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Posted: Tue May 23, 2006 10:25 pm 
Oompa Loompa
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Age: 39

Posts: 47

Joined: 14th Nov 2005

Location: Geelong
VIC, Australia

Not sure how many of you are aware of 'The Car Show' on Channel 9 on wednesday night, but about a month ago I received a phonecall from a gentleman asking if I'd like to be a part of a special called 'The Yokohama Hot Laps' they're filming focusing on testing different vehicles, people etc.

Graham Berry from Volvrek had passed on my phone number and details.
Naturally I accepted and went to the filming today where they put the car through its paces.

The day consisted of a photo shoot, timed 1/4 mile and a timed lap of the calder park short track. I've run the long track before which is fun but the short track is fantastic!

The filming consisted of interviews with each of us talking about our cars, about how we went on each 1/4 mile run and the time circuit run.

I learned that I'll never be a decent drag racer. Today was the first time I'd ever had the 240 at the strip.
Combine a terrible launch, wheelspin (still running an open diff unfortunately), clutch slip, poor reaction time and a slippery track and it makes a nice recipe for an 18.2 second and an 18.01 second run.

Some of you are familiar with the car, and in its current guise I'm confident it'll do a high 15.x as it sits, in the right hands of course. - I was really the one letting it down.

An R32 skyline GTR did a 13.6x, a 2001 WRX hatch did a mid 15 second run and the Ford Escort (early 80s model, well restored, etc) did a 17.x

Not a good start to the day. I have a newfound appreciation for drag racing launch technique.

We next did a short 5 lap session on track, practising for the timed laps which were still to come.

Next it was off to getting the car fitted out with cameras. They setup a camera pointing back at the driver, to show gear changes, steering wheel input etc, as well as mounted a camera on the side of the car on a boom.

With the car fitted with all the camera gear it was time to take on the track again.
I've never done the Calder Park short track before so was still working out where to brake, where I could get on the power again, decent lines, etc

We made a couple of minor changes last night to the car, added 3 deg advance on the adjustable timing gear (on what qutie an aggressive cam), softened up the front shocks a tiny bit (koni sport adjustables) and messed around a little with tyre pressures in an effort to get more rear traction.

This session consisted of one warm-up lap, three flying laps and one slow down lap.
Warm up lap:
everything feels fine, still trying to get used to the cameras in the car, picking nice lines, working out what to use as braking markers.

1st lap:
fantastic. car feels awesome. Pulls REALLY strong on corner exit, turn 1 is a little slippery on exit, apply opposite lock, everything is fine. Lap feels fast.

2nd lap:
Even better, brakes are hot enough and are really working well, car is well balanced, if a little twitchy, even more sure that the 3 deg of adv on the cam was a great idea. Very responsive. Got deeper into turn one, get on the power earlier, apply more opposite lock, rest of the lap is really tidy. Contemplate a smaller rear swaybar.

3rd lap:
Come onto the start/finish straight quicker than previously, good exit to the last turn, car runs out wide, up through the 'box changing up at about 5600rpm.
Entry to turn one is brilliant, car feels amazing, get on the power early, rear end steps out, applying opposite lock, still feeding on throttle. Rear end steps out further, apply more lock and more throttle, further still, more lock.... no more lock left.... spin, spin, grab the clutch (start laughing to myself), spin off onto the infield (at I guess about 120kmh), come to rest, grab first gear and head off the grass and back onto the track.

Thats the end of that run.
Back on the track, realise that the cameras are still rolling. This is going to be on national tv!
Get back to the pits, still laughing.

The Film crew thought it was fantastic, and were happy to see someone trying.

This was my first big spin/off track excursion in about 3 years (last big off was at Sandown in early 2002), so I guess its been a long time coming.

The other cars went through their paces without incident.

My timed session was brilliant, didnt overdrive the car, it felt slower (which usually happens when you have a good run) and placed me 2nd overall for the day with 56.15sec, behind the R32 (52.x) and in front of both the WRX and the Escort.

Later in the afternoon David Morley, who writes for 'Motor' magazine and is the host asked if he could take my 240 out for a session as he said it looked like a fun car.
Naturally I obliged, its nice to have someone who drives new sports cars, track cars, performance cars, etc be interested enough to take a '90 240 on for a track session.
He did 5 laps or so (and launched it better than I could on the drag - unfortunately this wasnt timed) and came back in with a huge smile on his face and said "I wouldnt have believed how good that is if I hadnt driven it"

This brought a huge sense of pride over me, as its fantastic to hear that sort of feedback, about a car we've worked so hard to build and also made me very proud that the parts we (DVS) produce can transform a car into such a great-handling vehicle.

We both thought the same things about where it could be improved, ie. too much rear brake (which will be resolved with the new mazda rx7 brake conversion) and it could benefit from a smaller rear swaybar. - Also a good feeling to have the same feelings about a car as someone who drives for a living.

The Yokohama Hot laps will be shown on tv over 13 weeks and a winner will be announced at the end. Its judged by dividing the fastest laptime by the fastest 1/4 mile time for each car, and the car with the lower figure (hot lap quotient) at the end wins.
This puts me in a nice position again due to such a poor effort on the 1/4 mile.

For more info, visit http://thecarshow.carpoint.com.au/

Click on Late night edition and Scroll down to 'Yokohama Hot laps'

Since I was driving for a lot of the day I dont really have many pics, but I'll have a dvd of all the footage and some pics when they send it out and hopefully I'll be able to let you all know when the episode I'll be in will be on tv.

Heres a pic with me being interviewed, surrounded by all the cameras, etc with the car parked on the drag strip.

Image

It was a fantastic day and very well organised. We all had great fun.

** If you want details of the car, I have posted them up previously so you could do a quick search. I'll post them again in this thread if anyone is interested.

 

_________________

DVS Performance Parts
http://www.dvs.net.au

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