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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Time To Sell The Car

Well, 2014 is almost done and I can’t say it was a great year but it wasn’t a terrible year either.  I’m looking forward to 2015 and here is an announcement that is probably going to surprise some folks.

The time has come for me to hang up my helmet and sell the race car – hopefully I will be able to list it in January.  Truthfully I was planning on stopping after next year but it just feels right to make this decision now and to not put it off any longer – partly because both the car and I are currently in one piece.  J  When I purchased the RF97 VD I had the goals of 1) converting it from a FC to a FF with a Honda engine, 2) learning about the dynamics of this kind of formula car, 3) learning more about car set-up and data analysis, and 4) driving the car at its limit and really experiencing it.  I can honestly say that I have accomplished those goals.  Would I have liked to have been more competitive and winning races with it?  Absolutely!  But I also learned that this kind of car requires a lot of $ and work to be at the front of a Pro Race or even a SCCA Majors race and there are other things that I need to focus on at this point of my life – like having enough money for retirement!  Racing is in my blood and that will never go away.  To get my racing fix I plan on racing online more and to experience the physical aspect I plan on buying a track car at some point and doing some track days with it.  Instructing more certainly isn’t out of the question either.  Who knows, maybe I’ll enter a race every once in a while as an “arrive and drive” driver. 

Racing has benefited me in so many ways but one of the best ways was being able to meet and become friends with lots of great people.  In general, racers are very generous and thanks to all of those who have helped me along the way.  Of course the BIGGEST thanks goes out to my beautiful wife, Terry Phillips.  I was already racing my Caracal B FV when we started dating roughly 12 years ago and not long after we were together we drove up to David Green’s shop near Watkin’s Glen, NY in the dead of winter (and bitter cold) and picked up my Protoform P3 FV as a slider which I built over the remaining part of the winter and campaigned for 7 years.  Terry learned to be an outstanding crew chief and we really had some great times together – especially when we won.  J  The work for Terry was even greater with the RF97 VD FF due to the amount of set-up notes that needed to be taken every time we ran the car but Terry again did a fantastic job.  Even though some of the race weekends weren’t that great, we still persevered and always understood that racing has the highest highs and the lowest lows.  With more time and money available we just might be able to do a little more traveling and see the sights a little more – but I expect that some of that travelling is still going to revolve around cars and/or racing.  J 


One last thing, I’m also very thankful to a certain private individual (he knows who he is) that has provided some financial support towards my racing hobby for the past 8 years in exchange for me raising money and awareness for a couple of different charities – with the current one being The Fisher House Foundation.  It has been fun taking the race cars to different car shows and just getting the word out about these charities and I especially think that the Fisher House Foundation is a fantastic charity and it has been a pleasure to work with them.  I plan on continuing to personally donate to them and I hope others I know will do the same.  Happy New Year!!


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mid-Ohio SCCA Majors 2014

Our next race was the SCCA Majors event at Mid-Ohio May 30-June 1, 2014.  Mid-Ohio is a FUN track to drive but it is also one of the technical tracks in the US in my opinion.  The last time I was there the car's handling wasn't to my liking so John Block and I talked about it and came up with a different set-up.  Unfortunately there wasn't going to be a test day before the event and the first session was the first qualifying session.  The one benefit to that was that we didn't have to spend money for the test day but I of course found another way to spend that money. :)

Wyatt Gooden (wyattgooden.com) is a renowned SIM racer who won an iRacing championship and the prize was a ride in a real race car in the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Championship.  He did very well in that series and won two of the races and also won the title of Rookie of the Year.  Wyatt also drove for Quantum Racing Services in the F1600 series in 2011 and won all four races that he entered including the races at Mid-Ohio.  I met Wyatt at one of the races and had some email correspondence with him regarding iRacing setups and the similarities between online racing and real racing.  Over the winter Wyatt sent me an email which announced his new company (Wyatt Gooden Racing) where he would provide both coaching services online using iRacing and at the track coaching services.  I decided to take him up on the online coaching services prior to Mid-Ohio.  I have always felt that iRacing and other online racing venues can provide real world racing benefits and this was a perfect way to test it out.

