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DAL Motorsports Enters One Lap of America

OLA Day 5 - A very eventfull day.
I have started to realize that posting in the early morning when I should be sleeping is killing me.. so I’m here in the passenger seat(out of a miata) of the racecar with my laptop open trying to type with this hard ass suspension...
Well VIR was one of the days we really looked forward to. Rob and I know the VIR full course pretty well...so finally a track that we felt a little more at home. However, the plan was to run 3 events. South Course, North Course, Full course. Rob nor I had ever run either the north or south course, so we decided that Rob would run the south and I the north. THEN, who ever placed higher would run the full.. the one we both wanted to run.
Rob started the day off and felt he had a good time. We are still having overheating issues, and blowing a lot of water out the radiator overflow hose.... I'm thinking we have a headgasket issue that is allowing combustion gases thru causing a lot of pressure, which causes the water to come out. Right after that event we cleaned up the rear where we had taken on some water. Then I took the car out to do the North course. More overheating for us…however I made it around to finish, but had to turn off the car during the cool down lap. Mike in the EXP4 car also went out in the same group and ran into issues. He was struggling with the tuning on his car.. looked like he was running rich as the exhaust seemed pretty black. Both the EXP4 car and the EXP4/DAL car have been doing well and now we can start seeing the “jealous” eyes of our competitors. We started to feel the “NSX Animosity” ©Rene Zumudio, towards us. I have now had 4 competitors either say something to my face or where I could hear it about how the cars are having issues or ours is leaking oil/coolant/blood..etc and should be taken out of the race, or they feel unsafe driving with us….etc. DUDES, IT”S ONLY WATER WHICH WILL EVAPORATE BEFORE YOU GET TO IT!!!! If other cars are dropping oil, go after the oil drippers!!!!
So it was time to find out who did better on their perspective course. Rob got a 6th overall in the south course, and I got a 5th place overall…both 1st in class. Very cool!
Mike also did very well getting top 10s on each.
So by Rob and my results I would get to do the full course. Upon getting ready to grid the officials told me I would run Dead Ass Last because of complaints. This sucks because this means we don’t get to leave early to the next event… and a lot of dead space.
Mike got to go in group 2, but as he dropped the clutch from the start a lot of smoke came out the rear. We feared the worst, but after the tow truck brought him in it was the trans, not the engine. Although these are major parts, Rob’s good friend Gary Yates had a trans out of a car, so Rob made the call.
Gary Yates was an outstanding super star coming to the rescue of the 1st in class EXP4 NSX.. Gary dropped what he was doing and making it to VIR in record time.. MAN IT IS GOOD TO HAVE FRIENDS LIKE NSX FRIENDS!!!
Finally after everyone had left I started my 3 laps, we decided because we won the first two events that we would short shift and just try to make it thru the very long VIR course.
Two laps and everything was going well… however the third lap the front nipple on the bleeder valve tore spraying coolant on the windshield/tires…etc. I knew at that point I only had a couple of seconds before all the coolant would be out of the car and I didn’t want a DNF. I raced the car, then turned it off and let it coast… then turned it on and got some more speed and then turned it off and let it coast… It cost me much valuable time, but at least I received some points. Both sides of the NSX team took to patching up both cars in hopes to run Roabling… another track we should each be strong at.

BTW, I had forgotten to thank a very special NSX enthusiast and someone I am glad to know. David Moore came to Beverun to watch OLA and endure some frigid weather… he also came barring gifts. He gave us two speedpasses which allowed us to bypass lines and cost associated with many tolls throughout the NE… WOW!!! How awesome is that!??!?!?… Thank you thank you!!
Gary is DA MAN at VIR. I didn't know you knew him, but I did PM him to request a hi-pressure radiator cap for you. Gary had also helped me out greatly at VIR last year- giving me a much-needed ride from VIR to the local auto parts store. -Howard

Good luck at Roebling Rd, guys.
VIR photos

Rob and Vaughn's car at the starting line

Mike and Mark installing the tranny

Do we really have to put it ALL back???

