Kohler Challenge: (posted July 18th, 2011)
Day 3 -Sunday July 17
We were barely awake and we were already sweating. This was going to be a hot one. We arrived at the track by 7:30 and began to set up. There was a warm-up session around 8, but we decided to charge the battery instead and triple-checked everything. The race was at 11 which gave us plenty of time to look everything over and polish the car up as well.
Lindsey keeping the driver cool. Cool as in not warm, but also cool because we had the best looking (and only) umbrella girl on the pit row.
Knowing that (asphalt + black car + black 2 layer driving suit = dehydrated driver), we waited under our canopy until the very last call for the pit lane. From there, it was up to our umbrella girl to keep him cool.
The race started off on time with a formation lap before the green flag of a running start. We could go into details, but it’s so much more fun to watch from our new camera mount location. Take a look at the video below, but note that one of the less action-packed laps has been removed to keep it below YouTube’s mandated 10 minute maximum.
Day 2 - Saturday July 16
The weather today was perfect, with the sun hidden behind the clouds most of the day. Warm, but not hot. We had an early morning practice and began to notice a bit of a misfire at high RPMs in 4th and 5th gear. The crazy thing was that if we let the pedal just off the floor, the issue went away. Using the old air-fuel-spark adage, we figured that the mixture was off. We recently changed from Stromberg to Weber carburetors and hadn’t adjusted the fuel pressure, so this seemed likely. The thought was that there wasn’t enough fuel at the high RPMs. So before the qualifying race we moved the pressure from 2.5 to 3 PSI.
Unfortunately, our theory turned out to be incorrect. About 4-5 laps into the qualifying race the miss returned. We ended the session a little slower and qualified 19th for the race on Sunday, just behind a pair of Datsuns and a myriad 911s.
After the race, we returned to the paddock and asked around to see if anyone had had a similar issue. A good friend driving a beautiful Lotus Europa recalled having the exact same problem a few years before. He said it wasn’t air or fuel, rather spark. As the race goes on, he said, the battery (unaided without an alternator) loses power and just can’t fully ignite the fuel-heavy mixture. It seemed to make sense, since letting up on the throttle leans out mixture and helps it burn easier, and matches our symptoms.
With that in our minds, we packed as many electrons into the battery as we could before heading home for the night, hopeful of a successful race.
Day 1 - Friday, July 15
We’re here and ready to get racing! We came, set up and got out on the track for some practice. We were running better than we ever have at the track. A full 2s better than our previous personal record! Times from this session put us 14th in our group at the end of the day.
Tomorrow we are scheduled for another practice session in the morning followed by a qualifying race in the afternoon. They will take the times and finishing position from the qualifying race to determine our starting position in the race on Sunday.
Season Opener: Kohler International Challenge (posted July 10th, 2011)
While the NFL and NBA are still struggling with the possibility no season this year, over at Lind Bros we are all ready to go! Management finally gave in and the new CBA includes more time on the Trail70 and an extra shade to relax in. So with that behind us, we are ready to head back to our home base at Road America for the Kohler International Challenge.
Our plans are to arrive Thursday and set up at the track near our friends at Continental Motors of Chicago. So feel free to stop by and say hello sometime over the weekend!