Wyatt chose a Spec Racer Ford (SRF) as the car to drive since he felt the way the car handled (mainly how the weight transferred) was the most similar to my race car.  Wyatt told me to practice some and get to what I thought was a decent lap time and then download the data and send it to him.  I did that and then he drove some laps and he compared his data to mine and sent me a detailed report discussing the differences. After I had time to review the report, we got on iRacing together and he drove some laps so that I could see what he was doing at different corners.  Then I drove some laps and he critiqued what I was doing and we focused on specific corners where I was having difficulty.  We were online for 2 hours and although I wasn't able to immediately replicate everything that he was teaching me, I understood what I was supposed to be doing and it gave me something to practice before we made the drive out to Mid-Ohio.  I'll get into the details of the qualifying sessions and the races below but between Wyatt's services and John's services I was 4-5 mph at the apex of certain corners and I effectively took at least a second off of my previous best time.  It wasn't an apples to apples comparison because when I was at Mid-Ohio in 2013 we didn't run the chicane and we were running the chicane this time around.  But I can't argue with those results -- thanks Wyatt!  And thanks again John for your help as well!

As mentioned above, there was no test day so it was straight to qualifying on Friday.  Unfortunately our first qualifying session was cut short after about 10 minutes due to a major incident that happened right in front of me.  I caught a F500 entering the Keyhole and as we came out we were both catching a Formula Vee.  All three cars were at full throttle going down the back straight and the F500 and I caught the FV at the kink in the back straight.  The FV was on the left, I was on the right, and the F500 was in the middle.  I was also slightly behind the F500 so I could see the F500 passing the FV.  There was plenty of room between all of us but for some reason the left rear of the F500 made contact with the right front of the FV.  The F500 got in the air and made a hard left into the concrete wall on the left -- not good.  My data shows that I'm doing about 120 mph there so the F500's speed had to be similar.  The F500 driver was briefly knocked unconscious and had to be cut from the car.  He was then airlifted to the nearest hospital.  I never did find out exactly how he was doing but I heard a rumor that he had a broken leg and I certainly wouldn't be surprised if I found out that he had a concussion.  The only thing positive from the session was that the car felt pretty good and I turned the 3rd fastest FF time.

The 2nd qualifying session was less eventful (thank goodness) but the track felt really slick.  Still, my car felt fairly balanced and that gave me some confidence.  I thought my speed was pretty good but the FF drivers that were there were really quick and I ended up qualifying 7th out of 14.  Still not too bad in my opinion -- I figured I could move up from there.  I sent the data from the session to John and we made some small changes to the car but nothing major.

Our race on Saturday was around 11 am and it was a 30 minute timed race.  Unfortunately I didn't get a great start and a F500 easily got in front of me and so did a couple of FFs.  I was able to pass one FF back going down the back straight.  I stayed behind the next FF until the F500 made a mistake in the chicane and the FF was able to get buy the F500.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to get by the F500 at the same time and I was stuck behind it for another full lap.  The F500s have great acceleration but they don't corner as well as our cars do (at least this one didn't) and they can really screw up our races as a result because their lap times aren't as fast but they are difficult to pass.  It was amazing how much of a gap the FF pulled out on me in one lap.  Luckily someone put down oil in the chicane and the F500 spun out in it on the next lap and I was able to get by him.  I was glad that I didn't have to battle the F500 anymore.  The track was really slick again but I put my head down and just tried to crank out laps.  I did have a FF behind me that was really putting the pressure on me but I tried to focus on catching the next FF.  Fortunately for me (but unfortunately for him) the car behind me ended up spinning.  I ended up catching the car in front and we proceeded to battle for 6th position.  You can see what happened in the video but we went two wide through the corner (T7) at the end of the back straight and I tried to give him room as we set-up for T8 but unfortunately he ended up hitting my left rear and we were both done.  He apologized for the incident but after watching the video I think I should have given him more room as well.  The one thing that I was concerned about was losing traction and going off course if I tried to take the corner wider.  Hindsight is always 20/20 though.  It really was fun while it lasted!

