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AngryCorvair MegaDork
8/13/19 10:58 a.m.

it is great to see this thread on Page 1 again.  "it is better to race a 130hp engine than to not race..."   Good luck this weekend!

therealpinto Reader
8/19/19 8:36 a.m.

Thanks, both for liking the thread, and the good luck thing!

Time for a race report, while I still have the weekend in relatively fresh memory.

Last week race prep was just some fresh fluids, and I also put on some new side mirrors, manually adjustable (electric standard, but disconnected) to replace the ones we smashed on the barrels marking the track earlier. After the practice night we also threw on a set of new front tires. Oh, and the rear brake pads were gone too - binding rear calipers seem to be a bit of a plague.

I had some work to do in preparing the track, informing track workers and the like, and it continued during Saturday morning. So my team setup the pits (completely new way to handle that on the new track) and prepared for the start.

The new track has a very nice warning light system, that unfortunately also is quite a bit Spanish. Meaning it doesn't really work today, maybe mañana. At least (or at last perhaps) we got the start lights and the pit out lights to play nice, so we had a real race start with red lights going green. So cool!

As usual, we start in the reverse order from last race, so we were 4th on the grid. Our start guy did as he usually does, a great start but behind us the Rusteze BMW came flying even faster, so we slipped into a second place after a few corners. It was nice to see the entire field of 21 cars get through the first corners with no bumps or bruises.

Soon we could see that Rusteze started to build a decent gap, but we were helped with some slower cars between us and the fast guys so we kept a place around 4-5 for the first driver swap. As laptimes started to stabilize somewhat it was quite apparent that we didn't really have the speed to keep up, we lapped around 1.57-1.58s and the quickest cars were down around 1.53-1.55s.

Some of it could be blamed on engine power but cornering speeds also seemed a bit off. But with recent history in mind, our focus was to bring the car to the checkered flag, after 4 hours. So we felt rather happy with just running around getting to now the car and build trust - the car is very easy to drive, forgiving and seldom surprises you.

We were also happy about the new pit system, with a set minimum time for driver changes. It gave us time to check wheels, tyres, brakes and stuff - and it also allows us to add some extra fuel during driver changes.

As for myself, I had troubles setting laptimes close to the other drivers in our team. I know that I am a bit of a slow learner, I need quite some laps to find the rythm. With a track this long and in places wide, there are many ways to vary the lines...and remember, this is the second race in history on the track!

We kept our pace and other increased theirs a bit, so we slowly worked our way down the field. For a while I had the feeling that we would be happy to keep it in the top 10. But then the problems started for the other teams. The Golf GTi of Team RR faught electrical gremlins that would just kill the car from time to time. Forsman Motorsport in the Citroën ground to a halt on lap 99 with an engine that probably starved for oil in the sweeping bends. Släp in the Face lost the brakes on their BMW (and hit the Fiesta and a concrete wall as a result).

When the checkered flag flew, we were in 6th spot. A few good places higher than I expected, but in all honesty, not 100% deserved. The last couple of places we moved up was sheer luck.

Focusing on how to improve the car is natural, but to be honest, the best gains are probably made from improving my laptimes. Compared to the fastest guys in our car I am somewhere between 3 and 6 seconds slower a lap, on two 10-lap stints thats 60-120 seconds. Not the difference between being 6th on 110 laps and first on 113 laps, but if we can gain half a lap that's one or two positions. The RaceChrono logs tell me I have two corners where I loose most of the time, so that gives me something to work on.

But we wouldn't be racers in heart if we don't blame the car a bit too. We are still on standard bushings in the car, nothing has been swapped out. The springs are too soft, the ride height is too high. Some development there should make it possible to gain some. And then there's the 130 hp engine... It runs good, and we are now "slow", but some extra poke...yeah...

I had no time to take any photos, the GoPro died after a couple of hours (but some video will result), so in the meantime, a teaser from CaLe Motorfoto, from the formation lap:


therealpinto Reader
8/21/19 1:18 a.m.

Here is some video, some of what I got before the camera locked up.


I tried editing in Windows Photo, not too bad actually but quite low key. Need to work on some lighting settings for the camera though.


therealpinto Reader
8/22/19 2:15 a.m.

