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Pikes Peak 2016 – Jeff Denmeade EVO 8 Race Wrapup

 

Pikes Peak 2016 Time Attack 2 Class EVO 8 driven by Australian rally driver Jeff Denmeade of Meadsports with prep and crew support by Road Race Engineering. Tuning by David Hinde of Merlin Tuning.

Jeff’s recap of race day:

After seeing that we had a small chance to take the number 2 Viper, we knew 4th place was ours to loose, a finish was more important than a fantasy. The mountain was yet to play all it’s cards, it had 10 hours left to teach some lessons.

peak

With an amazing amount of red flags that left us bewildered, with a huge amount of cars being turned around and sent back down the hill for restarts the day dragged on.

Finally the gates opened for us and we were let into the start zone area, safety checked, and given the clear order, we were now under starter orders. Revs raised, launch control enabled. Great start! The best all weekend. A good start, even on a rally usually, seemingly, sets the atmosphere for the mood for the run.

 

Concentrating on accuracy first for the lower section, quickly in 4th gear hitting all the high speed apexes, all in 4th gear. This sets the mind up for the run, accuracy first, speed second.

In all the run was effortless, even faultless, but at some point it felt like the car simply ran out of air, not pulling as strong as it did in practice, no real time to fight it, just had to keep getting it to the apexes. Suddenly cars were stopped all over the course, hoods up and steam coming out, in large places there was little grip on the pavement due to heat, brake zones were harder to read with over run forcing diving into the apexes.

Data later showed that the car ran out of air, due to a zone on the mountain where there was simply no humidity to cool the air going into the airbox, or radiator. The car became a barometer meter itself. The car spiked from 97 degrees Celsius, to a whopping 113 in this odd ‘dead-zone’. But the old dog hung in there.

Running the same specification we ran in 2010 when we won the Time attack class, even the same turbo, the old EVO proved it can run reliably, with simple ecu updates and reflashes running constant all week.

start

Typical of Pikes, we were entertained with a ice storm, then a hail storm at the top, leaving all of us to tip toe down a few miles on the ice with race rubber, when we were rounded up let loose to come down under a safety car. How we all made it down without someone sliding off is beyond me.

Only one car didn’t make up due to the storm, when the Ecoboost Mustang simply couldn’t go up the hills on the ice, at some point sliding backwards down the road, deciding to park it for safety sake.

End result, 4th, which was expected, and achieved, and not wasted. We drive the car up into the trailer on it’s own power, lock it down, and have a post race drink in the spa.

In reflection, it was an amazing year, and the team was simply the best to have around me. Mike and Matt and Bryce from Road Race Engineering in California, and our tuner David Hinde (aka Merlin) from Sydney kept the car at it’s peak, and were always ahead of the curve on anything that may have happened. We’ll be back.

Cheers to all.

Jeff

 

Final results for Time Attack 2 Production were:

1st Place Nick Robinson 2017 Acura NSX Hybrid – 10:28
2nd Place Kevin Wesley 2016 Viper ACR – 10:39
3rd Place Stephanie Reaves 2016 Viper ACR – 10:56
4th Place JEff Denmeade 2003 EVO 8 – 11:32
5th Place Fumio Nutahara 2015 GT86 12:36
DNF Kash Singh 2016 Ford Mustang

Pikes Peak 2016 – Jeff Denmeade – Middle Section Practice

Friday is the last of 4 days of practice on the mountain. For us, this was the middle section. This starts at Glen Cove just past the ski area and goes up past the tree line and through the “W”s and stops at Devils Playground. All the go up a couple minutes apart. Once all the cars go up, they clear the road and send everyone back down. The cars do any prep or changes and go back up again. We hope to get 4 or sometimes 5 runs on a short section like this. The drivers don’t get to connect the entire course until race day.

 

middle-going up

 

The car had been running fine all week. We were looking to see how the additional ducting that we had made the day before had changed. In the practice sessions we run from daybreak until 9 am. The weather is very cool. But come race day our start time wont be until about noon. And instead of running a short 4-5 mile section, we’ll be running the entire 15 mile course flat out. We wanted to compare coolant temps here with the higher to[ section that we ran earlier in the week.

