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Texas Twister 24 - TWS


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Guest posnova

How's it goin down there? Live timing looks good. 44 vehicles with greater than zero laps :). Keep it up guys. 10 hours more to go for ya'll.

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After the test and tune, we pulled our transmission to try to figure out why there was a bunch of gear oil on the bottom of the car. Answer: a big crack in the transmission case. Failing a couple of tries to source a direct replacement, we settled on three alternatives to address it. Plan (a) was to find a replacement at a nearby salvage yard. Plan ( B) was, one of the guys has a friend (a very good friend) who welded the crack in our case at midnight so it could be back at the track in the morning to reinstall in the car. Huge props to Robin for leaving TWS at 10 pm, driving back to Houston to get the case welded, and arriving back at the track at 8 am. Plan © was to try to talk ChumpCar into teching and letting us run the Spec Miata on hand as an EC car. Plan (a) fell through when the only T5 to be found was from an Isuzu Rodeo, with different input and output shafts. Transferring the necessary internals from our transmission to that one would likely delay us a couple of hours into the race. Hence, onward with plan ( B), with the expectation that our transmission would probably destroy itself at some point in the race (Dave spent the first couple of hours disassembling the Isuzu T5, so that we would probably be able to get back on the track in two hours if the transmission grenaded, assuming it didn't take out any of the necessary internals).

So, we took the green flag! A victory in itself! The car was running well, we had a few clockwork pitstops (it's a nice feeling when there's still 30 seconds on the timer and we're wondering, "So, is there something else we could do?"), and although there was a little bit of fluid on the underside of the car, the transmission didn't appear to be killing itself. The biggest issue we encountered was our starter, which died (again), resulting in a significant delay when Robin spun in turn 2 and the car stalled. Starting with my run in the dawn stint, it seemed like we had nearly perfect conditions for the car, as I beat my previous daylight fast lap by three seconds.

Then, disaster! The car died around turn 8 or turn 9 with about an hour to go in the race. When the car was finally towed in, Dave set about a rush attempt at diagnosing the problem. Lack of fuel pressure pointed to the fuel pump. Various surgery ensued; we briefly got the car started, only to have it die again. We were about five minutes from completing an emergency fix when the checker dropped. :( It wound up being good enough to drive the car onto the trailer and unload it again. You could have made good money betting us that we would fail to finish the race, and the failure would be something other than the transmission.

Still, it was a great weekend, and everyone had a lot of fun. I think we're all resolved we need to do another 24 hour race to prove that we can finish it.

A few moments/memories that stand out for me: coming off the banking into turn 1 at ~100 mph, going through turn 2 at 90, and having the back end start to step out (eek!)... catching the banking at turn 7 at full throttle (always one of the big thrills at TWS)... pulling Nismorons on the back straight (must have been a slow driver or something wrong with the car)... having a little fun with the Spec Miata on Friday, it was a new experience to be faster than all the Chump Cars on track. :P

If anyone wants their lap times, PM me your e-mail address and I'll send them to you. Full results are already up on MyLaps.

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We had a blast this weekend and where fortunate enough to have no major mechanical issues. Having drivers that have experience on the track with a miata and at TWS, really helped as well. Going at it with car 43 and 11 was a hoot and I would love to do it again. At night it was awesome seeing these three right by each other the whole time.

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One odd/end that I'd like to not get lost in the wall-o-text above: It looked like they rolled the ambulance for the driver of the green E-30. Hope he's OK!

He was OK. They where pitted next to us and while the car was damaged beyond repair, the driver was unharmed.

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A few moments/memories that stand out for me: ...pulling Nismorons on the back straight (must have been a slow driver or something wrong with the car)...

During the day? We had an overheating problem, and had to drive to the gauge. We eventually got it fixed; it had puked about a gallon of water for some unknown reason. Once we refilled it, we had no more issues. If it was night, that was a slow driver..>cough< me >cough<.

The overheating cost us about 7 laps. If we had those laps back, we might have been in the hunt for 3rd. But what's the saying, "if ifs and buts were candy and nuts..."

As it was, we were 4th (discounting the EC City Garage Team). Time to spend the summer finding more speed.

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Dawn stint. I got in the car just as there was a hint of light in the sky and ran for ~1 hr.

You probably caught our guy on his first or second lap, then. My memoriy is a bit hazy... but our first driver in the morning was turning pretty decent times. It just took a few laps to get up to speed.

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Great race. The level of competition is getting higher all the time. The attrition was not as high as expected (though still really high - us included), and the fastest lap times for the top 15 or so seemed to be all sub 2:10, which is really impressive for crap cans on that course... Stock E36 M3 lap times on street tires there are > 2:10...

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We had a blast.

Team SHOTime/Black Taurus SHO

First chump car race and enjoyed everything about it. Staff was super nice and I didn't have to endure getting told how lame our theme was....because we didnt' have to have one!

We had a great time although this was our first night race. We drove like we had Ms Daisy in the backseat going to the store.

Daylight it was back to business. We'll have to work on driving at night. That's a whole new world for us.

