Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Day 1

So Friday night we did a half-day test at RFR and all of us were 100% glad we did. With all the blind rises and odd-ball apex's... it was well worth the 200 bucks for all of us to get a chance to drive it.

Around 5pm or so, we wondered over to tech with our KERS reader board (ala 8th grade science project). The KERS system had held up for about 4 hours of 80% driving on the track... would it hold the whole race??? yeah right...

Flew through tech and BS with flying colors... especially since we hadn't dont anything to the car except add the KERS.. which did absolutly nothing to the power of the car... but it worked! :)

Had a couple beers with the Sharks, and shot the breeze with a couple of the e30 teams as we wondered around the pits looking for signs of life. The wind of howling, it was cold... and I'm sure John C. was enjoying his heated motorhome... bastard... At least there was a nice sunset

Saturday morning came, and once again we had communication issues. The CB radios we bought were working "ok", but the ebay chinese headsets were NOT. Solution? Rip out the headsets and yell REALLY loud at the radio zip tied to the shifter linkage. ghetto? yeah... Effective? no... it's lemons.. close enough

First driver out was me (Matt). The theory was, enough teams did NOT see the track on Friday.. so we were going to push for the first few laps to see if we could climb our way to the top. Again, yeah right.. I was in the car for about an hour and a half.. and about 70% of it was under yellow. Turns out the "slide" corner was a bit too much for some of the teams. Good thing Dave popped a spare tire on it Friday.. so we all knew to watch out.

Mid-way through the first day and we were sitting pretty good... until the second driver (Jeff) got our first black flag. Thanks to a bribe the day before, we were let go with a slap on the wrist and a driver change. Erik's turn!

Flawless for about an hour and a half and it was Dave's turn in the car. Another flawless session got us back in to the top 20's. My session went black-flag free and I think we moved up in the teens. That is until Jeff stepped in the car again... 8 laps later he was following the orange vw van around the pits for passing under yellow. 20 minutes later and a new driver.. we were off to finish the first day.

2 black flags, 30 minutes penalty time, 28th place.... better than last year

Saturday, May 23, 2009

We have arrived! barely

What 24 hours of lemons story would be complete without the "we broke down on the side of the road" element?

Certainly not any of our stories anyways...

Our truck is a 1999 Ford F250 with the 7.3 turbo diesel.. bulletproof right?? Well... in our case, the bullet came in the form of a pop'd intercooler hose. I got a txt from Erik at about 11:45pm on Thursday night "umm, our turbo just went pop".

WTF does that mean? Pop goes the Turbo? Erik and Dave managed to coast the truck without boost the remaining 7 miles to Reno and parked the truck in a hotel parking lot. The next morning, we all met up to assess damages. Minimal. Awesome.

10 minutes, 6 "sh*t"s, 4 "f*ck"s and a few "god damnit"s and we were back on the road. It turns out they designed that particular hose to be REALLY easy to get to with the battery out... but they did NOT design the battery to be taken out in less than 10 minutes.

So yeah, we hit the track at about 11am to find a clusterf*ck of teams saving endless spots. When life gives you Lemons, Bribe the judges! A few kind words and a cuban cigar later.. we had a great spot front and center :)

Car ran great, track is a travesty and were a little worried about our tires lasting the whole race but overall it was a productive day. Did I mention the Thunderstorms yet?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

And we're off

And we know how to roll in style!

See you all in Reno!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Test and Tune

So with all the bugs shaken out (ok most..), we drug the car down to our local track (Portland International Raceway) to give it a running before we leave for Reno. Dave is a Sr. Instructor for the Porsche club, so we only had to pay for one of our members, and we got twice the track time :)

I decided to take the bait, and strap up for the track-day. This being my first "official" track day, and my first time on PIR at speed... I was excited to get out on the track.

We started out in Dave's 450hp supercharged NSX beast... I learned lines at PIR, and focused on technique.

Later in the afternoon, the NSX got meatball'd for being too loud after 5pm, so it was time to bring out the Lemons car! 4 sessions of 25 min each, and everything was flawless! Although we didnt have the KERS system installed... I guess the guys in the GT3's didn't feel that a 40lb alternator suspended by 2 brake cables and leftover aluminum from an old furnace. What could possible have gone wrong?

Mind you, this was the same Porsche club that kicked us off the track last month for almost losing the hood at 90mph down the front straight.


Friday, May 15, 2009

I fail at forum BS. Totally fail. That is all.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

List of failures in the last couple weeks of car prep:

  1. Apparently weld slag got all over my bubble blower, so the tray that hold the bubbles is no polka dotted with tiny holes. I think I used about half a tube of silicon to get it "sealed"
  2. The small hole we had in our portable gas tank is now about 2" long... Anyone know how to weld polyethylene?
  3. Did I mention the hood flew off at a Porsche Club track day? Methinks we wont be invited back to that one.. at least the hood is umm... "fixed" now
  4. Our crystal sucks... like BIG time... it totally misses the entire look I was going for.... what did I expect for gathering the supplies at the Dollar Tree?
  5. Our new communication system has different plugs than the last one we tried... therefor all the headsets we had last time will no longer work. I know! Ill get an adapter! to ebay! Direct quote from the place i bought it from after I complained "Please send it back to Fire Fox, and Put in your name, address, and telephone and when it arrives at the warehouse they will send out a new one immediately. Sorry for the problem.
  6. We still don't have a helmet for the race... seriously, does it take 3 weeks to ship a stupid square box?
  7. Our track data acquisition unit is missing a transmitter... it's just money right?
  8. We were so happy to have the windmill mounted, we sort of forgot it has to be removed for the drive down... It's really not designed to be "removable"
  9. We still have no way to power the video camera. I zip tied a power inverter in the cockpit and hooked it to the battery, but who knows if our alternator will be able to keep up with it. Turns out they don't make 12v power sources for my DCR-SR8... anyone smarter than me have a better idea? Erik, I know your opinion and I don't like it. Next?
  10. Ohh yeah, the car leaks oil out of the drain plug... sigh