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LuckyKid last won the day on April 11

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  1. I've wrote and deleted a few posts on this and I will likely regret this one. None the less, I've thought a lot about contact in Champcar, the cause, the cause of our own contact, and how to prevent it in the future. To address an issue I think its smart to fully understand it. It seems there are many who'd rather not, and that is fine, but I took this approach and it seemed to help us. Champcar is a melting pot of drivers, cars, and teams which creates a number of different scenarios. To limit contact there are a number of things that can be done, from saying "Don't hit someone", banning certain teams, all the way to analyzing exactly why contact occurs and educating people, or some combination there-in. For example of the variability, I was passed by Good-Guys-Racing at VIR. They came up fast at night, I almost crapped myself and stayed right after T10 and just let him have his way with me. A few laps later I am gaining on Good-Guys-Racing and it appears as though its the first time they've ever been at the track and they were way off line and their driving is all over the place. In the span of a few minutes the approach to passing had to completely change, and if it didn't a podium car could have ended up on a trailer. The lack of understanding and appreciation of this variability causes contact. I've attached an image of a chart that defines how I've analyzed contact and how we can prevent it. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1zBZzAYcgfstO0xtxqddVmgsDB7_lxmaQ-fzgMX2mX1g/edit?usp=sharing I came from SCCA and the main source of my contact and what I've seen from other teams using rental drivers with road race experience has been in the columns No Awareness >Maintain Line, and No Awareness > Learning Track. What I failed to understand and what I believe others fail to understand is that drivers are fully entitled to run whatever line they want. Its the goal of the series to get 100% green drivers on track, and there should be zero expectation that the car being passed will adjust their line or shall be influenced by a car trying to pass them. If you have that expectation you will cause contact. In some cases it means a car will take the exact opposite line you'd expect, and in others, even being side-by-side may result in no acknowledgment from the driver being passed that you are even there. It took us three races to learn this. We got pulled from a practice day and a black flag could have cost us a win. It was clear if it happened again, that we wouldn't be welcome back to CC in the paddock, or from MikeC. We've analyzed why, and corrected our behavior and although we still drive aggressively, changes have allowed us to run clean over the last four races and we expect that to continue. It seems other teams have similar issues and more egregious. Ie: performing a pit maneuver on a car on the back straight. I think teams with experienced rental drivers need to beat their drivers over the head about the fact that drivers are entitled to use 100% of the track, regardless of it being the race line. Outside of all of this, there has recently been 2 instances (WGI and Indy) where contact has been intentional by teams. This I feel is something else entirely and should be dealt with by CC. The goal of this post is to present my analysis and understanding to help teams with issues, and perhaps frame the discussion for action to be taken. IE: Intentional contact should be harsh and swift bans. Consistent overdriving should be addressed Failure to leave margin to new drivers should be addressed (the goal is to encourage new teams, right?) *If the chart is helpful I can open it up for edits. I just threw it together this morning as a visual representation of the understanding I have come to, so there might be some refinements needed.
  2. I've looked into it and eco's are 160-180. Having raced them, they aren't much faster than our 145whp.
  3. No, but he was leaning his head in to the passenger window telling me to go.
  4. We planned to put it at zero degrees and pull the gurney flap but we were just out of energy and time. There were always higher priorities in the pits and no one was thinking 100% clearly even at race start.
