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2019 SCCA Nationals

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Wow, what an amazing event! Cool cars everywhere, fun courses, ludicrous grip. 

Here's my fastest scratch time, would have been 0.9 out of the class lead:

Cone hit on left side at 0:40. :( 

Now on to day 2 action! Still sitting 7th of 16 in CM, in striking distance of the trophies. 

Courses close for walking at 7:35 AM. LOL, our local crew might die if we did that.

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Lincoln, NE. 1300 entrants driving across 4 days. https://www.scca.com/events/1992935-2019-tire-rack-solo-national-championship

What you're seeing is called OPR. Other People's Rubber. It's mostly seam sealer with a mix of tire rubber dust. The Lincoln concrete is unique in that it doesn't hold rubber - it just sits on top and gets pushed to the outside of corners. There are some skid marks, but the racing line is most just clean concrete. 

The tires are Hoosier bias-ply slicks, in theirs softest R25B compound. They're magical for 20 runs like that and then they start a decline over time. Once they have some high number (depends how hard your car is on tires), they get really tricky to drive as the sweet spot for slip angle becomes very tiny. 

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My day 2 was a bit frustrating. Driver issues kept me one spot out of the trophies. I was inconsistent under braking, and today's course had a number of slower corners that led onto quick sections. 


That said, it was another wickedly fun course! Video to follow later. 

Now we cheer on Tim, Chris, Mark, and Briget tomorrow! Watch AS for Tim and Chris (heat 3, ~11-ish) and EM for Mark and Briget (heat 5, ~3-ish) for live results as they pour in. http://sololive.scca.com 


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Tim and Chris had a rough start to Nationals. :unsure:

 http://sololive.scca.com/AS.php - Scroll down to 49th and 53rd to find them. The field is tightly-packed, so hopefully they can move up a few spots with a strong finish on day 2. 

Mark and Briget are sitting 4th and 6th in E Mod, well within striking range of 2nd place: http://sololive.scca.com/EM.php

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On 9/6/2019 at 5:18 PM, Paceman said:

Mark and Bridget driving separate cars? Not registered as the same year or model.

Same car. My mistake was updating my SCCA account and assuming Briget updated hers. Here is full report on our week.

Ok, I am finally back home and can give a full report. As some of you know, I have felt that I had an odd year curse. Things just went wrong on odd numbered years. This year we kicked the curse. All year the car has gone well with great power and predictable handling. On the test track, I tested out a new tune that was supposed to result in increased engine braking. The car seemed to fall flat at times so I assumed it was the tune and immediately changed it. This did not result in a change to the power. I made another tune change (to a reduced boost tune) and the car was better and I was matching Jeff Kiesel's times on the test course, so that was good. Briget took the car out and the power just went off completely in right hand turns. I realized we had a fuel starvation issue so we filled the tank right up and the problem seemed to clear up as well. We changed to a new pair of Hoosiers and prepared for day 1 of competition.

Since the power problem was fuel starvation, we went to Speedway Motors, bought some fuel cell foam and came back and filled the fuel tank up with foam. I also changed the tune back to a higher boost tune. Briget went out on her first run and said the power felt fine. I went out and the power wasn't what it should be but I dealt with it and finished day 1 in 4th but was only 2/10's off 2nd place. Briget was driving well and on day 1 was actually quicker than Sean Marie Kiesel, who was leading EML. I knew I left a lot on the table so I was optimistic for day 2 and felt 2nd place was well within my grasp. The car sitting in 2nd place actually broke off a front suspension mount and I was called upon to weld it back on using a $100 HF welder and 3500 watt generator. I have never seen, let alone used such a crappy welding set up but this was an emergency and had to do what I could. Well, the flux core weld spattered all over but the welds looked really good and the owner of the welder couldn't believe his welder was capable of that. And they held through day 2 of competition with 2 drivers trying to tear them off. While driving the car into the trailer, I literally drove the car into the trailer and mangled the front splitter. I pulled it off, hammered it straight and put it back on. I wish I had pictures but I was too traumatized. BTW my new GoPro Session overheated and quit so I do not have much video from the event.

On day 2, I went out on my first run and the car had no power, I mean nothing at the start. I did what I could be dropped like a stone in the results. I loaded another tune and Briget went out and came back shaking her head, she had no power, either. I reverted back to the lower boost tune that seemed to work on the test course and went out for my second run. Power was reduced but I still had something so I managed to pull off a time good enough to get me up to 3rd. Then I loaded the tune we successfully used at Springnationals and Briget went out for her final run. The power seemed good but all this "will it go or won't it?" really messed with her head and she didn't get it together to put in a good time. For my final run, I left the tune but decided to put my Dakota Digital speedometer box into test mode, which tricks the engine into thinking I am always doing 69 mph, thus ignoring most of the torque map and just giving me all the boost any time I mash the throttle. The car ripped off the line and I was on a really good, flying lap. Then on the long back slalom, a large object went flying past my head and the car started vibrating and banging violently. I pulled off the course and hopped out to look at what happened. A bolt that holds the rear suspension in place had fallen out and the vibrating was the driveshaft being out of alignment. My day was over but I had done enough for 3rd place.

On the drive home, I thought about everything that happened and was happy with 3rd but knew that 2nd should have been an easy thing. When Briget took over driving for a couple of hours, I pulled out the laptop and analyzed the only run that I logged all week. It was then that it all became clear. Background: The ECM uses vehicle speed and throttle pedal position to determine how much torque it will allow you to have. If my torque map is done right, it gives the car a crude but affective form of traction control and makes it very easy to drive fast. To give the computer the proper speed signal, I have an Auto Meter digital speedo adapter attached to the cable speedo output of the transmission. That digital signal is converted to a signal that the ECM can read through a Dakota Digital box. Ok, at some point last year, the tiny square flexible shaft that goes from the trans to the speedo adapter was lost and I had to improvise a repair. Evidently, the repair stopped working properly this week because according to the log from the test course, the car speed went up to around 30 mph and just hovered around that for the whole run. I know that's impossible so I surmise that the improvised cable is engaging the speedo adapter until it gets up to a certain rpm when it starts slipping. If the computer thinks I am only doing 30 mph, it will not give me all 400 ft/lbs of torque. I bet when I pull it apart, I will find that improvised square shaft has gone round. It's bad timing for sure but it's been working for a long time and I had no reason to suspect it. I feel bad for Briget, she deserved a lot better than where she ended up. New parts have been ordered.

Episode 350 2019 Solo Nationals

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