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Corpus Christi Time Trial report... (archive)

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Posted by Bob H on March 11, 2001 at 21:35:09:

Well, I'm beat after 3 40 min sessions yesterday and the timed runs today. Stewart came down from Austin with his silver M Coupe to further help confuse us down here! Once they saw a clean silver Coupe, they realized it couldn't be me!
But about the event. A quick description - the course is 3.5 mi long, with two big sweeper turns,(btw 100-120 in the BMW's), and several other "fun" parts. Mark,(don't know last name), who had a black M roadster was also there. Both Mark and Stewart left Sat. to head back home and didn't run the timed event on Sunday. Stewart had warped the rear brakes and decided to call it quits. Not sure what happend to Mark, I assume he had a long drive. Mark asked me to drive his roadster b/c he felt he had lost some bottom end with his intake/sharked/exhaust mods. It turns out he just had more top end which made the bottom end torque feel lacking. But a much more enlighting part of driving his car was the dramatic body flex in turning and accelerating. Granted, I have a strut bar and had the HMS harness bar installed, but night and day in the turns, and that was his comment.
I installed the heat treated rotors and 90 compound pads before the race and was very happy with them. I am notoriously hard on brakes, and was exploring the limits of the stock braking system,(euro front rotor that is). I think I found them. Debating trying a ducting or just going for a big brake upgrade. I am running 800+ degrees,(acording the the temp. sensitive paint on the rotors). I had also installed the Yoko A032R's the weekend before. It took me all weekend to approach the limit of these tires. The Pilots sports are amazing, but with the A032R's, wow. I had the opportunity to run the radar gun on Sunday during the timed runs. We position the gun at turn 6, which is the highest speed sweeper on the course. We had several 911 turbo's,(older ones), a viper GTS and a Supra TT,(heavily modded w/the engine). The Viper would reach about 120-125 before the turn,(granted most of us were kept it floored all the way till the braking zone for the next 90 degree turn). He would typically hit the 120+ and then back off and "coast" if you will at 100-105 through the apex. He had huge hoosiers and it was one of the first times he was racing the car,(switched from a fast C4 corvette). Two of the newer turbo 911's,(one late 80's, one early 90's) were aproaching 120, apexing at 105-110 or so,(newer drivers), and the supra TT would max about about 125 and corner in the 115 range. My coupe was floored all the way, clocking 116 before the apex and I would just hit the rev limiter in 4th before braking,(about 125 indicated). The amazing part is the morning runs were wet, and a white m3, and my coupe were the fastest at the apex by far. I had several people ask if I had traction control b/c of the speed through that turn in the wet. I had it off the whole time. Final tally,(track was dry for second set of runs). Top time of Day - 944 turbo race car,(second time out since built - still tuning/setting up) - 2:35. About 400 hp...from a 4 cyl... viper 2:37. 85 911 2:39.09,(one of the best drivers I have had the pleasure of driving with and instructing me), Supra TT 2:39.5, and was complaining didn't have the springs he wanted. As a side note, sat evening they took out the kink on the runway to do some top speed runs for those who wanted to using the 5000 ft runway. Most cars were in the 120 range. Stewart hit 129 in his coupe, I hit 132,(I could carry more speed onto the start of the straight). The only faster cars,(whoops, a ford lighting p/u hit 132 as well) were the viper at 142 and the supra at 147. Screaming fast. So I added his complaint about the springs, but not many belived it based on his acceleration capability with as many long straights as we had. Who knows...
My time was the next fastest, 2:41 - with several botched apexes, but an ungodly fast run nonetheless. There were lots of better drivers than me in less capable cars in the mid 2:40's. Last fall and last year they ran the same course, and the formula cars have turning in times in the 2:teens,(they ran only on the wet course today - 2:42/3, then packed up). A well setup race 944 was in the low 20's,(and on good days would bust 20), with the rest in the range we saw today. So w/o the formula cars running on a dry track and no sorted porsche cup cars, the times were as above.

My thoughts on the coupe and what instructors said,(took four out). Wow, what an incredible car for track events. Every instructor came out with a huge grin on their face,(they would drive first, then me). Likely the most interesting thing I was told,(by two of them), was how forgiving the coupe was. Their comment was that I made corrections mid turn that in their cars would have left us on the side or in the grass. My car is basicly stock besides exhaust, sharked, and the A032R tires. No suspension mods, and not sure if I will or not. I am debating sway bars and shocks. I think the car with the right driver could have broken 2:39 today. I think if I nailed everything for my ability, I would have been low 2:40's. My runs improved almost 2 seconds each time over 5 runs,(I bit it big time and lost one run - was in the grass). 2:50, 2:48, 2:45, 2:42, and 2:41. I also heard many instructors reference the Speedvisions show and say they understood what the drivers was talking about when they said they loved the car,(can't get speedvision, wish I could!). They also talked about how much more potential it had than their cars, and how much more refined it is in the handling department. Nothing but awe and amazement at its capabilities and performance. And yes, I am signed up for next month...:)
If any of you live in Texas, make a point to try and come out. The courses are a blast, and the cost is very low. Besides, I need more people to beat the porsches!

-Bobby Hanvey

ps- here is the website of the local PCA chapter. On the site it has a schedule for the upcoming races, as well as maps of some of the courses,(we ran the november classic course this weekend - w/o the kink taken out on sunday as indicated).



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