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Thread: Hallett Recap - 2019

  1. #1

    Hallett Recap - 2019

    I'll start with the #50 story while it's still fresh in my head.

    It was an excellent weekend for the #50 CMC. Thanks to Redshift Racing, Richard, Dan and Craig for all their help and advice in setting up the car and getting my tire rack ready. It's a team victory for us, we've been working on the car and driver since January of 2018 to get it into a reliable competitive state.

    Preface:
    We made some big changes to the car this season going from a super stiff setup with a pm3l to a softer 4 link setup. At COTA the car drove like complete garbage. Richard and I made a trip from Austin to Summit Racing in Dallas Saturday night to pickup more speed parts which only marginally helped the car on Sunday. In between R3 and R4 I found a sizable crack in the driver rear upper control arm mount and called the weekend. A new set of dampers, new springs (again), front ride height adjusters, welding up cracks, fresh brakes, and designing/fabricating a tire rack for the trailer were all wrapped up at about 3am on the Thursday before Hallett.

    We were able to test the car on Falken Azenis at MSR-H at a Driver's Edge event where we changes springs and sway bars to understand the effects they would have on the behavior of the car. Learned a lot of valuable information there, led to me ordering even more springs for Hallett. For the first time in a LONG time, the car went back on the trailer without requiring major surgery.

    Friday T&T:
    We rolled into Hallett mid-morning and were able to get three sessions in on Friday. I ran the Azenis for two sessions - a couple of seconds off the pace. I was having a really hard time getting power down out of the bitch. We removed the rear sway bar to help the axle move, definitely an improvement but not perfect. Scrubbed new tires in the last session to set tire pressures.

    Saturday:
    Missed warm-up with the HPDE meeting, no biggie. In qualifying we were running COTA RRs, and were a second off the pace placing us 8th for R1. Car still wasn't right, so we decided to drop the panhard bar. Dropping the panhard bar before a race is a risky move, it significantly changes the rear roll center of the car and it's attitude over all. The axle will move a lot more side-to-side, and ultimately caused a slight tire rub for us.

    R1 - Got a decent start, minor body contact in T5 on lap 2 (I think). Ended up fighting from the back of the pack for a lower-mid pack finish. Not what I wanted, but puts us in a good position for R2. The car STILL wasn't where I wanted it, so time for more adjustments. Decided to drop the rear spring rate by 25lbs, and raise the rear ride height about .125" to accommodate the softer spring.

    R2 - Started in 5th on row three for the rolling start. Got a great start and in a couple of corners ended up in 1st. I had a good battle with an AI car for a lot of the race... (not cool bro). Uneventful drive for a win! Felt good to break our breaking streak finally. Several transmissions, lots of chassis cracks, ignition issues, induction issues... long time coming. All CMC guys know, unreliable equipment ain't no fun.

    Night - Awesome brisket from the OIF crew. You haven't had BBQ until you've been to Hallett. The Slip-N-Flip was way too much fun. The Thunder group really makes the Hallett event a blast or was it the rumchata/fireball concoction? Congrats to Record's team for taking the 2019 Slip-N-Flip trophy. I had far too many midnight ribs, and slept far too little on Saturday.

    Sunday:
    Probably to the benefit of most of the AI/CMC crew, Sunday morning was rained out allowing for more hydration and recovery time from the previous night's antics.

    R3 - Cancelled due to thunderstorms. We took this time to check the car over again. Up until this point, we were running tires that were used for one race at COTA. I bolted on the set of sticker tires that were scrubbed on Friday for R4.

    R4 - A 40 minute race, longer that I've ever run this CMC car. I got as much fuel as I could into the tank.

    We started in P2 behind Michael. Michael and I both got good starts and barreled into T1, where Michael was able to make a move on an AI car. They came out of T1 side by side and I was trapped behind them. I spent the next 10-20 minutes trying to get around this guy, while Michael was opening up a sizable lead. I was eventually able to make move going into the bitch. Jander tried to follow on the inside at the bottom of the bitch, where they touched. I think the AI car got the idea at this point and eased off. Maybe I was too nice, but I really didn't want to hurt the car in such a long race.

