Sunday, March 30, 2014

Some Encouragement

At the end of last year I became lax about analyzing my results. I was somewhat down on myself for my results, failing to clinch the championship 4 races straight and not looking forward to seeing it in black and white. In prep for the coming season I finally went back and forced myself to enter the data. Then I took a brief look at the graph....

Events 7 8 and 9 are the final 3 data points. Events 5 and 6 omitted because Match tours and NHMS events are not comparable to regular events at Ft. Devens.

Event 7 was just as bad as I thought. It sucked. I got DSQ after 6 for sound, drove like crap and ran around looking for tail pipe muffling materials rather than thinking about the course... not helpful. My final time was worse than any time since early 2011. That day I just plain sucked.

Then I looked at Event 8. Wow.  MY FASTEST TIME INCLUDED A CONE (a 2 second penalty) on event 8, and it was, my 5th best pax result ever (69th percentile of 140 competitors). My result on the final event was my second best ever... Looking at the results in event 8 of the 29 people who were class champions (ignoring junior Karts) in 2013, I out paxed 8 of them carrying a cone. So it seems that at least on that day, I was a much faster driver than ~1/3 of the NER class champions for 2013.

This tells me 2 things... One, SSM was quite competitive on that day, and two, I really did drive like a screaming banshee on that final run. That run was only dirty by a single cone, and the clean line was very likely faster. If I can be that fast and stay clean, I'll have taken it to a whole new level... Very encouraging.

Also, the final event is my 2nd best time ever. A few folks may have been slower than usual trying to compete in the Moss (where the 2nd half is scored by consistency not outright speed). But most of those folks would normally either be ahead or behind me. Nobody in the moss came in slightly slower than me, so the result is still pretty believable and that's encouraging too.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Splitting Airs

Last winter I shifted my splitter forward 2 inches to try to get more front down force, but it seemed to have a very limited effect. This is probably because the main protrusion of that splitter is just in front of the radiator grille. The air flow in the radiator and up over the car is not very significantly restricted, and less so with the AC condenser removed. Thus, the increase in pressure over the splitter vs under is probably minimal there. The sides gained extension too, but the sloped, drag reducing front of the car is probably also fighting the build up of pressure as well.

Since I improved the wing over the winter, I expect to generate more downforce in the back. To make use of that added downforce I will need more front down force. Otherwise I will simply go back to the car plowing on the fast sweepers. To that end, I've ditched the CF splitter and cut myself a much larger plywood one, similar to that used by the other street modified cars in my area. Here are some pictures of the construction process....

Jack it up, prop the board underneath

Scribe a 5.75" offset from the fender (viewed from above). The rule is 6", but leave a bit for safety and interpretation etc.

Painting with Rustoleum to give it a little water resistance...

Initial attachment.  The sides still need trimming, they stick out a little bit too far.

View of bottom attachments. As always I am attaching to hard points, not the fiberglass clam

If air passes above and below an added aero dynamic aid it is considered a wing. Front mounted wings are disallowed in the super street modified class, so trim the ends and put a back plate in to turn it back into a splitter

Another view. It's hard to see because of the paint, but Aluminum angle is used to attach the backplate

The final result from the front

The edges ere a bit floppy and I didn't want to attach to the fiberglass, so I rigged a turnbuckle system attached to the oil-cooler mounting point which is steel.

A slit in the fender liner is required. Re-installation is quite a trick since the top part of the fender liner is actually supposed to slip in first, but that is no longer possible. Really glad that i was conservative on the size of the back plates.

Ever so conveniently the vent for the oil cooler accommodates the turnbuckle! 

The result is that the turnbuckle system is not 100% rigid, so I may need to re-work this if the edges wind up flapping, but it should also work to dissipate and absorb some of the energy from cone impacts. The great thing about this is it was really really easy to install and provides a bit of adjustability if the corners turn out to be pulled upward by the tension (which is not legal if it's more than 3 degrees from level)