Global Time Attack Superlap Battle 2018
Going in this year the tactics were very different than last. Last year this was the new build that might shake up the field. This year was about seeing how far I could drill down closer to the class record, and my goal was to grab the one thing I missed by 6 hundredths of a second last year; the overall Limited class win across all drivetrain layouts. Every car in Limited was a competitor for us. The GTRs, Evos, STIs, Porsches, everything.
This year we had to work for it a bit, but the stoke was through the roof beginning to end. Having shredded 5th gear during the shakedown just days before the event I was working down to the wire to swap to the backup trans before Superlap, but we got things buttoned up and I even had a good night’s sleep before the tow out to Buttonwillow.
We started right out of the gate with working through some stuff. On the first session of the day I lost two of the strakes in my splitter. Thanks to the lessons learned at VIR I brought spare material in the trailer so I cut new strakes out of aluminum, bent them over the tool box edge and gorilla epoxied those into place, plus a couple self-tapping screws (something I would never use in building the car but suddenly completely acceptable for a track-side fix). Those new strakes held for both days.
On an LFX related note, I had got sick of being unable to remove the driveshaft without dropping the diff or engine so while the trans was out I cut the flanges off the transmission tail shaft and the centering pin off the differential’s flange. This means the driveshaft has to be manually centered. Early on day 1 there was a lot of vibration coming from the driveline. We got under the car and re-centered the driveshaft and that fixed things.
By the third session I was down to a 1:48.1. Six tenths off my PB, but discussions with a lot of other teams and drivers revealed everyone felt that the track was slower. Various theories about why but ultimately you just get out there and wheel it, make tweaks to find the most speed you can, and the times are what they are and you see how you stack up with everyone else, so that’s what I set my mind to.
Last session of day 1 I had a brake master cylinder failure, no pedal going into cotton corners. Kept it on the track and tip-toed back to the pits. I had another MC in the spares bin, the challenge was bench bleeding it with what we had on hand. Thanks to John (Supermiata), Andrew (TSE) and Moti (BFW) for contributing ideas to come up with some McGuyver ways we might be able to do it. Took a while, made longer because it was in near-freezing temps but had the MC in and bled by 11pm. Big thanks to our team member Greg for sticking it out with me in the cold to get it swapped and bled.
The next morning drove around the paddock at 7 AM, pop bled it again, then bled again after 1st session and the brakes were ready to rock for the rest of the day.
Fresh tires on for day 2. 1st session of day 2 was a mess with a bunch of the Unlimited class cars going off due to either failures or trying to push too hard. This caused some chaos with the restart and the flaggers weren’t communicating with each other well, so I had a near-incident with the Savvy Motorsports Porsche GT3. I was on a green flag flyer, he thought we were still under yellow. He was weaving to warm up tires as I approached at probably >60mph closing speed, he weaved left off-line which I mis-read as he saw me and was getting out of the way, then at the last moment he weaved right again in front of me. I wasn't going to stop in time so I aborted right and sent it into the dirt. No harm done to the car, good place for an off. It's always the lap that feels best when something like that happens.
Hoping we got the chaos out of the way with that session we dug in to finding some more time in the later sessions.
Set a new PB with double 1:47.3's. After session 2 I wanted a little more front end bite so Moti and I cut and installed some gurneys on the splitter.
That worked but almost too much with things getting loose at high speed so we added 2° of rear wing and a click more low speed compression in the front shocks for the final session. I also went into the trailer and just closed my eyes and went through laps in my head for the last 15 minutes before the final session.
First hot lap of the final session showed a 1:46.95 on the AIM. Too close for comfort; sometimes the track timing doesn't agree perfectly with the AIM and I REALLY wanted that official 1:46 so I did a cool down lap to really baby the tires and then went for another one. AIM said 1:46.599, I was fist pumping in the car.
Low on fuel so I pulled into the pits and got my high five hands ready for the whole crew. Official timing said 1:46.8, I'll take it. Only later did we find out that Amir in the V8 M3 (600+hp) went 1:47.2 in that session, which would have taken the win from us if I hadn't done the 46.
Final results: 1st in Limited RWD and an overall win across all Limited class drivetrains!
Data from the lap shows some ridiculousness for street tires. As in, it looks like I’m on 275 Hoosiers. The aero package is really strong. I’m continuing to improve the chassis setup, the brakes are stellar, and the more I race and dial this car in the better it gets. There’s more to come.
I want to thank every single person who tuned in to the live feed, followed along on Instagram/Facebook or kept tabs in the forums. After the dodge with the Porsche on day 2 a bunch of people reached out to make sure things were OK which was really cool. I’ve said it many times before and I will continue to; when we’re out there dicing with Goliaths it really feels like we’re racing for an entire community of friends and enthusiasts behind us. Each of you are a part of what motivates me to push forwards.
Where to now? That Limited RWD record is still out there! The gap is down to 2.255 seconds. The current record was set before the rules slowed Limited class down, but I really believe we’re on the way to resetting it despite that. I have more plans on the drawing board that I didn’t get to this year, so there is more coming soon.
Video coming soon.