Tag Archives: IndyCar race

Big racing weekend

There are a bunch of races on the tube this weekend, trucks tonight, Xfinity series tomorrow, and F1, Monster Energy, and Indy Car on Sunday. Indy Car is deciding their champion Sunday, Xfinity series is starting their playoffs and the trucks are setting their playoff contenders tonight. Racing inspires me when I’m building my TGS2, but I don’t get any direct transfer from their designs. Detail touches sure, but nothing major can transfer because of the vastly different technology in my car and all of those race series. I think the closest is Indy Car or F1 because of the mid-engines, but with the tubular beam front axle and de Dion rear suspension on my car compared to the 4-wheel independent suspension on those cars, and my engine being transverse and their engines being longitudinal, and I have a 4-sp automatic and they have 6 to ? speed manual or semi-automatic transmissions. Like I said, details, details.

I have been following a YouTube series on building an Australian rules Formula Vee and I have to say their rules are a wild combination of ancient suspension geometry and frame, and modern aerodynamics. And the tires are completely different from the spec tires used in the US. Like I said, interesting and something to add to the data bank even when there is no direct transfer to my car. I like to learn as much as possible because you just never know when something you learned is going to come in handy. And that doesn’t just apply to cars. Sioux, that one’s for you.

One of the things I have been thinking about was extending and smoothing the front contours of the body for more room in the cockpit and better aero for freeway fuel economy. I have some options on that, because I can either put a big fuel tank behind the driver, or two smaller tanks on either side of the driver in a more supine driving position for less frontal area. The single tank behind a more upright driver is better for Goodguys autocross and SCCA Solo racing, but the laydown position gets better fuel economy and isn’t a very big handicap for autocross and Solo. Final analysis it depends on personal preference, my personal preference. And I prefer to sit more upright and be able to see my outside front corners, plus the single tank costs a ton le$$ than the two tank setup, because the single tank is a stocked item in several retail sellers, while the dual tanks would be custom job$.

Something else to consider is the adaptability of the cockpit to different drivers. The supine driving position requires lots of changes between drivers unless they are practically identical twins where the more upright position just needs to change the seat insert and maybe the steering wheel when changing drivers. I’m thinking about changing drivers because I want to have a pro driver to get the most out of the car at Goodguys, and I have a friend who’s a decent driver and probably wants to get behind the wheel in competition, too. So I really need a cockpit that is adaptable to different drivers without major disassembly.

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This will be a long day

I’m posting this right before midnight local time after finishing my walk(s). Technically I took two walks as recorded by my workout tracker because instead of pausing I ended the workout when I was getting stuff from the store and started a new one after I left. There are contests I’m entered in that count up to 2 workouts a day at least 20 minutes long and no more than 4 hours long, and walking back from the store is right at 25 minutes depending on how I catch the lights. I just qualified for the drawing in the one contest, but still have a ways to go in the other. One gets me free Subway food and some other stuff, the other gets me Red Bull, and a bunch of other stuff, and I just qualified for the Subway drawing.

Anywho, getting to why Sunday will be a long day, there are 3 world-class races spread over the day tomorrow. Starting at 0700 tomorrow is the Monaco Grand Prix, and about the time they get through the podium festivities there, the pre-race for the Indianapolis 500 starts at 1000 local. That runs through 0200 scheduled and we have a break until 1600 for the pre-race for the Coca-Cola World 600 from Charlotte NC, and that race is scheduled to run until 2100. That’s 12 hours of racing spread out over 14 hours of the day. And it starts about 5 hours before I normally get up. Fortunately we have coffee after I did my walk to the store. I have the feeling I will be drinking most of a pot trying to stay awake if the races are boring.

Of the races the only one I don’t know the pole sitter is Monaco, the only news I got was that Lewis Hamilton is not on the pole for the race. For Indy Ed Carpenter will lead the field to the green, and Kevin Harvick will be leading the zeroth lap at Charlotte.

Happy Memorial Day.

I’m fading here…

They’re 100 miles into the World 600 and I’m having problems staying awake. Not because the race is boring, but because this is my third race of the day after the Monaco GP and the Indy 500. After the wet race at Monaco, and the 100th running of the Indy 500 being won by a rookie my adrenal glands have burnt out and I’m about to drop… There is a limit to how much excitement a human being can endure.

