revvolution.com/blog/2013/03/tx2k13-days-of-drag
JoTech Racing's photo page: http://jotechracing.com/newspost/tx2k13-jotech-photo-coverage/