Notices
Autocross/Road SCCA Solo II, SCCA Club Racing, Redline Track Events, Speed Trial, Speed Ventures, Grand-Am Cup, JGTC, Procar Australia

Calm before the storm- 350Z racing 2019

Old 04-09-2019, 05:59 PM
  #1  
dkmura
General & DIY Moderator
MY350Z.COM
Thread Starter
iTrader: (62)
 
dkmura's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 6,772
Liked 694 Times in 483 Posts
Default Calm before the storm- 350Z racing 2019

This weekend begins my 2019 SCCA race season with an 850-mile tow to St. Louis. The April forecast calls for blizzard conditions across Colorado and into Kansas as a late season winter storm sweeps across the country. My 350Z is freshly prepped and anchored inside the 24' trailer with my '08 Titan LWB 4X2 KC gassed up and ready. I'm relishing returning to the renamed "Circuit of St. Louis", otherwise known as Gateway International Raceway's roval circuit. It's somewhat unique as the high-speed front straight uses the banking of T3-4 to slingshot the VQ35HR to speeds upwards of 120 MPH.. The first turn reminds me of what Phoenix International's roval used to be like: high speed entry with light braking before balancing a quick bit of acceleration into hard braking and heel-toe downshift to get into the infield. The Z is great through the next several turns, as being smooth allow you to accelerate through to the far end of the track. Our six-speed tranny always feels great as shift-after-shift snaps off. Get ready to downshift and threshold brake into a large radius 180 turn, which tests your ability to balance the Z in a slight drift. Getting a good exit is important for maximum acceleration down a short chute. Then, it's hard braking for a double apex left hander turn leading back onto the banking for another lap.

This season there may not be as many Z cars racing in SCCA events as there have been in the past. The 2019 rules package do not favor us in any of the competition classes the Z33/34 are homologated in. Rather than being restricted in the Touring 3 class this year, I've elected to drop the 37 mm restrictors, extra lead and small tires that class requires. I'll be racing in the Touring 1 class, with Porsche 911 GT3, Corvette Z06, Ferrari F430 Cup and Audi R8 competition all eager to blow my doors off. But first, there's a blizzard to get through and adventures in the heartland of America.

Last edited by dkmura; 04-14-2019 at 06:42 AM.
dkmura is online now  
The following 3 users liked this post by dkmura:
BigBlue (04-10-2019), Frostydc4 (04-17-2019), MicVelo (04-09-2019)
Old 04-10-2019, 06:06 AM
  #2  
dkmura
General & DIY Moderator
MY350Z.COM
Thread Starter
iTrader: (62)
 
dkmura's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 6,772
Liked 694 Times in 483 Posts
Default

Latest forecasts say winter storm Wesley could be a historic blizzard. We'll see,,,
dkmura is online now  
Old 04-10-2019, 06:30 AM
  #3  
coletrickle74
Registered User
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 287
Liked 48 Times in 36 Posts
Default

That was always my biggest worry about starting so early. Good luck with the drive!
coletrickle74 is online now  
Old 04-12-2019, 02:36 PM
  #4  
260DET
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 24
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Sounds like you have the circuit all worked out, be safe and have fun.
260DET is offline  
Old 04-13-2019, 04:13 AM
  #5  
dkmura
General & DIY Moderator
MY350Z.COM
Thread Starter
iTrader: (62)
 
dkmura's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 6,772
Liked 694 Times in 483 Posts
Default

Forgot to say that any, and all, local Z car drivers are invited to come out today and watch a SCCA race at Gateway International, Since I have no crew this weekend, I have three passes that'll get you in FREE. Saturday is supposed to be dry, but it looks cloudy this morning. Sunday is forecast for 90% rain, so we'll be torqueing up rain tires tonight.
dkmura is online now  
Old 04-13-2019, 04:15 AM
  #6  
dkmura
General & DIY Moderator
MY350Z.COM
Thread Starter
iTrader: (62)
 
dkmura's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 6,772
Liked 694 Times in 483 Posts
Default

Just sign in under 'David Muramoto' and come on by to say hi!
dkmura is online now  
Old 04-13-2019, 04:01 PM
  #7  
dkmura
General & DIY Moderator
MY350Z.COM
Thread Starter
iTrader: (62)
 
dkmura's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 6,772
Liked 694 Times in 483 Posts
Default

Hmm- no takers on taking in a SCCA Majors race at Gateway. Too bad, it was an interesting day and the Z acquitted itself quite well. Qualifying on the 1.65-mile counterclockwise oval (oval + road circuit) circuit was fun; balancing the unbridled VQ power throttle with predictable handling and great brakes. After qualifying third overall--behind a GT2 and a Z06 Corvette and ahead of the A Sedan field and Super Touring Lights class--I elected to start last. Whaa??

Fast as that time was, I remained 4.6 seconds behind my T1 competition in fastest lap time. Barring a mechanical failure or DNF, there was no way in hell I was going to win this race. But I could destroy someone else's race as they battled at the start for any advantage at all. By starting last, I allowed the other competitors to get their early skirmishes out of the way before I began hunting them down.

