So with the new wing installed I towed the LeMon up to ThunderHill for a Friday with TEAM Racing. I was instructing, so I got a white wristband: my ticket to drive like an
And break it did.
First session of the day, lap #2 as we're entering the front straight (just after pit exit), I felt some moisture on my cheek. Then I looked at the temp gauge and saw it in the middle of a seizure. I pulled the car into the paddock, popped the hood using the BMW special hood opening tool, and spotted the belt that drives the alternator and water pump dangling from the engine compartment. It was a bit mangled, and clearly was not where it was supposed to be. Luckily I had the belt we took off the car when we replaced it with a brand new one. Yeah, that belt should be
Out of sight, out of mind.
Next up I noticed horrible understeer into turn 1 and turn 8 at Thunderhill. Both turns are taken at 80mph+ To my surprise, the wing was actually being effective and creating downforce on the rear of the car!
That's great, but without any aero on the front of the car all it did was produce understeer. Ridiculous "slide the car into high speed turns" understeer. I managed to trail brake to get the car to turn in a little better, but it got hairier and hairier as I pushed harder. After one session, a driver who followed me through turn 8 found me in the paddock and remarked "wow, your car was all balled up and twisted with a front wheel up in the air"
That convinced me that it was time to stop driving around the problem and to try to remedy it. So I pulled off the top wing. Less surface area has to have less downforce, right?
It worked, and the car went back to a more normal level of understeer. Hopefully in the actual 24Hrs of LeMons race, due to the track configuration, we'll be going a little slower and the wing won't need further tuning. If not, at that point, we'll be tuning using another special tool.
The rest of the day was fairly uneventful.
There are some pics from the day up at gotbluemilk.com. Check out that suspension compression! Used KYB shocks and Vogtland springs are about the lamest E30 suspension kit on the market, but it's the cheapest ... so here we are.