By Annie Sam
Modificum Racerium – a chronically debilitating disease which is characterized by the irrationally obsessive addiction to car modification and speed. “More!” we keep chanting, as we illogically pass up hot meals for cup o noodle in order to quell this addiction by buying more upgrades for our soon to be NASA PTD car.
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Our last article gave you a brief introduction to the learning curve for the average driver through the different stages of HPDE (High Performance Driving Event). As promised, this month’s article will give you a little more detailed tutorial on the basics of driving on the road course. Keep in mind that since this Project NASA PT car is an NX2000, the information given here pertains primarily to FWD vehicles, the typical drivetrain of many compact racing cars.
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Of all of the various sanctioning bodies I have run with, I feel that NASA has the best program for the beginner driver by far. NASA’s HDPE or High Performance Driving Event program can take a driver safely from a raw beginner to an experienced track driver ready for driving school and wheel to wheel racing.
So what was the cherry on top of our Nissan SR20DE horsepower upgrades? S4HL Camshafts from Jim Wolf technology. What are cams? First, let’s start off with the term “cams”. Cams are actually the lobes of the entire assembly, which is more formally known as the camshaft. But, for this article, we’ll stick to calling them cams, as that is the casual term for the part. So, let’s give a little introduction on the basics of cams.
Project Racer - Part 7: Recipe for Racing
Being a fast road racer requires five main ingredients; 2 cups drivers skill, 1 cup killer suspension, ½ cup of grip, a dash of reliability, and of course, 2 tablespoons of horsepower. Now that you’ve learned the basics of racing, and driving through following the progress of Project Racer, let’s turn our attention to the next ingredient - horsepower. Though a detailed buildup of a Performance Touring race car could be found detailed in various other project vehicles on this site, what automotive project – project racer included - is complete without the mention of upgrading a racecar? After all, as project racer, I couldn’t race without building a racecar, now could I?
24 Hours of LeMons Thunderhill Arse-Freeze-Apalooza '09
In this segment, I will detour you from our regularly scheduled program to bring you a little adventure known as the 24 Hours of LeMons from the perspective of Project Racer at their most recent event which took place, the LeMons Thunderhill Arse-Freeze-Apalooza '09. Like the other 158 crazies that showed up to this event, having this race take place the weekend before Thanksgiving didn't stop us from trekking nine hours across the state to participate in this event.
by Annie Sam
Ah the sweet scent of victory. Or is it burning coolant? A smell reminiscent of warm apple cider, yet a scent which can make your heart sink to the bottom of your stomach by the imminent doom it foretells. Black smoke, white smoke, the distinct smell of hot oil and burning coolant; these are the tell tale signs of your car communicating to you that something's gone wrong, and in my case very wrong.
As I was instructing a beginner session at Willow Springs, I discovered several common mistakes that beginner drivers would make. So, I decided to add a little extra to this month's article point these out and hopefully help new drivers correct them before you head out to the track.
Tires. Such a small portion of the car, yet it is the most important part of your vehicle. Why? Because it is the only part of the car that comes in contact with the road – or at least the only thing that's supposed to come in contact with the road. So critical is having the proper tire pressure for performance and safety at speed, we'll devote this next article on how to correctly set pressure for your car for optimal handling and safety.
Now that you've experienced the drag strip, and solo 2, let's move onto road racing - or more accuratey called, hotlapping, since you're not actually "racing". The most beginner-friendly and Nissan friendly road racing organization I have come across is the National Auto Sport Association, otherwise known as NASA. Through NASA, you can participate in their driving school called High Performance Driving Events, also known as HPDE.
Now that you've immersed yourself into the world of racing – starting with drag racing, you'll probably feel more comfortable in other forms of automotive competitions such as road racing and auto crossing. For those of you who are ready for road racing, you can jump right to the racetrack. For the rest of us who aren't, let me give you a brief run through of what auto crossing is like.
Maneuvering nimbly through the grocery store parking lot with your kick-ass suspension set up has also probably lost its thrill by this point, leaving you wanting more. But, where do you go? How do you start? Now that you've finally decided to get off that bench and into the drivers seat, let's introduce you to the world of racing, real racing.
We all have daydreams and wishes to be behind the wheel of our pride and joy, of whipping it in and out of turns, pushing our car to its fullest potential. Yet to many of us, it has all been nothing more than mere wishful thinking. Why can't that be you in the driver's seat? Here is your chance to become more than just a bench racer. If you've got what it takes to become a competitive road racer, this series should start you off in the right direction.
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