The Reemergence of Redline Time Attack

Today, I took the car to Buttonwillow for Redline Time Attack’s (re)opening event.  It rained last night and periodically during the day.  Which made for a fun, slick track, even when it was dry.  So time’s weren’t all that great, but driving in the rain isn’t something you get to do much in SoCal.  This lap had some imperfections, but was good enough for 3rd.

Turn out was good.  Looked like about 100 cars between the competitors and the “xtremespeed” track day attendees.  I think there were several people like me, who had run with Redline in their prime, and were curious to see what this event would be like.  There weren’t a bunch of high profile cars – mostly grassroots guys and a couple shop cars.  To me, that was refreshing as its where time attack began.  I’m a little over the big vinyled up crazy evos, stis, S2k’s and NSX’s. To me, for the health of time trials / time attack / solo or what ever you want to call it, organizers need to focus on getting crowds like this out to the track.  It was a mix between track regulars and some that likely wouldn’t have come if it was called something less likely to be sponsored by an energy drink.  These tracks and locations are never going to attract big spectator crowds, and print media that has covered these events in the past matters a lot less now compared to years ago.  If today was any indication of what next year will bring, there is hope yet for time attack in the US.  Results should be up soon at www.redlinetimeattack.com .

Check out the video.  Make sure to watch it in Hi Def as the default resolution isn’t that great. The data overlay was done with the Harry’s Laptimer app available in the App store, and video was shot with an iPhone 4s using an Igloo Case. Available for $59 on www.igloocase.com

Igloo Case for iPhone 4, 42, & 5

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Waiting for track time

It’s been two weeks since my last update.  A lot of planning has taken place, but not a lot of activity on the car. I refuse to change anything until we’ve had it on track to understand how it works stock.  The end of the month is the first track day I can find at Buttonwillow running clockwise configuration 13. In this entry I’ll highlight the way I made my wheel choice for the car.  Admittedly not a lot of analytical information this time, but progress is progress, right?

From my previous entries, it should be relatively self-evident that my requirements for a wheel for the FR-S are:

  1. 17×9 – wide as we can get without risking the wheels ordered not fitting
  2. Light weight – call this under 19 lbs for the size – unsprung weight is the enemy
  3. Good fitment – hellafunction, not hellaflush
  4. Good price – No wheels that cost 18% of the value of the car

What is the age old adage for race car fabrication? “Fast, Cheap, reliable – choose two”  I think the same applies to wheel options for the FR-S.  combine the 5×100 bolt pattern and my list of requirements made for few choices.  And apparently to make things worse, in Japan, all the track oriented consumers are looking for 18’s, so the the supply of 9” wide 17’s isn’t likely to change.  The only options I could find without going with a custom made wheel were:

  1. Rotas –There are a couple styles that are the right size, but luckily, as they don’t fit criteria #2, I don’t have to face the “rota debate”.
  2. Team Dynamics Pro Race 1.2 – they come in 40mm and 45mm  offsets, but are also about 20 lbs/ corner.  Not to mention they are not available in country right now so they are special order from Europe.  A rock solid wheel, but heavier than I want, even though the price is fair.
  3. Mach V Motorsports “Awesome” wheel. – 17×9, 17.8lbs, 42mm offset, $250/corner.  They come with a center cap, but no valve stems. Bingo.

Mach V Motorsports “Awesome” Wheel

The Mach V Motorsports wheel is specifically made for Subarus.  Its hubcentric for the FT86 chassis, and comes drilled for both 5×100 and 5×114.3 bolt patterns.  So if we ever do end up doing a hub conversion on this car, we can continue to use the wheels.  The Mach V wheel is a form flow cast 5 spoke design wheel.  While forged wheels are generally deemed to be lighter and more rigid, they also are way more expensive.  Dan at Mach V talked me through their design process as I am concerned about damaging wheels on track.  I wasn’t as concerned about “if” they would fail, as all wheels will with the proper FUBAR’d corner entry, but I was concerned “how” they would fail.  Cast wheels have a reputation for cracking, not bending like forged ones do. Dan assured me that during their design process, they actually added material to the spokes to increase the sheer strength and ensure safety when in use, and the form flow casting process is more reliable than the simpler casting ones used in the past. I just wanted to make sure that when damage occurs, that the barrel doesn’t leave the hub leaving me to 3 wheel the car to a stop.  These wheels fit the bill for that.  All of this, and at a price of $249 a corner, I don’t really see anything else remotely close to the performance per dollar ratio on the market.

I ordered them in flat black, but they come in a couple other finishes you can see here:

http://www.fastwrx.com/mavawwh.html

Mag Blue on the right, Brilliant Blue on the left.

I don’t do much for aesthetics for my cars, but I am considering having these wheels powder coated.  I am pretty dead set on some shade of blue.  Somewhere between Volk’s “Magnesium Blue” and “Hyper Blue”.

Here are a couple sample colors I picked up locally.  Not sure any of these are right.  I also considered a bright color, like Porsche’s Mexico Blue, but not sure.  Vote on the poll, or leave a comment.

what do you think of these color choices? Not sure if any of these are right.

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