Mid-Ohio Saturday Race Last 10 Laps

In order for me to race on Sunday, my car needed to be fixed.  The left rear half shaft was knocked out and there were a number of other pieces that needed to be replaced including the right rear brake caliper which was surprising since everything else was on the left side.  I'm still not 100% sure that the caliper wasn't damaged previously.  I had some of the needed parts but thanks to Jeremy Grenier of Ski Motorsports as well as one of the vendors at the track I was able to come up with the rest.  I forgot to mention that Chris Elwell was helping us again and this time he was actually doing double duty and helping a friend of his running a Bugeye Sprite in H Production as well.  Plus, Chris brought his girlfriend and this was her first race weekend so she was able to see what racing is really like.  She actually seemed to like being around it so that is good for Chris. :) Chris was a big help in getting the car back together.

I was able to run a few hardship laps on Sunday morning and I found that there was still some air in the brake lines.  We bled the brake lines and crossed our fingers that all the air was out before the race.  But on the warm-up lap on Sunday's race the pedal still felt soft.  It crossed my mind to pull it into the pits and now I wished I had but I knew I could get brake pressure by pumping the pedal so I figured I could do a couple laps to see how it felt.  At the start I again had a F500 (really a F600 with a motorcycle engine) come screaming by me at the start.  I got through the chicane and was turning into the Keyhole when I suddenly got hit from behind by the same F500 that I had to race with the first couple of laps the day before.  I don't know what he was thinking but he was obviously overzealous.  He actually ended up riding on the back of my car partly around the corner and he ended up flattening my right rear as well as bending my sway bar and other pieces.  Of course he was able to continue and he actually got 2nd place in his race because there was only a handful of F500s entered. I didn't talk to the F500 driver but I will at the next event that both of us are at.  Anyway, here is the link to the video from Sunday's race.  Hopefully the next race weekend is better!!  We are planning on racing at our home track (Summit Point, WV) August 1st -3rd.

Mid-Ohio Sunday Race

Just one more thing, congrats to Jeremy Grenier of Ski Motorsports for winning on Sunday and finishing 2nd to Tim Kautz on Saturday.  Those two guys were the class of the field and it is amazing how fast those guys can hustle their cars around the track!  Here is a link to a video that Jeremy posted from Saturday.  This is how it should be done!!

Jeremy Grenier chasing Tim Kautz Saturday Race at Mid-Ohio



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

VIR SCCA Majors 2014

Prior to the start of this season, my wife and crew (Terry) and I talked about whether or not to run the F1600 Pro Series again or to run SCCA Majors weekends.  There are positives and negatives to both but the main decision maker was whether or not the events were fun for both of us.  I enjoyed being on track with only Formula F cars at the pro series races but I have to admit that the stress level was a few notches higher compared to SCCA weekends because of the schedules.  There just wasn't a lot of time between some of the sessions and that can create quite a big problem for a small team like ours that doesn't have the manpower to get the car back on track in a short period -- especially if there is a problem.  Conversely, the main issue that I have with running SCCA weekends is being on track with cars in other classes.  That has definitely bitten me but the schedules are a little more relaxed and the stress level for Terry and I is down at these events so as a result so I consider the SCCA events to be more fun for us.  This is just a hobby after all.  I still love following the pro F1600, F2000, and Formula Atlantic series' and it is really impressive to see what some of those drivers can do -- especially the young kids in the F1600 series!  If I win the lottery and I can have a pro team behind me then I would definitely be right there with them!  I also think that the USA needs these series in order to help ensure that a US driver makes it to Formula 1 or even to get more Americans in the Indy Car series.  There really is a lot of talented American drivers but it takes everything (especially a substantial amount of money) to get them to the ultimate pro ranks.