PSA, Opus

I had an RPG yesterday and “other stuff”

The “kinky RPG” group met yesterday, so my Warlock5 in that game got to get some exercise. Since this was the “kinky” game and this is (mostly) a family-safe blog I won’t be recounting this game session. That means we have to talk about the “other stuff” going on in my life.

The main thing going on right now is “Arthur, Arthur Dent” taking over from “Chris Christie” on the back of my neck. “Arthur, Arthur” is much better behaved than “Chris” ever was. As a matter of fact, the biggest problem with “Arthur, Arthur” is all the loose skin wrinkling up the incision site, followed closely by all the steri-strips getting all crumpled up over the incision. The combination is not very comfortable, but stilllll, orders of magnitude better than having the lump sitting on the back of my neck. I finally got all of the adhesive residue off from the dressing they put on after the surgery which was the most aggravating thing I had before. And when having a layer of sticky, gummy, residue on the back of your neck is the most aggravating thing about your surgery, your life is relatively fantastically great. I mean think about it: “The back of my neck is all sticky” compared to “I have a huge lump on the back of my neck and I can’t look up or to the side” is a massive upgrade in the quality of my life.

So, other stuff going on, I’m trying to get back on a bike, any bike. I have Blue “up on jacks” in the garage for repairs, and all Francis/es needs is the tires pumped up as soon as I can get the pump to it I’ll be able to ride it. I’m still not “clear” to ride until after they pull the stitches out tomorrow, and I’m just aching to get one out and ride it. But I will have to wait another day. Talk about anticipation!

And there was an interesting collection of racing on the tube today, GRC from St. Petersburg FL, Sprint Cup from Dover DL, and Indy Car from Belle Isle in Detroit MI. Ken Block (of Gymkhana video fame) won the GRC race, Jimmy Johnson won the Sprint Cup race, and Sebastien Bourdais won the Indycar race in Detroit that was shortened by numerous yellow flags and one red flag. Several cars ran out of fuel on the cooldown lap after the race with the winner running out of fuel during the victory donuts in the IndyCar race. That’s cutting the fuel mileage really close.

And I have to go to a church meeting now, so I’m stopping here.

PSA, Opus

Weather has effected my TV watching on a Wreck-Free Sunday

Well I was going to be watching the Spring Bristol Sprint Cup race right now, but they are swimming around the half-mile oval where the cars should be running. But no problems, this lets me take in the delayed USCC race from Long Beach while switching back and forth with the IndyCar live broadcast from the same venue. I like the LB course as a spectator with combination of fast “straights” and very slow corners that require lots of braking giving lots of chances for passing. This makes for exciting race watching, sometimes fun for the drivers if you have good brakes and lots of grip, or a kind of living purgatory if any of those are marginal. Oh and the reason I put “straights” in quotes is because most of the fast straights have slight curves or kinks in them, especially Shoreline Drive. That kink in Shoreline Drive would be a numbered turn on any other course, but on LB it’s just another part of the “straight”.

I have been still working on the Sprint T. I am working on a complete revamp of the bottom of the car to improve aero, rigidity, and ground clearance. The “problem” I was running into in the first run-through of the frame was the firewall is 22″ (55.88 cm) or 23.5″ from the bottom of the frame rail for the first iteration. This leads to problems with the engines I’m looking at using fitting under the hood. The 5.0 Coyote Ford is 28.89″ tall, the 383 Chevy is 25.4″ without the air cleaner, the 302 Ford pushrod is 27.5″ tall, the LS3 is 28.25″ or 25.25″ with the dry sump, and the Hemi Crate engine is 34″. None of those will fit under the hood without dropping the bottom of the engine below the bottom of the frame. So, the bottom of the frame to the top of the firewall has to be about 30″ to get the engine enclosed by the hood, which means the frame has to be 8″ from the bottom to the mounting flange for the body. This translates to a fabricated tub to hold the body up or a full length light sheetmetal tub instead of the 1.5″ square tube lower frame rail. This will help on the interior space considerably, changing the driving position from “go-kart” to a little more chair like. The challenge will be keeping the weight down without compromising safety or rigidity. I’m thinking really light gauge sheetmetal with 0.125″ doublers where the roll cage hoops and the front and rear frame clips tie in. Or maybe extending the tub to completely replace the front clip. I’ll have to calculate if there is a weight benefit either way. There is a tiny benefit in rigidity by making the tub full length, but not enough to make a difference on the track. Going from a 1.5″ to an 8″ frame rail would normally cause a huge change in stiffness, but because I’m using the roll cage as a vertical member with the fore and aft braces as the upper frame rail that change is swallowed up by that huge increase in stiffness of making the upper frame rail on the outside of the roll cage.

