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Wow, Buttonwillow - what a weekend, some lessons learned and a couple of apologies !


kiwiracer
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That was our first day-night race, with the heat it was grueling. We had 4 people impacted by the heat to various levels, and when night came, we could not see anything !

We had #10, student driver celica and the #33 cowmaro

Lessons learned

- the lights we brought sucked, we could not see a thing past 20ft (as you know doing 60-100mph with 20ft of visibility is dangerous), I was driving the cowmaro (33) and it was so dark with the lights we had, the only hope was to let those zippy Miata's with the 1,000,000 lumens lights go past, then follow one of them until they out cornered you and the glow disappeared, then back to 1/2 speed, a couple of missed turns, a little dirt track racing until the next Miata came along. It was easy to know when they were coming up on you, just wait for the blinding light in your rear mirror. :-)

John mentioned some good tips (after the race), which we are going to use, eg: light selection, etc for the next race.

- cooling, on the celica, we tied into the heater lines from the block with an old used cooler, the celica never got hot, the camaro v8 however was miserable, we cut plastic bins into ducting to try to direct max air into the radiator. All Saturday we drove it using the temp gauge like a rev-limiter, you would see the gauge go up towards 240 down the front straight->corners, then when we changed to 4th gear, around the sweeper and then back to the tight turn, it would drop back down... After about 8pm, the cooling got better and our lap times dropped by almost 10 seconds when we were able to use all of those 305 cubic inches :-) !!!

- sorry to the person driving the #0 mustang, 2nd to last driver, I thought I was doing a nice inside pass into the corner, and then when your headlights were lighting the track, I realized I missed that passing gap by about 20 ft.. It was totally a visibility thing, i am glad we never hit and everyone seemed to be ok :-)

- Chump is fun, we had a really good time, all the staff are really friendly, John & team do a lot to keep the day flowing, the cars are much more competitive than other series we have raced in and it's all track time, almost no yellow's, and it's more racing than we have ever done in a weekend !

Thanks for having us, we have a range of driver abilities, we hope to race again soon with you guys !

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That was our first day-night race, with the heat it was grueling. We had 4 people impacted by the heat to various levels, and when night came, we could not see anything !

We had #10, student driver celica and the #33 cowmaro

Lessons learned

- the lights we brought sucked, we could not see a thing past 20ft (as you know doing 60-100mph with 20ft of visibility is dangerous), I was driving the cowmaro (33) and it was so dark with the lights we had, the only hope was to let those zippy Miata's with the 1,000,000 lumens lights go past, then follow one of them until they out cornered you and the glow disappeared, then back to 1/2 speed, a couple of missed turns, a little dirt track racing until the next Miata came along. It was easy to know when they were coming up on you, just wait for the blinding light in your rear mirror. :-)

John mentioned some good tips (after the race), which we are going to use, eg: light selection, etc for the next race.

- cooling, on the celica, we tied into the heater lines from the block with an old used cooler, the celica never got hot, the camaro v8 however was miserable, we cut plastic bins into ducting to try to direct max air into the radiator. All Saturday we drove it using the temp gauge like a rev-limiter, you would see the gauge go up towards 240 down the front straight->corners, then when we changed to 4th gear, around the sweeper and then back to the tight turn, it would drop back down... After about 8pm, the cooling got better and our lap times dropped by almost 10 seconds when we were able to use all of those 305 cubic inches :-) !!!

- sorry to the person driving the #0 mustang, 2nd to last driver, I thought I was doing a nice inside pass into the corner, and then when your headlights were lighting the track, I realized I missed that passing gap by about 20 ft.. It was totally a visibility thing, i am glad we never hit and everyone seemed to be ok :-)

- Chump is fun, we had a really good time, all the staff are really friendly, John & team do a lot to keep the day flowing, the cars are much more competitive than other series we have raced in and it's all track time, almost no yellow's, and it's more racing than we have ever done in a weekend !

Thanks for having us, we have a range of driver abilities, we hope to race again soon with you guys !

