350z on the Donington Park GP loop!
It has been a few late afternoons and a bit of a baptism of fire lately with the Z. I decided, in my infinite wisdom, that it made sense to work on the car at home rather than at Abbey Motorsport. We’ve been struggling getting down there often enough to work on the car due to living so far away – most of the work being cosmetic, simple stuff.
So recently we have:
- Fitted new Seibon carbon wings (nightmare)
- Fitted flush aero catches (nightmare with a cherry on top)
- Changed the rear lexan screen (had to drill out about 30 bolts)
- Change the seating position and runners (known pain in the ass)
- Re-gas the fire extinguisher (gave it to lifeline – this was easy…especially as Simon did the running around too! Lol!)
- Changed the harnesses (fitments different from previous so a bit of a pain)
- Get the MXL data dash connection working! (arrrrrrghhh!)
Also in amongst this, I have brought some pork and proposed to the Mrs!
Stepping up to Britcar
Britcar has always been a dream of mine, since seeing RJN running their 350z back in 2005 at the 24 hour race…so we decided now is the time to make this dream come true!! Stage 1: testing with the big boys at Donington.
Abbey Motorsport rocked up Wednesday evening and then it was a quick stop over at Holiday Inn (dont have their scrambled eggs (!) and then onto Donington Park for the morning breifing. Except there is no breifing at a test day or any scrutineering really, they just assume you know what your doing, which fortunately Mark does!
I thought I would take a walk up and down the pit lane as I always seem to get attacked by nerves before a proper test day…well my nerves were calmed when I saw the following:
- GT3 Ginetta
- LMP2 car
- F3 cars assorted
- v12 Mantra
- GT4 Aston
- GT4 Ferrari 458
- 1998 Clio 2.0
So it’s going to be a day of checking mirrors!
After a couple of years running in other series that call for road legal tyres, we’re now back on slicks! Hurrah! So we started with a slightly softer setting and began working our way back into the groove on the slicks.
Here we are in the pit road about to go out on a brand new set of dunlop soft slicks:
Serious faces! Chatting about setups and looking at lap times.
Here are a few pics of some of the other things on the track for your delight:
These things move like nothing else on the track, braking so late with so much grip – most of them were fair with space apart from one idiot (there’s always one!) but still no one colided.
We also welcomed a new member of the team – Simon, who is obsessed with Redbull!!
Making some adjustment to setup:
In order to ensure the slicks don’t instantly ruin, the guys from Dunlop suggested we keep the car is in the air when not moving for longer than a few minutes when the tyres are hot. Initially I struggled to get the tyres to turn on – although I’m guessing that was the gel coat and the lack of pressure. When they did come on, the car just came alive – laptimes immediately dropped and the pressures on the tyres shot up.
Mark made some adjustments in the pits, dropped the pressures and we tried disconnecting the ARB’s to see whether we were going in the right direction.
The car was getting slightly quicker but most of the time needed to come from me really. I kept pushing and the car felt good, the brakes got up to temperature – with the grip and the AP’s we were gaining a lot of time on the brakes.
As the car got better, however, I was getting tired and started becoming less smooth. Turning into Coppice, I got the car a bit too sideways, which happened to coincide with the ESC snatching the front left brake to try and straighten it up…this sent me wide and through the gravel! I kept the wheels spinning in 4th with my foot pinned to the floor and got out but having jumped through the air I was fairly certain we had caused some damage.
The team set to work on the car straight away and although the car had collected a lot of stones, I hadn’t caused too much damage other than to the underside of the splitter and my pride.
The rest of the session saw the car have a few other issues where we saw oil pressure dropping below a set threshold on the dash and putting the car into limp mode. At the same corner, after resolving the oil pressure issue, we saw a fuel pressure sensor get triggere – a little look and it seemed we had broken one of the two fuel pumps. For those that know Donny the first corner is a series so I was going into it in 3rd, then still turning into 4th, still turning into 5th before dropping into Craners. This resulted in all the fuel and oil being pushed to the left of the car while I was flat to the floor…Mark worked some trickery with the ECU and brimmed the tank to try and allow the car to get past the issues and we were off again.
Some data from the dash
This is showing wheel spin on corner entry/exit
GPS speed around the lap
Before I sign off…we’re really proud to announce that we have a new sponsor for next year – more details coming at Silverstone in August!
Big thanks to Abbey Motorsport and the team for all the support!