Carina and Leif have posted their photos of the event now. Browse to http://calemotorfoto.blogspot.com/2019/08/sdc-5000-17-augusti-deltavling-35.html

They captured some action I never saw...

...and of course, some tight, clean racing!


slowbird Reader
8/22/19 10:00 a.m.

Cool pics, that looks like some fun racing.

therealpinto Reader
9/2/19 4:40 a.m.

Thank you, it is!

The time since last race has partly been spent on communicating the race series. Me and another team had the cars on an event at the central square in Skellefteå.

It was nice to talk to some people and explain what we are doing.

Since the car ran all 4 hours, the plan for updates was to make it run faster. We always knew springs were too soft and had gotten some 2,25" springs that should work. 400 lbs/inch for the front and 320 lbs/inch rear.

When we put the suspension together we tested that the stock spring platforms (rules requirement) should work with 2,25" springs, so that was done. Spring lengths was partly guesswork, partly what I already had laying around.

As expected, the ride height was a bit high so we made adjustments by cutting coils until it sat OK. I think we lowered the front ride height 25mm and the rear around 30 mm. The rear may actually be a bit on the low side.

Anyway, you have to start testing somewhere.

In race number 4, last weekend, that was what we did. We let all 4 drivers take their first stint and then we started using the race as a big test day. One driver went out for 2-3 laps, we took the car into the pits and adjusted front damper settings, and then the same driver did another 2-3 laps. Then we let driver number 2 test, and so on. We stiffened the front dampers quite some and we think it worked.

Some governing body discussions led to an extra chicane on this track, so times are not directly comparable. Common opinion is that the track itself probably was something like 2-4 seconds slower. Almost all teams found quicker lines all over though meaning most of them were around 1-2 seconds slower overall. We lowered our best time with 0,7 seconds, so I think we can say we moved in the right direction!

I had an issue with loose wheel bearings that we had to stop and tighten, so I didn't really get so many "clean" laps with the final setup. But the car feels more and more "racecar". Comparing to the other teams, we set the 5th fastest time of the day, and we also got closer in times within the team.

This feels pretty good, we are still down on power with the 130 bhp engine so if we can get a GT-spec engine together for next season we should be able to compete again.

Now we have one final race left of the season. I am tempted to try some more simple changes in the wheel alignment, and possibly adjust the rear dampers as well.



therealpinto Reader
9/6/19 7:41 a.m.

Photos are up!


It all looks a bit like last time, but more cars tried going off the track, or spinning...somehow.

Looks a bit like a rallycross race.

Could perhaps use a bit more low as it looks. Or a splitter?


AngryCorvair MegaDork
9/6/19 9:04 a.m.

In reply to therealpinto :

definitely more low.

therealpinto Reader
9/7/19 2:33 a.m.

Maybe so, have to look for binding suspension parts though.

What I really would like to do is copy the solution from MotoIQ where they move the lower mount of the front shock/spring, but that's stretching the rules a bit I'm afraid. 

I had my eyes on a BTCC-style splitter from the UK but shipping has become stupidly expensive these days. Too bad since the price of the part itself was great.


therealpinto Reader
5/23/21 1:29 p.m.

Looking back, I didn´t even report on the last race of 2019. Strange.

It was a mostly wet race and not one of our best. A number of small mistakes but no big drama. We forgot the wheel center rings so did a longer first stop to put them on, then on my second stint I almost went off track as my foot slipped off the brake pedal! At first I just blamed wet shoes but soon it was apparent that something oily was getting into the car and on the brake pedal. Maybe pedal rubbers are not the best...might have to look for some alloy stuff that grips when wet.

I though it was brake fluid but nope..later it turned out to be power steering fluid. I could never trust the car after that so my laps were even slower than normal.

Then came 2020, sort of, and we all know how that turned out. But apart frpm Covid we had big issues with our sanctioning body or rather the section of the body we were racing under. The section was supposed to be for "simpler" forms of racing (with less complicated rules, for example not mandating all FIA marked personal gear). That´s why our rule book has the 150 bhp limit for example. However, the section of the sanctioning body thought we were racing "too fast" and wanted to put a cap on speed -  a speed limit, on a race track. Maximum 120 km/h (75 mph). The issue with that was that we would need a chicane on basically every straight piece of track. On the old temporary track it was not an issue but on the nice, new racetrack...

