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|Kevin & Carrie Leave Columbus||Thursday, July 10, 2014|
|Early this morning Kevin and Carrie drove their Sequoia to Memphis, then to Dallas tomorrow, and on to their new home of San Antonio on Saturday. Kevin has accepted a position at the Cooper Tire proving grounds as their head test engineer.
After two years at the Transportation Research Center he was ready for more and better challenges than a poorly managed "non-profit" organization could offer him.
This will obviously effect our racing effort but it will not stop it. Our racing for this year is probably over since we were not planning on going to the Runoffs in San Francisco anyway, but we will be back racing next year to get qualified for the National Runoffs being held at the famous Daytona Raceway. The FP Integra is tucked away in better shape than it has ever been. At our only races this year we proved the new engine by running laps under our track record at Mid Ohio on both qualifying sessions even though we really had no competition pushing us. In 2015 the Runoffs return to Mid Ohio which we would not miss.
We have already purged the shop of unneeded parts and created a list of parts that we are going to sell, including the ITA Integra and the HP Civic. The ITA car is ready to sell right now, but the HP will be further developed to get it right before we send it to a new home. I will be posting the list of available items in the next week or so.
|Two Wins at Mid Ohio||Tuesday, June 3, 2014|
|The first time we take the car out every year is always a bit nerve racking but this one was even more so. It was a very late start for us and it may very well be our only race in this car this year. Add to that we were at our home track where we are the defending champions, and the track record holder, it put a lot of pressure on us to win.
We have been working on the car since we left the track at the Runoffs last September. First of all we had to fix the transmission. It was the reason we finished third at the Runoffs as it was popping out of gear and just did not want to shift at all in the final couple laps. We completely rebuilt it with new carbon fiber sycros, new bearings and even a new third gear. It is now ready for another 50 races. Second we completely replaced the front suspension with new ball joints, bearings, long studs & nuts, brake rotors, pads, flex lines, and calipers. Third we had to find out why the new engine was not running as good as the old engine. We installed the new engine and swapped components until we found the problem – finally we have two great engines. We actually didn’t finish that process until the day we were scheduled to leave for the track on Thursday. Early that morning we took the car to Slow Motion to do a final dyno check and tune of the engine. We went directly to Mid Ohio from SloMo and got ready for qualifying on Friday. As usual Corey worked his magic on the tune and it ran great.
We only had one session of Friday at 11am so there was no rush. It was nice to be able to take a breath and go around and talk with friends at the track without having to worry about getting something done on the car. We bolted on the new Hoosier S80 tires all around and Kevin went out. On the 7th lap he turned in a 1:38.370 which was .148 faster than our own track record. Not too bad. We went to the Road House for dinner with Chris Childs, Gary, the Buttermores, and Joey Moser. Joey was having some difficulties with his new Prelude popping the half shafts out under load.
On Saturday we had our second qualifying session at 8:00 AM, and then the 30 minute race at 2:00 PM. Kevin only did a few laps in qualifying and brought it after turning a 1:38.48 which was again under our track record. He was second overall in the session behind a very fast EP car. At the start of the race the pole sitter Jim Daniels in an EP Miata jumped the start pretty bad so they waved it off and made them go around a second time. When they finally started the race Kevin took off and steadily pulled away from all the FP cars, but the EP battle was a good one. Joey and Daniels were mixing it up pretty good with Joey in the lead when Joey’s Prelude blew the flywheel. The rest of the race Kevin had to concentrate on driving perfectly without the aid of having other cars around him – which he did. Second in FP was Sam Henry in his Miata and third was David Strittmatter in his Lancia Scorpion. Kevin got close to his record in the race, within a half second, but the heat of the afternoon would not allow him to beat it.
On Sunday we only had the 19 lap race at 2:00 PM again in the heat of the day. Kevin started second overall but was quickly passed by Halkias' EP car. He ran a near perfect race and pulled away from his competition again to take first place. At one point in the race another EP Prelude blew an engine and spread oil over half the track. Kevin’s many years of experience helped him to expect the oil when he saw the Prelude spin and to avoid the oil while other cars were spinning out.
Kevin, Carrie & I had a great weekend with wonderful weather and great friends. We also had Mommo and Sheryl come to see the race on Saturday along with my old friends Alan and Chris Newton all the way from Melbourne Australia.
|Getting ready for the new year||Thursday, April 17, 2014|
|The first thing we did was completely rebuild the transmission in the FP Integra so it will be good for another 100 races or so. Next we installed the new FP engine #2 and took it to the dyno to find it was still down on horsepower compared to #1. Then we swapped the heads on the two engines to find out where the problem lied. After replacing the rings we took the car to a Mid Ohio Test & Tune on April 24 and it ran great. A final session on the dyno next week will tell us how well it is running. We also replaced the front brake pads, rotors, flex lines, and calipers. Hopefully sometime early this year we will be training our attention on the HP car to get it up to snuff.|