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DennisMotorsports
DennisMotorsports New Reader
5/31/18 2:02 p.m.

Been a while! Here's what's been going on! After the push to get the Dart done for CTTC last year, I needed a change of pace and started working on some other projects.

Got a new shortblock for the STI and got that running again a few months ago. Big thanks to The Subaru Shop and Perry Tuning in Tiverton, RI for their help with the engine and tuning! I've run it now at an autocross at ADSI for a shakedown, and the first hillclimb of the year at Mt Ascutney. The car has been flawless so far this year (though the driver needs some work). 

(thanks Sam Harrington for the photo!)

Ascutney was a pretty rainy weekend, with 10 runs over the two days, and 3 of them being dry. This was my first time running the STI at a hillclimb, and playing with AWD in the rain was a lot of fun! The wet conditions slowed down a bunch of 2WD cars that would normally have beat me, and I ended up taking 2nd in class and 4th overall, my best overall finish at a hillclimb! 

Here's my video from my best run of the weekend:

 

In the meantime, I bought the SRT4 I had caged a couple years ago from my uncle, and I've been prepping that for some stage rally. Last weekend I got the sunroof opening sealed up, and added some FIA-required bits to the cage to bring it up to spec. A couple more gussets and it will be ready for a logbook!

KevinGale
KevinGale Reader
5/31/18 7:45 p.m.

Congrats on the 4th overall.  Nice Job!

DennisMotorsports
DennisMotorsports New Reader
6/4/18 1:13 p.m.

Got a bunch done this weekend. Josh and Sebbie came to help out on the Neon (ya know, since they're driving it next weekend at Okemo to shake it down). Ended up getting all of the "need to do" items crossed off, and had extra time for the "nice to do" list! The car is ready for logbooking, and ready to race at the Okemo hillclimb next weekend. Should be a pretty good time for the 50th anniversary of the event, and I'm the co-chair! As long as nothing goes wrong this weekend (hahaha), there is a very short list of things to finish up before a Team O rallysprint in July.

Before:

After:

KevinGale
KevinGale Reader
6/4/18 1:42 p.m.

In reply to DennisMotorsports :

Looks pretty nice now.  Are you sure Dennis clan members are allowed to drive that?  I was kind of liking the tube look.  :-)

 

DennisMotorsports
DennisMotorsports New Reader
6/18/18 2:32 p.m.

So I'm a week behind with this post, but Okemo was pretty successful. The STi made it through with very few issues, and was comfortably fast. I had to swap out a faulty O2 sensor, and replace a shredded AC/PS belt (thanks again to the random WRX in the parking lot that loaned me one!), but otherwise, the car was perfect. I'm outclassed in the NEHA events when I'm running the STi, because I want to be able to run the Dart in the same class later in the year. So I'm running a caged street car against full tube frame cars this year. This takes the pressure off, as I'm not really competing for class standings, so I've been able to get comfortable in the car, and ended up beating my personal best at Okemo (in any car) by 5 seconds! Ended up 3rd in class, and 11th overall.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/VwpH3tE68A4

The Neon got a thorough shakedown, with 2 drivers. The car did great, only 1 second behind me in the STI! The day ended early on Sunday though, with a broken clutch master cylinder. The first driver was my cousin, here is his fastest in car video:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/8Jskek9rfZk

The other driver was my best friend of 20 years. I was very happy to give him the opportunity to run his first hillclimb, and his son got to help out with the awards ceremony!

 

This was also the 50th Anniversary of the Okemo Hillclimb. I was humbled to be a part of the event, and as a co-chair wanted to do something special to commemorate it. I proposed a pot luck dinner on Saturday night, and I was overwhelmed with the response. Good food, games, and fun was had by all late into the night! I even brewed some special hillclimb beer for the occasion!

KevinGale
KevinGale HalfDork
6/18/18 3:15 p.m.

I don't drink beer and I just noticed that one of those bottles bears more than a passing resemblance to my car.   smiley

It was a great event even if I lost my clutch and spun on what probably would have been an FTD run.

DennisMotorsports
DennisMotorsports New Reader
6/19/18 8:52 a.m.

In reply to KevinGale :

I think Sam may have taken some visual cues from your car on that one! Haha. The fastest runs are always the ones where things go wrong!

KevinGale
KevinGale HalfDork
6/19/18 9:41 a.m.
DennisMotorsports said:

The fastest runs are always the ones where things go wrong!

 

Yeah one of the rules of hillclimbing.  When everything is going right beware!  Every driver that crashes will tell you they were doing their fastest run right before things went wrong!

