July 14, 2016

Some additional photos from Imola.

Look at that body-roll! Needs to be addressed.

I love seeing these sorts of cars at tracks, as for me the mid to late 90s Super 2000 touring cars are some of the best looking and coolest race cars that have been produced to this day. This ex-touring car is now living the time attack life and I’m sure it’s a fantastic platform for a street based time attack machine. Luckily it was parked up and had most of its body panels removed giving me a chance to have a peek at some of the details.

The front has been nicely simplified and its all function! Scoops and ducts for the intake, radiator and brakes, and then a few attachment points for the front splitter. The radiator has been relocated to be right at the front of the car and actually looks a little smaller than the stock one.

The engine bay really is spectacular. The engine is incredibly low and rearward in the engine bay and it’s great to see how tidy they are. No unnecessary crap, just pure performance.
Because the engines were NA and the competition was incredibly fierce between manufactures, a lot of development is put into intake and exhaust design, resulting in an overwhelmingly big intake and plenum.

Due to the extensive lowering and 19″ wheels a lot of changes have been made to the chassis too, which you can see by all the welds present. Larger tubs, reinforced strut mounts and engine mounts and seam welds in lots of places.
I also like the removable and lightened front brace; this is something I would like to do on the Nissan.

Beautiful 2-piece discs and AP Racing calipers. Single lug nut for maximum awesomeness.

On to the interior and it’s all business. The driver sits very far back in the vehicle, almost behind the B-pillar with an extended steering wheel and dash. Floor mounted pedal box and of course, a sequential gearbox.

After finally completing (sort of) the Great Danton I was finally able to attend a round of the Time Attack Italian Championship, my first one this year and round 3 of the championship. This was always going to be a shakedown event to actually make sure the car runs ok and to ensure that all the new components are fitted and working correctly.

The day before the event I had quite a few things to sort out, most importantly a large water leak from the left side of the engine which ended up being one of the water heater coolant lines. I also had to drive the car down from Bergamo all the way to Imola so I was quite careful as it was all unknown, and I stopped a couple of times during the 3 hour trip to check fluids and so on.

This first image sums up my day quite nicely; a lot of time waiting for a session after fixing the car. I had some sort of problem during every session which meant that my actual running time on track was very limited. I would usually go out for about 2-3 laps and then find out I needed to come back in to fix it, by which point it was too late to reenter the session.

The first session I went out for about 5 laps and came back in thinking everything was ok but I had lost a nut from the power-steering pump and the belt was slipping.
In the second session all the water that was available in the sky decided to fall and the session was quickly red flagged. We were able to redo the session after it cleared but I quickly found out that I had lost a bolt on the exhaust and it was dragging.
On the third and final session before the Superlap I decided to actually push the car a bit now as I hadn’t had any chance to actually test the limits of the car and get to know the track a bit better. But at the end of the main straight on my first full power pass the splitter simply couldn’t hold on :D. At around 230km/h it ripped through the bumper and hit the ground. Luckily it had only a few grazes and was able to secure it again to the bumper with an improved mounting strategy but this wasn’t to be enough.

During the superlap on the first lap it once again came loose and started chattering. So I had to take it very cautiously around the lap and then on the second lap my car decided to have a fuelling issue, and that was the end of the day. My pace during the day wasn’t too far off the pack but at not point during the weekend was I pushing the car (posted a similar time to last year); hopefully I can get these issues sorted and hit the track again to actually see the improvements over last year.

Overall I’m actually very pleased with the day because all the issues were fairly minor and can be worked upon and the engine really went without a hitch. An engine I built completely from the ground up actually went pretty well, so it has been a huge learning experience.

Twin-Scroll GTS-t

June 3, 2016

I attended the recent Japanese Cars Meeting 2016, which has now turned into the premier JDM meeting in Italy, and I was incredibly impressed how popular and contemporary the Italian JDM scene is considering the majority of the country is more interested in European and domestic cars. Over 700 cars dropped by over the meeting with Honda being the most popular by far; there were plenty of tuned SR20s, 13Bs, B16/18s and K20s and even a few lightly tuned RB26s which are going to be very similar to most other builds, but this particular car stood out thanks to its exquisite turbo choice.

Its not a hugely powerful setup, developing just over 400hp, but the top mounted twin-scroll Borg Warner turbo must provide incredible torque and superb response. The top feed injectors were also a not so commonly seen change, where the owner decided to run Evo 560cc injectors, who happens to be Federico Sceriffo’s builder.

Would have loved to hear and experience it.

Twin external wastegate F20C. Look at the size of the turbo in comparison to the engine.

Great Danton V2

December 6, 2015

After the long season of Time Attack the Great Danton is in need of a lot of attention. The car pretty much limped home after the last round at Monza; the turbo is shot, the frame needs some work and the ball joints are done. To be honest it was all timed quite perfectly as the turbo started drooping boost on the last 2 laps of competition this year. The car is now back in the garage for the winter of work ahead.

Now its time for a good overhaul with the engine being the main priority. As the mileage on it is quite high I’ve decided to open it up and redo all the major items like bearings and gaskets, and then upgrade some of the internals to handle the added power that will come from the Garrett GT2871R turbo; pistons and conrods.

So far I’ve just been getting everything ready to pull the engine out so the rebuild can start. The only things left to do now are disconnect drivetrain items and then the SR20DET can be removed. I’m so happy the AC and brackets are now out; this thing weighs a ton and I should have done it sooner. Luckily with the engine out I’ll be able to do a better job at removing all the plumbing too.

Then there’s the old T28 turbo, which I think is the original unit, that is completely shot. The bushings have gone and there is some serious play on the main shaft. I’m surprised it’s still in one piece.

So the goals for this downtime are to upgrade the power and service some of the chassis items. With the classes in the Time Attack Italia championship getting a bit of restructuring next year I am going to need a lot more power to be competitive. 400hp should be very competitive but I will likely start out with around 340hp then work up to around 400hp through the course of the year.

The rest of the work will be restoring some of the aged parts of the frame, servicing important areas and then adding some additional aero. Some of the cars in the new class that I’ll be in (2WD Club Pro 3) have some serious aero packages and I feel like I will need something to minimise the difference. Splitter and GT wing most likely.

August 23, 2015

S L I N G S H O T