Today proved to be a fascinating race when the Z actually closed the margin down to the T1 Vette by 3/4 distance. Try as I might, I never got in range to truly challenge for the lead. Finished fourth overall and had a great time doing it. I wasn't the only Nissan driver doing so either. SCCA is promoting a new Time Trials (attack) series and there was a black Z33 and blue S14 out there flying around. Met one of them and gave him an old issue of Nissan Sport Magazine in recognition of representing the marque. After that, I checked over my Z, bled the brakes and got ready for the race Sunday. Such is the joy of racing.
dkmura is online now  
The following 3 users liked this post by dkmura:
260DET (04-13-2019), g356sp (04-15-2019), MicVelo (04-13-2019)
Old 04-14-2019, 06:51 AM
  #8  
dkmura
General & DIY Moderator
MY350Z.COM
Thread Starter
iTrader: (62)
 
dkmura's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 6,772
Liked 694 Times in 483 Posts
Default

The weather gods aren't done pulling my chain. Rained cats and dogs all night, and it's shaping up to be a wet race today. That's OK with me, as I actually like racing in the rain. The set of rain tires that have sat in the tire rack on the trailer may finally get some action! Might be a bit spooky on the banked turns, so my strategy is to be conservative until I find out what is the best rain line.

Mic- one detail that'll blow you away is the SCCA Majors allow your fastest times from the previous day to be used in setting the grid for the Sunday race. No real reason to go out in the driving rain this morning- and yes, I don't love racing in the rain THAT much!
dkmura is online now  
Old 04-15-2019, 05:33 AM
  #9  
dkmura
General & DIY Moderator
MY350Z.COM
Thread Starter
iTrader: (62)
 
dkmura's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 6,772
Liked 694 Times in 483 Posts
Default

Last post in this thread. Yesterday was coild, damp and altogether a bit miserable in the rain. That all changed when I climbed into the Z and buckled in. The start had two Corvettes throwing a lot of spray back and I had no good opportunity on the outside of turn one to make a move. Passed one car on the opening lap, but another got by me as well. Talk about a leaky ship! In the wet, the one place the Z had a marked advantage seemed to be on the banking all the way into braking for turn one. Unfortunately, the V8s I was racing against had an advantage in straightline speed once we came off the banks and shot past the grandstands. In T1 trim, the HR really sings with no inlet restrictors and I saw almost 128 MPH in that section before turning in to turn one (the Z06 was probably doing 145-150). I made no big mistakes (and caught plenty of small slides) in trying to get past the second place A Sedan ahead of me. He was sandwiched between the Corvette Z06 I was actually racing for first in class, but I simply couldn't get past without risking hitting him.

In the end, I finished third overall, and second in class again. A bit frustrating, but who am I kidding? Racing a Z06, with almost a stock Z33- the miracle just wasn't there. But I could taste it....

Last edited by dkmura; 04-16-2019 at 07:43 AM.
dkmura is online now  
The following 2 users liked this post by dkmura:
Frostydc4 (04-17-2019), MicVelo (04-15-2019)
Old 04-15-2019, 06:07 AM
  #10  
MicVelo
350Z/370Z Tech Moderator
MY350Z.COM
 
MicVelo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Northern California
Posts: 6,990
Liked 1,951 Times in 1,415 Posts
Default

Thanks for the play by play, David! Makes me feel like I'm in the cockpit and my helmet visor wasn't fog treated. Hahahaha. See you at VIR!!
MicVelo is offline  
Old 04-20-2019, 06:15 AM
  #11  
dkmura
General & DIY Moderator
MY350Z.COM
Thread Starter
iTrader: (62)
 
dkmura's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 6,772
Liked 694 Times in 483 Posts
Default

Next event up is in two weeks at the Rocky Mountain Division SCCA opener- a driver's school/regional race in LaJunta, Colorado. I try to support all my local SCCA races, as there's a distinct possibility there may not be any racing if those races fail. The track in LaJunta has some history, as it was built next to the local airport with only a fence separating it from an active runway! The track itself is short; only 1.3-miles long and run clockwise. It's a fast track that reminds me a bit of Lime Rock Park on the east coast without all the greenery. There's plenty to do to get ready, so I better get off the keyboard and out to the trailer RIGHT NOW...
dkmura is online now  
The following users liked this post: dkmura
coletrickle74 (04-20-2019)
Old 04-22-2019, 08:52 AM
  #12  
dkmura
General & DIY Moderator
MY350Z.COM
Thread Starter
iTrader: (62)
 
dkmura's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 6,772
Liked 694 Times in 483 Posts
Default

Latest update to the LaJunta entry list is yet another Corvette Z06 Touring 1 entry. This one is a C5 though, so the LT1 "only" has about a hundred HP and ft/lbs of torque on me. It's entered by a veteran racer, and was built by Phoenix Engineering, so it should be capable of walking me, but we'll see...
dkmura is online now  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
dkmura
Autocross/Road
5
01-08-2019 06:45 AM


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Calm before the storm- 350Z racing 2019


Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: