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Thread: NASA Spec3 Build v2.0

  1. #76
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    I crossed a few items off of the "to do list" this weekend. The car got an alignment for the first time in about a year and it confirmed that my rear toe was way off: 0.05 on the left and 0.21 on the right. I also maxed the negative camber front and rear. I'm hoping the fresh alignment will prevent another T1 tank-slapper like I had in Sunday's race at VIR.

    My motor continued to run hot at VIR, about 210F, even with ambient temps in the 40's. So, I replaced my 88C (190F) thermostat with a 71C (160F) thermostat. I also drilled a very small hole in the thermostat so there will always be some minimal flow to the radiator. Hopefully that'll keep temps down, and maybe I'll gain a HP or two.

    And finally, I upgraded from Harry's Lap Timer to real data acquisition. Time to learn all about graphs and squiggly lines.

    30415628_10106402626018189_519965550285212920_n.jpg

    Next up is diagnosis of my intermittent ABS fault via this method, published by the folks at BavAuto.
    Last edited by OCRentAPopo; 04-09-2018 at 09:10 AM.

  2. #77
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    That method works well. There is another step-by-step here: http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=341672


  3. #78
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    NASA Spring Rumble at Summit Point

    Despite much diagnostic work, I was unable to solve the riddle of my ABS. The pedal and wheel speed sensors tested fine on the multimeter so I decided to just roll with it and learn some threshold braking. With the ABS now functioning 0% of the time, I was somehow able to qualify 3rd of 9 cars on Saturday. But, once the race began it became clear that I simply couldn't defend into T1 and was passed repeatedly either entering or exiting T1. At 4:05 in the video below, I had a nice off through gravel outside of T3. I didn't know it at the time, but that was caused by dipping my right rear wheel in the dirt just as I turned in. Due to some spins and one crash, I was able to salvage a 5th place finish. Winding Road contingency!



    Sunday was much better than Saturday. I had a fair amount of free time on Sunday morning so I decided to screw around with my ABS system. With the help of some guy I had never met, we re-wired the 10ohm resistor that took the place of the ASC throttle body and, hot damn, it worked! No more ABS light and my ABS was fully functional. Game on.

    Saturday's race lap times placed me in 6th of 8 for Sunday qualifying which was not ideal. The car felt great on the first lap and I was definitely being held up by the pack of three Spec3 guys ahead of me. So, during the first half of the second lap, I backed off to create a gap for a flyer on my third lap. Then a Miata stuffed it into the wall on the main straight bringing out the red flag. Nuts. Session over, and I was stuck with my first lap which placed me in 6th of 8 for Sunday's race. Even though my time didn't show it, I was feeling very confident going into the Sunday race with functional ABS.

    I got a very good standing start and was able to pull away from Rob well before the braking zone for T1. I stayed roughly mid-track and was able to turn in mostly unimpeded by traffic which gave me a nice exit through T2. That exit speed allowed me to get around Joey between T2 and T3 putting me in 4th. The top four slowly pulled away from the rest of the field. Simon (2nd place) and Charles (3rd place) were really battling it out ahead of me, which allowed McAvoy (1st place) to create a small gap and probably allowed me to keep up with the leaders. Charles made a move inside of Simon going through T10 which slowed them both way down for the main straight. My T10 was nice and clean behind them and I got a run immediately on the main straight. We went three wide down the main straight with me on the inside, Charles to my left, and Simon on the outside. Even with the run I got out of T10, Charles was able to stay next to me and even catch up some before we entered the braking zone for T1. Simon backed out as Charles and I went deep into T1. We reached the apex cleanly but my front end washed out shortly after turn-in, sending my driver side into Charles' passenger side. We touched as we were almost perfectly parallel. My driver mirror folded inward and Charles' passenger mirror got ripped off. Charles' front wheel gave my front bumper 1/3 of a rubber donut. Both cars stayed on track and went side-by-side again through T3. I completed the pass before turn-in for T4 and stayed in front until the exit of T10 when Charles got around me pretty easily. The three-wide sequence starts at 8:50 in my video:



    And here's the three-wide sequence from Simon's car:


    Then another Miata stuffed it hard into the wall on the outside of T4. Waving black flags and everybody went into the hot pits for 10-15 minutes. When the field came into the pits, there were a bunch of Miatas ahead of Jon, Charles, and I. Also, Joey had apparently passed Simon and was immediately behind me. Sitting in 3rd, I decided to try to pass only if the opportunity presented itself due to Miata traffic but to otherwise just try to finish cleanly and take home 3rd. Jon, Charles and I were able to get through the Miatas with relative ease which opened a gap between Joey and I. Charles was definitely held up a couple times and I sorta tried to get around him but I didn't come very close to pulling off the pass and was pumped to get my first podium finish.



