Sunday, May 30, 2010

What did we learn this time?

  • Bigger fuel cell - One thing that became apparent is that we need to have a 2 hour endurance if we're going to minimize our pit time. We might be able to get away with the existing tank if we can figure out how to wring all 12 gallons out of it. I had intended to investigate our fuel consumption with more rigor, but we seem to be coming in after ~1.3 hours having used ~8-9 gallons.
  • Bigger wing - I think the wing works. A wider wing that is mounted a bit more forward could help us make some faster turns. We need to do some HPDE days and see what effect the wing has.
  • Better instruments - The stock guages are hard to read with the smaller steering wheel. I'd also like to add oil pressure and temp gauges.
  • ARP head studs - The oil cooler is the only thing that saved our head this time around. A good gasket and a well clamped head is what we need to keep our coolant where it belongs.

LeMons South Spring: Day 2

Mark started day two with a full set of the fresh tires. Attrition had taken its toll, and there were significantly fewer cars on the track. Mark set our new fast lap and then brought it in for Leslie to take a short stint.

Leslie ran the car about 20 minutes and then it was off to watch the car crushing. We had voted the 666 car because they kept trying to force holes where none were available. Twice during my stints they made their passes into three-wide-white-knuckle-and-screeching-tire affairs. The Mitzubishi, which was the leading crush contenter, was slow enough that our encounters were brief, but he kept trying to mix it up with his cousin in another car. In the end nobody got the crush, and a team volunteered their honda for the crusher.

I went back out to sit in some yellow flag traffic. Once things started to speed up I noticed that our temp gauge had gone from normal to pegged. I immediately let off and came in.

The car was running fine and the radiator reservoir had water in it, so we suspected that the gauge might be kaput and went back out. After a couple of fast laps we started seeing white smoke and brought her in again. Realizing that the gauge was working and that the radiator was in fact empty, we let the car cool down and added some water. I took the car out again, short shifting at 5k rpm and ran another 25 laps before I started risking some 10/10th's driving. About 5 laps later I was watching the gauge climb again. We refilled the water and I took it out again, this time keeping to my 5k rpm limit. Because everyone else out there was in limp mode as well, I found that we were passing just as many cars as we had the day before.

I ran the car to 1/8 tank and then came in to let Nick take it out, and he ran it to the checkered.

LeMons South Spring: Day 1

Since I've historically gotten slightly screwed on driving time, I took the car out first. The car handled great, but I was a little disappointed that the rudder had absolutely no effect on the car's performance. I managed to set the fast lap time for the car that would stand until the end of the day.

Mark was next. We did the driver and fuel in the hot pits and it went pretty smoothly. the new fuel jugs were much better than our old cans at getting gas in the car.

It was then that the rains came. Sprinkling at first, we stopped to return Judge Phil's camera that was bolted to the car, and then in torrents. Mark had to come back in again to wipe the fog out of the inside of the windshield. I expected mayhem out on the track, but the teams out there held it together.

Once the rain stopped and Mark started running low on fuel we brought him in and sent Leslie out. The seat pad we made for her helped her visibility, but she was still a bit too cautious, and it made her slow, which got her passed a lot, which made her more cautious. She came in thinking she had been black flagged, but it had actually been for someone else and went back out. She ended up running about 30 laps in her first stint.

I went out for my second session and just about went off track. The car oversteered into turn one and I almost lost it. I took the next couple of turns a bit more cautiously, but nearly lost it again. I had brought the car in and we discovered that the tire had picked up a 10mm wrech. it had punched its way through the bottom of the tire and was sticking out of the sidewall. We swapped a new tire and I went back out but I was unable to beat my morning fast lap despite having what felt like several clean laps in a row.

Mark went out to drive on some dry pavement. He, like Leslie, got hit by a misdirected black flag and went right back out.

When Mark came in we swapped the front left tire for one of the fresh Azenis and I took the car out for the final stint of the day. I managed to beat my previous fast lap by a tenth of a second a few laps before the checkered.

LeMons South Spring 2010: Pre-Race

Mark and I had planned to leave around noon on Thursday so that we'd be able to set up the tents in the daylight (for once). But our dream did not come to fruition. We had some last minute welding to do on the tail boom that we wanted to have done before we left.

We arrived about 10pm. In the dark. Again. Our favorite spot in front of the pit entrance was taken, so we took what we thought was the next best thing: overlooking the carnage on turn 1. A few beers later and the pop-up tents were set up and the car unloaded.

Turbo Schnitzel had similar time management problems to ours, but because they planned on leaving after work on Thursday, they didn't actually pull into CMP 'til 5AM.

Friday was spent trying to get the tail working in preparation for the parade through Camden. The track owners and some of the business owners in town had arrainged for the cars to be paraded through town and the BS judging perfomed at a block party with a band. We were lucky in that Our Lady was still street legal, so we didn't have to trailer her down. The only problem we had was that we had left our beer and food behind. Fortunately there were enough local businesses to provide for our beer and pizza needs. Having everyone in one place for BS was great. We got to see a lot of the teams and their costums/themes that we would have missed with everyone spread out over the paddock.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Yaw Control

Because the wing is not quite absurd enough on its own, we decided to add some additional airplane parts. We're thinking of using parking brake cables hooked up to the swaybar to actuate it.