The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
29,081 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Well, I had wondered if I should go. I was asked to instruct there for the SVTOA group, they were having a big meet and track day at Buttonwillow. I had missed out on going to Buttonwillow with GGLC/Club111 and was looking forward to seeing how the Elise does on the track.

On the other hand, I was leaving for SEMA Monday morning and I needed to get a lot of things done and I also had to make sure the car was in perfect shape to show. Through a flurry of work this last week, I had the front clam winglet repaired and resprayed again...and had the front of the car's StarSheild replaced. It looked great by the way.



Anyway.. I left San Diego this morning for Buttonwillow, leaving at about 4:20am and arriving at BW at 7:40am, just in time for the instructors meeting. Then there was a driver's meeting where they discussed things, specially about not going off at Sunset. This is the turn onto the main straight. We were running Track configuration 13 CW. Seems they keep having cars try to save it after getting loose in SUNSET and then smacking into the wall.


Most drivers were in Cobras or Lightnings. I did some instruction and took my car out for a couple laps.

Well, on lap 2, I went into Sunset too hot. I was hitting 115 going into it and then braking to something less, maybe 50 or 60. It is pretty tight. On the outside of SUNSET is a lake...surrounded by mud. Two tires off and I think I can actually save it. Bobbled a bit back on and off the track and then got it straightened out. But I was blackflagged and given a wee warning. While I was trying to straighten out the car, I saw how close that pit wall really was and heard to words of my wife to not mess up the car.

Anyway... I figured out the car a lot more after a few more laps and settled into a rhythm, trying to see how deep I go... or how much speed I could carry. On the front straight, hit 120mph, brake hard into sunrise. I first was using second gear there, which put me around 7500rpm, and then decided I liked 3rd gear better. Shift into 4th and then brake hard for OFF-Ramp. Off ramp is the slowest corner and speed maintenance. I am not sure how to do this well, but I just figured don't make a mistake and set up for the next straight.

Down to second. Back to 3rd and 4th and then back to 2nd for Cotton Corners... always tricky. Very late apex set it up, but coming out of the second turn, I was always sliding a little.

Small lift for Grapevine and then back hard on the throttle in 3rd to Club Corner...small lift or flat out. The Bus Stop was in 4th gear and flat out, with a small lift at the exit to tuck in.

Riverside was throttle controlled in 4th gear with speeds around 95mph. Back to 3rd for Lost Hill with no lift on the entry of the climb, and then a tap of the brakes before cresting the hill.

Back full throttle to 4th into the sweeper. brake, downshift into 3rd. Double apex and line up the car for the esses. Esses were flat out in 3rd and then 4th gear...all the way back up to Sunset.

Some notes on the driving.

Third gear sucks to find. I don't know why, but it is not easy. No other gear at speed gives me this trouble. But I often messed up the 3rd gear up shift.

The clutch does not like being slipped because it won't last if you do. On the other hand, the car did not respond well in a few spots to dumping the clutch without at least making an attemp at rev matching.

The A048s are very nice and sticky street tires. I thought they were very predictable. I still ran them higher pressures than most people suggest. I might try the lower pressures later.

Understeer was never an issue. A little oversteer was. Most of the time, it is surprising how well you "catch" it when the back end steps out.

I went out with the advanced drivers group, with some concern. There were a lot of cars on racking slicks and with 600+ horsepower and gutted interiors. Real race cars. And some daily drivers with experienced racers in SVT Cobras. I didn't see the race cars much, I was not able to catch them, and I guess they never caught me. Maybe I was just lucky.

But I did reel in every other SVT Cobra in front of me. You can see them out-accelerate me (but not by much) but I would gain a lot of ground under braking and some more in the turn. I spent a lot of time waiting for the designated passing zones to get past the other cars.

I had a blast. I didn't time my runs, since I thought on street tires, the numbers would be not relevant.

So what was the bad and ugly?

On the way home on south I-5, the truck in front of me kicked up a large tire tread behind them and I didn't have time to avoid it at 80mph. It destroyed the front grill, popped out a turn signal indicator (odd to see that tethered by it's cable and flying in the air and bouncing on my hood). I have a lot of clam damage and of course the brand new StarShield is trashed.

Sucks. I don't know if it is repairable, but I can't get it done anyways by Monday morning. If nothing else, I need a grill, because putting a grill in there will cover a lot of the damage. One or two of the grill mounting holes are ripped out too.

Crap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,343 Posts
:eek:

Ugh! Realy sorry to hear that. :(

Still gonna take it to SEMA?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,357 Posts
Ugh... a sh*tty ending to a brilliant day. :(

Can you borrow a car for SEMA?

I wish there was something I could do to help, but it doesn't do much good to be 500 miles away.

Kiyoshi
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
29,081 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, I have to go to SEMA. Thousands and thousands of dollars have been spent.

