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2018 Sevens HPDE at NJMP - July 4-6, 2018


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First time here so hope I am getting through. Thanks again for the warm welcome at NJMP. That towing story is almost an exact copy of mine going to Watkins Glen with my SCCA FP Sunbeam years ago. Great fun at NJMP despite that strange noise on accelerating in right turns. A closer look shows that the rear universal joint bolts were trying to carve up the rear section of the transmission tunnel so am happy I stopped early before any real damage. Sorry I was slow with the new motor and noise. The Series 1 has a different set-up than 2 or 3 for rear axle (old Sprite design) lateral location. I had it set with insufficient right side clearance between the universal joint and trans tunnel with driver weight plus acceleration. Also, I had the coilover Spax shocks adjusted soft and as low as the spring mounts go. So I am changing things now.

 

l7s1,

 

Welcome to the forum...and love your car. It was a real pleasure to meet you. Your stopping because something wasn't quite right should be a lesson in experience for all. Looks like I'm not as alone with my towing experience as I thought I may have been. Between you and Kitcat, I'm in good company. :jester:

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Thanks again for the warm welcome at NJMP.

 

Hi Chris - It was wonderful having an original Lotus Seven sharing the track with us. For the record the speed did not worry me as you let us around so quickly and the day gave you a testing session to work out what needed fixing next. However, I want to see you come back with a proper rev limit and a fixed UJ to see what it can do. I think it will surprise us with its turn of real speed!

 

Cheers

mike

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Photos from Mike Woellner of the event. He was only there Wednesday and Friday morning first thing so not much of on track photos this year.

 

Group photos from Friday

 

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The only car by car photos from Friday came from when we drove away from the group photo site and when we went out on track

 

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Then for the few that drove Wednesday afternoon being Kitcat, Shane and Steve (driving my Caterham) I have a few photos

 

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And for those who arrived early on the Wednesday, some of the money pits were running on track until I broke two of them - the CSL (locating studs for the rear centerlock hubs) and the Cossie (rear bearings) - part of the recommissioning/testing cycle to failure proof them.

 

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Cossie was limited to 4000rpm while I test the drivetrain and handling components to ensure they are safe. Car essentially sat for 12 years with minimal stressed use. Anyway, it only broke because Shane was in the passenger seat and his weight was too much for the rear end bearings. It is a beautiful driver - one of the most incredible track cars I have ever driven. I think it may be better than my Caterham in terms of ease of driving quickly.

 

 

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The Mustang was just plain out of grip on the very hot day, sliding all over the place. I managed to rotate it slooowly around in the bowl with Kitcat and Shane coming up from behind. Kitcat was big eyes, locked up wheels, freaking out as he tried to avoid me. Shane was behind him, both hands off the wheel with thumbs up going "Dude! That is so cool!"

 

 

 

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Edited by Croc
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The BMW is getting quicker. Still same old engine but new gearbox and new LSD. Same old steering and bumps steer although the rear end is now adjusted to be better controlled. Its lap times have now dropped. Still a long way to go - need that new engine from Kormans.

 

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For those that attended I will email around the share drive link to allow you to download photos. The link is also below for download. Please do not delete the photos or move them around - download only please.

 

https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/qD2AM1ymGjTs0iDh9WHlPruHqWAwfKzA0wcMJFEsow

Edited by Croc
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I showed up a day early at NJMP to play on Lightning with Croc, Kitcat and the guys who were sorting out Crocs various stable mates, so both vids are from July 4th, the day before the start of the actual USA7s two-day event. Unfortunately, these are the only two videos I have of NJMP (both unedited). Seems my two Replay cameras were damaged to some extent during the balked landing down at TWS in 2015.

 

Video #1:

 

First of all, the sound didn’t record during the session. And don’t bother watching the video from beginning to end; skip ahead. I spent the first eight minutes trolling the track (not even running a line) for Croc who was giving my son a spirited ride in the SV. At 8:00, I spot the SV entering ‘the bowl’ but Croc exits to pit lane so I motor on around at a leisurely pace. At 9:50, Croc and my son head back on track and I fall in behind for some video. We play lead/follow for a few laps with Croc demonstrating how to pass on the outside of T1 while keeping all four wheels on track during the exit; if you want to know how to exit T1 incorrectly and plow dirt, pm me for some one-on-one. :cooldude:

 

All goes well up till 14:05 when I decide to demonstrate how to exit T3 with a text-book Porsche entry into T4, complete with an early apex; this maneuver works well if your engine is hanging out behind the rear wheels, but for a Storker…well, not so much. On the exit out of T4, I run out of track and decide to try a new line through the grass, a decision that would ultimately win me the Golden Plunger award later in the week. :cool: This particular piece of real estate saw its share of action during the day with the Cossy-powered Escort running off in the same place right in front of me during the next session (sorry, the video didn’t record...and Croc, did your mechanic tell you about this?). Later that afternoon, Croc invited me out for a ride in the Cossy only to have it shed the left rear wheel assembly as we exited T4; we pulled off track and coasted to a stop in my favorite spot.

 

Once the Golden Plunger moment is over, crank up video two unless you fancy watching me drive back to the paddock will I’m licking my wounded pride. Remember, my son was in the SV with Croc, and this is the second time I’ve gone off-road while following him on Lightning; both times, he was giving rides to one of my family members. I’m not setting a very good example.

