The Kraken- RX8 Trackcar

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The Kraken- RX8 Trackcar

Post by StreetDragster » Wed May 27, 2015 12:57 pm

Hello everyone,

Now that I have finally become a fully paid up member I guess I had better tell you about my car.

I’ve got a 231ps 2004 Mazda Rx8 Series One in Velocity Red, and a Noble M12, but I’ll come to that later. (Edit its got its own thread HERE)

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I used to be into track days back in the day but over time I had lost interest in it and stuck to road cars (with a touch of off-road thrown in there). I took my Noble to a sort-of owners club meeting at Silverstone where half of them were also out on track. Managed to get a couple of laps in a couple of the track Nobles and when we came back into the pits I was back on the hook.

However, my Noble is my pride and joy and I knew that if I took it on the track I would just potter it around for fear of damaging it, so I started to look for a dedicated track car.
I went through the usual motions of choosing a car, I wanted rear wheel drive, decent power and a limited slip diff as a minimum and eventually I got it down to a few options, the RX8 made the most sense but I was cautious due to all the pub talk we so often here about reliability and oil consumption and such like.

Still, I did my research and decided it was the car for me; I’m very handy with the tools so no fears about working on my own car and I’m technically minded so was not concerned about the unfamiliar rotary engine. I set out to find one and got OE04 BNK from a chap in London. It was in pretty good condition, the brakes had just been replaced, it had a Sebring rear silencer and had just had a Rotary Motion engine rebuild, which I believed would give me insurance for the next 60k miles or so. 3am on a Sunday morning me and a friend of mine set off to London to pick it up, and we drove it back without issue, except it used a lot of oil, which I thought was normal.

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I then drove it round as a road car for a few months just to get used to it and see if there was anything I wanted to change. I decided that I would fit some 255 width Potenza rear tyres that I got cheap from a friend part worn, change the diff and gearbox oil (with Fuchs stuff, more on that later) replace the brake pads with EBC Yellowstuffs in the front, and gut the standard cat. I did both of these a couple of days before its first track outing at Anglesey in Wales (October 2013).

Worth mentioning at this point my partner in crime Allan, he shares the car with me on most track adventures and assists with its repairs and modifications.
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Excellent performance on track, the car was much better than I had hoped and things were all shiny in my world. Allan enjoyed driving the car too, he had never driven a RWD car in anger before and was apprehensive but by the end of the day he was much more compliant with the car.

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But, and there is always a ‘but’, since the decat had been fitted the car was putting out a lot of blue smoke. Something was clearly wrong so on return to base following Anglesey the engine was pulled for investigation. The gearbox had also developed a 3rd to 4th gear crunch at high speed changes, and the release bearing was making a racket.

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A bit of to’ing and fro’ing later and Rotary Motion agreed to rebuild the engine and reinstall it into the car with a new warranty and clutch, which was good. However it had harmed my perception of the RX8, after all I had done one trackday in it, it had cost a lot to buy and run in terms of logistics’ getting the engine sorted out, and a lot in labour too. At that point I was considering selling it off with the fresh engine and getting something like a BMW M3 or 200SX.
To get my mojo back it was booked into Oulton Park, which is my local track. I didn’t want to go too far with it if it was going to go bang again.

At this point two of my other friends bought RX8’s to join my little track day adventures, one race car rule was developed that no two cars can be the same colour, and they all got a proper name.
The Red One is the ‘Kraken’, the Blue One is the ‘Sonic KaBOOM’ and the Black one is the ‘Hadouken’ (1).

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The Kraken and the Hadouken went to Oulton Park on a very wet February (2014) morning, and it was a little tense pushing the car round at high speeds in the rain, for fear of sliding and locking up at every corner. But surprisingly the car did very well in the wet, so much so I would say I almost prefer it, much more fun had and I learned a lot more in a much shorter space of time.
Oulton however did highlight that I need to improve my pedal control, my friend John with the Hadouken can heel and toe and I couldn’t, Oulton has a sweeping right hander coming into a chicane. The instructor told me to hold off braking on the bend and wait until the straight (because it’s wet) and then brake hard for the chicane. John could do this relatively well with heel and toe but I couldn’t and the rear end locked up as I went down the gears with engine braking. I couldn’t get my feet in the right position without stressing my ankle.