We discussed, tried to negotiate, tried to find ways but after a lot of time and effort we made the choice to leave the "simple" racing and work towards being a part of the "real" racing section. Yes, this will mean increased costs (exceptions for lower grade safety gear is not popular) but we saw it as the only way to move forwards. I had to put in a lot of hours during the later part of 2020 trying to get a rule set ready and accepted. Any hopes of racing in 2020 faded quickly but at least we got in two practice days - still formally under the "simple rule set" so with some chicanes.

That meant I could try the Primera on the new trailer, a small win...

Sooo much easier to load and unload, the ramps are secured and the wheel straps are great. Amazingly, the footprint of this trailer is basically the same as the old one even though the bed is a lot wider and longer. It´s not a cheap trailer but is has been worth all the hard earned cash.

We have been really, really lazy working on the car and that´s a bit sad because we really should have had the perfect timing to fix the engine, fix all the small things... But, Niklas, owner of the company where we do the work has extended the building and has had lots to handle. I have been working out the series concept.

Anyway, last week I finall got started fitting the kill switch - not mandatory before but now we need it. Since the battery is still in the standard location we have to run cables to and from that place and that meant that I felt the switch fitted best on the left hand side of the dash. There was a spot where the electric mirror controls used to go that looked good. The pull cable is fitted in front of the wind screen, as rules dictate. Today I finalised and it all works, first try :-)

I hope this inspires my team mates to get started too :-D


therealpinto Reader
6/4/21 1:12 a.m.

Finally it happened, last weekend all of the team (plus a few extra hands from the next generation) got together to fix the steering.

When I arrived to the workshop with the car at 9 AM Saturday morning, the parts car was already up on a dumpster (great working height to remove front suspension). We decided that it would be easier to drop the entire subframe including struts and uprights (to be saved for later).

Maybe we should have done that on the race car too, getting the steering rack out was fiddly to say the least. And getting it back in...

Sunday early afternoon we had a working car again, with new front brake discs, and the temporary passenger seat (from last years practice sessions) removed. Parts car stowed away (we need to take the time to remove the stuff we might need from it, and the scrap it), and most things actually place for the first race.

The car would benefit from a real strip-down one winter though, to clean it all and paint it underneath so it is easier to keep nice and clean. It still has underseal and grime to remind us that it was born in 1998, in the UK, with Japanese parents...

Oh, and it also got a "new" steering wheel, a real OMP 2-spoke. We have been using a cheap no-name wheel from Biltema (think of that as a Wal-Mart-ish car parts chain that has less and less car parts every year). While that one looks nice (actually, really nice) it is made of a bit of soft Chinesium, less than ideal in a race car. It might replace the nice wheel my daughter has in her cartractor when it is time to sell that one off.


therealpinto Reader
6/7/21 4:26 a.m.

Race report!

It felt a bit strange to have a Sunday race, all Saturday to "prepare". Well, the car was mostly ready so I spent most of the time fixing the last minute things for the organization of the race.

We were one driver short this race, other obligations took priority. The backup driver we had drafted had to work so we were back down to three drivers. From experience, we know that it means a bit more stress since the stints are short. The lottery put us in the 8th spot on the grid, pretty much in the middle of a 17 car pack. I think we made a decent start, although our driver soon reported on the radio "we need more power!". Yes, it gets more and more a pressing issue to fix a true 150 bhp SR20DE instead of the taxi-spec 130 hp version we run now...

Still, our first driver managed laptimes around 1.56-1.57-1.58 and that is reasonably competitive. Not like the top cars (1.54´s or a bit lower) but reasonable. When I got in the car for the 3rd stint I could not really match those times but it felt quite OK, apart from the brake pedal going a bit soft. It felt like pad kickback (something we have not had before) but could also be a slight oversight of fresh brake fluid...

The fast cars (and drivers) kept pulling away a bit while we soldiered on. We discussed fuelling strategy a bit, the new rules moved fuelling to a specific zone (instead of being able to fuel during driver swaps), and we were a bit unsure on how much time that would take. Usually we have done the refill around the 2 hour mark (half time) and now we decided to do it at the swap that would be the next one.

