PST NCM 04042021

First off, let’s get the big stuff out of the way. Just as I set off for home after the track day, disaster struck – one of my Falkens, the rear left, started to delaminate on the outer edge, showing its cords. I drove to this event in the Evo with the Prius as a support car because the Sequoia’s timing chain job had not yet wrapped. This resulted in disaster. An issue that could have been avoided/mitigated was exacerbated by it being Easter Sunday around 4-5pm, meaning there were zero shops available to throw on a set of junk tires so I could make my way home. I was racking my brain trying to figure out a solution, most likely staying in Bowling Green an extra night with the Evo when a solution came up. One of the guys from Gears and Gasoline was at the event, and extremely generously offered to swap wheels with me – meaning I could drive home on his tires. Then, he could mount his spare tires on my wheels and I could bring my extra set to him at the next event. I made my way home safely and otherwise without further issue.

The second thing that happened was the car began making a noise on startup, and clutch take-up felt off. Based on what ASM said, this is likely something with the clutch spring itself; an urgent job. Even as I type this, I’m waiting for the Sequoia to be ready so I can tow the Evo up to Plover to get this taken care of ASAP.

So, onto the event itself. Weather conditions were perfect, sunny with a cool breeze, and if anything, hot on the track. This was my first try at NCM, and nothing could have prepared me for the madness of it. 23 corners, with everything from high speed sweepers to low speed (2nd gear) tight corners. It was an extremely challenging track with corner after corner, and the Evo pushed on the track – hard. After 3 morning sessions, I decided to flip the Evo’s rear sway bar to the middle setting to help with the rotation. While the car definitely felt better in this setup, I didn’t actually go any faster. A lot of times, I ran into traffic on track and other times, I just blew corners by trying to go in too hot, especially corners 6, deception, and the entry to the sinkhole. I’ll have to do more digging on it, but I was running around ~2:22’s consistently, with a fast time of 2:20.8 and a theoretical of 2:19.8.

The other Evo ran a 2:19.3 actual, so I will need to really figure out how to capture speed and drive better. That car makes more power than mine does by far – when I was leading and coming out of Turn 2, he thought I had let off the gas – I had not, I was full throttle. It’s also pretty clear my tires were shot by the end of the day. Interestingly, the car had none of the power oversteer that it did the weekend prior in the cold at Rantoul, even out of a similar 2nd gear dig. I think that speaks to the temperature sensitivity of the balance of this car, and I will continue to use the bar to adjust the setting I need. With the tires shot, I’m working out a way to get the new tires mounted and on my car – hopefully, it will be ready for the next event at Gridlife.

As an important note, all the preseason bits are holding up fine – the new radiator is doing well, no leaks or anything and holding temps fine with the new fan. The battery has been doing great, no issues with starts. Sometimes the startup is slow, but has never failed. The diffs are doing great as well, and can really feel the car moving around on them. If anything I don’t notice much difference from the front diff, except once in a while when I really feel it digging out. The diff has been tweaked for the next event, so I’ll see if I notice any difference there.

Sadly, once again my fast lap was not captured, and the other laps weren’t fantastic on top of that – hopefully we can get cleaner videos for the next one.

Set Up (Evo):

  • Ohlins DFV (Custom valved); Shocks 3/5
  • OEM FSB 4/5; WL 26mm RSB: Soft, Medium
  • RE-ACD: Gravel; ATS 1-way CH Front Differential; ATS 1.5-way CH Rear Differential
  • Camber at -3.5, -2.5 rear, 0 Toe F, 1/16 Toe Rear
  • Brakes F: Girodisc 2-pc & ST43s Brakes R: Girodisc 2-pc & ST43s
  • CE28N 18×9.5; 255/35-18 Falken RT660
  • 35psi

Notes (Evo):

  • 2020 Evo: 11 autox runs, 5 track sessions (17 on Falkens & corded afterwards)
  • A few mysteries resolved – a boost leak mid event resulted in the loss of 20whp or so, which explains the slowness in the afternoon
  • The alignment was far off in the rear, with a ton of toe-in. Not sure why different shops read different alignments, or if it could be related to tire wear, but car should be much more neutral for the next event

2021 Event Count: 1 Autox, 1 Track Day

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