    Now with clear track ahead I knew I had to run as cleanly and quickly as I could to close the gap. Qual lap after qual lap, Michael was doing the same thing. We worked our way through other traffic fairly quickly without much issue. Once I finally got close enough to make a move, local yellows in T2 and the bitch were really... a bitch. Michael and I were inches apart for what seemed like 100 laps. We took the white flag, and my heart sank. I focused as hard as I could to run a perfect lap, hoping Michael would make a mistake - of course he didn't. Coming up to the bitch for the final time I eek out 105% of the grip the tires have to give and manage to get a run on Michael down the back straight on the inside of the track, I couldn't believe it. Michael expertly chases me down to the white line, we must have been a millimeter apart door-to-door. We're both thinking the same thing, last one to brake wins. Braking later than I ever thought was possible for the final corner I manage to hold my line on the inside and get on the gas early. Full throttle and a half down the front straight for the win. I couldn't believe what had just happened, the flag guy couldn't either.

    Hank directed me to the winner circle on the in lap, which really confused me as I was trying to get to impound. None of the spectators were able to see what had happened in the final corner, to their surprise the #50 was queued in the winner's circle. Tyler helped me pin a NASA patch to my brand new suit, which was then promptly doused in champagne. We thankfully came in 66lbs over in impound (DQ for weight is the worst) and passed the track width measurement. Best drive home ever, going to ride this high for quite a while.

    Great weekend of racing Thunder, triple thanks to Red Shift. Looking forward to the next event!

    - Josh
    #50 CMC
    CMC #50

  2. #2
    Senior Member Carroll Shelby
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    Great writeup, driving, and setting up. Really cool that you chronicle all the changes you made to share with everyone. My apologies for the minor body contact-though getting your tail light back and winning makes me feel better. I share your frustration with the AI car after he forced me four wheels off when I was in second place but mistakes happen though and an apology would have been nice.

    Lots of hard work paid off! Pretty cool the car has been a winner with a stiff pm3l and a soft 4 link. Tells me I need to try some different springs/swaybars.

    Interesting that you picked up a second with a new set of tires over a set with only one race at COTA.
    Bryan Leinart
    CMC #24

  3. #3
    Senior Member Carroll Shelby ShadowBolt's Avatar
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    The 55 would not turn left running the PM3L. Pushed really bad. It takes a little getting used to but not running a panhard bar feels much better....at least on the 55.

    Great job Sook. We left with engine issues (everyone saw that) and I just assumed Michael had won. Wish I had seen the finish.

    JJ
    Last edited by ShadowBolt; 06-11-2019 at 03:43 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Grass-Passer Supercharged111's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BryanL View Post
    I share your frustration with the AI car after he forced me four wheels off when I was in second place but mistakes happen though and an apology would have been nice.
    We harp on out of class racing EVERY YEAR and what happens EVERY YEAR? Some douche pulls the same stunt in a different car. Last year it was that dude that chopped Gary in T10, in non Hallett events it's ALWAYS someone (Legends anyone?). I feel that there should be consequences even if it's a local policy for you TX folk. Who am I to complain? He screwed you Brian and I benefitted, but it's still bullshit and it's bullshit that it kept on into the final. I hope he reads this post because he was absolutely out of control and driving like a total inconsiderate asshat. What was he trying to preserve?
    RM CMC Director

  5. #5
    Congrats Josh!!! Very well deserved win and great driving all weekend long.
    Al Fernandez
    CMC National Director

  6. #6
    Senior Member Rookie 64GunPilot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supercharged111 View Post
    We harp on out of class racing EVERY YEAR and what happens EVERY YEAR? Some douche pulls the same stunt in a different car. Last year it was that dude that chopped Gary in T10, in non Hallett events it's ALWAYS someone (Legends anyone?). I feel that there should be consequences even if it's a local policy for you TX folk. Who am I to complain? He screwed you Brian and I benefitted, but it's still bullshit and it's bullshit that it kept on into the final. I hope he reads this post because he was absolutely out of control and driving like a total inconsiderate asshat. What was he trying to preserve?
    Congrats Josh! Was a great experience to watch from the grand stands. My 1st time to ever watch a CMC race and it was spectacular. Something to note: My 1st time to watch a race, and I was also pissed off at the AI car slowing other out of class cars down. Poor sportsmanship. Jander's contact with him should have spurred further warnings from higher up.