Anyway, the first race weekend for me this year was the SCCA Majors event at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) April 18-20, 2014.  VIR was just repaved and it is at least 2 seconds a lap faster and probably the smoothest track I have ever driven on.  Unfortunately Terry wasn't feeling well so she wasn't able to attend but I did have the help of a couple of younger racers, Chris and Luke.  I have mentioned Chris before but Luke just got his SCCA regional license and he decided to make the 4.5 hour drive down from Northern Virginia and help out.  Believe me, the help from Chris and Luke was very much appreciated!  I also had John Block of Autoware (www.auto-ware.com) on standby throughout the weekend to analyze my data and give me set-up advice.  I have really enjoy working with John and I think we have made great progress with the car set-ups and getting me to drive the car harder.

I've heard several drivers complain about not having the time to look at data during a race weekend.  Frankly, it is a very valid complaint but John had provided a solution -- he does the analysis while you can focus on other things.  You just have to email it to him and he will get back to you in an hour or so.  Here is an example of just one of the benefits that I have experienced by using John's services.  Before VIR but after a test at Summit Point John noticed that the right front shock histogram was looking very different from the rest so he had me check things out.  It turns out that a bolt was binding in the upper rod end of the pushrod going from the lower A-arm to the rocker.  The wheel would move the shock fine as long as there was enough force but the histogram showed that it wasn't moving properly over smaller bumps.  This could obviously cause the car to handle differently so it was a great find and again shows the benefit of having data.  John's pricing is very fair and I definitely encourage those with a data system but feel that they don't have time to analyze the data to utilize his services.

In addition to having John helping me out, James Kearney of Kearney Driver Development (www.kearneyKDD.com) was at the track working with some clients and he was kind enough to give me some segment times and other words of wisdom.  Jim is a great driver's coach so those racers reading this should definitely consider using his coaching if they can!

For the SCCA Majors weekends, there are two qualifying sessions on Friday, a race on Saturday, and a race on Sunday.  Your best time from the two qualifiers grids you for Saturday's race but your best time from the two qualifiers plus Saturday's race grids you for Sunday's race.  As mentioned above, we also share the track with other classes and for this weekend we were sharing the track with Formula 500s and Formula Vees.  I qualified 5th in my class for Saturday's race and there was no way any of us were going to go faster than our qualifying times in Saturday's race because it was raining Saturday morning.  Here is a link to a video from VIR qualifying:

VIR Qual 2 4-18-14

We were scheduled to race in the morning and according to the forecasts it was going to rain all morning so Chris, Luke, and I put a rain set-up including rain tires on the car when we got to the track.  But then it stopped raining an hour before our race.  And when this happens there is a lot of second guessing as to whether or not rain tires are a right choice.  I could see the track drying but I initially stuck to my decision to run on rain tires.  Cars were already going up to the grid and Chris was buckling me in my car when I changed my mind.  :)  I figured that Chris and Luke would be able to change the tires in time so I asked them to put the slicks on.  Chris and Luke did a great job and got the tires changed quickly -- THANKS Chris and Luke!!  It turns out that we had more time than we thought because there was significant cleanup from the previous race group.  But I was still the only Formula F on slicks and I knew it was a gamble and that I was either going to be the hero or the zero.  On the pace lap I could tell that it was the right decision because I could see that there was a dry line and it still wasn't raining but unfortunately I lost the back end of the car going through a corner at the end of the first lap and ended up on the wet grass and mud.  Unfortunately it took me forever to get going again.  I was able to work my way back up to 6th place in my class so I guess I wasn't a total zero. :)  Here is a link to a video showing the first part of the race.