Ovid_and_Flem
Ovid_and_Flem Dork
6/19/18 2:43 p.m.
KevinGale said:
DennisMotorsports said:

The fastest runs are always the ones where things go wrong!

 

Yeah one of the rules of hillclimbing.  When everything is going right beware!  Every driver that crashes will tell you they were doing their fastest run right before things went wrong!

THE OLDER I GET THE FASTER I WASsurprise

DennisMotorsports
DennisMotorsports New Reader
7/12/18 3:02 p.m.

The weeks since Okemo sure were busy ones. We left Okemo with a long list of things to touch up on the Neon. The list included adding a skid plate, replacing front wheel bearings, and flushing the brake fluid, which was far beyond it's useful life:

The list for the STI was a little shorter. Oil change and seat adjustment essentially covered it.

This was all done so that I could bring BOTH cars the the SCCA rally sprint at Team Oneil last weekend. I'd be driving the STI with Dan (of Dart fender creation fame) codriving, and my buddy Ike in the SRT4 with Alex (of Daewoo challenge fame to hillclimbers) in the silly seat. I felt real fancy loading two cars onto one trailer.

I had some nerves worked up in the morning, as this would be the most gruelling event the STI would see since the most recent engine rebuild, and I had a 2/2 DNF rate at the rally sprints, and I hadn't driven on gravel in 3 years. Needless to say, we took it easy:

Ike hadn't driven FWD in quite a few years, and had never driven on gravel, so he took it easy too:

It was quite dry and dusty up in NH, which made for terrible visibility at times, but made for excellent photos

Between the two of us, we each had one "oops" on the day:

Overall, a great weekend with a great group of people. Both cars finished 3rd in class. Key word being FINISHED, which is a win in my books. Also, this is what happens when tech is in the Walmart parking lot and you're there an hour before your car. You buy team T-Shirts:

Thanks to Daggerslade Media and Nemesis Photo for some great photos. Links to the full photo albums here:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/Nemesis-Photo-65157601331/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10155723057136332

https://www.facebook.com/pg/DaggerSLADEmedia/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1395399613893613

 

Videos coming soon

KevinGale
KevinGale HalfDork
7/14/18 9:51 a.m.

Sure looks like you had fun.

DennisMotorsports
DennisMotorsports New Reader
7/17/18 12:41 p.m.

In reply to KevinGale :

Absolutely!

 

DennisMotorsports
DennisMotorsports New Reader
7/17/18 12:41 p.m.

Still working on in car from the Neon, but here is my horribly edited video from the STI:

https://youtu.be/LcTF_T5Fs_4

 

DennisMotorsports
DennisMotorsports New Reader
7/30/18 1:56 p.m.

Been a very busy few weeks. Went to the New England Forest Rally to crew for a bunch of NER SCCA Rallycrossers who have moved up to stage rally over the last couple years. I ended up helping out with at least 6 cars over the weekend. Highlights included driving an Astro Van towing a VW Golf on a trailer, flat towing a BMW E30, and a one hour engine swap in a grass field.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ffacebook%2Fvideos%2F10215625422976016%2F&width=500&show_text=false&height=281

On Monday, I decided that I'd be leaving the two running race cars in my driveway at home, and bringing the Dart, which has been sitting broken in my garage for a year to the Burke Mountain Hillclimb the following weekend. Because, why not.

Rebuilt the quick change rear end on Monday (quite a few beers and youtube videos were required). Tuesday night pulled the transmission out. Wednesday night put the new clutch in, put trans back in, installed rear end. Thursday was all the finishing touches like filling fluids etc. Friday was a burnout in the driveway to make sure things were working, and then load up and head to Vermont!

Weekend started off kind of rocky. I made my fam run and first run without issue. On my second run Saturday, the band clamp on the exhaust loosened up enough that the exhaust separated from the header, and started bouncing around under the car, hanging on by one hanger. Relatively easy fix. Next run, I put the steering wheel on, and gave it a tug to make sure the quick release was properly locked, and almost hit myself in the face with the wheel. Apparently I had lost a set screw at some point, and the coupler pulled off the steering rack. Glad that was at the start line and not halfway up the hill. Another relatively easy fix, and I spent a few extra minutes looking for anything else that might have loosened up, before making the last run for the day.

Sunday was flawless. Made every run, and the only tool I touched was a tire pressure gauge. By the end of the day, I had shaved my time down to a 2:26, 18 seconds faster than I ran at Burke with the same car before the engine swap and suspension rebuilt. I'll take it! I had one exciting moment at check 6 on my last run, because I came in carrying a lot more speed than I had before, and the rear end locked up when I downshifted (one of the downsides to running a spool is that things like that happen easily). Video link below (if someone could explain how to get youtube to embed properly again, I'd be grateful):

https://youtu.be/MVWkoUGs86I

DennisMotorsports
DennisMotorsports New Reader
7/30/18 2:04 p.m.
DennisMotorsports
DennisMotorsports New Reader
8/23/18 12:11 p.m.

