£999 track/sprint project - adventures in the Japanese Sprint Series

For you to showcase what you've done to your car and give other members ideas and inspiration.
User avatar
benedwards64
Former Member
Former Member
Posts: 252
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:03 pm
RX-8: 231
Colour: Galaxy Grey
Location: Oxfordshire
Has thanked: 19 times
Been thanked: 36 times

Re: £999 track/sprint project - adventures in the Japanese Sprint Series

Post by benedwards64 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:58 pm

Ok, it’s absolutely about time we had an update here! The RX8 languished on its trailer for several weeks over Christmas before we got our act together and got stuck into the one job we’ve been putting off for some time… changing the clutch. I’d picked up a six-paddle clutch and lightweight flywheel/counterweight several months ago which we’d had sitting around for a while, and after and estimated 250-ish 6,000rpm launches we weren’t getting as much clutch bite as we used to :hehe:

Suffice to say this was a b***** of a job, mostly because every single nut and bolt we came to was rusty and we were constantly fighting the b***** thing. I also completely failed to take any photos, apart from this one where we finally had the gearbox split away from the car:

Image2019-02-22_09-28-43 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

Still, it’s in and back together. Not a job I’d like to repeat!

At the same time we fitted some Whiteline adjustable ARBs to keep the body roll in check. Naturally two of the bolts snapped so also needed drilling out.

A little nervous about our new setup, and nervous about the car in general after we managed to flood it over winter (followed by lots of smoke – we’re still undecided as to whether this is due to the flooding or the small shards of metal we pulled off the sparkplugs when deflooding it… :yikes: ) we needed a ‘test’ track day before hauling it all the way over to Spa next month. Enter Brands Hatch – Pete’s local circuit, and somewhere I’ve visited often but never driven.

So we got the Jeep loaded up and off we went!

Image2019-02-22_09-29-08 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

Image2019-02-22_09-29-18 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

The day wasn’t without issue, which is precisely why we wanted to do it. The new clutch feels good and certainly bites well (the chirrup from the rear tyres if you mis-heel-and-toe certainly confirms this!) but the pedal didn’t feel great, and a quick attempt at bleeding any air out ended up with us losing the pedal altogether. After much fiddling, pumping and nipple-playing (sorry) we managed to get it back to how it had been that morning – that is to say, not great, but serviceable. We’ll get a new slave cylinder on there before Spa, certainly.

Brands is a brilliant little track though, and the car was running well otherwise. The New ARBs had made more of a difference than I thought possible, and the car is now really playful on the limit (we’ll ignore my brief trip into the gravel :hehe: ). We took a few people out for passenger laps, which is always entertaining (for us, at least!). Although Pete managed to make somebody throw up, which I thought was quite impressive. In a helmet. And a balaclava. I’ll just let you think about that….

Image2019-02-22_09-47-04 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

Image2019-02-22_09-47-17 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

The end of the day had its own drama as well – we suddenly started getting complete cuts in power, and with half an hour left of track-time and no more fuel we were left wondering if it was fuel starvation or something more sinister. Cue some frantic running around the remaining attendees frantically trying to buy some fuel, we managed to get hold of 20 litres and I was ordered to go out and do “as many laps as they’ll let you” to rule out any other issues. Fortunately all was well, and that last 15 minute session at the end of the day, with the whole track to myself, was glorious (apart the ever-lingering whiff of vomit…).

So, home, and we left it for as long as we could doing its best flying-fish impression while we air it out :hehe:

Image2019-02-22_09-29-32 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr
These users thanked the author benedwards64 for the post (total 4):
warpc0il (Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:57 pm) • ChrisHolmes (Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:33 pm) • casey (Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:56 pm) • GreySilver Beast (Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:29 pm)

User avatar
benedwards64
Former Member
Former Member
Posts: 252
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:03 pm
RX-8: 231
Colour: Galaxy Grey
Location: Oxfordshire
Has thanked: 19 times
Been thanked: 36 times

Re: £999 track/sprint project - adventures in the Japanese Sprint Series

Post by benedwards64 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:58 pm

It’s safe to say we’re well and truly out of the winter doldrums now – and the Racecat’s last couple of weeks have been pretty hectic! We had a few bits to repair after Brands (not least giving the vomit-stained passenger seat a good clean!) and Pete got stuck in straight away in swapping over the faulty clutch slave cylinder and fitting a new set of EBC Yellows. We had a pretty special treat lined up for our plucky little car – and for once it didn’t involve Pete (who lives in the arse end of Kent) traipsing round the M25 to get to a circuit.

