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First off, thank you, thank you, thank you to every single person who had a yellow shirt on or those who were at a corner worker station to make this event one of the best ones that we have been a part of! Mike, Andrea, Phil and Dan have their positions so well figured out that everything flows so smoothly and efficiently. Having raced with other series for work (after making a name for ourselves with Chumpcar), I can honestly say that the events are ran on a professional and fair level that rivals (and often betters) many well known "professional" racing series.

 

The next round of thanks goes out to the people that come to the track with us to help support us. Thomas Jaeger (my main guy at my shop and fill in crew chief when I am driving or away at a different race), Eric Conkling (one of the best drift drivers in Florida ), the Tenney Family, the Saunders Family and especially my wife for letting me continue to do these events out of town while she watches our three kids (4, 2 and 5 weeks) and keeps the house in order. We all work really well together as a team and had a couple pit stops where we fueled the cars, changed a hurt wheel/tire, rolled a fender, added oil, swapped cool shirt boxes, cameras and drivers and still made the 5 minute cut off at the end of pit road.

 

For the first race ever, our Z was driven by only renters and they did an awesome job! David Spitzer, Mark Zaremskas, Sean Norman and Metod Topolnik all took great care of the car and turned consistent laps to keep the car up near the front. As a car owner, there is always a bit of nervousness that goes with these races, but having this crew pilot the car helps to ease that! Now all I have to worry about is something silly breaking on the car, them getting caught up in a racing incident or having to deal with rain all day (and that combination is why I was up walking around the infield at 4:30 am on raceday, lol). I love racing in the rain as a driver, but hate it as a car owner. For those that did not know, the Z took major damage at Sebring when the RF brake caliper bracket failed late in the race. Took out the caliper, wheel, tire, radiator, oil cooler, core support, brake line, tension strut mounts, bent the frame rail, damaged the rack, bent the fender and brackets up. Luckily, Ethan Lowe was in the car and did a great job keeping it out of the wall in Turn 1 when the failure happened. This was the first race back for the car with only a shakedown test at The FIRM and it looks like she is just as good as she has always been.

 

Our Lexus SC300 finally got the Daytona win that has eluded our team since the first event (that we led most of with our Z). The drivers this time were the car owner David Tenney, Lee Saunders (2015 Trans Am TA3 Champion) and myself. David started the race and did awesome in the rain keeping us in P1 before he pitted. The car has a welded rear diff (yes we claim the material for the welding on our AIV/TCV er whatever it is called these days) so it is a bit drift happy in the wet, which actually makes it a blast to drive. Lee was in the car next and started putting in some faster laps as the rain died off. As things dried out, the faster big power cars started making up ground and we had alot tighter racing all around. I got into the car for the third stint, having never drove the car in a race and not having been in a road race car since Daytona last year. I managed to just squeak the FTD time for the car over David and Lee. My best was the 2:17.7, and Lee and David both ran 2:18s. I will still argue up and down that consistent clean driving is what wins races and I think these results again speak for themselves. We all manage traffic very well and other than David getting hit on the RF by a car that came from near the marbles outside of T1 to try and clip the tires by the apex, we ran the entire race without contact. If David had not been paying attention and way over-slowed to try and avoid contact, the damage likely would have been race ending for us. After the contact, the steering would bind up whenever the front end was loaded and it made the car pretty tough to drive fast. Basically you had to get the initial set of the steering just right because that is where it was stuck until you had to unwind from the corner with a ton of extra effort. I know I missed it a few times and had a couple of big moments in close proximity to other cars and I am very thankful that we were able to avoid each other!! We hustled the car for the rest of the day trying to keep up a fast pace and not take ourselves or anybody else out in the process. The 2JZ engine was smooth as a sewing machine all day and for those who are interested, we were dynoed on Friday and the car made 197 rwhp.

 

Congrats to all of the other teams who finished on the podium!! It took everything we had to pull it off so we know how hard the rest of you worked to get there. Since both cars are in good shape and the Daytona event being moved to earlier in the year, we are going to add at least one more event to the schedule for the middle of the year. NCM and Charlotte are on the radar right now. Any other Florida teams have an interest in those and will pay some of the fuel bill for us to deliver their car to the track for them in the semi?

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Congrats to you and your team on a great run.  Glad to see another Florida team get the win in our home state.

 

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22 minutes ago, CWag27 said:

Congrats to you and your team on a great run.  Glad to see another Florida team get the win in our home state.

 

 

Shoot me an address so I can mail your soldering iron back to you. We just found it unloading the trailer!

