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Curiosichi Time Attack Eclipse

Year:
1997
Model/Trim:
Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
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  1. Atuca

    Atuca Supporting Member

    663
    79
    Joined Jan 6, 2007
    Central Valley, California

    730  1

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    600 whp · 500 lb/ft · 2G DSM

    2K  0

    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 2G DSM
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  2. Atuca

    Atuca Supporting Member

    663
    79
    Joined Jan 6, 2007
    Central Valley, California
    Home.png

    The AMB Aero Eclipse is back in the United States and now part of Curiosichi Motorsports. Curiosichi has been the business behind my build for years, that you might know as one of the clones of this car years back. I have continued to build that GSX chassis all this time, continuously advancing and growing as I tried to keep up with the source vehicle that inspired it all. Now, that inspirational vehicle is back here in the states from Sydney Australia's WTAC and looking to reclaim its old stomping grounds.

    Many of the older dsmtuners members will remember this car as one of the site's mascots in the logo. It served as a reminder that this car was one of the fastest around the race track, and very arguably the fastest DSM to run longer than 10 seconds. That's right, in a crowd of the fastest 1/4 mile 4 bangers this site inspired, this car's legacy differed in that it was due to its pedigree on the road course.

    The history of this car has been pretty well documented, but for those uninitiated, I wrote a short version of it on my website:

    https://curiosichi.com/new-car-in-the-garage-amb-aero-eclipse/

    I also wrote an article detailing how the car came to America from Australia.

    https://curiosichi.com/importing-a-race-car-internationally/

    Lastly, a video of the car at Haltech.


    I started the Curiosichi (C1) website because I learned that to be able to become faster than everyone else, you have to learn about more than just the limits of the car you are racing with. I want to share information about racing that isn't just limited to DSM specific knowledge, and I wanted to do it with a close group of friends. You will probably know some of the authors there from DSMtuners, because that is where my addition to racing began! When I started racing my Evolution X and later my STI, I was thrust into a world beyond DSMs. I knew that in order to stay competitive with my DSM, against all these newer platforms everyone seems to leave for when they graduate high school and get their first job, I would need to start looking at what people were doing outside that made it so alluring (and faster).

    IMG_20181228_184608.jpg

    While I will continue to post on social media (IG and Facebook) and my own website about general road course racing tips and quick updates on the Eclipse, I can't forget my origins here at DSMtuners. You guys will probably care more about some of the specifics of this Eclipse in particular and how it relates to the DSM platform, where as the vast majority of folks who visit my website may not know the specifics of a 4G63 engine, let alone a G4CS. That means the nitty gritty details that were omitted from the blog posts may trickle down to this build thread.

    IMG_20190218_203331.jpg

    I have had the car for little over a month, yet I am only just now sitting down to create the post for the car here. I am going to be putting more effort into racing, and not letting new shiny parts distract me quite so much. My faults in the past with trying to keep up with everyone else meant I never let myself just move forward with what I had, and as I look forward to securing sponsors, I must be able to keep to my race schedule promises. I'll be taking plenty of photos of everything, I may post things daily on social media, but for proper written guides, blogs, or videos, I will be placing priority on that second. I have a support group with the website that can ensure I bring steady updates, but not to the detriment of the build.

    IMG_20190101_215749.jpg

    My first month of ownership with the 1997 Eclipse Spyder GST has humbled me. I thought as an AMB clone, I had a pretty good idea of everything that went into the car, but it is no wonder much of it is still a mystery. There is so much done to it, that the only bolt on thing I could think to add to the new DSM profile for the car was the B&M Shifter, and that is something I added because Andrew built his own custom shifter. He didn't waste time or money on something a welder could fix in 15 mins, and it is EXACTLY things like that which have showed me a new path to racing. I needed to focus a little less on perfection and unobtainable parts and focus on getting to the track next race. Already, I want to install some new parts on, AWD swap the chassis, and go nuts cleaning it up, but I am focusing on just getting it back to where it was for phase 1. That is already way more advanced than when it left the US and should be plenty for me to begin with.