Yep, we were off to Spa! Oh yes, and it was 5 days before sprinting season starts. What could possibly go wrong…?

We loaded the Shogun up with as many parts, spares, tools as we could possibly think of, gave the RX8 a quick start and run up to temp to make sure it still worked, and trundled off to the tunnel. The whole journey was pretty perfect actually – the train was on time, the roads were clear and (being a Sunday) there were minimal lorries on the autoroute. Shunning the overpriced hotels we’d booked into an AirBNB in a local village – with space for the trailer – so we parked up, unhitched and went in search of the nearest Carrefour and some lovely Belgian beer :lick:

Image2019-04-08_01-44-52 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

I know you all want to hear about the track day, but humour me for a minute – Spa itself really is rather charming (and there was some nice metal hanging around as well!). Well worth a visit.

Image2019-04-08_01-45-15 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

Image2019-04-08_01-45-23 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

Image2019-04-08_01-45-29 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

Image2019-04-08_01-45-35 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

Image2019-04-08_01-45-51 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

Image2019-04-08_01-46-28 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

Suitably stocked with steak and beer (not to mention 80 litres in jerry cans full of the finest Belgian 98 RON) we headed back to our rented house, fed and watered ourselves and got an early night ready for the big day.

And what a day it was! Bright, sunny, dry and with temperatures in the teens we really couldn’t have hoped for a better day. Our first job was to swap the Rainsports out for the R888s! I was expecting Spa to be a great track, but nothing really prepared me for what a phenomenal place it really is. There was some really very serious machinery there on the day, and we were woefully out-gunned in a straight line, but overall we held our own remarkably well. The faithful old thing really does cling on in the corners, and we often found ourselves catching stuff up in the corners that had come rocketing past on the never-ending back straight a minute before.

Driving standards were very good overall, though, with particular kudos to the chap in an R35 GTR who let me pass after Pouhon, then sat behind me all the way up Eau Rouge and along the back straight so he wouldn’t have to let me passed again the next lap. :)

Both Pete and I had loads of fun, as evidenced by the fact we managed 240 miles on track and got through 150l of fuel :hehe: The car ran like a top all day despite getting full enthusiastic use and never really being given the chance to cool down. We both – after many laps of psyching ourselves up – managed on the last runs of the day to take both Eau Rouge and Blanchimont corners flat out at the top of 4th gear – an experience that will really stay with me.

Sadly the cameras were only running for the first few runs of the day, but here’s a few laps of mine from mid-morning. Skip the first 6-7 minutes once I’ve cleared the yellow flags and traffic:



And a few pics from the track itself:

Image2019-04-08_01-46-55 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

Image2019-04-08_01-47-00 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

Image2019-04-08_01-47-15 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

Image2019-04-08_01-47-26 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

Image2019-04-08_01-47-35 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

Image2019-04-08_01-47-48 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

These held up remarkably well:
Image2019-04-08_01-47-57 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

Image2019-04-08_01-48-08 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

Image2019-04-08_01-48-34 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

Image2019-04-08_01-48-44 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

Image2019-04-08_01-49-05 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

Image2019-04-08_01-49-29 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

Image2019-04-08_01-46-17 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr


And done. What an experience. Four days later, we were off to Cadwell Park for the first sprint of the 2019 season. Stay tuned… :)
These users thanked the author benedwards64 for the post:
GreySilver Beast (Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:29 pm)

PeteH
Former Member
Former Member
Posts: 5848
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:26 pm
RX-8: 231
Colour: Custom
Location: West Sussex
Has thanked: 177 times
Been thanked: 786 times

Re: £999 track/sprint project - adventures in the Japanese Sprint Series

Post by PeteH » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:04 pm

Very nice. I loved the laugh at about 12:30 as you went through Eau Rouge. =D>

User avatar
benedwards64
Former Member
Former Member
Posts: 252
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:03 pm
RX-8: 231
Colour: Galaxy Grey
Location: Oxfordshire
Has thanked: 19 times
Been thanked: 36 times

Re: £999 track/sprint project - adventures in the Japanese Sprint Series

Post by benedwards64 » Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:25 am

You should have heard me after I went through it flat :lol:

User avatar
GreySilver Beast
Committee Member
Committee Member
Posts: 55963
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2006 6:57 pm
Colour: Custom
Location: Around The UK including West Sussex
Has thanked: 11553 times
Been thanked: 2823 times

