Redline Time Attack Rd 6: The Battle Off The Track

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So round 6 of Redline Time Attack is in the books and to say the competition and the time leading up to it was eventful and busy would be an understatement. After the last round of Top Drift the car was not in perfect shape so to speak. The cosmetics needed “some” work and the engine needed some love.

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We found out that most of the last Top Drift was ran on 3 cylinders and that cylinder #2 had some oil in it. After pulling the head off we found out exactly what the problem was; cylinder #3 was TOAST and looked as if a family of rodents had been living in my engine and eating away at it slowly!

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Now we found this out Thursday morning. This caused a massive problem as Redline was Saturday morning. We all still work from 9 am to 6 pm Mon-Friday, so first thing after work we got cracking! Pulled the engine, put in a new one, figured out piping, and mounting for everything, got the engine tuned, set up and realigned the car for grip racing and finished off the front end…should have been cake! Somehow we pulled it off and made it to Redline, given a tad bit late for practice, but still all in one piece and running. Practice went ok, we were down on power and on a course like Fontana Auto Club Speedway, that is a massive handicap, but at least it was running.

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Next day came around and while out for the first shake down the car lost all electrical power on track.

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After getting towed in we find out that the main power cable terminal had broken off. I ran to Pep Boys to get a new one, we got it installed and ready just in time to grid for the first time attack session. They pointed for me to go, I moved about 30 feet, and again all power died!

Got back to the pits and realized another power terminal had broken. Ran to an AutoZone this time, because of course Pep Boys only had one left last time. When I got back we finished the install and still nothing. After taking a look we realized one of the power cables in the engine bay had been cut a little, allowing the power to ground out. Because of this the terminals were overheating and becoming brittle. After we got the cable wrapped up we thought we would be in the clear.

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There is always a practice run between the two time attack sessions. During the shake down I noticed the car was extremely slow and barely boosting. After a few laps of messing with the boost controller I came back into the pits to see what the new problem was. We tried taking the boost controller out and putting a manual one in thinking that maybe the eclectic one had gone bad due to the previous issues. After a few test pulls, still no boost.

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We decided to crank the wastegate actuator all the way to try and get it to boost higher and this is where we came across our new issue. After turning, and turning, and turning some more, we realized nothing was changing. We pulled the actuator off and the actuator door was able to spin freely. Never a good sign.

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Turns out the door had blown completely off!

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We all thought of a few different ideas as to what to do. Should we leave it and run it, weld it partially closed? So finally we decided to go back home, pick up a different turbo set up that I had, come back, and install it.

Fontana is about an hour one way from where the turbo was (Orange County) and our next session was in 2 and ½ hours. So we wasted no time and ran back home, got the turbo set up, and ran back to the track.

By the time we had gotten to the track Adrian had gotten the old turbo off and ready for the install and we had about 30 minutes to get a complete turbo set up installed, ready, and out for the next session.

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Somehow we were able to fit about 4 to 5 pairs of hands in an engine bay. Madness and witchcraft is the only way I could explain what happened. Most of it honestly, a blur. Turned out that the oil restrictor on each turbine was different, so we had to Frankenstein a conversion line out of a random barb fitting with hopes (very high hopes) that it would hold pressure.

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We got it all installed with the session already running for about 5 minutes, fired up the car, backed it up, and then my heart sunk. The guys started waving to cut the power. We had a mass oil leak, from, you guessed it, the Frankenstein’ed oil line.

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I jumped out of my car and into the FR SPORT BRZ. It wasn’t going to podium but at least I’d get some points.

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So all said and done, I didn’t get to run my car but the effort that was put in from everyone was awesome. We pushed hard until the very end and that in itself was a winning memory. 

This event is now in the past and I am only focused on the next events to come. Round 7 of Redline and then Super Lap Battle at Button Willow… HERE WE COME!

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