    But in the end, the AI car didnt ruin the race. Great fun watching all the CMC group. I learned a ton this weekend watching you all, and getting some seat time in.

    CONGRATS JOSH! Ride the high.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _______________
    -Dylan
    3rd Gen CMC Wannabee

  7. #7
    Senior Member Carroll Shelby
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    I enjoy reading the recaps especially if I didn't make the race so here is mine-which pales to Josh's. I could sum mine up came, raced, drank, ate, and had too much fun.

    Made it in Thursday about 10:00 so the rain had stopped to get settled in and then hang out with the smoky toters and keep Randy's wife up till about 2. Checked out Al's new LS swap and some comments were made about various items which may or may not have been accurate? Mildly entertained by the new chicken song at 7am. Friday was spent checking a few odds/ends on my car specifically my annual Hallett set the toe chore. Helping a few people with their car-or just reiterating to Al the reasons why his power steering fluid was cooking. Of course another great evening in the pits.

    Saturday the new chicken song had me fired up to check air pressures and make the 8am warmup. I brought my seasoned set of tires from 2017 that I ran at Hallett and COTA nationals last year so I was pretty shocked to qually 4th. Prepping for R1 I figured the key to staying up front would be getting around an AI car with similar lap times but likely difficult to pass with more PAH. The plan worked perfect to follow Michael especially since Jander started in 2nd gear so I'm pumped heading into T1 in 2nd place going inside of the AI car. However on track out I see an all too familiar tank slapper starting from said AI car which ultimately forces me to go all 4 off and let several cars by.

    Now maybe I was driving angry or trying to listen to Jerry in my head tell me how Eric Foss takes a corner which upsets the car or two tires dropped but I end up spinning and popping Sook (sorry) who was passing me from behind-Thanks to everyone else who avoided me. R1 ended late in the race when I lost my power steering which ended up being a broken serpentine belt and the only issue the car had all weekend. The rest was just gas/oil and checking over things which is pretty typical.

    R2 I started near the front maybe in third and I stayed there the whole race. Then I realized why I don't like finishing up top because I had to go to impound instead of heading to the cool trailer for a gatorade.

    Ate way too much BBQ from OIF which was awesome and great to see everyone with huge smiles on their face. Even Sook yells at me and holds up the taillight I knocked off in R1 that a corner worker brought him! That's why Hallett is special. Made me feel less bad but I'm still giving him my Toyo bucks from R1 for hitting him along with hopefully not buying anymore RR's in the future, and following Chris McCombs.

    Slip and Flip was awesome to watch. Kudo's to Records in his American Flag onezie and for Cody having the balls to pull off Randy "Macho Man" Savage!

    R3 rained out gave me a chance to clean up the trailer after Jander trashed it which was uncalled for since I don't think I complained about tires much this weekend.

    R4- wasn't too optimistic about my tires on a 40 min race and just wanted to be smooth hopefully staying close enough to the pack to have fun. Maybe drove a little too easy on the first lap or two but settled into a rhythm staying about the same distance from a pack of CMC cars in front of me and tried to keep the Dancing Indian from passing me which I did for about 30 minutes until some cars passing us gave me a bobble in T1 allowing Pranav to get a run as he was better under braking into bus stop.

    Congrats to Dustin for winning the Camaro part of Mustang Challenge.

    Also want to point out that we had 3 CMC Guys in DE who are ready to get their license and start running with Thunder-Welcome to the Jungle.

    Happy to have raced and drive the car into the trailer. The drive back was enjoyable riding the high until 10 miles from home a trailer tire had a tread separation on a two lane road.

    Had a great time with everyone and thanks to the RM guys for making the haul down as it wouldn't be the same without you guys joining the fun. Thanks again OIF, too!
    Bryan Leinart
    CMC #24

  8. #8
    Senior Member Carroll Shelby RichardP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sook View Post
    I knew I had to run as cleanly and quickly as I could to close the gap. Qual lap after qual lap, Michael was doing the same thing.
    I was pretty shocked to look at the lap times for the two front drivers. I put together a list of the times and the splits. It's pretty cool to see where Josh was losing time behind the AI car and where he is able to start closing the gap. You can see them slowing down a bit on lap 18 to pass the workers trying to unstick the BMW from the mud just past the Bitch. That same BMW came back on track and stopped just past Turn 3 to put out the caution in Turn 2 for the rest of the race.