The shop at VIR that allowed us to work using their lift and compressors, even gave Mike the alarm code so we could stay as late as needed. (I left after midnight, and these two were still going strong)

It all happens because of sponsor's support, so go support our sponsors:D
OLA Day 6 – Make it or break it.
Going into Day 6 I can tell you I really never expected it to be this exhausting. It is truly takes a toll on the body…especially if there is any car repair involved. What I have witnessed so far is the teams that get in their cars and go are the one’s on top. Unfortunately, both NSXs have been a handful because of the modifications.
The EXP/DAL Motorsports car went into Thursday as a make or break day. We needed a couple of good things to happen to move to 2nd and try and make the run against the Mike’s EXP4 car
When we woke up it was pouring… however Rob was still confident that his knowledge of this track would help him do well. I needed to talk to the offical (Brock Jr) because my first run at summit where I was black flagged in the second lap still showed me a DNF with 0 point, and I know I would have been a top 10 easy… so it was worth big points. Brock unfortunately changed his story and although he told me it would not go down as a DNF, he said he had to take back what he said and told me I would not be getting any points for that run. This puts us way out because of the coolant event at VIR yesterday. So our only hope was that Rob would do well enough in class.
Well, on our way to the track Rob was driving around 90 and when he hit a puddle the backend would nearly come around… I knew it was unsafe… our rear tread is at the wear indicator lines. This worried me, but maybe Roabling had good grip in the rain.
Mike, Jon and team finished installing the Gearbox and drove all night to make it to Roabling… however when he got there he said he was getting a miss in the engine.. so he worked on it a little.
Rob went out and realized right away the car was dangerous on this track in this puddling condition. He was putting up a decent time, but lost the car on a short strait after hitting a puddle of water. Although he didn’t loose a lot of time in the spin, he could not even place top 20. Mike couldn’t fix his miss, and placed just outside of the top 20 the first run.
So now Rob and I realized that with the car in the current condition, continuing to overheat and lack of rear tread, we would not be able to secure the points today. We decided to just get as many as we could. Rob’s second event was also in the rain and as he made his reconnaissance lap he noticed the car stumbling. When he got the green flag he noticed the stumbling getting worse and figured we played it too close on fuel. His main job was to get in 3 laps and over the finish line.. On his second pass at the long long strait, the car stumbled as Rob hit a puddle and thru him into a very graceful spin. It was captured on video by Jeff from Atlanta… I will try and get this so people can download.. it is a site to be seen considering the tires on the left and concrete wall on the right.
When rob tried to restart the car it wouldn’t. He thought he was out of gas.
After we put some gas in the car the car stumbled just like it did in the beginning of the week at IRP… our electrical gremlin was back… probably because of the rain.
Bottom line, this would be a DNF, which has clearly put us out of the hunt. We are extremely disheartened and devastated as our effort and pain, sleep deprevation..etc has now all been for nothing.
Rob was able to find the source of the problem and has corrected it, so we are on our way to Ohio to run Nelson Hedges if our head gasket issue allows us too. I guess at this point we can always try to play spoiler to that pesky M3 who did extremely well in the rain at Roabling unfortunately. The SB class leader race is very tight going into the final two events.
Great vid. :biggrin:

Hats off to the NSX teams. Very nicely done considering the competition is very tough.
One Lap: Day 7 and 8 – Limping home , playing the pick and rumors and innuendos.
Today we were at Nelson Hedges road course. We realized that we are out of the points and now are just in it to help Mike maintain the class lead and pick off as many spots as possible.
We drove aprox 800mi from GA to OH. What we haven’t been doing is keeping a close eyes on our tires. Yesterday in the rain I knew we were in trouble with the tire wear, but this morning we were surprised to see cords. Rob and I decided to each do a session, because it would be good for both of us to learn another track. I went out first and found out quickly that I had no rear tires. Sliding at every corner, the car was a handful. After coming in we found that the left rear corner tire was corded so bad that it was probably unsafe to drive. Mike did well on this track which was new to all of us. He out ran the M3 which helped secure his lead in class; however 5 in class points needed to be protected. As a team we decided it would be better if the EXP4/DAL car ran if we could take a way points from the M3. Since this was the best decision, Rob asked me to drive again since now I have some experience on the track. I was worried about our tires, but to our surprise, the OLA officials finally had a decision go our way when they allowed us to borrow one of Mike’s tires to replace the worst rear tire.
Mike ran an excellent lap, and the M3 ran slower than he did in the first session, so this made it easier for me to go out and put our car between Mike and the M3.. Good for the team and gave Mike a little breathing room going into the dry skid pad.
This day was shadowed by what I understand to be one or more of the BMW crowd trying to get the officials to Disqualify either ours or Mikes efforts. They rumors ranged from the EXP4/DAL car dropping fluids on the track so that the Radical crashed (this was faulse as it was a silver Suburu, to rumors of us carrying a engine or transmission in a van that allowed Mike to continue from his demise of blowing one… to us not driving our cars and sleeping in a van. The rumors and BS that was going around the paddock was simply armature racing tripled… the simple fact is that if the other teams had better drivers, they would have no need to find ways to disqualify other teams but simply to beat them on the track. Unfortunately, one female was determined to undermine the team by starting rumors and going to officials to complain. Now in retrospect our two cars were a handful and our public relations with other teams was terrible.. I would have loved to meet and talk to a lot of other teams, but unfortunately most of the time was spent wrenching on cars in some way.