After Burke 1, I had a couple weeks to re-prep the car for Burke 2. Re-prep included changing rear spring rates, bumping up a bit to help with stability at higher speeds, swapping a new radiator in to battle high temps I was experiencing at Burke 1, and adding a seat back into the passenger side of the car for fam runs. All went well, and car was ready to go Friday.

Saturday had a late start due to severe overnight thunderstorms that trailed off in the morning. We started off around 11:30. I made my fam run and decided I was going to park the car for a while. With no windshield, I can deal with rain OR fog, but not both. Visibility was terrible, the road was slippery, and it didn't make sense to risk an off on Saturday. But after a couple runs, word on the mountain was it was clearing up at the top. I decided to take a slow pass to see what the new springs felt like. Visibility had improved, but boy was it still slippery!

https://youtu.be/L6oMkpaze2w

By Saturday night, things had cleared up. We celebrated a fellow racer and his wife's wedding anniversary with a margarita party! Sherm and Michele are both a big part of why the KSCC and NEHA events are so successful.

 

Sunday morning was cool and sunny. The road was still damp, but would continue to improve all day. I ended up making a 2:24.65 run after lunch. It was my personal best time at Burke, and good enough to be the fastest Dennis for the weekend! It was also gave me 4th in class and 17th overall.

https://youtu.be/5cr_lDweoQc

Here are a couple videos from the start line:

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ffacebook%2Fvideos%2Foa.10156790510133826/2058278001168405%2F&width=500&show_text=false&height=281

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ffacebook%2Fvideos%2Foa.10156790510133826/2058293387833533%2F&width=500&show_text=false&height=281

KevinGale
KevinGale HalfDork
8/24/18 8:40 a.m.

Lol the only time I took the tarp off the car Saturday was to go to tech.   But Sunday was great.

And yes Sherm and Michele make everything happen with KSCC.  Those two run the whole club.

DennisMotorsports
DennisMotorsports New Reader
9/19/18 1:09 p.m.

So I got a chance to help out a few fellow local racers a couple weeks ago. Downey Dirty Racing was headed to Canada for Rallye Defi, and had no crew! Well I happened to have the week off from work, and volunteered to go with them. The week turned out pretty great. Dan and codriver Kevin went off on Thursday to run recce, and I set about with setting up a service area, familiarizing myself with the car a BMW E30, and fixing a list of little issues that Dan had with the car. I ended up getting to ride with them for the last couple stages of recce, including the Super Special stage through a gravel pit.

Friday morning, the car passed tech with no issues. Racing started at 2 PM. We filled up on Poutine and POGOs for lunch, and Dan and Kevin were off.

 

Aside with some issues with wheels and tires, there wasn't a whole lot of work for me to do in service. One bent wheel and one broken wheel caused tires to not hold air, and then one more tire ripped totally apart. The only other issues was a small puncture to the fuel tank. There were some big rocks that gave the tank a beating, and it developed a pinhole at a crease. Some quiksteel and aluminum tape, and it was good to go again.

After two days of bouncing down Canadian gravel roads, Downey Dirty Racing took 3rd in National 2WD! Was very cool to be a part of an international race team on the podium

 

Oh, and it's not every day you get to see a drag race at the end of a 10km rally stage between an Open class STI and an old BMW

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ffacebook%2Fvideos%2Fpcb.10214140998899042/10214140993858916%2F&width=500&show_text=false&height=281

DennisMotorsports
DennisMotorsports New Reader
9/19/18 1:26 p.m.

On to this past weekend, I spent Saturday putting new motor mounts in Kevin's Neon, and then took it to ADSI to shake it down for a track day coming up. Well, things didn't go so well. The new motor mounts changed the pitch angle of the engine just enough that the shifter cables were resting on the header. After a few hot laps, I noticed some smoke coming out from under the hood. I popped it open and the smoldering turned into open flames! I fumbled for a minute and then got to use a fire extinguisher for the first time on an actual fire.

With the Neon out of commission, I got to take a couple runs in Kevin's FRS, and Allan's new to him Toyota WSR. The WSR was something else. Imagine you're in a go-kart with 4 wheel disk brakes, 8" wide slicks, and give it 110hp. Having never sat in the car before, I jumped in and immediately went a second faster than my best lap ever at ADSI

https://youtu.be/O-ttprjO14Q

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