VIR Race 1 4-19-14

The good news was that the car was just a little muddy and there wasn't much to do to prepare it for Sunday's race.  I was again starting 5th and there was no guessing about the weather -- it was a nice dry day and track.  A F500 decided to race me another Formula F in the beginning stages of the race and that broke us off of the leading Formula F cars pretty quickly.  I also made a couple of little mistakes early on and that hurt my lap times.  However, I got a couple of lucky breaks when the car in 4th place spun and then the car in 3rd place went off course avoiding an incident with a car in another class.  That means that I was in 3rd place!  But the previous 3rd place driver was Lewis Cooper (a National Champion) who has a very nice Spectrum Formula F and he was coming on strong.  This was the first time I had to deal with lapped traffic and I was probably a little too conservative with my passing.  Lew caught and passed me as we started the last lap and I finished 4th.  Obviously I was a little disappointed that I didn't get on the podium but it was a fun race and I was really happy with the gains that I made during the weekend.  And a 4th place finish, a 6th place finish, and being able to roll the car back in the trailer after the weekend ain't that bad!  This video is the entire Sunday race so it is rather long!

VIR Race 2 4-20-14

Btw, the videos in this posting were created using a GoPro camera but the I was able to overlay the data using Race Render (racerender.com) software.  This software is actually pretty neat.  It is a little difficult to get the data to align with the video but once you do that you can include any data that you have collected on the video and you can present it in different formats.  Hope you enjoy them!


Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Delayed Update

It has been quite a long time since my last update.  Mostly this is due to the lack of time to write it but I also wasn't that motivated to update the blog due to a major hiccup back in May. Unfortunately I overheated my engine on the test day before an SCCA Majors race weekend at Mid-Ohio and there was nobody to blame but myself.  I apparently didn't have a water hose clamp on just right and on top of that my dash warning light temperature was set too high so I didn't notice the high temperature fast enough to prevent the head gasket blowing or worse yet the aluminum head from warping.  Unfortunately I strongly suspect that the head is warped.  I don't know yet because I haven't taken that engine apart to find out.  I almost threw in the towel for this year but I just couldn't stand the thought of not getting back in the car for almost another year and after a small bout with depression (just ask my wife if you think I'm kidding!) and some creative financing, I bought another engine from Honda Performance Development (HPD).  I removed all of the unecessary parts from the new stock engine and transferred all of the specialized race parts from the old engine to the new engine.  I'm still not sure what I'm going to do with the old engine but figuring out exactly what needs to be fixed will help me decide and that is going to be one of the winter projects.

I got the car out for a test day after I put it back together and it felt really good to be back in it again.  We went back out to Mid-Ohio for a F1600 Pro Race weekend and enjoyed a challenging but good weekend.  My crew consisted of Jeremy Grenier of Ski-Motorsports, Chris Elwell (a FV racer), my wife Terry, and I started using John Block's (Autoware) remote data analysis services.  Mid-Ohio is really a tricky track and we dealt with some rain, cool conditions, and some nice conditions.  My times weren't close to the really fast drivers but we made a number of setup changes and it was good to see how those affected the car's handling.  And at this point this is what I really need to do.  I'm not a pay driver and can't afford a full time engineer so I need to be able to learn enough about different settings so that I have a better idea of what to change on my own.  I ended up finishing 13th in the 1st race and 11th in the 2nd race and I turned my best lap time in the 2nd race so that makes me feel good.  It also felt really great to roll the car in the trailer without any major problems!  And btw, it was really great to have the extra help!!  One thing that I have learned is that Terry and I can barely handle everything that needs to be done if there aren't any problems but if there are problems then those problems become much bigger if we don't have anyone else to there to help out.  Here are a few videos from the Mid-Ohio weekend.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7ZKnuQKeHo
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7zDY931KT4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvXHiVtry9w

