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|Great WIN at Mid Ohio||Tuesday, July 21, 2020|
|After not being able to test the car at any test & tune events in Spring, then having a transmission go bad in St Louis, then having a blown engine at the June Sprints, we really needed to have a good showing this weekend.
I took the car with the new engine to SoMo to have the new engine check ed out and tuned. Kevin stopped in while he was working on the phone and laptop. We were both very pleased with the results.
I got to the shop early to finish a few things on the car and get the trailer and RV ready for the weekend. Just after noon Kevin called to tell me that he found out there was no twilight test & tune scheduled for tonight. I spent some more time looking at the program and display while waiting for Kevin to come to help load the few remaining items. We drove out on a nice day with hopes that the new thermostats would fix the overheating problems on the Discovery RV – NOPE. It was overheating probably worse than before. We just slowed down and make it fine to Lexington. Since we had to make reserved times to go to registration we had an hour to kill so we stopped at the new-ish restaurant just as you are coming into Lexington from I71 called Local 97. The service was great and the food was great too. We will definitely be back here, especially since out favorite Mexican place closed up. We were one of the last rigs to pull in but there was still plenty of room so we pulled in the upper paddock along the west fence so there would be a minimum of traffic to worry about when the kids were there.
We got up early on a nice day. Our test session was at 9 am. Kevin took her out with the new engine. He finally got to push the start/finish button on the dash as he crossed the line to set the position for the timing software in the AEM CD-7L. It worked fantastic. He got all the timing information he could ask for. We did find a few fixes needed on the display but they were minor. He ran a few laps in the 1:40s which he was happy with. I thought that was pretty slow until I realized that we were running the club course which adds in the turns before the keyhole.
That afternoon we had our first official qualifying session. They gridded everyone based on the times from the morning test session. We were first and Chima was second. He is a very smart driver so he followed Kevin and got a tow several times which gave him the second fastest lap time behind Kevin.
That evening we cooked sausages and burgers on the grill with Joe Moser and had a great evening with nothing to do on the car except add fuel and rotate tires– very nice.
At 9 am we had another qualifying session but it was even hotter than on Friday so we did not expect anyone to go faster. We put on a new set of Hoosiers to temper them for use at the Cat National at Road America next month. As expected some cars went a bit faster but the gird didn’t significantly change.
Carrie brought up Walter & the twins to see daddy race, to see that RV, and for Yamaha golf cart rides. We put in the cool suit to keep Kevin cool and it worked pretty well. We were not sure that the battery would finish the race with that added load but it did just fine. Kevin started on the pole but Chima jumped the start (as any seasoned driver would) and got past Kevin in turn one but Kevin stayed in there and passed him back. Kevin lead for 5 laps before Chima passed Kevin at the end of the back straight with a good draft off the Integra. Kevin said he made a mistake or two which opened the door for Craig to take the lead. Chima then drove a error free race to hold on for the win. Kevin and I were both surprised that not only did the tires stay good on the Lotus but that it ran all 16 laps with no problem. Can’t remember the last time we saw a Lotus 7 do that.
Saturday evening we very much enjoyed another evening with nothing to do to the car. However, as we were rotating tires and checking everything, Kevin found the right rear wheel bearing was pretty loose so we replaced it. That probably contributed to making the rear of the car a bit loose. We checked the toe in on front and back and they were both perfect.
Our Hoosier upper Tour race was Sunday morning at 9:20. It was not super hot but the humidity was very near 100%. We again employed the cool suit but we did not have as many frozen water bottles as we needed to last through a 35 minute race. Kevin started on overall pole again but this time he jumped the start at the same time Chima jumped the start so he beat him into turn one and pulled out a nice couple car lead. He found his groove fairly quickly and never lost it. Chima chased Kevin in second place from a several car lengths back but never came close enough to attempt a pass. Finally after 10 laps the Lotus broke as we expected it to, but before it did, it turned in a slightly faster lap time than Kevin (.02 seconds) by getting a good pull around the track from Kevin. Next was Charlie Campbell. He tried his best to catch Kevin, especially when Kevin got loose in turn one. Fortunately Kevins lead was enough to not let Charlie get close enough to attempt a pass.