£999 track/sprint project - adventures in the Japanese Sprint Series

Post by GreySilver Beast » Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:16 pm

Nice write up on your Spa-Francorchamps Trip Ben =D> =D> =D> =D>
These users thanked the author GreySilver Beast for the post:
benedwards64 (Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:19 pm)

User avatar
benedwards64
Former Member
Former Member
Posts: 252
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:03 pm
RX-8: 231
Colour: Galaxy Grey
Location: Oxfordshire
Has thanked: 19 times
Been thanked: 36 times

Re: £999 track/sprint project - adventures in the Japanese Sprint Series

Post by benedwards64 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:11 pm

From European exotica to the cold, damp greyness of the North East – that’s right, sprinting season is back!

Pete didn’t even bother unloading the towcar and trailer after Spa – after arriving home on Tuesday afternoon he was heading off again Friday morning. Good thing we didn’t break anything in Belgium :lol:

Ever since I’ve started doing this I have never, ever got my head around Cadwell Park. It’s Pete’s favourite circuit, he’s always beaten me here, but I was hoping that the track day we did in November would stand me in good stead now I’d managed to get a decent number of laps under my belt. I should also note I have never, ever driven Cadwell in the dry, so we dutifully swapped onto the Rainsports before loading up to come home from Spa.

We also had that new 6-paddle clutch and lightweight flywheel to think about. It had been perfectly well behaved the week before, but neither of us had an opportunity to properly launch the car and only had one practice run each to get to grips!

Image2019-04-11_10-48-22 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

The morning of the sprint was – unbelievably – dry, but very cold, grey and windy. It made the conditions a little unpredictable from the outset, which unfortunately led to a couple of big offs from other competitors (no injuries, fortunately). Our new clutch took a bit of getting used to, but we soon settled on a far-more-sensible 4k rpm launch which gave the best results. Pete and I both had pretty good runs first thing, before Pete (the swine!) took a solid second off me on run two. The weather started playing silly buggers with us at this point – while it never really rained, the temps dropped and there was a lot of very fine moisture in the air that made the track decidedly greasy. My third run was 6 seconds down, and the next run ended up with me going backwards through the Gooseneck at over 80mph (an experience that certainly wakes you up! :o ).

Fifth run started out well, and felt really good…. Right until the point I caught up with the competitor in front of me before the end of the lap :lol: . This gave me a re-run, but sadly no advantage from warm tyres – someone had dropped coolant all around Park which took half an hour or so to clear up. Still, I managed to knock .8 of a second off which was enough to better Pete’s best run so far, which I was pretty happy about :D

The final run was pretty identical for me and – sadly – slower for Pete as the threatened rain closed in. So that was it – I’d finally broken my Cadwell Park curse and started the season off with a class win, and fastest naturally aspirated car of the day!

Image2019-04-11_10-48-44 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

Image2019-04-11_10-48-53 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

We’ve got a few weeks to wait until Three Sisters, followed fairly quickly by Anglesey. The car seems to be largely behaving (if I’m honest, none of us ever expected it to last this long!) but the clutch bite point was getting quite high by the end of the day. We were also struggling a bit with brakes all day, which we’ve put down to cooking and glazing the pads at Spa. They’ll get a bit of a fettle soon with any luck.

Image2019-04-11_12-00-23 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

Vids to follow once Pete is back from a much needed holiday. In the meantime, here’s his run around Spa to keep you entertained:

These users thanked the author benedwards64 for the post (total 2):
GreySilver Beast (Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:29 pm) • warpc0il (Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:37 pm)

PeteH
Former Member
Former Member
Posts: 5848
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:26 pm
RX-8: 231
Colour: Custom
Location: West Sussex
Has thanked: 177 times
Been thanked: 786 times

Re: £999 track/sprint project - adventures in the Japanese Sprint Series

Post by PeteH » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:21 pm

Great result. Well done. :thumleft:

The Gooseneck is the one corner I really wouldn't want to spin at! Kudos for not binning it. :shaking:

User avatar
casey
Committee Member
Committee Member
Posts: 9832
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2004 7:14 pm
RX-8: 231
Colour: Titanium Grey
Location: Colchester
Has thanked: 1173 times
Been thanked: 1416 times

Re: £999 track/sprint project - adventures in the Japanese Sprint Series

Post by casey » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:59 pm

Congratulations on the sprint trophies =D>

Your car seems to be going well - that Spa clip brought back many happy memories of the 2015 Club trip out there :D
Club Secretary
Essex Rotary Full Bridgeport

