Sunday, June 24, 2012

[6/24/2012] CSCS #2 (GBR)

Event: Canadian Sport Compact Series #2
Track: Grand Bend Raceway (Modified Circuit), Grand Bend
Weather Conditions: 20-24°C cloudy with intermittent drizzle (1mm)
I think waking up at 7:00am is the latest I've ever woken up for a track day. It felt great knowing that it was only a 10 minute drive to the track from the hotel. Despite being so close, I still managed to show up a bit late lol. My friends driving out from Toronto even beat me to the track.

Vinh with his Team Lexus IS300 race car got shafted with his pit spot early on. Apparently we weren't allowed to park left of the Krikorian tent in the vendor area but they didn't tell him that until he already unpacked. My friend Peter was also trailering a Jetta race car. Tension was high as we tried to find a pit spot where we could fit everything. All the teams who camped the night before had set up their trailers perpendicular to the pit parking lines.

But you snooze you lose. And I knew from last year's CSCS experience that something as silly as not finding a good pit spot could be enough to set you in a bad mood for the rest of the day. Realizing this I tried to stay cool and thankfully worked out a spot in between the NV Auto crew and Defcon Racing.

The weather wasn't nearly as nice as the day before. I checked the forecast the night before and they were calling for a 60% chance of thunderstorms and the hourly forecast said they would start by 2:00PM, just in time for the timed runs. But checking again at the track on the morning of showed that the storm was pushed back to 5:00PM. I can see now why F1 teams spend lots of money on weather research. It didn't end up more than spitting rain for the whole day so we were lucky. But can you imagine how interesting things would've become if it started to rain as the time attack started? It happened to me last year at SRTA #4 and I won because of that. But at CSCS the slower groups lead the time attack... definitely something to think about.

Open Lapping
Practice really paid off as traffic was quite heavy on the small track and getting clean laps in was proving to be difficult. I started the day off with a full tank of gas but it had to last the entire day plus my drive back to London. I used up both of my jerry cans during practice the day before. By noon I was down to just over a quarter tank so I called it quits for lapping.
Best lap times per session: 
Session 1 - 0:59.17
Session 2 - 0:58.85
Session 3 - 0:58.51
Session 4 - 0:59.23
Vinh snapped a half-shaft and was doing 1WD in his IS300. He somehow managed to convince Scion to lend him an FR-S so that he could carry on and get points. Perks of the job I guess! If AlmostHip was driving I'm sure he would've zip tied the shaft back to the diff and kept going lol.
Peter, who provided me with lots of valuable advice before I started doing the HANSON schools, was also out learning the track. I was happy he was able to finally have a working car because I honestly can't remember the last time he didn't have a car break on him lol. He had some wiring and 2nd gear issues throughout the day but he still managed to put a time down.

Time Attack
I was in heat 9 of 12 so lots of waiting for my turn. Years of competing in various things and I still get a little anxious about things like this. But I love it. I love the release of adrenaline as the marshall tells me to move forward and wait there. With nothing else in front of me but open track and a bunch of cars lined up behind me with drivers feeling the exact same way. Am I an adrenaline junky? Hell yes!
Overall I was happy with my timed run. No big mistakes but I did take T1 too hot on laps 2 and 3. I was really conservative through T6 and really pushed the limit of T9 on one of the laps where I get really close to the grass on the exit. I also think I could've taken T7 a little wider on laps 2 and 3.

Official Time was 0:58.301. A new personal best thanks to the low fuel level and lack of passengers. This win goes to my friends who drove all the way to Grand Bend to help me out: Tang, Francis, Jeff and Kaori. And also to Karen and Doburu for putting up with me at the track :)

Some issues to address before CSCS #3 at DDT on July 15: 
- Twisting/binding noise while turning left at low speed. Maybe my ball joint(s)? I can feel it in the steering wheel over some rough surfaces too.
- Intermittent rattling/squeaking noise while driving at low speed (sounds like same issue as above) - Brake vibration, worse when slowing from high speed. Hope I didn't warp my rotors or the hats.
- Sometimes difficult to shift into 4th gear at the track (intermittent)
- Need new rear brake pads (Ferodo DS2500) - In my GPS data my speed on the main straight appears to dip as it approaches 170 kph. Not sure if that's actually happening or my AiM Solo is messing up.
- Pad knockback approaching braking zone for T1 the pedal drops a lot deeper than normal. Once I reach T3 pedal feel is back to normal.

I get a few weeks off until the next event. Both myself and the car could use a rest. June was intense!

No comments:

Post a Comment