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Nelson Ledges (Crap Cans)

Saturday, 08 May 2010 05:08

Today's results were a 6th place and 5th place overall finish at Nelson Ledges, our best results yet (not including wet skid pad on the first day, 3rd).

Last time we were here, it was for a 24 hours of LeMons race last October. The track was in rough shape, bumpy, and low grip. It's also an extremely fast and flowing course with high speed sweepers and only one short hard braking zone. This was the only track during the One Lap that I've had experience on so it was a bit relaxing doing the course walk, knowing that there wouldn't be any big unknowns. Turn one is a high speed right hander with more run off room than you initially think. Turn two feels even faster as the track narrows. Turn three takes you in to a banked left they call nascar corner which shoots you on to a short straight with a kink in it before adjusting your speed going in to the carousel, a large banked right. The back straight is long and I nearly reach the rev limiter in 5th. At the end of the straight it's a kink and you need to build up the courage not to brake. With the crap can lemons car last year we could go flat out without lifting. Now with better suspension, but also three times the horsepower, I had to lift, but I think it could still be taken flat out if there wasn't so much to risk and with more laps.

The bumps going down the front straight are so bad that my butt is jumping out of the seat. I am concerned that when I hammer the brakes, if I will even be sitting in the seat.

By the afternoon, we've secured both the lead in economy class and can't do any better than 8th in the overall standings. The idea was for me to go out and make some safe laps around the track. But that's not as fast as going fun, so I focus on using up the track through T1 and T2. Take it a bit slower around the carousel to get a good launch down the back straight and just a short, late lift through the kink at the end. Times get posted this evening and a 5th place is our best track result. We're just ecstatic. The only cars ahead of us are Porsche GT2, a GTR and two Corvette. We've for the first time beaten the450hp BMW 325 and the beautiful white WRX Sti that's a veteran of One Lap.

 

Road America Video

Saturday, 08 May 2010 01:56

Here's a vid of the afternoon session at Road America. It's the shorter version of the full, 3min long course. Road America was our first road course event last Saturday. Due to over heating problems and lean protection in the morning, we were gridded with some slower cars in the afternoon session. I was able to catch and pass the two cars ahead of me which were started 10 seconds apart. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SK53ZXXsFNg

   

Schaut speed racing blogs enmo sleeping on the job

Friday, 07 May 2010 05:21

Fellow competitors Schaut speed racing blogs about enmo:
http://www.schautspeedracing.com/blog/oloa10-day-7-lunch-break-and-some-familiar-faces/

   

Yes officer?

Friday, 07 May 2010 01:38

b_220_149_16777215_0___images_stories_yesofficer.jpgAlthough we were warned about increased police patrol during onelap transits, we never thought we'd have anything to worry about. We travel at a slow 100km/h and it seems to have kept us hassle free, until now. Turns out we exited the entrance of a BP gas station in PA, and we were caught in the act! Officer Bennage let us off easy with an official warning, and was friendly enough to let us photograph the incident.

We've learned that in onelap, you never know what's in store for you!

...because shortly after he let us go, he stopped us again. This time to give us his business card so that we could send him a magazine if his picture makes it into it. No problem officer!

   

Lightning fast

Friday, 07 May 2010 01:07

New Jersey Motorsports park: Lightning circuit is the site of rounds 14 and 15. A track we have the slight advantage of one weekend of experience. The weather is sunny and dry again, even in the morning session, the heat is becoming uncomfortable in the car. Luckily for us, we got in at 2:30 last night at had a good night's sleep (or at least 3.5 hours of one). Feeling refreshed, we quickly ran through the routine that has come to be 2nd nature this week:

  • unhitch trailer and empty car
  • check tire pressures, oil level, coolant level
  • add ice to intercooler reservoir, prime pump
  • remove headlight, tape hood shut
  • change into race suit

As we finished, we are called to the grid. We'll be the 3rd group out, so I get to watch the front runners blast down the front straight. I smile when they check up early into the blind turn one. This is my advantage this morning. The front straight leads to a slight uphill blind fast right turn. Done properly, its a quick stab of the brakes uphill and back on the gas in 4th over the hill. But if you've never been around the track, it will be much slower. Since the pit out is after turn one, none of the competitors will drive turn one on the recon lap, the first time will be in timed competition. Only the frontrunner Porsche GT2 piloted by pro driver Leh Keen manages to go fast through one.

I'm on track shortly, and it becomes familiar very fast. The civic handles the high speed corners well, and I'm able to brake deep into the corners. On my 1st lap, as I cross the start/finish, there is a bump in the track, and my splitter bottoms out. As I brake into turn one at over 200km/h, I hear the splitter contact again, this time hard, and it begins to oscillate. Disastrous, one of the mounts has broken! The splitter hits hard again and again in the braking zones, and begins to oscillate at high speeds so much that the steering wheel is nearly bouncing out of my hands. Frustrated, I slow on the straights and manage to complete the rest of the session at a slower pace.

Luckily, most of the field was slow as well and I place 7th overall. Will and I repair the splitter and I go out for the afternoon session in blistering heat. We are delayed getting to the grid when the ice chest at concessions doesn't open, and I line up at the front of a slower group of corvettes and camaros. The car runs fast, the splitter no longer bottoming out, and I manage to catch up the C6 Z06 at the back of the group! As the gap closes between us, my mind scrambles to figure out how to pass him without losing too much time, unfortunately, I can't gain on the straights, and before I know it I'm following him into the carousel that leads on to the front straight. He brakes early, while I'm still on the gas, and I make the decision to take the outside line. Halfway round the 180 degree corner, we're side by side, and as I move ahead on the straight, he tucks in behind me to catch a tow - exciting!

Unfortunately, between the passing on my 3rd lap, and the rest of the field learning the track, I place 8th overall, less than 2 tenths slower than a Porsche 997 Turbo.

The enmo civic now sits in 8th overall with only 3 rounds left. We're heading back to Ohio tonight to run Nelson Ledges road course. Will is behind the wheel tomorrow and hopefully he'll use our 100+ lap experience from LeMons to secure our top 10 spot.

   

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