Going Big at Big Willow

The weekend started out how every race weekend should start out, with the transmission being rebuilt on Thursday night and hastily lifted up and installed into the car on Friday night.

IMG_8623.JPGThe reason the transmission was out of the car was due to an unfortunate 4th gear failure for the second time in 9 months during a fun filled ride along event at Subiefest.

IMG_8509.JPGThis time we opted to have WPC treat the gears in an effort to keep them whole a bit longer, only time will tell if it works but we are following the advice from MotoIQ on this venture. Big thanks to Zhong Cheung (the panda) for picking up the new gears and delivering them to WPC for me! Luckily Yimi Sport Tuning and Crew Chief Gil Martin were working double time to get all the odds and ends tied up to be ready for the weekend.
​Saturday was quite the eventful day with splitter testing on a BRZ from Wasp Composites, driving instruction, and some testing on my own car. With all of this going on it was a day that moved so fast that losing track of time was bound to happen, but under all that pressure the team held strong and worked together enabling us to complete all the tasks with time to spare.

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Now here is where it gets interesting, during some testing towards the end of the day while going to get on power the RPM’s shoot up, instantly I am thinking noooo that just didn’t happen.

IMG_8642.JPGSo I try it again and it happens again so when I pull into the hot pits I tell the team. We decided to go out one more lap to finish our data set and just to triple check what I was experiencing and without a doubt it appeared that the clutch was slipping. Now this was definitely a frustration being that we just had the transmission off just mere hours ago, but the team didn’t even bat their octane filled eyes and instantly were trying to figure out a solution and where to get it.

IMG_8648.JPGIn the end we were extremely fortunate to be able to call in a favor from our friends over at Advanced Clutch Technology (ACT) and get a brand new 6 puck unsprung disc and pressure plate.
​Now here is where it gets a bit more interesting, we were expecting to see a worn out clutch and instead we find that the rear main seal was leaking oil onto our current clutch causing the slippage. So now being all sorts of hours of the night we had to figure out a source for a new rear main seal, so I hit the road luckily for us crewman Aaron Gillis is in the middle of his own engine rebuild and just happen to get in his master gasket kit just this week. So the Panda and I went for a road trip to get the seal and an hour or so later we returned with the part in hand, now while we were off screwing around Paul Leung, Gil Martin and Ken Kasitz were doing the hard to work. They got the transmission out and once we returned got the new seal in and then got it all buttoned back up again! I cannot thank every single one of them enough for their hard work and dedication to the program, it is unparalleled I even am amazed at their willingness to do whatever that is needed to accomplish the task. It is truly a testament to the type of people that I am glad to surround myself with, I am lucky to call them friends, crew, and family.
​With all the hard work completely and everyone running on very little sleep now Sunday was upon us and pressure to show the guys that their intense efforts were not for naught! The practice sessions all went well and all signs pointed toward the issue being resolved and all of my horses were able to be put to the ground, which with my Borg Warner EFR7163 it is quite a few.

IMG_8654.JPGEveryone was able to breathe a sigh of relieve knowing that the car was performing well and after a mild angle change on the APR Performance GT300 wing we were in business with the balance of the car being one of the best it has been.
​In the first time attack session I was gridded in the 3rd spot just behind John Carson/John Le in their Mod class Evo and Cody Kiesel in his monstrous Mod Class Corvette. It was time to go out and perform and the car was remarkable from chassis setup from Koherent Chassis Workz to engine tuning from Yimi Sport Tuning, I was able to lay down a 1:25.6 setting a new AWD and Overall Street Class TA record on Achilles 123S and the second fastest time of the day, only Cody was faster.

IMG_8657.JPGHis Corvette laid down a 1:23 which is just astonishingly fast, congrats to him for breaking the Overall Mod Class record, he is going to be pushing the limits in that class very soon!

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​For the second time attack session I wanted to push a little bit harder in some places to see where it would land us. It is always interesting to compare data and the various compromises on a track, but these difference compromises led to a 1:25.487 pushing the new record down a few more tenths of a second.

IMG_8687-1.JPGThis win also secured the Redline Time Attack AWD Street Class Championship for 2014 making it 2 in a row! Without a doubt this record and season goes out to the guys behind the scenes turning the wrenches and making the car perform as it should, they very seldom get to hold up the trophy and take the credit but we all know they are the unsung heroes that make it all possible. Thank you to Paul Leung, Gil Martin, Rachel Jager, Ken Kasitz, Alex Goss, Aaron Gillis, Rami E, and sometimes Zhong and Rob. Thank you to all the support from my sponsors helping deliver some of the best products the market has to offer.

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Photo credit: Zhong Cheung aka the Panda

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