Then there was this gray hair bastard with suspenders and a video camera asking Jenny, Rob and I some freaky questions about “the rumors being true”… what?! Later he asked me if the officials “caught me”… caught me?!?! I got the idea the kind of creepy guy that hangs out at elementary schools with his camera. I believe the dad of the black Volvo.. some sick fxxk who needs a life. This really turned me off to this event as it is sad when anyone can make something up and turn it into absolutely truth. The OLA officials came to yell at Jon Jork the team capton, about the rumors… they made 4 of our crew and Mike/Jon team sign affidatives.. then the sanctioning body SVCA drilled anyone that was linked to our team.. it was sick at the desperation of the BMW club… I use BMW crowd loosely, because I will admin I do not know who all was in on this.
All I do know is that a couple of NSXs that no one would ever pay attention was the talk of the small community. Crazy.

On our way home to the final event back at tire rack, our corded tires could not handle more, and one blew on the highway. We had to limp for 4 miles to the nearest exit and awaited someone to come with a spare.
Last day, Mike had a small lead (in-class) going into the final dry skid pad and the EXP4/DAL car was in 4th place (in class), 5pts ahead of a Porsche yet behind 30pts from the BMW for 3rd.
The skidpad is not the strength of the race car with its negative camber and stiff stance, however we were up to the challenge of trying to better our placement.. giving it our all.
Rob was running the skid pad and drove the car above itself as he finished 1st in class. Unfortunately although he remained first in class we were 5pts behind the 3rd place car at the end.
No excuses, we didn’t get the job done. I just wish we had more time before hand to sort out the bugs encountered.

Congrats to Ironman Mike Fitzpatrick, who was able to maintain an overall top 10 position and 1st in class. Mike was able to keep the pace under the mounting pressure. The cool thing about his win is that it not only was a win for the NSX community it was the NSX community that assisted in his great effort. Huge thanks to Gary Yates, who donated and delivered his trans in order for Mike to continue after VIR. Huge thanks to Mark Hicks for the installation of trans. Huge thanks to Jon York that provided our great sponsors so that there was very minimal amount of money that it took to run OLA. Huge thanks to Mark, Chris, Steve, Rene, Jenny who came out to hang with us but really became crew and ran around for us. I know this is what separates us from all other car clubs... good, caring people that you can call on at a moments notice.
A summary for the EXP4/DAL Motorsports NSX:
20 - Events
10 - top 10 overall
6 - in-class victories
4 - DNFs..... truely a killer for end results.

I will probobly do a "final thoughts about OLA" over the next couple of days.
Thanks for everyone's kind words and support, you all are the best!
Congrats !
Great results from great effort.
You guys are like the Bar F1 Honda team experiencing the racing drama!
Great job overall and even with the antics that went on I hope in the end it was somewhat fun. :biggrin: I would love to see how you you would have placed without 4 DNF's!!

Great job!
Is it it me or anyone else think you guys could have won with a stock motor with a ctsc and no mechanical issues.My point is did you build a grenade thinking you needed the extra hp or did you build on a sick motor to begin with and hoped to get by with bandaids?I feel you could have won with a reliable car,ie same chassis, lightwght, great susp,but with say a mildly tuned stock motor with a ctsc? :confused:
docjohn said:
Is it it me or anyone else think you guys could have won with a stock motor with a ctsc and no mechanical issues.My point is did you build a grenade thinking you needed the extra hp or did you build on a sick motor to begin with and hoped to get by with bandaids?I feel you could have won with a reliable car,ie same chassis, lightwght, great susp,but with say a mildly tuned stock motor with a ctsc? :confused:

