Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Graffiti Motorsports "K" Harness Bar

I installed a Graffiti Motorsports "K" harness bar in the Z.

Build quality: 5/5 - Sturdy construction with what appear to be strong welds.
Design: 4/5 - Relatively unobtrusive but sacrifices some space in the boot.
Fitment: 5/5 - All holes on the harness bar line up with factory holes on the car.
Presentation: 5/5 - Nice glossy black finish.

Now to sort out a harness.

Some other images here.

Exe Crew Track Weekend - Some more photos

A big thanks to Patrick Silveira for making the trip up to Winton to take these photos. More of Patrick's photos can be found here.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Exe Crew Track Weekend - Winton Motor Raceway

Another Winton track day (or track weekend in this case) rolls around and I join the Exe Crew in this double header. The Z was going into this event in the same state as previously. My intention was to dip into the 1:38.xx lap time range as this was my theoretical best from the previous outing. However, this was not to be, I ended the weekend having improved my PB by 0.2 of a second.

From the graph we can see my new PB in green and the previous PB in blue. The red line was the best time for Sunday the 17th November. The green graph shows that I found time by braking later into turns 1 and 7, and was overall faster through turns 2, 3 and 8. I was let down by my entry into turn 10 and that probably cost me the opportunity to get into the 38's.

Lap times
A good start to the morning with a 40 lap. Track temperatures seemed quite good. After the session I lowered the tyre pressures to 32 PSI hot.
1:53.7140 1:43.5740 1:40.6820 1:42.5600 1:41.7830 1:41.3060

This session returned promising times.
1:49.4730 1:40.9400 1:40.1730 1:40.4870 1:40.4090

After looking over the times and speed graphs in the first couple of sessions, I focused on braking deeper on all long straights. This seemed to work and I gained a new PB.
1:49.3030 1:40.2650 1:39.6620 1:39.3360 1:39.8760

The track had heated up past optimal temperature and I called it a day after this session.
1:46.6950 1:40.2880 1:49.9330 1:40.3200 1:51.3460

A good start to the morning with another 39 lap, but this would be the best time of the day.
2:13.7170 1:45.9830 1:42.0240 1:41.5790 1:42.1430 1:39.6800

Could not better my 1.39 from session one, suspected that the track temperature was already past optimal.
1:57.6310 1:41.9520 1:41.9350 1:45.1770 1:44.6760 1:40.3770

No improvement again this session and tyres overheated within 3 laps.
1:54.1300 1:41.7190 1:40.3750 1:56.0590 1:40.5340

Took Dan out for a ride this session, driving was a little sloppy and the front tyres had given up gripping.
1:50.2680 1:42.7770 1:42.5700 1:42.8480 

Went out for one last solo run and confirmed that the front tyres were now trash.
1:56.2090 1:48.6980 2:02.1370 1:42.3540 1:45.5350

Took Adam for a ride so he could give me some tips on driving in general.
1:47.9330 1:44.4420 1:43.0350 1:43.2080 1:46.2700 1:44.7360

Looking at the front tyres at the end of the day, I observed that the tread level is now down past the indicator. Time for a new pair. I ended the day knowing that there is so much time left to be gained with the car's current setup. I'm looking forward to trying again when I have new tyres.

To finish, here are a couple of photos from Andy Szeto, his photos are always very impressive.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Exe Crew Track Day - Winton Motor Raceway

It's Exe Crew track day time again at Winton, another chance to attempt to break into the 1:3x zone. The last time I came close with a 1:40.7. This time the GorillaZ and I was back armed with the Nismo LSD and Hankook Z221 soft semi slicks (265 front, 285 rear). The weather was kind, with temperatures around 16 degrees Celcius accompanied by sunny skies all day.

Session 1
Went out with a passenger and pushed to about 80% to break in the new tyres. I ran the tyres from 35 PSI cold, resulting in a hot pressure of around 42 PSI. I lowered the pressure to 35 PSI hot, ready for the next session.
2:09.5810 1:47.1640 1:44.5800 1:43.8690 1:45.0900 1:42.6920 1:43.4420 1:43.0740

Session 2
First solo session and it was promising, finishing with a new PB and so close to the 30's.
1:52.6250 1:42.1340 1:42.9420 1:42.7170 1:40.6860 1:40.0670

Session 3
Another solo session and finally cracked the 1:3x barrier!
1:46.3080 1:40.0770 1:40.0530 1:39.9840 1:39.7610 1:51.5070

Session 4
A passenger session again.
1:56.0560 1:41.7650 1:41.3740 1:40.7610 1:46.9860

Session 5
Back to a solo session and I gave it one last try to better my PB and I did it on the final lap.
1:57.2670 1:40.9930 1:39.7720 1:40.4660 1:40.1820 1:39.5530 *NEW PB*

I decided not to go out in the final session as I was getting tired. What I found from looking at the lap times was that the new tyres produced a progressively better lap time during the session up until the fourth or fifth lap, at which point they would start sliding and going slower.

