(continued from above)
The AST 5100/6100 suspension was on and ride heights were tweaked Friday morning.
The car was corner balanced, race aligned, and fluids were topped off. With driver and co-driver it is sitting at 57% front bias - not bad for a AWD car with the motor way out in front like this. The rear diff was removed Wednesday night, taken to AWD Tuning, and their techs installed a new OS Giken rear differential that was another sponsored part for Brianne's race effort. Ryan reinstalled the diff, Motul synthetic gear lube went in, Amsoil went into the motor, and it was fired up once more.
Quick Track Test
With the rear bumper & brake lights still removed and barely started rear bodywork, we loaded up the Subaru into the Vorshlag trailer and headed out to the Mineral Ring, a 60+ acre asphalt site we rented west of Ft. Worth, about 2 hours from our shop (2.5 hours with some construction traffic). Not ideal, but Eagles Canyon Raceway was down for repairs and the folks at MSR were none too friendly with my requests to rent some track time that day. We made the trek to Mineral Wells, unloaded the car and set-up a crude course layout (approx 1.5 miles long), sort of following something the drift crowd had run there recently. Tried to test elements that Brianne might see on the mountain: medium speed corners, some low speed stuff, and one faster straight/turn to check the rear aero.
Ryan and (Brianne's crew chief) JasonM checked all of the systems and I drove the car. This was because Brianne couldn't make it on Friday for this systems check, I fit the seat width and location set-up for Brianne, and had tested in 500+ whp race cars at this same test site. We had one set of practice tires (from my DSP BMW at the 2010 SCCA Solo Nationals) and another set of 285 A6s mounted to 2nd set of Vorshlag/D-Force 18x10 wheels (one of her two sets of race/quali tires). The testing itself was brief but productive: two sets of recon laps to get everything warmed up, then two sets of hot laps. The guys used an IR gun to check temperatures then pyro'd the tires to see how our pressures and camber settings looked.
Video of session 1 (1 lap): Link
Video of session 2 (4 laps): Link
First video is short, the 2nd is about 4 laps and a little more exciting. The site was DIRTY and we didn't have the time to clean a good line, so we made do with what a course we could set up quickly. I don't pretend to have half the driving talent of Brianne, but maybe enough to at least get a feel for the car. The car felt great
: it makes PLENTY of power (thanks to AWD Tuning), grip was excellent, the R4 Porterfield pads bedded in nicely, and all systems were in the green. On my 2nd set of hot laps I ran over something and cut a tire at the end, so we wrapped up testing and loaded the car back into the trailer before the tire went completely flat. Didn't want to risk cutting a new tire on this dirty course. That's all we really wanted to do - a handling check and a short stress test of the mechanical systems and see if anything broke. Nothing did. Win.
Grabbed some food on the way back and made it to the shop by 9, then we all worked all night. Sure, a day at a proper road course with Brianne at the wheel and the car 100% prepared would be ideal, but we always knew that with the timeline we had this wasn't likely. The crew does have a few days in Colorado (to rent PPIR or during practice on the mountain) to fine tune things a bit, but I feel like the handling is very close and everything else felt spot on.
Last Little Bit!
Brianne is now here and joining the crew, already hard at work. We're all going strong but they are debating some last minute additions that could help make Brianne's race effort that much faster, but it would eat into the "one day buffer" built into the transit time going from Texas to Colorado (16 hours one way). That's a day that could be used to acclimate to the high altitude in Colorado Springs, a day to deal with any transit problems on the truck trailer (which I feel is low risk, being that both are in top shape/have new tires/etc), or a day used in our shop to build more go-fast goodies into the Subaru. Some things can be finished up on site, but big things cannot.
That's all I have for now. I will post up one more update covering the last of the Vorshlag shop prep, and of course a big post after the event itself.
Terry Fair @ Vorshlag Motorsports