Sunday, April 5, 2009


We did it! The Dangerous Banned Technology Award is ours! Even better news is that the Turbo Schnitzel team has won the Peoples Choice Award!

TS started loosing gears and finally ended up with only 5th. After frying their clutch trying to get it around the track they pulled the tranny. Fortunately the transmission angel floated by and showed them how they could fix it with a 5 cent roll pin. Unfortunately they had toasted their rare Merkur clutch and their only spare (which itself was toasted, but less so) was in Atlanta. A few hours of driving to meet the guy they had roped into being the parts courier and an all nighter later they had a car that ran. In third. With no clutch. They still managed to get through another 2 hours of racing.

Meanwhile we suffered from our lack of foresight. We went through our brake pads at a staggering rate. One set only made it 'til afternoon on Saturday, and the set we bought to replace them only lasted a couple of hours on Sunday. Each time cost us about 2 hours to drive and pick up parts. Not to mention that we almost killed Nick because we didn't tighten the lugnuts after lowering the car. He found out mid turn when the only tight one snapped and the wheel went all wobbly. Fortunately the other 3 held, so we tightened them down and sent him back out. In the end we lost to TS by 3 laps.

Friday, April 3, 2009

It works!

We ran the system this afternoon and it pulled 3 inH2O under the skirt. That equates to about 420lb of downforce! That's not even counting the additional 500 lbs of equipment that we've got bolted to the car to create it. I think we could have gotten a lot more if we didn't have such a restrictive connection to the skirt.

But... they're not going to let us race with it. We never properly solved our fuel problem with the CB750 motor, and the track manager didn't like that we could rub our skirt with the wheels at full steering lock. Neither problem was insurmountable, but given the amount of time we'd take to get them fixed, and our complete lack of experience actually driving the car, we ended up stripping out the system for the race. This had been our backup plan the whole time, but it still hurt to use it. It's like pulling the eject lever and watching your plane nose dive into the ground. You can't help but think you could have saved it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Buttoning Up

The final pieces are finally sliding into place, but it looks like we will be arriving in Kershaw without having tested the ducting and skirt. It's 4:50AM. They guys are getting their stuff together and then we'll put the car on the trailer to go. I doubt we'll be in Kershaw until noon.
One of the unsolved problems, or rather problem we thought we had solved but hadn't, is the connection of the duct to the skirt. I had orignally imagined that the duct would connect to the floor behind the passenger seat and then a bellows would connect the skirt to the bottom of the car. The problem we discovered is that the bellows would be mere inches from the exhaust and catalytic converter running down the centerline of the car. Most of the materials we imagined for the bellows would ignite. We would not have been happy.
So instead we are using some HVAC ducting. The size is only 12" diameter, which doesn't give us that much space to pump air through. If the flow is too choked it may kill our downforce. I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


The first thing we did tonight is trim the manifold with our chosen skirting material: plastic garden edging. Then we hung it from the car and took it for a drive. mark took some video, so I'll post it after I get it from him. We left the skirting long, so it dragged the whole time as we slowly drove around the block. Did a little bit of weaving along the road and saw a few sparks as the car swung and the manifold hit. We're going to make some shorter shackles tomorrow to lift the skirt another 1/2" or so off the pavement.

All we have left is the completion of the ducting. We're about halfway there, but we had wanted to be in Kershaw early Friday for the track day. Tomorrow is going to be a long day.