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I cant remember what it did on that dyno, but the car makes within a couple numbers on my dyno and I can look up the torque next time I have the dyno fired up.

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Kevin...it was a pleasure driving the #223 Z and I look forward to racing it again at Sebring. Mark me down for 2 stints. Also might do Charlotte or NCM with you guys.

Great job this weekend for your entire team and congrats on the win!

Sean.

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Good win !   Amazing how close the front of the field stayed together for most of the day.  No one walked away with this one, it was earned !

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I have not watched the video yet, but I know that when I was in the car, I drove it 110% the entire time. Had some close proximity racing with bunches of cars making some pretty aggressive passes, but no contact.

 

Oh, the rack issue turned out to be a broken motor mount that allowed the engine to contact the steering shaft after the contact. The car has had stock engine mounts in it because of the stupid rule about upgraded engine mounts, and we have not finished a race yet without finding at least one broken motor mount in the post race check. That's safe right??

Edited by CutlassRacer
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36 minutes ago, CutlassRacer said:

 

 

Oh, the rack issue turned out to be a broken motor mount that allowed the engine to contact the steering shaft after the contact. The car has had stock engine mounts in it because of the stupid rule about upgraded engine mounts, and we have not finished a race yet without finding at least one broken motor mount in the post race check. That's safe right??

There are workarounds, stock infinity mounts are not cheap, we haven't had a good one in the car for over 4 years...

 Four or six chain links, a bolt, a washer,  nylock-nut  and a hole in the subframe  configured to hold  the engine down in its own broken mount . We tighten the chain every couple of races. 

 Yes I recognize not all cars are made the same but I bet this could work on many.

 On a sidenote 

 Steering rack, while nowhere near as bad as yours  we have a rack that bindes pretty good and won't return from the right without considerable effort since hour 8, have yet to determine what it is but it's not the engine sitting on the suspension,  wouldn't be surprised if it is finally gone bad, been in the car since new  and chumping since 2011 ...  Pitting for safety inspection on it cost us fourth Place...

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46 minutes ago, CutlassRacer said:

I have not watched the video yet, but I know that when I was in the car, I drove it 110% the entire time. Had some close proximity racing with bunches of cars making some pretty aggressive passes, but no contact.

 

Oh, the rack issue turned out to be a broken motor mount that allowed the engine to contact the steering shaft after the contact. The car has had stock engine mounts in it because of the stupid rule about upgraded engine mounts, and we have not finished a race yet without finding at least one broken motor mount in the post race check. That's safe right??

Hey now... "we didn't pick your car" :P

 

And, being able to complete a race with the engine staying put is part of reliability. Reliability wins races and costs points.

 

And also, if you drove slower your mounts wouldn't break, so you are making the conscious decision to drive beyond the limits of your motor mounts :lol:

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11 minutes ago, Team Infiniti said:

There are workarounds, stock infinity mounts are not cheap, we haven't had a good one in the car for over 4 years...

 Four or six chain links, a bolt, a washer,  nylock-nut  and a hole in the subframe  configured to hold  the engine down in its own broken mount . We tighten the chain every couple of races. 

 Yes I recognize not all cars are made the same but I bet this could work on many.

 On a sidenote 

 Steering rack, while nowhere near as bad as yours  we have a rack that bindes pretty good and won't return from the right without considerable effort since hour 8, have yet to determine what it is but it's not the engine sitting on the suspension,  wouldn't be surprised if it is finally gone bad, been in the car since new  and chumping since 2011 ...  Pitting for safety inspection on it cost us fourth Place...

 

That is kinda how this one acted. Turning left it was fine (except when trying to unwind from a right hand corner), and under caution it was fine in both directions. Chains have been considered, but by the rules, we expected to have to claim some value for them. The location of the contact was on top of the steering joint so not only did it basically lock up when turning right, when unwinding the wheel, you had to essentially lift the engine over the wider part of the steering joint. Small corrections mid corner......yeah forget about that, lol.

10 minutes ago, enginerd said:

Hey now... "we didn't pick your car" :P

 

And, being able to complete a race with the engine staying put is part of reliability. Reliability wins races and costs points.

 

And also, if you drove slower your mounts wouldn't break, so you are making the conscious decision to drive beyond the limits of your motor mounts :lol:

LOL, true I suppose. Then again, a piece of scrap roll bar tubing with a bolt through it could fix the problem permanently, but replacing a motor mount every race is cheaper than a piece of free scrap roll bar tubing...........right?

