AWD Turbo Parts and Performance

RRE- Rob Tallini – Las Vegas Motor Speedway 11/2001

Back to Vegas we went for another event. This time it was all on the short infield stadium track, no oval action. In attendance were the usual German cars we love to pick on so much. An interesting car that was in attendance was the Porsche Super Cup 996 that won the European Championship this year. Recently purchased for $150,000, this 996 was flawless, big slicks, air jacks, real racecar stuff.

After our “rally” race in Tecate, we went through the entire front end of the car. It looked more like it had been through a season of rallying that a street race. We replaced the engine cross member, the motor mounts, all the suspension and cross member bushings. We found several cracks in the main cross member that we welded up and we had to replace the steering rack. The wheel bearings were shot and we also replaced the axles and CV joints to be safe.

While the maintenance was all necessary, it ended up working against us to some degree. Our Eclipse was again  handling diabolically. Just when we had went softer with the springs on one hand, overall we were now stiffer with all the other improvements. We kept chasing the set up and again decided our set up was too stiff for this track. It was better suited for a fast track like the oval or the big track at Willow Springs.

We qualified 3rd, a real disappointment for Tallini and the crew. Ty, Eric, Bobby and Jose our crew had changed everything possible to correct matters but we were limited by the springs we chose.

Nonetheless, the race went well for us. On the start, Tallini again punked the Porsches and we jumped from 3rd to 1st into the first turn. Tallini led the 2 faster Porsches and a BMW, the class of the field. Holding them at bay for a third of the race, we started to blister a left front tire. Tallini could feel it and could no longer hold back the Porsches. They slipped by in a tight right hander. The three of us appeared chained together, that was when the 996 choked under the pressure. He was leading the pack he ran a little wide in a left hand sweeper. Instead of riding it out, he got greedy trying to get back on the track. Oops! He caught a little traction on the front wheels and with the weight of the rear motor influencing things he shot across Tallini’s bow backwards at about 80 mph backed the beautiful car into the barrier. Now we started getting some game from the BMW. He passed us and we passed him. Both of us were ringing out our cars like a dishrag!! This went for a few laps until we could pull out a little. While all this was going on, the other Porsche slipped away. We easily finished second.

We inspected the car after the race and found that left front tire with about 10 holes the size of a silver dollar in it. Remember the dishrag? All and all we were pleased. We had competition, learned more about our racecar and brought home another trophy. Testing is in order now. We need to soften up the springs some on the tighter tracks in order to get the car back to it’s old self.

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