But as I was about to enter the car for my second stint I checked the front left wheel and had to shout "wheel swap". For obvious reasons...

We had decent thread left on these so the common idea was "they´ll be fine one more race". Um, no, make that 50% of a race...

With the swap un-prepared we lost 4 minutes (that´s two laps...) and as I got out I had some new vibrations to deal with. Flat-spotted tyres or something loose? It didn´t get worse so I kept on, until I felt the familiar surge of low fuel. I radioed in but had to stay out two more laps for the team to get the fuelling prepared. I went into eco-driving mode to avoid a tow back to the pits and it worked. The tyre swap had already killed all hopes of a top half finish and now we just focused on having fun and bringing the car back in one piece (or at least with no more damage than what the starting laps resulted in).

Then some faster teams started having issues. The 93 BMW of Rusteze (that absolutely flew away in the first stints) had a 20 minute stop to fix "something", and 4Sign in their newly built Volvo S40 2.4 got clutch issues. So despite our issues we started moving a bit upwards again.

As I was in my last stint, we saw that one slow lap would put me in the right window to finish the race without an extra driver swap, so I backed off a bit and then could take the flag, in the same 8th spot we started in.

Now we need to check all suspension parts for the vibration causes, we have some new tyres lined up. But the big question is, how do we fix the power issue? Tear apart the old blown 150 bhp SR20DE sounds like a decent starting point once again.


therealpinto Reader
6/14/21 1:53 a.m.

The photos are now up on CaLe Motorfoto;


Just look at this pack heading for the first corner!



therealpinto Reader
8/16/21 8:43 a.m.

Sunday August 22nd is the plan for the next race and 1 week and 1 day before that we finally got going to check the car out. Yes, we have had all summer. No, we have not done anything...

The first thing to do was check out the front suspension. Much as expected, both front wheels where...wobbly? Yes, the wheel bearings had slackened, again. Our roll pin and washer solution was not as permanent as we hoped for. I think the real issue is that the washer has too large of an inner diameter so it can start walking and then it doesn´t really lock the nut anymore.

We tightened the nuts (!) and will try loctite plus double nuts and see if that works. Will probably make sense to try and check during some driver changes too.

Otherwise it was a case of swapping in new brake pads (these have lasted all races we have done on the P11, what can that be, 5 races, 6?). Pity we have to order them from the US... We also swapped out the rears, and bled the brakes. Then some general service and new tyres, and hope we are good to go again.


therealpinto Reader
8/24/21 1:23 a.m.

OK, so let's report race #2 for 2021.

When we lined up for the start, we heard "clicking" from the left front wheel. Not a good sign but the car felt OK when bedding in the pads earlier and we had to time (or tools, parts) to do anything. So we decided to let the car out, and use the formation laps to listen for more noise.

Lucklily for us, the transponders were not working as they should so we got at least 2 extra formation laps and one pit lane stop - the noise was gone.

We started in the forward 1/3rd of the grid and could catch a few cars in the start. The reversed grid meant two quick cars that had issues last time were in front and they just flew away. The Honda Civic of team "Fat & Curious" set off in a murdering pace, running several mid 1.50 times in the first stint (we did high 1.56's as best). The other Honda got down to 1.51's but this meant the green Honda had a big lead.

Apart from being slow :-) the car seemed to work fine. The new brakes and tightened wheel bearings together with new tyres meant it felt better but I also thought is was a bit grip limited. A big question is the step from the old AD08R to the newer AD08RS, with a lower rolling resistance to meet EU regulations. A lot of people have said they are not as good as the old ones and that seems to be correct. This is probably a short-time issue since the AD08RS is the only one that will be sold in Europe and with Yokohama as the one-make series tyre there will be no choices to be made.

I continue to be even slower than my team mates, I think I need a driver training course to keep my spot in the team ;-) This time I tried some different lines and tried to follow the faster cars and I maybe it was a little bit better.

At around 65 laps we had a caution and the driver reported that left front was making noises again. We brought the car in and there was grease all over the wheel well, so it was time to stop racing for the day. The boot has split but I suspect the CV joint is battered from the loose wheel bearings we have had. 

New joints and bearings are ordered for next race. We also need to take a look at the alignment, it "looks" like we have toe in and that is usually not a recipe for a quick fwd car. "Someone" was supposed to check that earlier...but...