Just not sure how I should handle it. It is not automatic that if the car is not perfect, it can't go. But it certainly detracts from the booth right now.

I am thinking I can call Lotus (LCU). As I understand, Clyde, English and someone else (Hale?) are coming to SEMA. Maybe they can bring a grill? Or maybe Clyde can overnight one on Monday to my hotel? Or maybe I can just borrow someone's grill.

With a grill back installed, it would cover up some of the damage.

The other option is to take Jim's (jplotus) offer, if he is really willing to let me have the car from Monday night until Friday night.

In this thread, he offered to let me use his car.
http://www.elisetalk.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=7033
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
29,081 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
ack

Besides what you can see in the pic, there is damage/cracks on the bottom.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
29,081 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Underneath

.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,577 Posts
If ever there was a time for Voodoo, that time is now. Your car is clearly cursed! That sucks Randy. I'm sorry to see it happen to you. I'm sure that you'll be loaned a fresh car for SEMA. It's the least the community can do for you. I wish that I was in a position to help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Randy... UGH! That sucks in a fierce kind-of way. I'm sorry that such a thing had to happen.

Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,270 Posts
Randy, sorry for such a rotten end to such a great day. I'm with borrowing a car. The Elise will get quite a bit of attention on the street, in a convention, under the spot light? It'll be positively swamped. Considering that it's such an important annaul event and what you have tied into the booth I'd go for the looks of the loaner to complete the package.
Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,352 Posts
Why they ever allowed retreads again is beyond me. That is THE #1 hazard on our interstate systems today. Something the size of a towel, yet with the 20x the weight.

I wonder how many people crash due to those damn things.

My father owns a trucking company, yet he chooses NOT to use retreads, and it costs him lots of money to do so.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,479 Posts
Genjuro said:
Why they ever allowed retreads again is beyond me....
I bet it's a consequence of NAFTA. As long as we must allow trucks into the country from countries with lower safety standards, it becomes financially suicidal to unilaterally place greater restrictions on domestic fleets. Both political parties are to blame and neither wants to change it -- like placing restrictions on foreign entities to meet our domestic reqs before enterring the country.

It's an unavoidable fact in physics that every gain has a countravening loss to some extent. When gains exceed losses, you move forward. Losses, including that to human lives, are unavoidable. But extra, avoidable, losses are sometimes permitted for other overall gains -- a form of sacrifice. Few of our intelligentsia will discuss such losses, especially human lives, in blunt terms though, so these trade-offs are rarely seen. Most of us take our talking points from the "experts" rather than consider the details and their consequences that sometimes confront us -- like what led up to Randy's experience here. And our public schools systems are designed, with its unique approach to discipline, to keep us from opening issues on our own. The worst part of its dumbing down is that part which teaches us to leave everything to the experts or be punished by the administrators.

Glad you weren't hurt Randy. Were it otherwise, after the initial testimonials, you'd be treated like just another "unavoidable" statistic sacrificed to some or another policy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,315 Posts
Randy, So sorry to hear about your car, what a dreadfull and to a fun day. I hope it is repairable.
I am glad you mentioned the 3rd gear upshift as I am having trouble doing that quickly too.
Good luck with SEMA.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
29,081 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Update to note that I have a grill being delivered from LA Monday morning. Jim, I am trying to clean up the car today to see if looks okay (enough)... I think it will.

Or we put a potted plant in front of it. :)

Argh... I guess it could have been worse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
That's a bummer, Randy...I had the same thing happen to me in my MR2 down in SD on the 52 in July , but instead of tire tread it was a big piece of wood. :eek: I had no chance of avoiding it...took out my foglight, broke a chunk off the bumper, and bent my a/c condenser and radiator a bit. Good to hear you'll have the car taken care of for SEMA though!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
29,081 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I have some video of some of the laps at Buttonwillow. It may have to wait until after SEMA though to put them up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,308 Posts
Come on Randy, post the videos! It's not like you have S&%t to do! (J/K) Sorry about the bad luck man! I'd say make some stickers to cover things up but it's obvious that time isn't on your side. I'd send my grill out to you but it looks like you've got that option covered already. How about putting a CHASECAM banner right in front of the car? Good luck, I wish I could make it out to SEMA but it's not going to happen this year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,607 Posts
Personally I think the battle scars make the car look BETTER for what you're doing with it. Chasecam is for "working cars" and people who like to go out and have fun.

There will be a million other cars at SEMA, all shiny and fresh and clean. Heck, after awhile I get tired of looking at em!

If I saw a lovely yellow exotic with some battle scars on it I'd be MORE APT to come into your booth to take a look around. I'd think, wow, look at that expensive exotic car that actually gets raced! I'd come in to look at it, ask about what happened, and then view your product.

Heck,ductape it up! I'd play it up to the max. Its a RACE CAR!

Either way, hope it all works out!
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top