MotoIQ Pacific Tuner Car Championship presented by Motul, Round 7&8 Finals

by Clint Boisdeau

The final rounds of the MotoIQ Pacific Tuner Car Championship presented by Motul brought the gang back to Buttonwillow Raceway Park, but this time running the popular time attack configuration, Clockwise #13.  With the track set up in this manner, there's an ample amount of data and video on what it takes to be quick for such a configuration.  The interesting thing for me was despite my many years of time attack and HPDE driving experience on the CW #13 config, I have 0% experience on it during a wheel-to-wheel race situation.  I looked forward to a new perspective on a course I had so much seat time on.  Another exciting factor was that the year-end championship points winner would be decided also.  With myself and Justin Taylor neck and neck in points, whoever finished higher both days wins the final championship.  If somehow both of us DNS or DNF, Martin Gonzales would be close enough in points to win as well.  With many possible outcomes, the race weekend was to be an interesting one.



Justin taking a look-see over Project EF since he hadn't seen it since last race weekend, which was a few months ago.  Suspicious of the wing and upgraded parts in the engine bay, Justin had a few questions which I was happy to answer.

With his brother absent with prior obligations, Justin prepped and campaigned the Rockstar Garage S2000 all on his own throughout the weekend.  With the dialed setup and simplicity of his AP2's build, Justin had little more to do other than check tire pressures, torque lug nuts, and top off fuel.
Tom Tang brought out his ST3 class S2000 down for the MotoIQ weekend as well.  His extensively built AP2 forced him into Tuner Over classification under MPTCC rules, but regardless he would start with the rest of the Tuner Under field and it would be fun to dice it up with such a cool car.  
Martin Gonzalez with Project G20 in tip top shape and a near perfect alignment was excited to get back out on track and work on improving his pace on the popular CW #13 course. 

Project G20 handled well and ran mechanically reliable during warm up, leaving Martin to focus on finding time through technique and line work.  

Justin had zero issues as well during warm up, as he put in more time figuring out Buttonwillow's idiosyncrasies​, since he doesn't prefer driving the track.  He has been working hard to find more pace since it's ran so often.

Project EF checked out mechanically during warm-up, but I still needed to put some work into the alignment settings which I wasn't able to sort out the night before.
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Thursday, December 10, 2015 6:13 AM
Knock back was one of the main reasons I stopped tracking my WRX. When part of your lap routine includes giving it a bit of left foot brake down certain straights to bring the pedal up, you know something isn't ideal.

Also I once broke a LF wheel bearing in the same car on the track which caused some crazy knock back on the left side of the car. Which I found about in the main braking zone when the car pulled hard to the right... I of course drove the car home from the event and any right hand slow corner in an intersection or anything would require a full stroke of the brake pedal to get a firm pedal again. Now knock back in wheel to wheel racing, that must really suck.

I now track an E36 M3, stock brakes. No knock back, life is good.
Thursday, December 10, 2015 9:03 AM
@MdR the Wrx is notorious for that. Especially older gens. A buddy of mine did a STI swap just for that reason since the bearings are stronger and help prevent deflection. His AP racing BBK also helped since it has antiknock back springs built in.
Thursday, December 10, 2015 10:11 AM
Yep, I briefly looked into STi bearings, which would mean the knuckles, probably new wheels to accommodate the bolt pattern change, maybe new front axles, etc etc. And then I realized I had outgrown an AWD track car with 60% of the weight over the front.
Friday, December 11, 2015 7:51 AM
@mdr exactly! Not worth it.
Clint Boisdeau
Clint Boisdeaulink
Friday, December 11, 2015 4:47 PM
350z's have big knock back issues also from undersized front wheel bearings. 370's have much larger ones
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