 

 

We were also able to track the tire pressure at the altitude went higher to best set a start pressure. The run group that we are in has some wild cars. A good Pikes Peak car always looks like it was drawn by an 8 year old. Because of the thin air up this high, the aero is always exaggerated. You end up seeing crazy open wheel cars with giant double wings in the front and rear. Tunnels and diffusers, canards out a foot in each direction. We see the open class electric cars of Rhys Millen and “Monster” Tajima, stock cars, Mike Ryan’s Freightliner semi-truck, every concept of an open wheel car you can imagine…

Here is a video of the middle section practice run. One run, three different camera angles back to back.

 

Pikes Peak 2016 – Jeff Denmeade EVO 8 – Practice and Qualifying

As day two arrived, it was a 2:45 am wake up call to get ready to head up the mountain. It takes about a half hour to get through the gate and to the pits. Then set up, get the car and driver warmed up and be ready for the session to start as soon as it is light enough to drive without headlights. We have the Pikes Peak Highway available for practice and qualifying runs until 9 am each day. The competitors are divided into two groups of cars and one group of motorcycles and quads. Each group runs a different section of the 15 mile 152 turn course. The start line is at 9,000 feet with the finish just above 14,000 feet. The air is thin at the top!

Quali-sunrise

It often works out that you get only 2 or 3 runs on the longer bottom section. On the two upper sections you can get as many as 5 runs if everyone behaves. Today will be our day for qualifying on the bottom section.  It was the other race car group’s qualifying yesterday and will be the motorcycles for qualifying tomorrow. Early on there were some offs and mechanical break downs with the other competitors and it became clear that we would only get 2 runs. We chose to concentrate on data logging for boost and to monitor temperatures.

Quali-start line 03

Our MeadeSports/Road Race EVO 8, which was taken back to stock configuration for this year’s event put in a good effort to qualify just 1.6 seconds behind the Electric Class Tesla running in Ludicrous Mode. We had been running 3rd in our class all week during practice. Running a bit behind the 2017 Hybrid Acura NSX and the faster of the two 2016 Viper ACRs. The second 650 hp Viper ACR finally found its mountain footing this morning and we were bumped. Our qualifying time of  4:48 put us 4th in class.

Quali-merlin

In all, the team was satisfied with the running and as the times got quicker. Jeff was actually faster than he had run in qualifying in 2012 in the Australian built carbon fiber Skelta sports car.

“We take these qualifying times as an indication, but race day is so very different than practice and qualifying as we run in the heat of the day on race day, whereas qualifying is done in the cooler early morning. We have half the power of the top 3 cars now ahead of us, but the mountain saves its joker cards until race day” Jeff said. “We’re getting closer to the business end of the week of work, I’m exhausted, but excited”, Jeff went onto say.

 

Quali-times

Pikes Peak 2016 Meade Sports/RRE EVO 8 – Practice and Day 1

 

Tuesday the MeadeSports Road/Race Engineering team took use of the optional practice day to run on the bottom section to start data gathering and sighting the twisty tarmac that is this section of the spectacular Pikes Peak road. This day isn’t a mandatory day; mandatory practice starts Wednesday the 22nd.

 