The next race weekend was at my home track, Summit Point Raceway, WV.  It was August 23rd to the 25th so it wasn't too long ago.  I had Jeff Owens, Mike Fultz, and Terry helping me at the track and I again utilized John Block's remote data acquisition services.  Jeff and Mike are both racers so it was really great to have them helping out.  I thought I was really going to need them on Friday the 23rd becuase we were scheduled to go out 6 times with 2 of those sessions being qualifying sessions.  Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate and the first session was the only session that had a totally dry track and that was only during the first half of the session.  The rain came and stayed all day which really stunk because I was really looking forward to utilizing John's expertise and getting the car dialed in some more.    Due to the rain, the schedule was changed so that the last session of the day was the only qualifying session and the best time in this session would qualify us for Saturday's race.  The fastest time in Saturday's race would qualify us for Sunday's race.  I didn't see much benefit in running in the rain and possibly tearing up the car so Friday ended up being a lot of waiting around and looking at the sky to see if the rain was going to stop.  When it looked like it was going to continue to rain during the qualifying session we decided to put a full wet set-up on the car and go out in the last practice session.  The car actually felt great so that was good experience in itself.  The rain started to ease off just before the qualifying session and stopped while we were on grid.  But the track was wet and everyone was on wets.  However, the track started drying during the session and it was real challenge to figure out how hard to push the car and where to place it to get the most grip.  It was actually really fun though and I ended up qualifying 12th.  Here is a video from that session.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3frpfnsT-0

We had a 7:30 am warm-up on Saturday so we had to put the dry set-up back on the car.  The warm-up went fine although there was quite an extensive fog delay.  We made a couple of changes for the race and I had a good race although I didn't get to really race with anyone until the end because faster cars pulled away and I pulled away from the cars behind me.  However, about three quarters into the race I made a mistake going into T1 and ended up going a little wide and put wheels off.  This really screwed up my rythym and I think the tires had too much pressure in them as well because I didn't seem to have the grip that I had at the beginning of the race.  Nevertheless, a couple of cars caught me and I had to defend my position some in order to maintain my position.  One of the cars got a run at me coming onto the front straight on the last lap and I just barely beat him to the checkered flag!

We again had a 7:30am warm-up on Sunday and I frankly didn't feel like I was awake enough.  I know I could have gone faster as a result but we did get some good data and after looking at that along with Saturday's data, John suggested a gear change before Sunday's race.  We were only changing 3rd gear and Jeff and I changed it with plenty of time to spare before the race.  Unfortunately six laps into Sunday's race a bolt came out of the shift linkage and I couldn't shift the car.  It was a shame because I was having a great battle with four other cars.  But loosing the bolt didn't bother me at all because I had already made a couple of good passes and I was no longer thinking about what I had to do in the car -- I just did it.  This is how I felt in my FV because I was so used to it and this is a really good sign that the car and I are becoming one!  Here is the video from that race.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEO32saYzEM

So the season didn't start off well but it ended well and I feel like I'm really starting to understand this car and how to drive it.  I'm planning on doing one more test day before the winter and then I will be tearing down the car and going through it and possibly making some updates if the budget allows for them. 

Btw, the remote data analysis services that John Block offers are really great and I highly recommend them.  John is a great engineer/data guy and the way his service works is that you send him a data file after every session and then he calls you in about an hour to discuss what he is seeing and to find out what your feeling in the car.  Based on that he recommends changes.  If any racers with data systems are reading this then they should definitely consider useing John's expertise.  I'm not going to list prices but it is a lot cheaper then having an engineer (including John) at the track with you.  If you can afford the engineer then that is definitely the way to go but if not then you should consider using John's remote data analysis services -- John's website is www.auto-ware.com.  I feel that we have been heading in the right direction and plan on using John's services a lot more.






Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Yet Another Scoop

I mentioned in one of my previous posts that I wasn't very happy with how the scoop that I made was directly behind my helmet and I didn't think it was getting a good flow of air to it.  I wanted to make another scoop before VIR but I didn't have time to make molds like I did for the original scoop.  So, following are steps showing the fastest way to make a scoop out of fiberglass.

