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NASA TTU: Virginia International Raceway

With only 4 days to get a new diff built, tuned, and installed in the #916 Enjuku Racing LS350Z after our race in Detroit where I killed the diff, we wasted no time and had the diff out an hour after we unloading the car on Monday night.

With a few phone calls to OS Giken we had a new SuperLock type X diff tuned, and on it's way to the shop. The diff arrived on Thursday evening, and we rushed to find a shop to press new bearings on. Unfortunately, all the local shops wouldn't take on the project, and the only one that would, couldn't have it completed until Friday afternoon. Left with no choice, we picked the diff up on Friday afternoon, installed it, loaded the car and got on the road by 10pm. We arrived at the track at around 2:30 am, unhooked the trailer and got a few hours of sleep.

Back at the track by 7:30am, despite the lack of sleep I was hell-bent on going faster than I ever had gone at VIR before, and in the first session we got very close. The new smaller rear brake master cylinder from Tilton was working fantastically, and our pedal effort and modulation issue seemed to be entirely fixed. All that was left was too dial in the bias, and optimize the set up.

By the second session of the day, with the car in full cooperation finally this year, I beat my personal best by a few tenths. That wasn't enough to satiate, after two more problem free sessions, I had taken over 5 seconds off my previous personal best! Ecstatic with the progress made in just four sessions and another 3rd place finish in TTU, we turned our hopes towards the rain holding off for Sunday.

Unfortunately, the rain did set in before Sunday, and track conditions never became optimal that day. We did turn a few slow wet laps in the morning for the sake of getting points towards the TTU Championship, which we were still leading by a narrow six point margin. As track attempted to dry up, we tried to run a few more laps on the slicks, but a faster lap just wasn't in the forecast for that day. We did put down a 2:07, which was good enough for 2nd in TTU since the rain scared off a lot of the heavy hitters. Of course, it wouldn't be racing if I didn't break something (haha). At least this time it happened in the last session, and the car managed to drive onto the trailer, albeit in 3rd gear. Yeah, I money-shifted 2nd gear and killed the transmission. Ouch!

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