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|FOURTH FOR INTEGRA IN SHORTENED RACE||Monday, September 26, 2016|
|INTEGRA POISED FOR WIN BUT THEY STOPPED THE RACE
I took the race rig with the Integra up to the track on the Thursday before the Runoffs so that we could get the rig into its spot before the place filled up. Kevin and Carrie drove up from Texas and arrived on Friday night. After spending all day Saturday with Baby shower activities, we three brought up the STL Civic with the Sequoia on the Featherlite on Sunday. Before we left the shop we spent o couple hours doing a complete setup on the Civic as we had made plenty of changed to the suspension since Kevin had last driven the car. After we got to Mid Ohio we spent some time checking the setup on the Integra for the same reason. Both cars looked great and were ready for Mondays qualifying sessions. Sunday evening we picked up Sam Myers, ,and fellow Packer fans Steve Wycheck and Ken Kannard and went to BW3 to watch the Packers. They didn’t do too well and lost to the Viqueens.
At 11:30 am we took out the Integra for its first qualifying session. It ran well but lost all instruments on the second lap. Later we found that the fuse had blown for that circuit feeding the instruments and brake lights so I separated the two functions with separate fuses to try to isolate the problem. Kevin tempered a set of tires in the session so he only got a couple hot laps but he still turned in a 1:38.434 which left him in 7th place of 29 cars that went out.
At 12:45pm we took out the Civic for its first session after pumping some of the gas out and just leaving enough for the session. Once again we tempered some tires so only got about 6 laps. It started sputtering on the 2nd hot lap because of low gas. Figuring it was low enough we just added the track fuel after that. He turned in a 1:39.824 which left us in 14th place.
After getting the cars ready for the next day we went to the Richland county fairgrounds for the welcome party. It was very nice food provided by very nice people.
Kevin found his allergies kicking up so went to town for some allergy medicine. At 11:05 we took the Integra out for its 2nd session. It ran well but lost the brake lights almost immediately due to a blown fuse. That allowed us to find the problem with a loose wire in the taillights that was making contact with ground. The car also started to miss just a bit at high rpms so I downloaded the engine ECU log. The log indicated that there was a growing amount of timing errors so I replaced the Engine Position Module that fed the AEM EMS4. That fixed both problems. Kevin managed to turn in 1:37.641 which was 3rd in the session and left us 5th overall. Kevin also replaced the front rotors and brake pads on the Integra. Between the sessions Kevin attended the Prod Town Hall Meeting.
At 12:45pm we took out the Civic for its 2nd session. It ran well and turned in a xx for 3rd place but was the slowest trap speed of the top 19 cars. During the session a heavy piece seemed to come off Ken Kannard’s car and hit the Civics air damn. Kevin removed parts of the damn and repaired it after the session.
After the HP group finally got off the track they started the PROD party. It was the same as the last three years – they got tons of money from the prod drivers which they gave to the worker fund, they had long slow lines for food, of which there was not near enough. And the food that was there was pretty bad. I personally think they should either take all the money and give it to the worker fund and have no party, or take half the money to buy a keg of beer and pay someone to cater the food.
We took out the Integra and it ran very well with no timing errors. It turned in a 1:36.888. We were one of only four FP cars to run in the 1:36’s. We were pulled into tech and were the only one to get the Whistler test. We passed tech easily.
The Civic ran well also and turned in a 1:38.061 which was enough to put us in 8th for the week. We were called to tech after the session and everything went well except for fuel. Our fuel did not pass. We took it back to paddock and decided to pump out all the remaining fuel out of the OEM fuel tank. To our surprise we pumped out 2 gallons after it started sputtering in the turns to get to the E, then we took out 3 more gallon to truly empty the tank. We then refilled it with track gas to make us legal.
All week we had been helping Larry Gallagher with our old ITA Integra that had been converted to FP. He was finding problems and getting better at driving it every day. Today we helped him install a residual pressure valve on the front brakes. After getting the cars all ready for the next day we met the Mosers, Huffmasters and Buttermores and Tim from Hoosier at the Roadhouse for a great dinner with good friends.
