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bespokez06 05-12-2019 09:49 AM

C6 Roadrace/time trials rebuild COTA shakedown
Not a bad place to be...
Ian and Javen check things over while Kris King supervises.
Anthony Forney's 468ci masterpiece
Hot n' cool
End (or was that beginning?) of another day at COTA
All GSpeed all the time
Thanks Kory, Ian and Javen!
Kris and Louis made it possible
Get the Bandit a box to stand on, will you!

The results are in from the initial shakedown weekend at COTA with the GSpeed team, I tried to manage expectations for our time there; I didn’t know the track, hadn’t driven in competition in 18 months, had never road raced and the car didn’t arrive until Friday morning from its initial dyno tuning. We chose to run in Unlimited class, since tuning for ST/TT-1 would take more time than we had. At about 575rwhp, the car was down substantially on where it will end up, but you work with what you got! We got some laps in at the end of Friday, between rain storms, and debugged some of the biggest issues. The weekend forecast looked promising, weather-wise, so we went to bed tired but excited.

Saturday was spent trying to get brake and clutch issues resolved; a probable pinhole leak in the master cylinder meant the clutch pedal wouldn’t return after being depressed. I got very good at pulling it off the floor after each shift, lap after lap. The brakes were a more serious concern. Entering corners like T1, T11 and T20, where you carry a lot of speed, the car would begin braking correctly, but then the ABS would intervene, and the car would overshoot the apex. This was exacerbated by the kind of wave-like pavement distortions at these corners. Lighter braking, as through the essess, or where the pavement was smoother, didn’t provoke the same issue. We successfully improved the issue by playing with front and rear ride height and changing from Hawk DTC-70 compound to Cobalt front and OEM rear. By Sunday afternoon we had it fairly manageable, but I never felt comfortable to contest corner entry in a wheel-to-wheel competition, so most all my passes were under acceleration or in sweepers.

Sunday came together pretty well. After being sent out at the end of my group for being late to grid on Saturday’s race, I worked my way up to P5, so I got to start on the third row for Sunday’s first race. Several great battles later, I had moved to P2; the only car I couldn’t catch being the open-cockpit Norma M20FC. All had gone surprisingly well, and Paul Costas did a great job honing my skills. Besides the brakes and clutch, the only other impediment was the transmission, which would get hot and not allow smooth and fast shifts. The 468ci engine that Anthony Forney had built me was epic, with over 500lb-ft of twist from just over idle and a really drivable power curve. As it broke in we picked up an estimated 40-50rwhp, but we kept to a modest 6500rpm limit. And while the AIM MXm wasn’t inexpensive, it was great to have shift lights so I could concentrate on the competition all around me.

We swapped on Hoosier A7s and went out for the afternoon time trial session and had the second fastest time. If the track had been faster it would have been fun to see what I could have laid down. Regardless, I was stoked for the third race and was gridded P1. Crazy to be the pace car on my first weekend of racing! My lack of experience and nerves showed, though, as I dropped a half car length on the start to Dave Harper and his gorgeous Porsche GT3 Cup MR. Having to brake 50m sooner than him also allowed Rick Ellis to sneak by into T1. Knowing I had finished ahead of them both in the last race, I let them by and then had no apparent trouble chasing them down through the first ten corners. All I had to do now was pressure them to use up their tires, sometime in the next 20-30 minutes. Or so I thought…

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