Penny-pinching car geek's guide to racing, track days, and car build. DIY projects, product reviews, and interviews.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Track Day Report - 12/03/11 - Calspeed Karting

I have a plathora of hobbies.  I'm not always into all of them, but I take all of them seriously.  My two other big hobbies are martial arts and practical shooting competitions.  They all have something in common with driving.  I think you'll all know what I'm talking about.  I love the focus.  I love the never-ending search for perfection.  And I sure as hell know that before you reach this type of zen-feeling, you need to be proficient in the basics of the craft.  This past event, I felt that.  Not the actual, euphoric feeling of enlightenment, but the feeling that I'm beginning on my way to that feeling.

After some problems with my storage unit, I finally got in and hauled my kart out to the track.  Calspeed again.  I am growing to love that track.

Because I have no idea what I am doing, I did not get the damage from my last event fixed.  So the first hour or so, Stu fixed my kart.  Oh boy I'm glad here is there to help.  I probably would have given up on karting altogether by now if it were not for him.  Furthermore, knowing that I'll be out at the track again no matter what I do, except of course, completely destroy my kart, is priceless.

Boy was it windy.  And cold.  I did 4 sessions that day.  Tom, a cool guy that drives with us, took my kart out to see how it does.  He said it handled well; so no excuses for me!

For the first few sessions I was still spooked from the last crash.  I tried my best to not look at the walls.  Last thing I need is destroying my kart again.  Stu commented: you're still spinning?  Yes, I did spin a couple of times.  That prompted me to clean up my driving.  I did the same thing I did to improve my autocross times; slow down. 

"X" does not mark the target for you to aim at,
but to avoid and look out for unpredictable behavior!
One of the things that kept me from driving faster was dealing with other karts.  My friend Chris who has written on this blog tells me that is 80% of the fun.  Not for me, at least not yet.  When I hear a kart behind me or see it in my prehiperal vision, I lose concentration.  Worse, when a kart actually passes me, I tend to focus on it, remembering details like "oh thats a TAG."  "oh, that is a shifter."

One of the sessions, a shifter guy spun out on his warm-up lap.  I think I could have totally avoided it, but being the newbie I am, I spun behind him.  After I pulled my kart behind the tire wall and helped him pull his, he said "Sorry about that."  After a few seconds, he added "Can you give me a push?"  I did, and there I stood until I could be picked up by the track staff.

Anyways, I finally got to go on the novice session.  Less karts.  I caught up to a lot more people, even some guys in a TAG.  I was finally able to focus on my driving.  I worked on looking ahead, and tried to adjust braking, turn-in, and acelleration points on one or two corners at a time.  It felt great.  I started to get that feeling of being in the groove.  I did not start losing concentration at the straights, and when I did encounter other karts, I found myself able to focus much better.  In particular, I worked on the entry to turns 1-2, which are two minor left handers leading up to the 'Kornakuva' turn.  (who names these turns?)  I worked it up to the point where my foot is still on the gas until the entry to turn 3.  Stu and a bunch of friends I drive with said I looked much better.  Its good to end the track day on a good note.

The biggest lesson I got was to not fixate and look ahead, no matter what.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Gear Review - Aisics Matflex Wrestling Shoes

I used to wear converses when I drove the old Miata.  With my kart, I was going to stick to these cheap wal-mart shoes I bought which had a fairly thin sole.  When I crashed last week, I thought about that choice again and bought these shoes, which I believe are a bit safer.

I wanted something with a bit more ankle support and maintained great feedback.  Dedicated karting shoes may have been the best choice, but my past experiences with racing dedicated shoes have not been that great.  They'd fall apart after some hard use (for instance, running around the paddock).  Maybe it is because racing apparel manufacturers don't have much expertise in making shoes.  Who knows.

I read online that wrestling shoes lasts longer and has great feedback.  So off to the store I went.  My shoes cost me about 50 dollars.

Three things: the shoe is very well ventilation.  My last event was very windy and cold.  My feet got somewhat cold, but that didn't seem to affect my driving that much.  Secondly, some parts of the shoe seem to be able to give me some abrasion protection, but the vent mesh probably won't hold up that well if I slide a lot on the wrong side of my feet.  However, if I do end up somehow sliding on my feet, it will probably be on the beefier parts of the shoe.  Lastly, the ankle support is only so-so.  Much better than the shoes I was using before, but it is only a mid-top.

One more thing.  The sole of my shoe has these bumps, which I thought was for gripping the wrestling mat.  It bothered me a bit at first, but I got used to it.  I had no problems walking and running around the asphalt.  I wore them all day, including the drive to and from the track.

The build quality is great.  Aisics probably knows how to make shoes better than most racing equipment manufacturers do.  And it shows.  I believe it when they say these will last longer.

It also has these flaps that secure by velcro that help you sort out the laces.  This is helpful as it keeps the laces out of the way so they don't get caught on your pedals.

All in all, I'm pretty happy with it.  If you want to save some money at the expense of a little bit of abrasion resistance, get a pair of these shoes.

Track Day Report - 11/25/2011 - Calspeed Karting

This is what I get for posting late.  I don't remember that much about this day, and I've already gone to another practice session since then.  I'll have to post back-to-back reports now.

That day, we went to the Auto Club Speedway's karting circuit.  A course layout is here.  This was more of a horsepower track, and it was important to know which part of the track was grippy and which was not.  Track times changed a lot depending on the air and surface conditions.

I spent this day getting comfortable with driving the kart, and getting over the fear, much like the day before.  More importantly, spent this time trying to at least vaguely understand where the limits of the kart is.  Looking back, every minute of seat time was very valuable because I needed every bit of it to help me get more comfortable with the kart.

The memorable part of the day was when I crashed, crashed decently hard by karting standards.  It happened on the exit of turn 9, the "silk."  This corner has a lot of runoff space, and it can actually be taken at full throttle in my kart.  Well, I tried that, and thought I had nailed it.  I expected to use every inch of available space.  I noticed I might have misjudged it, and right when I glanced at the wall, my front left wheel just barely touched it.  The kart bounced off and it spun me so that I was pointing to the left, which changed the direction of my momentum.  I plowed into the tire wall hard.  My upper crotch went right into the steering wheel.

The damage?  Front left spindle bent (again), bearings inside front left spindle broken, left side tie rod broken, rod end broken, steering shaft bent.  We also discovered that the rear axle was bent at the next event.  I have no idea how the axle damage happened.