Larry had another problem with the car missing and the tach jumping. We knew that meant a bad ignitor in the distributor so we gave him our spare. It fixed his problem and he ran well enough to get him from the 1:44s to 1:41.9.
We added camber to both rear tires on the Integra, checked the toe, and added fuel. Kevin took her out for the last session of the week. It ran very well and was first in the session with a 1:36.332. Near the end of the session Steve Hussey in his Lotus S7, who had not been much below a 1:38 all week, turned in a 1:36.119 for the pole. Then on the last lap John Walker in his Lotus S7, who had not turned in one lap all week, turns in a 1:35.938. That left us in 4th for the race.
We took the Civic out for its final session and it ran well but could not go as fast as it did ealrie in the week, probably because it was so hot.
Joey Moser borrowed a pair of our Hoosier S100s for his car to qualify on and replaced them later. After cleaning up we went to the banquet to watch the pole award presentations and have some food. It was by far the worst banquet at the Runoffs in 7 years – typical Mid Ohio - poor food, with only two serving lines, in a tent with a gravel floor, with no shortage of flies. After the presentations we went to the Honda party at the Blueberry Patch restaurant. We were a bit late but it was very nice. They should have scheduled this on Wednesday night like other manufacturers do.
Friday we pretty much took the day off. We watched some great races in the esses, got all of our guests set up with crew passes, and watched Joey lose the EP race in the last lap. Then we helped him turn the car around for the STU race just an hour later – which he won walking away.
We fueled up both race cars and checked them out with Justin Hickey’s help. Then after cleaning up some we went to the Mexican restaurant in Lexington which was excellent. After getting back to the track we went to the Huffmaster camp and had a couple beers.
SATURDAY – RACE DAY FOR THE CIVIC
We took the Civic down to the concrete pad to check and adjust the camber and toe before the race. We cleaned up the RV in anticipation of all of our visitors who all showed up about 11am. Diane, Sheryl, Connie & Lyle, Kerry & Shane along with all the dogs Jordy, Lacey & Lambeau. They all got set up on the hill in the esses on a beautiful day. Kevin started the race in 8th place which is right where we do not like to start. About right there we always have problems with other drivers trying to do something their car will not do. On the second lap Kevin had to mash the brake to avoid hitting another car who had darted in front of him. That locked up the fronts and slid it off the track. Knowing he was going off, he kept it straight so as not to roll the car in the gravel trap. Then he sped up to make sure he would make it all the way through the trap without getting bogged down. When he immerged he found himself in 31st (DFL) place way behind the pack. He then did an awesome job of catching back up to the pack and passing cars to make it all the way back to 17th place. It was exciting to watch but it would have been better if he would have not gone off and finished about 5th place. Either way, it’s not too bad for the cars 4th event. We will now try to find a new owner for the car as we do not need two national race cars.
After all the guest left and we got everything put away we went to Bucks for dinner. We always enjoy Buck’s in Lexington and have a good time. After we got back to the track the party was at Smycheks paddock.
SUNDAY – RACE DAY FOR THE INTEGRA
Started 4th, fell back to 8th avoiding hitting Walker when he got loose, got back to 4th with 13 laps left………. and they ended the race……… WHAT A SCREW JOB BY SCCA or MID OHIO! There was no one making any attempt to restart the race after the incident on the straight from the moment it happened. They made everyone do 3 laps under yellow so it was 12 laps so they could declare it over and an official race and could then go to lunch. WORSE RACE MANAGEMENT I HAVE EVER SEEN!!! DO THEY HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH TIME AND MONEY GOES INTO GETTING A CAR READY FOR THE RUNOFFS JUST TO CALL IT DONE AFTER 9 LAPS???
Yeah, there’s not enough time to get all the races done properly…….however, they spent roughly 8 hours, or one whole day, putting on races for these classes for a total of 65 cars (9-FE, 10-T3, 8-FM, 10-F1000, 9-BS, 5-FA, 7-FC, 7-GT1). That means they put the remainder of the 581 cars registered in the other two days. Does that make any sense???