I went four wheels off after cooking the corner before the carousel. I eased back on, waved at the corner worker and back to racing. I didn't have to come in to do a handstand and whistle the star spangled banner. Quite refreshing!

Our apologies for dumping every drop of oil and water on the track Sunday morning. Seems like a rod decided it wanted to think outside the box (block) and ejected itself. We are thinking oil starvation which is a big DOH! Stupid rookie mistake we should have taken care of.

Great meeting everyone and had a blast. Looking forward to the next race.

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He was OK. They where pitted next to us and while the car was damaged beyond repair, the driver was unharmed.

Ya, I talked to their driver afterwords. He was shaken up, but physically ok. On a serious note, it was only our cage design that saved our drivers leg from serious injury. I dont know if all cages are supposed to protect the lower extremity, but its definitely something to think about.

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Guest trimless

We had a blast this weekend and where fortunate enough to have no major mechanical issues. Having drivers that have experience on the track with a miata and at TWS, really helped as well. Going at it with car 43 and 11 was a hoot and I would love to do it again. At night it was awesome seeing these three right by each other the whole time.

It was the highlight of my weekend as well going at it during the night when we 3hooked up for a brief "sprint race"! Great driving whoever was in the 43 and NAMCO car, and most of the other cars were kind enough to move over when they saw the 3 of us coming from behind running 2:06 laps at night. Great way to break up the boring laps at night!

Gale Corley

Team Captain and driver, Driver Education #11

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Here is a picture of our new curb finder -- extremely useful in night driving.

Apparently donated from a BMW that lost it in turn 4.

post-744-0-14390600-1337613484_thumb.jpg

post-744-0-86892200-1337613505_thumb.jpg

Seriously though -- thanks to the cage design our drivers leg was spared.

post-744-0-96271100-1337614346_thumb.jpg

Here is a picture of the cage. Note how the roll bar follows your leg contour.

post-744-0-53673300-1337613463_thumb.jpg

One of our original drivers and cage designer was a Sprint/Midget series lifer. He specifically

stated that having the roll bars at the A pillar like most folks wouldn't have protected you from

this kind of intrusion.

Thank goodness he designed the cage the way he did -- or the ambulance might have been for our driver instead.

Glad the other driver was ok!

We soldiered on to complete the 24 finishing 15th excluding the EC car. Our first 24 hour race.

Some of our drivers did run the 18 last summer at TWS.

Night was harrowing, unless you were in a pack. Then it was all you could do to run with the big dogs.

If you lost them -- you were 10-15 sec a lap slower. Felt like you were hunting and pecking to find the corners.

During the heat of the day our ECU was crapping out -- it was stuttering and back firing all afternoon -- An extreme

hand full to drive. My head was whacking the race seat all the way down the front straight.

Once we made it to the night -- she ran great.

One of our rookie drivers had an early race incident where he borrowed another cars 4 wheels to make it around

a corner. We apologized profusely on his behalf and chastised him after his stint. Classic you can't win an endurance

race in the first hour, but you certainly can lose it. Our victim lost a handful of laps, but I don't think it was anything too

serious. Our apologies.

Chump folks were great as usual.

While the race was fun & exhausting, it's now time to just hang out in the AC for the summer until H2R in October.

#85 Flat Out Racing.

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Guest wgriffin4

Wow what a weekend for our team and POS Mustang. Car was super quick and running great for the first 5 hours. Then....the power steering pump decided to take a dump and the pump shaft and Pulley decided to leave the vehicle. It ended up near turn 10 after breaking going into turn 1. We had to drive back to the shop in Houston to pull a power steering pump of a Saleen S351 Mustang since no one...I mean No One has that item in stock on the planet earth. After the 3 hour round trip we got the new pump and pulley back on the car and we were back on the track at 12:00 AM. Many laps down and super tired we ran for another 6 hours and guess what....the New power steering pump broke....same issue but the shaft and pulley did not exist the vehicle but the shaft was fused to the pulley. We tried for over an hour to get the pulley off but no luck. The team decide the racing Gods were not on our side this race and we all got in the RV and slept for a few hours.

Thanks to all who helped us in the pits and back in the paddock. Thanks to Chumpcar and all the volunteers and corner workers. What a great event!

We can't wait for the next great Chumpcar adventure!

Congrats to the winners and finishers!

PS. To make the weekend even better on the way back home we had 2 blown tires on the car trailer.

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Great to meet and race with everyone. We had an up-and-down weekend but left knowing that ChumpCar is our home now.

1. Our header during the 3rd hour of the race. Borrowed a welder from the Celica team in garage 2 (THANK YOU!!!!) and got back on track.

2. Then the PS rack started leaking and spraying fluid on the exhaust causing flames. Back in the garage to fix that. Couldn't just take the pump out because the water pump uses the same belt and we had no quick solution to keep tension on a belt. Just bypassed the rack and let the pump feed itself fluids.

3. For the next 3 drivers, the car started a progressively worsening miss in left hand turns. The car had no power when trying to gas out of turns. Back in the garage again. Multiple attempts at fixing it didn't work costing us lots of time. Ended up being a fuel injector wire grounding out.

