#Gridlife Midwest- Stories From the Slumdog
This year marked the first ever running of the Mechanical Advantage Racing racecar "The Slumdog Millionaire" at #Gridlife's flagship event, Round 2 Midwest. Gridlife Midwest is a combination of all aspects of motorsports, ranging from show, to track, and even drift. In addition to motorsports, you can also find vendors and even concerts at night. Having been warned the extensiveness of the event I thought I would come prepared, but even with insider tips, It wasnt enough. The event was MASSIVE. A total of 137 cars signed up for the Time Attack Series, with more in HPDE classes, and roughly 20 drift cars on top of that. Finding our way into our pits was a task to say the least.
Once we settled in it was time to unload the car and start getting it prepped for day 1. With the track going hot and the car ready to go, we were off, and instantly we had an issue. The lexan window frames were not adequitely mounted and the lexan began to flex outward. To make the best of the session I drove the car around the track 3 laps, to confirm I would get a lap time finishing with a 1:51. After coming back to the pits, the lexan was removed so the car could at least make a lap without having the windows rip off. In round 2 we gave our best shot at a hot lap and noticed the development of a missfire on the car. After limping through the day on 3 cylinders we brought the time down to a 1:45. That evening we tore the fuel system down cleaned it and built it back up with products from our sponsor, AEM Performance Electronics. All missfires went away!
Saturday was the day we aimed to go for our best lap time. In the first session we cut our time down to a 1:41, but were plagued with overheating issues due to ducting on the trunk mount radiator on the car. This limited us to 3 laps: 1 Warm up, 1 hot lap, and 1 cool down.The result of this gave us a narrow window to dial in the car and gave us tires that were not prepped or warm in the time were were on the track. Even with those hurtles we achieved a 1:39. At a 1:39 we knew we hand made podium for 3rd place.
With second place nearly 5 seconds ahead of us, we knew it was slightly out of reach. This gave us motivation to look elsewhere to improve the car. Our new goal was to sort out the cooling issues and stay out the whole session. Lexan windows were reinstalled and new mounts were added to keep the lexan flush with the seals. Once the lexan was pulled against the car we noticed some drastic changes, the car all of a sudden stabilized in temps. Though higher than we would like, it was still in a stable range at 200 degrees. With stable temps the car stayed on track and did many valuable laps running back to back 1:41 and gave us a ton of tire data. Near the end of the final session our serpentine belt shredded and ended our competition for Sunday.
To finish the weekend off we were pleased to have been chosen as one of 6 vehicles to be driven that weekend by Matt Farah for a spot on his show "The Smoking Tire" in his one take series. The team ran to grab another serpentine belt to throw on the car to make it functional for Matt to drive and we got it back together just in time. Matt jumped in and started ripping it around the track! 3 laps in the car shutdown and would not restart. Luckily he was able to avoid a tow and rolled it in the pits where we would diagnose. As it turns out, the shredded serpentine belt had cut the boost control wire and created a short, which blew the fuse to the ecu! After a quick fix the car was loaded up and we called it a weekend.
We hope that all our problems are sorted for the next event so that we can continue to focus on dialing the car closer and hopefully make the perfect lap!
Other Notable mentions includes our very own Chris Bickford, sporting his Evo 10 in street class. By the end of the weekend Chris was able to hit a 1:41 and take 3rd in AWD street class!