Exp4 NSX- Mike F
My intent was to run with a detuned/bullet proof 3.2 capable of 500+ tuned to maybe 450rwhp. Unfortunately that motor was not finished in time and I ended up running a stock 3.0 with 90K+ on it.
Once, it was confirmed that we would have to run the 3.0 I did everything I could to prep that motor, you should have seen the cr*p we found in the intake manifold. Scarry!. Unfortunately I had been told the motor was well maintained and the pump/timing belt was fresh. I tried to confirm this to then find out that there was no assurance that they had been done, but at that point it was to late for me to get those parts and intall them with the other work that needed to be done, SO?
The motor actually worked out fine, I am suspect of the water pump causing our cooling problems but the other failures on the EXP4 NSX were out of my control and not motor related.
Starter- still dont know, have to do more work to find problem/ not fixed.
Crank Pulley, ?? bad material? age? not made right? cant tell you at this point but its ugly, it(the aluminum part) chunked in several places. It was a stock harm. balancer pulley modified with a aluminum 6 rib piece installed.
Fuel deliver problems- after spending $1000 + on another fuel pump, regulator, dyno time etc. We had the Tank in and out several times, it turned out that the fuel filter could not support the required flow at exactly 7000K(very strange but true), we removed the filter and our problem was gone. We were already through our first event when we finally confirmed it was curred. But since we didnt have any dyno/testing time I left the rev limit at 7000K which is where the problem showed up.
Transmission- 6 speed believed to have low miles, with 455 r+p.
I was actually trying to be very easy on maily the clutch because I was not overly confident in its ability to make it through the event, so my launches were fairly easy and not abusive. Coming to the line at VIR for the full course run, The package(motor- tuning etc) actually felt the best it had, things were all coming together, until about 100 yards off the line the R+P came apart(have to take trans apart to confirm but we are confident thats what broke). Installed Gary Yates stock 5 speed- (THANK YOU GARY)
Running on 5 cylinders- Not sure but seems to be water related, cleared up in the dry at Nelson ledges, washed the car in South Bend and I lost a cylinder again. :(

Other mistakes-
I had the front set up with max neg camber- - 4.2 deg. each. tire wear was not a problem but looking at the tires now I believe that is to much camber for street tires, the outsides did not get worn much at all and I think front grip suffured from the smaller contact patch because the tires didnt have enough grip to roll to the outside edge. Further testing will tell.
I needed to start prepping for the one lap last year, not 4 months ago.

Last edited:
Edgemts said:
I had the front set up with max neg camber- - 4.2 deg. each. tire wear was not a problem but looking at the tires now I believe that is to much camber for street tires, the outsides did not get worn much at all and I think front grip suffured from the smaller contact patch because the tires didnt have enough grip to roll to the outside edge.
OMG - what an effort for you and your team - I greatly adore your work and results. But: -4.2 degrees is really something you would run with soft race slicks. I drive medium race slicks front and a bit harder compound rear and go with about -2.5 front and -2.0 rear. For street tires I would suggest a bit less negative camber than that - depending on the suspension and sway bars you use.
Wow :eek: as always thanks for the detailed analysis.I guess buying used has varying levels of "used' :mad:
Real time runs between 5 and 6 degrees of negative camber in the front with about 4 degrees in the rear.. The series was running Toyo T1s street tires at the time (Not the greatest tire). The difference is that they had front and rear down force, and mike did not. The down force alone wouldn’t require all that negative camber, but the down force would improve the ability to run more G’s in the turns… rolling the tire. The RTR car could pull 1.4 !

For mikes application, I would have to agree that 4.? Is too much. Tire wear or heat samples cant be your only gauge of camber choice. When running that much camber, the insides will heat up and wear in the straights… giving false readings. (A tip from RTR.) With the cup car we were only able to get the camber down to -3.0 and -3.5. The trips to and from the events are what wore our tires the most. I had a hard time driving slow, and with the rear down force, the rear tires took a beating. We were corded for the last two events… contributing to our lower then normal finishes… or at least when the car was running right.
To addresss the question of if we'd be better off running a stock engine without reliability issues.. we asked ourselves this many times and on the way home Jon York and I discussed at end.
THis is the point. Relying on driver talent and car handling the EXP4/DAL car may have done better overall, maybe top 20 without any issues. However that was never our goal. Our goal was to win OLA and it can not be done with a stock NSX engine, no mater how good the drivers and handling of the car is. Looking at the results I'm confident a 450rwhp car was not enough to win it all either. Maybe if we had a couple of days on each of the tracks.. but I look at Mike's effort at Summit. One of the tracks he knows very well, but still placed 4th overall.. and he was freaken flying. Bottom line, HP is king in OLA.
Vaughnd said:
Bottom line, HP is king in OLA.

