August 27-29 – NJMP-Thunderbolt – PCA

With the multiple changes we made to the car during August I was anxious to get the car on the track and re-learn how to drive it! Especially considering I’ve never driven a car with any level of aerodynamic downforce.

After getting special permission from the event coordinators, Barry Battle Pro-Driver in the GrandAm Continental Tire Series buckled in piloting the car as I rode shotgun to shake down the car. WOW! I couldn’t believe how planted the car felt in the high speed corners. For example, the last turn on Thunderbolt leading to the main straight, previously I had to lift a bit off the throttle before turning in, no longer. The car took the corner FLATOUT with no problem!

A few minor suspension adjustments later I sent Barry out by himself to see what kind of fast lap he could throw down. As I listened to the car roar down the main straight past the elevated watch tower, around T1 and T2, then close the gap on other cars out in this “advanced” run group with unbelievable speed I was so excited to get to drive this thing myself. A couple laps into the session I see Barry coming around the Jersey Devil headed through the Esses toward the main straight I notice no traffic in front of him for the first 4 turns on the track. Finally a clear lap and Barry proceeded to lay down the quickest lap this car has ever done. Post session checking the datalogger, 1:30.3! 4/10ths of a second quicker than the current NASA GTS3 lap record! We’ve built a beast!

The car drew alot of attention as it screamed past Porsche 911 Turbos, GT3’s and the like! It looked and sounded great while doing it!

Saturday morning I climb in the car, ready to see what I can make this car do.

My previous fast lap at this track is a 1:40. I glance down at the MyCron3 lap time after my first hot lap, a disappointing 1:42. Lap by lap my confidence in the car and newly added aero grows, and a I get used to the new differential gearing and ability to put power down out of the corners I watch the lap times come down lap after lap, 1:38, 1:36, 1:34, 1:32! Whoohooo we are flying now! 8 seconds quicker than my previous visit in June!

As the weekend continues I continue to get quicker with a fast lap of 1:31.3! 6/10ths off the current NASA GTS3 record, but still a second off Barry’s pace. I’ll blame it on my race rubber being cycled out and holding me back in the corners, hahahah.

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