    I personally still need to work my way up and through NASA HPDE, picking up where I left off in my Evolution X. My racing instructor is also a GTA Super Lap championship driver, and will be guiding me and driving the car himself to hopefully reset some records that this Eclipse used to once own. I still have a day job, so I won't be able to progress like a dedicated shop at this point, but the car already has extra goodies that Andrew never had the time to install before withdrawing from WTAC, like a Holinger Sequential Transmission, new rear air foil, and the Version 2 AMB Aero body manufactured by Carbonetics. I'll have plenty to keep me busy for a while.

    IMG_20190212_073250_460.jpg

    IMG_20170916_154206.jpg

    I am genuinely excited to just sit in the driver's seat of my dream car, and I am unable to contain my excitement at the thought of racing my local tracks where Andrew once raced the car before. I hope the community here still helps to grow my knowledge of the DSM, as I write the next chapter of the fastest unibody, or perhaps plain FASTEST Eclipse around a road course, starting this spring! Let's hope I can continue this build and prove that statement over the course of this year!

    IMG_20190103_211520.jpg

    I'd also like to give a huge shout out to the AMB clones, Brian Loose, all the sponsors for the AMB car originally who have offered help reassembling the car, and name dropping Tim from TMZ performance specifically for providing critical information and assistance on the car. Lastly, have to thank Andrew Brilliant of AMB Aero, who is very much still a part of this car and build. While I spent 10 years following the build of the car, he lived it and brought his dream to life. While he is no longer sleeping on the shop floor ensuring the build moves forward, he is still a valuable asset to the continuation of the build and allowing me to pick up where he left off.

    So with a brand new engine installed and ready to go, who's ready for a first start?

    push button.png
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019

    730  1

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    600 whp · 500 lb/ft · 2G DSM

    2K  0

    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 2G DSM
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  3. Atuca

    Atuca Supporting Member

    663
    79
    Joined Jan 6, 2007
    Central Valley, California
    Small update to the first post. There is a dead battery issue (doesn't hold charge) that's been holding me back from a first start. I need to research Lithium Ion batteries that will work with my electrical loads to replace it.. I am thinking about going with an electrical steering column instead of running the electrical pump, so that will be a factor to consider. If anyone has experience with these new types of lightweight battery though, I am all ears!

    So leaving the car to charge back up between timing checks, I only get a few chances to start the car before the battery dies again. Trying to set timing on the car wasn't working with the weak electric signal to the spark plugs, so it kept delaying the elusive first start.

    Well, we had a first start and I captured it on camera. Check it out!




    Plenty more to take care of before I can head to the dyno, but a running engine is a good first indication I am close.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019

    730  1

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    600 whp · 500 lb/ft · 2G DSM

    2K  0

    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 2G DSM
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  4. Atuca

    Atuca Supporting Member

    663
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    Joined Jan 6, 2007
    Central Valley, California
    While waiting for my first time out with the car this year, I thought it might be cool to look back at the last event, World Time Attack Challenge in Sydney, Australia 2014. Here is a snippet from the event.

     

    730  1

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    600 whp · 500 lb/ft · 2G DSM

    2K  0

    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 2G DSM
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    Vegas smith likes this.
  5. Vegas smith

    Vegas smith Proven Member

    2,638
    1,221
    Joined Dec 2, 2002
    Houston, Texas
    That's a beauty of a car. What's the reason for selling the coilovers?
     

    Street Build 3K  10

    1993 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  6. Atuca

    Atuca Supporting Member

    663
    79
    Joined Jan 6, 2007
    Central Valley, California
    I have two race car's and consolidating redundant parts from the GSX and this car. Since I can rebuild the coil overs on my car now, I don't need two sets.
     

    730  1

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    600 whp · 500 lb/ft · 2G DSM

    2K  0

    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 2G DSM
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  7. We're on Boost

    We're on Boost Proven Member

    896
    70
    Joined Aug 25, 2007
    Seattle area, Washington
    This is really interesting. Road racing has always been my preferred type of racing.
    I am not racing my Talon but I did just break the transmission in it.
    So I'm interested in your TMZ transmission and how you like it.
    In your "Specs and Mods" you call it a "PAR Dogbox". What the heck is a PAR dogbox? How is it different from a PPG dogbox?
     

