Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Blue Car Testing at AutoClub Speedway

We brought Blue to CA Speedway to further test our various new products. We recruited a couple of fast drivers, Brent Bauman and Scott Nogrady, to really put her to the test. The quickest lap time that we recorded was a 1min47.9s lap at the hands of Brent. This time was one of the best during the Lotus Cup race this past weekend. Our goal was to push the various parts hard and see how they would perform.

Since our initial track test, we added the following parts: new Nitron Race Pro shocks, ReVerie 1700mm rear wing & Canards, RACEunderAERO, RACEsills, ReVerie XC seat, Elise CF hardtop, new JUBU Elise race Spoiler/Splitter, forged SJ Racing wheels, and DOT slick tires. The car was superbly sticky with loads of grip and extremely fast!

Both drivers were fully impressed with the car. Brent is a Lotus owner and is recognized as one of the fastest - if not the fastest, Lotus Cup racer. His was quite happy with the car and felt he could lower the lap times by at least a couple of seconds - which would have beat the fastest cars including Andy's 2-11 and Rob's 330hp Exige. But as they say, 'to finish first, you must first finish'! Alas, we suffered a trans failure that cut our weekend short. Regardless, we are quite happy with the overall performance of The Blue Car, so please read on to learn more...

Front Brake Caliper Relocation: We had the 308BBK with stock front calipers relocated to the rear of the car. Previous testing with this set-up and different pads proved that more testing was needed - especially since we lacked enough suitable pad compounds. This time we arrived with new pads of three different compounds from ONE brake pad manufacturer - Carbotech. We installed the XP12 in the front and XP8s in the rear. This combination worked great with no unusual behavior from the car. Brent suggested that we should test an even more aggressive compound on the rear. We'll try the XP10s in the rear in a couple of weeks.

New Aero: We had never tested this combination as the new JUBU Elise spoiler was a new item for us. Our previous Exige had the ReVerie complete kit and performed very well. The JUBU spoiler is a carbon fiber piece that is very aggressive and finally gives us a more complete solution for Elise owners. This spoiler extends back providing a fully flat bottom and eliminates the front undertray. Adding the other aero parts created a seriously stable machine based on the reports of our drivers. We installed a temporary rear wing upright with several inches of vertical adjustment. I knew that we would need to adjust the amount of wing height to dial a suitable balance. AutoClub Speedway rewards good aero but also is a high speed track. Too much drag can be a penalty so setting up the right balance becomes key. In fact, we dropped the height of our wing and lowered our lap times with Scott driving and increased top speed. The balance was improved as well. The ReVerie 1700mm rear wing remains the sweetest wing available and has been copied by others with lesser results. This is one bad mutha! This overall kit will also allow us to test our new Dry Sump kit to over 1.5g+. That testing will take place in July...

Brent has innovated the use of aero in the Lotus Cup and turned very fast times (and influenced others) in his Exige with the same parts on Blue. He has all of these parts but runs a front spoiler of his own design. He is the designer of the RACEunderAERO and RACEsills. These parts are run by several of the fastest Lotus Cup drivers and provide very fast times. His Exige S runs stock power levels yet it's faster than many, much more powerful Lotus. We believe that better aero is a safer and more reliable way to lower lap times.

Nitron Pro Race 3Way: This triple adjustable suspension is the new 46mm piston design that is the pinnacle of Nitron kits. We ran 550lb and 700lb spring rates with this set-up. Both drivers were very pleased with the system. Brent has the standard Nitron triples on his Exige and found this kit to be an improvement. Scott felt that we could stiffen the settings, but we did not get the chance to try it. We've sold a kit to another client that cut his lap times at ThunderHill by over 4sec!

We also offer a more affordable version of this 46mm kit that is legal for spec class in Lotus Cup: Nitron 46mm Race Pro 1 Way. Currently we are running the one way on a Spec Elise that is being campaigned in Lotus Cup. This car won its class in the first two races of this year. Rob loved this suspension and set amazing times.

JUBU Dogbox: Both drivers loved the new Dogbox. Brent commented that the ratios were excellent, and action of the kit was excellent. We installed the OS Giken TR1A clutch and flywheel with a sprung clutch plate (see comments below). Unfortunately we lost 5th & 6th gears on Saturday morning. We've taken the trans out of the car and are opening it up today to see what failed. Testing is not always as successful as we'd like, but will reveal things that will allow us to improve. Finding a trans solution that is reliable is our goal. We will get to the bottom of it soon enough!

OS Giken TR1A: We had previously suffered some transmission failures with the previous version of this system. Sector111 has taken responsibility for this and taken care of the broken transaxles. The old system has a solid clutch plate that does not adequately dampen the forces/shock transferred through the driveline. Though the kit was tested in Japan, we are discovering that it is too aggressive for our street-based trans - especially with the weaker syncros. We firmly believe that most race oriented clutches with solid clutch plates are too aggressive with the stock trans. We've seen failures with other similar clutches and would caution the Lotus community to beware of undampened clutches.

We are working with OS Giken and testing a possible replacement. We installed a special sprung clutch plate in the TR1A for this test since the JUBU trans has no syncros. The action was excellent. Though the trans did fail, we don't believe it is clutch related.

Oil Cooler Lines: The lines were tested to higher loads on the track than before and continue to perform very well. We just received our OE lab testing back and the lines passed with flying colors. We tested the system by running the fluid at 150degC for 30minutes at 150PSI. No failures. We then took these three samples and increased the PSI until we burst them. The failure mode was the fitting coming loose from the hose. It took over 344-565PSI before they failed. Since the stock system will never see pressure this high, we are comfortable with this safety margin. Expect this ultra-lightweight product to be available from us shortly.

Fuel Cell: Again we had good success with the Fuel Safe tank. Copious amounts of fuel are used at this high speed track. This track is the worst case scenario that we have in CA with the huge left hand banked turn that will fuel starve most cars. We ran Blue down to about 1 gallon of fuel and then finally experienced some fuel surge. We're happy with that result and will soon offer this FIA-spec tank. The fuel pressure data logs remained excellent throughout the test and we are happy with the Denso pump and will soon offer a plug and play fuel pump upgrade.

KATANA265: This powerkit is a simple upgrade to out KATANA2. It ran great and will continue to be monitored over the course of the next few track tests. We want to make sure we have safe AFRs and will keep data logging the system under severe track conditions.


Ellsworth said...

Wow! That Blue car certainly is fast! I want to have a sports car too! Of course, it should also be ‘blue’, my favorite color. Do you have any plans of joining a car race, or are you just a speed fanatic like me? I’m sure your car has a chance of winning competitions, from the looks of it.

-Ellsworth Mciltrot

Mickey said...

If I happen to have a sports car, I would like a yellow one. :D Something like what Bumblebee was in the movie “Transformers”, a Chevy Camaro. It’s cool, right? I have seen a lot of yellow sports cars but still, that’s the color that I want. I always feel animated having a breathtaking car!

Mickey Doshi