Seibon Carbon Fibre Bonnet
"Racing Brake" front calipers, Racing Beat (RB) ARB's F&R, RB REVI intake, full RB Stainless Steel Exhaust & Mani, 20mm Eibach spacers, KOYO Ali Rad, Lightened Fly, Tein MonoFlex coilovers & strut brace, Axial short-shifter, BHR Coils & Engine Mounts, Greddy Sump
Federal 595RS-R or Rainsport 3

User avatar
mrspiller
Club Member
Club Member
Posts: 2984
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2015 7:04 pm
RX-8: 231
Colour: Copper Red
Location: Hengoed - South Wales
Has thanked: 168 times
Been thanked: 463 times

Re: £999 track/sprint project - adventures in the Japanese Sprint Series

Post by mrspiller » Fri Apr 12, 2019 9:51 am

A very good write up Ben and well done on your success buddy . Keep it up


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

User avatar
benedwards64
Former Member
Former Member
Posts: 252
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:03 pm
RX-8: 231
Colour: Galaxy Grey
Location: Oxfordshire
Has thanked: 19 times
Been thanked: 36 times

Re: £999 track/sprint project - adventures in the Japanese Sprint Series

Post by benedwards64 » Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:51 am

Thank you guys, appreciate the kind words :)

Here's the vid from cadwell. Again, considering how close we are we have pretty different driving styles :lol:


User avatar
benedwards64
Former Member
Former Member
Posts: 252
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:03 pm
RX-8: 231
Colour: Galaxy Grey
Location: Oxfordshire
Has thanked: 19 times
Been thanked: 36 times

Re: £999 track/sprint project - adventures in the Japanese Sprint Series

Post by benedwards64 » Tue May 28, 2019 9:28 am

…and we’re back! It was a pretty quick turnaround from Cadwell, but Pete still managed to fit a new clutch master cylinder and bleed the system through after our worries at the previous round. Fortunately is seems to have done the trick, as neither of us really fancy pulling the gearbox off again.

Three Sisters is a pretty different track to Cadwell – it’s basically a kart circuit, so even with a double-lap sprint layout it’s only just over a mile. It’s short, twisty, narrow, frantic and there’s very little run-off if you do get something wrong (as a couple of competitors unfortunately found out). There’s very little semblance of a racing line, so most corners are approached by standing on the brakes, throwing it in, nailing the throttle and hoping for the best :D

The little MX5s should have been in their element here, but for such a lardy car I was really impressed with our results. Pete and I managed 9th and 10th overall, fasted naturally-aspirated car of the day, and P1 and P2 of the Mazda Sprint Series. Not bad going really!

Couple of pics of the day:

Image

Image

And a drive-by and in-car video. Hitting the limiter at 10k rpm is all part of the fun :lol:





Next weekend is a biggy – Javelin are Anglesey, running the Javelin Sprint Series on Saturday, and the Japanese Sprint Series on Sunday. We’re, unusually, in a big class for the former event, so it’ll be interesting to see if we can keep the hot hatch boys and girls at bay!

User avatar
warpc0il
Spin Doctor
Spin Doctor
Posts: 25991
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:56 pm
RX-8: 231
Colour: Lightning Yellow
Location: Groomsport, Co Down, NI
Has thanked: 471 times
Been thanked: 1911 times
Contact:

Re: £999 track/sprint project - adventures in the Japanese Sprint Series

Post by warpc0il » Tue May 28, 2019 10:23 am

benedwards64 wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 9:28 am
fasted naturally-aspirated car of the day, and P1 and P2 of the Mazda Sprint Series. Not bad going really!
That's as it should be for a well sorted 8, with a couple of (getting more) experienced drivers =D>

Sounds like you had a great day and I look forward to finding the time to watch the vids
Dave
The Spin Doctor ™
uǝǝɹɔs ɹnoʎ ʇɹǝʌuı ǝsɐǝld :ɹoɹɹǝ

User avatar
benedwards64
Former Member
Former Member
Posts: 252
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:03 pm
RX-8: 231
Colour: Galaxy Grey
Location: Oxfordshire
Has thanked: 19 times
Been thanked: 36 times

Re: £999 track/sprint project - adventures in the Japanese Sprint Series

Post by benedwards64 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:51 pm

Blimey, plenty to catch up on! Anglesey, aside from being a real bloody trek from anywhere sensible, is always a great event. Making it a double-header (Javelin and Japanese series) means we could make the most of the weekend, including a nice little AirBNB out in the middle of nowhere to keep costs down!