    On another note, the 71C thermostat kept my water temps below about 180, a great improvement from the 210+ I was seeing in March. Hopefully the temps stay down in July and August.

    On to Hyperfest!!!
    Last edited by OCRentAPopo; 04-25-2018 at 02:20 PM.

  4. #79
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    Wow, nice report. That 3-wide bit was wild.
    COMSCC T70 E36 M3

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXBDan View Post
    Wow, nice report. That 3-wide bit was wild.
    It sure was. Wish I could have held on to 2nd place, at least for more than half a lap, but I was pretty much fried as a driver at that point.

    Last weekend I inched the car a bit further along in development. The car meets the spec weight of 2,850lbs (driver, fuel, etc. included) with just below a quarter-tank of fuel. But, I'm allowed to run up to 100lbs of ballast and I'm currently running zero. Time to put the car on a diet so I can start running ballast and place the weight where I want it -- down low.

    Step one is gutting the front doors, which saved about 4lbs per door. I could do some more cutting and grinding to get some additional weight out:
    31430056_10106453930498599_6379249386482979042_n.jpg

    Gutting the door necessitated a custom interior door pull of some kind.
    31543624_10106453930503589_600249430100879637_n.jpg

    These gate latch cables from Amazon (link) were cheap and installed easily into the stock mechanism. The clip on the end fits very nicely into the round hole where the stock round bar used to go. You do have to remove a rubber grommet from that hole but it's otherwise a perfect fit.
    Latch Pull.jpg

    Then I deleted the driver's headlight and installed the Spec3 air intake, saving a couple pounds and upping the racecar bling factor by 1000%. I wonder if the ram air effect will generate any extra power on the back straight at VIR.
    31511012_10106454440421709_825559196582193673_n.jpg
    Last edited by OCRentAPopo; 05-08-2018 at 03:45 PM.

  6. #81
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    Hyperfest at VIR was an interesting affair as always. It started off with heavy downpours on Friday which made setting up less than ideal. Saturday qualifying was somewhat damp which was enough to shake up the usual qualifying grid. I qualified 3rd with the usual "fast guy" in 4th. Luckily, P1 and P2 decided to start in 3rd gear which allowed P4 and I to get an immediate jump into T1, passing them both on the outside. The red cars started P1 and P2, while the white cars started P3 and P4:

    Start Pass.jpg

    The polesitter fought back under braking into T1 and was able to secure P2 as I went sliding through T3. I stayed in P3 until an ill-advised pass attempt into Oak Tree on the second lap saw me drop two spots into P5. From there, I basically just ran a clean race and took advantage of mistakes and/or mechanicals. Still on the second lap, P2 got squirelly through roller-coaster and again through hogpen, finishing his escapades with a moneyshift exiting hogpen that is quite audible on my video. Gain one position to P4. On the third lap, the new P2's motor starts to let go and he is passed easily on the straights. Gain one position to P3. On the fourth lap, the new new P2 misses a shift in hogpen and I pass him easily on the inside. Gain one position to P2. I was able to keep up with the leader as we fought Honda Challenge traffic but did not have enough to muster a pass. My best finish so far at P2. See the video below, with time stamps in the description:



    Sunday was dry all-around and I managed to qualify P2, albeit with a big gap to the leader. I would stay in P2 for the entire race, basically chasing the series leader and resident hot shoe the whole time. Clearly having not learned my lesson from Saturday, I attempted another pass into Oak Tree on the second lap which failed miserably. You'll see P3 gain quickly on the back straight and I was very lucky to thwart that pass attempt with my "one move" before it turns into illegal blocking. I believe I slowed him down so much that he was passed by the next guy in P4. Then there were several clean-ish laps where I was able to catch and maintain contact with the leader and we both pulled away from the rest of the Spec3 field. He definitely got away from me exiting onto the main straights. I need to get on the gas earlier through hogpen onto the front straight and take a wider arc and get on the gas earlier out of Oak Tree onto the back straight. Interestingly, I think I was a bit quicker than P1 through T5 and T6 into the short bridge straight and also through T10. He did a great job of braking more than necessary at the apex of T11 into Oak Tree which nullified my speed advantage coming out of T10. I made some attempts to pass as we navigated traffic but none were successful. I wanted to be more aggressive but, about two-thirds of the way through the race, somebody put down a line of oil right on the racing line from T13, across the start/finish line, and finally ending at about T6. With all that oil down in most of the prime passing locations, the risk/reward just wasn't there so I mostly remained content with P2.

