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Old 02-22-2009, 10:55 AM
Walther
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Default Sebring- SARRC

Qualifying: 1. Reichard, 2. Dawson, 3. Walther, 4. Eveland, 5. Al

Race Results: 1. Dawson, 2. Walther, 3. Reichard- DNF (Eveland & Al, - DNS)

A beautiful day of racing at Sebring. Temperature was around 70 degrees after a 40 degree sun-rise.

After that, nothing was beautiful for me. During the morning practice, of all the things that could possibly go wrong, my remote oil filter adapter (for the block) stripped all the threads and separated from the block, instantly dumping all eight quarts of oil right in the racing line through turn 3 and causing a gigantic smoke cloud. Al was behind me and ended up spinning in my oil through the infield, luckily not hitting anything. I came in “on-the-hook” and it took the track team about half an hour to clean up my mess, pushing the entire day’s schedule back. Chuck had another adapter, so I swapped it out and spent another hour cleaning oil off the car.

During qualifying, after going through turns 13-16 on the warm-up lap, I ran full throttle down the back stretch approaching (the infamous) turn 17 at about 130mph, eased on the brakes and realized my left front brake wasn’t working (because it was coated in oil from practice). The car jerked hard right and I came within a few feet of outer wall. I finished the session hazing a trail of smoke during right hand turns (which I thought was still residue from my oil down). Both Al and Bill experienced motor problems and did not finish the session. I'm pretty sure they would have Qualified ahead of me otherwise, but at least I could stay within sight of them.

Race: I saw Dawson and Reichard on the grid, and never saw them again. What I did see were GT1 Corvettes and GTA stock cars blowing my F-ing doors off and I spent a great deal of time staying out of their way. My trail of smoke was getting worse and now I was back to only developing 50 psi of Oil pressure @ 6500, so I started short-shifting just trying to finish the race for my Novice Permit. I hooked up with a T2 Mustang (also a Novice) and turned some of the (personal) best times of the weekend. At impound, Scott Seifreit (who’s car wasn’t ready but rode down with me) and (my son) Josh told me that Reichard (who was the class of the field) apparently broke a tranny and DNF’d and I finished 2nd. I have no real sense of accomplishment and the cork is still in the champagne bottle.

One of two things is going to happen. One- I am going to find a professional engine builder because clearly I have no idea what I’m doing, or Two- (and I’m serious) I am going to park the car and buy a SM or IT so I can get some experience. I was embarrassed to be out there. In all my years of “turning left” I have never felt like a moving road block, until now. I’m not even going to take the car out of the trailer for a few weeks. I am pretty disgusted with myself. At least I have this forum to vent through.

Last edited by Walther; 02-22-2009 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:05 AM
jimwheeler jimwheeler is offline
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Thanks for the report. Don't be too hard on yourself. I went two races before I ever got the damn thing off the trailer. The third race the bracket holding the stock torque arm broke and almost pole vaulted me into the trees. The green leafy part of the trees. Keep thrashing. It will all come together.

By the way, do you have a result sheet? I'm interested in how a couple of friends did in the GTA class. Ron and Randy Keith and Bouldry.
wheel
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:21 AM
Walther
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It's still in the truck...somewhere. I'll look for it. They pitted right next to me and I spent a good amount of time talking to their Dad (Lloyd?) Great guy, and some set-up they have. Must be a 150K tow rig. Very impressive.

There were 5 GTA's there. What I thought was amazing was during the race, they were all nose-to-tale. They caught me between 13 and 14. I saw them coming and pulled over the curbing to get the hell out of their way.

Thanks for the encouragment. I am not going to make any rash decisions, but SM does really look like neat class right now. I just want to race. The time I spent "dueling" with that T2, I was having a ball. I want more of that.
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:28 AM
jimwheeler jimwheeler is offline
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Thanks. Don't go to any special effort to find the sheet. I'll probably talk to Ron today, anyway. That rig was really rough when they bought it for about half the figure you quoted. They worked on that baby for several months to get it to look like it does. Ron "Burr" is a good friend. He and I did the "Shifting Gears" show together on racinboys.com. He is really talented and drives well, too.
SM is a good class for seat time, but it doesn't compare for thrills. Great cornering forces, but no acceleration at all. I'm probably going to sell mine, since I don't have the money or the energy to run two classes any more.
wheel
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:32 AM
Walther
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As stated- I'm not going to do anything rash. I have a substantial amount of money in this thing (for me). I am trying to develop the courage to tell my wife that I have to pull the motor again.