IF YOU CAN’T FIELD OVER TEN CARS FOR THE RUNOFFS THEN YOU DON’T RACE. THEN WE CAN HAVE REAL RACES WITH NO TIME LIMIT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASSES.
OK you don’t want to do that? How about this? Each race took the same time to put on, same number of trophies, checker flags, Champaign bottles, and therefore the same cost. So divide the cost by the number of entrants. If your class has 5 cars you will pay SIX times as much as the cars in a class that has 30 cars will…..and you still should not get a national championship beating 4 cars!!! Actually I wouldn’t mind subsidizing the under-subscribed classes, as long as we don’t get screwed while we are doing it like we did this year.
Ok, you don’t want to do that either?? At least put those 8 classes into 2 groups with roughly 30-35 cars each. That would provide 6 ADDITIONAL HOURS to do proper races for everyone.
Oh, you are probably concerned that doing any of those things will piss off those competitors and they might not come back. Gee…. we might lose all 5 of the BS cars………….who cares. Several of those drivers are running others real cars anyway. And the same with the rest of the undersubscribed classes. How many drivers will not bother to come back to the Runoffs because they spent thousands of dollars and more than a weeks vacation to run 9 damn race laps???
You think this year was a problem?? Wait until Indianapolis where there will be many many more cars. The 5-10 car classes will really take a toll on time available to run proper races, and proper qualifying time.
|CIVIC FINISHES WELL AFTER OFF||Monday, September 26, 2016|
|This was only the fourth event for the newly converted Civic in STL class. There were 31 of the best STL cars in the country to start the Runoffs race, most of which had more horsepower than us. The car ran very well all week but was constantly slower than most all of the cars by 5 to 8 mph in the trap speed on the straight even though it ran around 4th in lap times. We did not have time to properly develop the B17A engine in this car to make it able to threaten for the lead. We even have new custom cams but did not have time to get them right and get the engine tuned.
Even so the car ran great and was quite fun to drive. With its Koni double adjustable shocks, Wilwood two piece 4 piston aluminum brakes, Hoosier DOT tires, and a great driver behind the wheel, it was one of the quickest in the corners all week long.
Kevin started the race in 8th position but on the second lap he had to lock up the brakes at the end of the back straight to avoid another car. He managed to go into China Beach and go all the way through it and not get stuck. As he reentered the race he was in DFL 31st position well behind the pack. He spent the rest of the race catching up and passing cars to get all the way back to 17th. The car is for sale now but we will continue to develop the engine to find the needed power for the new owner.
|EPIC RACE AT MID OHIO||Monday, June 6, 2016|
|This was the most subscribed “non-runoffs” event that SCCA at Mid Ohio had ever held. The reason, of course, was because the Runoffs was coming in September and everyone wanted to get a practice run in before the big event. We were no exception since we wanted to see how the Civic would do against the best in the country and how the Integra would do on this track at this time. Unfortunately the weather did not fully cooperate as it rained most of Saturday and Saturday night.
I drove the RV and enclosed trailer up to the track on Wednesday morning with the FP Integra, the Elite, and the Yamaha cart to get a decent paddock spot. After picking Kevin up at the airport Thursday morning, we spent a few hours doing set up on the Civic before we loaded it on the Featherlite and took it up to the track with the Sequoia. We did not do the practice session because it was full and we didn’t need it anyway. Carrie came up that evening and we all went to the Mexican Restaurant in Lexington that was excellent.
Friday morning we had a practice session with each car which went well. The Civic needed something to hold the front of the new fiberglass hood as it was fluttering at speed. We got some Tzus fasteners that did the trick. The radio was still not working in the Civic so we tried a different radio. The residual pressure valve I added to the Integra seemed to work well also.
Friday afternoon we had our first qualifying session with each car. The Civic turned a 1:38.519. After the session at the drivers meeting they told us we needed a tow strap on the front of the car. I installed an axle strap bolted to the frame that poked through a hole the splitter. The Integra turned in a 1:38.801. Friday evening after finding bolts for the tow strap we showered and went to the Roadhouse for a nice dinner. Of course we met up with the Huffmaster crew and had some crazy times.
