This year I figured I would make the schedule out a little different by just listing every event in our area and posting if we are registered/attending separately. I have also included registration links where I could. Keep in mind the events list should and will change as the season goes on. We definitely plan to go to many more events than are scheduled right now.
Events we have registered for and should be attending:
- April 23 WHRRI OTD 1
- May 6-7 WHRRI Race 1
- May 20-21 SCCA Spring Sprints Regional @ Gingerman
- June 11 WHRRI OTD 2
- July 2 WHRRI OTD 3
- July 30 WHRRI OTD 4
- September 3 WHRRI OTD 5
- September 30 WHRRI OTD 6
- October 15 WHRRI OTD 7
It’s been a while since we posted about our cars, and with all that has gone on I feel it is long overdue.
Last season ended on a sour note. After the SCCA Cincinnati Regionals we started having a lot of issues with the car stalling and just not running right. We ended up missing several races and after finding a broken lead inside of our distributor we thought we had solved the issues.
We couldn’t have been further from the truth. When we brought the car up to the Empire Hill Climb in September, the car seemed to be running great and it sounded nice with its new exhaust system. After we made it through tech and it was time to head to the grid, the car threw a check engine light. The crank sensor wasn’t giving us any signal. After chasing down a red herring for a while, we packed it up for the season and headed home.
Once we had time to fully troubleshoot the issues with the car we found nothing wrong with our two new distributors and our wiring was reading fine. I cracked into my ECU and found charring on some components on one side of the circuit board. This had to be the issue, so I found another ECU and re-worked the components to fit our piggyback on the board (as well as replace old capacitors). DRAT the car wouldn’t start, one of the connectors was loose and the ECU went into an error mode of some sort. After letting the ecu sit unplugged for a couple days and checking to make sure nothing was damaged, we hooked everything back up and the car fired right up. Success!
Leading into our 2017 season, we are still working on a schedule and one will be posted as soon as I have everything somewhat planned out.
In other news we recently sold the Nissan Stanza (Monarch Mobile) and picked up a 1991 Chevy Camaro Z28 305 5 speed project so look for more on that soon!
Last week we held another Go Karting GP at JD Karting, a local go kart track. We had 8 drivers of varying experience going head to head on the track.
The event ran as follows:
Each driver would get 3 sessions
The first two sessions were qualifying sessions to set lap times that determined the running order during the final race.
The final session was a standing start on the track and race for position.
Rob took Third
I took Second
and Luis took First
With the recently finished new engine for the CRX (as in finished the day before our appointment at Pure Tuning in Toledo, Ohio), we threw it in the trailer and brought it down to be tuned. Turns out there were a few small issues still but we resolved most of them on the spot and had the car tuned and ready for racing.
The next week we packed the car up again and drove down to Mid Ohio Sports Car Course, but before we left I found out that my fuel rail was defective. The threaded inlet was at such an angle that it would not seal properly. We ended up dropping the race car off at the track and driving even further to Summit Racing to pick up a new fuel rail. With the second new fuel rail installed I got my first taste of Mid Ohio, and even with limiting my RPM on the new motor I turned a 1:48 in my first session. During our checks we found some play in one of the rear wheel bearings so we replaced it. During the Saturday race the driver side CV axle seized up causing the wheel to hop violently. Back to the parts store for a new one.
In the Sunday qualifying race my shift linkage came apart mid session but I had skimmed more time and got down to a 1:44.223 and qualified 8th overall 4th in class. During the Sunday race I was able to get out front but I fell to second then spun the car on one of the last couple laps after getting a personal best lap time of 1:42.009. Overall this was a very successful weekend even though I didn’t win any of the races I still progressed and got much faster.
Our next event was back at Waterford hills. I was having a lot of trouble getting the race car to turn in and it seemed to push a lot. After borrowing a set of toe plates we adjusted the alignment from excessive toe in to mild toe out on the front of the CRX making it act more like I wanted. The car started having issues with the fuel pumps where they would blow the circuit breakers and start whining loudly. I ended up swapping out pumps, but by the end of the day they had all given up. It was back to the drawing board on fuel pumps again.
Having replaced fuel pumps with a new larger single pump setup and tweaking the cars suspension and alignment a little more we headed back down to Mid-O for another race. During the Saturday race I took second just behind Alejandro DellaTorre and setting a faster lap time of 1:41.910. during the Sunday Qualifying race I was leading by quite a margin until the car shut off a few corners before the finish and due to the drop in speed I got hit in the rear pretty good. I still managed to limp the car over the finish line and take 3rd in class and a another slightly faster lap time of 1:41.714 . We spent a good portion of the morning trying to solve the rear bumper and ignition issues and get back on track. Unfortunately the car died yet again in the first lap of the race so I pulled it in and called it.
Overall the new engine is a great improvement and has given me a modest bump in power, but it has brought with it a large amount of issues. We should be back on track soon enough and I will do my best to go faster.
The 2016 season seems to be another big year. The open track day events might be in different vehicles depending on what is going on at the time.