Typically both days started off wet, drying towards the end of the day, so for two consecutive events the end result came down to the last run. We had fun getting there though, with spins from both of us and a couple of entertaining trips across the grass :lol:

Whilst clearing a nice chunk of grass out for the underside of the car we also discovered that the front ARB mount had managed to detach itself. Now I’m not saying this is why I fell off the circuit… :D

Day 1 went to me, and day 2 to Pete after I put too much pressure on myself and stuffed up my last run! Still, it was nice playing in a bigger class for a change during the Javelin event, during which we managed a respectable 2nd and 4th out of six, followed by 13th and 14th overall the next day out of the usual Japanese SS runners. Seems to be pretty consistently where we sit here!

Image

Image

After a month’s hiatus we then headed up to RAF Cottesmore (AKA Kendrew Barracks) for a very different sort of event. Kendrew is always a lot of fun, using the airfield support roads and main runway on a coned out course feels almost like a rally stage. Most competitors (me included!) were still learning the track by mid afternoon, and the long grass surrounding the track made navigating even trickier. This also meant that any expedition off-track was a messy affair – as I found out after putting two wheels off ended up with a hay-bale’s worth of fodder attached to the bottom of the car which caught fire briefly :o
The surface at Kendrew is also very abrasive, so we opted to use our old R888 track-day tyres for the first couple of runs. It turns out this was less than ideal, so we switched to the newer R888Rs and immediately went 3 seconds quicker :D

Image

Sadly – for the first time ever – we didn’t get all of our runs in. Last year we had to replace a rear suspension arm after I sort of crashed the car a bit, and we took the opportunity to swap in an adjustable Japspeed unit with some fancy rose joints. Naturally this is the bit that failed as I came through the last (very tight!) chicane, banged down into first and floored it over the finish line. Poor Pete only managed one run on the R888Rs as a result, but we still managed a top 15 placing on what is very much a power-orientated circuit!

Interestingly, as a neat demonstration of our power disadvantage, there was a speed trap rigged just before the braking point on the main runway. Our top speed along here was a dizzying 113mph, compared to 174mph (!) for the leading Fensport GT86R, 132mph for the MX5 turbo that’s trouncing us in the Mazda series, and 130mph by the Civic Type R that we somehow managed to beat :hehe:

Blyton next up. Should be interesting, I’ve not driven there for two years! We’ve also picked up a new set of tyres, and are trying something different this time:

Image

A new set of Yoko A052s. Looking forward to trying them out…

User avatar
Eddie_r32
Former Member
Former Member
Posts: 1212
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2016 6:18 pm
RX-8: 231
Location: Henley-on-Thames
Has thanked: 44 times
Been thanked: 157 times

Re: £999 track/sprint project - adventures in the Japanese Sprint Series

Post by Eddie_r32 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:29 pm

Now you will be faster and stickier than you were two years ago Blyton can be a real pain for fuel starvation at its all hard lefts
2007 Galaxy grey 231.
RRP Parts: Full bridge, long tube header, cofs + tanks, pulleys, engine mounts, oil injectors, remap, race cat.
Other: Greddy sump, Autoexe exhaust, autoexe brake brace, ingalls engine brace, ultra racing f+r strut brace, hsd coilovers, whiteline Arbs, 4 pot brakes, r3 Diff, r3 interior and lots more

User avatar
mrspiller
Club Member
Club Member
Posts: 2984
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2015 7:04 pm
RX-8: 231
Colour: Copper Red
Location: Hengoed - South Wales
Has thanked: 168 times
Been thanked: 463 times

Re: £999 track/sprint project - adventures in the Japanese Sprint Series

Post by mrspiller » Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:47 am

Good write up as always Ben
My 888’s are tiring and looking to replace them . How good are there yoko’s supposed to perform ? No doubt you’ve done your research ?
I was thinking maybe nankang AR1



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

User avatar
benedwards64
Former Member
Former Member
Posts: 252
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:03 pm
RX-8: 231
Colour: Galaxy Grey
Location: Oxfordshire
Has thanked: 19 times
Been thanked: 36 times

Re: £999 track/sprint project - adventures in the Japanese Sprint Series

Post by benedwards64 » Mon Jul 29, 2019 9:20 am

Thanks Wayne :)

The Yokos seem to be well reviewed, given the limited amount of information I've found on them. They looked interesting, so I thought I'd take a punt :)

Post Reply

Return to “Personal Car Projects and Mods”