The 5th round of the Italian Time Attack championship was held last weekend at Varano circuit, which is about 1 hour south from Milan. The little track is hidden away in a valley next to a river. Despite being quite small they’ve made good use of the space and created a cool little track with lots of chiccanes, which I love, and good curbs, which I also love.

Not many changes had been made to the car since Adria, just the addition of the Toyo R888s at the rear, so finally going back to a balanced setup, and the fire extinguisher in the car. I turned up the boost a little too from 0.7bar to around 0.85bar so I’m no longer the car with the lowest power to weight ratio :). I was planning to go to 1 bar but with the heat that we had on the day I decided to hold back; 40C pretty much throughout the day. Cars are not meant to run in these conditions.

The first 3 sessions, practice and qualifying, went well without any problems. Took me at least 2 sessions to actually learn the track and I actually improved by 7 seconds over course of 1 session.

The Superlap race ended up being a bit of a disaster though. Opening lap went ok, then on the second lap (which was my fastest) two FIATs caused me some trouble. A WRC2 looking Punto blew up in front of me, likely due to the heat, then a X1/9 went off into the gravel at the exit of a turn so I had to stay tight for safety.

The session was then red flagged to clean up the FIATs. We are supposed to get 5 flying laps during the Superlap, but when we restarted we only got one more so 3 total, and I got held up by a WTCC Chevy which I stupidly let by thinking he’d be much faster. So a 1:23.7 was the best time during the Superlap but I think I could have easily managed a 1:22 without those problems.

Fire was seen all day from my exhaust apparently.

RWD CLUB championship leader following during the Superlap.

McDonalds racing team.

Frankenstein’s X1/9

July 14, 2015

This wild creation took me and I’m sure a lot of people by surprise the first time they saw it. I wasn’t even sure what it was until someone told me. Once a FIAT X1/9, now a mad time attack/hill climb beast. The amount of character infused in this machine was incredible; you can see the long and laborious development of the car like counting the seasons on a cut tree trunk. New parts bolted onto others and plastered everywhere to improve the performance of the car.

The owner of the car must have been in his sixties but looked to be as passionate and enthusiastic about building and racing his creation as a teenager.

The most striking things about the car, other than the entire thing itself, were the numerous aero additions. The whole front had been reshaped into a proper wedge, with two striking “sails” on the front. These were controlled with what I believe were cables off the steering wheel to guide the car through turns like rudders!

White at the back a bordello of wings and winglets making up this gargantuous sculpture of a spoiler. DRS style activation with what I presume to be more cables operated from the cabin. The interior was an organised mess of wires, levers and mechanisms to operate all the dynamic aero. The wings mounted onto wings was almost amusing but boy was this thing fast.

The power came from a naturally aspirate R1 engine, helping with the extreme light weight nature of the car. Hearing it scream went perfectly with the overall appearance of the car.

Years of racing and modifications have taken a toll on what was the original frame, and condition. There was so much going on that he was probably the only man in the world that new what was what and how it worked.

Seeing creations like these really does put a smile on your face and shows you that no matter what visions you have, you should just do it. Fuck it, its awesome. Put another little wing on it, or small invention. This thing was like a brain storm gone hurricane. I expect it to have something new at the next round of Time Attack.

July 12, 2015

A couple of updates before the next time attack event at Varano. Got a couple of R888s for the rear wheels so will be back to running a balanced setup.

Although they are the same size as the RE002 I had on before but the tread is much beefier and I now have some rubbing issues. So I’ve rolled the fenders a bit more and actually lifted the ride height by a few mm to see if it helps. The rear ride height needed a bit of lifting anyway as the car was sagging a bit in the back. Also got a fire extinguisher in the car for any unforeseeable events.

Official video of the Adria round.

Thanks to Situazione Track Day Italia for the photo.

And AB Garage Engineering for these.

One fast little CRX!

Took a look at Cambiocorse’s Rocket Bunny kitted 200SX RPS13. A full contender in the TAI championship.

I competed in the latest round of the Time Attack Italia championship at Adria. The day started out late with the official event starting at 5pm, thus allowing the cars to run late into the night after some practice. I finished putting the car together that morning after having some problems getting the new 350Z braking system to feel right; spent a lot of time bleeding the brakes and ultimately managed to get them to a reasonable state.

Took just less than 3 hours to get to Adria from Bergamo and we were surprised by a pretty serious storm when approaching the track, but luckily by the time things kicked off on track the surfaces were dry again thanks to the summer heat. The scene was really impressive at Adria with 120 cars competing and some serious entries. My 2 man show (my Dad was there to help me) with a back up saloon car was pretty primitive compared to how a lot of people had come prepared.

As mentioned in other posts the car has recently gone through a bit of work and upgrade and this was going to be first time I’d drive the car in a while and test it out. The road to the track was my shakedown and brake bedding in trip, and I’m glad I made it down there in one piece.

A rough summary of what condition the car is in:

Stock SR20DET with 0.7bar T28 – 200hp approx.
1260kg approx. weight with stripped interior

For the tires I had a difficult choice to make; I could have stuck with the Bridgestone RE002 on all four corners and had a balanced setup, but I also had 2 Toyo R888s lying around. I decided to put the R888 on at the front and get a bit more grip as I can always do with more front grip! The car still felt quite balanced and had little to no understeer.

The event was setup with 3 practice sessions then a 5 lap Superlap shoot out. The best lap from the Superlap going towards your final position. The 3 practice sessions were quite short at around 15min on average. I competed in the Club RWD which is for street legal cars with stock turbo and injectors and up to 255 width semi slicks. The Club RWD Pro is the next class up but I couldn’t compete with them yet, need a lot more power.

In the end I finished second in my class (out of only 3 cars), approximately 1 second behind first. The other 2 cars were S2000s. My preliminary time is 1:36.95 as the official result times haven’t been posted yet.

Photos by Tony Smith.

Overall had no major problems with the car and didn’t really have to touch the car between sessions. Had a little rubbing early on as this was a new wheel setup, which required the front fenders to be pulled out a bit. You can tell from the video that some rubbing remained.

I now look forward to the next event in July at Varano!

After 3 months of downtime the Great Danton is finally back on the road, in fact it was finished the morning before going to Adria. The main objective of the work was to restore the rear suspension and fix a few other items throughout the car.

The biggest work and item was the rear sub-frame and suspension arms. A new subframe was restored and coated, then assembled to the car with Driftworks Poly subframe bushes. The diff bushes were also upgraded to solid Alu types from Driftworks. The traction, camber and toe arm were replaced with Driftwork’s adjustable units. The rear studs were replaced, while everything was out, to longer versions; now common with the front. This allowed me to run my 10mm spacers at the rear, while at front I got 15mm hubcentric spacers from Sparco. There’s a bit of rubbing but not too excessive.

The interior was stripped, leaving just the dash, door cards and lining. Jack, spare wheel and antenna also went.

At the front the wheels were changed for 18″ x 9″ +27 Rota G-Force. The overall setup is 18×9 +12 Front (including the spacers) and 18×8.5 +20 Rear (including spacers). 245/40s all round. I like the reverse stagger; the wider front track really balances the car.

The front braking system was also upgraded with 350Z Brembo calipers with Ferodo DS2500 pads. Tarox F2000 discs. Braided conversion hoses from Apex Performance. With this new setup the braking performance is greatly improved and was a necessity as the standard system really doesn’t have much power.

In the engine bay the turbo has been rid of the snapped bolts and fixed and a Driftworks Super Cool rad has been installed.

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