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Post Oulton Park the standard rear brake pads were howling so they were replaced with EBC Redstuffs, two trackdays and a few thousand miles had killed off the standard pads. Lots of people slate EBC but I have to say they have been excellent for me on all my performance cars and on the RX8 they seem to be holding up very well, the fluid was also replaced at this point with DOT 5.1 stuff. I also took this opportunity to fit D585 coil packs, 8.5mm magnecor leads and new spark plugs to get rid of any potential ignition system issues.
Smaller upgrades were running on in the back ground. I fitted a larger ‘rally’ pedal to the accelerator pedal (ignore the gold colour, it was free because of it) to allow me to heel and toe comfortably which worked a treat. I decided to fit Tein-S springs so cut out the old ones in a ‘fast n loud’ style and installed them and then had the tracking redone to stock settings. Replaced the air filter and frequently serviced the engine, filled the engine mounts with urethane compound, fitted a fire extinguisher, fitted a cg lock, a none slip seat liner and I started premixing.
I also fitted a Toyosports catch can to the breather system, putting it on the side of the fuse box, behind the air filter box rather than in the usual place up near the master cylinder, I intended to fit a SOHN at some point and that’s where the tank would go.

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Next stop the Kraken and the Sonic Boom this time went to Blyton Park (March 2014), an excellent track for learning. There is nothing to hit and it’s nice and flat, because of this you can give it 110% and really learn the limits of the car. Heel and toeing had come on nicely and made for much more controlled decelerations, the car held its own performance wise as well with some of the other metal on the track. Allan managed to get his apex’s right as you can see in the photos.

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After this I had the option to replace the car with something a bit more specialised, or to persevere with the RX8, I had just passed my B+E license so the option to go to something smaller and lighter and a trailer was appealing to me. In the end I decided that the rotary was too much fun and the RX8 was a great chassis and decided to stick with it, it did however need some upgrades.

I replaced the entire front end with Urethane Bushes, I choose the Energy ones from Mazda Rotary Parts. What a horrendous job this was, the lower arm bolts had corroded into the inner sleeves of the bushes, so had to be cut out. Anyone who has done this knows that the rear bush bolt has almost no access, I snapped tools and drills everywhere and ultimately it took 2 full days to remove the four bolts holding the lower arms to the car.
Then getting the bushes out the arms was the usual pain in the backside, and very messy, but soon enough the new bushes were in and the arms back on the car, new anti-roll bar drop links fitted, new inner and outer tie rod ends, and its suspension was aligned again. It drove so much better.

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The Kraken and the Sonic Boom headed to Bedford South-East-North (SEN) circuit next (Sept 2014), this was a massive circuit with some real challenging corners and a lot of higher speed sections. I was convinced I would torch the brakes on this outing but to my surprise they held up very well, despite bluing the discs. The gearbox 3rd-4th crunch now was starting to become an issue, research shows that it’s the Fuchs oil likely to cause this.
We were both progressing with the car well, noticing when the tyres were going off, when they were too hot and over pressure, and also found that the traction control was starting to hold us back and ran with it off a lot.
Unfortunately, the Sonic Booms clutch exploded in the afternoon and required recovering back to base for repairs. A failure wasn’t unexpected, but nevertheless its rubbish when it happens at a track day.

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Back at base the Sonics clutch was replaced with a stock Exedy one from MRP, and the Kraken had some more upgrades. I’m paranoid about fluids, levels, temperatures, surging etc so I decided to replace the sump with an improved one, choosing a Greddy one for the RX8. Theory being that with a bigger capacity, and some baffling oil surge would be prevented and temperatures would be regulated.
To go with it, a SPA dual oil pressure and oil temperature gauge was installed to the car, along with a LMA oil pressure switch t-piece & extender to permit the standard ‘gauge’ to be used. I cannot cope with looking at a ‘gauge’ with no oil pressure, even if I know it’s not accurate.
I got a dual gauge pod from America and set about trying to find a decent gauge to go in the second spot. Allan had the idea that we should make an ‘Awesomeness’ gauge to register how awesome we were at any particular time. Excellent idea, so that was made and installed.
I also took this opportunity to go to a SOHN adaptor and stainless steel tank, keeping the lower level warning light on both the sump and the tank. I switched to synthetic oil in the sump, and synthetic two stroke oil in the SOHN tank.
The catch can was proving difficult to drain so I drilled and taped a hole in the top of it to allow it to be extracted via syringe or similar. I also machine polished the headlights to remove the plastic haze, worked great at the time but quickly returned.