    4K  19

    1990 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    650 whp · 510 lb/ft · 1G DSM

    2K  0

    1990 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    manual · 1G DSM
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  8. Atuca

    Atuca Supporting Member

    663
    79
    Joined Jan 6, 2007
    Central Valley, California
    Just a difference in gear sets. They aren't OEM gears, and more than one company makes dog engage gears. TMZ (Tim) is a guy and company who builds transmissions and can install various gear sets. I am new to the car and haven't had the opportunity to try out the different sets, mostly because two of the boxes with the different sets are in a "broken state" and needs to be looked at by Tim still. I also have a Holinger sequential gearbox that needs to be rebuilt and installed, and just a matter of finding time and planning to make everything work.

    Right now there is a working gearbox installed in the car, so the other boxes have taken a back seat to more important project like the wing upright build. I been designing and fabricating last few weeks, and posting on social media. I'll be writing a proper update once the project is done, so for now:

    force.png

    IMG_20190314_195149.jpg

    IMG_20190314_222127.jpg
     

    730  1

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    600 whp · 500 lb/ft · 2G DSM

    2K  0

    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 2G DSM
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    We're on Boost likes this.
  9. ed1380

    ed1380 Supporting VIP

    2,324
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    Joined Sep 29, 2007
    ATL, Georgia
    this is gonna be awesome. I love track builds
     

    975  0

    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    · 2G DSM
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  10. Black95TSIawd

    Black95TSIawd Proven Member

    1,670
    291
    Joined Jan 28, 2003
    Dirty, New Jersey
    Are those remote canisters from the suspension I see hung in the engine bay? What coilovers are on this car?
     

    5K  8

    1998 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    184.4 whp · 251.0 lb/ft · 2G DSM
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  11. We're on Boost

    We're on Boost Proven Member

    896
    70
    Joined Aug 25, 2007
    Seattle area, Washington

    If you are still wanting to talk about Lithium batteries, I could probably help you quite a bit. It would take a lot of words and a few charts, so you probably don't want to clog up this thread with it. We could PM, or could have a separate thread someplace. Basically, when you buy a consumer device that comes with a rechargeable lithium battery (like a cell phone), that device will incorporate a battery management system. If you buy a lithium battery that is just a battery with no management system, then YOU are the battery management system. So there are some things you should know! Even if you buy a battery that includes a "management system" you should understand the management system, the why of it, and the possible shortcomings of it.
    Lithium batteries made for automotive use are different than the ones in your cell phone. The automotive batteries use LiFePO4 chemistry (Lithium Iron Phosphate). This type is a lot safer and less fussy about management than "regular" Li-poly or Li-ion types, and they also run at a voltage that is pretty compatible with automotive alternators. But the basic principles are similar, just less severe!
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019

    4K  19

    1990 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    650 whp · 510 lb/ft · 1G DSM

    2K  0

    1990 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    manual · 1G DSM
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  12. Atuca

    Atuca Supporting Member

    663
    79
    Joined Jan 6, 2007
    Central Valley, California
    My Post.png

    I have something that might be something a little bit different, but I want you to consider joining me for a live stream as I work on the car. You've probably already seen how hard it is for me to keep you guys up to date on this blog, since I spend so much time under the hood of the car, so I have setup weekly streams to catch you guys up, with monthly streams of at track content.

    https://www.twitch.tv/c1motorsports

    You won't find that anywhere else, so please, join me on Twitch and give the new channel a follow. I will be streaming Tuesdays and Thursdays 6pm-9pm PST weekly, so that means I'll see you guys today! I will be finishing a repair to an oil leak issue and answer questions from you guys about the race car and catch you up on my projects in general. I am excited to iron out the streaming kinks and have something interesting or just background noise for you while you are in your garage! See you then!
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019

    730  1

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    600 whp · 500 lb/ft · 2G DSM

    2K  0

    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 2G DSM
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  13. Atuca

    Atuca Supporting Member

    663
    79
    Joined Jan 6, 2007
    Central Valley, California
    Hey all!

