Monday, 26 September 2011

My Rant On Australian Motorsport

There's quite a lot wrong with the Australian motorsport scene at the moment!
What's so wrong you might ask considering there's currently an Australian running 4th in the F1 world championship and another Australian leading (convincingly) the Moto GP world champion ship.
It seems like quite a good year for Australian motorsport.

And in terms of the current succes of drivers and riders internationally (not just those two) it has been quite a good year!

But what i'm writing about is a lot closer to home.
The two big problems as i see them both revolve around our pre-eminent local motorsport category.
The "V8 "Supercar"" series.

The first problem is the "street" tracks which this series chooses to use for so many of its races throughout the year.
Street circuits it's using in Australia this year=
Albert Park GP Track
Townsville Street Circuit
Surfers Paradise Street Circuit
Adelaide Street Circuit
Homebush Street Circuit

Please correct me if i forgot any. 
So what's my problem with them using these tracks.
Well aside from the fact that the townsville,homebush,adelaide, and the now modified surfers paradise tracks
are all very ordinary tracks( atleast from a drivers point of view)

My real problem is the cost these tracks require to run for just 3-4days a year.
first of all i should make it clear that i believe they should continue to race at albert park(so long as F1 races there) and bathurst( as it's the biggest race of the championship).

But as for the other 4 street tracks, they each cost many many millions of dollars(much of which is money from state governments) each year to set up and then tear down, and for what, for a 2-3day event in which only 4-5 racing categories ever get to drive on.
Where does that leave the grass roots,amateur,club level motorsport enthusiasts?
with circuits around the country closing down(oran park) or falling into disrepair(queensland raceway).

For instance what if instead of building a street circuit in townsville each year they build a permanant circuit elsewhere in the region. If designed correctly could be a better track for both drivers and spectators, and would give local motorsport enthusiasts somewhere they could race/drive/ride throught out the other 362days a year. Because as far as i'm aware there is currently no permanent road circuit anywhere in queensland outside of the south east corner.
Perhaps most importly for some, going this route would likely be in the long run much more cost effective.

The same could happen on the gold coast.
While the indy was still coming i think there was an argument to have a track trough the centre of town between all the high rise buildings.
But now that's it's only the V8's and it's a shortened modified track i don't see why that's so important.
What would be wrong with a track perhaps near skilled stadium or somthing similar.
It would still be close enough to the main strip for transport, after parties, and accomidation but would give the same advantages as seen in the townville example.

Why not put some of the money into fixing up eastern creek raceway(which is already a much better track in every way) and maybe even use some of that money to keep oran park open(too late now i know)

The same sort of situation could apply for adelaide.
Street tracks are very inefficient in terms of cost and in terms of inconviniencing locals who can't use those streets around the time of the race. My question is why do we use them so much here in australia.

The second problem with the V8 Supercar series is the cars them selves.
First of all they're are only 2 types of car allowed to enter.
These 2 cars a effectively identical to each other and share almost nothing(only the basic stell body shell is shared )with there road going counterparts.
Where is the interest/relevence in that?

Now next year they're changing this considerably, but in my opinion they're going in the exact wrong direction!
The cars are going to be a tube frame style chassis with panels fitted over the to to resemble the road going car they're "based" on, with not one single part from the road cars being used.
The only good news is they're apparently going to finaly allow companys other then ford and holden to enter.
But that's just not interesting at all, as no matter what body shape/logo the cars have underneath they'll be exactly the same!

Personally i would prefer it to be somthing more like the GT3 regulations they use in europe for sports car racing.
But as the series is based around 4 door sedans and they probably wouldn't want people buying ultra expensive ferraris and alike to compete just make it GT3 spec but only allowing 4 door sedans.
This would mean the cars would actualy be based on the road car, but with enough modifications for people to still look up to them as somthing beyond and more interesting then the road car they drive every day.

This would allow cars to use V8,V6,V10,V12,4cl,2cl or any other kind of engine.
They could be rear,front,or all wheel drive.
They could weigh 600kg or 2000kg!

But the best part is even with all these differences the competition could still be extremely close as with the implementation of inlet restrictors the maximum power level of the car can be limited, allowing a powerfull heavy car to compete very closely with a light car with half the power.
Then we'd be watching races with cars that both look and sound different to each other, have different strenghts and weaknesses( straight line speed,mid corner speed, braking ability ect) while still being very competitive.
All of these things could only make much better, more exciting, and if implemented properly cheaper racing!

So you tell me what you'd rather see?

                                                                                                                                           end rant lol

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Introductory Quasi Ceremonial Explanatory Welcome Post

Welcome to all that are viewing this, however it is that you came across my blog.
The majority of my posts will be about my track day project i'm in the very early stages of building.
Aside from that any other posts will likely just be my general ramblings about motorsport,sport,music or what ever else feels topical to me at the time.