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For the first time all three cars ended up on track together, and headed to Oulton Parks drift/rally circuit this time (October 2014) for a day of learning car control. As I have said before Allan had not driven a RWD car before this and wanted a bit of understanding into how the tail behaves when it kicks out. All three cars handled the day very well and had great fun, excellent.
The Sonic was struck with another fault however, puncture in the rear wheel. Thankfully a spare was available and crisis averted.

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Small jobs completed then, I tapped out the corrosion from the tow hook threads, added power connection points under the bonnet and in the boot for conditioning battery charger connections (front if it’s in the garage, rear if it’s on the drive). I had the air conditioning re-gassed and a Connects2 USB adaptor fitted, after all it’s a nice car for use on the road too and it drives to/from tracks at the moment.

Cadwell park (November 2014), all three RX8’s made it there again and spent the day going round the track in splendid fashion. I had an off up near the back end of the circuit thankfully just running down the grass. Allan had a spectacular spin after the hair pin and picked up a piece of Cadwell Park on the wiper. It can be seen in the photos, it drove all the way back home with that on the wipers, and re-planted in his garden and is still growing today.

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And here’s where it all goes a bit crazy. By now we had done quite a lot of trackdays and the trend was looking to continue, so I had another decision to make about getting again something more focused on the track. After much deliberation I decided to stick with it, and opened up a bucket of money to pour into it.

I fitted Koni sport yellow adjustable dampers, racing beat anti roll bars, new front wheel bearings and ABS sensors, new rear wheel bearings, new drop links, fitted urethane bushes into the rear end, R3 short ratio rear diff, Japspeed rear toe control arms, HEL brake lines, HEL clutch line, ATE super blue fluid, replacement low mileage gearbox, Redline MT-90 oil, new ball joint boots, new gearstick gaiter and finally a Toyosports un-resonated decat pipe. Then I had the suspension aligned AGAIN.
There was quite a bit of car to dispose of once finished!

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This was a step change in how the car performed. I took it back to Blyton park (March 2015) to see how it handled compared with the year before hand and it was a night and day improvement. Much better to drive, noticeably quicker, sounded amazing and much more confidence inspiring, no fire though, boo.
The Sonic Boom joined us there, but again plagued by a problem, this time a big one and the engines rear bearing failed and the car was recovered home again.

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I decided to add some stripes to it to make it a bit different from all the other velocity reds that seem to frequent track days, but generally speaking I didn’t change anything much after Blyton except for the normal servicing. I did fit some Nankang NS2R Semi slicks to a spare set of wheels I had picked up.

Some musical cars then followed.
The Sonic was terminally dead, it was decided that the best thing to do was to replace it with another. Enter Sonic Boom 2, another winning blue car but this time one with no sunroof and a rotary motion rebuild.
The Hadouken was quite high mileage at this point and needing some work. It was replaced with a grey PZ which was much much younger, the Hadouken name transferred to this car.
The old Hadouken went to another friend who wanted to join the series but didn’t want to invest too much into it. The failed engine winning blue car also went to him for parts.

So now there is-
Red Kraken
Blue Sonic KaBoom (2)
Black LeShat
Grey Hadouken
…and the blown engine blue car for spares.

Allan had never done any drag racing, so off to Santa Pod for some clutch dumping (May 2015). It was a nightmare, the weekend before the FIA main event so it was busy with dragsters preparing for the event. Good to watch but at 20 mins for each one to get set up and run it made for a very long day. 09:30-16:30 we only got 5 runs in.
In any case, best run of the day was 15.15seconds, quite respectable I feel for a RX8 which isn’t exactly well suited to drag racing.