    Last edited by OCRentAPopo; 06-06-2018 at 12:58 PM.

  7. #82
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    I coulda been somebody.

    Despite poor attendance across all classes, June Joust at Summit Point was, for me, the best racing of my short career. Due to some mechanical failures and the short period between this event and Hyperfest, Spec3 could only muster 3 racers for the weekend -- down from the usual 8-10. The small field meant I wouldn't be stuck battling for 2nd, 3rd or 4th and could focus nearly the whole race on beating the series leader -- at the track where I have the most seat time.

    Saturday Race

    I started on the outside in P2. With an extraordinarily quick green flag, I managed to get a small jump on Jon and squeezed him through T1, taking the lead between T2 and T3. Still on the first lap, Jon got a little loose in T5 (visible in my mirror) and I open up a gap. The gap stayed basically the same for the next 4 laps. Then Jon started to reel me in and I started driving in my mirrors. Four off outside of T3, then two off outside of T3, then four off outside of T9. With 3 laps to go, I took a stupidly defensive line through T10 and gave Jon an easy run on the inside into T1. I maaaybe could have held on but dipped my left rear wheel onto the exit curbing in T2 and Jon took the lead. My left front tire was utterly cooked and I knew making a pass would be nearly impossible without some help from traffic or an unlikely mistake by Jon. Of course, that didn't stop me from "sending it" through the last corner of the last lap.

    SP T10.JPG



    A few lessons to take away from Saturday's race: 1) My left front tire was under-inflated and rolling onto the sidewall. An additional 1psi (and a different tire) on Sunday fixed that issue. 2) Take advantage of a gap and let the tires cool down a bit. I really could have used the extra grip of a cooler tire when Jon was right on my tail. 3) Quit looking in the damned mirrors and drive your line!

    Sunday Race

    Again, I started P2 on the outside. I was hoping to take the lead on another good start but, instead, stalled on grid and dropped to P3. I regained P2 on the second lap with a relatively easy pass in T1. Then I reeled in Jon a bit but he was able to maintain a steady gap for about 6 laps. I got the break I needed 11 minutes into the race when Jon slipped on some dirt on the inside of T5. He defended well but I was now attached to his rear bumper. Begin the onslaught of failed pass attempts into T1. I had six pass attempts into T1, four on the outside and two on the inside, but couldn't make any of them stick. Eventually we got separated by traffic but I closed that gap for one last failed attempt in T1.



    Despite never leading on Sunday, I am more disappointed by this P2 finish than the P2 finish on Saturday. I had the faster car on Sunday and I had several opportunities to make a move. After watching the T1 pass attempts several times, I think my problem is that I'm not taking space away from the leading car. In a couple attempts I need to brake a little later to maintain position slightly in front. With that position, I need to force the other car to alter its line and/or throttle a bit, either pinching in from the outside or driving a bit wider on exit from the inside. A somewhat disappointing result, but I'm learning all the racecraft stuff that's impossible to learn in HPDE. That first win will come.

    Oh yea, and I'm not a Rookie anymore:
    R.jpg

    On to PittRace!
    Last edited by OCRentAPopo; 06-28-2018 at 11:33 AM.

  8. #83
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    Nice reports!
    COMSCC T70 E36 M3

  9. #84
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    Been quite a while since my last update. Much has happened.

    PittRace was tons of fun as expected. PittRace is really a hidden gem of a track and I hope that NASA Mid Atlantic makes it at least an annual event. On Saturday I started on pole but managed to hit the gas and the brake on the standing start -- not ideal. Jon took the lead with me in 2nd and it stayed that way until the end. We broke away from the field and I was able to apply pressure here and there but not very much.



    I started on pole again for Sunday but braked way too early for T1, giving the lead to Jon. Jon had obviously learned more from Saturday than I did and he pulled away. Traffic kept him within sight but it seemed I lost some courage through T1 on Sunday whereas Jon gained some courage through T1. Finished 2nd. I set a personal best of 2:03.6 which included a big drift through T10.



