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Discussion Starter #61 (Edited)
Loaded up and ready to head out in the morning for three days of track fun! :D



We'll see how she holds up.
 

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Loaded up and ready to head out in the morning for three day of track fun! :D



We'll see how she holds up.
(I don't mean to sound like a kid but)
DUDE! THAT'S *MY* CAR! :D



Woooow, just wow. I've always been thinking about what it'd be like to race it or have it decked out in race gear, and that's.. IT!

Same color, practically same rims. Awesome hahaha!



Keep up the project man its brilliant! Hope you win a lot of races. Btw I somewhat stripped out a part of my car today, I needed to tighten the e-brake and so I was looking at the center console today and thought "hm, there's no where to unscrew it. Maybe if I just pull on it-" and it popped right off hahaha, i was like "OMG THATS THE WIRES OF THE EBRAKE" and so forth. Then I almost took off the entire center console but realized I'm not stripping my car out so I restrained myself lol. :p
 

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Discussion Starter #66 (Edited)
First Track Report - VIR

VIR Track Report

Arrived Thursday night and set up camp in the paddock - sleeping in the back of the truck for 3 nights. :)



Friday morning brought heavy fog which delayed all track activities for about an hour.



Once things were underway, the cars/drivers were assigned to 5 different groups based on experience and skill level

Green - Novice/beginner
Yellow - intermediate
Blue - advanced instructed
Red - advanced solo
White - instructors

I was assigned to the green group since I hadn’t run with this club before. The green group seemed to be comprised of three types of folks:
1-true novices
2-people who brought their expensive sports car to drive on the track, but didn’t really want to risk crashing it
3-people who had track experience, but not with this club - several of us were moved up later in the day and the next day.

Although there were 5 driver groups, there were only 4 run groups:
Green & Yellow
Blue
Red
White

So it didn’t matter that I got moved up to yellow Friday afternoon, I was still running with the green folks.

Each group got two 30min session in the morning and two 30min sessions in the afternoon - about 8-10 laps per session.

We were running the full coarse - 3.27mi, 21 turns with quite a bit of elevation change.



Here we are entering turn 4



Exiting turn 5



and entering turn 5a



A proud moment for the Mazda - getting a point-by from a slower Z06 as we head for the uphill esses at nearly 100mph.



Friday had a couple of other “moments”. In the second session we went off at turn 1 when we just broke a bit too late from nearly 120mph - no damage.

On the forth lap of the third session, as I exited turn 2, there was no power, lights were flashing in the dash and the engine wouldn’t go over 3000rpm. I had forgotten to shut off the TCS and apparently caused the computer to work so hard, it went into limp mode. You could practically hear the ECU screaming “I’m trying to help! What the hell are you doing? Fine, I give up!” We headed back to the pits, reset the ECU, turned the TCS off and had no further trouble.


For Saturday they changed the run groups:
Green & the slower Yellows
The faster Yellows & Blue
Red
White

I was still in the Green/Yellow group. By the second session Saturday, I was very comfortable in the car and had figured out most of the track with the exception of turns 1&2 (tricky to find the right apex on this increasing radius pair) and the Oak tree turn at the south end - a very slow two turn combo. My instructor was excellent and by the third session we were not passed by a single car - for Sunday I was to be in the Yellow/Blue group. Here is a short list of cars passed that third session:
Panoz
Porsche 944
Boss 302 Mustang
Several BMWs
Bullitt Mustang
Several Corvettes

I know most of these folk were just there to enjoy their fancy sports cars on the track and they were obviously not pushing them hard, but come-on - passed by a nearly stock Mazda6 on street tires???

All the fun ended shortly. On the last lap of the 3rd session we blew a head gasket and had to be towed back to the pits - how embarrassing.

The Mazda is unceremoniously winched onto the trailer.



VIR is an amazing track. The club did a great job of getting everyone their track time - there were 180 cars.

The car was a blast to drive. Great handling, very controllable at the limit, pulled hard all the time. Although there is significant body roll, as seen in the pics, the car exhibited very little understeer. On the lower speed corners, only a slight lift of the throttle was needed to induce a little more rotation. Like I said - very fun to drive!