 

Video #2:

 

This video, for whatever reason, decided to record with sound. Once again, I’m out on track trolling for Croc and my son, but they’ve switched over to the Holman Mood Mustang. For those reading this, and who are not familiar with Holman Moody, they were the official racing contractor for Ford Motor Company back in the day (research from there). Croc’s Mustang embodies ‘all things cool’ about 1960’s road racing; a time when high-revving small block V8's were the norm and ruled the track. By today’s standards, the cars from that era are somewhat dinosaurs in comparison and wiggle around like wounded, slippery eels when pushed to the edge. But that was the 1960’s, and tech from that era was the best available for the time.

 

At 2:05, I exit to pit lane and wait for the ‘Stang’ to make its way around. Around 2:40, with Croc and my son heading into T1, I exit pit lane and fall in behind for more video. For those who appreciate the sound of a high revving small block Ford, listen closely to the Holman Moody as it passes me between T1 and T2; music to the ears. With three of us on track (Croc, Kitcat and me) Kitcat is running the best pace, and he's not in the mood for any nonsense. Around 4:50, Kitcat catches up to us. A quick point-by allows Kitcat to settle in between Croc and me just prior to all three of us entering ‘the bowl’ together.

 

Now, from here, I don’t know what really happened. I feel certain that Croc, not wanting to be upstaged by my mowing the grass earlier that morning, decided to show off a bit in front of my son by executing a near-perfect 180 degree reversal maneuver as he settled into ‘the bowl’. From my perspective, I saw dirt flying, a fantastic broadside view of the Mustang as it rotated clockwise, a Caterham smoking its tires in rebellion to what was taking place directly in front of it, and eventually, the Mustang pulling a Mater as if auditioning for a Cars sequel as it attempted to drive the track backwards…and more tire smoke. As I drove by, I tossed all proper on-track driving etiquette out the window. The video doesn’t capture the moment, but I have both hands off the steering wheel and am giving Croc and my son two big thumbs up as I pass. Underneath our helmets, I’m fairly certain we were all smiling or laughing…well, maybe not Kitcat. :smilielol5:

 

From here, I run a few solo laps and begin getting the Cossy into view around 8:16 (Croc's mechanic driving and doing a bit of sorting). At 9:07, I catch up to the Cossy for a drive by as we enter ‘the bowl’. Coming out of ‘the bowl’, the heat was getting to me (very hot day), so I head back to the pits where Croc, Kitcat and I swapped lies about what really happened in ‘the bowl’. What happens on Lightning stays on Lightning. :jester:

Edited by xcarguy
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Thx for the vid Shane! As you can see by watching Croc trying to get the Mustang to turn, it was veeeery twitchy. I learned the first time I saw this video a while back, that my new front brake rotors and pads resulted in a huge braking imbalance, with the rears locking way up and causing mammoth clouds of very expensive Hoosier rubber smoke:). Just learned in an e-mail with my car's builder, Bruce Beachman, that there is a rear brake proportioning valve under hood, so I will start playing with that and try to dial the balance back in. And, as is obvious, I made an immediate exit following Croc's moment of excitement for a new set of underwear:). What is pretty impressive on his part is that he didnt shoot back across the track, roll over, etc., all of which that twitchy car really wanted to do!

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This particular piece of real estate saw its share of action during the day with the Cossy-powered Escort running off in the same place right in front of me during the next session (sorry, the video didn’t record...and Croc, did your mechanic tell you about this?).

 

 

Oh I knew alright. I have Mike W's photos of TJ having a moment there.

 

Then again I have a distinct recollection of doing some offroading myself in the Cossie with your son riding passenger...oops. The steering was binding a little bit under throttle.

 

 

Now, from here, I don’t know what really happened. I feel certain that Croc, not wanting to be upstaged by my mowing the grass earlier that morning, decided to show off a bit in front of my son by executing a near-perfect 180 degree reversal maneuver as he settled into ‘the bowl’. From my perspective, I saw dirt flying, a fantastic broadside view of the Mustang as it rotated clockwise, a Caterham smoking its tires in rebellion to what was taking place directly in front of it, and eventually, the Mustang pulling a Mater as if auditioning for a Cars sequel as it attempted to drive the track backwards…and more tire smoke. As I drove by, I tossed all proper on-track driving etiquette out the window. The video doesn’t capture the moment, but I have both hands off the steering wheel and am giving Croc and my son two big thumbs up as I pass. Underneath our helmets, I’m fairly certain we were all smiling or laughing…well, maybe not Kitcat. :smilielol5:

 

 

A 1965 Mustang with the period suspension modifications - front and rear - handles very well for a 1960s era car. It does not handle well compared to anything else today. But thats why I like it. It forces me to drive around the car and adjust my driving habits. On this very hot day it had marginal grip. So it was producing understeer into some corners. To deal with this I would provoke oversteer about a third of the way through the corner and then throttle steer the rest. The problem with this is that the rear end is also marginal for grip. So there is a lot of lateral slip from a lack of mechanical grip. As a result I would get very very wide in the corners and this can be really seen at turn 5 (over the top of the crest right hander) and the bowl. The bowl is further complicated in that a live axle rear end just hates a 15 degree banking and the inner wheel slipping. I was trying too hard and I simply slid the rear end wide in the bowl and dropped the rear wheel into the dirt. No amount of mashing the throttle could stop the weight transfer swing on the rear end and around she went...ever so slooooowly and then it was a simple matter of jumping on the brakes to head back rather than stay on track in front of Kitcat. I was laughing and Shane was laughing but Kitcat headed straight to the pits for new underwear.

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Not sure if Kitcat heading in so quickly was the result of playing too hard in ‘the bowl’ or from over indulging in ‘a bowl’ of that famous Cincinnati chili! Rumor control. :smilielol5:

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