I used the same white styrofoam that is used when protecting items in boxes but first I needed to figure out the shape and cardboard worked well for that.


As you can see, I'm still utilizing the bottom part of the scoop that holds the filter and I'm just replacing the top part.  Once I had the basic shapes figured out, I simply traced them onto the styrofoam.



Styrofoam is really a pain to work with because little pieces of it go everywhere and static electricity seems to help stick them to everything but again, this is all about getting it done quickly.  I used a REALLY sharp knife to cut big chunks away and I have a small styrofoam cutter which is basically just a wire that is heated by shorting out a battery.  You can't get much precision with either one of them so I then used a coarse file and finally sand paper to get it relatively smooth.  Here is a pic of the scoop before I removed some of the air-inlet material.  Btw, I removed the inlet material with a dremel.  As you can see, the opening ended up being round rather than oval.  That just kind of happened as I was sculpting it. :)

 
 
Another drawback (yet also a benefit as you will see later) of styrofoam is that fiberglass resin will disolve it.  So, in order to prevent that from happening it needs to be covered with packing tape.  Here is a pic of it covered in packing tape.
 
 

 
 
The one thing that is missing is the flange around it which will allow me to fasten it to the bottom part of the scoop.  In order to make a really flat flange I attached the scoop to a piece of aluminum using some wood screws and then used some modeling clay to fill in the gaps between the scoop and the aluminum.  The clay also helps it stay attached to the aluminum.



I could then fiberglass over it but before I did I covered it with mold release wax.  I also cut a bunch of small strips of fiberglass cloth and matt.  I initially used a very light cloth that is able to follow the countours very easily.  I applied a couple of layers of that and then I applied the matt and then another layer of cloth that was a little heavier than the light stuff I initially used.  I also tinted the resin with a black pigment.



And here is the bottom of the scoop after the resin hardened and I removed it from the aluminum and after I removed the exposed packing tape.



 I obviously haven't worried about any negative countours which wouldn't be acceptable if I was making a mold and this is because the styrofoam is easily disssolved with laquer thinner (just like fiberglass resin).  And you don't need very much laquer thinner either!  Here is how it looks after I poured a few ounces of laquer thinner over the styrofoam.



Once the styrofoam is dissolved then the tape and clay can be pulled away from the fiberglass so that all that is left is trimming.  Here it is after the trimming and removal of any fiberglass "needles"


Here is a pic of the two scoops together with the new one on the right.  You can see that the scoop sits higher on the car which was the main thing that I wanted to change.


I ran the car at VIR with this new scoop but I really didn't have any time to pay attention to see if it was working better or worse than the original scoop.  I finally found some time to look at the pressure readings from the Manifold Air Pressure (MAP) sensor for the two scoops and the old scoop actually had better readings.  So I probably didn't go in the right direction when I made this new scoop but that is ok because it didn't take me very long and knowing that it doesn't work as well is still good information.  I'm actually in the process of making a third scoop now which will have a bigger opening than either one of the scoops above and will be about the same height as the scoop on the right.  I'm using the same process as above.  We will see if that one works better!



Thursday, April 25, 2013

Team Fisher House Racing

Ok, so that last blog wasn't very positive so this one is more positive!  We are officially Team Fisher House Racing and I think the car looks great with the Fisher House logos.  The announcer at VIR also really talked up Fisher House so it was great to see the car get some positive attention.


 
 
We also have a donation page now so I ask everyone who reads this blog to please make a small donation to Fisher House.  If I can achieve my goal of raising $5,000 this year then I think that it will really show that racers are great people that can really make a difference where it matters.  And  remember, 96% of the funds donated to Fisher House go to their programs -- it doesn't get any better than that!  Thanks for your support!!

http://www.teamfisherhouse.org/site/TR/Event/General?px=1004842&pg=personal&fr_id=1070