Saturday morning we had the second qualifying sessions. It was wet or at least damp most of the morning so pretty much no one went any faster than the day before. Saturday afternoon we were lucky enough to get a dry race with the Civic before it opened up for the Integra race. The Civic did quite well running third in class most of the race. Kevin got held up by a clown in a BMW that was nowhere near anyone in his class and just wanted to race somebody. That allowed the next STL car to pass Kevin and put him on 4th. No big deal as we were there to gain information on how to make the car better and we did that. We added camber to the rear, changed the rear bar settings and lowered the air pressures in the tires.
Since it was pouring hard, we put the older set of rains on the Integra and gave Kevin a squeegee to wipe the windshield. He quickly jumped into first place and drove away with Charlie Campbell close behind. With no one in front of him he could manage to run fairly quickly. However, as soon as they started to catch lappers he had great difficulty seeing the cars so he backed off to preserve the car. That allowed Charlie, who had no windshield to deal with to take the lead and win the race.
Saturday night we went to the dinner provided by the Ohio Valley Region which was pretty bad. It still blows my mind how a “Club” can take in over $200,000 in entries and pay out roughly $100,000 to $150,000 to put on the race and still provide the cheapest dinner possible for its “members”. They even assigned a person on guard so to make sure you didn’t take two cookies! Their bank account is pushing close to a million dollars. Of course they did send 17 people to Las Vegas this year for the SCCA convention and bought everyone of the inner circle new jackets, etc., but who’s counting. After the pitiful banquet we went over to the Huffmaster camp and had a great time drinking, munching on food, and telling stories.
Sunday we were hoping for dry races, especially for the FP Integra. The Civic race was dry and the Civic did well. Kevin jumped from a start of fifth position to third right away and stayed right with the two leaders for most of the race. Eventually, a past national champion, Cliff Ira passed Kevin with his Integra to put Kevin in 4th where he finished. First was Mizer in his Civic, 2nd was Schmidt in his Prelude, and 3rd was Ira. The car responded well to the changes we made but still needs some more changes to the suspension as well as some more ponies to get to the front.
The Integra race was the race of the weekend. It started out kind of boring as Prill did not show up due to issues with his car, and Kevin started run away from the rest of the pack. On lap three he dropped a couple tires off at the Keyhole which put some crap on the tires and brought the others closer behind him. At the end of the straight he lost grip and went off. He struggled to keep the car out of the sand trap and get it back onto the track. He spent the next several laps regaining positions until he got back into second place. Just then it started to pour without warning. It only rained for about a minute but it made the track very slippery. That actually helped Kevin to reel in Charley until he once again went off track at the keyhole turn. He came back on and continued to chase down Charley. The track dried out quickly and on the 17th lap of 20 he passed Charley for the lead and the win. While he was chasing Charlie he broke the track record by .oo4 seconds for the Pro course. He now owns both the Pro and Club course records at Mid Ohio.
The Civic is getting better every time we take it out. It is probably a top 5 car at the Runoffs already but we want to give a chance to go to the front.
The Integra is just awesome. Every time Kevin gets out of the car he says how much he loves it. However, we never stop developing the car because we know that none of our competitors stop developing.
It was a great weekend! One of the best things was all of our fans that came out to see us race. On Saturday Kevin’s sister, Shane and his boys Colby & Caleb, Sheryl, Justin & his son, Kyle & Kendra & their daughter, John & Eva, all came to see us race. On Sunday we had Kevin’s mom, Sheryl, his sister Kerry & Shane, Bob & his son Jackson, and Kevins brother Andy with Sarah, Drew, Nolan & Bryn. There was a real cheering section on the hill in the esses for that race. After impound Kevin's nephews & niece got to ride back to the paddock in the back of the National Champion Integra - they really loved it. When he got out Nolan said "It felt like we were in the race".
|A BUST AT PITT RACE||Monday, May 16, 2016|
|We haven’t been to this race track since May of 2003 when it only had the North track. It was nice then but kind of boring after a while, and there was pretty much nothing there but the track and a go kart track. Since then they have added the South track, and tons of buildings and paved paddock space. It has really become one of the best tracks in the country. The track is very fun with 19 turns and lots of elevation change, and it is reasonably safely designed. And best of all for us, is it is under a 3 hour drive from our shop.
