Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Project Dragon (Drakan Spyder) Update #10: SMMR Track Testing

We brought the Drakan out for testing at Spring Mtn this past weekend.  New Nitron shocks, bellcranks, steering arms, half shafts, rear wishbones, AiM dash, new pressure plate and shifter updates needed testing.  We ran the car for a total of 150 miles of testing on the East track over the course of two days and 12 sessions.  We had three of our clients test the car as well.  Our test driver fell ill so most of the driving was completed by yours truly.  Overall we had a great weekend and car is proving itself to be the fast and pure car that we desired.  Check out the video later in the blog of some laps in the Drakan from this weekend.

The Nitrons were single adjustable with 300/450lb springs front/rear.  We started them at a mid position.  The 2.1 East track is a smooth track with good curbs.  I ran the car onto every curb in an attempt to disturb the handling.  We made several shock adjustments until the car ran over the curbs with out disruption.  The Drakan really absorbs these bumps and handles very flat.  We will test out some different spring rates later this month and have Dave T. help us fine tune the car. 

We staged our 'pit' close the the tower so the guys could monitor the Drakan closely and have their tools at hand.  Joe downloaded data from the dash after each run.  The new MXL2 dash is good with easy to see shift lights.  This system is much easier for future upgrades and video integration.  The car is rev limited to about 6500 but makes so much torque that shifting early is perfectly fine.  In fact I used only three gears (3,4 & 5) on the track.  Watch the video and you will see that I am making very few shifts during the lap.  Water temps ranged from 190-194deg F.  Oil pressures ranged from 26-66psi.  Top speed that we saw on the first straight was 130mph.

We ran with Carbotech XP12 pads and had good results.  We corrected the brake bias issues in our balance bar and the car performed well.  Several adjusts to the bias knob were made and tested on the track and then on the skid pad to get the fronts to lock before the rears.   All the clients who tested the car commented that they liked the brake feel.  Our new brake set up is completely different so will  need validation once we get our new HRE wheels(see pic).  I am much happier with the brakes and believe our clients will be pleased.

Of course no testing is complete without a couple of hiccups.  I managed to throw off the drive belt on one run.  We simply went over to the local auto parts store and bought a replacement and got back on track within an hour.  Palatov had sent us a belt guide update that we failed to install - we ran out of time.  We now know the importance.  In a similar vein, a grounding strap that we failed to install onto the alternator resulted in the alternator degradation.  By the afternoon of the second day of testing the data was showing a drop in voltage.  Luckily we were never stranded but we parked the car Sunday afternoon to avoid any trouble.  

The big boy seat is too large for me so plenty of padding was employed to keep me somewhat secure.  The standard seat will be the right choice for most clients but this seat is comfortable for bigger folk.

Our Mono client Pete was out running his car as well.  He needed to get the car broken-in so completed two days of easy miles.  This car continues to wow people - especially Pete who had been waiting a very long time to get it.  This is the fifth car that we have finished.  Parts from England remain the biggest constraint but they are flowing now and we hope to complete all of our existing orders by June.  

We had several of our clients out to blast aorund the track with us.  Lotus, Ariel and BAC owners joined us.  My good friend Andy brought some Stone Brewing beers for us to drink on Sat for Happy Hr.  We enjoyed a nice meal at the Pahrumph Winery and had a great time hanging out with like minded enthusiasts.

No comments: