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Thread: 3rd of 14 and 3rd of 15 in Spec Miata at ACS with NASA

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    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    Default 3rd of 14 and 3rd of 15 in Spec Miata at ACS with NASA

    Having discovered 3 broken spark plug ground straps a week ago, I spent last week pulling the head, inspecting the pistons, cylinders, and chambers, and putting the head back together. Aside from some marks on one of the pistons and chambers, the engine looked ok. For some confidence I installed a new wideband o2 sensor and gauge to save a trip to the dyno to rule out mixture as a cause of the spark plug issues.

    At the track I did some parking lot pulls where the AFR swept from 13.5 to 12.8 to 13.5 between 5K and 7K. This U shaped AFR curve turned out to be related to the EGR tube that I forgot to reconnect. Oops. I fixed that, but went back to my pig rich regulator since I remembered reading about 12.5 being the target on some SM forums. Since I was already giving up 2 horsepower on the rich tune, and a little more to a crudely installed o2 bung, I decided to use some old 2/32" shave tires with 5 hours on them

    I missed practice, but jumped in to qualifying and put down a 2:04.1. Unlike most tracks, fast laps at ACS in a SM are determined entirely by the draft. I don't think many cars were working together though since the times weren't clumping.

    Sat Qual:
    Sammy Valafar: 2:02.5
    Clement Lee: 2:03.9
    Rob Burgoon: 2:04.1
    Ken Saward: 2:04.6
    Tyler Vance: 2:04.8

    In the Saturday race I got ahead of Clement and started pushing Sammy, and took the lead briefly in lap two. Sammy passed me back (later citing a climb in coolant temp in the draft). In lap 7 Clement got past me and I promptly made a mistake that cost me the draft. The old tires were silently flat-spotting and cording as well and my pace slowed a few seconds, but fast enough to keep 3rd. Clement picked off Sammy for the win.

    On Sunday morning after some confusion in the warmups, only managed a 2:05.

    At the drivers meeting there had been some expensive carnage in the fast car race group, and all the racers were admonished to drive more safely.

    In Qual my tires were in terrible shape, I had to borrow a friend's takeoffs for the race.

    Sun Qual:
    Sammy Valafar: 2:02.5
    Clement Lee: 2:03.5
    Tyler Vance: 2:03.6
    Rob Burgoon: 2:05.4
    Ken Saward: 2:05.8

    The Sunday race had me pushing Clement forward and then getting stuck behind Ken briefly before a late brake in the infield put me up into 4th. I scooted past Clement and Tyler and started pushing Sammy. I had a small power advantage on Sammy, but he had better tires. Clement seemed to have good power and tires that worked so I figured I'd have to work with Sammy to stay ahead. With the order Sammy, Rob, Clement, Sammy would get a better run through the final corner and get a gap. Clement would push me up to Sammy, and I'd slow slightly to keep from blasting Sammy too hard in turn 1. Eventually Clement drove past on one of these slowings, I made another mistake, lost the draft, and held on to third. Clement again picked off Sammy whose tires went off before the race was done.

    Here's some Sunday race video from another car, thanks to Francis Hu. My camera's new external power scheme worked great, but I wasn't so great at remembering to stop the video before cutting the power.

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lijx8oJ7Q3A[/youtube]


    Big thanks to my sponsors: Race Engineering for big power, 949 Racing for miata expertise, Nitto Tire for making the awesome NT-01s my team loved in the 25 hour race, and the Town House Motel for comfortable affordable lodging in Lancaster.

    Next time, I'll have my 2hp back and maybe then I'll get a NASA win...

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    LongWinded National Champ Bueller's Avatar
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    Subscribed so i can read it later. Btw, i stopped by your garage a few times but never saw you.
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    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bueller View Post
    Subscribed so i can read it later. Btw, i stopped by your garage a few times but never saw you.
    Sorry I missed ya. I left for lunch and early in the day when my racing was done.

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    LongWinded National Champ Bueller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robburgoon View Post
    Sorry I missed ya. I left for lunch and early in the day when my racing was done.
    Diva.
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    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bueller View Post
    Diva.
    Prior engagement.