01

After overnight heavy rains and storms, it was a pleasure to see the sky clear, even if it was 3 am and we were all awake getting coffee’d up, trying to look alive. By 3:30am the team was headed out the door and making way up Pikes Peak highway for practice. About 85% of the teams took advantage of the optional practice. After selecting a pit spot we waited for the 5:10 am siren to signal a start to call for cars to be lined up for practice.
Tires checked and pressures set, oil checked by the team, Jeff suited up and made his way to the start line for a simple 70% sighting run of the course to start familiarization with the twisty roads of the mountain that keeps calling him back.
The first run was simple, accurate, of sorts, and of course fun, 5:00 minutes later the run is done and Jeff’s wife Catherine is waiting at the end of the course to check tire pressures and temps. A quick turnaround and he’s back in line at the top waiting to follow everyone down the hill to start again.
The second run was only slightly quicker by several seconds with a 4:53 as the grip of the tires pushed a bit more, but nothing sacrificed, we still have a week to go before the big day.
With data gathered, for Mike from RRE and the one they call ‘Merlin’ (aka David Hinde of EVO tuning fame) we chose not to take a 3rd run, choosing to pack it up and head home for the day to do more tinkering on the car. Well, Mike and Matt from RRE did, Jeff played in the Jacuzzi with Bryce. and watched from there.
Then for the first day of official practice we were on the top section, which arguably, is the fastest and most dangerous part of the mountain. Outside of a slight snow fall, in summer, which made the road a bit slippery, the road has been through some changes in the past where there were more bumps, and even repairs in its short history of being paved.
Times were good, and pretty much expected, with the Meadesports / RoadRace Engineering EVO 8 slotting in between two new Viper ACRs and the new NSX from Japan making its world debut in competition. “Wasn’t anything outside of what we expected in the end” said Denmeade. “We are within 30 seconds of the new NSX, and our nearest competitor is 30 seconds behind. But we all still have to get to the top, our battle will be with the other new Viper” he followed up with.
12
“With the boys from Road/Race Engineering, Americas Mitsubishi Evo gurus on our team I feel we are in the best position to put in our best time on the mountain, all going well weather wise” Denmeade said.
Today’s practice at the top was shortened due to oil being spilled by a competitor who then went off and into the guard rail, limiting the runs from an expected 6, down to just 3 on the fast flowing top section. “We were only doing boost checks today” Denmeade said, “it’s a long way up there with the course climbing from 12,000 to 14,000 feet, all cars suffer in their own way, some in tyres, some in water temperature. But we got what we needed.”

Dr Alex EVO 6 at Willow Springs – Porsche Owners Club Cup Race

 

Dr Alex and his Varis Widebody EVO 6 ran with the Porsche Owner’s Club at Willow Springs on the big track. Running in the GT-1 class in the Cup Race Alex qualified 11th in the Cup Race and finished 11th overall.

Alex also ran one session in the Time Attack and his 1:28 stood for the fastest time for the weekend.

The EVO 6 is powered by a RRE 2.3 with a Garrett GT3582R turbo. It runs on E85 and is tuned using an AEM Infinity ECU.

Dyno Sound Recording

Major video game studios love the Dynapack dynos. The Dynapack hub style dyno is silent, they don’t get the tires on the rollers noises like from other chassis dynos, just all car noise. It also helps us while tuning since we are better able to her the engine sounds.

base mic

All mic’d up and nowhere to go. Here is a pic of Harry Kong’s Ark Performance wide body Genesis Coupe on the RRE Dynapack chassis dyno doing some sound recording today for a new video game. The level of detail for real sound these guys is nuts.

genisis

And yes those 325 wide Nittos are from the rear of this little Hyundai :-p

gtr

The 2nd car on the dyno for video game sound recording today. Coco Zurita’s #czgtr77 R35 Odd but for some reason this 3.8 V6 sounds a bit different from the previous 3.8 V6 that was on earlier :-) The GReddy exhaust sounds nuts on an angry GTR. At high rpm the sound between the turbos and intake and exhaust all combine to make this tearing violence noise that is pure music to the ears. I can’t say what game this is for but when you get the credits to upgrade to a modded GTR, you’ll get to find out what it sounds like to drive Coco’s car :-) 16 tracks of all car music. I counted some 16 different microphones including a Dolby 5.1 surround sound setup in the car for this session. Microphones on the intake, engine, interior, surface mount on the intercooler pipe, 8 on the exhaust alone. Fun stuff!

Suffering From A Loss?

Matt Farah from The Smoking Tire put up this excellent PSA for those suffering from loss.

Yes that is Tony Bird’s 1G AWD!