    I am live streaming today as usual and will be attempting to resolve a reoccurring issue with my bell housing cracking. If you guys could check in and provide some feedback, I'd really appreciate it.

    I have really enjoyed streaming and being able to provide instant feedback to the viewers; it's like I opened my garage to a bunch of friends (though I can't share any beer with them.. hmm)

    I have a welder, plasma cutter, steel, and an idea. Hopefully it resolves it!

    IMG_20190530_082443_740.jpg IMG_20190528_204858.jpg
     

    730  1

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    600 whp · 500 lb/ft · 2G DSM

    2K  0

    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 2G DSM
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  14. Atuca

    Atuca Supporting Member

    663
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    Joined Jan 6, 2007
    Central Valley, California
    I have one week til my first track event with the car (FINALLLLLLLLLLY!) so I am super strapped on time. I have been live streaming on Twitch all week to get ready for the dyno and alignment shops this week. I finally got the car started again and on some smaller wheels/tires (Nitto NT05 285 on a 18x10.5.. ya REALLY small....).

    I have lots left to do before next weekend, but I will out at Sonoma for a NASA HPDE and the pro driver will be joining me for a session or two himself to get a feel for the car at speed.



    But, we've seen the car start before, right? Well then maybe this is a bit more up your ally!



    I been posting the best ways to keep up to date with the car (that require the least amount of time in post editing) but I just had to share these videos. Literally been waiting 10 years to drive a race car Eclipse. I cant wait to work out all the bugs and then start adding even more goodies from my two Eclipses together.

    So psyched!!

    https://www.twitch.tv/videos/436994051

    IMG_20190609_150904.jpg
     

    730  1

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    600 whp · 500 lb/ft · 2G DSM

    2K  0

    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 2G DSM
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  15. turbosax2

    turbosax2 Moderator

    3,348
    157
    Joined Nov 19, 2006
    Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
    Good luck and have fun at the track day!
     

    3K  24

    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    13.543 @ 100.000 · 2G DSM
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  16. Atuca

    Atuca Supporting Member

    663
    79
    Joined Jan 6, 2007
    Central Valley, California
    So, the Sonoma track weekend came and went.

    image000000.jpg

    An oil pressure issue prevented the race car from getting dynoed and therefor tracked this weekend. The most I got to do was drive it around the paddock a bit and see everyone looking at it. I can't wait to drive this thing at speed. :(

    As the weekend was already paid for, I opted to use my wife's Hyundai Elantra as the track vehicle. I was signed up for HPDE 2 and had a goal of getting signed off for HPDE 3 by the end of the week. All things considered, this was probably worked out way better for me. I was able to learn way more driving this car at the limits and not having to worry about the mechanical and aero bits of the race car. It was also an opportunity to bring the truck and try out packing and setting up for the weekend so we can be properly prepared for a real race weekend. We had a nice setup compared to many of the other HPDE 2 participants. Wife approved even!

    IMG_20190615_132137.jpg

    There isn't much more I can add that isn't available and discussed in the videos, so take a look below for more information.






    IMG_9252.jpg

    The Eclipse was picked up from Sonoma and is now under the knife at another shop. I still work a day job 8-5 so having some help during the daylight hours while I can STILL lend a hand in the evening just means more progress on the car than I could do by myself. As long as nothing unexpected comes up solving the oil pressure issue, we'll have the race car out in Thunderhill in August.

    I keep everything update to date almost daily on my social media accounts. Be sure to follow them for the small details, or my live streams which I stream usually from the garage and under the car. Hopefully next event I have much more positive news to share for the race car.

    https://www.facebook.com/Curiosichi-405920626507194/

    https://www.instagram.com/curiosichi/

    https://www.twitch.tv/c1motorsports

    https://curiosichi.com/
     

    730  1

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    600 whp · 500 lb/ft · 2G DSM

    2K  0

    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 2G DSM
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  17. Ludachris

    Ludachris Founder & Zookeeper

    3,568
    795
    Joined Nov 12, 2001
    Roseville, California
    You'll have to let me know what your next events are @Atuca. ;)
     

    Street Build 8K  0

    1997 Eagle Talon TSi AWD (sold)
    manual · 2G DSM

    Road Race Build 7K  23

    1991 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    435.0 whp · 399.2 lb/ft · 1G DSM
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  18. Atuca

    Atuca Supporting Member

    663
    79
    Joined Jan 6, 2007
    Central Valley, California
    Well, the next shake down is Sonoma September 7th with NASA, and anyone is welcome to come see the car there. It's 10 bucks at the gate for the whole weekend and you can see not only the DSM but wheel to wheel races as well.