Sadly, it looks like we’ll miss the CMP event next month. Hopefully I won't have to revisit my old engine replacement thread:
http://forum.mazda6club.com/3-0l-v6/214472-v6-engine-replacement.html
:D
 

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Discussion Starter #69
I love VIR...my favorite track...especially the 5a-6a segment :)
I liked 5a alot - once I figured it out. My favorite is Hogpen (17 & 17a) before the front stretch - do it right and it is a blast - do it wrong and you're in trouble - either way, don't lift in the middle!
 

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Discussion Starter #71
Update

The post-mortum analysis indicates we probably should have shutdown the motor a bit sooner. The head gasket blew, but then water entered a couple cylinders and, being incompressable, bent a couple rods. :(

I pick up a "new" junkyard motor tomorrow afternoon. This will be the third engine in this car - I'm getting faster at swapping. :)

Still doubt we'll make the Oct 15th event at CMP, but have our sights set on getting back to VIR in November. :) Stay tuned!
 

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Discussion Starter #73
:(

all that and no carnage pictures.
Not terribly picture worthy. I pulled the heads and measured the TDC of each piston - two came up short. I didn't disassemble any further.

Got the new motor home tonight - out of a '09 Fusion. I'll be swapping wiring harness, oil pan, etc. I'll post pics as I go along. I might even do some suspension work since we'll have the car all apart. :D

Stay tuned!
 

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Too bad your weekend there was cut short. VIR is a hoot to drive, but needs to be respected. My first trip there was as an instructor with a club I had not run with before. I tried too hard too soon and went off on lap 2 in the uphill esses. It was an easy off, but I was on slicks & the grass was still wet. I almost couldn't get out - almost.

Did I miss what club you ran with there? It sounds like they put on a pretty good event, especially with the car count.
 

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Discussion Starter #75

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Tarheel Sportscar Club - Awesome folks! Come join us sometime.

Tarheel Sportscar Club/Triangle Z Club HPDE/Time Trials
I may do that next year. I'm in PA, but the group that I started with does an event every year at Sebring and they keep harassing me to come down. I'm thinking of putting together a track dog tour to make it worth towing 1200 miles down and back. VIR would be on the way if the dates line up!
 

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Discussion Starter #77 (Edited)
I figured since the hood is off to pull the motor, we might as well lighten it a bit. :D

Here is the underside with the insulating blanket and weather stripping removed.



After about an hour with the cuttoff wheel. I kept the structure at the hinges and kept the latch at the front. I'll be adding hood pins to keep it secure.



Here is the structure headed for the scrap pile. :)



A little more weight off the front wheels is a good thing!
 

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Lookin good.

Did you discover why you blew the head gasket? Was it an overheat issue or just one of those things? I ask because I just finished my radiator deflector mod and I was really thinking more and more of you and this project as I kept making it more and more involved.

I initially was just gonna do the basic deflectors on each side of the radiator....but as I kept thinking and working, I really went nuts! I have now essentially directed ALL incoming air to the radiator with the exception of a nifty, I think, twist on increasing the overall efficiency of the air flow to the radiator AND to the engine inlet too. Watch out for my post on that coming shortly after I eat some dinner ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #79
Lookin good.

Did you discover why you blew the head gasket? Was it an overheat issue or just one of those things?
Well, have to sheepishly admit the head gasket was almost certainly my fault. As I was towing it home, I remembered an incident 3 months earlier - I was stuck in traffic on the freeway and the car overheated. The temp needle pegged and steam was rolling from under the hood. It was about 20min before traffic was moving again and the temperature came down. I got home and discovered the fan relay had failed. I replaced it and had no further issues.

I'm fairly confident this little episode stressed the head gasket and mating surfaces. What they say is true - it you are wondering where the weak points of your car are, take it to the track. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #80 (Edited)
I guess this would be considered the opportune time to do suspension work? :)



The Fusion motor waiting patiently. :)

 
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