Altamont-The Track Map,, Seriously

John Condon\'s Track Map

Here’s what John says to do (I’d take his word for it!)

Cars exit from the pit-paddock area (Pit Out) just before T3 on the 1/2-mile oval and the track runs counterclockwise.  Banking at T3 is 12 degrees and 11 degrees at T4.  The LeMons track turns back into T4 of the integrated 1/4-mile oval which is 8 degrees, but because you’re now running the 1/4-mile track backwards, the corner is waaaaaaay off-camber.  This corner is called “The Bank.”  Up the 1/4-mile banking into “The Loop” (that Mickey Mouse looking ear between the two ovals) which is a double-apex corner, and getting this right is critical to owning the infield of the course.  Exiting “The Loop” brings you back onto the 1/4-mile at the entrance to T3… again, you’re running backwards onto the back-straight to the transition is waaaaaaaaay off camber as you drop down.  It’s trickier than it looks at speed but when there’s a lot of cars and traffic, any line will do — just get through it unscathed.  If you can do it at speed, it depends on what kind of car you have.  Rear engined cars (like my Porsche Turbo) hate the off-camber and slide all the way to San Jose before they stop.  In my GTA car, (550 HP) the torque pulls me out of the off-camber roll okay but the power curve is short in order to get set up for the next corner.  Front wheel drive cars are point and shoot… don’t lift… and trail-brake into the right-hander.  It’s a quick reverse of vehicle dynamics for the sharp right-hander into “The X” and by the middle of the “X” get far right for the exit out of “The X” onto the front straight of the 1/2-mile (4 degree banking).  T1 on the 1/2-mile usually has a man-made chicane to keep everyone honest. Out of T2 (on the 1/2-mile banking), the basic line is stay high to make an easy and fast transition into “The Esses.”  However, staying low is the defensive line to block the entry apex.  The esses can make you or break you.  Most drivers screw these up so bad that I have passed three cars in our Miata before they know what hit them.  The key: slow in and fast out.  Too fast in and you miss the apex… which puts your car completely out of sorts and in the dirt.  Slow in, hit the first two apexes solidly, then short shift to pick up the power curve for the exit.  This should give your drivers a basic understanding of what to expect.  BTW – in the Miata, we do 20 up-and-down shifts a lap, from 1st to 4th and back again.”
All the best –
John Condren
Team Heavy Downforce and somewhat associated with AMP

UMIGO karting, green track and a good time now open in Livermore

UMIGO Karting

Ok, so they’re not open till Wednesday the 23rd of so. Those Fire Marshalls are sticklers, but of course for good reason.

Mike, Shaun (our San Diegan), and yours truly (Fred) went on Saturday night to try out the new track, and to try out our driving gear. Here’s the results from driving, and of our gear.

In terms of UMIGO Karting, it’s on the north side of the Lawrence Livermore Labs

6538 Patterson Pass Road in Livermore

First of,, the track is HUGE!!! A lap runs over a minute!

The fastest lap of our group was half a second under a minute at full tilt. It’s that big!

When the grip comes in, I’d look to lap times nearing 50 seconds, possibly even as low as 45! For the distance travelled, it’s really something.

The karts are great! Electric start, Big red kill switch on top, and plenty of speed.

The parking is cake (all you East Bay folks, don’t worry, just come on down, you’ll always fit in the lot, and the security is top notch (there’s a national lab across the street with high level security doing driving sweeps often, you’ll be plenty safe!)

Best of all, it’s simply a great time! Click this link for more pictures of our time at UMIGO Racing in Livermore.

We got lotsa roll-cagey goodness done this weekend!

Finally Shaun got to meet the rest of the team (he’s our awesome Engineer/Roll-Cage master) from San Diego.

Armed with info from Lyle of Saabsgonewild and the gang at AUTOPOWER roll cages we were ready for battle.

We nearly completed the whole cage installation in the weekend.

More importantly Jaime over at 5-star Automotive (our anchor driver) continues to make magic happen down in Patterson on a weekly basis.  When we walk into the shop, more is done, and done right!  It’s so great! Brakes work, clutch works, my pants fit better.  It’s all awesome!!

We’ve got 2 bars left to complete the cage and we’re home free (then the dash’ll go back in!)

Here’s more pictures

We’ll keep you posted!

Livery, I hate Livery!

Here’s the layered .pdf of the car (the file).  Check it out and give your drawing skills a go!

280z-liverya

Above this,, that’s where the file is

You’ve gone too far! Back up there!

It’s ALIVE!!!! (slightly)

Work, was definitely accomplished this week.

We got the engine to begin that wonderful belching noise that means, that some way, some how,, it could come to life!

Watch the video to get really excited about just how awesome it’s going to be!

Also, we finally got to meet our crew chief in person, he even approved of the car. Typically this wouldn’t be a big deal, but our crew chief is none other than racer Scott Schroeder, (he’s a little bit of awesome).

So check the video, think of pledging all your money to sponsor us for no good reason whatsoever, (seriously, others have!)

makin Z\'s the hard way

Tires!! (We got the Special Round ones!)

More Tires at Tires to Go!

Well today, on my way to get fitted at the dentist for a face fixing device (apparently they don’t come in size “missing a brain”) I picked up the tires for our racer to be.

At Tires to Go in West Sacramento (we can’t recommend them enough!) Thanks to Dave Komaromi (a noted commenter) and the rest of the gang, we’re now set up with 6 T-rated tires that will fit our erstwhile racer.

I foolishly didn’t write down the guys names (why I didn’t do that I’ll never know) but I did get some mighty fine pics of the gang at Tires to Go, so if you’re in West Sacramento (3001 Evergreen Avenue 95619 is the address) please stop by and buy a whole bunch of tires, they’ll thank you for it, and we’d really appreciate it too!

Tires at Tires to go!

It also looks like we’ll be going with the standard Z seat (a nice one for something older than some of our racers!) and having a removable steering wheel (it’s a safety device right?!) Oh it is, because if it’s missing you can’t control the car! Perfect! (At least I convinced me right?)