Hong Norrth GB2 Supra Race Report
First, congrats to the overall and class winners, and THANK YOU to the Champcar staff and wrecker crews who kept the yellow flags to a minimum.
Grumpy Butt version 1.0 was retired after Road Atlanta in February after 16,000 race miles, a few thousand track day miles, and too may bent parts to straighten. It was a 3 month thrash to prepare a new chassis - from pulling a rusting hulk out of the woods in TN, to adding a cage (the only work I don't do personally), and adding new upgrades (Halo seat, Fuel cell).
I registered for the test day to confirm that I fixed an oil leak from the car's first track day 2 weeks before the race. Check... no oil leak and the track is still fun. The front end was pushing but I just ran out of time to add front aero.
Our pit number was drawn randomly to start the race in the lead! It was amazing to see all that open space in front of the pace car. I drove the first stint to make sure that the car would't break and hurt someone else during the first miles driven in anger. I managed to run conservatively (fast lap of 1:50 flat) while maintaining 3rd place after GRM and Flat-out drove by in the first hour. My car didn't have anything for them all weekend - they were FAST. My second driver put in a solid stint running a 1:49.xx, followed by a 3rd stint driver who lowered the car ftd to 1:48.6, consistently maintaining 3rd place for most of the day. The 4th driver stint started well but ended our race day.
After 30 minutes the driver radioed that something was wrong with the brakes, so we brought him in and noticed the fluid reservoir was very low. I topped it up and sent him back out to see if things changed. 2 laps later the problem got worse and I told him to drive to the paddock. A quick scan of all 4 calipers didn't reveal the problem, but it became apparent when I removed them. the inner pads on both rear calipers were metal, and the left one was welded to the piston. The piston/pad literally popped out like the caliper was giving birth when I lifted it off the rotor.
Some brake work and other maintenance was done to prep for Sunday.
Sunday: This is a short story. The driver who had the brakes fail at the end of Saturday started the race Sunday, moving from dead last to 7th in the first hour. Since I only had a spare set of the same crappy rear pads I asked my drivers to run in "conservation" mode all day. He was turning great lap times (1:50) by driving smoother until the front Bilstein strut decided to give up in a way that allowed lateral movement of the wheel, which contacted the coiler perch. With no spare we were done for the weekend.
Fun was had, lessons were learned, an GB2 drove onto the trailer at the end. That's a good weekend.