Lesson learned: never never never look at anywhere but where you want to be.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy thanksgiving!  The picture above is my lead-up meals to thanksgiving.  Meals, at lunch, at work, at the cafeteria in my building.  Isn't that awesome?  By the way, the super turkey meal in the middle features gourmet cranberry sauce and delicious gravy.  With a drink and apple pie for under 9 bucks!  On top of that, I ate Korean food with my wife the night I ate the delicious turkey meal.  The next day, my friend came over from San Diego with his family so we had unlimited Korean BBQ.  I think its time to watch my cholesterol.

Actually, I've been steadily gaining weight since after bar exam.  I started running again, but it isn't cutting it.
When I used to have kickboxing matches coming up and the kickboxing club to be an example to, I was in much better shape.  Now that I'm a working man, I find it both hard to find the time or to have the motivation to be in good shape.

I think it is time to diet.  And for the first time in my life, to diet not to make weight or to get ready for an upcoming match, but just to stay healthy.  That'll also help me in my racing ventures.  I'm still in fairly good shape and being on the track doesn't beat me up that much, but that can't last if I keep this up.

My next practice session is at Fontana this Friday.  I'm going to continue my goal of simply learning to drive the kart.  I'll try to put in 50 laps, but that may be much harder at Calspeed than it was at Apex.  I can't wait :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Don't buy that shit! - Track day report - 11/19/11 - First time out @ Apex

I haven't been in a Kart for over 4 years, and when I was in one I had very limited exposure to it.  I haven't been in any sort of track for almost a full year.  90% of my seat time comes from a Miata, and the other 9% is probably from indoor karting.  So I was in for 'a real something' when I went out for my first session.

First things first.  Stu Hayner held my hand through everything.  He installed everything on my kart, fixed my carb, fixed my brakes, hooked me up with a set of used tires, and when he found out both of my motors were KPV junior motors, he even took off one of the motors off of his other karts and put it on mine.  I'm probably forgetting something.  Most importantly, he gave me tons and tons of advice.  One thing that was stressed to me repeatedly was  "Don't buy anything!" That still rings in my ear.  I really don't need to buy anything.  Robert sold me everything I needed, trailer, safety equipment included. (thanks Robert!)

Before we get into details; here are stats:
"off's" - 4 or 5 times (lol)
"off's" that caused other "off's" - once (included in above figure)
Broken parts - 1
Time behind Stu's pace: 7 seconds (In a 43-45 second course. lol!)

I also found out my kart is good at shoveling up gravel, and how good gravel is for slowing down a kart.

I got there around 10AM, and by 11AM I was already out on the track.  I got about 60 laps in.  Kart seemed to handle pretty well, with a hint of understeer.  Stu was worried it might handle badly, because many of the components were from other karts, and because my steering shaft was bent.  It didn't matter though, there is nothing much wrong about driving with a bent steering shaft, and I'm not good enough to notice subtle differences in handling.  Or at least I think.

Turns out the kart handled just fine.  Slightly understeery, but thats good for a newbie like me.
The whole day was spent learning to drive the kart.  Took me many laps to figure out that I need to go fast enough for the kart to even get around the corner.  Took me many more laps to figure out that leaning out helps the kart turn.  Took me many more laps to figure out I can't turn my head enough with the neck brace I got.  And it took me many laps to figure out that noise and surge in acceleration in a particular left hander was my leg flinging out and pushing on the throttle cable (lol!)

Some memorable events.  I spun (completely due to driver error-forgot to put enough heat into the tires) on a left hander and was pointed the other way.  I saw two, three more people spin out trying to avoid me.  Oops. Bad spot to lose it.  Another idiot error:  I was trying to push it a bit and felt that I was going a wee bit too fast.  Momentarily, I thought "what if..?" and looked at that "what if" spot.  Off I went right into that spot, which happened to be a barrier after a gravel pit.  Scooped up a bunch of gravel and went right into the barrier.  Thank goodness for movable barriers.  No noticeable damage in any of my "offs," except I think I chipped my brake rotors a bit more.

I learned a lot.  A challenge for me is getting over the fear and trusting my kart.  You know those sections on a racetrack with lots of kinks and bends that lead into a slow corner with a hard braking zone, which series of turns can be taken flat-out if you do it properly?  There was one of those at Apex, which you probably know of, and it took me the third session to get the guts enough to try it flat-out.  I felt each time my kart would fly off the track.  Each time before the braking zone my kart would start a four wheel drift.  Kinda scary for a newbie like me.  But the kart will do it over and over again, as long as I ask properly.  Much of the high-speed corners can be taken with a simple lift of the throttle or a small jab at the brakes.  I always braked early and hard for them, like I was in a car.  Not only was it sometimes even harder to get around the corner that way, it killed my exit speed since my.. erm.. entry speed was so very very low.  No wonder I'm 7 seconds off.

However, in the beginning of the day I told myself I'll do a 50.  I couldn't figure out how to use the Mychron 2 unit that my kart came with, but I finally figured out that one of the digits that looked messed up was supposed to say "5," and that is when I figured out that I was hovering around 50.2 - 50.5s.  At least that is somewhat consistent, by Jerry standards.  (I'd stay within 0.5 seconds each lap on the Miata also.)

Can you tell if my eyes are open or closed?
I have so much to learn.  And the learning curve is steep. I'm so thankful that I am getting help.  Stu, thank you very much and I very appreciate all of the help.

What a blast.  It was so good to get time off work.  If I can practice at least once a month until March, I think I will be ready for my first race.  I know one thing for sure; This old kart is 100% sufficient for me.  I am not going to buy anything!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Beginning of a new phase of my life

Okay, so lets look at my situation.
I got married.  I started a job, albeit temporary.  I have income.  All of these things are very new to me.
I also bought a kart.  Not that new to me, but I only have 1 race under my belt and I never got to learn as much as I wanted about karting. 

In about 45 minutes, I will also find out if I'm a California attorney when I check my bar exam results.  During the two or three months I studied, I spent my time doing shooting competitions and toying with the idea of starting a business.  My excuse was that I needed time off; I really have a hard time functioning without something other than studying to do.  So, in a way, I don't feel like I deserve to pass.  Also, based on the calculations I did after taking the bar exam, I figured out that I have a greater chance of not passing.  This gives me a feeling of preparedness for the results.

