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Shakedown Success! Preseason Notebook

Using an SCCA Regional to test the car ahead of the F1600 Championship Series, we spent the weekend at Summit Point in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia.


We were supposed to get a lot of running in on Friday but it rained, then we missed Saturday qualifying due to leaving our SCCA Logbook at home. It was mailed to the track in time for Race 1 and the track was still very slippery on Saturday morning anyways. Race 1 on Saturday and Race 2 on Sunday went well, I was 2.5 seconds faster than our shakedown last year (when we didn’t know it but we had a dying engine) and set a lap record for the Mid-Atlantic Road Racing series. It’s still several seconds off the F1600 Pro series that I’m running this year, but it was on old tires, no draft, I wasn’t pushing through the dangerous Turn 4, and there’s still plenty of speed in the car’s setup.

I’m still struggling with too much rear brake bias. There’s an adjuster in the cockpit but it’s only good for a certain range, and right now we’re outside of it. If I can get more confidence in the straight-line braking stability I’ll be able to brake later, harder, and carry more brake past turn-in to better rotate the car. I have brake pressure sensors installed in the car but only one of them is working, and while it works, I can’t figure out how to zero it.


I also had a good bit of power-on, corner-exit understeer. Particularly in the high speed sections. The esses (7-9) and coming off Turn 10. I softened the front anti-roll bar (I have an adjuster in the cockpit) and it helped a bit, I think also increasing the rear tire pressure helped a tiny bit. My dad didn’t have a hot pit pass so he couldn’t take hot pressures. The understeer was manageable but something to keep in mind when we come back in August.

We’ll be at Road Atlanta in two weeks for the Pro Series season opener. There are currently 14 entries and expected to be a few more, so it should be a good field. Last year we had engine problems, this year I expect to be well into the top half of the field. 

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