rd.4 @ fontana

At round 4 in Fontana, Team KINOD took on the challenge of a NASCAR track. Still dealing with the stress carried over from the Las Vegas event, the paddock was a bit more frantic than usual at the KINOD camp. Myself being the sole mechanic of the mr-s that day, I was constantly checking the oil levels, as well as threw in a fresh gear oil change during lunch. I also monitored the oil temperature and pressure while on the track far more frequently.

Before the event, the mr-s was gone through thoroughly to determine what the cause of the engine’s sluggish behavior might have been. Early speculation led us to believe it could be a blown head gasket or perhaps a bad vvt-i actuator. I started with taking off the air filter and examining it. It didn’t take long to realize the air filter had been dirty and soaked with oil. Some of the oil managed to get caught in the mass airflow sensor as well. The filter and sensor was cleaned and reinstalled with a new protective shield i had cut out of aluminum to help keep foreign objects away from the air path.

On the day of the big event, the engine struggled to climb the revs. If its not the dirty air filter or maf sensor, or the heat, then I’m stumped. (It’s possible, now that I think of it, that the maf sensor MAY be faulty.)

It was only my 2nd time racing at this track and I became more comfortable throughout the day. As sluggish as the engine might have been, I made some adjustment to the aero to aid in straightline speed. Through the main straightaway, I clocked 125mph and maintained the speed through turn 1 and 2 (nascar oval banking). It was the infield where I had most trouble having to jam my way through the gears just to keep the rpm up in order to stay moving. At times the gears didn’t seem to want to engage or disengage, and double-clutching didn’t work either. I was at a handicap.

Having not set any lap times during the qualifying run, I was gridded dead last. It was definitely a different point of view from the back of the grid. In the 3 hot laps of time attack, I was able to catch up to and pass 3 cars. I was re-gridded for the 2nd session at a higher position where I was comfortably paced. From inside the car, everything felt amazing. I was in the rhythm just blasting through the corners like nobody’s business and kicking ass! In the end, the result was just depressing. I don’t know if it’s even worth mentioning. I mean I was 8 seconds slower than I was not 6 months ago, and a whole 6 seconds behind the next guy in my run class. Either way, I clocked 2:04.522, putting me in at 8th place in street rwd class for the day. I guess 7th loser isn’t too bad in a 200hp car. Here’s the standings for that event…

1 83 LIM, EDDIE01:51.220
2 36 BONANNI, MIKE01:51.373
3 555 VERDIER, STEPHA…01:52.463
4 4 TYLER, JEFF01:53.131
5 24 RODGERS, STEVEN01:55.079
6 47 WALKER, PAUL01:56.019
7 99 LEMON, DAVE01:58.760
8 31 CHIEU, KENNY02:04.522
9 20 HERSHKOFF, JOSH…02:11.946
DNS 520 CHEN, CHRISTOPH…00:00.000

Congrats to Eddie Lim and his beast of a Nissan S14 sponsored by Godspeed. You guys really came out of nowhere and showed everyone what made in Taiwan parts can do :p

Thanks to everyone that helped make such an awesome event! KINOD Collective, J’s Graphics, City Tire Online, Carbotech Brakes, BC Racing Suspension, V/T Engineering, Pho Broadway, Ernie @ Torco USA, the girlfriend :), FLAN, Brian Linga, Cody Chan, Grady Nguyen, Bob Michaels, Sean Davies, Eric Emerson, WANTOWLE, COLDTRACKDAYS, Carl Rydquist, Paul Dentise, Clint Boisdeau, and everyone who I forgot to mention, THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH!

See you at Willow Spirings Raceway on July 3-4 for round 6!