Last night I competed at WSID for the second time in this car. The aim was to run in the 12s but unfortunately it was a night of frustration.

My best results last time were a 13.4 ET, 107 mph trap speed and 2.2 60 ft time.

The first run had a half decent launch, matching my best 2.2 60 ft. Everything was OK until I missed 4th gear twice. I crossed the line in 13.416 @ 105.06 mph, which matched my best ET was last time. This was encouraging as it proved the car was faster. A significant improvement was on the cards. The Nistune trace shows a bit of bog down off the line (purple line) and then the missed shift in the middle.

040117_1

Run 2 was better. The launch had a bit more bogging down, but then the rest went as planned, completing the quarter in 13.198 @ 111.36 mph. A better launch would have snagged a 12 second pass for sure. The increased mph was evidence of the car’s improved potential. For this log I remembered to connect the wide band input, which is shown in green. Mixtures are steady at around 11.5, with a slight rich spot after each gear change.

040117_2

Run three gave me the best launch I’d ever had. I had the perfect amount of wheel spin to keep the revs up and got out of the hole really well. Comparing the purple trace below to the first and second runs above shows the smooth transition after I released the handbrake. rpm is horizontal and then climbs nicely as the car accelerates. a 2.1 60 ft time proves this.

The car in the left lane was a Volkswagen which also got a great launch (slightly better than me). We were within a car length for most of the track, in fact I believe I was slowly gaining as the time slip indicates I was travelling faster at the 1/8 mile. In my head I knew I was about to crack the 12s for the first time and achieve my goal. Then it all went wrong.

I had increased the boost a tiny amount between runs, which triggered the over boost safety cut of 22 psi on the Turbosmart eBoost controller. I noticed the ‘oBs’ warning flashing in the corner of my eye mid pass. This will shut off the solenoid so the wastegate runs at spring pressure (14.7 psi). The real disaster came when I again missed 4th gear twice in a row. The trace below shows the agonising moments lost as I grinded the gear box. By then I had lost so much speed I only crossed the line in 13.361 @ 98.24 mph. The Volkswagen ran a 12.718. I think I would have run a 12.8 at worst judging based on the fact my 1/8 mile (half track) time was more than 3 tenths quicker than the 13.198 run. Needless to say I was really frustrated.

040117_3

There remained a 4th run, but that’s where the night got even worse. I got a bit too much wheel spin off line, and with it some axle tramp. The engine cut out after about 50 m. I put in the clutch while rolling and tried to restart it but it wouldn’t fire. Eventually I rolled to a stop at mid track and had to wait for assistance. The first worker on hand was very polite and insisted there was was no oil on the track. I was now hoping for something better than a catastrophic engine failure. A second worker arrived with a quad bike and a tow strap, and he towed me back to the pits. I seemed to be in a lot of trouble from him for not braking fast enough when he came to a stop. The brakes don’t work very well without the engine running to operate the brake booster. Despite the fact I hadn’t done anything wrong, I humbly apologised, but he just kept shaking his head at me.

I firstly checked for blown intercooler pipes, but they were all intact. I then discovered the harness plug for the coil packs had come undone, killing the ignition. The connector was always dodgy but I hadn’t cable tied it after changing the harness recently. The car fired up perfectly and I was able to drive home, which was a huge relief. A night of frustration that could have ended in disaster.

The plan is to have another go next week. Surely it’s time for me to have some luck.

040117