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For the Kraken, Racing Beat Revi and duct fitted, front brake pads replaced again with EBC Yellowstuffs, front discs replaced with new OEM, rear brake pads replaced with EBC Redstuffs and rear discs replaced with new OEM. The header tank and radiator cap replaced with OEM new, 20mm Eibach wheel spacers fitted, the catch can was resealed (the Toyosports cans are rubbish. Bin the seals and replace with liquid gasket) and a permanent drain and drain tap installed to the wheel arch.
Front bumper was meshed to protect the various coolers, camera mount glass fibred to stiffen it up, the wheel arches were opened up for better oil cooler air flow.
As mentioned I’m paranoid about fluids, so the fuel pump was also replaced as a matter of course with the uprated Walbro item.

Unfortunately the Urethane bushes in the front arms, rear position had failed quite soon. They are a ‘dumbbell’ type shape, but the alloy arm had climbed over the wider section of the dumbbell and caused a heavy knocking noise.
They were removed, pressed out and replaced with OEM Mazda rear bushes, and then the suspension aligned AGAIN!

Next stop, the Hadouken and the Kraken are heading to SPA in Belgium and the Nurburgring in July 2015, and Croft in August 2015. I also have another big upgrade in the works to be implemented around winter 2015 I think.

Thanks

Matt
Last edited by StreetDragster on Fri May 25, 2018 8:29 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The Kraken- RX8 Trackcar

Post by Conan » Wed May 27, 2015 2:10 pm

Very nice writ up Matt :thumright:
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Re: The Kraken- RX8 Trackcar

Post by MARKTHOMASBRAND » Wed May 27, 2015 6:13 pm

Hi Matt,

A very interesting read =D>

Would love to see some more pics of the Noble =P~

Regards,Mark.
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Re: The Kraken- RX8 Trackcar

Post by AdamGaltress » Wed May 27, 2015 7:10 pm

Brilliant write up! Thank you :-)
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Re: The Kraken- RX8 Trackcar

Post by kopite72 » Wed May 27, 2015 7:17 pm

yes indeedy,enjoyed reading that :D What Mark said,defo more pics of the noble 8)
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Re: The Kraken- RX8 Trackcar

Post by bigpete » Wed May 27, 2015 9:18 pm

That was a great write up and would be nice to do a trackday with you guys there. Theres one coming up in july at Rockingham.
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Re: The Kraken- RX8 Trackcar

Post by StreetDragster » Wed May 27, 2015 9:22 pm

Two days before going to spa and the ring, a little too brave for me!

Thanks for all comments, will write up something about the Noble at some point soon

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Re: The Kraken- RX8 Trackcar

Post by phoenix11 » Wed May 27, 2015 9:53 pm

Very Interesting.

Keep it up =D>
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Re: The Kraken- RX8 Trackcar

Post by casey » Thu May 28, 2015 9:38 am

Fantastic write up Matt, looking forward to more, esp from your Spa/Ring track trip.
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Re: The Kraken- RX8 Trackcar

Post by StreetDragster » Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:52 am

Noble thread created for those interested

http://www.rx8ownersclub.co.uk/forum/vi ... 04&t=65155
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Re: The Kraken- RX8 Trackcar

Post by StreetDragster » Sat Jun 27, 2015 6:00 pm

Time for an update.

The car has had a considerable amount of work over the past few weeks getting it ready for SPA & Nurburgring which starts next weekend.
Wheel spacers
Lower arm bushes
Brake discs
Brake pads
Racing Beat REVI induction kit and duct
OEM Header tank
New battery
Racing Beat anti roll bar drop links
Rebuilt brake calipers
Modifications to the breather tank to permit an overboard drain
Meshed oil coolers
Painted strakes and crescent.

Oh and some stickers, now its official.

Some pictures, first one looks a bit weird, i didn't do any photo shopping or anything but i think my phone may have done something with it when it was taken.


Just some tracking and then its time to board the ferry!

