24 hrs of LeMons – Captiol Offense 2011

The Please! Start! racing team was back in action this month. Pictures.

Here are some race clips of Todd driving. The full team montage to follow soon!

Some quick laps:

In traffic:

Friday

  • Passed Technical Inspection with no issues
  • Were drilled a little during BS Inspection over some of the car’s parts, but nothing a bottle of scotch couldn’t take care of. We made it out with 0 additional laps and the “Bribbed” stencil painted on our car
  • Started test and tune…
  • The car felt sluggish at speed and was starting to bog at 5k rpms. Also blowing some oil out of the oil cap.
  • After 2 quick stints we noticed a plastic plug on the make shift air pipe into the turbo was melting and about ready to get sucked into the turbo.
  • So we ran out to get some cast iron gas line pipe and cap to replace the plug.
  • With the plug replaced we ran another stint when the car died and was pulled in by the wrecker.
  • The main issues was a intake hose had blown off and was easily reattached, however, the wrecker driver caught a brake line when trying to hook us up and snapped. After a few stores we found a replacement line.
  • While waiting back in the paddock area the other drivers were going over the car and found a split vacuum line for the turbo that was causing the blow off valve to not open properly (and blow off the intake pipe) as well as routing the blow off back into the turbo.
  • Unfortunately, Test and Tune was over by the time we got it back together

Saturday

  • We start at the green flag and it was like driving an entirely difference car. It was very quick and the AWD let got hard on the power much earlier in the turn exit so passing at the start of the straights was easy.
  • We did (4) 30 minutes driver stints so everyone got some seat time just in case we broke it again
  • It was still blowing oil out of the cap, so at each driver change we would wipe it down and check the oil
  • The fuel pickup is on the left side of the tank and caused us to bog down on hard left turns when we got near a half tank of gas. This meant frequent fuel stops.
  • We were called in for a black flag and told we had 2 contacts on the track, we negotiated out of one because we were refueling at the time so it had to be a bad call and made a $100 donation to charity to get out of the punishment for the other.
  • We started extending the driver stints until you started to bog down due to gas
  • Unfortunately we also started to check the oil level less and apparently our leak was getting worse… So stupid that between 4 of us no one was checking the oil.
  • About 5 minutes before the Saturday session ended (10 hours of racing) the CEL came on so we pitted and could hear engine knocks

Saturday after the track closed

  • We considered tearing it apart and trying to find engine parts in the AM (track didn’t reopen until noon)
  • Tow the car back to Ellicott City (2 hours) and spend 8-10 hrs swapping in the spare motor and hopefully being ready at back at the track to race.
  • In addition 2nd gear was just about shot. It was getting more difficult to shift into 2nd and keep it from popping out.
  • In the end it came down to whether we wanted to bust knuckles all night for a chance to race 5 hours (about an hour each) in the morning.
  • Everyone was on the fence, but we wound up choosing a calm night of drinking beer and helping other teams.

Next

  • I now have an engine and transmission to learn how to rebuild before the next race.
  • All in all, for the car’s 1st time out it ran extremely well and was MUCH faster than I expected.