We absolutely enjoyed meeting you and having you test drive our series. Can't wait to have our Kiwi friends back! Cathy McCause & the West Coast Team

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Glad to hear you all had a good time. We did too. No worries on the incident with us. Our driver never even mentioned it, so it must have seemed worse to you than to us. Night time is always a challenge, and aiming of the headlights seems to be about as important as anything.

We saw some "entertaining" driving (and had quite a bit of it ourselves) throughout the race, but it seemed like the majority of it was when no other cars were in danger of getting collected in the "entertainment". One of the things we really like about this series is the lack of yellow and black flags. Can't wait for Sonoma.

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Guest posnova

One of the things we really like about this series is the lack of yellow and black flags.

That's all you guys. If ya'll drive within the rules, and avoid doing anything that necessitates a yellow flag situation, there won't be any yellows or blacks :). What's the point in a black flag if a new driver is all alone, and over-cooks a corner and spins all 4 off, then re-enters the track safely, again, all alone? As long as the driver only does it once or twice during the day, we call it learning. If we see 3 or more in an hour, then it's conference time to figure out "why aren't you learning?" And even then, it might be something to do with the car, like a broken tie rod or 65psi hot in the rear tires, or something else :).

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  • Technical Advisory Committee

Kiwiracer,

I am glad to hear you had a good time. Chumpcar had a race at Road America last year that to my knowledge had no full course yellow flags! Chump staff does a great job keeping everyone out on the track under green as much as possible.

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Guest bellwilliam

since we had 3 Miatas on our team, I assume the blinding light was from us...one of our car had LED lights. 1/2 of the LED were off in accordance to Chump car rule. (imagine how bright it would of been if they weren't)

one tip is to blue tape across the back window (assume you have a back window), stripes, with ~3" of space in between blue tapes... that will cut down the glare dramatically.

as for cooling. one of most important thing you can do is to install a bottom tray in engine compartment (your car should of came with one, if not, just fabricated one from a plastic sheet. I saw quite a few Chump car ran without them... which is a bad idea...

a trick about aiming lights: assume you have corner lights and driving lights:

corner lights - you wanna aim it a little high when sitting in paddock. because under braking (just prior to apex), nose would come down.

driving lights - opposite, you wanna aim a tiny low, under acceleration is when you want to see far.

hope that helps.

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Guest bellwilliam

our race report:

Team: 949racing and 2nd Chance Roadster

Date: 6/16/12

track: BRP, Buttonwillow 1CW

weather: 107F, track temp (135F) (though Chump reported 114F weather and 139F track temp)

race time: 9am to 11pm.

Car:

Patch - freshly built stock NA6 by 2nd Chance Roadster (Alex). bone stock, except for cut spring, cat delete (still with stock exhaust), *Spec on 15x7

Kitty - ran as EC car (Exhibition class, no prizes). this was used to train our regular T25 enduro drivers.

Monty - ran as EC car (Exhibition class, no prizes). this was used as crew appreciation race car. We had seasoned T25 crews, Andrew Kidd, Manny, Murat, Zhong and Tom. Something for them to have fun in and see perspective from driver's point of view. 2 of them had never done a track day, let along w2w.......all took the Friday evening novice class and looked excited...

Both EC car were used for training. that we only fill 5 gallons per pit stop. purposely did 3 brake changes, and a hub change all in 100F+ weather.

weather: 100F+ during the day, even at night, it cooled into chilling 90F. race had to be stopped for 30 minutes late afternoon, due to a driver (not our team) having kidney stone issue (he had to be taken to hospital in an ambulance, so race was stopped due to no ambulance on-site). later around 8pm, a crew suffered heat stroke, race got red flagged again for 15 minutes.

broken radio - don't get me started. radio in patch was brand new. brand new harness was bad. never had radio communication with Patch. Kitty never really had a working radio (we can not hear Kitty, but Kitty can hear us) for last 3 races. also purchased new.

