Thursday, May 17, 2012

Global Time Attack Round 2 at Road Atlanta

Since the we began planning our 2012 racing schedule in late last year we had one weekend circled on the calendar that we were all looking forward too, May 11-13th, 2012. The weekend of Global Time Attack and Formula D Round #2 came to the east coast at the beautiful 2.54 mile world class race course, Road Atlanta in Braselton, GA. This was a huge event for us because this series is what we built the car for. Global Time Attack is the pinnacle of the American Time Attack series and is the biggest stage for our form of motorsport. Featuring some of the fastest cars and talented drivers, GTA is the real deal. Along with GTA racing the full course Formula Drift was also running its event alongside ours, using turns 10a and 10b. We even shared the same inner paddock as the pro drift teams and damn are those some impressive cars. All of the vehicles on the property were badass and the moment we pulled in we knew it was going to be a good weekend. This blog post may be a long one because our weekend wa very eventful but in to keep your attention span check out this 20 seconds of bad ass-ness that is GTA!

Global Time Attack runs all over the country in a 7 race season with classes for each drive train platform (AWD, RWD, FWD) and 3 levels of classes (Street, Limited, Unlimited). The SOHO Motorsports G35 could have run in Limited be opted to run the stickier Hoosier tires which forced us to run with the Unlimted class. With GTA being the biggest series we run in our number has officially changed from #144 to the much better #44 and our number placards are now GTA official numbers.

The competition was no joke on Friday and Saturday, there were dozens of some of the fastest Time Attack cars on the country and the SOHO Motorsports G35 was right up there with them. The race weekend was setup with 4 sessions on Friday and 3 sessions on Saturday. Racing started bright and early Friday morning and after the first session my familiarity with the course paid off and I was at the top of the lap time charts after everyones first 20 minutes of track time. As they day went on some of the well funded Unlimited teams like Jeff Whesphals GST Impreza and Chris Rado's Scion jumped to the top of the chart with a time that we were never gonna touch, even the Porshce GT Cup Car in our class was way too light and balanced for us to catch him in his Friday best of 1:29.76 to our Friday best of 1:36.63. After a few easily managed issues we left the track Friday night feeling confident and 2nd place in our class and 6th overall. Saturday couldn't come soon enough!
Early Saturday morning the weather was perfect for racing and setting fast lap times. With rain looming in the near future we wasted no time getting on track and going full sail. Between Session 3 on Friday and Session 1 on Saturday we made a compression and rebound adjustment to help the car plant a little bit and when I went out I immediately noticed the difference. Nik's magic touch on the suspension worked perfect and the car was much faster. Along with the car handling great I was driving the car as hard as I could and driving a near perfect line. The combination of the setup and hard yet smooth driving got us our fastest lap time of the weekend on the 4th lap of the first session. As seen in the video below the car was on rails and the line was great, enough to get us a 1:34.36 lap time, solidifying us in the top 10 overall and on the podium for Unlimited Rwd. 
With only two more sessions left in Round 2 of Global Time Attack we got slightly greedy and wanted to see if we could beat our best lap time. In session 2 after multiple hard laps I pushed the car too hard as rain began to fall and sadly I lost traction in turn 7 leading to the straight and wrecked the car into the safety wall at over 100mph. Although I walked away with just a sore back, the car did not hold up quite as well as me. All of the safety devices in the car surely saved my life but the car's frame is too far bent beyond repair. As sad as it is to have to move on, we won't be going far. The car will be rebuilt as another G35 and will look nearly identical, except this time it will be lighter, stronger and faster. Be sure to watch all of the videos from this weekend and be on the lookout for rebuild updates on here and and KPR Facebook


The SOHO Motorsports Unlimited RWD G35 wouldn't be an Unlimited Global Time Attack car if it didn't have the best possible equipment and that couldn't be any more true than the tires! Our worn out Toyo R888's have been replaced with some super sticky Hoosier R6's. 295/30/18 Rear and 285/30/18 Fronts. Grip should be no problem now!

Holy Diffuser Batman!

The kink at the end of Road Atlanta's straight away has our SOHO Motorsports G35 getting very light in the rear end at over 180mph, that doesn't add up to anything good so we enlisted our designated fab guy Jason Binger from Bingz Customz to make us a badass rear diffuser, here is what we ended up with! Rear downforce is no longer an issue!

Brake Tech: Stoptech Trophy BBK & Chasebays Booster Delete Kit

After months of chasing brake system demons and multiple on track failures, we finally seem to have solved all of the bugs and understand why the problems were occurring in the first place. Before I elaborate on how great the new setup is, I would like to take a moment and talk about the problems we were seeing that many of you may also see on similar applications. As you know our 2005 G35 is a completely built and turbo charged VQ35DE-Rev Up, and on these cars the brake booster uses vacuum from the engine to help braking efficiency in day to day driving. This booster uses driver input from the pedal and increasingly applies pressure to the caliper whether you change the brake input or not, almost like a pre abs system but with a tapered increase of pressure rather than a repetitive jab, like when abs kicks in. If you can imagine the pressure map of a stock setup it would look like a gradual curve over time with constant input. This same feature is the reason a stock brake progressively gets stiffer and harder to push with the more input you give, and also why on track they become very soft. 

