Man what a weekend! Great weather, great event, great cars, great customers!!! I couldn’t have asked for more! This was one of those events that reminds me how amazingly blessed I am to be surrounded with such cool shit and awesome people all the time! I love my job!!!
We loaded up Friday night to head down to Ocala for the WannaGoFast half mile event. We were tuning cars all week getting ready. This particular event all the cars were ready in plenty of time but we literally just got a working dyno that wasn’t a POS installed and running Tuesday of last week. That is a whole other story that I won’t get into. So Wednesday-Friday we tuned I think like 7000hp worth of power through our new linked DynoJet LOL! The team arrived around 2am on Saturday morning after driving the whole way through pretty bad rain. We are out of Atlanta as most of you know so the drive is only a little less than six hours. We crashed for a few hours at the hotel then headed to Jumbolair Airport to start tech inspection. Being the first ever partner with WGF we have the distinct honor of getting to chat with all of the drivers and look over their cars before each day’s event. It is always fun to hang out and talk with people about all they have put into their cars of all different makes and models… it is a part of the weekend the me and my guys really enjoy.
It rained all night into the morning so there was a slight delay but around 10ish AM they announced the drivers meeting cause the track was clear and ready to run! After the drivers meeting me and Unabomber jumped in our cars to get ready to make the first pass of the day…. I have to warn you guys… this is where the story gets sad for a min… rest assured it has a happy ending but I wanted to prepare you guys for the temporary sadness
So while the cars were warming up Brain was testing the launch control since we had changed a lot of little stuff on his Motec system to make it work better. Well that damn Alpha cooling kit was just working way TOO good and the tranny had not quite come up to temp… after holding the car in launch for only a split second it overheated the clutch plates in the A basket. Ug, we were so bummed. Really no ones fault but simple circumstance however it wasn’t the time or place we wanted such a silly failure. Because the clutches wouldn’t fully release the car wouldn’t go into 1st gear… Shep was actually at the event helping everyone so he came straight down but didn’t have a magic wand for this one… Easy fix he said but not something I can not do trackside. At that point we went into “find a tranny mode” because of course.. not racing wasn’t an option! We searched high and low for a spare someplace in FL but came up empty handed. We had a few offers to buy full trannies but the desire to run does have it’s limits… just happens 35k is one of those limits LOL!
As most of you know about me, there isn’t much that upsets me more than a disappointed customer… whether that customer is mine or not it errks me like no other. So I pulled Brian aside and told him that he WAS going to race this weekend, not matter what I had to do. I offered to pull the tranny out of my Alpha16 and install it in his so that he could run… he declined me doing that right then and there but after I insisted we came up with the plan that I would run my car the rest of the day Saturday, we would swap the trannies that evening and he would run all day Sunday! Deal! My truck driver was able to find a shop for us to rent that evening to do the tranny and one of my guys went to Northern Tool to get a lift table to make the job a little easier.
After all of that was set in stone and figured out it was quickly rolling into the afternoon, I realized a little after 2pm that I had not even re-warmed up the shop car! So around 2:30pm I finally got to go grab my helmet and get ready to make my first pass. This was the first half mile we have been able to play with the TSM Shop 4.4 Alpha16 so I was very excited to see how she did. The first pull was at 35-36 PSI… I was going to start at 33 but with only having a couple hours to set a time that met my goal I decided to just start it out a little more aggressive. The car rolled out flawlessly the first pass! We have spent the last month or so really working on the Motec and maximizing it’s ability to lay power to the ground. Rob has spent countless hours perfecting torque limiting combinations that allow the car to take full advantage of the tire while not killing power like some other tactics or systems. That pass yielded a 207mph trap speed which I was pretty happy with given that I didn’t feel like I was leaning on her that hard.
The next two passes were both back to back high 206s… we turned the power up a little but the car was hitting a “soft boost cut” on shift. It took a few min digging through the logs to figure out why but by that time it was literally almost 5:30 and the lanes were about to close for the day… that would have been no big deal but my tranny was coming out so setting a time Sunday wasn’t an option. With a couple min to look at it we found a quick work around for the upper gears and just said that is going to have to be good enough for now. I told my tuner Rob to turn the car up to 39-40psi on the back half cause I wanted 210!!! So with a few min before lanes closed I pulled her up to the starting tree for an attempt at 210. The car rolled through second hard… harder than the previous runs given the increase in boost… I peddled it twice through 2nd then grabbed 3rd… when it hit 3rd it soft cut again but came back in pretty quickly so I kept my foot buried!!! The rest of the pull was as clean as could be, tearing to redline in every gear man it felt good! After slowing her down of course the 1 min drive back up to the timing booth is like the longest min of your damn life!!! I’m thinking “if that little cut robbed me and this thing went 209 i’m gonna be pissed” LOL!!! Nope! 211!!! Heck yeah! I was so excited!!! The whole team did just an amazing job, all of my guys and my tuner were on point… very solid accomplishment. You know of course after it was all over the little things come in your head like… I should have taken the wing off, man if that little boost cut didn’t happen that was probably 1mph or more… maybe I should have gone to 42psi….. and just in case you are wondering…that is the moment you know you have a problem
Alright so enough about my car… we had two other TSM 4.4 A16s running there as well. Both of them customer driven and enjoying the hell out of them.