But without reliability, HP is effectively meaningless, right? The two must go hand in hand to have a chance at winning.

Whats that old saying "To finish first, first you must finish" or something like that.

Congrats on a great effort.
So then what you guys need for next year :cool: is one of your old cars with a good motor- tranny in FX 500 trim :biggrin: This all made for some great reading though,and you're right ,for such a small club we have some great and generous members.
Brian Bailey said:
But without reliability, HP is effectively meaningless, right? The two must go hand in hand to have a chance at winning.

Whats that old saying "To finish first, first you must finish" or something like that.

Congrats on a great effort.

That is absolutely true, We (EXP4-Mike-Jon) had our goals set going into the One Lap, which were to finish in the top 10 overall and to try to take first in class.
Everthing I did, prep wise was based on reliability and efficiency, not on outright hp, or performance. we needed an extra safety margin due to all the untested parts etc. Fortunatly or unfortunetly our test became the One Lap. We learned a lot and will go forward from here.

My personal goals(trying to be realistic) were to finish in the top 5 and take a couple of overall event victories but to do this all the while keeping all aspects, hp,tuning, not driving 11/10ths in check so that first we finish then the results come. Did I want 1 st overall, so much so that I am still disatified with the results(partially). I am pleased that first we were able to finish(thanks to many people) and second that the teams goals were achieved. I personally will not be satisfied till I will the overall and I will start working towards that soon. When I say I - I mean with me driving, There was no I in this effort, it took a lot of people-including myself, a lot of time, money and effort and it was definitely a NSX community/team effort.
THANKS AGAIN to ALL involved.
Our success was possible because of YOU!!!
One lap in review-

We had a rough time immediately before the event. We put a stock engine in the weekend before, and lost time for other improvements including testing. The day before we developed an electrical interference that interfered with the MAP sensor and the TPS sensor. The AEM engine management allowed us to tune out the problems with the MAP sensor, but the TPS would jump around without moving the throttle. We did however improve the relationship between sensitivity and it’s ability to trigger other functions, so it was drivable. Not optimal but drivable… we were out of time.

The day of the event start, the problem resurfaced and was off the chart, I had to pull off the road twice in the two miles from the hotel. We knew it was electrical because we could log all the sensors in the engine management. When zooming in on a one second interval we would see 12 or 13 pulses… or 12hrtz. Unfortunately no time and lack of tools meant it would probably be a long week.

Wet Skid Pad The car sputtered as I entered the circle and almost rolled to a stop. Kind of embarrassing. I pressed on with the sputtering car and tried to maintain a constant speed. The water from the sprinklers would hit me in the face every 10 feet or so, as I didn’t have windows in the cup car. The skid times were off pace, but better then the could have been.

IRP The trip was slow as we needed to pull off the road a number of times from the intermittent electrical problem. See when the TPS thinks its being opened, it tells the timing and fuel to compensate… so even if you cruising at say 3000 RPM the ECU would start flowing fuel for ¾ throttle. Our gas mileage was unbelievably bad… les then half of normal. With the delays of sputtering and gas stops we made it to IRP with just enough time to unpack. I then started franticly disconnecting electrical items we didn’t need. No Luck, Vaughn had to drive the laps at about 40 MPH, and since the leader passed him we got the checkered flag and had to pull in the pits before crossing the finish for the third time. That gave us a DNF and zero points. We later argued the situation and were given around 65 points out of a possible 400. After the second of two failed competitions I dove back into the problem and started disconnecting more electronics, checking connections, and re-routing any wires that were long enough. Something worked! I took it for a test run and the car rocked… if we could only go back in time- Vaughn had a second run at IRP with less Intel then the other competitors, as he was only able to sputter around the track in the previous session. He met the challenge and surpassed the class… even the drivers who knew the course.

