WDMS Chapter 187 - September 2011
Vorshlag Motorsports GRM Challenge E30LSx Test
SooP4r s3kRaT TESTzorz
The GRM 2011$ Challenge was looming close. Scrappy was finally up and going and we needed to do a bit more testing with the car to get her dialed in for the autocross, which was all we really cared about. The Challenge consists of a drag race, Showcar Concours judging and an autocross. The little car won't run a 10 second quarter mile like the fastest drag cars, and while it looked pretty good, a Concours top ten was likely all we'd get. Yes, we had an EXTREME makeover planned for the week preceding the trip, but to us...this was about winning autocross. Last year we were 2 seconds off the top time and came in 7th, and while "I WAS SEVENTH!" does not sound too bad, 2 seconds is a beat down. The car only drove moments before we loaded it for the trip last year so we got a pass. This year? No pass. Victory. Or die trying. Vorshlag is known for making cars handle, not drag race or be pretty. Autocross was our game. Could we win?
The car had been tracked and played with, but on the bigger M-type brakes that were not in the Challenge budget, so the little brakes went back on and we headed out to spend some time dodging cones and see if we could make this little pig (60% on the nose) turn with elegance and grace. Or at least, just turn.
The Vomo rig. Thankfully it is a mega-cab which will serve us well on the 17 hours to Florida.
Above: Unloading to set up. Below: Fair testing the course for gate spacing and flow in Miss
So we get there and unload. We throw down a 30 second loop course and as Fair drives it and adjusts and marks it, I'm busy getting the camera's (two) and DL1 into the little car. After about an hour of being there we've got the course and timers ready to go as well as plenty of electronics to record what is going on. Additionally, I brought my radios and that made it incredibly simple. Finally, I slid into the seat, snugged up the belts and drove the car a few laps to get this little car warmed up. Fair was seated in the shade of the rig, drink in his cupholder, radio headset on, timer display next to him and a pad and paper. We had chatted about test sequence but he repeated phase one and gave me instructions and it was time to drop the hammer. Two fast laps one direction, quick turn and two the other. We quickly got a baseline and then the testing really began.
Above: Throwing rocks from the big 18" meats we used to get the car balanced. Below: Getting a comparison time from Miss
After some good baselining, we started making changes. I'm not going to list all the changes nor what we exactly did, but some made the car faster. Some didn't. Some made the car a LOT faster! While the E30 was taking a little cool-down siesta, I took Miss out and pushed her hard. I did not have the front struts adjusted, nor did I drop in the 2.5 degrees of negative camber I do for autocrossing, but I was on semi-fresh r-comps and had some fun. Later pics revealed that the fronts tuck way under without the camber and the extra dampening!! After the first spring swap, Fair simply started leaving me in the car as it took too long to re-belt and re-radio hookup. He got to where it was about 3 minutes to swap rear springs. We made a total of something like 9 rear spring changes.
Above: Power steering fluid sprayed the windshield a touch...good thing Fair is never far from car-cleaning products!!! Below: Screwed!!
After we had learned a ton and were on about phase 9 of the test, I shut the car down and heard a noise. I prayed it was the fuel pump still running but I knew it wasn't. Sadly the driver rear tire had picked up a machine screw and was leaking fast. We aired it up quickly and I did that last phase but it was questionable if the data was any good or not. Oh well. Time to mount up our hand-me-down 15s (our Challenge tires) and make a few runs and test the balance
Above: Cruising and warming up the 15s. Below: Out of focus, but I love this shot with the line of cones and the background.
Above: Last run, fangs out, inch perfect. No, the cone did not fall. Below: Game face.
The sun set on an entirely perfect afternoon. The weather was beyond cooperative, neither hot nor cold...you'd think we were in SoCal! So we loaded everything up and scooted out. We had learned a LOT and made substantial changes to the little E and dropped nearly 3 seconds from a 30 second course. Would it be enough to win the Autocross at the Challenge? I felt good about the car and the near 50 runs had me feeling a LOT more comfortable with the car than last year. We were as ready as it was going to get. The last thing to do was strip all the graphics from the car, apply our new theme and head East.
ON BOARD VIDEO HERE: http://vimeo.com/29884138 <---------------------
Vorshlag Gallery of the test day: http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/Vorshlag-Test-N-tune-Sept-30/19298610_mZQmm2#1507352653_nJNXBtC