Roshambo Racing

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Rally Car Update

It's been a while since the last rally car update, but a lot has been done.

First, the front end has been converted to the 2007 model.  This took a lot of cutting and welding- a lot more than we expected- but it's done.  Dan did a masterful job.

Here are some photos.



Also, a lot has been done with wiring.  Doug  went through the factory service manual and identified every connector on the car.  Some unnecessary wiring has been removed (like ABS brakes, airbags, and speakers).  The ECU has been mounted.  All the needed switches, gauges, connectors, and wire have arrived and are just waiting to be installed in the car.

In addition to the front end work, a lot of bodywork is finished.  A paintless dent removal guy came out and went over the whole car.  Our friend Bill helped smooth some of the bondo work...

The aftermarket heater is nearly mounted, along with some custom duct work to connect it to the stock dash.

Soon, the car will be in the paint shop.  Shortly after that, the motor will go in and be tuned.

There's a lot to be done before our first race-  That will be March 6-7 in Aberdeen, Washington (The Doo Wops Rally).  We will be hosting some work parties in the coming months to get everything done.

ChumpCar Results

The Chumpcar Race went great.  The race ran on Halloween, and the weather mostly cooperated (in that it was wet and the track was slippery- just want we wanted for our All Wheel Drive car).  The race ran for 24 hours starting at 12:30 on Saturday.  There was a short two hour break for trick-or-treating.

Our team started off strong.  We ran one hour stints to ensure that everyone got some seat-time before darkness set in.  This plan almost worked-  Doug ran his first stint after the trick-or-treating break, but since he was familiar with the track, this worked out OK.

Dan ran the first stint, followed by Patrick, Bryce, Morris, and Paul.  Doug pulled the last spot.  Everyone did a fantastic job of staying on course and out of trouble.  At the 6pm break, we were around 17th place (out of 39).  We felt pretty good about that, because the car was very slow relative to the others.

Most of the team: Ian (crew), Bryce, Dan, Patrick, Paul, Doug, Morris.  We also had help from Bill B., Aaron, Jessica (you can see her shadow, taking a photo), Bill K., and Andy.

Here, the car leans through the Festival Curve chicane.  This was a fun place to sit and watch people spin out.

 The crew makes a driver change.

During the last couple of stints before the trick-or-treating break, we decided that the transmission wouldn't make it through the whole race.  Luckily, Paul had brought a car nearly identical to the race car.  So, we pulled the transmission out of his car and installed it into the Chumpcar.  The team got this done with time to spare!

Here's the car on jackstands, with the "new" transmission ready to go in.

Through the night, we steadily moved up in the results.  The car remained reliable, and every driver pulled long stints (up to 2 hours) and kept the car on the track.

Around 4:30am, the weather got very bad.  Fog rolled in, and visibility was nearly zero.  The organizers reluctantly called a stop to the action, but extended the end time, so we'd still be close to the full 24 hours.

When the action restarted at 8am, we were pleased to find ourselves in 7th place.  Our fastest lap was among the slowest of all cars, so our success was strictly due to strategy.

As the day raced on, we moved up into 6th, and then 5th place.  Were were in a close battle with an old Toyota MR2, a Hyundai Tiburon, and an old, but very fast, Volvo Wagon.  The MR2 had transmission problems, and one of the Volvo drivers ended up in a tire wall.  The Hyundai was turning fast laps, and with over an hour to go, they were only two laps behind us.  It looked like they'd probably catch up.

In the end, our pit strategy beat the Hyundai, and we finished in 4th place!!  We were very happy with this result.  We brought a car that was worth well less than the $500 limit - A car with 300,000 miles on the odo, stock suspension (with only 100,000 miles on it!), and a worn out transmission.  We ran the whole race on one very used set of brakes, and two sets of tires (although we easily could have done it on one set).

The winner was a Mazda Miata. Second place went to an old Nissan Sentra SE-R, and third place to a 1st generation Mazda RX-7.  We were 6 laps behind the RX-7.  I don't think anything there was anything we could have done through the race to gain 6 more laps.

In addition to finishing in 4th place, we won the "Timex" award - "For the team that just kept on ticking."  Given that our car had the 6th slowest fast-lap time, the only way to do well was to keep on ticking.  Our fast lap was a 1:48, while the fastest cars were turning 1:35's.

In addition to having a blast, the team (and many other teams) donated school supplies to the Portland Transition School.  In total, it was estimated that the event raised almost $12,000 in cash and supplies.

Here's a picture of our donation:

Now, it's time to get back to building that rally car...