Shakedown at Laguna Seca

It ended up just being me and a few other friends (redGSRguy in his K24 ITR, Lawrence from Dynospot/Synergy) and had a total of five 20min sessions on Saturday (actually four since we arrived late).

Transmission woes
The 4th gear synchro was bad from the start and 3rd gear started to have some issues after a few sessions. To keep getting more track data I just ripped it into gear and/or double clutched it as best as I could. It worked but was definitely affecting the times. Before the next event I’ll install some carbon lined syncro’s (not sure if they’re worth it but I have a set laying around waiting to be installed in my street car). Also the passenger side outer transmission seal as been leaking so I’ll do a full seal swap as well.

Oil breather woes
The breather system was a BIG issue. I had a feeling it was going to be bad (based on the data from my high hp/compression street car) but figured I’d try the existing setup to verify. After a few laps I started to get some oil smoke. The breather spitting oil all over the firewall and exhaust system. I didn’t loose a huge amount of oil but definitely coated the rear engine bay. I couldn’t do much at the track aside from cleaning up the mess after each session and hoping I don’t get a meatball. Needless to say I’ll be redoing the system before the next event with something custom I use on my other car.

Ignition break-up & fuel pressure woes
Throughout the day I was getting intermediate ignition break-up. The spark plugs were new so I’m thinking the non-OE distributor could be causing the issue. We noticed the break-up on the dyno (as seen in the dyno plot) but was hoping it was just old plugs. For the next event we’ll be running the Hondata CPR setup. No more lame distributor issues, especially seem with high compression engines and track heat. Also during certain turns and even under load in the straights, I was loosing fuel pressure (would drop from the 60’s to low 20/30’s). I’m pretty sure the system needs a better vent and better pickup system. The cell is small so I don’t think it was pulling air but rather struggling to maintain a constant flow. This will be fixed with a few updates before the next event.

Old tires make for a wild ride
The tires (non-shaved 235x40x17 RA1’s) are from 2011 and needless to say took a little awhile to soften up and shed the hard rubber coating. The first lap I spun at turn 10 as I GREATLY underestimated how poorly the tires gripped. No damage to the car, just a wake up call to get more heat in them. The third session out, and again on the first lap, I spun at turn 5. Again, these tires need heat, lots of heat. In my street car with new 205 and/or 225 NT01’s I never had such issues. We’ll most likely stick with these tires for the time being as they finally softened up a little.

Brakes did not let me down
They did GREAT. I was skeptical of the old Pagid (unknown compound) pads and slightly leaking break lines, but they performed awesomely. I don’t know if it’s the brake ducts or the fact I wasn’t pushing it too hard but they worked fine. The only adjustment I made was adjusting the bias to take away some bite from the rear. Before the next event I’ll be replacing a majority of the old lines and bleeding the system with my favorite fluid, Torque RT700. The pads will remain the same for the time being.

Exhaust and noise
Damn this car is quite. All you hear is engine and intake noise. Honestly you’d have to hear it to believe it. My custom exhaust worked perfectly.

Overall impressions & data analytics
Damn this car is rigid. Zero body roll, the suspension is KILLER and swallows bumps and berms with ease. No comparison with my street car running R2’s (obviously). I didn’t mess with the shock settings but did adjust the rear wing to make it a little more stable (less nervous) under turn-in braking. In the end, the race car was 1.5-2sec slower then my street car. The race car is 400lbs lighter but is making 20whp less. Also the streetcar has new NT01’s and is perfectly dial-in. In reviewing the analytics, the race car is clearly faster around the track with the exception of a few turns where I kill it in the street car.

Pictures and videos:
Pictures see below (will upload >Gotbluemilk paid/authorized< professional track/action pictures when I get the digital copies in the mail)

Thanks to the killer NCRC staff, I was able to gett the AMB transponder working and the serial transponder number identified. The timing results are below. Between trying to get the tires warmed up and dealing with traffic, I was only able to get a few clean laps in but overall I’d say it was pretty consistent. With the current setup and power, I’m pretty sure it will run mid 1:40’s, or low 1:40’s if I optimize the gearing and/or add a 10-20whp.

Special note:
Jackson’s (redGSRguy) ITR is a beast. It’s amazing what a 280whp K24 does at Laguna. It just pulls and keeps on pulling. For those who haven’t felt a high hp K-series ITR, you’re missing out big time.

Thank You
A big thank you goes to Lawrence (Dynospot/Synergy) for helping (as always) with getting the engine and tune ready, and for helping out with logistics. I definitely couldn’t have gotten the car ready this fast (approx. 1 month) without his help. Also a thank you goes to Jackson and Tuk for helping as well.

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