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    Rob, another fantastic finish. Great job.

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    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanB View Post
    Rob, another fantastic finish. Great job.

    Thanks, I was surprised myself since being down 2 horsepower I decided to save the good tires for later. Bad tires apparently aren't a disaster at ACS.

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    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robburgoon View Post
    Thanks, I was surprised myself since being down 2 horsepower I decided to save the good tires for later. Bad tires apparently aren't a disaster at ACS.
    or more likely answer. you would of won if you had good tires

    good job. we now have a top SM driver on Trackhq.

    Rob. you went from mid pack to a winning SM driver. is pro motor the major factor ?
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    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    or more likely answer. you would of won if you had good tires

    good job. we now have a top SM driver on Trackhq.

    Rob. you went from mid pack to a winning SM driver. is pro motor the major factor ?
    For me, pretty much the only factor! That and other guys with pro motors crashing. That helps.

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    Chest hair required Olitho's Avatar
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    Rob is doing a great job driving/racing. He is fast and he has a good sense about him strategy wise.


    Oli

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    Rob -

    You racecraft is obviously improving. Your strategy and hard work -- getting as much seat time as possible in actual W2W races, is paying off. A year ago you were a mid-pack driver, and now you are on the podium, with a set of first place finishes under your belt. Congratulations!
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    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard EVO View Post
    Rob -

    You racecraft is obviously improving. Your strategy and hard work -- getting as much seat time as possible in actual W2W races, is paying off. A year ago you were a mid-pack driver, and now you are on the podium, with a set of first place finishes under your belt. Congratulations!
    Thank you, I've been told by a number of people lately that I am driving much better these days, but I honestly feel that is completely untrue.

    In fact, if anything I think I am driving a little worse. The difference is having 20% more horsepower. Having that power in your pocket means you don't have to take a line that will put you in the dirt 30% of the time to make a pass or hold off one. It also means you can be more patient and don't have to attempt a banzai pass since you will get 10 chances instead of just 1.

    I appreciate all the thoughts, but it really is the engine with the same old me. Horsepower is EVERYTHING in wheel to wheel. Momentum is cool and all, but it doesn't safely get you through slower traffic.

    I am only kicking myself for not getting the engine right after my rookie season, or maybe better yet for my rookie season.

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    Chest hair required Olitho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robburgoon View Post
    I am only kicking myself for not getting the engine right after my rookie season, or maybe better yet for my rookie season.

    That is OK. There are a bunch of here who would get more enjoyment out of kicking you rather than letting you kick yourself.

    Count me as first in line the next time we are out at the track.


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    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olitho View Post
    That is OK. There are a bunch of here who would get more enjoyment out of kicking you rather than letting you kick yourself.

    Count me as first in line the next time we are out at the track.

    Show up to the enduro and you'll have a golden opportunity!

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    LongWinded National Champ Bueller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robburgoon View Post
    Thank you, I've been told by a number of people lately that I am driving much better these days, but I honestly feel that is completely untrue.

    In fact, if anything I think I am driving a little worse. The difference is having 20% more horsepower. Having that power in your pocket means you don't have to take a line that will put you in the dirt 30% of the time to make a pass or hold off one. It also means you can be more patient and don't have to attempt a banzai pass since you will get 10 chances instead of just 1.

    I appreciate all the thoughts, but it really is the engine with the same old me. Horsepower is EVERYTHING in wheel to wheel. Momentum is cool and all, but it doesn't safely get you through slower traffic.

