Race day was a success and the data log shows lots of improvement over last year, but with room for plenty more.
Last weekend was the first race of the season and it went pretty well. We had a good turnout of cars and drivers and nice weather at the famous Laguna Seca race track near the ocean in Monterey. Laguna Seca is my favorite track and I'm glad it was the site of our season opener.
I did reasonably well; out of 37 cars I placed 8th in class. I didn't embarrass myself too badly, and the car certainly didn't let me down. I've been poring over the data traces ever since and they've revealed some interesting tidbits.
First off, the car's reaching 106 MPH at the end of the front straight, which isn't bad. Laguna Seca doesn't really have any "straights" -- it's a twisty up- and downhill road course -- so topping out at 106 is normal. The car can do more, there just isn't room. I'll tell you, though, 106 MPH feels like Warp 3 when your butt is only 3 inches off the asphalt and you're hurtling feet-first into a hairpin curve.
The car was pulling 1.42 lateral g's in the fast downhill Turn 9. Which made me pretty happy until I realized the guy who won was pulling 1.9 g's. Yikes! That's some serious pucker factor; I felt like my eyes were coming loose at 1.42. Looks like I've got some serious improvment to make in T9.
There's also a slight hesitation in the engine note accelerating out of T6, a tough uphill corner. I thought I might be imagining it but the data traces confirm a 500-RPM dip in engine speed at the apex of the corner. It's not me, because my throttle sensor (the "chicken channel") shows my foot flat on the floor. That means the engine itself is hesitating, so it's time to look at the hardware again.
There's a ton more data to assimilate but that's enough for one day. More later.