(continued from above)
Making it up the mountain without overheating is difficult. This will be the single biggest failure point for new and old teams alike. I suspect it will take out 50% of first time Pikes Peak teams. One trick for combating the heat of the thin atmosphere going up towards 14,000 feet is spraying water on everything, the whole way up. About a mile into the race co-driver Jeremy Rowland will flip a switch and turn on the pumps, and the two spray bars will mist water in front of the massive Perrin front mount intercooler and the CX Racing aluminum radiator. They tested the flow rate of the pump and found a water reservoir that slightly exceeds the amounted needed for the ~11 minute run. It is mounted securely with straps that go into anchors in the chassis.
On Wednesday I took a 4x8' sheet of .063" aluminum to Janco Fabrications and borrowed owner Kurt's sheet metal brake and sheer. Took the templates Ryan made and cut out a rear bulkhead and top shelf, separating the passenger compartment from the trunk, which has the fuel filler neck, fuel tank opening, and fuel pumps. Mike from Pirtek helped me cut, mark, drill, trim, and install both pieces. We must have had them in and out of the car 20 times - you know how it goes. Both pieces bolt in to existing holes and they bolt together. Aluminum tape will seal the edges and rubber will surround the fuel lines and battery cables shown passing through.
I kind of screwed up when I bent the top piece, so instead of taking the sheet back to Kurt's and making the bend angle again, we made a home made "sheet metal brake" with our 1200 pound fab table, some angle iron, and a crap load of clamps. It was pretty ghetto but we got the bend right. When its midnight you do what you gotta do.
Somewhere in there our fab man Ryan made a new exhaust from after the downpipe, during the wee hours of the same night he mounted the rear wing. Its made from the normal 16 ga 304L stainless, 3" mandrel bends and strait pipe we keep in stock for just such occasions (we also stock 2.5" and 2.75" bends, V-bands, and poly hanger mounts). No muffler, as per AWD Tuning's request - makes more power, and makes more bark. It is loud but it sounds like a proper race car!
Friday... no Thursday morning? I worked on the inner fender panel structure welding, covering the big gaps made when the rear fenders were sectioned and mounted outboard 2". These make the fenders rigid once more and keep water and crap out of the trunk and passenger compartment. Had to do the rear doors also. Seam sealer normally goes over these joints and it all gets painted (but not today - out of time!)