    Another event I am going to is the good ol' Super Lap Battle.

    That's right, the car was invited back to Buttonwillow to compete in Super Lap Battle Final 2019. I haven't made fancy "Entered" photos yet, but I will probably do that with track photos in Sonoma in a few weeks. The car is officially registered and heading back to the main stage to back up its back to back championship Limited titles and track record which is still holds from 10 years ago. The goal I have set for the car (and driver) is to at least beat that old time now the car is lighter and faster, and if that equals another championship for the car, well, than I'd be happy with that too :)

    I need to update my post here with the last month or so of progress with the car; it is hard trying to do that across so many mediums while trying to keep forward progress on the car at the same time. Stupid day jobs..

    As a quickie: I finally got a trailer. It is nothing fancy and I may end up with an enclosed soon anyways, but at least I don't have to deal with unreliable availability of trailers through U-haul anymore. Don't mind the straps in the photo; I was picking the car up for the first time from my sponsor Horse Power Industries with the trailer here and I was in a rush and excited so I snapped a photo mid tie down, but forgot to take a photo once it was fully buttoned in.

    IMG_20190801_085823.jpg

    Horse Power Industries is ran by Karlo who used to run KBR back in the day. He's helping out with the car providing on track support and assists with projects on the car when I am too busy between sessions. He's been great for me and if you need a hand in the east bay area, he would be great for you too. They work on tons of race cars and street cars alike.

    IMG_20190623_114309.jpg

    I also got to go to the dyno with the car finally. That was a pretty interesting experience and found more stuff wrong with car, fixed more, and got ready for the next event.

    IMG_20190801_121943.jpg

    When I am not sitting in the office, I will try to add a little more to the story. For now, hope this will hold you over!
     

    730  1

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    600 whp · 500 lb/ft · 2G DSM

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    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 2G DSM
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  19. Atuca

    Atuca Supporting Member

    663
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    Joined Jan 6, 2007
    Central Valley, California
    qhKYDvht.jpeg

    Well the last time the Eclipse was at Sonoma raceway was over 10 years ago when the track was still called Infineon.

    Tomorrow, I get to finally spend a few sessions myself on track doing a shake down. I don't aim to do any timed laps, but instead break in the new motor, and check for leaks at speed, misalignments, aero adjustments, and for a session or two get the race driver a few laps in the car to get a feel for it.

    I hope everything is uneventful, and if so we'll look at doing some timed laps soon after. One step at a time though; I am really excited to do a few laps tomorrow.

    I'll have plenty of new on track photos and video to share soon!
     

    730  1

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    600 whp · 500 lb/ft · 2G DSM

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    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 2G DSM
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  20. Ludachris

    Ludachris Founder & Zookeeper

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    Joined Nov 12, 2001
    Roseville, California
    Best of luck Philip! Looking forward to the updates.
     

    Street Build 8K  0

    1997 Eagle Talon TSi AWD (sold)
    manual · 2G DSM

    Road Race Build 7K  23

    1991 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    435.0 whp · 399.2 lb/ft · 1G DSM
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  21. Atuca

    Atuca Supporting Member

    663
    79
    Joined Jan 6, 2007
    Central Valley, California
    2019 SLB Registered.jpg

    Well, now it's photo and social media official.

    tldr: After a successful HPDE with NASA, the car showed no major signs of issue and I am confident we'll be able to have a great outcome at SLB Finals. We are officially entered!

    I was talking to John F before i started writing this, and I need to get this out right here at the top of my recap for the day. The amount of work that goes into a track day is so much more than what I thought, and I have so much more respect for the folks who do this regularly. I want to give an extra thanks to those who encourage and inspire the rest of us trying.