    I am only kicking myself for not getting the engine right after my rookie season, or maybe better yet for my rookie season.
    Maybe you are actually driving a little worse. I wont know unless you sit down and show me a bunch of data and in-car. But racecraft does have something to do with your success. Sure, your car definitely needs to be competitive, but you also need racecraft. And racecraft takes time. Time in your car in a race. And youve had tons since you started racing. So you might be driving worse, but i wouldnt be surprised if your racecraft is making up for it.
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    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bueller View Post
    Maybe you are actually driving a little worse. I wont know unless you sit down and show me a bunch of data and in-car. But racecraft does have something to do with your success. Sure, your car definitely needs to be competitive, but you also need racecraft. And racecraft takes time. Time in your car in a race. And youve had tons since you started racing. So you might be driving worse, but i wouldnt be surprised if your racecraft is making up for it.
    That might be part of it. In the video on lap 1 you can see Ken got me in 3, and then I get a decent run out of 5, switch sides and go for the inside on the way to the chicane. I wasn't going to be about even as we went through the chicane, so I thought "like hell I am lifting", got the nose ahead, got the front tires to bite, and cranked the wheel to make the car jump left and wished Ken good luck with his side. You can see him stab the brakes when he thinks I am going to force him down the hole. If I scared him better, I wouldn't have had to give it back in the hairpin, but I easily out braked him on the way to the final complex.

    There's some racecraft and confidence in that battle. Not exactly the outcome I wanted right away, but when I first started, if we were headed for that chicane my answer was "screw this, lift", and now it's "I'm getting there first, sucks to be you bro".

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    LongWinded National Champ Bueller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robburgoon View Post
    That might be part of it. In the video on lap 1 you can see Ken got me in 3, and then I get a decent run out of 5, switch sides and go for the inside on the way to the chicane. I wasn't going to be about even as we went through the chicane, so I thought "like hell I am lifting", got the nose ahead, got the front tires to bite, and cranked the wheel to make the car jump left and wished Ken good luck with his side. You can see him stab the brakes when he thinks I am going to force him down the hole. If I scared him better, I wouldn't have had to give it back in the hairpin, but I easily out braked him on the way to the final complex.

    There's some racecraft and confidence in that battle. Not exactly the outcome I wanted right away, but when I first started, if we were headed for that chicane my answer was "screw this, lift", and now it's "I'm getting there first, sucks to be you bro".
    Thats a perfect example. When i first started racing, i would watch other peoples in-car and think to myself...man, he should have done this...he should have done that. But its not that easy. The last thing you want to do, especially as a rookie, is cause a wreck. So you hesitate most of the time, and the rest of the time youre just trying to finish the race without any incidents. On top of that, you simply dont know what to do because you dont have any/enough actual race experience. Im doing things now that i would never have thought of trying when i first started, let alone last year. Its tough though, because you have a split second to make a decision, and when you commit yourself to that decision...youre committed, so theres no going back. If it works out youre a hero, if it doesnt, youre the blank of that weekend.
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    The Real Captain Slow Red_5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robburgoon View Post

    There's some racecraft and confidence in that battle. Not exactly the outcome I wanted right away, but when I first started, if we were headed for that chicane my answer was "screw this, lift", and now it's "I'm getting there first, sucks to be you bro".
    I'm sure, as others have mentioned, if you're not driving better, you're racing better. Some of that is racecraft, some power but also I'm sure a reduced fear of wrecking/contact. You have plenty of experience and you're car's shell is in less than pristine condition. I'm sure that counts for something. I know I was pretty bummed the first time I wrecked but it get's easier as long as it doesn't mean a new donor.
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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    I watched Saturday's race from the balcony at pit-out. Rob and the two others bumped so hard going into turn one I could hear the engines change pitch from where I was sitting.

    No big deal, right Rob? Getting tapped from behind going into Turn 1 at 115 mph?

    My compliments to you on your advances through the pack over the last year or so. Also, many thanks for those alignment specs. I could feel the improvement in turn-in and getting back on the throttle.

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    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucfbrett View Post
    I watched Saturday's race from the balcony at pit-out. Rob and the two others bumped so hard going into turn one I could hear the engines change pitch from where I was sitting.

    No big deal, right Rob? Getting tapped from behind going into Turn 1 at 115 mph?

    My compliments to you on your advances through the pack over the last year or so. Also, many thanks for those alignment specs. I could feel the improvement in turn-in and getting back on the throttle.
    Actually it's not that big of a deal. Miatas are really slow, so as long as you make sure you hit him square and aren't moving up the racetrack when you do it should be fine.

    Thank you, I have a feeling your midcorner speeds went up dramatically too.

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