Beaverun I was confident as I tested this track before the event, it was raining during my test day but I drove around most of the other testers with my airport rental car. One Lap used the first run at IRP to line up the field of cars based on lap times. This order would dictate the rest of the tracks. We were in the back because our position was based Vaughn’s 40 mph run. Because of safety, they would allow cars like us to move up… I lined up behind the Radical. I was on fire, they gap us generously and I was reeling in the radical on the first lap. With two to go, a corvette lost an engine on the track two cars in front of me. I almost lost my rear in oil or antifreeze. Fortunately I had this tracks number. Even after loosing at least 3+ seconds in the last two laps, I caught the radical at the finish line. The time was good for a top 8 and within 2 tenths of Mikes NSX. Two seconds were still on the table if the track was clean, and I couldn’t wait to run the second event. This time I lined up second again behind a 500 hp 4wd EVO. Just before we started, the rain came. I knew the track in the rain, so put down a respectable time, and caught the EVO. Problem was that the groups before and after had dry tracks. Both the Radical and EVO drivers came to talk to us about our speed… the radical couldn’t believe we caught them in the dry and the 4wd EVO couldn’t believe we caught them it the wet.

Lancaster Speedway Vaughn has oval experience so he was the best choice as driver for the team. We walked the track and talked to the owner about line and grip. I forgot to mention earlier that our brakes were never tested and un-proven. The fronts are super sensitive compared to what were use to, the rears don’t seem to contribute at all, and the ABS is disconnected after failed attempts to wire it in. We ultimately adapted to them, but they were a handicap even over OE. Anyway Vaughn rocked, he easily had the fastest straight away speed of all the entrants, but would give some of it back as he locked up the brakes on every lap. It still shows what his experience was worth as he claimed a 6th overall and best in class.

New Hampshire International On the way we were told that oil was coming off the back of our car, and we traced the leak to the oil adapter housing that bolts to the block. Actually it was the block it self… it’s a junkyard stocker that I quickly rebuilt. One of the three threaded bosses for bolting on the adaptor was cracked. Anyway we were amped as we were moving up the standings fast. We didn’t plan the in between driving too well, and I was super tired… I couldn’t concentrate on learning from the track video that was on Vaughn’s lap top. The series is designed to fatigue you, especially if your having problems that cause delays. Almost every night we would arrive at the next track about 3:00 am and have to set the alarm for 5:00 am to work on the car before the event. Vaughn felt good about his knowledge of the track so we opted to have him drive, while I focus on fixing our oil leak. His first session was not so good, but part of his problem was water coming off the overflow from overheating that almost caused him to spin. The other problem was he was not yet use to putting the higher power down on an up hill exit off a slow corner. I worked on the oil leak and slowed it to a drip rather then a stream. Even know Mike knew almost all the tracks, finishing behind him didn’t sit so well with Vaughn. The decision to have Vaughn run this track was a good one, because on the second run they decided to change the configuration to use the high speed banking… again Vaughn is good at these as he instructs at Texas Motor Speedway. He rocked the second event surpassing the locals and earning another top finish. We still overheated but could get out the three laps needed.

Summit Point Vaughn flew in to test here, as I did with Beaverun. He went out and did well… in fact it would have been a best in class and a top three overall, but he was black flagged for leaking oil. He pulled in and Brock (the promoter) discovered that it was only water from the overflow. He apologized and said (On tape) that they shouldn’t have pulled him off and that he would take care of our points… he never did… and another DNF. During lunch I worked on the overheating and found that one or the two RD radiator fans was wired in the wrong direction. Easy solution, but the overheating caused a leaking head gasket that would give us grief for the rest of the trip. To assure that I contain any water overflow I attached (2) one gallon water jugs in the trunk and ran the overflow to them. (Mark Hicks idea) Vaughn ran his second run and it was good. The story of our entire event “One great and one horrible”

Mason Dixon Drag way About now we know were out of the race, but we still wanted to do our best. The two NSX’s lined up and ran. This is where the Mikes NSX lost its crank pulley that drives the blower. I decided not to power shift, and to launch easy on the clutch. The car ran 12.40’s without cryo or nitrous not bad, but I wanted 11’s. Surprisingly this was 8th overall! We then lined up for a single elimination bracket race. The worse points you could get was 6th place, as that is how the math comes out. Well I got 6th place. I posted a 12.30 so I wouldn’t brake out. (The first run seemed solid) My reaction time sucked with the on/off road racing clutch we were using, so I tried to regain the gap by power shifting… it seemed to make a big difference as the car broke out with an 11.90. I wish I did that on the ET run because it would have moved us to 6th over all. At least we got another first in class.

