Team America World Time Attack - ARK Design's BNR32 Skyline GT-R Part 5

Supposed to be by Eric Hsu but really again by Mike Kojima

Well it's getting closer to go time all the time and the Team America crew is working around the clock to get her done.  The deadline is nearly impossible but Eric and company are determined to make it.  Work on the car is progressing very fast.  The car might just get there but it may well be lacking a little in the cosmetics department.

I am getting to be quite a ghost writer for Eric.  It's not because Eric doesn't want to write about this but he is under a pretty exhausting schedule.  Eric is working full time at Cosworth, doing race support for Greddy's Formula D Team and putting every other spare moment into building the car and supervising a whole crew of people helping.

We can't thank the crew at Bridges Racing enough.  Since Robbie Nishida and Daigo Saito's cars are on the East coast, they have been lending a hand in helping get our car along.  They do have a vested interest though.  Gary Castillo is an important part of their crew and they need to help him make progress or Eric won't let him fly to Formula D events!

I am also pretty impressed with how well my camera's work.  Most of these pictures were shot with my Cannon 5D Mark II or when that was out on other assignments, my Cannon 7D.  These cameras allow me to shoot using available light (I hate the look of flash shots) under the worst conditions like Gary's dark shop in the middle of the night.  The 5D is especially good at  low light photography due to the full frame sensor's ability to shoot noise free at high ISO numbers.  I really recommend the use of these cameras, they are so good, they let me take OK pictures when I suck at photography.

 Read More about Team America Here!

Due to the low engine mounting position afforded by the dry sump system and the fact that we had moved the engine as far back as possible, we found that the intake manifold now got in the way of the cowl area of the unibody.  So here Gary Castillo is cutting a clearance channel in the cowl.
A little notch had to be added to accommodate the drive by wire servo motor on the throttle body.  We had finalized the engine mount design so we now actually knew what the final engine mounting position would be.
Gary in the process of boxing in the cowl with sheet metal.  Working from a cardboard template, Gary then transferred the pattern onto sheet metal.
Here is a look at just how close the manifold will be.  This manifold is not the real thing but an SLA mock up of a Cosworth intake manifold.  At 6 PM sharp, Gary pops the cap and starts drinking his signature Heinekens.
We have plenty of clearance to allow engine movement.  Our engine mounts are hard polyurethane without much give but having our drive by wire throttle go haywire due to it getting broken would suck for sure!


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Thursday, June 14, 2012 4:04 AM
I love the progress. I really hope you guys get her done in time!
Thursday, June 14, 2012 6:36 AM
Not sure I like the way you've mounted the engine but if it works for top fuel then I don't see why it wouldn't for you're needs, like to know of these things your doing to the ATESSA 4wd system though with the cosworth pectel sq6
Miro Ovcharik
Miro Ovchariklink
Thursday, June 14, 2012 7:26 AM
Good job on the quick progress.

The engine mounts look fine except for maybe needing some way to keep the engine from moving forward or rearward in a crash.
Thursday, June 14, 2012 7:36 AM
Thanks for keeping the updates coming while you're still finishing the car! Looking great so far.

Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Thursday, June 14, 2012 9:16 AM
Miro, you want the engine to break free in an acident and go under the car, that's what it is deisgned to do. You don't want a big chunk of metal to hammer you, you want it not to interfear with the crushing of the front. That why the George Plaza accident killed him in my opinion and why Dai was ok in his bad accident.
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Thursday, June 14, 2012 11:00 AM
Any thought on the whatever-alphabet-soup-acronym active rear diff that showed up later? Obviously not something for this year given the time constraint, but it is out there, and god knows you guys can probably figure out the electronic gizmos to run it...

Part of me is imagining the Pectel having access to GPS data and a track map and varying stuff automatically... hm, is movable aero allowed in WTAC?
Dusty Duster
Dusty Dusterlink
Thursday, June 14, 2012 11:54 AM
I knew you could have an almost nonexistent oil pan with a dry sump, but I didn't know you could use it to mount the engine! That is really trick!
Thursday, June 14, 2012 12:45 PM
At this point, I check at least once a day for updates on this build... lol... I am on the edge of my seat for the 2012 WTAC. I have my fingers crossed you all have sufficient time.

Can't wait to see the aero and engine on this beast, the suspension has been jaw dropping considering the time frame/budget.

Kenku: I think it is aloud in the wtac (but they sure are picky about the location of the exhaust exit, for an unlimited class)? Nemo went for it, the Nemo Evo has a big'ol active air brake.
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Thursday, June 14, 2012 12:48 PM
Kenku: The Nissan active rear diff in the BNR34 GT-R isn't up to race duty even if controlled using something more powerful that the stock control ECU. There just aren't enough clutch plates in there for a car of this power with sticky tires.

Yes, movable aero is allowed in WTAC. Next year you might just see some of it on this car. With the Elite logger, GPS, SQ6 ECU, we can theoretically control electric motors based on track position. Time is what we don't have for this year.

Dusty: It's just a matter of design. If the sump is beefy enough, you can use it for whatever!
Thursday, June 14, 2012 2:10 PM
Mike, I see you still have the handbrake in there. We have discussed getting rid of ours in our endurance car to save weight, but I'm curious to hear your thoughts. Keeping it just as a backup in case of hydraulic failure?
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Thursday, June 14, 2012 2:34 PM
Huh... ah well, I suppose it's not too surprising that the R34 diff wouldn't be up to the task. Disappointing sure, but not really surprising. Now that you mention that I'd really like to see someone do a development program on it, but I doubt anyone's going to pay to be the first, somehow. Possibly be cheapest to just cut Xtrac a check, not that that approaches any sane person's definition of 'cheap'.

Movable aero, etc... look forwards to seeing it if you guys get around to it after this year! Totally get you're under a time crunch, this is just the sort of close-to-unrestricted stuff that gets my imagination going.

Also, man, seeing all the stuff under that thing... just wow. I think if I had the scratch to build something to the WTAC rules I'd be thinking mid engine and V8.
Thursday, June 14, 2012 7:06 PM
I'm going to need a little affirmative action on this team.
Dusty Duster
Dusty Dusterlink
Friday, June 15, 2012 6:55 AM
Active aero based on track position? WOW.
Friday, June 15, 2012 6:57 AM
Intuitively it looks like the oil pan to engine mount weld interface might need some tabs or gussets to keep the welds from fatiguing.

I love the simplicity of that engine mount solution, it reminds me of a compliant version of structural oil pans for semi-stressed engine installations..
Der Bruce
Der Brucelink
Friday, June 15, 2012 8:23 AM
What, no time for paint!? We at least need a Dave Coleman primer flat black as an interim to keep it sinister! Maybe a few carbon fiber sheets from Alex for the undertray...

Yeah, I hear you on those mounts but I'd feel more comfortable with some sort of hingeable solid mount...just me (shoulder shrug).
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Friday, June 15, 2012 8:57 AM
Dusty: Hey, DTM did it back in the 90s... why not?
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Friday, June 15, 2012 9:04 AM
The real pan is going to be a one piece CNC billet part.
Friday, June 15, 2012 4:17 PM
Wow this is awesome. Quick question. Most open track organizations I've been to require windows down in case the driver needs to be pulled out in an emergency. For organizations that allow plastic side windows, is this any less safe? Do the emergency crew workers just have to break through the plastic first? Just curious.
Sunday, June 17, 2012 6:06 PM
Mike, were you making engine sounds in the last picture?
Monday, June 18, 2012 8:26 AM
@ Johnny: Nope, he was making squealing tires noises. See the way he's leaning to the left?

@ Mike: How well do the front and rear roll centers match up?
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