But I'll be lying if I say I don't hope I pass.  Everyone tells me "you never know."  A bunch of my classmates and attorneys I know told me they were sure they did not pass, but they did.  I'm not one to get nervous and question my performance; I generally know when I did well and when I did not, but of course, I have indeed surprised myself by excelling at something I was sure I was going to fail in.  This happened exclusively at law school.

Either way, this weekend I'll start a new phase of my motorsports life also.  Please read the following:

My kart package came with almost everything I need to run.  Lots of spares, lots of tuning parts, tools, etc. Even came with old fuel still in the can.  I'll probably put it in my car and buy a new can.
The kart was set up for its previous owner, who was of similar weight but much taller than me.  I'm hoping I wouldn't have to do much to get it handling.

I live in a 1 bedroom with no garage.  Kart stays in a storage unit.  I can do little things here and there, but I can't do a major overhaul. 

The only thing the kart needed was a brake overhaul, since the seals had rotted away, and getting the motor mounted and ready to go.  I probably need tires as well; the ones on the kart seem to be very hard and thus hard to drive on.

Stu H., yes, that Stu who used to race SCCA pro GT cars, offered his help.  I'm so grateful for someone like that has offered his help.  I think I'll be able to go drive this weekend.

My friend Chris Cullen told me I should make it a goal to put in 50 laps every time I go to the track.  So that is a goal this weekend.

This weekend's goals:
Get kart handling reasonably. 
Learn to tune the carburator
Put in 50 laps.

No specific goals today, as I want to just spend my time familiarizing myself with the kart.
I'm really excited! 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Revival of the blog?

Hi everyone. 
As you know, ever since I sold the Brokecore LOHP car I haven't been on this blog in a long time.  What has happened then?

Continuing to persue my dream, I've moved to California. 

Bad news is that I still don't have a permenant job.

Good news is that I do have temporary income.

Even better news is that I may get back into Karting.  If I do, I will be reviving this journal.  It will be much less focused on development and technology, but about driving.  I hope you all continue to read my journal, and thanks for keeping the readership alive; I guess my tech posts are doing some good across the world.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Ending - GIR Track Day Report 3/26/11

The Brokecore car and Luis' turbo Miata

Well, before I knew it I got there.  59.3 at Gainesville International Raceway's test course.  Wow.  An eye-opener for me.

First of all, I'd like to apologize for my long absence.  A lot of things happened since.  I was at first busy preparing for and taking my final final examinations at law school.  Yes I passed all my classes.  I did pretty well this semester in this class, so I'm happy.  Bunch of my classmates are pissed at me because they felt that they studied harder yet I beat them.  Call it the 3L effect; a third year law student in his final semester is generally very keen on studying smart, studying just enough while slacking off and getting the grades he wants.  Besides, they usually only have 3 classes or something like that.  I was no exception.  3 classes and a clinic.

So I graduated, and my sister came to visit and met her sister-in-law for the first time.  At the time, I was also in a hurry to move from one house to another.  Oh, and I'm very sorry to say this, but I was also in a hurry to sell my car; after this summer, I will probably have to relocate.  After all that, I have been studying for the California bar exam, pondering about my future, exploring career options.  I don't have a job yet so if anyone can help me with that, I'll be forever grateful!

Yes, so this will be my last entry in my blog.  Thank you everyone for the support, encouragement, and readership.  I am truly thankful for it and I am very happy that you all made it possible for me to do my first successful blog.  I had such a fun run at this and learned a lot from the experience.  Thank you for my supporters; Airtab® and One Greek Store.

Well, time to get on with the track report.  Thank goodness I took notes right after the event.
This day, my student organization, Asian Pacific American Law Student Association was putting together a big conference.  I'd been part of the conference effort from the get-go.  Furthermore, I had personally invited a speaker to talk about a very cool topic at the event, so I really should have been there.  Unfortunately I had already signed up, and although the guys who put on the event usually let me cancel, I had a feeling that this was my last true opportunity to do the road course.  So, I compromised; I was going to do the first half of the day (till noon) and the rest of the event would be done by someone else.  Hey, Luis, thanks a lot for the help! After I left, Luis' brother Lou drove his 240sx for the remainder of the day.

My day only lasted from around 10:40am to 12:00pm.  Oh wells, I'm happy because I still achieved my time goal.

Tire pressures:
I ran 36psi and 31psi cold for the first feeler session, then bled them down to the same.  Therefore, 36/31psi hot after the 1st session.

Changes in car:
NB tophats with cut NA bumpstops
15x8 wheels wrapped in 225 RS-3s
1.8L miata front brakes
fresh front brake pads

First Session 
I was trying to get used to the new tires. The difference in feel wasn't shocking, but it was quite different. The steering response was just a tad bit slower than the azenis. The tires also understeered a little bit compared to the Azenis. I think the tires were a bit more forgiving, but I didn't get to drive consistently enough on the new tires to really feel out how it was compared to my old tires. They start to make noise a bit earlier than azenis, which helped me figure out the braking a little bit. I needed to adjust my driving quite a bit.

Second Session
Air temps were already rising.  By this time I realized these tires don't fade.  Awesome!  In fact, throughout the first session the tires just got grippier.  My splitter loosened up and ran at an angle not so optimal though, because I didn't tighten some things very well.  I think it happened after the first session, when I had to drive through grass in the paddock the splitter got caught on something.  So the car was more understeery.

I got to analyse the driving a bit in this session.

-Right after turn 1, where the first skidpad turn starts, I can immediately get on the gas and accelerate at full throttle until I can see the corner exit, then I have to ease off.  Point-and-shoot. Wow!
-It is much easier to get on the correct line for turn 3.
-I can get on the gas immediately after the first apex for the double apex left hander, which I've been calling turns 5-6.
-The chicane dive-bombing hasn't changed much

The increasing radius turn was an eye opener. As soon as I get the car turned around (I do it as tight and quickly as possible), I can get on full throttle. From there I never have to lift, and my stupid viscous tLSD action only kicked in once or twice, when my splitter was still properly mounted. Talk about lack of power and excess grip.  In all the sessions I ran I was trying to figure out a way to carry more speed into that turn but I couldn't.

The car handled much better, even with the increased understeer. There is barely any post apex snap oversteer, and it behaves much more predictably to bumpy surfaces and going over curbs.

I only got to do two sessions. First session out I finally broke the 60 second mark @ 59.8, and on my second session I got a 59.3. I was having trouble putting together all the elements of a fast lap.

