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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/22/2020 in Posts

  1. 6 points
    As the Rolex 24hr is coming up this weekend, I figured I would re-visit this topic and provide addition insight into what really happens during the Rolex 24 race weekend. A common misconception about any 24hr race, is that the crew needs to be alert and awake for 24hrs straight. Certain crew members such as mechanics are only required during pit stops so they will often sleep between stops. The time between stops varies for each class in IMSA since each class burns a full tank of fuel at different rates to ensure that under green flag running, there are not multiple classes pitting at the same time. In the GTD class, time between stops from a full to near-empty tank can be anywhere from 50-65 minutes. IMSA positions teams from different classes beside each other on pit lane in an effort to maximize the chance of having clear pit box entry and exit for drivers. If there is a full-course yellow (FCY) and the safety car is dispatched, pit lane will only be open to specific classes following the order of DPi/LMP2 then GTLM/GTD. The opening and closing of pit lane to specific classes under FCY safety car is controlled by the race director over the race control radio channel. For other crew members such as the engineers and crew chief, the Rolex 24 is closer to 36hrs than 24. Teams arrive at the track around 6am on race day to complete final vehicle checks, spares preparation and pit equipment servicing. The race starts at 1:40pm and provided your vehicle makes it the entire 24hrs to Sunday afternoon, you need to tear down and pack up your pit lane and garage setups and vacate the track by 5:30pm on Sunday. The fact that a 24hr race is significantly more than just 24hrs was the biggest eye-opener to me last year and made me gain even more respect for teams who make it look so easy. A lot can happen in a 24hr period regarding position changes on track and teams who have been more than a lap down at some point in the race have come back to win. As important as outright pace is to maintaining or gaining track position, I learned early in the season last year that the easiest and most effective way of passing a car ahead of you is by fuel saving. Through saving fuel, if you pit on the same lap as the car ahead of you, there is a significant chance that you burned less fuel than them. While filling the tank back to full, you require less fuel and thus less time in your pitbox. Often the ability to fuel save while setting competitive lap times is what differentiates the best drivers from the mediocre ones. The most common strategy for fuel saving is lifting off of the throttle early and coasting into braking zones after high speed sections of track. Drag force is equivalent to the square of air speed so the faster the car is going, the greater the "braking" effect caused by aerodynamic drag will be. Remarkably, a good portion of IMSA documents are accessible by the general public. For timing reports, weather reports, official schedules, team briefing slides and other race event-specific documents see the following: http://results.imsa.com/notice-board.html. For technical bulletins regarding regulations and BoP tables see the following: https://competitors.imsa.com/102019/2020-technical-bulletins.
  2. 4 points
    A few more tidbits of information to share while watching the on-board live streams tonight: The additional lights that you see mounted on the GT cars for night races are actually referred to as "apex lights" and are angled outwards so while braking in a straight line, the apex of the corner is illuminated. While not highly effective at Daytona, they are incredibly useful for the after-dark portions of the Sebring 12hr and Road Atlanta 10hr races. The GTD cars actually have driver air conditioning systems installed that either blow air at the driver, into their helmet, at their back or all of the mentioned. In the Porsche, the system had varying intensities from completely off to being on all the time. The most commonly run position during hot weather was the "performance" setting which would engage the A/C compressor clutch only when under the throttle pedal position was below a certain threshold. Similar engine performance favouring logic is used for battery charging as well. If the battery state of charge (SOC) is below a certain amount, then the alternator would always be engaged. If the SOC is at 100% or close to it, the alternator would not engage at all and if the SOC is just below full-capacity, the alternator would only engage under braking. Electrical failures do happen and sometimes the crew will loose radio communication with the driver. At tracks were crew members can access the front straight wall from across pit lane, IMSA allows the usage of signs to communicate with the driver. Our protocol was that as long as the car was functioning mechanically sound, the driver was to stay out until the low fuel alarm came on. The fuel system in the car is designed such that you can only see the exact level of the last 6L of fuel in the central collector. The cell has 4 pumps (one in each corner) that feed a central collector at the top of the tank. It is in this collector that the level sensor is located and from here that two high-pressure fuel pumps (one primary and one spare) feed the engine. In the Porsche 911 GT3R, the 6L capacity was enough for at least 2 full green-flag laps at every track we competed at. The car also has selective engine maps that vary how rich/lean the engine runs. Under FCY behind the safety car, the driver would use map 0 which is the most lean and under normal running would use map 3. Map 4 is the richest and is only used when an opportunity to pass is present. The last 6L in the fuel cell are all that really matter when it comes to knowing exact fuel level. The car does have a fuel-flow meter installed so we were able to keep track of how much fuel had been burned since the last fueling. The ECU also outputs fuel usage data based upon injector duty cycle for where the engine is operating within the loaded engine calibration and fuel maps. It is nearly impossible to mount a level sensor in the fuel cell to measure the entire level because of capacity blocks that have to be added to ensure cell capacity matches the specified amount as outlined by the BoP tables. The fuel cell has a full capacity of 120L but the car typically has to run in the 94L capacity range. The fuel rig in pit lane has load cells attached to it so we know exactly how much fuel was put in the car at each pit stop. Even when the car is filled in the paddock for practice sessions, it is common practice to measure fuel capacity by weight and not outright volume. This leads to my next point, one of the most over-looked positions on an endurance racing team is that of the fueler. The IMSA BoP mandates that GTD cars cannot fill an empty car to full during a pit stop quicker than 40s. A typical 4-tire change takes no longer than 20s so the remainder of the pit stop is dependent on the fuel going in the car. If the fueler does not plug the head in perfectly straight or bobbles it slightly, the flow will be disrupted significantly and slow the rate of fuel passage to the car. Another massively over-looked position is that of the tire guy. Though he may not be any of the mechanics going over the wall to actually put the tires on the car, the tire guy is responsible for ensuring their preparation. Each set that comes off the car needs to have their balancing weights removed, cleaned and inspected for any cracks or damage. They then are taken to a designated area where Michelin technicians are set up to dismount the used tires, mount new ones then balance them. Tire pressures are highly critical to vehicle performance and tire longevity, especially on the Daytona banking. Pure nitrogen is used in the tires to ensure repeatable pressure ramp-up and maintenance since target hot pressures need to be accurate within 0.15 psi. The mounted tires from Michelin are purged of whatever pressurized gas is put in them then the tire guy fills them with nitrogen from one of our own tanks. The pressures are always set higher than required, then bumped down a lap or two prior to the car coming in to pit. This is because the engineer may call for a change in cold pressures based upon driver feedback or change in ambient weather conditions.