- Waterford Open Track Day 1/April 17-
- Waterford Open Track Day 2/May 7-
- Waterford Race 1/May 14-15-
- SCCA Detroit Regionals @ Gingerman/ May 21-22 (PDX on Sunday)-
Waterford Open Track Day 3/May 29-
- Waterford Race 2/June 11-12- (Bracket Race Stanza)
Waterford Open Track Day 4/June 26-
SCCA Western Michigan Regional @ Grattan/ June 25-26-
Waterford Race 3/July 2-3
- SCCA Ohio Valley Regional @ Mid Ohio/ July 16-17-
- Waterford Race 4/July 23-24-
- SCCA Cincinnati Regionals @ Mid Ohio/ August 6-7 (IT Spectacular on Sunday)-
Waterford Race 5/August 13-14-
- Waterford Open Track Day 5/August 28-
Waterford Race 6/September 10-11-
Empire Hill Climb Saturday, September 24, 2016 Wilco Road, Empire, MI-
Waterford Open Track Day 6/September 25-
SCCA Ohio Valley Regionals @ Mid-Ohio/ October 8-9 (Fall Classic)
- Waterford Open Track Day 7/October 16-
Keep an eye on this post, I will do my best to keep it updated throughout the season.
Bold = Attended
Italic = Next event
Striked = Not attending
With the WAT CRX broken and down for the count, we took the Nissan Stanza “Monarch Mobile” to Waterford Hills Road Racing and entered in the Saturday bracket race
First up was qualifying. The tires on the car were over-inflated and caused the car to slide everywhere. My lap times ranged from 1:39.825-1:46.464, making me the slowest car in the bracket race group. We had to select a target time and I selected 1:40.461.
I dropped the tires 4-6 psi and dropped my lap times to 1:38.034-1:39.897.
After the race we all got together and were given results. I placed second with my 3 closest laps averaging 1.061 from the target time. Having the slowest car doesn’t mean you can win in bracket racing.
Feature Photo by Mark Windecker
Our first weekend racing at a new track was supposed to be a great experience. Unfortunately we were plagued with issues almost the entire weekend.
During qualifying we only barely got one clean lap, which thankfully put us in the middle of the pack, before the session turned into a full course caution.
In the Saturday race, the driver side CV Axle blew apart while going head to head with another driver.
We worked all afternoon to pull everything apart and replace the damaged axle. We managed to get back on the track for Sunday qualifying and obtain a slightly faster lap time.
During the Sunday race I pushed the car too far once again. This time a rod come out of the front of our engine.
Overall I consider the weekend successful. We might have lost an engine and an axle but we managed to make it through the weekend at a new track and improve lap times throughout the weekend getting into the low 1:48s. The (D16A6) engine we lost has been through a lot between engine fires, crashes, blown head gaskets, and cracked blocks. It lived a hard life and died under pressure. We are currently working towards building a new drive train and will be doing our best to be back on the track as soon as possible so stay tuned!
We have a sticker to commerate the lost engine.
Finally, after a long winter and lots of repairs, the WAT CRX was ready to race. We showed up at Waterford Hills Road Racing the day before the race, replaced some parts on the car and had the CRX’s annual tech inspection done so that when we attend more SCCA events we do not have to spend as much time in tech. I decided it was not necessary to run practice sessions before the event because we had already run a couple open track day events and the car was doing good.
Fast-Forward to Saturday morning, the weather had changed for the worse leaving the track cold and wet. I still managed to pull a second in class qualifying time only one hundredth slower than the first place qualifier. The weather for the rest of the day fluctuated with hail and sleet coming down intermittently. When it was time to go out for the Saturday race everything seemed to have dried up but during the first pace lap rain started coming down hard.
Check the video below out to see most of that session:
The video ended early because of a camera issue but we finished 2nd in class and overall. We cleaned up and left the track for the night because I wasn’t feeling great and it was very cold (below freezing overnight).
Sunday morning rolled around, after some more hail and sleet, we checked the car over. For the Sunday race the track was still cold and damp but that didn’t stop me from getting first place and setting a new personal best around the track at 1:17.132. Over half a second faster than my prior best lap at Waterford Hills.
In the final race of the weekend we lost a fuel pump before the race even started due to a circuit breaker failing. Early into the race the CRX dropped to third and held that position throughout the race.
Overall the weekend was a success, nothing major broke on the car, We took home a couple trophies and we didn’t hit anything! Big thanks to our sponsor Melanie Everett at Keller Williams and thanks to my Crew Jim, Ashley, Mallory and Nicholas. Onto the next race at Gingerman Raceway.
Keep an eye on our YouTube channel for more videos.
Featured Image by James Davidson
At the last event we noticed we kept running through water in our cooling system but we couldn’t find a leak. We were able to spot a crack in the front of the engine block in the water jacket without the water immediately evaporating after a little testing:
We pulled the engine, had the crack repaired, and had the car running again.
Working together pretty much every day we could, we had it back together for the next open track day.
Here is some footage from the track day:
The car was once again running great, and with some fresh tires the car and driver were getting back into the grove of road racing.
Our first race of the season is next weekend at Waterford Hills Road Racing, stay tuned!
After months of working on resolving our issues with the CRX we finally made it on the race track.
This event was the first Waterford Hills Open Track Day of the season so a lot of people showed up to shake down their race cars, us included.
This video is from one of the [Competition Group] sessions we ran at the event.
It was great to see all of the different cars and new people showing up this year, I hope the rest of the year goes as smoothly as this event.
Feature Photo by Mark Windecker
Inline photo by James Davidson