Random rubbish from the motor sport world

Saturday, March 18, 2006

VR4 meets dirt once again

Finally got the car running after the crank pulley fuck up. But that wasnt the end of it – I had a few other things to fix and last night found a broken seat mount. Lads and ladies if you want to go rallying, remember how much punishment even a dedicated and built car takes!

In testing the VR$ this week, found it’s quite agile with the new suspension and 17psi is a tad TOO much boost. Backed it off to 12psi, got a boost leak somewhere but not really a problem now. And so finally the car is in fighting shape to race. And race it finally I did, 6 months after it went into the workshop for the Suspension of God. Just a pissy motorkhana but it was good to break the car in and also knock off a lot of rust.

Westlakes Auto Club grounds is my ‘home’ grounds, still 200 odd km from home but worth the drive. Packed the VR$, filled it with RON 98, added a bottle of racing octane boost (70 points) for that fine noxious but sweet racing fuel scent. I might just divert and say some octane booster DO work. Just be prepared to pay 20 dollars for a bottle – been using Nulon Pro for a while and makes hte VR4 quite happy. 105RON means the ECU has no reluctance to let the boost go up and I can run a touch more advance.

The big decision was rally tyres or road tyres? Road tyres work at Awaba and the VR4 has had some handbrake issues and understeer misbalance with rally tyres. And I have done well on road’s there before so the decision seemed obvious – no, not with a water cart wetting the surface down. Awaba is diabolical in the wet so the switch to rally tyres was made.

And I forgot Awaba drains fucking well so after a few runs it dries up. However firwst run it was mud, mud, o so slippery mud.

Well anyway, car one does it’s run, then the VR4 lines up. Now it does has a reputation for being worthwhile to watch, so there’s a few other drivers having a chat, one eye on the course as I line up. A bit of a course check, a bit of a rev to settle myself down then decide to try a full blown rally start. Build the boost up, let it sit at 4500 rpm… boost lights on…. just let the clutch begin to engage….

Drop the clutch and nail the bastard for all it’s got.


I wasnt expecting that. My head slammed into the headrest as the car fires down the course – The new suspension has far better traction ability and the button clutch just dumped all that torque straight down. First flag, turn in, hard on the handbrake… and the fucking thing even turned! Lost time oversteering and eventually being a clown and showing off, but bloody hell, this wasnt anywhere near the same car from last year.

The other drivers are staring at the obsene traction display on mud. I look back and the entire course has four well defined wheeltracks now cut into it. Oh yeeeeessssss. Joygasm time.

The event has six tests, two runs at each. I’m bloody rusty for the first three tests, end up 4th outright at the break, 5 seconds off the pace of first outright, 4 off 3rd, all three those specials Awaba tends to have – basically purpose built for the grounds and pretty much unbeatable due to their power to weight and tiny size. I’m first sedan, with three other sedans damn close, one by about .02 seconds. Pretty good for a barge like the VR4 or in fact any AWD, they tend not to do well with the smaller tests of a motorkhana. Class D is for big cars and usually they get hammered by the smaller ones and specials – last year I managed to win outright with a Class D (VR4) which was unheard of and upset a few of the small car drivers. Still, did note most tests I’ve lowered into personal best times so that’s gotta be worth something. Test three I’ve lowered it by 5 seconds, but to be honest the VR4 never has done well on that particular set of loops. But it was doing okay today. Making a lot of mistakes trying to adapt to the car, going too wide and missing where I should turn mainly. But the handbrake is making the car turn really well, things feel right and I can make use of the front end grip

Fuck I hate being 4th outright tho. Happens too often for my liking, even if it’s doing pretty damn well, the best the VR4 has done is I think is 8th at an Awaba motorkhana. Make a few adjustments to my mental state (ie get mad), line up for test four and proceed to do my best time I’ve ever done around the particular layout. Test five I also know my best time and I lower it by 1.5 seconds, second fastest on test. Test six…. nailed it. Fastest by a second.

Fourth outright end of the day, the guys breathign down my neck ended up in the dust by at least 4.5 seconds to fifth, sixth 7 seconds behind. Nearly snatched 3rd, missed by .01 seconds. 1st outright got away by a bit, but not much.

Okay, I hate being fourth. But running down the specials and running away from cars that I couldnt beat last year…. I should be pleased. Very pleased. The VR4’s offseason work has made it faster and I can measure the difference. Now back to the garage to make a few more changes in the next few weeks – there’s a group of specials I’m detirmined to beat. Having a barge beat them will certainly be an upset and one I reckon now I can do.

But first there’s a rally to do.

posted by admin at 9:26 pm  

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Powered by WordPress