Wednesday, October 30, 2013

2013 Season End

This post has been a bit overdue, but rest assured STI Guys are still around. The last two events of the season at MAM and HPT came up pretty fast and were only a couple weeks apart. 

The aero upgrades we did over the summer break worked out amazingly! Our qualifying laptime at Mid America Motorplex was almost 2.5 seconds faster than last time we were there. We spent a good amount of time dialing in the damper and camber settings to account for the increased downforce but the car was running great. Unfortunately we cooked the brakes during Saturday's race and had to retire about midway through. Sunday we threw in a new set of pads and made a few more small adjustments and rolled out for the race. This time everything kept together and we crossed the checkered flag for the win.

Heartland Park Topeka was a similar story. Saturday during qualifying we encountered some electrical issues that sent the car sliding sideways into corner ten and coming to a stop off track completely dead. After troubleshooting for a while we finally resolved the issue, however by that time we had missed the start of the race. With everything back together again we pulled out a dominating race on Sunday and finished with an 18 second gap to second place.

For 2014 we already have a list of projects to develop the car further. As usual we will update as things progress.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Summer Break

STI Guys have been having a bit of a summer break these past couple months. With another month until our next event (finally!) we're feeling the need for speed. This break hasn't been all about relaxing though as team STI Guys have been hard at work improving the car. Here are a couple pictures of some of what we've been up to.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend @ HPT

What an awesome Memorial Day weekend it was down at Heartland Park Topeka. Great weather all weekend long with a good amount of sun, low humidity, and temps hanging around in the 70s. It was also an excellent turnout for the NASA Central & Rocky Mountain regions crossover with around 90 cars registered.

Saturday morning’s practice session went off pretty smoothly. The car was running great and it didn’t take long to drop our times into the low 1:33’s around the 2.2 mile track layout. This put us near the top of the time sheet, only behind a few ST1 cars. After about an hour break, it was time for qualifying. 2 hot laps later we rolled back into the pits with a very fast 1:32.9, placing us 4th on grid for the afternoon race.

At 3PM we rolled down to grid and staged up behind the pace car. After a quick lap around the track behind the pace car the green flag was dropped. By the end of the first lap we were sitting 5th overall after a ST2 S2000 passed us going into corner 3. While that group of 4 cars kept slowly pulling away, we kept building the gap to everyone else behind us. Included in that group was our ST3 competitor who lost a couple positions at the start and was now stuck in traffic. The rest of the race continued on without issue and saw two of the cars ahead of us retire, bumping us to 3rd overall.

Sunday unfortunately didn’t go quite as well as Saturday. The whole day we were faced with a intercooler hose coupling that decided to start shredding apart. This obviously created a major boost leak putting us way down on power. We carried on however and did the best we could for Sunday’s race to get as many points as possible.

Now its onto summer break for Team STI Guys as our next event won’t be until August at Motorsport Park Hastings. Over this period of time we will be working to finish some aero developments for the car. We will update as things progress.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Mid America Motorplex

This past weekend saw us just outside Omaha, Nebraska at Mid America Motorplex. With the weather forecast looking much more optimistic this time around we were set for a good weekend.

Since the last event our STI has been under the knife being rebuilt stronger than ever. After some fresh new internals and a dyno tune the car was making way more power than it was previously. So we decided to go with it and bump up to a higher class. The STI Guys will now be running in NASA's new Super Touring 3 class.

Saturday was all about getting STI Guy Ron through comp school and shaking down the car after its rebuild. With temps rising into the mid 70's and sunshine breaking through the clouds, Saturday was turning into a perfect day for racing. The car ran without issue all Saturday long and was much faster than last year. Lap times were 2+ seconds lower and we were hitting 131 MPH on the back straight, 9 MPH higher than last summer! Saturday finished with Ron successfully completing comp school and obtaining his provisional license!

STI Guy Ron pictured center

Sunday was race day. We ended up qualifying 4th overall out of a 18 car field. The race went without issue and we climbed our way up to finished 2nd overall! The car ran extremely strong and we were able to keep up a very good pace throughout the entire race. We were also very happy with the new Hankook Ventus Z214 race tires we were running. They were fast and very consistent, definitely a tire we will continue to use. We were very happy with the race and can't wait for the next one.

The next event we should be making it to will be down by Kansas City, Kansas at Heartland Park Topeka. It's a top notch track and we had a lot of fun there last year, and so far the number registered is looking good. For this next event we may have time to develop some further upgrades to the car. Now that we are running ST3 we have more freedom to modify the car. One of the first items on our list is to fabricate a front splitter. We will see...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Racing in the winter

This last weekend found us in St. Louis, Missouri for the first event of the year. We arrived early in the afternoon to unload the car and then attend the Friday night racing comp school classroom session. That's right, team STI Guys is moving into wheel-to-wheel racing from time trials. We felt this was the next step and are very excited to start racing for position rather than time.

Saturday was all about running race school exercises such as running side-by-side, offline, practice starts, and a mock race. The first session of the day went by without issue, just running the track to learn the layout and executing some passes. The second session we ran side-by-side practicing situational awareness and  running offline with another car next to you. The session ran fine until the end when our car started to overheat and threw a CEL. Further diagnostic pointed to a blown head gasket. Quite unfortunate being that we there to complete the comp school. With a bit of negotiation we were able to find another car to rent for the last sessions of the day to complete the school.

Finishing Saturday we were awarded a certificate of completion for the comp school along with a provisional race license. 

STI Guy Spencer 3rd from left

Sunday's event actually ended up being canceled due to a late season incoming snow storm. Our car was down for repair anyway so that didn't change much for us as we headed home Saturday night. Next event will be in Omaha at Mid America Motorplex last weekend of April. Weather should be better this time around....

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Winter Upgrades - Part 2

Even though the we're still in the winter months, work never stops on the car. With the start of the 2013 season still a little over a month away we've added a couple more upgrades to the car. First we decided to remove the rear door windows and replace them with a pair of custom Lexan windows. Overall wasn't too difficult to pull this one together, just some time figuring out how to properly secure the Lexan to the car. The second upgrade comes in the form of a new steering wheel and quick release setup. It may not exactly be a performance gainer, but the new Momo wheel is a big improvement over the massive stock steering wheel. Along with the quick release, this upgrade will also make entry and exit from the car much easier. On a final note we finished up the brake ducts, running the brake ducting and fabricating an inlet. Check out the pictures below!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Winter Upgrade

As we wait for the next racing season to roll around, we constantly think of ways in which to improve the car. Of course we must constrain our ideas to those that will not add any modification points so we are not bumped up into the next class. That brings us to the modification of the day..... brake ducts! With our ever increasing speeds going into every corner, we rely more and more on our brakes. In the past we've seen our brakes get so hot they burst in flames (nothing serious but still very very hot). One of the consequences of repeatedly heating of the brakes this high is that the rotors start to form pretty serious stress cracks. So the idea here is these new ducts will both improve our current braking performance by keeping rotor temps down, and increase the lifespan of our rotors.