Where to begin? Let’s go back to the beginning of May. It was like any other NASA event pre-party. Travis flew in to spend his week on the dyno while I finished making another splitter for his car. Road Atlanta was in our sights and we knew down force was going to be a major factor on the track. With a few new design ideas and yet another sheet of material, we finished up the car and headed out for Inde Motorsports Ranch. This would be the 6th Round for NASA AZ and with Inde being a high speed track; it was perfect for final testing before Atlanta. It was a full house over the weekend with not only the three Snail Cars, but also a number of our friends packed into the corner of the paddock. For Travis, he was all about the testing side of things, saving the car for Atlanta and not pushing too hard for fear of damaging anything before his 3000 mile round trip. For Markos and me, it was just another NASA AZ event, time to run as fast as we can and earn some more season points. Saturday was a blast and we each got faster throughout the end of the day. With a 1:43.724, I snagged 1st Place TT2 for the day.
Sunday everyone seemed a bit off. Travis’ was still having under boosting issues not being able to make more than 21lbs of boost. When competing against other 600+ hp cars this just doesn’t cut it. I went out for my first session having trouble making a solid right turn. Come to find out, there was a screw in my front left tire which scared me as turn 3 off the runway is a right hand turn at over 100mph. Markos decided to give Hoosiers a try and found a few extra seconds. Travis took 2nd place TT-U despite being considerably underpowered. I took 1st place TT2 and Markos was a few tenths from knocking the local Inde hot-shoe off of a podium position.
At this point we knew Travis’ car was not 100%, leaving it hard to justify a trip to Road Atlanta. We brought the car back to the shop that night and started working on it. We found a number of small boost leaks, but it still was not perfect. We worked into the night and in the morning until we had the little Garrett GTX3076 screaming over 600whp. Now the car was ready. Travis loaded up and left for his first stop in Texas. There he picked up Dale “Boss of the Sauce” Barnes who joined us for the race in Atlanta. Wednesday night I flew in and met up with them to get ready for the next few days. Thursday was a setup day and Friday the racing started. Taking his usual cruise laps, Travis went out and began learning the track, quickly finding that Forza does not do it any justice. Cresting turn 2 in his first session he found himself mowing the grass for the first time that weekend. In session 2, Travis began to pick up more speed with each lap. Now with a solid idea of the lines of the track, we looked forward to the following sessions to gain more time.
In session 3, Travis was determined to get a low 1:30, if not under that. He was launched as the first car in the second half of the B group and began his warm-up lap. Apparently this wasn’t a fast enough warm up lap as another driver passed him. Coming around the back straight, the same driver who just couldn’t wait became a moving road block, wasting the lap for Travis. This would end the day as after Travis made the pass and went for another hot lap, all power was lost from what we would later find out was the teeth of 4th gear exploding. Discouraged, we parked the car for a while. After some debate, Dale jumped under the car and I joined in to help. Each CV axle was fine, differentials seemed to be ok, but pulling the transmission pan, we found the teeth of 4th gear, along with the 3/4 shift fork. We spent the rest of the night cleaning out the gear box of metal shavings, gears, and contaminated oil.
Travis decided to go Honey Badger and run with a 1,2,5,6 gear box. If we weren’t going to win, we were going to make the rest of competitors work for their check. The first session on Sunday with only a usable 5th and 6th gear, Travis shaved 3 seconds from his time with his fastest of the weekend at a 1:32.6. It was here the weekend ended as in the next session, Travis tested the splitter as a lawn dart and failed miserably. That splitter has since been donated to Road Atlanta corner workers as we never saw it again.
In the end, we finished 3rd Place Unlimited AWD. We have to thank Global Time Attack for throwing such a great event as always. Also thank you to all of our sponsors for making this trip possible. From here, we look forward to the upcoming NASA events as well as Global Time Attack Pro Am in June. Yes June, two weeks from now. We should probably get started putting these cars back together.
Written by: Taylor “Dr. Koby D.” Wilson
Big Thanks all of our 2013 Sponsors:
Turbosmart USA, Whiteline US, Turbo by Garrett, LIC Motorsports, Wheeldude.com, Turbos Direct, Continental Tire, and Mothers
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