    My neon orange vinyl from Amazon has awful UV color fade. The stuff on the doors isn't so bad but the hood is faded to a pale yellow and not so readable.
    IMG_2150.jpg

    Rather than get new vinyl, I decided to paint the hood and use the existing vinyl as a stencil:

    IMG_2163.jpg

    To make the oranges match a bit better, I painted the intake scoop as well:
    IMG_2162.jpg

  10. #85
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    The next race at VIR was uhh... better than it could have been? I put a bunch of pressure on myself to win both races because the series leader took the weekend off. Another front runner, Charles, had been out of the picture most of the season with motor issues but was on a freshly rebuilt motor for this event and we were neck-and-neck in practice and qualifying. Nuts.

    I qualified on pole for the Saturday race and started it ... in neutral. Still determined to win the race, I red misted hard. I dropped to 5th on the start but got back up to 3rd by the end of the first lap. Then I ran wide exiting T1 and dropped to 4th. A couple laps later I was up to 3rd with a pass at the end of the back straight. I was well-positioned for a move into 2nd on the front straight but had to give it back due to a local yellow. Somewhat annoyed by giving the position back, I started a pass, 4-off, in the grass through the bridge straight, then completed it by going 3.5-off through the uphill esses. Over the next couple laps I reeled in Charles in 1st place, catching him after the white flag waived. It was fairly obvious I'd be on his bumper at the end of the back straight. The whole time on the back straight I told myself to play it cool and that the pass attempt probably wouldn't be there until the last corner. After that, it's a bit of a blur. I pulled left at the end of the back straight in what I guess was a stupid pass attempt. I think that maybe I pulled left just to not be impeded by Charles under braking and then got surprised when the curb was right there. I dunno. In any event, the curb was there and I went flying down the aptly named rollercoaster -- barely missing a HC2 car. Finished in 4th and the car was thankfully undamaged.



    On Sunday I started 2nd but got a very good start and jumped into 1st. Charles and I went cleanly side-by-side for three turns until I finally cemented 1st place. Charles got me back through T1 on the second lap and I chased him for the next couple laps. Then the course went double yellow, followed by Code 35. Charles seemed to lose some grip on the restart and I passed him for 1st through T10. We battled cleanly for a couple laps and then we had some contact under braking at the end of the back straight (about 20:20 on the video). I went for basically the same ride through the rollercoaster grass as I did on Saturday. This time I was able to keep momentum and came back out on track in 2nd -- where I would finish. The contact was deemed a racing incident. My video didn't work on Sunday but here it is from Charles' perspective:


  11. #86
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    Time to add brake cooling ducts. My rotor life has been terrible since I started racing and, at the last event, I cracked a rotor that only had two weekends on it:

    IMG_2223.jpg

    Here are the backing plates from Gruven Parts installed with the three existing bolts:
    IMG_2238.jpg

    To install the NACA ducts (sourced from Bimmerworld), I used the screws for the fog lights on one side (see the white painted screw heads):
    IMG_2237.jpg

    The other side is held on with zip ties through the front bumper. You can see the NACA ducts sit inboard of the fog light opening to avoid interference between the tire and hose.
    IMG_2242.jpg

    Run the hose through the swaybar to keep the hose away from rubbing on the tire at full lock:
    IMG_2243.jpg

  12. #87
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    Then add some zip ties to keep everything roughly in place. Here's the driver side at full lock inboard:
    IMG_2244.jpg

    And the passenger side at full lock outboard:
    IMG_2245.jpg

    Back to VIR this weekend with a Spec3 field of about 10 cars. Can't wait!
    Last edited by OCRentAPopo; 10-01-2018 at 08:45 AM.

  13. #88
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    NASA MidAtlantic OctoberFast at VIR - October 6-7, 2018

    Saturday Race

    I qualified 3rd and pretty obviously belonged there. Jon qualified on pole at 2:13.2 with Charles 4 tenths back, and me 6 tenths back. Jon and Charles were quicker by a few tenths each lap during the race and I was really only able to keep it close when they got side-by-side or held up by traffic. Jon and Charles had an epic battle up until the very end with Charles eventually taking the win and handing Jon his first less-than-gold finish of the year. Even if the finish wasn't quite what I wanted, it was an awesome battle to watch and I had the best seat in the house. Video below, with time-stamp highlights in the description.



