Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mid-America Motorplex - Day Three (Part One)

I left off last evening in a world of anxiety.  We were not very sure what was going on with the clutch and were talking the entire way through Iowa on what are plan would be if we had a failure.  Where to go and who to cal and when?

We arrived at out motel in Pacific Junction very early by OLOA standards - 11:00 pm.  We covered just over 650 miles in under 9 hours.  As we pulled in and registered, we started discussing our issue with some fellow One Lappers (20+ year veterans) who run a late model Camaro.  These two gents are great -Mike H and Damon J.  Mike asks if he can look at the car - of course, the more eyes the better.  Mike looks at the relationship of the brake to clutch pedal and asks, are they always like that?  I said no.  I went on to say that I had noticed the off-set relationship earlier as Brian had complained of "soft" brakes with the brake pedal being apparently further depressed.  Mike quickly reaches in to the car to test the clutch pedal depression and notices that the point of resistance magically aligns with the brake pedal.  Call it a EUREKA moment! Mike guesses that the clutch pedal stop has fallen out or failed.  We are very relieved as we empty the car out at MAM this morning and Brian finds a small plastic piece under the floor mat that looks exactly like a stop.  Problem solved or at least now known.  Huge thanks Mike for the diagnosis and a better nights sleep no worrying.

Brian and I arrived at the track early and as we are unpacking the car, Joe Drumheller and Don Flanigin arrive in their Porsche.  Why is this significant?  Because at the end of the first session at Road America, Joe arrived back in the paddock to find water dripping from the water pump.  Not good.  Joe attempted to make the run in the afternoon before placing the car on a pre-arranged flat bed for a trip to a Chicago Porsche dealer that had a water pump in stock.  After gridding up, it is apparent Joe's car is very sick.  As we leave Road America, Joe and Don are stuck waiting for the flat bed.  It is 3:00 pm as we pull and waive goodbye.  The little Porsche was hauled to Chicago and a new water pump installed (under warranty).  The pump had failed in short due to excessive vibration.  The work was completed by a young tech by 10:00 pm (Joe provided him a $500 tip) and Joe and Don drove all night pulling in to Pacific Junction at 6:30 am.  Car intact and running fine after the morning session.

The 2009 OLOA winner (Nissan GTR) has bought it as it is apparently burning off spark plug tips.  One which has finally destroyed a cylinder.  Game over.  The hood is up and the team looking on how to get back to South Carolina in time to pick up another car and meet the One Lappers in St. Louis.  Wow!

Signing off for now - my time this am was not good as both Neil and the second place team in class were faster than me, oh well.  We are having fun!


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