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Last edited by StreetDragster on Fri May 25, 2018 8:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Kraken- RX8 Trackcar

Post by Pettit Racing UK » Sat Jun 27, 2015 8:00 pm

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Re: The Kraken- RX8 Trackcar

Post by StreetDragster » Sat Jun 27, 2015 10:03 pm

Yer I'm particularly pleased with that myself. :-)
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Re: The Kraken- RX8 Trackcar

Post by StreetDragster » Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:43 pm

Hello every one,

Bit of an update following our trip to SPA and the Nurburgring in July. 6 people attended in 3 cars, two series 1 RX8’s and a Golf R32 (Supercharged).

Just prior to setting off there was a frantic effort to get the final bits and bobs finished off on the cars, the Kraken thankfully was ready a week earlier giving time to get the others sorted. The Hadouken had a new header tank, battery, ignition service, exhaust, and tyres fitted, the Golf getting new stereo, tyres, wheels and a service.

The Hadouken looked a little plain, so we applied some vinyl that the owner had bought, mainly the RX-8 side decals which look quite nice on his car. For the trip though he wanted to go a little more extreme, upstaged by the Krakens strips I think, so he went for a 1500 sticker selection of urban camo.
It took 2 of us 6 hours to apply all the stickers, the result being a car which stands out from the crowd for sure, even though it has camouflage on lol. A small section suffered some children cutting and reshaping.
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The following day we met up just outside of Leeds and drove over to Hull for the ferry.
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Overnight cruise consisted of much corona and lime (4 at a time gets a free key ring, challenge accepted) and we docked into Zeebrugge the next morning. From there we set of to Bruges for some sight-seeing and coffee, found a very good underground car park right in the centre of Bruges that was easy to get to, cheap to park at, and brings you out right into the town, excellent.
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Sightseeing morphed into a hire of poorly maintained ‘death’ bicycles and a ride round the towns canals, which was properly entertaining. Oh and the chocolate tools that we spotted is worth a mention.
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After lunch it was back into the cars and the long drive down to SPA, got there in one piece with no dramas. Stopped in the Radisson Blue Balmoral just outside SPA town, this was a very nice hotel. Nice bar but a very expensive food menu, so we decided to roll down the hill into SPA town to get some food.
The restaurant owners down in the town were not very helpful, ranging from poor information to outright lying to us, ultimately resulting in us getting average food served at 22:30 at night. Threw that down our necks and then taxi back up to the hotel for sleep before the big day.

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Up early and breakfast in the hotel before checking the levels on the cars and off to the track. The Satnav takes you there from the Balmoral via the motorway, if you are planning on going from a similar hotel ignore the satnav and use the A-road (N road I think in Belgium) instead, it’s the same overall time.
We found this out the hard way, the road workers had decided at that exact time to trim the trees on the slip roads north onto the motorway, three junctions, in the same direction, at the same time, genius. So the maps came out and we went cross country, establishing that the motorway isn’t the best way to go in the first place anyway, arriving at the track late missing the first briefing, thankfully there was a second one.

The Kraken was scrubbing its rear tyres, turns out NS-2R tyres, lowered suspension, and 20mm spacers add up to small amounts of arch catch. This is fine on the road but no good for the track, so we jacked up and removed all four spacers at the track before the briefing.
At 10am it was 28 degrees and sunny already, this wheel removal labour was extremely tiring, how anybody gets anything done in that heat I’ll never know. Not helped by us being outside with no garage and no shade.
The time comes and its out on track, and what a shock that was. The two RX8’s, a Clio cup and an older Merc SLK made up the ‘slower car’ contingent, everything else was a 911 turbo or faster. Radicals, Caterham’s, Porsche GT2’s and GT3’s, Merc C63 AMG’s, and even a Ferrari F40 on the track.
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Combined with this, SPA being an F1 track, it was much longer, faster and wider than I expected, meaning the high power stuff can get up to some serious speeds, so you definitely need to watch your mirrors when on the track in a slower vehicle. The marshals are trigger happy with the blue flag as well, it started off being very annoying seeming being that that they saw a Mazda with a Porsche behind and flagged you, even if you had just overtaken the Porsche on a cool down lap. You got used to it eventually and for all intents and purposes ignored it, and just moved over when it was safe to do so, as advised in the briefing.
All that aside though, it was an excellent experience, the Mazda performed very well given its power, and it was really satisfying to get some of the corners right. Eau Rouge was very scary and satisfying at the same time, the blind crest being one of those moments that separate the men from the boys. If I was to go back I would opt for a bit of tuition early in the day, if anyone else is going I’d book some tuition, it will make the experience better in my opinion.
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Discovered a few issues with the car though which will be rectified over winter. The gearbox oil overheated. The day started out fine but after about 10 laps it would struggle to get in gear, come in, leave it 20 mins and then it would be fine again for another 10 laps.
The ambient 30 degree air probably didn’t help, but the gear tunnel (and therefore the gearbox) was glowing after some track work.