Things to work on if I did another event
Get turns 5-6 dialed in; I tihnk I am lifting much more than necessary. I also want to try jumping onto the right side curbing before turning in.  However, Grant told me its more important to jump on the inside curbing.  Last time I got on the outside curbing I almost spun, but maybe with the new suspension I'll be able to use the extra road. (stupid idea?)

Well, once again thank you very much!  I will be back on track at a future point of my life, but now I've moved onto less time-consuming hobbies while I get my life together.  Thanks Grant! Drew, Kevin, David, all the Lemons guys!  Eric, for supporting me with fab equipment.  Thanks everyone on IMV boards, other local guys who recognized me and my car.  Thanks to everyone at and  Thanks Carl for buying the car, I'm glad another motorhead owns it now! And thank you readers everywhere in the world!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Updates are coming!

Hey everyone.
I've been busy writing papers and studying for my LAST LAW SCHOOL FINAL EXAMS!
Yes, possibly the last set of academic exams I will have to take, ever!

I will post up some updates, for example my last track day report, after finals.  Then if I have time I have a bundle of stuff I want to test and experiment with, so there will be another stream of good posts!

Thanks for being patient.

Thursday, March 31, 2011



Of course, my original post is untrue. My car does not have all those cool mods, I made no money on this blog, and of course I don't have substantial savings.  I'm what you call "Judgement-proof" right now.  Also, I haven't been notified of any sort of intellectual property infringement.


Click on photo to see original April fools post.  You shoulda seen my facebook.  People were even talking about NSX performance. Oh man I love pranks.

Flow visualization Techniques - Vortex Generators Part 2

We know that a typical hardtop will see flow separation a few inches below the roofline.  I wanted to see what the Airtab® vortex generators did to help delay separation.  One simple flow visualization technique is tufts testing.  I did the testing on the rear surface of my car.  My wife really didn't want to help, but she did.  Bless her.

Tufts testing is really easy.  Stick on a bunch of strings onto the surfaces that you want to test at.  Now, a lot of people use yarn.  Yarn might be good enough for these purposes but it really isn't ideal because it is too heavy.  A good choice is a lightweight monafilament string, such as fishing line.  The compromise you have to find is visibility, weight, and cross section of the string.  I think a florescent colored fishing line would work well.

I just used very lightweight nylon strings for this experiment.  The strings should be 4-5 inches, not too long and not too close together to tangle themselves.  I used varying lengths from 4-20 inches just to see what it does.

What you are shooting for is turbulent but attached airflow.  This means a gyration of 20-30 degrees or so is acceptable.  What you don't want to see is strings circling, moving irratically, which is an indicator of detached flow.

Hard to see, but this photo is from a higher quality HD video. The video shows the movement of the tufts pretty well.

Previously seen photo of the VGs
Surprising results.  Flow stays attached all the way to the bottom of the hardtop; at about the bottom 2-3 inches it separates a little bit, then reattaches on the trunklid.  It shows attached flow all the way to the end of the spoiler.  Sucess!  Looks like the Airtab® Vortex Generators are doing a great job.

Another interesting thing to note is that air seems to leak out to the side edges, under the spoiler.  It affects the flow on the quarter panels.  Interesting.  No doubt I'm losing out on some lift there.

Some other interesting, lo-cost flow visualization methods.  Pictures tell a thousand words:

This was done by Jeff at Slick Auto using a high velocity air gun.  The model is Guardair 80LJ.  There is a piece of 5' cotton string taped on.  Thanks for the tips Jeff!

Technical Advisors:
Andrew Brilliant, well-known aerodynamicist in the motorsports industry.
Unnamed engineer who worked on developing the Airtab® VGs.
Jeff @ Slickauto

1.8L Brake Upgrade

There are many articles out there on how to change out the 1.6l brakes to the 1.8l brakes.  So I won't go over it step-by-step.  I did, however, take a bunch of pictures to put things into perspective.

Link to a very good step-by-step: Miataturbo how-to

Things you need: All you need are rotors and caliper brackets from each corner of the wheel.  I got a pretty killer deal for it in Tampa.

I only did the front swap because I didn't have enough money to do the rear brakes.  Data shows that my braking improved a little bit, but not much.  Given the same pedal pressure, I think the rear brake upgrade will help a lot.

I didn't think the pictures on the Miataturbo website shows the difference for most people, even though it is a more accurate picture.  So here are mine:

Friday, March 25, 2011

Game day

Its 3AM, and I just got done bedding in my brakes and fixing my splitter.  I didn't get around to finishing my wing mounts, but I will still have my spoiler and splitter on the track tomorrow.  Tomorrow is the day.

I finally have competitive wheels and tires.  Its time to make a serious run at my first target: breaking the 1 minute mark at Gainesville International.  I don't know if I will get there, but I am going to make a very serious run for it.

I have to go to a conference in the afternoon, so I will only have 2-3 hours of track time.  I am splitting my day with Luis' brother.  Alls well, since the fastest part of the day is in the morning.

Aside from the wheels and tires, I also added some extra travel in my suspension with NB tophats.  I am very looking forward to the day.  Wish me good luck!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Choosing rental kart venues

Driving is like a drug.  Since my track event on the 5th got canceled, I just had to find something to replace the experience.  After researching some options, I decided to go to Ocala Grand Prix to try out their rental karts and check out the track.  I chose OGP based on my experience at Miramar Speed Circuit in San Diego.  I used to frequent this track chasing laptimes.  

MSC is a 1/4 mile indoor circuit.  Its a real tricky circuit.  The karts are Sodi karts with crash bodywork, with some sort of 4 stroke motor that probably puts out 4-5 hp.  They were plenty fun.  The karts were beat up though, so some karts are slightly faster than another kart.  As with most rental karts, these karts understeer a little bit.  But that doesn't matter. With karts, its very easy to use weight transfer to modify the behavior of the kart.  If you live in San Diego, I highly recommend it.  The last time I went, they still had two-for-tuesdays, where you pay 23 dollars or so for a 20 minute session.  Its a good deal and you can really work on your driving there, hassle free.

