Project Update for August 8, 2012:
The last several days have been a blur and we're just digging out of the rubble here. We were thrashing and putting in some crazy hours the last couple of weeks, fueled by energy drinks and a looming deadline. We pushed past the original departure time by only 12 hours, but it was time well spent. This thread update will show the last the pre-Colorado updates and preparations done to Brianne's car before they hauled out of Texas to go to Pikes Peak.
Last of the Wrap + Decals
When I posted last we had begun wrapping the car in red. We had a lot left to do, and the wrap crew went from one person, to two, to four people in quick succession. We never remembered to call Costas, who can wrap any car, but we weren't really awake enough to remember that. Matt took care of the hood scoop, trunk, rear bumper, and trimmed the door and fender vinyl for Amy and McCall. JasonM handled some other bits, and Amy + McCall wrapped a big chunk of the car too including the rear quarter panels and roof.
Some of the panels came out great, but some of the curvy bits got a bit complicated. None of us were skilled in wrapping cars, and we were very tight on time, but I think it looks good from 20 feet at 20 mph, heh.
Once the red landscape was laid down, Amy and JasonM applied the cut vinyl decals that Jason had designed in Illustrator. These angled stripes each have the names of the bigger ($1000+) parts sponsors. There were also decals on the front and rear bumper covers, hood, hood scoop, and even more are being applied today at Pikes Peak.
Front Splitter & Air Dam Construction
Once the rear wing was installed, it was obvious in high speed corners at our short Mineral Ring test that we had an aero imbalance, with significantly more rear downforce (wing) than up front (none), even with the wing trimmed all the way out. I had been pushing for us to include a front splitter since day one, with as much of a front undertray as the rules allowed. Once we decided to hold the car another 12 hours, it was splitter makin' time!
Due to the time we had left, plus the rigors that Brianne was likely to put through the splitter, there was one material that made sense - plywood, with a tubular aluminum reinforcement structure. If we had more time maybe aluminum plate could have been used, or a carbon+aluminum composite splitter. I wasn't about to make something from sign shop material, because my "rule of thumb" is if a material can be crushed between my forefinger and thumb
it doesn't belong in a splitter. Aero forces alone will tear it to shreds, and any road scrapes or rubs with FIA curbing will fold it up like paper. I've spoken up against using Alumilite and other plastic corrugated material on forums in the past, and stand by that statement. We got some grief for the plywood splitter on our GRM E30
, but the unit we built works and can take a beating on the street or track. The driver of this Subaru can do swan dives
off of this splitter as well. Haters are gonna hate, nothing we can do about it. Refer to it as a "carbon based composite" if you like.
As you know plywood is tough, abrasion resistant (F1 cars use a wooden wear plate material under their chassis), and has significant cost advantages over almost anything else you can dream up. It is an easy material to quickly fabricate with and because of the cost and ease, we made a full duplicate main plane for only a little extra scratch. They now have a back-up if this unit somehow gets broken in practice (it would take a big hit to break it).