    Sunday Race

    Qualifying was cancelled due to thick morning fog so we were gridded up for the race by lap times from the Saturday race. That bumped me down to 4th with Simon besting me by 0.064. This time I got a good start but never quite decided where to go into T1. Simon saw a gap on the inside and took it, nearly jumping up to 2nd. I took advantage of some contact through T4 and moved up to 3rd behind Jon and Simon. I would take 2nd by late-braking Simon into T1, followed by some side-by-side through T2 where I guess Simon missed a shift and spun off to the inside. With all of the battling, Jon was able to open a lead of a couple seconds. I chipped away at that gap somewhat as we ran traffic-free laps until half way through Lap 6. Thereafter, the gap would shrink and expand based on who caught Miata and 944 traffic at a more advantageous spot. Finally on Lap 12, I was able to close the gap with the help of some traffic and begin to apply pressure. I got a run exiting Oak Tree on Lap 15 and was able to complete the pass into T14. As we crossed the Start/Finish line, the white flag dropped. Last lap. I took a defensive line into T1 and Jon got along side through T2 and T3. Jon got a run exiting T3 and regained the lead in T4. We were nose-to-tail going through the uphill esses and Jon pushed a bit hard through T10, spinning slowly to the left. I drove on by and cruised to my first win.



    Taking my first win was sweet and I feel like a bit of self-imposed weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Watching Charles and Jon battle it out on Saturday was also fantastic. The best part of the weekend, though, was getting out of the car after each race and hearing four or more different conversations about battles up and down the Spec3 ranks. We brought a field of 10 cars and everybody had somebody to race with and the battles were epic. That's spec racing at its best.

    One last event at Summit Point on November 10-11.
    Last edited by OCRentAPopo; 10-26-2018 at 05:11 PM.

  14. #89
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    Congrats on your first win! It's been fun following along with your two car builds.

    Adam

  15. #90
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    Nice outside pass in T1! Those cars look like a lot of fun.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  16. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by adampoll View Post
    Congrats on your first win! It's been fun following along with your two car builds.
    Quote Originally Posted by robgill View Post
    Nice outside pass in T1! Those cars look like a lot of fun.
    Thanks guys. It's been a ton of fun building the car and developing as a driver. There's still much more work to do on both fronts!

  17. #92
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    Forgot to post up the results of the dyno run. This motor has over 220k miles and just about the only maintenance I've done is spark plugs, vanos seals, and various leaky gaskets. I never pulled the head and I assume all the valves, pistons, rings, etc. are original. Quite pleased with 195hp and 178tq:

    New Dyno.jpg

  18. #93
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    195 and 178 to the crank?! No matter what, that's pretty healthy!

    You racing this coming weekend at Summit? Going to be cold if you are!
    Last edited by Andy; 11-06-2018 at 05:48 PM.

  19. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    195 and 178 to the crank?! No matter what, that's pretty healthy!

    You racing this coming weekend at Summit? Going to be cold if you are!
    Those are HP and TQ to the wheels. And yea, I'll be wearing ALL the nomex this weekend.

  20. #95
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    Attempt at livestreaming was an epic fail but I'll get the race videos up soon.
    Last edited by OCRentAPopo; 11-11-2018 at 01:45 PM.

  21. #96
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    I saw your new videos. Great driving!

    The only thing I see you might want to work on is your 5th-to-3rd gear downshifts. It's not smooth and going from 5th to 3rd gear directly isn't the best way you do it. Definitely consider 5th to 4th to 3rd.

    You can physically see the car getting unsettled and I can't imagine how the drivetrain feels about it.

    Just a suggestion. Worth looking into.

  22. #97
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    The final event of the season at Summit Point. I was mathematically guaranteed to finish no lower than 2nd place in the season points and there was a 0.001% chance I could take the season championship. For that to happen, I would need to finish both races in 1st with the points leader, Jon, earning 0 points in one race and finishing no higher than 5th in the second race.


    We had 7 cars signed up but attrition was terrible and we only managed 4 cars on grid -- guess Jon wouldn't finish in 5th. With temps in the 30's, tires and brakes were slow to warm up and it took some time to find grip. I did a poor job of managing traffic during qualifying and was held up by a Miata in ST-5 for a couple laps. I had a good flyer on the final lap of qualifying (AIM predicted a 1:25.XX) but that was fouled by a slow 944 in T9. I qualified 3rd with a 1:26.36 and the leader at 1:25.99. Not great but I knew I had the pace to make some moves.


