New Orleans is an awesome place to visit. It's no wonder so many of us racers look forward to this event each year. With Hurricane Matthew fast approaching my home in West Palm Beach, FL, I decided to load up the race car and depart for NOLA a few days early. Despite only having driven the car twice since the LS Swap leading up to this race, I was finally starting to feel confident with new set up, and was very motivated to get on the podium in Limited RWD.
Testing on Friday went very smoothly, I took my time to learn the track and felt very comfortable heading into the timed sessions on Saturday morning. I even took the BC Racing #44 Infiniti G35 out for a few hot laps while lending my seat to the driver, Kevin Parlett, for some set up feed back.
Saturday morning, I was able to get out in the first session of the day and lay down a competitive 1:58.61. After studying the footage and the data I knew I had a lot of time left to shave, and felt very confident I could find it heading into the later sessions. Unfortunately, we were unable to get the car started. We ran through the quick, obvious list of things that would prevent her from starting. Even more regrettably, nothing seemed to work. Push starting failed, jump boxes failed, charging the battery failed, replacing the battery failed, no loose grounds, no blown fuses... Sometimes the car would crank, sometimes it would not. The dash was showing no RPM signal, and was having trouble syncing when the car would try to crank so I was told to go to Autozone and get a new Crank Positioning Sensor, Seeing as it is a brand new crate motor, I was skeptical to believe it would be a sensor, but I was willing to try just about anything.
As it turns out, replacing the CPS is a bigger undertaking than I had been led to believe, But having already missed two more sessions, I couldn't give up. Two and half hours later, I finally got the starter out and the sensor replaced, but the track had gone cold. Finally, the car would start, but not without a jump. At this point, we knew there were multiple electrical issues plaguing the car. Feeling very frustrated we called it a night, but I was somewhat relieved the car would start with a jump and I could get a chance to race again on Sunday.
Sunday morning came around and we started the car up first thing in the morning and let it warm up for a while. I got dressed and prepped the car for my first session. We got the 10 minute call to grid and I went to start the car with a jump, and much to my dismay, it refused to start again. We tried a few jump boxes, and jumping it from my truck to no avail. In a hail marry effort to start it in time, we even tried flat tow bump starting it in 2nd gear. When even that failed, I began to realize the likelihood of me getting the car back on the track this weekend was slim at best. We tried everything we could to start it before each session on Sunday, with no success,
The podium barely alluded me, with my 1:58.6 from my first timed session landing me 4th place. It was a frustrating weekend with a bitter end to say the least, but considering this is the only issue we have encountered since the LS swap, I can hardly complain. I knew I had to keep my chin up, and get the car in more capable hands for this sort of thing than my own. With my test day at Road Atlanta the following weekend, I had no time to lose.