1998 Turkey Bowl
as you all know, rich beebe and i ran the turkey bowl this past weekend. the event took place at summit point and was sanctioned by the VSCCA. there were five run groups, small bore vintage, large bore vintage, legends cars, GT pintos and club racers, although the pintos and the club cars ran together.
friday was a test day, saturday had 3 sessions, practice, qualifying, and then a 45 minute enduro. sunday was the same as saturday but the race was a 15 lap sprint instead of the enduro.
there were some really fast cars out there. i know what the back of the pack GT3 cars must feel like when running a combined IMSA event now. there i am barrelling down the main straight at 100 mph when this IMSA GTO 944 comes screaming by me at around 150mph. yikes! ditto with the ex-supercup 911 or even Stickley's supercharged '95 M3.
there were about 25 cars in our run group, i was the second slowest car out there, right behind an ITC BMW 1600-2.
i am alot faster when i'm chasing someone, seconds faster. i would run my fastest laps while chasing down that ITC car. after i had passed him my lap times would drop off. as i moved away from him, they would get even slower.
we ran the first session friday with the open diff, after which brett and bruce swapped in the welded diff brett had made. wahat an incredible difference. the car felt fantastic. i had been told by everyone that the car didn't have enough power for a locked rear and that i would get all kinds of understeer. neither problem was evident to any great extent, and the ability to put power down in the turns without wheelspin was fantastic.
saturday night's enduro was really just a testing session for us. instead of making only the single 5 minute stop required by the rules, we made three. brett played with AFM resistance settings and ignition timing at each of the stops to try to get more power. it was interesting to run in the failing light at 4:50pm with no headlights. all of my turn-in points seemed to go away in the dark. the viper was running the big xenon bulbs and would come up on me like i was standing still. more visions of what it would be like to run a slow car at daytona.
in the first practice on sunday, on the first green-flag lap, at turn 1, i went for third gear and got nothing at all. limped around the track in second, hitting the rev-limiter once or twice, and brought the car in. we had a few hours until qualifying so brett dropped the transmission, opened up the case, fixed the shift mechanism and reinstalled it. he even had time to spare for lunch. i was extremely impressed, i would have simply loaded up the trailer at that point. i remember pat saying 'i wouldn't even do that at home!'
i ran the full qualifying session despite a really strong vibration at speed. we thought it might be tire related, since i had flat-spotted my right front right down to the cords. brett made some adjustments to the shifter before the spint race, but then noticed that the drive shaft had some unusual play in it. apparently pinion bearing in the welded diff had given up the ghost, and was probably the real source of the vibration.
we learned a lot. i'm comfortable with the welded diff, but we may try a 75% LSD and see how i like that. we definately need to change ratios for summit point. right now i'm making two critical 2-to-3 upshifts during turns (1/2 and 6b/7), we think a 4.45:1 ring and pinion will solve this (we don't think 4.10:1 will be enough), anybody have one?
anyway, we packed it in and didn't run the final race sunday. had a fantastic time throughout the weekend. weather was spectacular, sixty to seventy degrees and sunny all weekend. definately running it again next year, of course it'll probably be cold and wet, but you can't have everything.