Why am I talking about Miramar? To put it into perspective.  Ocala GP had the same Sodi karts, but better maintained and not as beat up.  Furtermore, they ran 4 stroke 9hp motors! Thats about twice the horsepower.  And of course, the 3/5ths mile track is much bigger than the indoor track.  It is also plenty wide so you can choose between several different lines.  Lastly, the surface is much smoother and the tires are slightly grippier. This was pretty serious for rentals.  Now, for the most important part.  The cost: 14 dollars for a 10 minute session.  I spent 42 dollars to do three 10 minute sessions.  Lets put that into perspective, based on other experiences I've had:

1. Miramar Speed Circuit 23 dollars for 20 minutes. 
10 minute cost: $11.50 (On Tuesdays)
Kart: 4-5hp Sodi rentals
Track: 1/4 mile indoor, pretty good for an indoor track.
I go to this track almost every time I visit San Diego.
2. Moran Raceway 225 dollars for 50 minutes
(I can't remember the exact costs and time)
10 minute cost: $45
Kart: ~20hp HPV kart of unknown brand
Track: Probably the best karting circuit in the country, with elevation changes and blind corners
Unfortunately, this circuit shut down a few years back.

3. Ocala Grand Prix
10 minute cost: $14
Kart: 9hp Sodi rentals
Track: 0.6mi outdoor, no elevation changes

All three of these places are or were very good deals, and I would pay to go gladly.  In my opinion, Miramar tests your technical driving skills, as well as forcing you to move your hands quickly.  It was also great for wheel-to-wheel practice, because the track is often crowded.  Moran had every element imaginable.  But I really liked Ocala GP.  I had a lot of fun there.  In my opinion, the track tests your car control abilities more than anything else.

I almost always choose things for value.  In other words, what gets me the most seat time for an acceptable quality.  Sure, the HPV kart is the quickest and most fun, but if I do that, I can only go a few times a year.  I can go to an indoor place, but most indoor places (Miramar Speed Circuit being the exception) offer too little seat time for too much money.  A place like Ocala offers reasonably fast and fun karts that run pretty consistently kart-to-kart.  Perfect.

Dustin about to head out
When choosing a kart rental venue, take these things into consideration.  I place heavy emphasis on seat time and seat time quality.  OGP had a great seat time to price ratio, especially given the speed of the karts.

We arrived around 6:30pm.  Another thing I like about this track is that it is open late, until 8:00pm.  Thats pretty awesome for north central Florida, where everything closes early and frustrates the hell out of me.  It also makes me wonder: do people actually want money around here?  It is well lit also.  After signing in a waiver, borrowing neck braces free of charge, we went straight to the paddock area.  They also have rental helmets but we brought our own. 

We went on a Wednesday and the track was pretty empty.  There would be 3-4 karts on the entire track.  I think up to 8 are allowed.  I also later realized, even with a full grid, there is plenty of room to drive at your best and get a clean lap in, while you get to draft people in front of you.  I also brought my data logging equipment.

I spent the first session learning what the track looks like and got used to the kart.  Getting used to the kart was easy; they drove very similar to the Miramar karts.  I figured out the lines to most of the circuit, and had a general idea of how to drive it.  Also, I figured out where I could go flat out without lifting.  I think my friend Dustin spent time getting used to the kart.

My second session, I really started working on hitting all my apexes and pushing things a bit more.  I figured out that I don't have to brake most of the track.  The grid was full, so I got to spend some time trying to pass people.  That was a somewhat novel experience for me.  I haven't had to pass people on wide open outdoor tracks very much.  I got my fastest time here: 41.9 seconds.

Me striking a very corny pose
My third and last session, I was alone on the track so I really got to work on my driving.  There is a turn that is very critical which leads to a long straight where you want to carry as much speed as you can.  To do this, you had to pitch the kart around and increase your slip angle, and "four-wheel-drift" out of that corner.  It was tricky but I got the hang of it.  I have to check my data to see how much it had helped, though.  My best time here was a 42.1, but I was much more consistent throughout.  

My fastest time was not the result of drafting; it happened at a clean lap I got in with no traffic.  The northeastern most turn is critical; you don't need to brake going in to the turn prior to that. Just lift, and be very smooth, get around the corner starting out wide, and get on the gas as early as possible.  Every time I went around this I applied Bonilla's "focus on the slowest part of the turn" principle.  

But the most critical turn is what I believe is a right hander called the "oak."  This is the turn that you make after you make the above turn, the left after that.  Pitch the kart in, get on the power early, neutral drift all the way out.  

The big left hander is flat out in the rental karts.  Hit the apex so you have more room to accelerate out.  Use the entire width of the track.

Anyways, the track record is in the 38's, and on this track the hotter it is the faster it gets.  The karts see over 1.5Gs of lateral acceleration, spiking close to 2Gs sometimes.  All in all, if you haven't been I highly recommend you try out options similar to the above ones.  If you are local, be sure to check out OGP!  Wear long sleeves or a jacket, and jeans for safety.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Current State of the Broke-Core LOHP Miata project

Whew. I've had so much to post nowadays.  I have many planned posts but I haven't gotten to them yet.  I now have two interviews pending, both of which I haven't written questions for.  I have the beginner how-to-guides that I promised, also which I haven't written anything for.  I was also a participant in an endurance race recently, and I haven't made a post about that yet either.  I have very near-term projects happening soon; I'll have to get to them as they happen.  I also have more testing to do to gather more data for the vortex generators I tested previously.

Anyways, lets recap whats been going on with the project and a short update on my life.

First of all, as you may have gathered, my winter job plans got canceled.  So I had a lot of time to work on my car.  As a result of that, you read that I finished my aerodynamic projects that I had planned, with the exception of the undertray.

Project goal recap
I don't know if I've ever made a post about this, but my goal, with sub-goals I've made such as my failed project OLDAZENIS, was to be the first sub 130hp car to attain a laptime of 59 seconds, without spending more than the overall value of my car.  Also, all of the mods must be able to be performed by the average enthusiast, or else the professional labor must be added into the cost.  And finally, power mods are discouraged as I need to keep the car sub-130 crank horsepower.  I am nearing the conclusion of that project, with the following planned mods. Wheels and tires included.

Right now, Grant's low time in my car is 61.3 seconds. My fast time is 62.1 seconds.  Can I make it? Lets see.

Major upgrades
I got new wheels!  I've been hunting for a good deal and a local enthusiast forwarded me a killer deal.  The wheels are going to be wearing Hankook R-S3 tires, which I chose for excellent grip and wear characteristics.  Even when it comes to tires, we gotta keep it Hi-Kick right?  With this new wheel and tire setup I should come pretty close to my goal.  A bit about the wheels and tires; the wheels are 1st generation 949 Racing 6UL wheels.  The wheel is 8 inches wide, which is an inch wider than my previous wheel.  That means whatever tire is going on there, it will have a better contact patch than if it were going on 7 inch wide wheels, as long as the wheel width is not greater than the tire width.  The tires will be 225mm wide.  Although a 9 inch wheel is more ideal for that tire width, I want to have the option of going back to a 205mm wide tire in the future, so these wheels will do. Incidently, either my R-package 14x6" hollow spoke wheels or the Konig Rewind 15x7" wheels will be up for sale.

