December 14, ’14
The winter preperation continues! We’ve been working with Wankel Works on a constant basis in order to get the car ready for next season. There is still a good amount of work to do before it’s in the car and running, but we’re making great progress. I hope to have the car running as soon as the holiday season is over.
Well, I wish I could tell you that you were about to read a blog about how we blew away the competition this weekend at our last race of the season, but that isn’t the case. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get the car ready in time due to some unforeseen engine part allocation issues. And although we weren’t able to get the car on the track this weekend, I do want to thank Wankel Works for doing everything in their power to make it happen.
Here’s the silver lining! We have to wait until spring to test the car in competition. I know that doesn’t sound exactly like a silver lining, but it will give us a lot of time to tune, adjust, and modify the car. So when we do get on track, we’ll be completely prepared. Stay tuned to the website and our Facebook page for updates throughout the off-season. I’ll be posting pictures of the new motor and any other modifications throughout the process.
I have more good news. We’ve had new pit crew shirts made for the team. Check below for a photo that shows the front, back, and side of the shirts. Although these are special edition just for the team, if you’re interested in purchasing any Team-GPRacing gear, click here. Wankel Works gear is also available! Check our sponsors page, or the Wankel Works website for details.
This past weekend marked the annual NER SCCA fundraising race weekend dubbed RAL (Racing Against Leukemia). It was an incredibly successful weekend for the club and the Umass Memorial Children’s Medical Center. Across every discipline of our club we were able to raise over $18,000 for this incredible charity. Over $4000 of which coming from one bid to shave the head and beard of one of the club’s most revered members.
Now onto the racing. My wife will tell you that any weekend that the car comes home in the same condition that it left the garage is a good weekend. Well, it was a good weekend. That fact, along with the success of coming first in class for both the Saturday and Sunday afternoon races, proved to make for a happy Team-GPRacing at the end of the weekend. I now have two more checkered flags to add to my collection.
The only downside is that the current motor is just as underpowered as I expected. I couldn’t be sure until now since the last race at Thompson was the first time we had competed at that track. Therefore we had no previous lap times to compare to. At New Hampshire though, I was about five seconds off of my best time. That, coupled with the fact that I have completed a list of additional improvements to the car, means this current motor is probably six seconds slower per lap than my previous motor (at New Hampshire).
Alas, my supporters and followers, do not fret! Our friends at Wankel Works have already started building the motor that will not only significantly outperform the motor that is currently in the car, but also greatly outperform the previous motor. With any luck, we’ll have the motor complete and installed for the last race of the season at Thompson, on October, 3rd. Until then, the car will be in the shop.
Please check out this selection of photos from the past weekend’s action and check back soon for updates on the progress of the new race motor.
July 21, ‘14
Here’s a video from last Sunday’s race. I changed the speed to 2x for some of the less exciting parts, but make sure you watch at the 6:30 mark for some excitement.
July 14, ‘14
I have a lot of exciting news! First, I would like to announce a new sponsor for the #47 E-Production, Team-GPRacing, Mazda RX3. Wankel Works is an automotive performance company that specializes in building and modifying rotary powered vehicles. We will be working them into the future to make our racecar even faster and more competitive. Please check them out on our sponsor page and contact them if you need any work done to your vehicle.
Now onto the most recent event. This past Friday we arrived at Thompson Speedway for a redux of our last event. It was a beautiful day, with temperatures in the mid-70’s and a dry, sunny sky. I was confident that this outing would be more successful than our last trip to the track (which wouldn’t be too hard). After doing some last minute tweaking to the car with Lui from Wankel Works, we set out on track for some testing. Everything went as planned and we were finally turning some respectable laps with the new motor and modifications.
Saturday was a good bit warmer with temperatures in the mid-eighties and a bit more humidity. After a qualifying run that placed us 25th out of 35 cars, I came to two realizations. My old tires were old, and this new motor was not putting out the horsepower that my old motor used to. With all of the changes that I made to the car during the offseason, we should have easily been at least a second faster per lap, but that was not the case. I couldn?t attribute it to poor driving or handling on my part, because I would make up a lot of time through the twisty-bits of the track but once I got onto the long straightaway, everyone else was just faster than me. This could be because the motor hasn?t broken-in entirely yet, but we can?t be sure right now. Regardless of those issues, when we hit the track for Saturday afternoon?s race, we finished in 13th overall and 6th in class. A great improvement from our starting position.
The car was running properly, albeit a little underpowered, and we were very excited to get back on the track for Sunday afternoon?s race. Yep, no racing before noon on Sundays in Connecticut. Silly, I know. The day was turning out to be the warmest and most humid of the weekend, and we were hoping that the super-moon was not going to make any drive like a maniac. We started in 17th place from the previous day?s fastest laps and even though the spinning cars, dust clouds, and ?racing incidents? were everywhere, we were able to hold consistent lap times that secured us an 11th overall position and 3rd in class! We?re back on the podium!!
Our next race is the premier event of the NER SCCA region, the Racing Against Leukemia event on August 8th through the 10th. Keep a look out for a recap of that event soon.
June 25, ‘14
It’s been a few weeks since our disappointing outing at the Thompson soft-opening and I wish that I could say that I solved the problem with the car, but I haven’t.
I’ve replaced and reconfigured the entire ignition system by utilizing a waste spark system and adding an MSD unit with three new coils. I replaced the spark plug wires in favor of larger ones. I swapped the existing water pump pulley and main drive pulley for aluminum, under-drive pulleys in order to add a small amount of horsepower, reduce spinning weight, and make setting the timing easier. I also replaced the fuel pressure regulator and the fuel filter to eliminate them as culprits. I have consulted with my other racing-mechanic friends and have one last thing to try that will hopefully solve the problem.
Our next race is July 11th through the 13th at Thompson. With any luck, the next post will have details about how successful we were at the first official race at the new track.
June 9, ‘14
Well, it’s a good thing that I said that I “think” that we were ready to go racing in my last post.
We were one of a select few to be invited to the soft-opening of Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Thompson, CT. This is actually the first race track that the SCCA held an event at back in 1951. The track hasn’t held road racing events since the 70’s and our racing club was asked to hold a soft-opening event to help them learn how to host events.
Finally some progress! I’ve been spending a lot of time down in the garage (thank you Allison for being understanding!), and it’s definitely paying off. The new motor and transmission have been installed, along with a handful of other work. I added a new seat with head bolsters for added safety. Not only is this seat safe, but it isn’t really old and dusty like the last one. Double bonus! I removed the front bumper to save weight and added screens to the areas that opened up when the bumper was removed. I attached the new fiberglass fenders and modified the existing front splitter to work with the slightly different shape of the new fenders. The front polycarbonate window was also finished after the new motor was installed.
I also just finished outfitting our new twenty-two foot enclosed trailer that we bought last October. Yes, I bought a new trailer the same month as my tenth wedding anniversary (thank you again to my beautiful wife)! It has a removable tool box, a work bench, and plenty of storage space. I added a couple of store-bought and fabricated accessories to the inside of the trailer. One of the fabricated accessories I am especially proud of. It’s a helmet dryer that is powered by a rechargeable battery pack from a battery drill. See pictures of it and the rest of the inside and outside of the trailer below. I think that we’re ready to go racing!