VIR Or better known as home. This track would have three events- the north course, the south course, and the pro long course that both of us knew. Both of us wanted to run the long course, as our history has proven fast times. Since neither of us knew the two other courses, Vaughn and I flipped a coin for who ran what one. I was on the fence with what one I would rather run. The upper course if divided into turns is split down the middle with turns I knew and turns I have never seen, but my best speed secrets are on the upper part of the course. The bottom course has 75% of turns used on the known long course. The flip of the coin would decide. I got the upper course. Oh… the better over-all finisher would get to run the long course. I ran first and felt solid… someone told me that I ran 4 seconds slower then Mikes NSX… I thought damn I didn’t know that much could be left on the table, but chalked it up as him knowing the short courses. It turned out that his stop watch was wrong as I actually ran 2 seconds faster then the other NSX , 6th overall and another first in class. From then on I stopped listening to hand made times… that 6 second variation almost put me in shock. Vaughn ran the lower course with Mike and a new Mustang in front of him, he was catching both of them but the stop watch was telling me different (Same stop watch). After thinking for about a milli second I knew that was impossible and returned the stop watch to the owner. I like to think my flip of the coin lost my run on the long course because Vaughn got a 5th over-all and another first in class. After his run I needed to revise the overflow mounting to stop them from leaking. One of the Porsche drivers complained about the water, they made us run last after all the other competitors… I’m just glad they let us run. After every run, I need to cool the engine, add water, drain the overflows, and bleed the air to make the next three laps without overheating badly. I’m not sure why Vaughn was under the impression that my opinion of head gasket failure was exclusive to himself, but we defiantly have a blown head gasket… Hell I probably added water and bled the system 50 times the remainder of the event. If the engine is eating water it’s very little, it seems that the combustion and boost are transferring to the coolant circuit and a developing a higher overflow PSI then the 16 lb radiator cap, or (More likely) is injecting air into the coolant system allowing an air pocket to stop water flow and overheating… that then overflows. Either way every gas stop, all 20 races, and 4000 miles I lost another half hour to refreshing the coolant system. Unfortunately Vaughn’s long run on the last lap, the car blew the rubber bleed nipple in the front of the car. He had to cut the car off at Oak Tree and coast the rest of the way to salvage any remaining points. Well at least this time it was 2 out of 3 wins. The other NSX broke a trans. I called one of my good friends Gary to bring him a 5-speed. He generously lent them the replacement that allowed them to continue.

Next stop was Carolina Rod Shop This was a mandatory stop that allowed us to get any needed work done. After running last at VIR then tending to our problems, and the needed cooling delays on the way, we barely made it to the shop on time. We arrived at 9:30 and were supposed to be there between 5:00 and 9:00. I did my normal radiator routine and decided to fix two other items on the car. They had a lathe so I made a spacer and used large fender washers to add to the clamping force holding my leaking oil adaptor. I used a near by bolt and bridged some pressure to the adaptor. The other item was why I found it necessary to drive most of the time in between events. We already attracted a lot of potential attention from law enforcement, but after our second event I lost brake lights. If there was any chance of talking my way out of a ticket, I’m guessing that when he almost runs into my while pulling over… this would likely guarantee a ticket. After crawling under the dash to check the brake switch output (Much harder with a cage)… it turned out to be a fuse. But what caused it… this is a race, so I’m thinking buy a box of bigger fuses. One of the guys at the shop rigged up an auto resetting circuit breaker. It worked great, even if it did blow it would reset after it cooled. We didn’t get out of there until 12:30 and headed to Roebling.