    The event weekend starts late Friday, with the first step being loading everything up. This took about 2 hours, and then I headed towards the track that evening. I had a place to crash luckily near the track. This saves me from shifting a sleep schedule earlier Saturday, because even being about 30-45 mins from the track, the alarm was going off at 4:30am.

    Tech inspections for race cars start at 6am. Getting the car off the trailer involves removing the splitter and bumper, and since I have a tilt trailer (and no e-brake in the car) will always require multiple people. Ya ya, I need to get a winch and/or new trailer but much like Andrew, low budget and race car means you cutting corners somewhere on a shoe string budget. I t just means spending more time getting the car setup in the morning.

    The car doesn't pass race tech. Now, this isn't a flame war, and some of the remarks are not even rules when I re-looked up some of the CCR, but the inspector has only my best interests in mind with his suggestions and keep me safe, so keep that in mind.

    The first thing was the inspector required SFI padding on roll bars. The padding I had on the car might have been black pool noodles for all I knew, so it was hard to argue. It appears to not be a rule though.

    69972224_732790133833728_269959684058775552_n.png

    Second was he pulled my harness lap belt out and tossed it at me and said, "do you see the problem here?" Frankly, no, I don't. He said he shouldn't be able to remove my harness and that it was dangerous. I said, "Uh... don't remove my harness and it's just fine." What he was referring to was a tiny safety cotter pin hole in the eye bolt latch.

    clip_d.jpg

    I 100% do not remember reading anywhere in my install guide to put a pin in here, and I certainly didn't have to remove a pin from the old harness. But my harness had the pin hole, so rule or no rule on this one, I agree it should be secured.

    Third, the fire extinguisher tie down. It's in a bracket, it's bolted to the floor securely, so the rule is met, HOWEVER, the floor in which it is secured to is flimsy! It is mounted in the passenger seat area, but the sheet metal reinforcing the area was removed for weight. It's now lost structural integrity for a 10 pound fire extinguisher. The fix will require moving it to either the raised rear passenger area, or ideally, he wanted to see a fire suppression system installed. TBH, this is one of those things that I never want to skimp on, and at about 500 bucks, I move the weight reward, I get nozzles both on me and engine compartment, and is easier to deploy while upside down in a wreck. I will probably address this asap. The fix for the track day was remove the bottle, so it was removed for the day.

    The inspector also highly suggested I get better side impact protection. The car has the typical light weight X door bars. This passes tech, but he would at a minimum like to see the bars angled out away from the driver into the gutted door skin. What I have passes tech, and for a car that doesn't wheel to wheel... meh... But perhaps if I get bored and want a project, that would be beneficial. My GSX has side impact designed that way, so I don't hate the suggestion for the Spyder.

    The biggest issue however was one particular roll cage weld. The base plate on the passenger side really had sh** for welds. I am not the bee knees welder, so I ain't judging no body here, but they were crap. I never looked at the cage that close because the car has passed tech for a decade, but the inspector pointed them out and they couldn't be unseen. The weld will need to be addressed before he will issue me a logbook.

    So I failed tech. I had to run to the track supply store, paying a huge premium for parts to repair what I could on track. There were no cotter pins available, so I used safety wire. I bought a few lengths of padding, and installed everything. Mind you my morning drivers meeting is at 7:45, I had roughly 45 mins to inspect, repair, get back in line and try to re-tech before my first session. I ended up only receiving a HPDE tech for the day, and will have to keep paying at the track for re-inspections until I resolve all the issues permanently and receive a logbook. Oh, and obviously the car would never be allowed in a race without the logbook. Getting the car back in the paddock, I was only a few seconds late to the morning driver's meeting.

    schedule.png

    Check out that HPDE 3 line up, nearly back to back sessions, with a car that hasn't seen the race track in 5 years. This was about the worst case scenario for me, specially for a day where I couldn't even get a bite of food before I started exerting energy running around.