The engine oil was also very hot on the track, averaging about 110 degrees in use and peaking to 130 degrees on return to the pits, due to the heat dropping into the oil and the reduced forward speed removing some airflow from the oil coolers. Again the ambient air didn’t help with that.

Over winter I will remove the dual oil coolers and replace one side with a single, much bigger and thicker oil cooler, which fills the bumper aperture with the fog light removed. I’ll then fit the same cooler on the other side, with a pump and temp switch for a gearbox oil cooler. The oil in use by the way was Redline MT-90 and it’s given us no problems before up to this trackday, and no problems since.
No issues were noted with the diff, but I’m considering adding a small cooler to that too, as it’s likely to be getting to the same temperatures as the rest of the drive train and suffering but with less noticeable symptoms.
The rear arches will be rolled to clear the tyres with the wheel spacers installed and improve the cars track.
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Tyres fitted were Nankang NS-2R semi slicks in the WR120 soft compound. I was apprehensive about fitting these ‘budget’ branded tyres on the track car but I’ve got to say I’m really impressed with them, they had an awful lot of grip with predictable feedback for when they are overheating without resulting in loss of grip. Not too bad in the wet too on the road but I haven’t pushed them in the wet yet on track.

Fuel consumption was impressive at SPA, being such a big and long track you really have the hammer down for a long time, and this shows in the amount of fuel consumed. Luckily, the SPA site has its own automated fuel station and the prices are pretty good down there, certainly very similar to the stuff out in the roads.
Oh and we managed to get a burst of flame from the Hadouken on camera.
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The day ended with a spot of rain, given that we were on semi slicks and confidence had improved all day, we decided to knock it off and called it a day.
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From SPA we drove across to Germany to a place near the Sinsheim Auto and Technik museum for the night. It was odd weather, ultimately resulting in a thunder and lightning storm, great to watch but did nothing for the heat and humidity, no a/c or fans in the hotel either.
Next day to the museum, this is somewhere I would highly recommend, and take some euro coins for the automated (kids) park. The jumping log flume boats are cool, but jump even further when loaded with an adult lol. You can go in all the aircraft mounted on the roof; some of them are 100ft off the floor, including Concorde and Concordski and a 2wd motorbike.
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From Sinsheim, it was up to everybody’s favourite place, the Nurburgring. This is the first time we have been on a weekday and it’s a very different place. Like a holiday resort in ‘off season’. Still we had planned for that so it was cool, and TBH refreshing, all future trips will attempt to be planned around mid-week track time.
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For some reason my balls had swelled to twice the size as normal so the barrier went up and headed out onto the track in the rain. They soon shrunk and retracted following the first couple of corners as the track was very slippery. I pretty much nursed it round and came back in and hung up the spurs for the day. Steak for tea in the hotel and a few beers.
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The next day we set off out for the day into the local area to kill some time, went to a document bunker for a look around but they were closed, found a proper Germanic town which was nice place for lunch, then did the go karts at the Nurburgring F1 complex in the afternoon. 30 euros for 3x 10 min sessions, electric indoor karts with engine sound effects.