My previous wheels are, despite being an inch narrower than the 6ULs, about 3 pounds heavier.  Also, although the RT-615s were 205mm wide, they are a pretty heavy tire.  But so are the R-S3s, especially since they are 20mm wider than the Azenis.  I am hoping the new package is similar or lighter in weight so my painfully low horsepower car will not have any acceleration penalties.

I have also purchased a 2D wing.  By 2D, I mean that the airfoil profile does not change throughout the entire width of the airfoil.  There are a lot of "crap" wings out there without any substantial development, but I think some of them can work well.  Even if they are really bad, as it is an actual airfoil and not just a panel, it should produce less drag and more downwards lift than my spoiler.  Plus, they will work much better with the Airtab® Vortex Generators.  I am really looking forward to the design.

Help fund my project! Stuff for sale
I also have a lot of excess materials up for sale.  I also have another spoiler design that I ended up not putting on my car for sale.  It actually works better than the one I have now, and will look much better on a car with a flat trunklid.  I'm thinking F-body mustangs can really use the rig.  If anyone is interested, please email me at the email address I have on the "about this blog" section on the right sidebar.

Please help me fund my project! As a gesture of gratitude for you reading this blog and parts, financial, and information support you readers give me, I keep no secrets and any projects I do will be published here.  You can help by making a donation of 4-5 dollars or more.  I will send you a waterproof vinyl decal.  Please check the "donate to Hi-Kick Racing" section.  I may be selling T-shirts in the future also, with FAST=CHEAP slogans on the shirts. Details can be found here: Hi-Kick Racing Gear

Personal life
As for me, my last semester ended with some mixed feelings.  I felt I didn't study all that hard, and on the class I did study hard for (mergers) I felt that I bombed the test.  Turns out I'd answered an entire question wrong and applied the wrong analysis.  I had been working hard to get good grades because my grades from my first two years were below average.  I was worried about this semester.  Winter job got canceled, and though I gained a mentor from my California trip, I hadn't gotten any further in getting a job.  But a few days go, grades came out.  I did just as well as my previous best grades, and I scored slightly above average on mergers!

I have also been working on some business ideas. It'll be on the web, and it is for car enthusiasts, so I hope you all stay tuned.  The service will be free or near-free, and I don't actually expect to make that much money from it.

Summary and budget
Modifications (some came with the car)
1992 Mazda Miata with hardtop
- Fuji Racing 8.4lb flywheel
- RX-7 AFM with hack inlet mod and resistor tuning
- Mazdaspeed comp exhaust
- No power steering (not sure if it was removed or didn't come with one)
- Automatic transmission radiator
- Cat converter removed, test pipe in its place.
- Hard dog hard core rollbar, double diagonal with harness bar
- Ebay coilovers (Toyota Celica labeled 2" coilovers)
- Bilstein R-package Shocks (mild machining work included)
- 1999 Mazda Miata front sway bar with heim joint endlinks
- Splitter and Spoiler
- 15x8 6UL wheels
- 225/45/15 Hankook R-S3 tires

Weight loss:
Passenger seat removed
Sparco Sprint seat with custom seat mount
AC removed, Cruise control removed
Soft top removed
Factory undertray removed
Rear sway bar removed
Slight rear bumper cutout
Rear bumper cut out

Soon to be added
Replacing spoiler with rear airfoil
NB tophats for more suspension travel
1.8l brake upgrade

Total cost of mods added: $ 1335. After airfoil, tires, the price will be close to 1600. This is presuming my excess material from projects are being sold.  I have about 400 dollars left to spend.  Not really, but I won't spend any more than 400 dollars and try to achieve my goal.  Some other options I have is adding headers, offset upper control arm bushings, and better bumpstops.

Some of the testings I've completed, but have not posted about are as follows:
-Tufts testing with Vortex Generators and Rear spoiler
Some of the testing I am planning to do are as follows:
-Intake temperature measurements utilizing airflow from high pressure zone at the trailing edge of the hood
-Tufts testing with and without spoiler, with spoiler at different angles
-Tufts testing with airfoil

Please follow me on twitter!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Better vs. Worse. - Happy Lunar New Year!

Its lunar new years. Being from Korea, and married to a Vietnamese woman, I celebrate lunar new years.  I'm at the in-laws right now.  I went to temple, ate good food, and had a relaxing time with the family.

A week before today, I had forgotten about lunar new years.  I was just worried about my brake pads arriving on time for the track day today.  When my wife reminded me of the family occasion, I was instantly depressed.  I'd been looking forward to the track day for the last month. I also wanted to see how close to my target time I could get.  I also heard today that Randy Pobst, the World Challenge driver, was at the event also. Double depression.

I needed to get my fix in. I did some research and decided to go Karting next week.  Turns out Ocala has a pretty well-used half mile track with 9hp rentals. Not bad! Good compromise between paying 200+ dollars for a piston port kart and going to GRRC.  Depression gone.

For those who have been waiting for the track day report, with results with my new mods and such, I apologize. But here are some videos for you to watch instead.  My driving and Grant's driving compared.  Grant isn't driving to his full potential, and the video isn't from my fastest session either.


I realized that I can share my momentarily entertaining rants with the world! Please follow:!/hikickracing

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bike Drifting Done the Right Way

Recently Icon made this car vs bike drift video. Cool! Its pretty good, and I highly respect the skills of both operators in their incredible machines.

Wait, incredible machines. Professional film crew. Angle gimmicks... this is cool, but is it THAT cool?

Is there a "Hi-Kick" alternative? Hell yes. We don't need your fancy pants literbike supersports or your super LS powered drift machines, expensive video equipment and expensive editing.

For much less, much more awesome 2 wheel sideways action. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

New wheel/tire package - 6ULs and Hankook R-S3s

I recently mounted my new tires onto my new used wheels.  Off went the R1Rs that were on there and on went the R-S3s.  The tires are Hankook R-S3 tires in 225/45/15. The new tire/wheel package isn't any heavier than my old one, despite being 30mm wider and the wheel being an inch wider.  This is mainly due to the new wheel being so light, and the Azenis being an old, heavier tire for its size. 

