Two weekends ago, I took the CTR out for it’s first weekend of racing after 6 months of being down in the shop. I was eager to get the car out on course and really put it through hell to see what the new setup is capable of. The prior Thursday, we tuned it and got it ready for racing. Saturday morning I drove down to Rantoul, IL for a race with CCSCC and then drove down to STL following that event for a Sunday race with STL SCCA.
First and foremost, the car is a freaking BEAST. It surpassed all of my expectations of how it would perform, and even after 10 months of not racing I was able to shave ~2.5s from where I had been last year. I only predict for things to get better as I tweak the settings and really learn how to drive the car.
Something that was unexpected, is the fact that the previously INSANE OVERSTEER car that the CTR was last season, has now switched to an extremely neutral/slight understeer car. I am really pleased with this, since I would like a car that I could easily (and safely) drive on the track, and I would much rather dial in more oversteer than have to figure out how to remove it. I imagine that the new half cage has a lot to do with this. Along with being able to transfer more weight to the rear tires (ultimately more heat), I added -.2 camber in the rear, and also have the slightly raked rear spoiler. While the half cage is probably the largest contributor, all the little things must be adding up too. I also began my events running the pressures that I had been using last year, 33/30, since I was trying to reduce the oversteer. Once I got comfortable in the car, I shifted the pressures back to neutral and eventually was running them at 30/32. I think that I will wind up running them closer to 28/33 with a slight tweak to damping (softer front and stiffer rear). This should net me the balance shift that this car deserves and the time should really begin to fall off once I figure out all of the tricks of driving it.
Here are a few pictures from the events.
Unfortunately, the first weekend of events did not go without issue. Which is to be expected when racing a car that has undergone the sort of transformation that this one has. At the first event, I lost a couple of bolts on the slip fitting on the header which resulted in the exhaust rattling loose during one of my runs. Not the end of the world, I Was able to get it fixed and finish the event!
On the way back from STL, I did have a scare which led me to think that I may need to trailer the car the rest of the 220 miles from Litchfield, IL. Long story short, one of my injector wires had broken at the solder (huge thanks to Mikey @ ProFunction for helping me source the issue) leading to the car running like crap, vibrating, and even dropping a couple of bolts. Luckily I met some awesome local folks who were car guys, and even better, they were Honda fans :D. I spent a couple of hours at the local O’Reilly, where Eldar was more than helpful in helping me get taken care of. He even offered for me to use some of his personal tools to help me reach some bolts. In the end, I wound up purchasing a soldering iron and all of the necessary collateral pieces to solder the wires back together and get the car back on the road! It’s really cool when you get pinned up against a wall so badly, yet you’re able to pull it together and figure everything out. It looks like my years of working on cars (and, of course, a little help from friends) has really paid off. At least on July 12th 2015 it did.