I picked Kevin up at the airport on Thursday morning and we went directly to the shop. Our 12 new Avanti Wheels had just showed up at the house and needed to have tires mounted and fitted over the new Wilwood brakes. We mounted and balanced all the tires and did a complete setup on the Civic. Then we did a quick setup on the FP Integra just to make sure it was still good after replacing the right front Koni. Then we loaded everything into the trailer and RV and started driving to Pitt Race about 8pm. When we arrived it started raining, and it was late, so we left everything on the trailer and went to sleep as we were both beat.
The next morning it was pretty nice weather so we got the cars out and registered for the test day. We missed the first session but went out for the 2nd session just before noon with the Civic. To both of our surprise the car ran and handled great. All the massive changes we made to the car were just what the car needed. We did find a small brake fluid leak near the master cylinder and the brake fluid reservoir was not positioned properly. We fixed both of those and went out for the 3rd session after lunch. The car ran great but we only got a couple laps due to moron drivers. For the last session we decided to take out the Integra just to check it out. It ran great but we only got 2 laps again due to moron drivers and black/red flags. We got a total of 13 laps (6 hot laps) for $300 – WOW $50 a hot lap. Sounds like a bad deal but we did find some issues with the Civic that would have not been good during qualifying the next day.
Saturday morning we got up early because the weather channel told us that nasty weather was on its way. We got all 8 rain tires installed and disconnected the rear stabilizers just before it started raining hard. We put the Integra under the trailer canopy and drove the Civic into the trailer to try to keep the inside of the cars dry. The Civic was first out and it ran pretty well in the rain and qualified 2nd of 12 STL and 7th overall. Kevin was still getting used to the chassis and the new brakes and this class had plenty of front wheel drive cars.
Then the Integra ran well too. Kevin stayed out long enough to get some clear track and turn in a good lap. He qualified 1st of 11 FP cars, and 1st overall in the run group of 40 cars – mostly rear wheel drive. He just edged out Joey Moser in his EP Prelude for the top spot.
It rained on and off all day so we wondered what tires to leave on the cars for the race. And since we were in back to back run groups, we would have a difficult time changing the tires on the Integra while we were out running the Civic. It turned out not to be an issue since it just kept raining. The Civic was first out in a hard rain. It did very well and was running in solid second place when it indicated an engine error and went into limp mode. Kevin knew if he pulled over he would not get towed in in time to make the next race so he limped it all the way around the track and back to paddock. Other cars had had electrical problems with so much water in the cars so we thought maybe that was the problem but had no time to diagnose because we had to race the Integra.
Kevin started on the overall pole and controlled the start of the race. As usual he jumped out to a decent lead and started to just drive away from the pack. Half way through the first lap he had at least a 5 car length lead when he went a bit too deep into a the corner leading into the S turns. He pumped the brakes and nearly got it under control but had to drop off just two wheels which would normally not be any issue at all. However, when the wheels went off they hit the mud which grabbed the car and spun it around while throwing mud everywhere. Fortunately the rain tires allowed him to keep moving and bring it back onto the track but he had fallen at least to 20th position. He proceeded to drive back up though the field and get into 3rd place just when a red flag came out to stop the race. Because of the red flag they went back to the previous full lap for the finishing positions, so he officially finished 4th. Yes we lost a guaranteed win but Kevin gained a lot of experience driving the car in the heavy rain. We had not done that for several years and Kevin really needed the practice since the Runoffs in Sept at Mid Ohio could very well be in rain conditions.
They decided to postpone the group 7 race until Sunday morning because of the heavy rain. Saturday night we put the cars away and under the canopy again after taking the ECU out of the Civic to check it out and let it dry overnight. We went to the dinner that was quite nice with salad, pasta, sausage, meatballs, and ice cream - and of course beer.
