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Guess, Test, Repeat

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Guess, Test, Repeat

Cooper Pierce

It has been some time since I last did an update on this car. In fact, the last article I wrote about this car specifically is when the Track Tuned site first started up (here). This little car has changed a bit since 2015, but nothing too major. The main focus has been the overall balance and handling. The goal from the start was to see what this car can do in various time attack events in the US with a stock J32a2 motor. It’s a budget car after all and by no means a powerhouse. Also, for those wondering, the team name is more of a joke in all actuality. Guess Work simply implies I have no idea what I’m doing, and that each change is mostly guesswork in hopes that I’ll go faster next time. I would consider myself more of just a driver, and not much of an actual car builder, but like most of you, I am constantly trying to learn as I go.

 Photo by: Matt Viramontes @MCVimagery 

Photo by: Matt Viramontes @MCVimagery 

So what all has changed? The first thing to note is it’s slightly heavier than it used to be. It’s now sitting at 2,200lbs (998 kg). It has gained roughly 80lbs since 2015. The reason for this is due to a few rule changes in the street class for Global Time Attack requiring a bit more interior trim pieces like a CD player, the HVAC system, carpet, and headliner (from the B pillar forward at least). On the plus side though, this makes the car feel more like a street car and the noise is a little more tolerable than it was previously. The only other addition to the interior is a new Sparco seat, which was added solely for the lateral head support.

The wheel setup is completely different than before utilizing a 5 lug setup in the front with a 17x9 wrapped in meaty 255 tires. The fenders are currently OEM, and have been rolled and pulled as much as possible to fit the wheels. This is my version of “hella-flush”. Also, the reason for 5 lug conversion is there is a lot more tire options, considering the street class 180 tread limitation. It’s very difficult to find wide tires for a 15” or 16” wheel past a 245 width. The rears are the same 16x8 wheels that were on the front of the car 2 years ago.

 Photo by Tim Turner @HallettFotoShoppe

Photo by Tim Turner @HallettFotoShoppe

Another change that should be obvious is the aero package. This is PCI’s aero kit utilizing a wider 59” wing compared to the 48” they sell for Honda Challenge race cars. It should be noted that the 48” wing was probably just fine for the car, but the 59” wing looked cooler, so that was chosen instead. Why not? The end plates are custom made by D2RFab in Wichita, KS. I made sure to make the end plates as obnoxious as possible, just like other time attack cars.

 Photo by Chris Lawrie @Fusionworks Racing

Photo by Chris Lawrie @Fusionworks Racing

The car also has the 5” sideskirts rather than the 4" that PCI offers since the car now sits a bit taller than it used to due to the bigger diameter wheels. I will be lowering the front just a tad more. 

 Photo by Tim Turner @HallettFotoShoppe

Photo by Tim Turner @HallettFotoShoppe

The splitter is ½ birch plywood mated to PCI’s quick disconnect mounts and extends beyond the bodywork 5”. The air dam, or front lip, is just an eBay chargespeed replica lip trimmed up and lowered a bit to meet the splitter. 

 The car is still street driven every now and then.

The car is still street driven every now and then.

Lastly, due to adding some additional weight to the car, plus the aero, the front spring rates have been changed. The car sits on PIC Select R3’s, which are far stiffer than what it had previously. The front is up from 10k to 14k rates with a 21mm OEM sway bar(just recently added), and the rear is still soft at the moment with 7k rears combined with a 32mm ASR hollow sway bar. I've been getting some help from PIC to help me up the rear spring rate to 12k here pretty soon, so I'll be testing out the car again here very shortly. 

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The most recent lap time for reference is Gingerman Raceway, where it hit a 1:41.9 and took first in Street Mod FWD class at the recent GridLife Midwest event. Currently it's the class record, but knowing how time attack usually goes, it won't stand for very long at all. 

This year at Global Time Attack Road Atlanta it hit a 1:37.5 compared to the 1:38.4 it hit last year. Despite being slower on the straights due to the aero, it was certainly much faster in the high-speed corners. Turn 12 is taken full throttle, whereas last year without aero that was simply not possible. It’s pretty amazing what a simple aero setup can accomplish.

Lastly, at 2016 Global Time Attack Super Lap Battle at Buttonwillow it set a 1:56.9. This was the first event I had ever run aero before and it was also the first time I had ran the track, but overall I was still very happy with the lap time. I will be making a return trip this year eager to have another go at it. 

Overall, I believe this car has proven what it set out to do. A J series setup can be fast and handle just fine on a road course.  I plan on running it for a few more years till it's time to work towards a RWD platform. The main focus will be suspension, alignment, and brakes for the upcoming SuperLap Battle. I also plan on bringing a new set of tires this time! 

 

 

Links:

http://www.grid.life/

http://globaltimeattack.com/

Fusionworks Racing - http://www.fusionworksracing.com/index.html

D2RFab - https://www.facebook.com/D2RFab/

PIC Performance - http://www.picperformance.com/

Cover Photo by: MCVimagery