    Race 1
    I got a good standing start in Race 1 and passed Charles exiting T3. On the next lap I late-braked Jon into T1 and took the lead. Charles and Jon got into a glorious battle behind me and I was able to build a bit of a lead. Then something didn't feel right to Charles so he dropped back. As he does, Jon put the hammer down and started to reel me in. The last time I was leading at Summit Point, I gave it back to Jon by over-driving and putting wheels off everywhere. This time I think I made a mental over-correction and drove too conservatively. I was running cleanly but nearly a second slower per lap than Jon. He got me through T1 and T2 and I didn't have the pace to take the spot back. Finished the race in 2nd and the season championship was cemented.



    Race 2
    With the championship decided, we inverted the grid and I started in 2nd. Another good start and I took 1st into T1. Charles applied a bit of pressure for a couple laps but I was able to put some traffic between us and run away. With a bit of open track, I set a lap record of 1:24.8 on Lap 6. I held the lap record for all of about 30 seconds until Jon crossed the line on that same lap with a 1:24.5. Dangit! The race was mostly uneventful for me except on the last lap an E30 spun in T3 and some Honda's were returning from a grassy adventure in T8. Mildly concerning but everybody kept it predictable and clean.


    I managed to take home some nice hardware during the awards party, earning the 1st place trophy for the days second race, 2nd place in the Spec3 season championship, and NASA MidAtlantic Rookie of the Year:
    Attachment 640278

    IMG_2382.JPG

    Commence off-season projects!
    Last edited by OCRentAPopo; 11-12-2018 at 05:05 PM.

  23. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    I saw your new videos. Great driving!

    The only thing I see you might want to work on is your 5th-to-3rd gear downshifts. It's not smooth and going from 5th to 3rd gear directly isn't the best way you do it. Definitely consider 5th to 4th to 3rd.

    You can physically see the car getting unsettled and I can't imagine how the drivetrain feels about it.

    Just a suggestion. Worth looking into.
    Yah, I could definitely be smoother on my downshifts. I'm a fan of going 5th to 3rd and probably won't change that, but my heel-toe revmatching is inconsistent.

  24. #99
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    I really like the way you go through Turn 3-5. Over 100 mph! VERY nice!

    Quote Originally Posted by OCRentAPopo View Post
    Yah, I could definitely be smoother on my downshifts. I'm a fan of going 5th to 3rd and probably won't change that, but my heel-toe revmatching is inconsistent.
    I actually know exactly what you mean. I used to do the same thing. The reason why I changed to including 4th gear in the downshifts is for the same issue you have - rev matching. It's too difficult to rev-match with that style consistently. Too large of an RPM difference to guess it right.

    Once I saw all the good drivers included 4th gear, I made the change and so glad I did. Downshifting is actually more enjoyable as well.

    I learned a lot from your VIR videos as well. I get very nervous through hog pen. You are very aggressive through it. Very fast!

    ****EDIT****

    Do you know what happened to the red Spec3 car that you passed going to Nascar (left turn) at VIR in Aug or Oct this year? It seems as you were passing him, he money-shifted and his car spun out.

    Found it! 3:06 of this Oct VIR race:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxPnMb7WehU
    Last edited by Andy; 11-12-2018 at 01:02 PM.

  25. #100
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Kensington, MD
    Posts
    655
    My Cars
    Spec3 & MCoupe
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    I really like the way you go through Turn 3-5. Over 100 mph! VERY nice!

    I actually know exactly what you mean. I used to do the same thing. The reason why I changed to including 4th gear in the downshifts is for the same issue you have - rev matching. It's too difficult to rev-match with that style consistently. Too large of an RPM difference to guess it right.

    Once I saw all the good drivers included 4th gear, I made the change and so glad I did. Downshifting is actually more enjoyable as well.

    I learned a lot from your VIR videos as well. I get very nervous through hog pen. You are very aggressive through it. Very fast!

    Haha, I've taken the opposite shifting journey. I previously rowed all the gears, then saw that the two quickest guys I see on track regularly (Jon McAvoy and DJ Fitzpatrick) skip 4th gear downshifts. So I changed and my heel-toe improved (yes, it really sucked). Maybe it's time to revisit -- especially with the RTD shifter.

    Re: Hogpen, I consciously decided to get more aggressive through there at OctoberFast. Sometimes I was too aggressive on entry speed and I drifted too far to the outside and/or I needed more steering angle -- both of which were slower down the front straight. Anywho, that's a corner I'm actively tweaking and will probably dial back the aggression just a tad.

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