I have to say, sometimes it sounds very appealing to dust off the old P10 again and try that in one race. It needs some extra bars in the cage and some brake pads (I think), but otherwise...would be extremely interesting to try it out.

Next race is September 5th, so there will be some wrenching when the parts arrive.


therealpinto Reader
9/8/21 12:05 p.m.

So when we got to wrenching...we had the wrong CV joints but apart from a torn boot, we saw no issues with the one on the car. It got a session in a ultrasonic cleaner and we re-used it.

Then some wheel bearings and there we saw another issue. The loose axle nut has not been kind to the wheel hub itself.

That's proper shot. Now the parts car had some front suspension parts we tore off if when getting the power steering pump. We had to use the tractor to dig them out of the weeds and then some brute force...

Getting the axle nuts off required welding a rather stout beam to the brake discs to get the leverage. Note to self; Next time when a suspension is removed from a vehicle, loosen axle nuts first...

We only had time to fix the driver side, the one that had the split boot. No doubt the other hub is in a similar condition but...well.

With time being in short supply I still managed a very quick and dirty toe adjustment while on the trailer. Eyeballing to get it at least somewhere near neutral.

Then we realized that we would be missing two drivers - one still with a bad neck from an old rally crash, one working. The rules say at least three drivers and even that is a tall order... Luckily for us, one of the teams who got a bit to friendly with a concrete barrier last race had a driver that was willing to test the Nissan and drive with us.

Lined up as number 4 (thanks to the early retirement last time) and we managed to hang on to that spot for at least a  lap or two. Forsman in their Citroën BX has announced this is their last season and set off in a blinding pace from the start. Leading most of the first stint until the Honda caught up. But the BX was getting faster during the day and they set a 1.52.720 fast lap. The winning Civic did a 1.50.327 but that's a really light car with an optimised V-tec...

We had a rather uneventful race, I thought the car felt better with the adjusted toe and I think I managed to find some time and cut down my lap times a bit. Some time into the race the ABS failed and strangely enough I think I set my fastest time with no ABS. But I also overshot one corner and had to use the escape road so the total time was not better...

The one miscalculation was once again refuelling - we should have had some margin but our rented driver did just as we instructed him to - if you feel one cough, straight to refuelling! We ended up as 8th once again. A true indication that people are getting faster and faster...but we had a good day out. 

One area of concern is that I feel the car has started to pop and bang a bit on the overrun, it feels like its' running rich (and that would also explain the fuel shortage). All sensors seem attached still but we may need to take a closer look.

The new tow Kuga as I was locking up the track to head home...


AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/8/21 12:40 p.m.

i heart tow Kuga.  because not Cummins RAM3500

therealpinto Reader
9/9/21 12:30 a.m.

The (diesel) Kuga (you would know it as an Escape in the US) is a great vehicle to tow with, using European standards with braked trailers and 80 km/h max speed :-)

We drove the old one for almost 10 years and 220 000 km and it did great. This "new" one has 40 bhp more and the torque is also up a bit of course. With a permitted tow weight of 2100 kg my Brian James trailer at 2000 kg is a near perfect match.

It colour matches the Primera decently too... ;-)



therealpinto Reader
9/28/21 1:51 a.m.

September 18th saw the last race of the season and it would also be the first race in ages where all four of us would be driving.

The pre-race check found no bad things apart from a CV joint boot that was a bit loose. Our "top driver" (and really the only one of us with "real" racing experience, having competed in the Junior STCC years and years ago) was still not satisified with my toe adjustment so he dialled in more out in the pits before the start.

He made a decent start but just a few laps in he called us on the radio with a front suspension issue. It then went away but we also had a VSC so he came in for us to check it up. No apparent failure signs so we sent out or second man, but pulling out of the pits we heard sharp "cracking" from the left front. He immediately called back in saying the car is undriveable.

We took it back in and now the left front would lock up solid when turning. Something is not right in the CV joints and we had no option but pack up after 9 laps.

Our feeling is that the CV joints bottom out and something locks up. I suspect it is a combination of the increased negative camber and the subframe bushes being soft - the entire subframe can shift a bit under cornering and that may force the drive shaft short. Perhaps the toe adjustment was the last nail in the coffin?