    The biggest takeaway from their times is the staggering consistency for both of the drivers over the whole race. The first lap is longer because of the standing start. Michael has one lap in the 28's on lap 8, another for the caution, and the final lap when he exited the last turn in the marbles because Josh was on the inside. He has three high 26's in a row followed by a 27.1 when Josh is really on him - at the end of the long race. The rest of the times are all in the 1:27's. Josh gets a slower start because of the AI car. Apart from the caution, he has four 26's when he is closing in and the rest are in the 27's. He has 16 laps in the 27's and 17 laps below his Saturday qualifying time.

    The consistency thing when really going for it is interesting to me. A long time ago, Chris Marvel and I were at a TWS DE in my car. He was good friends with one of the other instructors and they would always go at it hard if they met on track. He came in from a session completely exhausted and said I needed to look at the data because he was sure his best lap time was in there. He said he didn't have anything else left to give on track. I found that he did all of his best segment times in that session but none of the laps were his best. He did his best lap time in the previous session when he drove "normally." It was a learning opportunity for both of us.

    Just looking at lap times is a pretty high level look at data but I don't see any of the expected sloppiness at the end of the run when the tires, brakes, engine, and driver are all getting overheated. The fact that they both raced that hard for that long without over driving and making mistakes is amazing to me. It would be cool to do a deeper dive of the data between them.


    Richard P.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Carroll Shelby RichardP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BryanL View Post
    Interesting that you picked up a second with a new set of tires over a set with only one race at COTA.
    I'm clearly keen on changing the tire situation but that is a very deceptive characterization of the data. In addition to the weather and track condition variables, Josh and I made many changes to the suspension during the weekend that made him much more competitive. A better comparison for tire degradation would be Michael and Kevin. In the championship race, both of them had best laps two tenths of a second off of their Saturday qualifying times. Again, we have multiple variables like temperature and the difference between a short qual session and a long race. After the Sunday morning rain storm, Tulsa weather history shows that it was about 5 degrees cooler for the race. What's the real time difference for the tires after corrections? Don't know. Would the outcome of the race been different without fresh tires? Hard to say. I know Josh doesn't regret putting on a fresh set for the championship race. Clearly, tires had no effect on the outcome of the AI race. For the brutally tight CMC race, there is some possibility that fresh tires were good for about 6"...


    Richard P.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Carroll Shelby
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardP View Post
    I'm clearly keen on changing the tire situation but that is a very deceptive characterization of the data. In addition to the weather and track condition variables, Josh and I made many changes to the suspension during the weekend that made him much more competitive. A better comparison for tire degradation would be Michael and Kevin. In the championship race, both of them had best laps two tenths of a second off of their Saturday qualifying times. Again, we have multiple variables like temperature and the difference between a short qual session and a long race. After the Sunday morning rain storm, Tulsa weather history shows that it was about 5 degrees cooler for the race. What's the real time difference for the tires after corrections? Don't know. Would the outcome of the race been different without fresh tires? Hard to say. I know Josh doesn't regret putting on a fresh set for the championship race. Clearly, tires had no effect on the outcome of the AI race. For the brutally tight CMC race, there is some possibility that fresh tires were good for about 6"...


    Richard P.
    Cody thinks that's clearly a good 12"!!!

    Of course I'm making a gross characterization of the data I'm just glad someone picked up on it. When I read the writeup it didn't sound like there were any changes made between R2 and the final other than new tires is the reason for the comment.

    So we can speculate on what we don't know or I can state facts that Josh was .848 quicker in the champ race with new tires than any other lap he ran on Saturday with no changes mentioned. (and Sook started Saturday with a set that had one heat cycle on them from Cota if I understood correctly?

    Conversely, Michael and Kevin who you brought up were both slower on Sunday. Also slower on Sunday was: Jander, Mozader, Martin, Records, Patel, Leinart, Sanchez, Fernandez.
    Bryan Leinart
    CMC #24

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