Posted on November 19 2010
My season with Cobb Motorsports has finally come to a close and I don’t think any of us could have asked for a better result. The GT-R ended up with the championship in the Modified AWD class, and the STi also ended up with the championship in the AWD Street class. It wasn’t without some trial and tribulation of competing in a somewhat unproven chassis to a level that no one else really has. Running a one 10 second quarter mile is cool I guess, but running at at those type of horsepower levels for 30 minutes at a time with a 3800 lb. chassis on a circuit requires an immensely more involved level of preparation. We’re talking hundreds of hours of spring changes, alignment adjustments, aero modification, just on chassis development alone….. the majority of which was performed on track. By the end of the season this car ended up with 2 oil coolers, 1 transmission cooler, 1 differential cooler, and water cooled brakes!
This last race was back at California Speedway, home of the crazy long Nascar bank. It was a pretty busy weekend for those of us on the motorsports team. First up on the GT-R, we had taken the Modified AWD record at every event we had entered this year but for the finale we really had our sights set on the overall quickest time….. which meant Yokohama slicks instead of the DOT Toyo RA-1′s we normally run on, which also meant more chassis setup to adjust to the additional grip. And on top of that, our relatively new splitter hadn’t been tested at speeds of 175 mph + and it quickly proved it wasn’t quite up to the task. The old splitter was fine below 150 mph but the lack of proper bracing up front meant that it was actually being pushed all the way down to the ground on the front straight which resulted in the entire front portion being worn away to almost nothing after only a couple of laps. When you’re at the track you don’t always have the time, or resources to be able to repair things exactly how you would like so we ended up making a quick run to the closest Home Depot to hopefully be able to salvage the splitter and ending up with the last minute mad creation you see here:
It may not be the prettiest thing out there but it was effective. And while we weren’t quite able to beat the overall record this year we did beat the previous AWD MOD record by 3 seconds! The STi had it’s share of issues as well, the engine package put together by Tim Bailey and Dustin Harris has been exceptionally reliable but you can only run a 500 hp+ race motor in these grueling conditions for so long until some maintenance is in order.
It turns out that the first day of practice late in the day the car was showing signs of a head gasket failure. On a Mitsubishi, Honda or anything else this wouldn’t be a big deal, but being that this was a Subaru it meant the entire motor would need to be pulled, disassembled, and reinstalled by the next day to properly solve the problem. Since we had the GT-R ready to go it was time for my first trackside motor rebuild, and yes that’s a good thing
Not the ideal scenario for a headgasket replacement but when you’re at the track you do what you have to do with the available resources to get the job done. Hopefully the first and last time I will use an old tire as an engine stand.
We were able to get the motor back in and running by noon the next day, but unfortunately 4th gear decided it didn’t want to party anymore so Cameron was forced to limp the car around track without it. It’s kind of a bummer, but you can’t say we didn’t try. The long season had definitely taken it’s toll on both cars. All in all, we still ended up champions at the end of the day and the cars left covered in champagne just as they had been all year long. I am VERY proud to have been able to be a part of such a successful operation surrounded by so many talented and passionate people.
Here’s a couple of videos taken from the vent if you care to have a look…. I think I will miss the wail of the VR38DETT the most
And for all of you here for only the classic JDM stuff I apologize about the lack of content lately but this is a blog about my day to day and this is it……. and the way I feel is the more experience I can get the better I can serve our customers, even if they may not be 850hp track terrors
Back to the nostalgics !!!