Sunday was supposed to be maybe a little less precipitation but colder. Yup, it snowed, hard at times and it was cold. We quickly found the problem with the Civic which was a bad injector connector and got it fixed and ready to run. We cleaned the big chunks of mud off the Integra and got it ready to run. The track was mostly dry so we finally put on the dry tires. The Civic qualified 3rd in STL, just .05 seconds behind 2nd place, and 11th overall which was pretty good. We put a new set of tires on the Integra so we could temper them for the June race but that meant Kevin had to build heat into the tires gradually. He finally took the pole position in FP and 2nd overall behind Joey on his last lap. He was just .3 seconds off the track record and felt he certainly could have gone faster and would go faster in the race.
They got the group 7 race completed from the day before, completed all of the Sunday qualifying sessions, and completed the group 1 race. Then the group 2 race had a driver that lost his brakes and plowed head on into a tire barrier. Somehow the tires in the wall started on fire. They pulled the car out but burned about 200 feet of the barrier, 3 bundles deep. Due to the extensive damage they cancelled the rest of the days races.
We packed up, drove the rig back to the shop, and unloaded the cars. Then we went to dinner at Chubbys and to our surprise were met by Andy, Sarah, Drew, Nolan, and Bryn. Kevin was thrilled to see the kids before he had to get back on a plane early the next morning.
It was not a great weekend with very few test day laps, a loss of what would probably have turned out to be a win for the Civic, and a guaranteed win for the Integra. But we learned what we needed to know about the Civic and we got the Saturday race in to qualify the Civic for the Runoffs. We were also very happy to see our old ITA Integra race as an FP car at the hands of Larry Gallagher. It ran well but was under powered with the ITA engine and ITA weight.
We now can concentrate on weight reduction and trying to find a few more horsepower for the Civic. The Integra will take hours to get all of the mud off and out of the car.
|Lots of Work Done on the Cars||Friday, April 22, 2016|
|After Road Atlanta in March we have found tons of work to do on the STL Civic and a few things on the National Champion FP Integra.
We found the front right shock on the Integra to be blown out as soon as we put it on track at RA. Yes, Kevin managed two wins anyway but it was definitely blown so we sent it back to Lee at Koni. We found out that some weird transvers loading had galled out the top of the piston and allowed the oil and gas to escape. We reinstalled it but made a small change to see if that was the problem. We also had issues with the Race Energy complaining during the race so we looked around and found the brake light was on continuously due to a brake switch problem. We fixed the problem and it should be OK.
The STL Civic was a different story. Even though the Civic took 4th of 17 cars in it's debut race, Kevin said it was "horrible" and "not fun" to drive. Without going into details here is a list of stuff we worked on or completely replaced:
- removed the brake booster and installed universal MC mount
- installed a new Master Cylinder matched to the new brakes
- moved the drivers seat lower and inward for better weight distribution and driver comfort
- lowered steering wheel to match the lowered seat
- installed new Koni 2812 shocks all around
- installed new knuckles with new studs, bearings, hub, & ball joints
- replaced lower control arms with spherical bushings
- replaced upper control arms with camber adjusters
- installed new 2 piece alum hat rotors, 4 piston alum calipers, new pads, new flexible lines, new race fluid
- installed an OEM stabilizer bar to the new arms
- replaced lower control arms with spherical bushings
- replaced trailing arms with new hub/bearing, studs and large spherical bushing
- replaced brake drums with new discs & pads on new arms
|Road Atlanta Wins and first STL race||Monday, March 21, 2016|
|We had not been to Road Atlanta in 5 years so we really wanted to go back there. It was also a perfect early, but not too early, race date to check out the 1992 Civic that we converted to STL and we knew that there would be some competition with Ken Kannard there. It was just 6 weeks earlier that we decided to convert the Civic to STL by building and installing a B17A1 engine for the car. Miraculously we got it done in time to haul it and the FP Integra down to Atlanta.
John Huber and I loaded the trailer with both cars and took off for Atlanta on Wednesday morning expecting to stop and sleep along the way. Since the trip went so well we just kept on driving and arrived at the gates of Road Atlanta at about 11:30 that night. We slept in the RV outside the gate and were the first to enter the next morning and find a flat spot down in the skid pad next to OPM.