  5. A little bit of everything. We had a 10 week plan to get the car ready for the 24hrs at VIR but we had some major scheduling issues with our mechanic which left all ten weeks to the last three days before the race, putting us behind the 8-ball to start. We did however get the car on the trailer and left on time with the list complete from a reliability perspective. Unfortunately we were starting off tired as we drove 16 hours through the night to VIR and we were down a critical crew member. At the test day we had overheating, AFR issues, brake issues and low power. WTF! We then lost a splitter in practice. We installed a new radiator, uninstalled the thermostat, wired our backup O2 unit, retimed the motor and moved to a different brake combination. Morning of the race everything was going great, car was fast and everything was dialed in. We then changed the oil, restarted the car and we had zero oil pressure. We checked everything and had no idea how all of a sudden oil pressure would be gone. We had a spare motor and decided to start pulling the motor about an hour before race start. Unfortunately we didn't have time to prep the spare motor we brought(which we planned to fully dress) so we had to move over all the manifolds and accessories to the new engine. (Thanks to Bill Riley crew for the cherry picker!) We finally got out 34 minutes into the race and ran for about an hour and had to pit with low voltage. The brand new alternator we put on the spare motor was bad and we had to replace it in the pits which was another 30 minutes. As I pulled out of the pit stall the end-plate on the wing hits our third stint driver in the head knocking him down and cutting his head pretty bad. He was being treated by medics and had a possible concussion. When I finished my stint, our emergency driver hopped in the car, put down a good time and then hit the wall in his second lap. The damage wasn't too bad but we lost the airdam and splitter which we had just built about 12 hours ago. We started turning laps again but now the car was about 4 seconds slower with a lot of understeer. Then the heat was getting to the drivers and we were taking short stints. We ran some concussion tests on our driver and sent him out for the 5th stint but he started to have brake issues. The bolts started backing out of our caliper brackets since we didn't have the right hardware. We swapped a bracket and did a night stint and a half. Around 11pm, in our 7th stint, we were again having brake issues, and everyone but one driver was asleep. The call was then made to pull the car in and go to sleep. We only had three crew and three drivers, with one of the crew planning to run a stint. We ended up doing way to much work before the test day, during the test day and all the rest plans went out the window. The heat was a major challenge for us as well. I have so much respect for all the teams that finished that race, especially Huggy. Its really a monumental challenge finishing, let alone as running as well as Huggy did. Its unfortunate that all of the things we've learned, documented, and planned for can so quickly go out the window once issues start happening. It also reminded us of the importance to sticking with a schedule. We are going to wait a while before trying another 24. A big Congrats to Huggy, Bill Riley, and Damson Racing!
  6. We borrowed a radiator funnel from a miata team across from the garages. We returned that to someone who believed it was their teams. However if the person who loaned it to us didn't get it back, please let me know via PM and I will drop ship you a new one. And thank you again for the help!!
  7. I agree, there are alot of ways costs could be reduced with the rules. IE use the lowest cost OEM part, not highest. That said, don't hate the player. I actually just designed a bunch of brake kits for the Miata to sell to everyone at www.ruggedbadger.com to be within the lowest cost 2x (the 11" kit isn't posted yet). They are reasonably priced, but now that it's the highest cost 2x part, which is shocking to me, I'm going to upgrade to 2pc rotors, and upgrade the calipers. I emailed tech a few times, and they are good about responding to other questions so I assumed they didn't want to define the 2x rule better via email. It's funny that a misinterpretation of the rule drove that development for lower cost upgrades.
  8. Fixed. Crazy, right! You'd think we're racing or something. 😉
  9. Can you or anyone else confirmed this? I never got a formal email from tech on this topic, but I've tried to be very creative to get our setup under the cheapest rotor cost. It would be nice to go back to a simpler option.
  10. iRacing seems to help me fine tune the lines, but for some reasons almost everycar likes to REQUIRES trailbrake to get it to turn in. Matching real world alignments don't seem to correct the issue. Its also frustrating in iRacing where everyone is like Schumacher then on an actual track its 50/50 that people are within a car width of an apex.
  11. We are at 1975 wet. We haven't worn through tires yet, but we've curbed and flat spotted a few. We expect a new set will last the 24 at VIR. In my "career" I've never ran as low of pressures as we are now, but it seems to be working well with our miata.
  12. Our testing with a pyrometer had us less than 20psi cold with a 24psi hot target, but also less than 2 degrees of camber with the 245. These findings are counter to what alot of people think and run, but we used data to get there and I think it's arguably the fastest car in ChampCar on the brakes and in the corners. https://ruggedbadger.com/the-car-build/
  13. We've been developing our own hubs and plan to release light weight versions in both 4140 and Titanium for the miata. The Titanium hubs are about half the weight. In simulation they are 10x stronger than stock on the flange. The 4140 units will be reasonably priced but the titanium units will be very expensive.
  14. A couple Baofeng's will do the trick for some communication. It gets a little expensive once you start upgrading components (harnesses, mics, antennas). We've slowly upgraded ours and I am sure we are close to the cost of a set from a sponsor. I did a quick write up of what we are using: https://ruggedbadger.com/racing-radio-setup/
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