IPF Recap: This was our first race of the season and the first on the new build. Friday went really went really well considering we'd never been to NCM before. Tech went smoothly and all the drivers were consistently running low 2:30s.
Saturday we started middle of the pack and ended up in running in 2nd at the end of the first stint when we ran a strong 2:29. I was having a ton of fun running with the Beanie Weanie? Ecotec Miata (yellow)! Our second driver went out and made it an hour or so before he couldn't get the car into gear anymore. Turns out one of the friction disc springs broke free and lodged itself between the clutch fingers. Apparently a "stage 2" clutch isn't enough for our measly 250ftlbs. While the car cooled down we ran around town trying to find an alternative, ended up with a 95 Tacoma V6 clutch from Autozone as a replacement. Got the clutch in Saturday afternoon and seemed ready for Sunday.
Sunday we started near the back of the pack and our first driver worked his way through tough traffic up to 4th. Got a radio in that the coolant pressure warning came on and with 15min left in the stint I told him to watch the temp gauge and make sure it didn't get hot. During the pit stop there was water all over the splitter and after removing the hood there was a good size hole in the radiator fins where the fan broke and pulled one of the mounts through the fins (note to self, don't mount fans to the fins). 15 minutes later we had the new radiator in and our driver went back out. He came back in with some higher temps and we bled it and ran without the hood from then on, no more coolant issues, but fuel issues. One fuel pump died, but he switched the second one on and kept going. Somehow we still can't pull all 20 gallons out of the cell.... 3rd driver goes in, running well but the wing mount cables break and eventually the wing falls off of one side of the mount. He comes in and we do a full driver/fuel stop, but forget to put new icepacks in the coolshirt. I go out with no rear wing, but with full splitter (read: FUN) until we get black flagged for no brake lights, I come in tech clears us (they're a little dim), we decide to top off with fuel to make sure we can make it through to the end. I also turn on the rain light that blinks when braking as a backup and get black flagged for that. Come in AGAIN, turn off the rain light and confirm with THREE different techs that the lights work (I was frustrated in the moment, but the lights obviously need to be fixed so this doesn't happen again, I can appreciate the safety concern). Go back out only be brought in again but for missing lug nuts this time, apparently we broke 2 studs on the left front and they were found on track. That was with 30minutes left in the race so we called it.
The car definitely has pace and the track and event were amazing! That was some really close and clean racing that we experienced, now we just have a long to do list for Gingerman! Can't wait for next year!