On Thursday during the test day we set up paddock and got the cars ready for Kevin who flew in to the Atlanta with Carrie late that night. We had Jim Creighton do the annual on the Civic so it was ready when Kevin arrived with his new helmet. Kev & Carrie arrived at the RV about 1am. Since we needed to be on the track at 8:55 am with the Integra, and right after that with the Civic, we got up early. Kev & Carrie went through registration and tech while John & I set up the cars.
The Integra did not do well in the first practice session. It came in with oil everywhere in the engine bay and even on the left front wheel. We quickly discovered that the valve cover gasket was not re-installed properly when I lifted the cover to see where the cam pulleys were set the week before. The Civic ran well but was twitchy. In the second session which was qualifying, they both did better but Kevin was still trying to get in the groove as well. The Integra qualified 3rd behind Kannard and Meredith, and the Civic qualified 4th of 17 STL cars which was extremely good since it was not handling well at all.
Friday night we got as much work done as we could on the cars, including finding a short near the starter that destroyed the small battery in the Civic. We stopped to pick up a rebuilt starter on the way to dinner at Buffalo. We met Tim from Hoosier there. The food was not great but the company was.
On Saturday we had another qualifying session and it was supposed to rain all day but it never dropped a drop. We did not improve either of the cars standing as Kevin regained his feel for the cars. The Saturday Integra race saw the flagger throw the flag very early which bunched up cars coming down the hill and put two HP cars together. That caused a black flag which severely shortened the race to 6 laps. Kevin, Blake Meredith and Ken Kannard had some good race laps before Ken had a flat tire. Kevin got out in front and then was slowed by EP cars with a bunch of horsepower but slow in the corners. He held on for the win. After the race he quickly finished the cool down lap and was the first to impound where he jumped out of the Integra and into the Civic which we had there waiting for him.
The STL race wasn’t much better. Kevin lost a bunch of positions at the start but the race was black flagged right away so they restarted the race with the original lineup. This race only went 8 laps. Kevin finished in 3rd but the flagger showed the checker to the wrong car at the wrong time so they had to go back to an earlier lap to find a winner???? Anyway we finished 4th which was awesome for a brand new car amongst 17 other STL cars.
Sunday morning we got the FP Integra ready and then tried to find the source of the twitchiness of the Civic. We found where the rear toe adjusters looked like they had been moving so we installed new bolts and tightened them down very tight.
The FP race was excellent. It went the full 20 laps and Kevin, Blake and Kenny had a bunch of laps racing together and trading the lead. Kevin was being pulled down the straights by both cars but usually out cornered them to stay close. Near the end of the race Blake’s tires started to go away and Kenny spun in turn seven which left Kevin to cruise for another Majors win. He passed on the victory lap and the podium, and jumped in the Civic to get ready for the next race. We had hoped we had improved the car but it wasn’t any better. It was actually worse because now his brakes were bad as well. He finished 7th in STL which was pretty great in a new, wounded car.
We have always loved Road Atlanta. However, it is not what it used to be……. The facilities were a bit run down and unkept.
|Preparing for the race season||Friday, February 12, 2016|
|The National Champion FP Integra has been reassembled after they tore us down in Tech after winning the Runoffs. It also has new rings, new injectors, and a new "ram air" intake system. The totally new dyno tune with new sensor calibrations has been completed and it is even better than when it finished winning the Runoffs. The computer will also will be capable of sensing and taking advantage of the "ram air" at high speeds, the total effect of which is unknown since we aren't able to properly simulate 100+ mph on a dyno.
We have taken the decision to convert our 1992 Honda Civic into a STL car this year. Since HP and FP always are in the same run group we never got to run both cars. With the Civic in the STL class, Kevin will be able to drive both cars on a weekend and enter both cars at the 2016 Runoffs at Mid Ohio. The STL rules allow us to install any Honda engine. We have selected a B17A1 Integra vtec to put in the car. We have all the parts on order and it should be done in time to race at Road Atlanta in March, although more development will be needed before its ready to compete properly at the Runoffs in September.