Thursday PM: Spent about 5 hours doing final prep and packing. Minor issue was when the doors were shut and locked on the trailer, but the key would not open the drivers door anymore. The passenger door was blocked by the trailer and the car was in gear. Trunk was screwed shut. Ended up using a rake to knock it out of gear, then used another truck to drag it off the trailer so we could open the passenger door. Super sketchy because noone was in the car and could not apply the brakes. If it started to roll away, we would have to pick it out of the willamette! After that we didn’t lock the doors anymore. And the glass had to come out anyway we found out later.
Friday AM: Drove to the track and started prepping for tech inspection. Had to remove the window glass which we overlooked. Apparently you have to drill out rivets to remove which seems insane. Also did some more foam over sharp edges and taped over headlights. Surprisingly passed tech first time which was a relief.
Each driver had to get in the car and check radio was working in the headset, belts fit and could be tightened. Getting in and out is really a 3 person job. One on each side assisting with the belts because the neck restraint and helmet made it really difficult to see inside the cabin. Here is doug strapped up
will doing some minor wiring soldering off the truck battery
I went out first stint at about 9:50, ten minutes before green flag. It is rolling start so first ten minutes were under full course yellow, single file around 30-40 mph. Car felt good, much better than I was expecting. Brakes grabbed hard. With stock suspension on a stripped car made it ride high and have lots of body roll. Weight transfer was very pronounced so left/right moves and braking really made the car react. Very controllable however and with V6 it was easy to power early out of the corners. However nearly every other car was way up on power and it was impossible to keep up on the straights. I was blasted by a westfalia with a WRX drivetrain which really took the wind out of my sails. Not many people were braking hard and in the corners the mustang was OK.
Unfortunately I forgot to put the gopro in. At 10:30 I finished first stint and chris got in. At 11, we radio to Chris to come back to box, and he says car is dead and knocking, and temp gauge is buried in the red. Push it into our stall and realize it is absolutely toasted. Let it cool for 45 minutes and start refilling the radiator. As we refill the fresh water hits pocket of hot engine and instantly boils making a volcano out the radiator cap. We refill as best as we can and start it and take it for one lap and the temp gauge is still running in the red and its pushing water out the overflow. We hypothesize the radiator is plugged or water pump is broke and it keeps overheating.This was incorrect… During troubleshooting we cranked the engine with the cap off and the coolant blows right out the radiator. By process of elimination, one spark plug at a time, we find the head gasket is blown for 5/6 cylinders, connecting the combustion chamber with the water jacket. Any time we refill the radiator it blows it out the overflow, or burns it and shoots it out the back. I was amazed it ran at all.
At this point we knew she was cooked, so can’t make it worse. The other guys did some laps 3-4 at a time and refilled water each time. Near the end it was burning a quart of water per lap. Dave was last up and we told him to take it to the limit. Still got to 85mph on the front straight on his last lap… Leaking every fluid from every seal and smoking everywhere. It was a warning to the other teams, clanking and knocking, sputtering water as it made its pass through pit lane before dying and never starting again.
Saturday PM: Push the dead car on the trailer and back to PDX
September: V8 Swap
October: Lucky Dog @ PIR
Things learned: Bring generator and work lights. Get a better pit spot. We were off to the side and didn’t get to socialize with the other teams too much. otherwise I think we did pretty well for our first time.