The car ran fairly flawlessly from 4AM to the end of the race. The header cracked again, but we were able to keep going with it. Ended up 12th overall (not counting EC). Best standing was 1st early on and worse was 30th after the PS issue.

Also thank you to the Audi team that lent us their push to talk button, to the #69 Miata team for randomly lending us things, and thanks to the guy in the RV next to me who helped us diagnose an issue with our PTT button. I guess it takes a village.

We will be back with Chump again in Memphis and looking to stay out of the garage.

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Guest William Keeling

First thank you to Joey and ChumpCar for the great event, thanks to my team for allowing a driver not of their caliber to drive with them and thanks to all our fellow chumpsters for the mostly good clean racing.

The racing was very good with the only issue I found was a few of the teams that had wicked fast dragsters that could not take a turn without stopping first. And by stopping I mean a complete halt, getting out checking the tires. I will only take that for a few laps (some a few turns) before dealing with it. (Note to self: reinforce the chrome horn before next race.)

As for the race recap we knew going in we would have our hand full with Drivers Education #11 but NAMCO #60 was under our radar. We made the mistake of bring a 3rd place car. I think #11 would have won had their pit crew not miss read the dip stick and added a few extra quarts of oil. We were fixing lighting and electrical issues until midnight Friday. So last night was the first full night of sleep in a while. Both the #60 and #11 are 1.8L and we had hoped they would not be able to run the full 2 hour on a tank but they both could. I still don’t understand that as we just make it in or 1.6L shifting at 6500. The 1.8L cars where much faster than ours; the extra HP and torsen made the difference also all 3 teams had strong driver lineups (myself not included). Our (or maybe any) 1.6 can’t run with these 1.8; Our comfortable pace was 2:11-13 with our fastest drivers able to get 2:05-06 out of the car on the very edge (with me the numbers are more like 2:15 and 2:09) while the 1.8 teams seemed run 2:08s as the comfortable pace and turned 2:03-04 as their fastest. We ran problem free until we had electrical issues just after dark as our HID lights and gauges went dead; JPIII rewired them and our radio guy added a hand held to replace the built-in one that failed. We then ran fine until 3 laps into the last stint when the temporary radio went dead and about 45 minutes from the end my heart sank as the engine would start and idle but would not even move the car. After a tow and telling the symptoms to the team they knew even before opening the hood that the AFM had come unplugged and sure enough that was it. It was plugged in and a piece of racers tape applied and I was back out to finish the race. These 2 issues cost us 3 or 4 laps I believe and 1 lap was lost in a timing and scoring issue so the result look closer than they really were. The NAMCO team ran a smart race and from the predawn hours stayed 2 laps up on us and refused to pass. The 11 car also refuse to pass in the last 2 hours and this made less sense to me.

I guess to be competitive again I must suggest that my team drop me as a driver and start looking for a cheap 1.8.

A podium of all Miata as proved what I have known since I bought my first one in June of 1989; they are fun, fast and durable.

Congratulations to NAMCO Drivers Education and the teams that were running at the flag!!

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Our team had a great time and all want to do it again, just not this week :D We finished and survived.

Night driving was a little unnerving for a while. I think a couple of the apex markers got taken out, because I know I saw them earlier :huh: at least I think i did.

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Congratulations to NAMCO Drivers Education and the teams that were running at the flag!!

Thanks William. Congrats to you guys too. It was very nice to meet you guys and had a blast our there with you on the track. I look forward to seeing you and the rest of the team at future events.

Robert

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Guest trimless
. Both the #60 and #11 are 1.8L and we had hoped they would not be able to run the full 2 hour on a tank but they both could.

Just to clarify, our #11 car was running only 90 minutes. The only exception was the first stint where we were running a full tank and ran for almost 2 hours. From that point we were only adding 10 gallons and running 90 minutes unless there were yellow flags that allowed a bit longer stint. Our testing showed the car burned a full 10 gallons in 90 minutes. Can't speak for the other 1.8 car, but just wanted to clarify the misinformation. The 1.8 is a better car, no doubt about that. They do burn more fuel than the 1.6, but I think the extra torque more than makes up for it.

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Guest trimless

. The 11 car also refuse to pass in the last 2 hours and this made less sense to me.

We were running FLAT OUT until the last 1 hour session when we told the driver to run 2:15's to preserve the 3rd place finish. It was clear in the last hour we had no chance of moving up. We were shifting at 6500 the first 12 hours, but after midnight we picked it up since we had a couple of drivers that were fast in the dark at TWS. We had nothing for your team or NAMCO in the end, but it was not from a lack of effort in trying to pass you guys!

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Guest Texian

I am the driver of the green civic.

First let me say Thank You to the Flat Out Racing guys for being so gracious.

You have no idea how relieved I was to scan around the grass, look around in my mirror, and not see another car out there with me. And how much more relieved I was when I found out there were no injuries.

Second, wear your neck brace. Lose the donut.

I was spun hard 180 degrees.

I almost wore a donut instead of the brace for comfort. I am ceratin that had I done that I would have gone to the hospital with a neck injury, instead of standing around the infield feeling a little embarassed and very worried about the whole thing.

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