Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lotus Cup Infineon 2012 - Power to Weight!

The Infineon race is now officially in the books and we are back in the office.  We achieved an Open Class win on Friday and a second place on Saturday.  Glen worked hard to stay with the 2-11s and managed to set the second fastest lap of the weekend which put him at P2 for Saturday's race.  On Friday, he started P3 as both Andy and Robb inched us out by .5sec.  Overall we are happy with the results as Infineon has a significant amount of elevation change which challenged our Art Car.

There were five 2-11s competing in the race weekend and a total of about 20 Lotus.  You can see from the first picture that the 2-11s dominated the front of the grid.  We recognize that competing with these lighter cars is a challenge but it is the type of effort that keeps us on our toes.  We reduced the weight of the Art Car before this race by replacing the windshield with our new OpticArmor Lexan Winscreen.   For improved comfort, we installed a heavier Recaro race seat from Glen's Elise, so lost some of the 16lb savings that the Lexan Windscreen provided.  Still the Art Car weighed 2009lbs with driver and full of fluids - which is about 180lbs heavier than the 2-11s. 

To improve our lap times, we tried several tactics, including suspension adjustments and even added a larger ReVerie rear wing to our car (1700mmx300mm vs. 1700mmx200mm).  We added the larger wing on Sat. morning and it gave Glen some added rear grip to address the oversteer that was challenging us all weekend long.  Glen then nailed a lap time that beat all the times set on Friday.  We were excited about the result, but his time would not stand for too long.  Andy soon layed down a scorching time that would remain the Fastest Lap of the weekend!  Ultimately Robb won both races with his blue 2-11 seen in these pix.  Congrats to Robb!

Infineon has several cresting corners that are off camber and in some cases blind.  See pics above and below.    The climb into the first two corners was especially a challenge as the elevation change is significant.  The next race will be Laguna Seca which also has two big climbs that will be difficult.  Lighter cars have distinct advantage in these conditions - both ascent and descent.  2-11s are amazing cars and Lotus have done a fine job with them.  They can be trickier to drive than the Elise/Exige but they have amazing potential and remain the cars to beat!  But we knew that going into this season...8^)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Two Types of Brake Pads

There are 2 types of brake pads; those with abrasive friction and those with adherent friction. While these sound like big words they are very simple.
  •  Abrasive friction simply means the brake pad provides friction by touching and rubbing on the rotor itself to create the necessary friction for stopping.  Break-in is much easier with this type.  
    • This type of pad is abrasive, and the rotors will wear much more rapidly.  
  • Adherent friction means that the brake pad is transferring a layer of pad material onto the rotor.   As a result, brake performance comes from pad material against pad material.  With this type of pad, rotor life is generally much higher.  Trail braking can be done very smoothly with this type.  
    • One negative with these types of pads is that bed-in is more difficult.  If you don't do it properly, an uneven transfer layer on the rotor will cause a vibration that appears to be 'warped' rotors.  Luckily you can clean the rotors of the uneven pad layer and start once again with proper bed-in.  We recommend purchasing pads of this type already 'Pre-bedded'.   
 Properly bedding your pads and rotors in will greatly extend their life  and give you maximum performance.  Follow the manufacturers recommendations for best results.