Watching the race from the side we saw Forsman once again force the old BX inty hyperdrive.

Tidy Powersports in their CRX lead the series but were out of brake pads, meaning they had to run a rather conservative race.

From time to time there were true battles going on.

Towards the end it was Forsman leading the Mayflower BMW and sometimes the battle was quite - epic. See the BMW in car footage:


With around 20 minutes left we calculated that this would end as a stragegy battle. Our rules allow 10 lap stints (short, yes), then a driver swap is mandatory. But the exception is the last stint, where you are allowed "10 laps plus 3 minutes" - the pit entrance closes 3 minutes before the race ends, to avoid having people finish in the pits. Forsman, in the lead, had built a small gap since Mayflower did a driver change and fell back a bit. It looked like a strategic masterpiece as Forsman, on their normal "driver change lap" managed to hit the 3 minute mark with seconds to spare, meaning they could stretch out the last stint. 

They took the checkered flag as winners, in their (allegedly) last race. 

This is a 3 generation race team, and quite fittingly, now the youngest, Colin, is also the fastest driver.

The series was taken by Tidy Powersports. Our team? Yeah, "also ran..."

A good team meeting over a beer or five is needed to iron out the plans for the future. I have ideas...


therealpinto Reader
2/21/22 6:33 a.m.

We actually had our team meeting the other week (although one team-mate had to leave a rain check because of work).

It was a good meeting and it only took about 3 beers per person to define the plans for 2022. Yes, we want to keep racing but we need to sort the car. Like really sort it.

So far it is all theories but we want new bushings in the front suspension (a likely reason for the CV joint issues) and then there is the engine. The GT engine will be torn apart to see what failed. Some part number checks tell us that it really should be enough to swap GT cams into our 130 bhp engine (together with the GT specific intake, exhaust manifold and ECU) to bring it up to GT spec. But I have also gathered data to check that the long block that wrecked indeed is a GT engine, with GT cams. Given the state of that one, we are not so sure anymore...

I add this post here to put some pressure on us to actually get to work. I have WRC rally here soon to work on but after that...time should magically appear, right?



B13Birk HalfDork
2/21/22 9:17 a.m.

I have loved following this thread over the years! Great work. I love the livery. Keep it up. 

therealpinto Reader
4/1/22 1:54 a.m.

Well time does not magically appear... But a month later some actual "progress" has happened. Of sorts, at least.

I got the wrecked engine delivered to my garage finally and could strip it down a bit. 

With just the head off it looked OK, so I dug deeper.

The sump and strainer, well...

The rod bearing on cylinder 1 is toast. Looks like it has had almost no oil but it did run for a couple of hours so I am not sure.

While it might be possible to save the crank I'm not sure it is worth the hassle. We'll probably wash up the GT head and cams, and use it on the bottom end that is in the car already.

I am not sure about the lifters though - how much of a chance is there that they are not full of debris? The engine has not been run for long like this (I'd say a matter of seconds from "noise" to shut down) and there is only some light shavings in the first oil passages in the head.


MaxC Reader
4/1/22 10:55 a.m.

When I was first setting out to build a racecar (being partly inspired by your teams racing adventures), the G20/primera I picked up spun a rod bearing within 100 miles. I bought another blown SR that had been severely overheated.  Took the good crank out of that one, and the old block/head from the spun rod bearing motor. I mix & matched the best lifters and sent it. Never crossed my mind that the metal shavings would get up to the lifters and in the tiny little orifices.  If I'm not mistaken, oil doesn't flow through those lifters necessarily. They are full, and oil pressure pushes on them to keep them rigid.  Anyways, I wouldn't get too worried about the lifters, but if you are worried, you can always bleed them.  Never raced with that engine, but I did take it on the track for an hour, so take that for what it's worth. Glad you're making progress!

therealpinto Reader
4/4/22 1:51 a.m.

Yeah, that sounds logical, and I didn't see any traces of metal when I removed the lifters from the head. They are probably fine. 

I just got the news that we have secured a new sponsor, that basically will cover our cup entry fee for the season. Yay, "free racing" :-)


jfryjfry SuperDork
4/4/22 10:36 a.m.

Did you say where the metal came from??

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