First was our customer Schume who has pretty much an identical build to my car.. the only difference was we were having a hard time getting his to hook. At the GA half mile we found that R888s worked better on the surface than the DR setup so we decided to give that a shot on his, in hindsight I think this surface was responding better to the DR setups. However he was still able to pull a best trap time of a 202mph even having to pull his foot completely out of it in 2nd gear… which is very awesome! Customer driven 202mph with a big lift is nothing to sneeze at that car was rolling out! I’m really excited to continue to work with Schume in order to get that car dialed in for him… he is an amazing customer that comes to all of the events with us both drag and half mile… we have gotten to know one another well and really enjoy having him around!
The third Alpha16 car we brought was a car we built for a previous owner here on the forums who sold it for an R8. The new owner has joined us for two half miles now and plans to come to TX2K with us as well. He ran the car I think 5 or 6 times on Saturday but just spun spun spun! In talking to Shep we realized that the FWD clutch has been in that car through three builds from the previous owner and probably just isn’t doing much anymore. Seemed like every pass the car would throw the AWD light which completely renders the car RWD and VERY difficult to drive at that power level. Finally I instructed the customer to just roll through 4th and then hammer on it to see what it trapped… well he did and rolled through at 200 on the dot! LOL! I was in shock it went that fast. He ran the car again a few times Sunday before asking me to drive it… I was able to squeak a 203 out of her at the same power level (which by the way won me 20 bucks) With a good FWD clutch that would have been an easy 208ish pass at 36psi… there is always next event though!
Saturday concluded we had 3 out of 4 big hitter GT-Rs over the 200 mark with even with some small obstacles! I couldn’t have been happier with the results. All of the customers had a blast, all of the cars ran great, everyone went fast!!!! Well… everyone but Brian who’s car was already at the garage with the transmission out waiting for me to head over there with my car. So that is exactly what I did… I said my goodbyes to everyone and jumped in the shop car for the short drive over to the garage we had rented. My guys were their waiting ready for a tranny transplant! I must say they were a little pissed at me because I was so excited I did pulls almost all the way there… so when I showed up the thing was scalding hot! …. wooops However they still made quick work of the job simply installing my entire subframe into Unabombers car and swapping over the TCM so we didn’t have to learn everything again. By 9ish PM Unabombers car was up and running and mine was on the trailer ready to watch her transmission go fast Sunday
Seeee…. I told you that there was a happy ending but we aren’t there yet so keep reading
By Sunday morning Rob had the little nuisance of a soft boost cut all worked out so we took Unabombers car out on the street for a couple test rips before heading to the airport. Man the car was hooking SO good on the street and running so awesome that we left the TQ limiting pretty aggressive for his first pass. Of course Brian was waiting with HUGE smiles when we pulled into the event with the car. As a little side note his whole family was there for this event for the first time… Mom, Dad, Wife, Daughter… All ready to watch him run…. just another one of the reasons there was no way I wasn’t gonna make sure that car ran at some point during the weekend!
Well evidently the air strip was hooking about 60% of what the highway was because first pass the car spun HARD and threw AWD/RWD in 3rd gear… anyone that knows Brian knows that he didn’t care…. his damn foot stayed buried as if he was trying to push the accelarator through the floorboard! He rolled through the trap at 190 spinning the entire way!!! When we pulled up the log I think front to rear was never less than 20ish MPH difference LOL! Freaking crazy man! So we took that data and selected a torque more suitable for the conditions and sent him back on his way…. First pass the car spun a little…he drove through it and trapped 203!!! Hell yeah we were all super stoked! Faster than the car has ever gone, and faster than any other 35R based car at a WGF event! While everyone was jumping for joy all I was thinking was “and their is more left” *insert evil smirk* The next pass he simply backed it up… 202.7 and change… ok she was ready for a little heat! We brought him back in and let the car cool… as it was cooling down I sat with Rob and gave her a little pinch here… a little dash there… At the same time we took a little bit and perfected the front half the best as possible given the conditions. Brian’s goal was 205mph which would put him well past any other Alpha12 or similar setup in a standing half mile…. so that is what we were shooting for!
The next/final pass the car rolled out absolutely flawlessly! I was standing behind it like a proud father watching it just lay power to the ground! When he crossed the line and I looked at the speed board I literally leapt off the ground and screamed like a little girl LOL!!! 206.99MPH!!! Holy Crap that is fast!!!!! Needless to say Brian came cruising back up the return lane with the biggest smile ever on his face!!! The plan came together just beautifully and Brian was beyond happy…… even though he did ask me if I would turn it up even more about 2 min later! I replied “next event”
See Happy Ending!!!! (not that kind)
All in all what an awesome weekend! Four big hitters brought, every one of them over 200MPH, and all the customers had an absolute blast! Even the non crazy power cars went fast… my brother was there with his Pro Eight car and ran it over and over again in the mid 180s.. we had a couple other stock turbo GT-R customers there that also put down very impressive numbers as well…. frankly I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend! I can’t thank my team enough for making it happen… I am surrounded by an amazing group of enthusiasts that take it upon themselves to insure that TSM puts out only top level cars to the very best of our ability! We are very blessed to have such a strong team.
Now if you skipped all that because it was too much to read….. at least I got some bad ass pictures too
Enjoy!!!! Thank you all for the support!