On entry into the karts these sound effects sounded tacky and I’m sure I rolled my eyes a couple of times, but actually they made for a real good karting experience, I had forgotten about the electric motor by the second corner.
After 30 mins of frantic racing we were all battered, karting is brutal! Then we had to find the energy to get out on the proper track.
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The weather was a lot warmer and importantly, drier, so we went out on the track and got right on it. Much better in the dry and I had much more confidence in the car/tyres/surface etc and me and Allan did some nice driving. A few of the normal ring nobs were out in force though, some people just have no road manners, you just have to adapt and overcome.
One of the more amusing ones we saw was a black Merc which was all over the place and it took us ages to get past him and I’m pretty sure he didn’t know we were there until we overtook. Turns out he was driving, on his own, holding his camera phone in front of his face (!!) as he drove along the track, he must have been watching the road through the screen rather than the windscreen, explains his poor driving.
Pistonklause for steak on a stone for tea, beers and bed. I’d recommend that place for sure, we go every time, booking in advance required, and take a permanent marker pen with you for the walls to leave your mark if you wish.
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The following day we set off back north towards the ferries, stopping in Rotterdam for a look.
Went to the Rotterdam Maritime museum which was rubbish, and then to the ‘best bar in the world’ as voted for by Lonely Planet. Which was ok, with plenty of eye candy, but nothing special, they must have wrote their own review lol. Bit of a walk round Rotterdam and then returned to the cars to make our ferry.
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Then the drama started, Rotterdam has many underground car parks and we had parked in one. On exit the car scraped and grounded out on the road/ramp interface which was a really abrupt angle, onto badly laid cobbles, and a narrow exit so no opportunity to put any steering lock on either to ‘cross axle’ it. The car isn’t that low (Tein-S springs) but it properly grounded out, It wouldn’t go forwards or backwards, and there was four cars behind us stuck on the exit ramp.

Much assessment later we decided that the best way to handle it was to rope in all members of our posse and lift the car as it moved forward, this worked but the brace across tunnel at the mid-point was trashed and hanging down. Cheers Rotterdam, will need to replace that at some point over winter as well.

By now, this little escapade had cost us time, and we now were in danger of missing the ferry. Sat nav routed us to the wrong dock in the middle of Rotterdam, then diversions and road works and missed turnings in the town put us into urban hell. Eventually we got out onto the ring road, applied the loud pedal and got to the ferry just before the last check in, phew!

The car then scraped all the way up the ramps into the ferry, cringe, but didn’t get stuck thankfully. Beers and cider on the sun deck as we kissed the continent goodbye again, food, wine, beer and bed.
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Next day a typically English departure from the ferry. Mad panic to get into the cars when the loudspeaker alerts you too, then a 30 min wait on the ferry to depart, into a car park on the dock, for another 30 min queue and wait, and then depart down to passport control for another 30 min wait before finally getting through. It took 15 mins to depart in Zeebrugge and 90mins to depart in Hull, typical.

Casual drive over to Blackpool and then it was all over and depression set in. What an excellent trip!
Last edited by StreetDragster on Fri May 25, 2018 8:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Kraken- RX8 Trackcar

Post by PalaceRX » Thu Jul 16, 2015 7:42 am

Excellent read. Thanks for that
:D
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Re: The Kraken- RX8 Trackcar

Post by casey » Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:24 am

:whathesaid: Thanks indeed for taking the time to write such a detailed report of your Spa/Ring trip. It really conveyed a flavour of the fun, and issues, you had on the trip.

Some excellent tips in there too, which will assist with the the RX8OC Oct Spa trip planning that is currently taking place. In fact, I'd been searching everwhere for a photo of the Spa F1 garage interiors to gauge how many cars would fit, to see how many we need to book (at £120 :shock: a time). It looks like we could fit 6 cars into a garage, as they are huge? I'm taking account here that the main picture actually shows three garages, but with open partitions between them, so 18-24 cars (at a push) between the block of three? £120 between 6 cars is only £20 each, so not a bad bet against possible bad weather.
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Re: The Kraken- RX8 Trackcar

Post by StreetDragster » Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:35 am

Yer they were pretty big garages, some bigger than others. I'll see if I have any more pits pictures to help gauge scale. Oh, and food wise , lunch only had the onsite buffet open on the roof of the complex and that is a 17 euro buffet only . It's a pretty good buffet , but it was evening meal prices for lunch, plus drinks
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Re: The Kraken- RX8 Trackcar

Post by casey » Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:40 am

=D> Another good tip re lunch, 17 Euros! I took my own grub to Snetterton yesterday in a cool bag...

