Attacking a New Course In My 350Z!
Last week I went to UMC for my first day in HPDE 4. I just got my Carbotech pads on and 25 row oil cooler from Z1 installed. This was also my first time on UMC’s east course which is a little more technical so hopefully all of my autocross pays off.
This time I had a garage spot. Having a garage spot is so nice. First session out I just used it to bed in my Carbotech’s. I was worried to drive this on the street because of the disclaimer but really, they still do fine when cold. I guess I could have bed them in on the road.
Second session out was where I really got to push the car. I was mixed with Group 4 cars and TTE and TTD cars. This is going to sound cocky but I was passing cars left and right. It was such a thrill to lock on, find an opening and take off. At one point I decided to go three car wide on the straight and get in front of the other two cars. I think the E36 driver was a little mad I did that unil he realized I was making a gap. I got that on video, I think its entertaining to watch. Talking to some veteran drivers they thought it was a well done pass. After this session running with other cars I think maybe this car is destined for Spec Z one day. I took a cool down lap to play it safe halfway through but I had no temp issues and no brake fade.
Someone mentioned to me HPDE 4 can use transponders so I went to the NASA office and rented one. Later I found out NASA rules say no to this. It was a bit of confusion but the workers let me have it and I told them I am in group 4. Whatever. I set my best of the day I feel, I went to check the live timing and all the times were cleared. Went back to the office and they said I did a 1:52:xx so I am pretty happy with that. That puts with the top of TTD cars. Not bad for some Federal RS-RR’s #shamelessplug
I did have some temp issues after a specific lap. I stayed in third gear the whole infield and coming down the back straight I noticed my temps start to climb. I backed off, went into the pits, checked everything, all is good. Went back out and shifted to fourth gear in sections I was doing it in before. Still need to dial in my cooling. I have an unknown brand radiator sitting in my garage that I am going to pressure test and send it if it’s good.
For my last session I grabbed an instructor for a sign off ride into TT (Time Trials). They were short handed but I managed to find one. I found out his session was right after mine. Oops. Anyway time for some excuses. It was pretty traffic packed and I struggled to find my way by some cars. I also decided to try a more aggressive line to see how that compares. The instructor told me to work on smoothness and next event he will sign me off, for now I am in HPDE 4 still. I was also having more temp issues, it was warmer this session. I did get one good lap in but once I got on the main straight I had to back off to let my car cool. It was a fun lead follow with a Spec Z car though!
I am a little dissapointed in myself that I didn’t make it into TT. On the other hand I would be done for in TT4 with my cars current guise. TTC and TTB are no longer. There is a rule that doesn’t allow the 350Z in TT5 and I don’t think TTD is possible either. (I did see some posts from a few years ago where some people managed to get the car registered for TTD). TT4 is probably where I am destined. All of these classes are unknown to most of you I am sure so I will try to explain it easily. There are a lot of technicalities in NASA classing but the jist of it is your power to weight ratio (lbs to whp). The lower the number the higher the class. So other modifications will bring your number lower. TT4 is allowed to go to 12:1. My car right now is 14:1 so I have two full points which is quite a bit. It will take some weight reduction and full slicks and maybe a bit more. Regaurdless I am hungry to be in TT.
Thanks for reading everyone! Above is the video from the event. It isn’t one of those boring uncut GoPro videos, it actually has me showing what goes on at the track, along with some of my chasing on track. If you like car spotting you’ll enjoy this as well. Please give it a watch, I think it is entertaining to watch in my opinion (although I do like wathcing myself drive to begin with). Thanks guys!