    8:45 for the first session of the day, after morning meetings, in a grid of 50+ HPDE 3 cars, means by the time I got to my car, I had to go line up. I didn't get the cell phone Race Capture setup, I didn't get the GoPro on, and I barely had time to harness myself up with the HANS.

    There were so many new things coming at me all at once, I had been prepping for this moment for 10+ years. I was experiencing so many emotions I'd have to identify as a female to be able to process it all. I haven't driven a manual (above 20 mph) in years, and first time ever on track with a manual. First time with a harness, first time with HANS, first time with aero, first time driving this car in particular above 20 mph, first time with smaller APR side view mirrors, and let's not forget, first time breaking in this motor properly.

    3.jpg

    The one thing I did know how to do, was drive Sonoma Raceway. I felt out of place with my car lined up folks with their DD, but I had to get my head together. The car's boost cells were zeroed out so I wouldn't apply too much boost to the piston rings for the break in. I had planned to just stay between 3-4k rpm and get to highway speeds and decel into corners, no brakes. Just carry lots of speed and pretend this was a curvy highway, and take things super easy. My goal was simple: Make sure the car kept in one piece and identify any major issues.

    1.jpg 2.jpg

    And BOY did she. While the day was crazy nuts, she turned every session beautifully.

    6.jpg 7.jpg

    The 265 Nitto NT05s were useless trying to keep the car in the corners. The car wanted to corner so fast, the suspension was so precise, the car reacted so nimbly, it was unlike anything I have ever experienced. I knew ahead of time the street tires were not going to hold up to what the car was capable of, but I didn't want to add on top of everything else slicks on my first day out with the car.

    9.jpg 10.jpg

    I am sure the slower speeds on straights were annoying some faster drivers, and I repeatedly apologized to them in the driver meetings, but in the corners that weren't off camber, I would hardly have to touch my brakes taking them much faster than my previous vehicles did on track.

    11.jpg 18.jpg

    Aside from the car needing a tune now, it didn't leak fluids, it didn't make noises that alarmed me, and the suspension felt solid.

    Mario Lento, our sponsoring proper Race Car driver was on site as well, and gave it a couple laps.

    EFFECTS.jpg

    He echoed my observations of the oversteer, but at part throttle untuned with street tires, we weren't going fast enough to utilize the aero on most corners that would otherwise work wonders. It was my first time getting to receive feedback from a pro driver on the car, and he recalled data elements on the dash, sounds, and even smells. The gist was, "get me a proper setup car now, I want to go faster!" He loved it and wanted to see what more it could do, but I told him: "1/10th Mario, 1... 10th..."

    We accomplished what we set out to do, so the day goes down as a win. I have a few new todo items, and we'll head out soon (couple weeks) to do another shake down with the tune, proper tires, and safety fixes!
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019

    730  1

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    600 whp · 500 lb/ft · 2G DSM

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  22. BLACK'98DSM

    BLACK'98DSM Proven Member

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    Joined Feb 9, 2019
    Hoover, Alabama
    "Mic check - mic check, shake n' bake" LOL
     

    Road Race Build 2K  15

    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    fwd · manual · 2G DSM

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    2012 Murray Explorer Dune
    rwd · automatic · Misc Vehicles

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  23. Atuca

    Atuca Supporting Member

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  24. Ludachris

    Ludachris Founder & Zookeeper

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    Roseville, California
    Great write up Philip! I can relate to all those thoughts going through your head as you sit in the line waiting to enter the track. It's tough to keep focused on the task at hand. Smart choice on running the street tires for the first shakedown. And I imagine that even with all your inexperience with the car and the manual, once you got into a groove on the track it probably all melted away, right?
     

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    manual · 2G DSM

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    1991 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    435.0 whp · 399.2 lb/ft · 1G DSM
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  25. Atuca

    Atuca Supporting Member

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    Joined Jan 6, 2007
    Central Valley, California
    Ya, forgot to add "first time driving a dog box" to the list, but it was all exactly as you said Chris. Soon as the car hit the tarmac, all those thoughts faded as I focused on driving the line. The car was incredibly comfortable to drive, and the TMZ Performance dogbox shifted quickly and smoothly, both up and down, which was another surprise. I can't wait to go out with it again!
     

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