I may talk to you about your SM. We'll see.

Thanks Wheel.
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:40 AM
socalta
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great narrative ... dont change classes and keep the faith. I read stories like yours and others and it makes me nervous as hell.... not scared but worried that something like what you described may happen. I just keep telling myself that the only way the car will ever be race ready is to race her....

You can probably get a decent used motor .. someones "B" motor for a few grand and pick up where you left off.
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:42 AM
jimwheeler jimwheeler is offline
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By the way, I did go to an engine builder, and it solved my engine problems. I found a guy in K.C. who has built hundreds of Chevy motors (others too), mostly for circle track and drag racing. His engines are as bullet proof as you can get. The first Runoffs at HPT was the first road race he had ever seen. After the race he said that he couldn't believe we ran just about to red line in every gear for every lap, for forty minutes. He was used to running to red line for all of 10 seconds at a time. His reaction was pretty funny.
wheel
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:59 AM
Walther
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimwheeler
By the way, I did go to an engine builder, and it solved my engine problems. I found a guy in K.C. who has built hundreds of Chevy motors (others too), mostly for circle track and drag racing. His engines are as bullet proof as you can get. The first Runoffs at HPT was the first road race he had ever seen. After the race he said that he couldn't believe we ran just about to red line in every gear for every lap, for forty minutes. He was used to running to red line for all of 10 seconds at a time. His reaction was pretty funny.
wheel
I ran IMCA modifieds and limited late models. EVERY engine machined by Gil Alfaro and assembled by me. You (and KC guy) are right. During a 20 second lap, I was "on-throttle" about 7-8 seconds per lap, between 3500 and 8000 rpm. This is a whole new world. I was meticulous in the assembly for this motor. I had the car on the Dyno last weekend at Scotts place and it makes good power with a nice torque curve. I have one of my "CLUB-SYSTEMS" carbs on it, and the fuel was a bit lean, but the VERY consistent (flat line) through the gears. I may just buy a professionally built short block. BUT- I am trying to digest having to drive looking in my rear-view mirror. That IS NOT why I got into this....
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Old 02-23-2009, 12:22 AM
fastandyracing fastandyracing is offline
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Default It sounds like fun, I wish is could have been there

Even with the problems, you finished, that has to count for something

I just got my novice permit at Roebling last week, but had other obligations this weekend, or I might have tried to make the event.

I don't know if you are interested, but I could probably be considered a pretty professional engine builder, and I am outside of Orlando. I don't do it full time, but if you need any help, with cam choice, or other internal engine questions, I can do the work for you, or offer my opinions. The key thing that I have found is to get hooked up with a real top notch machine shop (I have one that I use exclusively), and then recheck everything they do, just to be safe. That means you really need a full set of micrometers, a real dial bore gage, snap gages, valve spring rate checker, etc, and you need to know how to use them and interpret the data you get.

By the way, don't count your engine out yet, the smoke could just be an oil leak (from motor or trans), and 50 psi of hot oil pressure is not necessarily a bad thing. What where your oil temps? Unless you have a monster oil cooler, they had to be 230-250 (or more if you were running it hard), and 50 psi at that temp is probably fine. You do have an oil temp guage don't you??

I would suggest at least a leak down check to see what you have before you pull it out. I try and do leakdowns after start up and after each race weekend if I can manage it. leakdowns will really help you figure out what your engine is doing, good or bad.

By the way, I don't care how much engine you build, if it is AS legal, you will just about always get your doors blow off by the GT1 and SPO cars, they are lighter, have slicks and can make almost twice the HP we can (sometimes more). You just can't beat that unless they have a clueless driver.

Andy
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:36 AM
jimwheeler jimwheeler is offline
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I'll take 50 psi and 270 degree oil temp any time near the end of a race.
wheel
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