Monday, February 28, 2011

Training at HMS Motorsport: Stilo, HANs & Schroth

Shinoo and I spent this past Saturday at HMS Motorsport in Boston, MA for training on various safety products including Schroth harnesses, Stilo helmets and HANS devices. HMS has been supplying us with our custom Schroth harnesses for the past 5+ years. We needed a refresher for the harness and initial training on the Stilo helmets and HANS devices.
Joe, the owner of HMS, led the training with a great PowerPoint including video demonstrations of some of the most important aspects of on-track safety. Some of you may recall that Joe was one of our first guest speakers at our popular Tech Seminars. You can watch his video here. Since we've been working with HMS, they've begun supplying almost every NASCAR team, half the Grand Am field and the IRL field with Schroth harnesses. This is truly a testament to the quality of these harnesses.

One of the biggest reasons we went to this training was to learn more about the Stilo helmets that we just began carrying. These are some of the highest quality helmets you'll find anywhere. Every driver in the World Rally Championship (WRC) runs a Stilo helmet and they are starting to catch on in NASCAR and various GT & formula series. Having seen these helmets taken apart, its easy to see why they are so loved in such high levels of motorsport. Safety, comfort, style, integration and customization is second to none.
We learned how everything is integrated into the helmet such as communication, water and air. These helmets are ordered and built to spec but we now have the ability to change and add options here at our shop. We also discussed some of the communication options that are available and currently in development. Car-to-car, driver-to-passenger and driver-to-pit options will all be possible and completely integrated in the helmet.

We are now proud to announce that we are a fully trained and certified seller of HANS devices. A part of the day was dedicated to proper sizing, usage and fitment of HANS. HANS are a very important safety device that is now mandated by pretty much ever major motorsport sanctioning body. We will have more info up on our side shortly.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fuel Pump Removal Video

Fuel starvation is one of the three common problems with track driven Lotus. We describe all three in our (tongue-in-cheek) Track Trilogy of Terror. We've developed a safe solution, the V2 Fuel Tank, that keeps all of the stock safety & emissions plumbing intact. Ralph at V2 Motorsport modifies stock fuel tanks with ATL baffles to keep the fuel at the pick-up.

One of the challenges of our fuel tank swap is removing the fuel pump housing. It is very easy to do on '06+ cars but can be a bit trickier on the '05. We've come up with a simple process to make this job much easier. In fact Steve and Bill made a little video to show how easy it can be.

We are not supporters of cutting or modifying the stock fuel lines or systems as it creates a failure point in the system that is too risky for us. Most cars that we've seen with fuel related fires had modified fuel systems. We believe in sticking with the systems that have been tested by the factory - particularily on street driven cars.

If track days are in your plans, please either keep your tank more than 50% full or consider running our baffled stock fuel tank from our partners at V2 Motorsports. If you are dedicating your car to track only use and you are looking for added capacity in your track-only car, our ProAlloy RACEtank is perfect. If race compliance is your need, then hold tight as we are finishing up a proper Fuel Cell for maximum race safety.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Correct Brake Rotor Venting

We often get asked what is the correct orientation when installing directional brake rotors. The correct orientation of the vanes is a subject often debated. I wanted to take this opportunity to clarify it with help from my buddy Martin from Girodisc.

From Girodisc's website: For maximum airflow and superior cooling, the Girodisc system uses curved vanes. For a curved vane internally vented disc, the geometry of the vanes dictates the direction of rotation. A curved vane disc must be installed with the vanes running back from the inside to outside diameters in the direction of rotation. Your discs will come with labels indicating their correct placement on the vehicle. Orienting the disc in this manner creates a centrifugal pump. The rotation of the disc causes air to be pumped from the center of the disc, through the vanes, and out through the outside diameter of the disc. This greatly enhances the disc’s ability to dissipate heat. Discs installed backwards have very limited cooling.

Many clients wonder if their brakes are good enough. The truth is that most stock Lotus will run fine on track with the stock brakes. The advantage of our lightweight cars is that we don't actually generate that much heat when braking properly. We've tested brakes temps and posted about it last year: see brake temp post. Of course as drivers get faster they realize that the stock pads lack the initial bite they need to be confident when out braking those pesky GT3s. Or when they have burned through their original rotors they start looking for alternatives.

Our discNOIRs, ULTRAdiscs & CUPdiscs all come from Girodisc and therefore use curved vanes to maximize the cooling potential. Now that cars are running higher levels of power, with slicks and serious downforce, we are starting to see more heat in the brakes. Running properly vented rotors, better pads and fresh brake fluid usually is enough to keep a modified Lotus stopping on a dime - repeatedly. We use our AP Rotor paint to see how hot they are really getting - before jumping to conclusions.

But for those who need more, we have more BBK solutions coming.....we are now testing a bracket that relocates a stock front caliper to the rear - especially tasty for clients running our 308BBK or a Lotus Sport upgrade. Stay tuned as we are still mental as ever...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Elise & Exige Racecar Ignition Modification

For more information on Ryan Kuhlenbeck, click HERE.