2016 College Station National Tour

After our issue with the Camaro, the Tour in College Station was looking a little grim, but thanks to good friends both Todd and I were able to pick up borrowed rides.

TonyMustang2016Tour

Tony Espinosa was kind enough to let me run his 1986 Ford Mustang with him in CP.  Tony’s car is one we’ve done a bit of work on in the past, having installed an adjustable rear sway bar on it and recently a new rear axle, not to mention lots of other little jobs that Todd has done over the years.  This event was a big test for the new axle upgrade as well as the new adjustable pedal cluster that Todd put in for Tony.  Both worked really well!

I didn’t have super high expectations coming into the event having only run 2 previous events in the year.  Such is life of a new father and a car that had some extended work being done to it!  Day 1 was largely knocking the rust off and getting used to a car that’s setup a bit different that ours.

Tony’s car drives a bit different than our Camaro so it took a bit of getting used to.  I managed to pick up a fair bit of speed on Day 2.  Day 1 wasn’t pretty due to my driving, but also discovering that our tire pressure gauge was off by almost 5 psi!

A little side by side comparison of Tony and I.

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Day 2 we got the pressures set with a working gauge and tried to focus on our driving.  Unfortunately the laws of tire wear caught up to us and Day 2 was at the tail-end of the tire life so we weren’t able to catch up to the leaders.

My runs were a lot more controlled and I had a better handle on the car than Day 1.

A little side by side action for Day 2.  Tony and I both drove a lot better and it was a lot closer than Day 1.

At the  of the field, Mark Madarash, Chris Cargill, Wayne Atkins, and Kurt Janish all had an extremely competitive battle for the win.  Mark ended up on top, but he really had to work for it after Chris & Wayne were in a near dead tie after Day 1!

The Camaro motor is already at the machine shop getting fixed up for the rest of the season.  We’ll be back!

 

 

College Station National Tour… Or Not

Playing a little catch up here on progress.  With the College Station National Tour quickly approaching, we buttoned up the new exhaust work in the Camaro and ran the Houston SCCA event in May at Gulf Greyhound Park.

The site has a lot of variation in elevation and we ended up breaking teeth off the ring gear in the differential.  Fortunately it didn’t break worse and we were able to drive it onto the trailer.  Put together this side by side video.  Lots of knocking the rust off for both of us as neither of us drove all that great!

We didn’t finish all that great in PAX, but it was worth the seat time anyways and a lot of fun.

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A few weeks later Todd was running a practice at Texas A&M and he heard the dreaded tick indicating engine damage coming into the finish.  Looks like 8 years of racing and no dry sump finally caught up to us with a spun bearing on #4.  While the engine made it to the engine builder early in the week it was too much of a thrash to get it together for the Tour.

Thanks to Tony Espinoza’s generosity I’ll be driving with him in his awesome CP Mustang!  I’ll have some video and a story up after the event!

 

24 Hours of Le Mans!

We’ve been a bit quiet these last few months due to a number of reasons, but will have a bit more news soon.

In the meantime, in honor of Ford’s win at Le Mans 50 years ago, here is their live stream of the race!

Car For Sale: 1988 CP Ford Mustang

A refresh from last year, Alan and Donna Bartling’s awesome 1988 Ford Mustang built for CP competition is back available!

Bartling Coupe

More information available over on our FOR SALE page!

 

Petrolicious – Alan Mann GT40

Been a long time since I’ve posted anything!  With a baby on the way, attention has been diverted elsewhere a little bit…  That’s not to say cars haven’t been on my mind!

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Just wanted to share 2 posts from Petrolicious that feature one of my favorite cars, the Ford GT40.  If you like the photo above, there’s tons more in the two links below!

Preparing and Alan Mann GT40 for Goodwood Is a Dream Come True

Here’s How You Test a Monstrous GT40 Before It Races At Goodwood

In other news, some work behind the scenes going on with the Camaro and my old Mustang.  Look for some additional posts, hopefully soon!

 

Carroll Shelby Goes Racing

Been spending a lot of the holiday working on my ’67 Mustang installing a new panhard bar and doing some tune-up work.  I spotted this video the other day over at Petrolicious and thought you all might enjoy it!

Houston Regional #10

This last weekend Todd and I participated in one of the last events of the year before we take the car down for some winter development.  Houston SCCA had their event at the Houston Police Academy.  The course looked like a blast on the map, but a few corners turned out to be really tight which put us way down in the powerband.  Good news though is we ran some used rear slicks from Berget that were only $100 each and they worked great with a set of half-used fronts!  Something that’ll help the budget and get us some more seat time.