Unfortunately with our turbocharged VQ, the vacuum being supplied to the brake booster was altered. This caused the Wilwood calipers to be non responsive and feel squishy or non existent, with zero braking force to the wheels while on track or under hard braking. I will note though that this problem was never noticeable on the street. Along with this problem the underpowered Wilwood calipers seemed to over heat almost constantly, destroying all types of pad compounds and cracking rotors left and right. Even when we added multiple cooling modifications to the brake system including NASCAR 4 inch Brake Ducts leading right to the caliper they still over heated. Another complaint about the Wilwoods are the inconsistent braking pressure applied through 3 differently tapered size pistons in the caliper itself. On top of all of these problems these rotors had a bad habit for knock back after long straights and it became very apparent the current setup was not going to work if we wanted the #144 G35 to be competitive. After testing everything we could, we finally had a solution.

Adressing our problems we did some testing and made a few phone calls and we got our hands on a Brake Boster Delete Kit thanks to ChaseBays and a brand new big brake kit from Stoptech! Stoptech knew of the high speeds and braking forces our time attack car would experience and they hooked us up with the first set of Trophy Series 6 Piston BBK on a G35, matched with 14inch AeroRotors. The deletion of the booster from the brake plumbing and addition of Stoptech's beautifully crafted light weight Trophy series brakes seem to have fixed everything. The huge calipers are lighter, bigger and dissipate heat easier, and brake pad changes are a cinch with its quick access design. Combine that with the multi piece AeroRotors, and knock back becomes very minimal and almost nonexistent. The pedal is now very very stiff and the length of input is much smaller and it leaves much less room to move the pedal. This is all due to the lack of the brake booster. It may be very stiff and hard to use, but the feel is much much more consistent. If the stock pressure graph looked like a curve then now with the modifications it would look like a straight line. There is no more assist from the car, but it still allows the use of ABS and other electronic functions like VDC and TSC. This provides the driver with complete control and allowing for a direct correlation between the drivers pedal input and the exact pressure sent to the calipers. Not only is it noticeable to me as the driver on track but we have also installed Computech Datamaxx brake pressure sensors and have watched the results in live data as the pressure is applied to the amount of braking force sent to the caliper. I would suggest the Chasebays delete kit to anyone who races there G or Z, but I would not suggest this for the average daily driven car because of the unbelievable stiffness of the pedal. But i would absolutely suggest Stoptech over any other brake brand on the market, one race day and I was sold for life. Be sure to get any of the products mentioned in this article through our online store or call us at the shop. And be sure to look for our next tech article on VDC Yaw Sensor Override vs. Engine Tuning. 

NASA Southeast Round #3 at Roebling Road

NASA Southeast is our local region and run every where from Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC to Roebling Road in Savannah, GA. Round #3 of the 2012 season took place 5 hours south east of SOHO Motorsports in beautiful historic Savannah, GA on the small and flowing track with tons of history, Roebling Road. With only 3 weeks until the big race at Road Atlanta for Global Time Attack, this weekend at Roebling was essential to work out some of the final bugs on the car before going balls to the wall at Road Atlanta.
The weekend went absolutely great and with my first time at the track it was pretty easy to get the hang the racing line after a few sessions. With the hot Savannah sun beaming down on the track, the SOHO Motorsports G35's coolant was running cool as a cucumber, but under the engine it was a different story. The intense 18000 degree heat generated out of the turbo manifold and exhaust happened to run to close to the clutch line to the point where after a few laps into the later sessions the clutch began to go away slowly. I would go to shift into 5th on the straight away after 4 or 5 laps and the pedal would go soft and sink to the floor not allowing me to up shift or down shift, leaving me driving the course in 4th gear almost the entire weekend, as seen in the video above. The fix was an easy one and everything is fine now but other than that the car ran great and was 100% ready for Global Time Attack!

1st Annual Charlotte Showdown Awesome Success!!!

Click Here to Watch the Charlotte Showdown Youtube Video Playlist
The SOHO Motorsports / CES Motorsports 1st Annual Charlotte Showdown | East vs West turned out to be a great event. Having advertised on nearly every forum we could think of and personally inviting hundreds on Facebook we knew there would be a pretty good crowd before the event began and the perfectly blue skies and mid 70's temperature there was no place better to be on the first Sunday of May then at CES Motorsport, taking in all of the beautiful cars and fumes from the dyno. 
The show started off at 10am strapping down the first car on the dyno and nearly one of the car show parking lots completely full, the dj had just started and people began flowing in. Car club and group after group streamed into the event hard parking in the numerous lots we had available. The mix of cars was very eclectic but all of them where well done and everyone seemed to be having a good time. 
Inside CES we had the dyno running with the East vs West competition running strong. The competition pitted the top 5 highest combined HP and TQ from each side East or West added up to crown a champion. The East consisted of cars built in Asia or Eastern Hemisphere (SOHO Motorsports Side) and the West consisted of cars built in Europe / America or Western Hemisphere (CES Motorsports Side). We had over 25 cars dyno with each of them getting 3 pulls and a raffle ticket for just $35. When all was said and done and everything from Supras to BMW's to G35's and Cobra's where dyno'd and the East side pulled out the win even after we added two wild card shop cars from each side. The total was East at 5,146.53 to the West's respectable 4,831.55. Below is a list of the chart with the top cars and owners from each respective side with power numbers, keep in mind when looking at numbers that it was a hot and humid day.
With hundreds of cars, food, dyno pulls, beautiful cars and women and everyone with smile and  tons of positive feedback, the 1st Annual Charlotte Showdown was a success and we look forward to the next one! Congratulations to the winners and thank you to everyone for coming out!