Looking at the speed comparison between the previous and new PB laps, we see that:

  • turns 1, 3, 8, 9 and 10 were faster.
  • the new tyres allowed for later braking at turns 4, 8 and 10.
  • I managed a vMax of 173 kph on the main straight, up from around 165 previously.
  • I can go faster before turns 1, 4, 6 and 7, this is backed up by the fact that my theoretical PB is 1:38.1.
Overall, I'm very happy with the result but know that there is so much more time in the new found grip and can't wait to get back to Winton. A big thanks to Exe Crew for running such a fine track day.

Here are a few photos by Ben Johnson, thanks Ben!

Also thanks to Andy Szeto for these great shots!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

PIARC Sprints

It's been a while since the last track day but I finally made it back to Phillip Island for my first track day of the year. My company for the day were JimJim and Kam, thanks for the support guys.

The differences in the car's setup this time is as follows:
LSD: Factory viscous (previous) >>> Nismo 1.5 way (new)
Front tyres: Yokohama A050 medium 255/40R17 (previous) >>> Hankook Z221 soft 265/35R18 (new)
Front brake pads: Project Mu Type HC+ (previous) >>> Ferodo DS2500 (new)

The morning sessions were wet, quite wet. The weather forecast for the day was rain, easing in the evening. The rain wasn't particularly heavy, but it didn't look good for the rest of the day as it constantly fell in the morning. This led to very scary sessions, flying around the track with the wipers on; with other guys with bigger balls or no sense of life preservation (or both) flying past me on the straights and mid corner. This was confidence shattering and I was tentative getting on the throttle out of corners. I had a couple of separate close-call incidents including getting a little sideways at the kink at Hayshed and locking the brakes and pushing straight off the track going downhill into MG. Very luckily, I caught the car both times.

The morning sessions resulted in the following times and me tucked up in the fetal position in my camping chair in the pit garage.

2:52.6777 2:22.2164 2:18.7393
2:23.7090 2:25.2343 2:26.4003 
2:27.5631 2:19.1431 2:39.3178 

After lunch, the rain cleared and there were hints of blue sky coming through the clouds. Jim and Kam came in from their session saying the track was dry and it felt good again. They coaxed me out of my state of paralysis and urged me to go out on track again. I summoned up my courage and went out a few more times and managed to clock a 1:56 for the day, 2 seconds off my PB.

2:00.8560 2:01.7158 2:03.3368 
1:57.8846 1:56.6356 1:57.8540 
1:58.2481 1:59.6975 1:58.5290

Looking at the speed comparison between my 1:54.59 (green) and 1:56.64 (red) laps, I found that the main difference was on the straight and turn 1. I wasn't as fast as my PB lap because I only managed to reach 215 kph and was slower through turn 1, probably due to my confidence level not being the norm; leading to tentative throttle out of turn 12 and over braking for turn 1.

What's interesting is that my speeds for the rest of the track was actually faster with the 1:56 lap, as can be send below (1:56 on the right). Most noticeably, my top speed out of Stoner corner was faster and I slowed down less at Siberia and MG. Could this be attributed to the new track surface providing more grip? Or also the new tyres?

At the end of the day I was disappointed that I had lost some feeling for driving close to the limit at Phillip Island, but I was glad I was driving home in one piece. I'm now keen to get back there again. Thanks again to Jim and Kam for the company and support.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The hoarding continueSL

These arrived about a month ago...

No surprise what they are - more TE37 Super Laps. This time, they are 18 x 10J +20 and they will live at the front of the Z as street wheels.

Here they are shod with 255/40R18 Hankook V12 Evo (K110).

Left: Before - 18 x 9.5J +22 with 245/45R18
Right: After - 18 x 10.0J +20 with 255/40R18

And a couple more happy snaps.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

[Video] 2 Laps @ Sentul

While I was in Indonesia last month, I had the opportunity to drive my friend Silas' BMW E30 race car - Shirosame. Silas booked Sentul Internation Circuit just outside Jakarta for a day to let us all try driving his race car. Thank you Silas!

The day was wet, the rain poured down just after midday and it was an awesome experience taking to a soaked track in a race car I had never driven before, let alone a car without ABS. We each had enough time for 2 laps, but it was one of the best 2 laps of my on track driving experiences.

Here's a video of my friend Desmond driving.