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 Workaround:

 Use that piece of scrap rollbar tubing on your steering shaft  to make it smoothly contact the engine  (when mounts fail )and not cause a bind under load,  now it's a safety item and free,  you're welcome .

 

 Or take the header off your car and you have plenty of points for this kind of stuff !

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The header will come off when the points value changes. Its on there now because it was cheaper than replacing the cracked stock exhaust manifold, funny how to do this "cheap racing" legally, it costs more money.......

 

We will come up with some sort of patch before the next race, but my gripe is that it should not even be an issue.

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4 minutes ago, CutlassRacer said:

The header will come off when the points value changes. Its on there now because it was cheaper than replacing the cracked stock exhaust manifold, funny how to do this "cheap racing" legally, it costs more money.......

 

We will come up with some sort of patch before the next race, but my gripe is that it should not even be an issue.

Since you have one (and seem to be indicating this), is the SC300 getting a value change? 

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 I'm sure he is anticipating it if nothing else....  if they make the 3000 GT a 500 car I don't see why this one shouldn't be as well  but that's my opinion, I'm sure there are other ways of looking at it that would get a different value 

Edited by Team Infiniti
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I would expect that the SC300 value is eventually going to change. We did say that the value was low before we ever built the car and these rules are supposed to be locked in through 2016, so changing it now would only make us look smarter than the rule maker..........

 

Based off of the performances this weekend that are displayed on MyLaps, if they change the value of the SC, several other cars need a value adjustment as well. Had the race gone green more or if they had more consistent drivers, the 21 would have caught and passed us after starting 3(?) laps down. I would argue that the Infinity would also need an adjustment since it ran nearly identical lap times as our Lexus so the difference in finishing position was due to an extra pit stop and differences in consistency between drivers. Since most of the races down here seem to come down to us, Infinity and the Jacky Ickx team cars, do they all get adjusted??? Daytona is not really a fair track to take the results from and make sweeping rule changes either. Take the same rules and run all of the cars for 14 hours at AMP and the race results will be even closer.

 

On the other hand, they could just leave it alone and take some points off of the slower cars. If you look at the lap times of the other SCs, they were a 2-3 seconds slower than ours so I will make the argument that we drove ours a little better than the other ones. Also, the more that the rules tighten on the "real chumpcars", the more you are going to have EC cars getting in and clogging up the finishing order, which upsets some people.

Edited by CutlassRacer
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We finally got around to unloading the cars last night and gave them a quick look over. Both motor mounts were broken on the Lexus so the engine was bouncing back and forth between the frame rails. The headers left a dent on the passenger side rail and the intake put some dents in the driver side shock tower as well as the steering knuckle being beat up.

 

Got pretty lucky that it even finished the race!!

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49 minutes ago, CutlassRacer said:

We finally got around to unloading the cars last night and gave them a quick look over. Both motor mounts were broken on the Lexus so the engine was bouncing back and forth between the frame rails. The headers left a dent on the passenger side rail and the intake put some dents in the driver side shock tower as well as the steering knuckle being beat up.

 

Got pretty lucky that it even finished the race!!

Broken mounts? De facto evidence of too much HP!!! Penalty laps!!

Edited by SiberianDVM
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On 4/6/2016 at 0:19 PM, CutlassRacer said:

On the other hand, they could just leave it along and take some points off of the slower cars. If you look at the lap times of the other SCs, they were a 2-3 seconds slower than ours so I will make the argument that we drove ours a little better than the other ones.

 

Was there supposed to be an LOL after this sentence?  Eh, maybe you were pushing the accelerator better than the rest of us.  

 

Sorry to be so late to the party here, just haven't looked at the forums much since we got home a month ago.

 

See you at NCM.

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On 5/8/2016 at 0:54 AM, Five Benjamin Racer said:

 

Was there supposed to be an LOL after this sentence?  Eh, maybe you were pushing the accelerator better than the rest of us.  

 

Sorry to be so late to the party here, just haven't looked at the forums much since we got home a month ago.

 

See you at NCM.

 

No, there was not a "LOL" left out. After watching a bunch of our incar video, including passes we made on all of the other SCs in the field, we were either on the gas sooner, carried more apex speed or on the brakes later into a corner to make the passes. If that is not "driving ours a little better than the others", I am not sure what is. It was not meant to be a bash of the other SCs, just an observation more than anything. If "pushing the accelerator better than the rest of us" is all you think it takes, then I think you have some more to learn about hanging a race car right on the edge to make it go as fast as it can ;)

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