Roebling We had to stop on the way about 50 to 100 miles out because neither of us could keep our eyes open. I was excited as Roebling is more home turf. My wife informed me that she wasn’t coming to spectate because there was like 100% chance of rain. Vaughn was bummed, but I can practically run Roebling equally as fast in the rain. My first run I could not believe how bad the car was in the rain the back end would twitch out every 30 feet. It would even twitch about 4 times on the main straight at about 140mph. When I told my friends that the car was dangerous they knew it was bad as they have never heard those words from my mouth. (It was a running joke) In a short straight between 4 and 5 a puddle put me into a spin, I continued the momentum and still gained on the others in my run group. But far from competing with the over-all. The second run my plan was to make sure not to spin and maybe my times were faster then I felt. While in line to enter the track Vaughn noticed that the fuel gauge was at 1/8 tank. We both felt that we had plenty of gas (only 3 laps). We have tested in Cup, and can run on the track all the way down to the red line before starving (The NSX has the best OE pick-up system on the market). Anyway hindsight is always 20/20. Our gas gauge seemed to stay on full longer then normal, and seems be shifted up about 1/8th tank. The 1/8th is now our red line. The gauge works on resistance, but I’m not sure what could cause the change. We did swap the pump recently, but the level is in a different part of the tank? Back to the 2nd run; immediately on the recon lap the car was starving of fuel, but entering the course initiates your run… so I had to make the best of it. This run was even worse… still slippery, and now I'm starving and surging shocking the rear into additional loss of traction. I’m sure you have seen the video, I’m full throttle down the front stretch. It was already un-nerving to keep my foot planted to the floor with the back end loosing traction multiple times before the braking zone. As I hit a pool or water the cut out and came back on hard, the car was no longer in my control. All I could think about was staying between the hard wall and the hard flag stand like a football and a field goal. My hands never moved so fast, I had no chance of braking or even slowing that much, but if I made it past the opening about 300 feet away I was damage free. After the opening, my trajectory pushed me to the edge of the track, so my objective of not spinning and loosing all control, changed to keep it on the track… I counteracted much harder and forced a spin towards the middle of the track. When sliding backwards I turned hard to face down track and dropped the clutch. The car only sputtered so I pulled off the line in the grass. After a couple minutes I tried to re fire and limp around the track for last place points. The car got about 200 feet before completely running out of gas. Another DNF. The tow truck towed me to the gas pumps, we put a few gallons of race fuel in and it ran perfect. Vaughn thinks our problem was less related to gas because about 3 miles after leaving the track the car started sputtering, and 10 miles later it stopped running. One of the 3 wires on the 3-bar map sensor had broken. When broken it wont run, but regardless if it sputtered because of a poor connection or low fuel… we my never know because the car is running good now and we wont be trying to save weight with fuel.

Nelson Ledges Were like 30th overall and 5th in class, and neither of us has run here, so we decided to each run one of the two events to learn the track for the future. Vaughn went first so I could have a bench mark to destroy :biggrin: . Mikes NSX ran faster so I really had some fun with Vaughn. While sitting on a railing in back of the car I noticed colors contrasting the black rubber on our tires. I walked to the car… Holly sh?t the rear tires are so corded they are in multiple layers. No wonder the car was so bad in the rain and Vaughn’s times are off here. After the trans failure at VIR Mike was in a close battle with a new M3 and he needed us to put some points in between them. Vaughn ran slower then the M3 on the first run so we needed to step it up. I rotated the tires to favor the track direction, and Mike asked the officials about the ruling on borrowing a tire. They let us borrow one tire that obviously went on the strong side. Because this is a high speed track and the rears had bad traction, we decided to dial in full rear down force. I took another one for the other team and decided to let Vaughn drive the second leg. He now knew the track and there was no guarantee that I could run faster on my first session. Vaughn did accomplish our goal of beating the M-car.

Tire Rack Skid Pad #2 The down force on the trips between tracks is the reason for our excessive tire wear. The last leg with full vs. our normal minimum rear down force, not only wore the inside because of negative camber, it wore almost all the rubber off the tire. The fronts are perfect and even. We got a flat 3 miles from the next exit and about 75 miles from Tire Rack. We had no replacement in the car. We had to limp the car at idle to the exit, so the tire wouldn’t heat up, disintegrate, and ruin the rim. The gauge reads about 2 miles an hour but it only took about an hour to go the 3 miles. The exit was an oasis with no tire services. We had two options either call AAA and likely get disqualified, or get someone to bring us a tire. I called Brock (The promoter) then called a friend who went to my truck at tire rack to get an OLA stamped tire to bring to me. He drove like 150 miles to do this. The next morning I mounted fresh rear rubber at tire rack. You are allowed 6 tires, so we already had the replacement rears in my truck from before the event. We looked at the standings and Vaughn’s comeback at Nelson took us to 4th in class. If I could beat the 3rd place car by 6 spots we could actually take 3rd in class… This says a lot about our trip, we had many DNF’s but when we ran, we ran strong. I ended up getting first in class on the skid pad with a .997 on street tires. The little M-car was only 5 spots behind me so we got 4th in class by 5 points (The least amount possible). The race was difficult and like any event preparation is key. Next week we will discuss future plans and will start as soon as we know.


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Just catching up on reading this thread ..... many kudos to you and I too echo that the results are truly phenomenal given the size of this community and production numbers/sponsorship support.