Kitty - Gordon, Theo and Bob cycled through every 45 minutes like clockwork. no issues other than a few spectacular off !!

Monty - car was used for crew appreciation and pit training. car ran without a hitch until ~9pm. car spun, and got swiped by a Mitsu 3000GT. surprisingly 3000GT faired a lot worse than Monty.

Patch driver line up was Alex, Kevin and Brad. local HPDE'ers. We had some issue with fueling. car was completely just few days prior. it didn't have a good fueling. it was only able to take 7-8 gallons (of 11 gallons stock tank). This is a huge issue, as per Chump rule, every fuel stop is a mandatory minimum 5 minutes. This ended up biting us on the rear. it also had really bad lighting. no stock lights, just 2 of $15 PeP Boy special. worse than stock.

Patch was not the fastest car, a Hayabusa engined Geo Metro was in 2:17s, while Patch and 3 other Chump cars were all in 2:20s. Patch also come in a lot more than all other competitors. By sun down, Patch was 4 laps down and in 4th place. So we decided to throw in our ace card, 949racing owner and our regular enduro driver - Emilio. while all other teams dropped to high 2:20s, Emilio clocked consistent 2:20-2:22 in car with $15 Pep Boy lights. it looked truely scary from where I was. I couldn't see a thing, yet Emilio was passing others at high closing rate. Another jumped in for a 40 minutes stint, then red flag came. Emilio then finished the race. Patch ended up in 2nd place, 1.5 laps down.

all 3 MIata ran flawlessly, not a single mechanical (other than broken radio and a loose hose). That's amazing, considering that's a total of ~40 hours of racing in 107F weather.

This was fun.... we will be at SOW in August..... gotta say, we love Chump.....have ran every SOCAL events since early 2011....thanks Chump !!

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since we had 3 Miatas on our team, I assume the blinding light was from us...one of our car had LED lights. 1/2 of the LED were off in accordance to Chump car rule. (imagine how bright it would of been if they weren't)

one tip is to blue tape across the back window (assume you have a back window), stripes, with ~3" of space in between blue tapes... that will cut down the glare dramatically.

as for cooling. one of most important thing you can do is to install a bottom tray in engine compartment (your car should of came with one, if not, just fabricated one from a plastic sheet. I saw quite a few Chump car ran without them... which is a bad idea...

a trick about aiming lights: assume you have corner lights and driving lights:

corner lights - you wanna aim it a little high when sitting in paddock. because under braking (just prior to apex), nose would come down.

driving lights - opposite, you wanna aim a tiny low, under acceleration is when you want to see far.

hope that helps.

Sounds like some really good ideas on the lights.. we are going to spend a lot more time on on lights for the next night race !!

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Lessons learned

- the lights we brought sucked, we could not see a thing past 20ft (as you know doing 60-100mph with 20ft of visibility is dangerous), I was driving the cowmaro (33) and it was so dark with the lights we had, the only hope was to let those zippy Miata's with the 1,000,000 lumens lights go past, then follow one of them until they out cornered you and the glow disappeared, then back to 1/2 speed, a couple of missed turns, a little dirt track racing until the next Miata came along. It was easy to know when they were coming up on you, just wait for the blinding light in your rear mirror. :-)

What lights did you buy? I want to know so I don't buy them :) Thanks.

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This was fun.... we will be at SOW in August..... gotta say, we love Chump.....have ran every SOCAL events since early 2011....thanks Chump !!

Great to hear that some more are signing up for SOW - we were starting to get worried that it would be canceled. Did you do the 24h SOW last year?

Cheers, Keith

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Guest posnova

What lights did you buy? I want to know so I don't buy them :) Thanks.

Stock rectangle 6054's Halogen Sealed Beam - for an '80s camaro... who knows how old they were.. pretty yellowed :P.

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Guest bellwilliam

Great to hear that some more are signing up for SOW - we were starting to get worried that it would be canceled. Did you do the 24h SOW last year?

Cheers, Keith

yes, we did...

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