Dr Alex EVO 6 at Willow Springs PCA Time Trial

 

Back to the track this weekend with Dr Alex and the EVO 6 Running with the PCA killing off some old tires, dialing in the new Ohlins TTX 3 way adjustable suspension and looking towards the POC Tribute to Le Mans Cup Race in May.

boost

In the morning we went over the game plan for running the EVO 6 at the PCA Event. I explained to Dr Alex that since we were guests at this Porsche Club event, wouldn’t it be polite to stay off the boost button and not run away with things too much. “I’m a Porsche owner!” he says as he lays down the fastest time of all the TT run groups. So much for detante.

After setting fast time we spent the rest of the day smashing bugs on the front of the car. It rained on and off all day but at about 3 pm it came down pretty good. When it cleared up the rainbow came out i just the right place.

Pirelli World Challenge Round 1 and 2 at COTA with Carl Rydquist

 

The Pirelli World Challenge race weekend was 4 days in Texas at the Circuit of the Americas, but it seems like it went this fast :-P

RRE went along to help service for Carl Rydquist and the CA Sport Nissan Team at Circuit of the Americas in Austin Texas with the #34 CA Sport Champion Spark Plugs Team Nissan 370Z Nismo ready to rock and hoping for a podium finish. Austin offered perfect weather conditions and large crowds of fans came out to enjoy the Pirelli World Challenge season opener.

 

After the dust had settled, Carl Rydquist came home with a 3rd place podium from a truly nail-biting race 1 and a pole position for race 2.

pit talk

 

“I almost can’t believe it” says Carl. “I wanted and waited so long to get a shot to race in the Pirelli World Challenge and thanks to the amazing CA Sport Team Nissan and my crew guys from Road Race Engineering I found myself in a fierce three car battle for the Touring Car win. I ended up 2 seconds behind CA Sport regular driver Vesko Kozarov who ended up winning after 40 minutes of hard racing in the other team car [#3], and given this is my first race with the team and at the spectacular Circuit of the Americas that 3rd place pretty much feels like a win!”


Carl Rydquist set the fastest laptime of all drivers in race 1 which qualified him for the pole position for race 2. He set off in the lead from a standing start in front of Vesko Kozarov and second place finisher from race 1, Toby Grahovec, however after 11 laps of nail-biting action among the front-running cars he was forced to retire the car with a power steering fluid leak. Vesko Kozarov went onto claim 3rd behind Toby Grahovec and Nick Wittmer, adding to the tally of trophies for CA Sport Team Nissan.

lap times
“The second race began really well” adds Carl. “Toby and Nick’s cars eventually showed a lot more pace than in race 1 though but another podium seemed to be within reach pretty far in to the race and it is a bummer to miss out on championship points so early in the season, but in total there were too many positives to be anything but grateful. I am really happy for the CA Sport Team Nissan to get such a great start of the season and I am excited for the future!”


CBS Sports will air the races on TV on Thu March 17 at 8PM ET, with re-air March 17 9PM ET and March 19 12.30 ET.
The livestream from the races is available for encore viewing at MotorTrend OnDemand.

Next up on the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car competition schedule is Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, ON co-headlining with the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series as part of the Victoria Day Speedfest, on May 19-22, 2016.

Carl Rydquist’s next event on the competition schedule is a 3-hour twilight endurance race with the Prototype Development Groups’ Factory Five Racing GTM at Willow Springs International Raceway, CA, on Friday night March 11th, 2016.
Car: CA Sport Nissan 370Z
Race: Pirelli World Challenge at Circuit of the Americas 2016 Round 1 and 2
Driver: Carl Rydquist
Team & Sponsors: CA Sport / Road Race Engineering / Champion Spark Plugs, Pettit Kohn Ingrassia & Lutz / APR Performance, OS Giken / Stance / ADVAN GT / MOTUL

Coco Zurita 2015 Quick Recap

THIS is why we hang out with Coco Zurita! A quick recap of all the fun we had with Coco in 2015.