:. Racing .:. RMCBMW CCA Championship
After last event, wayyyyy back at the beginning of August, where the new, soft springs, coupled with putting the zero-droop-with-preload setup back on the front of the car, for once, I felt like I was finally getting ahold of the car's handling.
Now, having added a smaller front sprocket, to bring the gearing to 13T/50T, now the gearing is definitely almost 100% in the right ballpark - I hesitate to make any other change in that area, actually. The good news, I scored better than ever before - a 965 point day, discounting the un-freaking-real times of Bob and Jim in the SM M3. Everybody else got murdered.
|As before, the handling balance was MUCH more where it needed to be. The front does feel like maybe it's moving around a bit too much, so adding the front nik-bar back in is going to be a welcome experiment, to see if it controls roll sufficiently for the front end. I noticed that roll movement was limiting slaloms somewhat, but the compliance from the front-end under bumps and otherwise was *great*. The car is not being upset by bumps in the slightest.
As you can see from the pictures, the front is still rolling significantly to cause the splitter to drag.
||In fact, enough roll was occurring at the rear to allow scrapage of the rear skirt on the surface of the tarmac, as you can see in the image to the left, just under the '1' on the sidepod. Hooking up the rear swaybar to the softest setting seemed to take care of that, and the slight addition of rear stiffness did seem to help slalom neutrality, although really telling a difference would have been difficult, had I not known what I'd done.
| So, to prevent this, I think I need to reinstall the front swaybar, and see if that reduces roll enough to keep the nose off the ground. If so, then I can try moving to a 200/350# combo, and see if that improves grip, or if it is too soft for good performance. If the 250# spring turns out to be the minimum for the front, then I can either bump the rear springrate, or see if it's finally time to hook up the rear swaybar again, to get that last bit of neutral handling back in.
The new sprocket was fantastic - I was nicely in the middle of 2nd gear the entire time, other than one jaunt to 3rd in a particularly fast portion of the course, and one drop to first in a particularly slow part. Even better, the motor was very easy to get off the line, with no bogging or other troubles. Given the sweet spot I found myself in for gearing, I think I am done changing sprockets for now.
|| The racing itself was fantastic! Jeff and I swapped the lead back and forth almost every time one of us finished a run. His car is working much better with the large rear wing to compliment the front splitter/wing setup, and I am happy that my changes to shocks, springs, and sprockets are allowing me to stay on pace with Jeff - the back-and-forth battling is tremendous! Best of all, I came away with the "R" class win for the event, which is the 'championship', and have a nice trophy to show for it.
Only (very slight) downer is that Jeff got me on FTD with a 41.0 at the end of the day. Rats!
For Next Time
For next time, I am still hoping to try the front swaybar to see if that fixes the roll issue. Reducing the roll angle a bit might help speed the slaloms some, but I'll have to see how it feels. Also on the plate is trying 200/350 spring setup, although that may result in too much pitch, roll, or too much "squat" at the back of the car under aero loads. This is especially true once aero loads start going up.
So, as noted before, I think 250/400 is a new "happy" spot for solo, but some new attempts with the bar 200/350, 200/400, or 250/400 may be where I end up before the aerodynamic changes start coming into play. After seeing how soft I can go on the front, with or without the bar, and if it works (good enough transition and pitch control), the rest will be tuning the rear spring and bar to get the last of the balance I can out of the car.
Son it will be winter development time, to start reducing the weight of the car, and moving it forward as much as possible, to help that on-throttle behavior.
- 13T front sprocket -> 13T/50T