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My WSC experience and learnings
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TOPIC: My WSC experience and learnings

My WSC experience and learnings 4 years, 3 months ago #19509

  • afonseca
  • OFFLINE
  • Junior Racer
  • Posts: 75
First of all I would like to say both Miye and I had an amazing weekend at Laguna Seca. Laguna is now officially my favorite track and I hope to drive it again sometime.

I really enjoyed the company of our fellow 944 drivers in the paddock and it was great seeing you all again and meeting some new drivers for the first time. All great folks to hang out with and enjoy close racing on track; it was well worth the trek from the NorthWest region.

I had what I would consider one of my best weekends of driving and am happy with my performance on track over the 4 days (including testing on Thursday). Everyone drove really well, left plenty of racing room and no contact or close calls.

One of the things I learned on a personal level was to keep an open mind and not pre-judge others when getting caught up in the excitement of close competition. We all saw Dan come from out of region and put down some killer times on track early on and I think the whole dyno situation further incited doubts in my mind about the unknown car. In retrospect, I recognize his skillful driving that is a level above my own and can express nothing but respect and admiration for his spectacular drive and result on Sunday. Sincere congratulations Dan!

The Dyno
The situation with the dyno experienced by both Dan and I was unfortunate in both the creation of doubt as expressed above and in the final result in my particular situation. After working hard all weekend and finishing P2 I was DQ'd in the championship race for being over on the dyno (144 HP, 144 TRQ). This came as a shock to us since we had earned a dyno for winning the qualifying race on Friday and measured a max HP reading of 127HP, 136 TRQ. We figured, with those low HP numbers the dyno would be a non-issue for us the rest of the weekend. No changes were made to the car from day to day other than tires and fuel. Heck, we didn't even add a drop of oil (yes, I nervously checked several times).

To add insult to injury on our team, we were accused of tuning the car between Friday and the Sunday race(sadly, we wouldn't know how if asked to do so). Again, I believe this stems from the dyno numbers which read low on HP on Friday but nobody could explain either those or the 17 HP delta from the dyno runs. All we could do is accept the numbers as they spewed out of the dyno printer, throw our hands up and leave disappointed with the outcome.

Moving Forward
Now, with that sad story behind us, I will be taking my car to the dyno here in the NorthWest to get more data. I'm not ruling out the possibility that there's just something wrong in the electrical wiring of this 27 year old car that could be doing something intermittent and crazy. My car is an '88 with it's stock engine rebuilt with stock parts built to the 944 Spec ruleset and it's my understanding one would have to work hard spending a good amount of additional money to make a car produce that much power over the limit intentionally. I can assure you that is not what we have done so I fully intend to dig into this and learn what I can.

I just wanted to share my experience and learnings with the group as I'm sure folks might be wondering what happened there and to set the record straight. In the end, that matters more to me than plastic trophies.

I hope to race with you all again soon.

#44 Alberto Fonseca
? Region
Last Edit: 4 years, 3 months ago by afonseca.
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Re: My WSC experience and learnings 4 years, 3 months ago #19563

  • jivenjim
  • OFFLINE
  • Senior Racer
  • Posts: 92
Things that were Great at Laguna Seca West Coast Nationals.

The Weather was Perfect. About 80F days because closeness to cool coast. Inland 30 miles is over 105F
NASA and Laguna Seca had the everything running like a top. Smooth clean and professional.
They had Lindsey as race announcer giving some live professional speaker commentaries.
World Touring Championship group added some serious high end racers/cars and brought some fans to boot.
I have not seen the Live Video but hope that had something fun. My dad said he could see a few corners.
Laguna Seca is probably the best and most fun track I've raced. You may not see it in videos but altitude change is dramatic and makes some big challenges.

944 racers were all are there for each other. And this is huge. We even coach our closest competitors help how to drive faster lines. Fix there Cars, share parts, food and expertise.
We managed to keep all but one car running for finals.
Thursday Joes' head blew Freeze plug. Simon and Jim R and I swapped in new head in 3 hours.
Friday I broke a Strut housing in half (good tires) and Jim Richmond had spare and helped me change.
Friday Jim Richmond Spun his #2 Rod and we gang changed with in Simons Trailer over 5 hrs.
Sat the #2 spun again for Jim R and we were all heart broken that could not fix the damaged Crank/Rod. Jim R was positive
Sat my clutch disk broke in half and Jim R came thru with spare. Tim, Simon, Chuck and Jim R help change out in 4 hours. So I got to make the Sun Race because that big effort. Many thanks guys!
Sunday I had the best dogfight of my life with Simon. Which he defended and beat me. Simon was due some good karma for all his efforts to help others.
Cause it does not matter if your dicing for first or last. As long as you have someone good and close to push each other. And I think everyone did!

Everyone raced excellent!

No one hit any walls or got banged up (more than a touch or so) All came home clean and safe.
Thanks All for coming. Great Event!!!
Jim Hicks
Texas Transplant
Last Edit: 4 years, 3 months ago by jivenjim.
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Re: My WSC experience and learnings 4 years, 3 months ago #19568

Great stuff! I love to hear that the racing was clean, and competitors helped each other out in the best 944 Spec tradition.

Keep it coming!
Eric Kuhns

National Director Emeritus

2007, & 2008 National Champion
2011, 2012 2nd
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Re: My WSC experience and learnings 4 years, 3 months ago #19569

Al, nothing wrong with tuning, and I haven't heard any accustions of cheating or attempts to do so. I had only heard that Tim gave you some tips based on your initial dyno. I had no idea where it went from there. My intent was to shed some possible light on where the change came from, not to make accusations. I think everyone feels your outcome was unfortunate, and that by all accounts you drove well this year.

It happens, lst year, the whole HC podium was D/Q'd. I think we do pretty well. Hopefully we can take away something to learn from this, and that is what the thread reviewing the results is intended to do.

Let's not forget that in the end, we all do this for fun, and it sounds like the 944 group had a lot of fun this year. This is all too expensive not to be fun!
Eric Kuhns

National Director Emeritus

2007, & 2008 National Champion
2011, 2012 2nd
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Re: My WSC experience and learnings 4 years, 3 months ago #19571

  • afonseca
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  • Junior Racer
  • Posts: 75
Sterling Doc wrote:
Al, nothing wrong with tuning, and I haven't heard any accustions of cheating or attempts to do so. I had only heard that Tim gave you some tips based on your initial dyno.


Sure, I understand. After my Friday compliance dyno (hot off the track after winning the qualifying race) Tim mentioned the dyno numbers he saw did not match what he saw out on track and had trouble reconciling them. I didn't have any explanation other than the numbers were similar to what I saw last at Auto Club. He did not offer any tips based on the dyno. We did not perform any tuning after that or the rest of the weekend.


Sterling Doc wrote:

Let's not forget that in the end, we all do this for fun, and it sounds like the 944 group had a lot of fun this year. This is all too expensive not to be fun!


Agreed, that's why we made the trip down and overall it was an amazing experience.

#44 Alberto Fonseca
? Region
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