After re-reading the previous paragraph I decided I needed to do a quick mockup of the seating with the 8″ body raise, and it drastically reduces the distance from the seat back to the pedals. That means no “go-kart” driving position, and someplace to put my feet comfortably for long trips. It also means there is room to put the battery under the passenger seat without any problem. This changes the relationship of the body to the wheels to almost identical to the Speedway series of kits, but with a much stiffer frame and more interior space because the floor is the same height as the bottom of the frame while the seat is in the same place relative to the top of the body. Of course if you put some skid plates under the frame you could mount the battery under the passenger seat on the Speedway kits too. It would just require a lot more work to protect the battery from getting hit. This way protects the battery and gives me more legroom all in the same operation and hopefully without weight penalty.

And to wrap this up, they finished the Bristol race, and Matt Kenseth won at 2130 with a 1100 scheduled start, the jet dryers did more laps than the race cars. Congratulations to the Dollar General team on winning the Bristol 511 (lots of caution laps after the last wreck) from the pole. If you want to know the rest of the finishers I suggest looking up the results on one of the sports web sites.

PSA, Opus

Binging on car races, on a Wreck-Free Sunday

I like motorsport. Put 4 wheels and a motivator on it and make more than one of them and compete against each other and I’ll watch it, or participate if I can. And so far I watched the Sprint Cup race live from down the road in Ft. Worth, then the F1 race from China, then after morning service was the IndyCar race from NOLA Motorsports park over in LA.

Working backwards, the race in NOLA was mostly a parade behind the pace car as it was a wet race with streams crossing the track but dry in other places, and they did not have a tire combination that could deal with the conditions. Intermediates wore out too quickly, but slicks hydroplaned across the streams. I think the longest green flag run was maybe 3 laps before someone would either run over another car or slide off the track in a bad place and require a rescue. The carnage was massive. IndyCar is running with the same chassis as last year, but the engine package you choose dictates the bodywork you run. So it’s possible to identify which engine a car is running this year by only being able to see the sidepod in front of the rear wheel, or the wing package on the back bumper. The front wing is different, but I can’t tell the difference in the shots I saw today. BTW James Hinchcliffe managed to parlay good pit work and timing to get to the front of the pack and avoid the carnage behind him to win the race.

That takes us to the fun in Shanghai for the Chinese Grand Prix. There were some wrecks but compared to the IndyCar race later in the day it was almost pristine. There were lots of wheel-to-wheel battles in the pack, but up front it was a tactical battle between Mercedes and Ferrari, which was won by Mercedes with Lewis Hamilton driving the winning car and Nico Rosberg driving the second Merc to second place. It was a great race to watch.

That backs us up to the Sprint Cup race. Now THAT was a race! Lots of passing, lots of pit tactics, some rubbing in the turns at over 180 MPH in spite of the fact that there were 4 separate lines through the turn that all went to the same place at the end of the turn. That caused some beating and banging. Jimmie Johnson won through a combination of adjusting the car to take advantage of changing track conditions, sharp pit work, hard driving and mistakes on the parts of other teams. The level of reliability displayed in the race was nothing short of astounding with 30 cars finishing on the lead lap of a 500 mile race. Read that again, that wasn’t 30 cars on the track at the end of 500 miles, that was 30 cars on the freaking LEAD LAP, out of 43 starting. I don’t think anyone had a mechanical DNF, everyone who dropped out had a wreck of some kind or blew a tire. The tires are designed to wear out and not running the tires ragged is part of racing Sprint Cup these days.

And tonight’s evening service was also good, as we focussed on the archetype of Death. The Shoe Hiding Fairy was merciful this week and only moved the young lady’s shoes a small distance away from her chair. I knew it was coming and was watching for it, but I still missed seeing the SHF moving the footgear.

And I’m ready to end this post now, because I need to get ready for tomorrow when I go to the tax preparer. A significant chunk of the paperwork needed for this trip is on my hard drive, so I can’t pre-filter the links and leave them up while I compose the post tomorrow, I have to wait until I get home from doing my taxes.

PSA, Opus the Poet