Posts made in May, 2012

It’s a Newww Traaack Recorrrrd!

»Posted by on May 29, 2012 in Current projects and Tech Notes | 4 comments

It’s a Newww Traaack Recorrrrd!

It’s a rare thrill to drive an ultra-high-performance exotic car car up to its top speed. It’s something altogether different to maintain that insane speed for any length of time, and it takes absolute confidence in yourself, the car, and the road to blaze down 90 miles of public highway while holding high warp speed. Only very rare circumstances allow anyone to attempt that without the guarantee of jail time: nobody outruns police radios. The Silver State Classic Challenge provides that opportunity, but only to highly experienced and qualified competitors. In addition to the thrill of the attempt, the Silver State is a very special event because it offers unlimited-class competitors the chance to take two Guinness World...

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Turnaround

»Posted by on May 23, 2012 in Current projects and Tech Notes | 3 comments

Turnaround

Teamwork at the race track is a stunningly beautiful thing to behold, especially when the stakes are huge. I am forever indebted to Jay Messenger, John Fabijanic, and Dave Frietas for giving me far more help than I ever imagined I would need, and for saving me in the process. Without those golden sacrifices, my road racing adventure would have come to a bitter end instead of propelling a meteoric advance. While zigzagging toward the green flag, I told myself “I’m doing this for them, not for me.” How does this grab you for ambition: Going straight from driver school to professional open wheel racing, with only two test days in between? With some encouragement from the guys at Honda Performance Development and Les Phillips, I entered...

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Smooth is Fast!

»Posted by on May 11, 2012 in Current projects and Tech Notes | Comments Off

Smooth is Fast!

Elliott is showing us all how to do it. You probably haven’t heard of Elliott Skeer yet, but you will. I was very fortunate to witness his performance in the MX-5 Cup race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. It was a revelation. Elliott has the whole race car driving thing completely sorted, even though is car number is also his age. We met because he has chosen engineering as his career path, and I’m glad to share my experience as a long time motorsports engineer and driver. The Friday race began with a standing start. Elliott qualified 2nd in a field of 23, dropped to 3rd at the start, then 4th after a few laps. He just kept doing his thing, he stayed composed, and he had the pace to glue his bumper onto anyone else’s. One by one, each driver in...

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Sliding outside the window

»Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Current projects and Tech Notes | Comments Off

Sliding outside the window

My second event in Freddie the Formula Ford was an autocross test day in a parking lot inside Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. This was an ideal opportunity to get more familiar with the car in a safe, non-competitive environment with lots of quality seat time available. As you will see, I did a lot with the day and learned several important things, but ultimately found the car to be too far outside the tuning window to be competitive for autocross. The short story is that skinny rear tires aren’t viable for autocrossing a Formula Ford. This was my first event with Speed Ventures, and I’m extremely impressed. The usual process hassles were completely absent, it started and ended on time, they did an extremely efficient job of cycling cars through...

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