  3. 2 points
    Not from the HPDE but was shot while everyone was playing in the lot course. Hope to see a bunch of people out for lapping this weekend on lake shirley!
  4. 2 points
    I had a great time in Beausejour this past weekend...it is a great track to get the season started on, for both drivers and volunteers! Lake Shirley is up next and I’m glad I had a chance to “warm up” at the Beausejour oval...Lake Shirley is going to be awesome!
  5. 2 points
    If you are reading this, you are into motorsports. At least a little bit. Welcome, you are in the right place! Maybe you have been out to a race event at some point, even just to hang back and watch the action. In the summer, hearing the screaming engines and squealing tires, or maybe kicking up a cloud of dust. In the winter, watching the cars get sideways, fighting for traction, and throwing up massive rooster tails of snow. You have to wonder, how do people actually get into this adrenaline rush? Maybe you have a car, and maybe you are the next great racer waiting to get started. You can get through all of the proper channels and hop right into full out competition. Maybe you are already a racer, but you broke a part and you are done for the weekend, or you just want to take some time off from racing. But maybe, you just want to get a closer look at the action, and you don’t know where to start. We can help you with that too. We are officially one race weekend into the 2020 season. With the second Ice Racing weekend coming up soon, February 1st and 2nd at the Lake Shirley Ski Pond, to be exact. There are a couple of things that are always guaranteed. There will be action. There will be cars flying around a challenging track. There will be volunteers needed, and this is a major part of what keeps our club running smoothly at every event. So here is your chance to be part of our team. As a Volunteer Track Worker for the WSCC, the only major ask is that you are at least 16 years of age, and that you are willing to help out in any way needed, on any days that work best for you to join us. This is a very unique opportunity to learn about how things work behind the scenes. There are lots of important skills to pick up, and you will receive “on the spot” training for any of the tasks involved. You could be stationed on a corner of the track, learning the radio or communicating flags to the drivers. You could be working the Gate, smiling and welcoming our traffic and spectators and signing some waivers. You could be on the Grid, helping get everybody set up where they are supposed to be, based on their race group. Last but not least, this is the closest you can get to the track, without being the actual race driver. And it is absolutely free. If that doesn’t sound interesting enough, let me mention some of the perks of being a Volunteer. If you are helping us out, we will cover your lunch for the day. There are opportunities for some free time on the track in your own car, usually at the end of a race event. You could even get enough time built up that you could have your club membership paid for the next year. And you will get to meet many awesome, experienced, helpful people and race drivers as well. This is a very positive environment, and as a Volunteer, you are offered the best seats in the house for the action on the track, nobody is closer to the action than we are. If you would like to help us out, please send me your info, and I will get you started. Consider me your guy, I will help you any way I can! See you at the track! Dason Wowk Volunteer Director 204-291-7728 justaviperguy@gmail.com
  6. 2 points
    I guess I am just an old guy who likes to press the gas, shift the shifter, turn the wheel but they look like they had fun too so what the heck!
  7. 1 point
    Hey Volunteers, I just want to say thank you for coming and helping out in Beausejour this past weekend. We started the season out on a cold one, but I feel like everything went really smoothly, so great job everyone! That was a really neat setup, I had never actually been out there before this event. We get back to normal at the next event without all the nice heated facilities, but it will be a lot of excitement as always. I will post up again before the next one, just to help everyone stay up to date on information. And as a quick heads up, I will be looking for more volunteers next time around as there will be more stations to be filled. If you have any questions or anything, please feel free to reply, and I will throw my phone number at the bottom if you would rather text me. Thanks again for donating your time! See you on the ice, Dason Wowk Volunteer Director 204-291-7728
  8. 1 point
    Yes front seat passengers are permitted!!
  9. 1 point
    Here is our first Aficionado for the the new decade! Thank you Mia for pulling this all together! If you have story ideas, pictures or comments please send them our way so we can keep making it better. Aficionado 2020 1.pdf
  10. 1 point
    Actually, it was a production of the Stanford TAPS
  11. 1 point
    I know this looks all new to most, but Doc’s been working on that car since 85 - it’s getting better, but the Flux Capacitor didn’t work and I don’t think it even got to 88mph
  12. 1 point
    Okay, might be a slight exaggeration. Phil showed me his in-car video (on the oval) and he might have you beat with number of turns on the wheel. You were riding in the car with him, so you probably know what I'm talking about. Actually the Civic that Phil was driving had an interesting setup with siped front tires and gripless rear tires. He said it had more oversteer than a RWD car. I think everyone had a great time and learned a lot. Darin was asking for some feedback and improvements that could be added for next year. I'm putting together my feedback and will submit shortly. Anyone thinking about going out to Lake Shirley for lapping on Feb 1st?
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