So to introduce you to my project to all.
I have a 1990 R32 Nissan Skyline GTS-t which i've now owned for just short of six years.
I had always intened to modify it to a fairly considerable extent, but for the first 3-4years or so it remaned virtualy standard(mainly due to a lack of funds) and was my daily driver to and from work and everywhere else.

The only modifications it had at this point were a larger intercooler, the rear wing was removed, and a new set of coils were fitted after 2 of the standard ones burnt out( it sounded like a truck lol)

It was about at this point that i got a second car(mr levin) allowing me to virtualy take the skyline off the road and get more serious with it.
The timing of this also coincided with going out to watch a work mate of mine (Daryl) race his V8 powered Ford Escort at Queensland Raceway and Lakeside Park Raceway(below)

It was around this time i decided the skyline would eventualy be taken off the road for good and become a dedicated track car.
So i began getting as many track focused parts as i could when i could afford them.
This began with a new set of brake discs and performance pads.Which i fitted with the help of my mate Allan.

DBA Discs and Project Mu HC+ Pads

A set of Coil-over Suspension, Swaybars,Strutt Braces,a Lock Bar to cancel out the rear steering, and Alloy Bushes for the rear sub-frame.Which i fitted with the help of my mates Lama and Stick

Strutt Braces,Lock Bar,and Bushes

Whiteline Swaybars

ISC Coil-overs
Then i got a new set of wider wheels and some better tyres, which took some custom rolling of the gaurds(read dodgey) in order to fit properly.

It was in this spec that i took it out for it's first(and so far only) track day at Lakeside Park Raceway where i was joined by another work mate dean in his turbo charged Toyota Hilux.

Me in the Skyline at Lakeside

Dean in his Hilux at Lakeside

It was a very enjoyable day for us both and all the mods i'd done to the car at that point felt to be working very well indeed.
However the day was not without dramas, it seamed the factory cooling system of the skyline was not entirely up to the task after a number of consecutive hot laps, and once up to these slightly higher tempuritures only encounered on the track the old radiator hoses were no longer to seal properly and i ended up with a few coolant leaks.
Once cooled down and with the clamps tightened up some more i was able to drive home from the track with no dramas at all.
It did however prove a valuable lesson for the future. As everyone always says(myself included) the track brings any weakness to the surface!

So after that day at the track i orederd some new radiator hoses, a new alluminium radiator, and a couple of thermo fans to go with it. The car has also recently be de-registered and taken off the road for good.

That day at Lakeside was June 2010, and to be honest not a lot has happened to it since then.
Pretty much all i have done since is accumulating parts for the real build the car was always eventualy going to recieve. Unfortunately like so many other people finances always seem to be the problem on projects like this.
But the parts i've since been able to get include a new turbo, a fixed back racing seat, valves, valve springs and retainers, and valve guides(which are currently on the way)

Borg Warner S300SX-60 Turbo

My Seat

Supertech Oversized Valves

Supertech Valve Springs And Retainers

And that's where the build currently stands.
But here in lies the start of the interesting part.
You see i've just decided to set myself the target(deadline if you prefer) of getting the car finished in time to compete at the World Time Attack Challange at Sydneys Eastern Creek Raceway next year which should be around august.
For anyone who hasn't heard of time attack it's best to think of it as very highly modified road cars competing to run the fastest lap they can on street legal tyres.
So think of it as a 2 day qualifying session.
This year saw the fastest time attack cars from australia, japan, new zealand, and the usa.

The winner of both of the World Time Attack Challanges so far held.(2010 and 2011)
Cyber Evo out of japan.

First of all i know i will be no where near the pace of the fastest cars, where as this year the winning lap time was 1min 28.8seconds my goals are a little bit down to earth.
My goal is to run just under the 1min 40second mark.

However even to achieve this time will require a very serious car.
So to even have a chance i need to build a motor suitable for this( about 500hp at the wheels),
i 'll need to get a clutch,gearbox,and differential that can handle that amount of power.
I'll need to remove a considerable amount of weight from the car, my goal is to get the wieght down to about 1100kg.
I'll need a considerable amount of downforce, for which i'll be making an entire body kit of my own design(with a large emphasis put on the undertray)
And most importanly i'll need a lot of practice to get comfortable with the car/track and get my skill level to the point where i'm able to run such a lap time.

So if you have any interest in this story please feel free to follow this blog and make any comments you wish to make.
It isn't the kind of project where there'll always be much new progress to post about i'll try to keep up to date with progress,photos,and eventualy videos as much as possible.
If anyone finds it an interesting,helpfull,or enjoyable read then i'll be happy!

Thank you all.