Todd put in a quick time after being stuck in the 50’s all day like I was.  He did a better job of using the whole road than I did with the last 3 corners making all the time difference between us!

I blew my 4th run entering the optional slalom so I had to settle with this one.  I wasn’t as close to the cones as I’d like and I didn’t do the best job of using the whole course.  Learning points!

No data acquisition video this time.  While we did some post-Nationals work we somehow unplugged the main camera so we didn’t get any video from that vantage point.  On the plus side this was a first test for my new external microphone setup with our ReplayXD PrimeX camera and I’m very pleased!  Previously the microphone didn’t get us the best audio being exposed in the wind, but this allows us to put a mic inside the car where we just get the engine noise.  Very pleased!

Not too many more events this year, but we’ve got a few things planned for the winter so stay tuned.

2015 Nationals – Side by Side Video

Every autocrosser knows that the trip home from Nationals is one during which you reflect on how you did and what’s planned for next year.  This year, with our switch to radial tires we knew we weren’t ready, but of course that’s tough for the ego to take.  The quest for more speed always begins shortly after you get home.

This year, with some video in hand I decided to try and take a closer look at some of our competitors to see how we measured up.  Robert Lewis put in some hard work this year and ended up with a 2nd place finish behind Mike Maier.  Miley doesn’t share any video from his runs, but Robert does!  Putting the videos side by side I figured we could identify some areas we got beat and potentially find some more speed…

This is a comparison of Todd and Robert’s best runs from the East course on Day 1.  Not being a whiz in video editing, I didn’t get to do as much as I wanted (I’d really like to be able to add “sectors” to a video, not unlike data analysis and look at the time delta, but alas, I’m not that smart…

Anyways, a few take aways for us:

  1.  Our car sucks on launch.  Yes the timers are after you launch, but Robert’s car gets moving with less drama and is moving much faster by the time he crosses the line.
  2. We seem to be on par at higher speed.

Day 2 is much the same.  We are killed out of any low-speed element, but the higher speed sections or the slaloms we seem to be able to hold our own or catch up a bit.

Not scientific, but interesting nonetheless!

Daytona Coupes at Goodwood Revival

I haven’t done too many posts on our Daytona Coupe recently, but that doesn’t mean it’s forgotten.  News like this is just what’s needed to get motivation going again on a project!  Recently at the Goodwood Revival, all 6 original Daytona Coupes were in one place for the first time since the ’60s.  Two of my favorite sites, Petrolicious and Speedhunters both did an article on the cars and it’s interesting to see the differences in coverage.

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Petrolicious is a site that favors the classics.  Watch one of their videos sometime and you’ll see stunning photography, stories of people passionate about their cars, and a general love for the automobile.  Petrolicious’ article on the Coupes at Goodwood focuses on the “barn find” of the Coupes, showcasing it’s patina.  Personally, this is the story that I’m drawn to more than the mega-buck restorations that try to make it look like it rolled off the showroom floor.  As a racer myself, I like seeing the motorsport icons as they were used and abused with all their battle scars intact and the “barn find” car can’t be beat for this.

Speedhunters - Shelby_Daytona_Cobra_Coupe-011 Speedhunter’s take is a little different, filled with pictures of the gleaming paint jobs and garage queen cars.  They do mention the barn find car, but it takes second stage to the perfect restorations.  Don’t get me wrong, these are beautiful cars, but I just love the worn and used one more than the show queens.

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Goodwood has another excellent article on these cars up on their site.  Told through an interview with the Chief Designer, Pete Brock, it’s another article that shouldn’t be missed!

Any way you take it, this was an incredible event and we’re fortunate to have so many people taking a unique look at it.

2015 Solo Nationals

It’s been a long road, but we’re finally here – the 2015 SCCA Solo National Championships in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Every year we look forward to this event with sometimes optimistic plans and expectations.  This year we knew would be a year of development with a switch in tires and I’m happy to say that we mostly pulled through with meeting our goals!

2015 nationals trophy

The cliff notes version of this story is that Todd and I ended up 4th and 5th out of 38 and the competition was tight at the top!  Had a few things gone differently, the results might have been a little different, but we’re happy nonetheless!  For those who are interested in a little more than the cliff notes, follow along! (more…)

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