As you may recall from the previous
SCCA race, the engine's center cam holder cracked towards the end of
the race. Because it is part of the
top block (seen right), the entire block was replaced and the parts migrated and tuned
accordingly. Sandy and Eric at Quicksilver
Racing, top-shelf engine builders for this type of engine, were
hired to make the parts changeover and tweaking. My race engineer and all around
great guy Glenn Philips of GTP Motorsports assisted in helping me remove
and install the top block. The car started right up and now it was time
to make sure everything was fine before this coming weekend's SCCA race.
Having run with the COMSCC
group quite a bit during my first two years of track driving, waning off
during the past year or so due to SCCA racing, it was great seeing so many
familiar and new faces! The plan was to go out the very first track session
to see how the engine feels plus make sure the car was in good order.
Naturally i would tweak as necessary even though she was set for NHMS from the previous SCCA
race a few weeks back. It was a hot day, reaching over 85F with high
humidity, so this would be a great test during adverse conditions.
Took great care in warming up the engine and
then going out and rowing through the gears to feeling how the engine
responded while keeping an eye on engine temperature and pressure readings.
Everything felt good overall, though the track was a bit slippery in various
sections as some fluids (oils, coolant, etc) were on the surface.
Discussed this with others and they agreed that certain parts of the track
had grip issues, so it was a tarmac issue versus a car setup situation.
Downloading the data to my dedicated car computer system after my first run
showed that everything was reading normal given the ambient
COMSCC, after the first run you hand in a card showing your best lap time.
This allows them to properly place you in a small 'Run Group' that goes out on
track for time trials. Time trials are basically where you send a car out,
wait about 15 seconds, then send out the next car until all cars within a
group are on the track. This is done to ensure proper spacing so each car
has a completely clear track while trying to achieve the best lap time
possible. You get three laps to accomplish your fastest lap.
As i prefer scrubbed tires for a race versus
new, this was also an excellent opportunity to scrub in a new set of tires
for the SCCA race only three days later. Was amazing how hot the track and
ambient temperatures were, as the tires were 127F simply being in the sun!
As a tire's pressure can vary depending on their temperature, i
made some mental calculations and considered the situation. This is to realize
optimum pressures during the hot laps. My personal goal was to achieve the club record for
the fastest lap, which was held by a 40 years of track experience veteran
who also drives an open wheel winged car. His time,
1:10.980, has held strong as COMSCC runs the chicane/chicane configuration.
If you look at the track map to the right SCCA usually uses the NASCAR bottom
section while COMSCC uses the inner (inward curved) sections between Turn 1 and Turn 2.
Went out there and gave her a first lap of
good warm up, then during the second lap i went for a good time, with the
third lap being 'hot' hoping to achieve a time that would beat the club's
longstanding record. The track still had a few spots and was not as
grippy as during the SCCA race a few weeks earlier. Still, the new
tires and new top end were put to good use. My personal time trial best lap time was 1:09.063; this
is a good result earning fastest lap of the day, the Formula Prepared record
the club's overall record by nearly 2 seconds (01.917 to be exact).
Appreciation And Thanks
Thanks go out to
Glenn Philips at GTP Motorsports as he is
truly an asset in so many ways, with the people at Quicksilver Racing doing
a fine job at supplying a beautifully running top end of the engine. Thanks
go out to everyone at COMSCC and the workers for putting on wonderful event.
appreciation also extends to the Enjoy the Track's sponsors for showing
their support so early in my racing career. If you are reading this, please visit the Sponsors
page and learn about each company's excellent products and services!
They truly offer outstanding items you really should consider before making
your next home audio purchase. As always, in the end what really
matters is that we all...
Enjoy the Track,
Steven R. Rochlin