Total diameter for the old Azenis/Konig package is 58.6cm.  Diameter for the new RS3/6UL package is 58.35cm. Thats a 0.4% gearing advantage. The tread is almost gone on the Azenis though. My math shows that with tread gone, the tires should be at about 579.7cm, so the felt (if any) gearing advantage from the last time I drove the car should be gone.  Also, mass of the wheel goes up 1.76%.  That doesn't mean that toque loss is 1.76%, since the entire rotating mass is not going up 1.7%. Either way, the advantage of added grip should be pretty immense. Based on what I read on forums, the tires should not rub at my ride height.  

Azenis RT-615, Toyo R1R, Hankook R-S3 comparison
  • 949 Racing 6UL mk1 15x8" et36 -12.8lbs
  • Konig Rewind 15x7" et40 - 14.5lbs
  • Hankook R-S3 225/45/15 - 21.8lbs
  • Toyo R1R 225/45/15, 50% tread left - 20lbs
  • Falken Azenis RT-615 205/50/15 - 19.5lbs
RT-615 - 205/50/15, Diameter 58.6cm
R1R - 225/45/15 but they seem to run a bit wider than R-S3. Diameter 58.35cm
R-S3 - 225/45/15 Diameter 58.35cm

New wheel/tire package weight - 34.6lbs
Old wheel/tire package weight - 34lbs

Part weight database has been updated. I can't wait to see what these tires will do.  I hope I get very close to my target time.  The R1Rs are sold, going on a GRM 2011 challenge car.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Do Vortex Generators actually work? - YES!

I've been toying around with the idea of Vortex Generators for a long time. I finally got around to testing them in both "lab" and "track" conditions.  I've found some interesting findings, but the verdict is that they are worth it.

There are a lot of VG designs out there.  Delta wing, bent aluminum, dimple designs..  But I was reading up a low-velocity low-drag VG design patented in the 80's.  Well expired patent, of course.  From what I read, that particular design seemed ideal for low drag, low velocity applications such as it would be for cars.  Ever since I read that, I wondered how I could fab up a set without spending too much money or time.  I couldn't think of a solution.

I didn't have to.  Few months back, I found a company called Airtab® who makes that design and sells them for a good price.  Installation is a breeze too.  Good price point, good value; sounds like something this blog can use, eh?

Its always a risk sending your product out so some web blogger to test your product.  Especially for a smallish blog like this one; it might seem that there isn't much to gain, but a lot to lose.  And a non-professional enthusiast may make mistakes with installation, testing, etc and many things can go wrong.  Bad news travels fast right?  So I very much appreciated when Mr. Jack Latimer from Airtab, LLC sent me a bunch of his Vortex Generators for me to try out.

First Test
The test rig
Lets cut to the chase.  I first did a "lab test" using a differential manometer.  This manometer works by measuring the air pressure differences at its two nodes.  I mounted one 3.5 inches away where the spoiler edge meets the trunklid, and another node at the rooftop.  Now, I have no idea if the rooftop is an accurate representation of ambient pressures or whatever pressure that acts with the spoiler pressure to generate negative lift, so I won't be able to calculate accurate lift figures.  But it would conclusively tell me the differences between the two tests.  So, in short, it is perfect for comparisons.

My first test was a failure.  I mounted them 2.5 inches apart (thats 6.5 inches apart from center-to-center), about 13 inches from the rear edge of the roof--at the maximum manufacture recommended parameters.  The test results weren't that great.  I found out position of the VGs are pretty critical.  Aerodynamics gets pretty complicated in this area; separation points differ depending on the shape of the surfaces and that dictates where the VGs should be mounted.  Although the first test showed that the VGs were not working,  I've seen this particular design work from different tests on the internet (link), so I wasn't convinced.  I had to do another test with adjusted mounting positions.

Unfortunately I had to return the manometer before I could do another test.  School was starting soon too, I was running out of time.  I decided to do the second testing on the track.

Second Test
At the last track event, I ran two consecutive sessions on the same aero settings, one with and one without four Airtab® VGs installed much closer to the rear edge of the roof, about 2.5" apart between the VGs.  The VGs are supposed to be installed 0.75" apart, but I just wanted to do a quick and dirty test.  I placed them in the center 2 feet of the roof, and ignored the edges since my spoiler probably generates the most pressure in that area.
Picture of the rear aerodynamic layout in the second test
Because I don't drive at pro-level, it was really hard to analyze the data from my amateur-level DAQ setup.  Fortunately, temperatures, fuel levels, tire wear were all at a similar level because I didn't waste much time between sessions.  Unfortunately, and probably because of my inconsistent driving, maximum velocity of both sessions and best laptimes are equal.  What to do? After staring at my charts for a long time, I decided to look at a sector laptimes for turns 2 and 3.  These turns are constant radius, and I am fairly consistent here, and I take the same line every time I go through it.  Perfect.

   Sector times, Averaged
  • Session with no VGs: 13.22
  • Session with Airtab® VGs: 13.15
  • Samples were from six runs each with and without the Airtabs®, with one or two outliers removed from when I was doing warm-up and cool-down laps or when I made a big driving mistake.
The 0.07 second difference in this section means there was an appreciable amount of lateral force generated.  Calculations based on this data show that the increase in lateral force, or grip, was 1%.  I got the answer of the question I've been asking for months; They work!

Conclusions - They work!
If anyone is curious, my best time with VGs installed was 1:02.1, and without was 1:02.8, with driving lines, and tire pressure adjustment variables included.  Inconclusive, but I do have one conclusion from this: My best use of the VGs was not necessarily to make an huge difference in available traction through radically increased downforce levels.  Yes, the Airtab® Vortex Generators made the car faster, but it also allowed me to adjust the car's balance to inspire more confidence to drive more consistently.  More consistency = more improvement!

This may not sound like much but it really adds up; remember, this is just one part of the course, and I only used 4 of them at less-than-optimal spacing.  And if you do, say, 20 laps, you've gotten almost 2 seconds in turns 2, and 3 alone, and even more ahead when you count time saved everywhere else.

If you think about how little you have to spend to get these parts, its hard to convince yourself that you should not get these. Remember, the Airtabs® are to be installed 4 inches apart from center-to-center.

Closing Notes

Installation is very simple.  Plot out your mounting points, mark them (I use painter's tape), remove backing and stick them on.  They can be painted also.

