HPDE Testing Round 2

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Went to Thunderbolt Raceway at New Jersey Motorsports Park. I was signed up as an instructor with TrackDaze and thought it would be a good idea to take the Lemons car and test it/flog it before the actual LeMons event.

The car actually surprised me. It ran pretty much flawless with the exception of some minor problems that can easily be addressed, and it was surprisingly quick.
Actually I should clarify. It's pretty quick in the corners, but really slow in accellerating in the straights. I was basically only using the brakes to turn the car, not really to slow it down.

I managed to pass some fast cars in the wet, and even a couple in the dry (with big lifts). However a Miata is faster than this thing in a straight line. Seriously. I was slowly realing in a Miata and he gave me the point by going onto the main straight, but I couldn't gain an inch on the straight, in fact I actually lost some ground to him.

It was hella fun though. This is a great car. Everyone who rode in it was increadibly impressed, and most were dumbfounded when they learned it was a 318.
I had 2 Vette guys in the advanced group ask me what was in this thing. They didn't like the answer that is was a $500 318is, but did find some solstice in the fact that I was an instructor running in their group.

Lap times where about 1:50 on Thunderbolt in the damp with the chicane.

Couple things I found out about the car:
The speedo/odomoter works intermittantly.
The guage cluster needs to be painted black as it reflects onto the windsheild.
The wipers switch broke so I had to replace it.
All the wiring in the back will need to be heat shrinked or somehow waterproofed as water gets everywhere.
We desperately need a dead pedal foot rest. Trying to keep myself in the seat by bracing my leg against the floor was very tiresome!
I was able to make a "cushion" to raise my seating position to a good level by placing a 11x18 ream of printer paper under the cushion. It worked pretty good.
The seat position should recline a little more but doubtful we'll get to it. The combination of no dead pedal and seat position will make long stints very tiresome/painful.
I used about 1 tank of gas per day. Unfortunatly I could not tell how many miles that works out too since the odometer does not work.

Will try to post up video later.

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