At impound Kevin was really spent by the heat and needed a lot of water and cold towels to cool him off. The babies were all at the podium to cheer for daddy.
|Not Great At June Sprints||Sunday, June 14, 2020|
|We have never had good luck at the Sprints and this year was no exception. It was only our second time out with the car due to the COVID-19 crap and we changed TONS of stuff on the car so we kind of expected some problems but not this.
I met Kevin at the shop at 6am to finish loading the car onto the InTech trailer with the car, Scooter, tools, and Yamaha cart. He took the rig to his house to pick up the family while I went home to get cleaned up and pick up Dede. We met Sheryl at Kevinâ€™s house about 10am and we all left for Oshkosh. It was a hot day (>90degrees) and a strong wind from the East. The RV kept going up to the hot area and tossing errors. Slowing down didnâ€™t help as much as it did two weeks ago. Finally Kevin turned off the engine A/C, started the generator and the house A/C, and slowed down to 65 which cooled it off. We went through some rain after Chicago. We ordered pizza from ZaRonis Pizza on Jackson which arrived at the Lake House the same time we did.
I cut the grass and played with the kids while Kevin worked â€śfrom homeâ€ť.
It was a nice day so we decided to put the dock in after Kev finished some phone meetings while the kids watched from the deck. First Ken Brusda came over with his backhoe to move the big rocks that were in the way of the dock. Kevin & I put in the dock, leveled it, and installed the stairs, then dragged the jetski lift in the water. We didnâ€™t have time to install the panels on the dock. Kev & I drove the race rig to RA and parked it at turn five and plugged in to our favorite receptacle. We spent a bunch of time on the damn splitter mount.
We got up early on a nice day. Our qualifying was at 9 am. We completed one warm up lap and on the second lap the engine blew up. Carrie had just arrived before the session with the kids. We played with the kids, watch some sessions, had lunch. I took the Sequoia back to the lake house with the kids so Kev & Carrie could spend the night at the track with friends and stay in the RV. Shane & Delanie drove up to the Lake House tp spend the week.
I drove the Sequoia with the 3 kids and Sheryl & Dede drove my CR-V with Delanie up to the track about 930. We all took Yamaha cart rides, had lunch and watched some races. Everybody left about 130 and Kev & I watched the STL race that Joey won and the Prod race that was won by Chipworth in the new Lotus S7. Eric was punted from the track by Sam Halkias and Eric protested. We packed up and drove the rig back to the Lake House.
Kevin, Shane & I finished putting on the dock panels, put oil back in the boat and put it in the water. The FP race was great. Chipworth DNS but the rest of the guys fought it out pretty good with Eric coming out on top.
We all had more fun at the Lake House.
Kev & Carrie drive the rig home with the kids. The Discovery overheating problem seemed to get worse. It took 9 hours to get home because of having to drive slowly. Kevin and Sheryl took the rig to the shop and put everything away.
|Test Day at World Wide Technology Raceway||Saturday, May 30, 2020|
|Since we were not allowed to test the car at any time during this Wuhan virus crap, we had to go to this race at St Louis just to see if the car would run. We changed more stuff on the car than you could shake a stick at. Most notably we replaced the entire dash and display, and the Engine Management System with the newest AEM equipment. Of course we also rebuilt the head on the weak engine that we ran at the Runoffs and it dynoed very well. We signed up for the test day on Friday and the car ran OK for the first several test sessions after we managed to get registered and buy race fuel. After lunch the transmission started to act up. It was hard to get into any gear and sometimes it was a flip of the coin as to what gear it was going into. We actually zinged the engine a couple times when it went into 3rd on the way to 5th. We had to drop out of the race and take it home. Later we found the shift holder in the transmission had come loose due to two of the three mount bolts completely coming out and the third was loose. Fortunately the bolts were caught on the magnet in the bottom of the case. We bought a new aftermarket shift holder and locktited the bolts this time. It shifted better than after that.
Oh yeah, this was the first trip with our new InTech stacker trailer and we noticed the RV was overheating just a couple times at high speeds.
|READY FOR A GREAT YEAR||Friday, January 31, 2020|
|After a year where most everything went wrong we think we have all of the Gremlins exorsised from the car. We have completed the install of the new AEM Infinity EMS along with the AEM CD-7L color dash display and logger, and the Vehicle Dynamics Module. The new engine will completed and dynoed on Feb 10. We are not sure just when we will take the car out for the first time but it will be as soon as our schedules will allow.|