Note the modified airflow to the rear foil
on this hillclimb truck with Airtab VGs
Remember the original intent of the Airtab® vortex generators.  They are supposed to reduce drag.  I'm sure they are doing exactly that on my car for a certain extent, but a car with a spoiler is not the best platform to test that on.   These VGs are used on commercial trucks, consumers seeking to improve fuel economies on their cars, and other race cars to improve drag profiles of their cars.  Furthermore, they can be mounted on the undertray for cars with less-than-ideal underbellies to help airflow stay attached; the effect of that would be to decrease the pressures under the undertray as well as help accelerate airflow at the diffuser.

For more information on Airtab® vortex generators, please click the logo below or here:
To buy Airtb® vortex generators, please go here:

Articles and related posts:
US Patent Number 5,058,837 - Low Drag Vortex Generators
White paper on VG effects on a Lancer Evolution
Autospeed article on VG effect on fuel economy
Paper on VG effects on drag reduction on a Honda

Photo Credits:
Airtab® logo is a registered trademark of Aeroserve Technologies, LTD.
The hillclimb truck is a picture of Mike Ryan MotorSports truck at the 2005 Pikes Peak Hillclimb

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Hi-Kick Racing Sponsors for this season!

I've recently been fortunate enough to receive contributions from two great companies. Since I'm a hobbyist and I am not a business venture, I have the luxury of being able to "say no" and solicit all of my sponsors. This means the companies that contribute to this blog have personally communicated with me and create great products that I recommend.
Small but very appreciated contributors: One Greek Store and Airtab® LLC.

I'll mention them in other posts, but recently two companies have given me contributions for my blog.  First is One Greek Store; they made the kick-ass shirts that I wore today.  I will post more pictures of them sometime.  Second is Airtab, LLC.  They make low-speed vortex generators I tested today.  I solicit sponsors only if their products are in line with the Hi-Kick Racing philosophy of good quality and great value at a decent price point.  I highly recommend the services of One Greek Store for all your apparel logo needs and Airtabs to source your VGs. 

Please visit the websites for contact information.  O.G.S. makes durable T-shirt logos for a really kick-ass price ;)

Track Day Report - Gainesville Test Course - 01/08/11

What a day! After some mishaps early on in the morning, I have gathered some good results.  I got there late, at around 9:00am.  Fortunately they hadn't started the drivers meeting or anything yet.

Conditions: 52 degrees at 10am, 65 degrees at 12:30pm.

  • Changes from previous event:
  • Tires a bit more worn
  • Hi-Kick Racing design front splitter and rear spoiler (Both 7")
  • Airtab® Vortex Generators
  • Passenger seat was still removed

Session 1
Spoiler at the third highest setting and tire pressures at my 36f and 31r, I went out.  Two bad things happened here.  I a lot of oversteer due to lack of rear downforce, and I was putting my brakes through hell.  Months before, I had replaced my Hawk Black pads to Axxis ULT pads, which were rated "track worthy."  The brakes got spongy after a lap or two, and I could smell fumes from outside the car.  I did a few more laps and I pit back in.

Fastest Time: No laptimes were recorded because I messed up the settings on my laptimer.

I went home and changed the pads back to my worn down Hawk Blacks in a hurry. They had about 20% of life left in them.  Took me an hour to drive, change, and drive back.  I arrived at noon, and asked Grant to drive my car.

Session 2
I adjusted the spoiler to its second highest setting.  No other changes were made.  I went right back out and did a few more laps than the last session.  Handling balance was a bit better, but I was still loose around transitions and kept scrubbing off speed with the end kicking out.  Two problematic areas were the transition between turns 2 and 3, corner exit at turn 4+5, and after the second apex on the chicane at turn 7.  I decided to pit in after a short cool-down run before I boiled my brake fluid.

Fastest Time: 1:02.8
Average Time: 1:03.3

Session 3 - Vortex Generators (Airtabs®) 
I taped four vortex generators in the middle of the rear edge of my roof.  Both had the same laptimes.  Its hard to quantify the exact effect but comparing the best sector times between the VG run and the non-VG run (session 2) in the constant radius turns (turns 2 and 3), the VG installed car seems have slightly higher average lateral acceleration.  My driving in this session with the VGs is also much more consistent.  Furthermore, the car felt more stable.  Objectively speaking, it could be just because I was more used to the car, but I really think it was the VGs that made the difference.  I didn't adjust my driving very much in this run and I drove much cleaner.  I will make a separate post about my experiences with the Airtab® vortex generators.

Fastest Time: 1:02.8
Average Time: 1:03

Grant's run
Grant driving my car
Because I missed out on a lot of track time changing my brakes, I asked Grant to do a short stint.  I dropped the rear tire pressures about 1.5 lbs.  He says he can go faster with a few more laps and even faster with a better driving position.  Grant barely fits in my car.
Benchmark time was 0.4 seconds faster today than his last record of 1:01.8.  His time was 1:01.46

Session 4
With VGs installed, spoiler at second highest setting (man, I need to number the positions), and rear pressures the same as when grant drove the car, I did a 1:02.1. Woohoo! Personal record.  Some of its due to better driving, some of it is due to lower temperatures (should be about 5 degrees lower than my previous record) and some of it is due to the aero mods I put on my car.  The tires have been aging each event, but I guess the changes to the car and driving made up for it.

Driving Notes
Even if I dive-bomb into the chicanes, turning in early and hitting the initial right-side apex allows me to bleed off speed and properly later-apex the left side apex.  Mimicking grant's driving, I accelerated off of that apex into turn 9, but I have to make sure I am positioned correctly on the far left side of the track in order to make it into turn 9 without coming out too wide.  Smooth inputs with steering and throttle are critical in order to not oversteer in turn 9 entry.  This is even more applicable because my car is more neutral.

With aero mods, I can get on the gas way earlier than usual; carefully dialing in throttle allows very good acceleration off of turn 9. Trail-braking into turn 1 and 4 works very well also.

I can say with good definiteness that the front and rear aero mods and the Airtabs® had a net positive effect on the performance of the car.  Top speed of today was 1.5 miles higher than my past top speed, even with a lot of fuel in the car.  Even if I account for the cooler temperatures, this is pretty good.  This means that putting down more power with the increased aerodynamic grip on the exit of turn 9 overcame the drag penalties of my splitter. Vmax: 75mph!

Some more pictures from the event. Pictures seem to be of all Mazdas today!

By the way, I attended the 24 hours of Lemons in PBIR as a crew member. I'm still working on the report; stay tuned!