We'll have a look into whether we can arrange our own picnic then!
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Re: The Kraken- RX8 Trackcar

Post by StreetDragster » Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:26 pm

Pits photos as promised

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And the roof top food venue, clearly where all the toffs are on F1 day

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Hope that helps

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Re: The Kraken- RX8 Trackcar

Post by phil1 » Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:18 pm

Great writeup, really enjoyed reading it :thumright:

The photo of your car heading up Eau Rouge is awesome =D>

Spa & Monza are my favourite tracks, the F1 was great at Spa last year. I'd love to drive around the track :-k
Braking on track should be like doing a really nice poo...tapered ends and fat in the middle.

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Re: The Kraken- RX8 Trackcar

Post by StreetDragster » Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:12 pm

Bit of an update, three of the cars went to Croft on the 28th of August.

Weather was good, dry and warm. All cars passed the noise tests which is always a tense moment and then out onto the track.
The Kraken performed well all day, oil temperature gets up there but other than that it did well, the Nankang NS-2R tyres doing really well.
Croft is a difficult track to get the lines right, some tuition in the afternoon had me and Allan drastically improving our driving, well recommended.

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The Hadouken (John's car)did well too, spits some nice fireballs out even with the silenced race pipe installed rather than the race pipe that was in at SPA.
It did have a shunt with a Clio though, completely the Clios fault for overtaking very close to a corner, then cutting across his line.
Damage not too bad for the RX8, turns out the chap was testing a customer’s car, wouldn't like to be him.

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The Sonic2 (Rick's car, not on the OC) did ok for its small amount of time on track, rubbish cold tyres and much loud pedal resulted in a few offs. One of which being into the tyre wall, ending the day for the car, and it now needs repair.
Thankfully, the damage is mostly cosmetic, and we have a spare winning blue car for parts, it'll live to fight another day.

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Now the season is over for the Kraken, it’s time for some upgrades over winter. I don't trust the Rotary Motion engine that is in it, so it’s coming out and a freshly rebuilt WGT one is going in, along with a tubular manifold and a lightweight flywheel.
Much bigger engine oil cooler, and a gearbox oil pump and cooler, and a few other choice changes. I'm going to change the passenger rear door as well to one which wasn't painted by Stevie Wonder.

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Last edited by StreetDragster on Fri May 25, 2018 8:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Kraken- RX8 Trackcar

Post by casey » Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:44 pm

Nice pics Matt, except the last few :(

Looks like you had ideal weather too 8)

Did you note any peak oil temps? I've been struggling to keep my oil temps down in track sessions, with my alarms tripping at116 (sensor in sandwich plate until oil filter). Water temps OK (ish)

Were you there the same day as Neil in his awesome white FD? He said he spotted some RX-8's when he was at Croft recently. He came with us to Croft earlier this year and was putting in some very tidy laps.
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Re: The Kraken- RX8 Trackcar

Post by StreetDragster » Wed Sep 02, 2015 6:08 am

Had a good chat with Neil and he took me and Allan out for a couple of laps in his FD, great fun and a real nice guy.

I have the oil temp sensor in the sump and we saw 110-115 degrees fairly consistently and peaks of 138! We think the mesh we have added to the oil cooler is to fine and restricting the air too much.

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Re: The Kraken- RX8 Trackcar

Post by casey » Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:11 am

Glad you hooked up with Neil as he is a great guy.

Keep us posted on the oil temp issue. I've added about 50% of extra area to the openings in the plastic guard in the wheelarch, but it doesn't seem to have helped much. I might try being more drastic with those openings! Also considering a vented bonnet to improve airflow.....
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Re: The Kraken- RX8 Trackcar

Post by StreetDragster » Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:16 am

We removed the seal on the scuttle panel to the bonnet and that seems to have helped bring under bonnet temps down a bit, the bonnet stay used to get so hot you needed gloves. The bonnet does bounce a bit now though which is a little unnerving when driving.

You could delete the fog lights and ducts and reposition the oil coolers to get more airflow through them. I thought about this, but if I'm going through the hassle of messing with the oil cooler positioning, then I'm going to fit the biggest cooler I can as well
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