Track Rado Goes North… Pocono North 2008

Posted: 2nd August 2008 by Joseph in Pocono North
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As you may have seen in herby’s track thread, marked001 and I cleared our schedules for Cart’s event @ Pocono’s North course, Friday, August 29th (the club Herby runs w/ on a regular basis). It was our first experience with CART and although Herby had nothing but good things to say, all we knew was that we were promised as much track time as we wanted – we are happy to report that not only did we get as much track time as we wanted, the people at CART are a great bunch of people; professional, safe, but laid back and fun to trade paint with (haha, well not really).

Coming off our event at NJMP, we were more or less satisfied with how the car performed and felt only a few changes were warranted – namely an adjustment to our rear sway bar (Atomic Motorsports). And although we felt we nailed the setup for NJMP, from our past experience, the north course at Pocono produces a lot of understeer (pushing) – to counter this, tightening up the rear (making the sway bar stiffer) is one way to approach it. Since Atomic’s bar is so easy to adjust and has variable adjustments (as opposed to 2 or 3 settings) we decided this would be an easy approach to the problem, and reversible, should we be wrong in our assessment. Ultimately we underestimated the amount of adjustment we needed on the rear and I still encountered some understeer, but since marked001 didn’t seem to experience the same characteristics, we chalked it up to driving style and left well-enough alone.

New for us this event was the introduction of a data acquisition by way of MaxQData. A software/hardware package that can be put together for a very reasonable price if you opt for the DIY version and with some basic setup (of the software) you end up with a GPS data logger that will record very detailed GPS information up to 10 times/second (10Hz) – for us it was the right way to go, mostly because of the price tag, but also because it seemed well put together and offered enough for us to learn with.

All in all, the car ran very well – at least until the later parts of the day when we began to experience what seemed to be some sort of stuttering/loading issue. At WOT and under high loads, the engine seemed to “bog” rapidly – almost as if to miss rapidly – very hard to describe. Since the day was almost over and we weren’t missing much if we packed it up, we decided that pushing the car for another session wasn’t needed as we were both pretty content with the amount of seat time we had. We’ll have to dig in once we’ve had a few days off – we suspect the spark plugs, but won’t know until we start pulling things apart.

One of the best parts of the event, besides the unlimited seat time was being joined by other VW enthusiasts (having “benfica09” and his Mini RS was nice too) – we rarely get to run with other dubs, and even less often do we know anyone. This time around it was great to see some familiar screen names and get a chance to run with some nice VW’s. And although a few of those vw’s blew their loads early, it was still great to have everyone there – it made the team relay at the end of the day pretty damn cool even though we came in dead last – haha.

Also a nice surprise for the day, was that all of the VW’s that competed in the time trial walked away with a 1st or 2nd place plaque. Marked001 and I placed 2nd and 1st (respectively) in our class; we were separated by +/-0.3 seconds – the closest to date.

We turn our attention now to Lime Rock Park at the end of October – a new track layout, a car that is running well and two “drivers” who are looking for more seat time. We’ll keep you guys posted, but for now, enjoy the pics and look for a video in the week or so to come.

As always we want to throw out a few special thank-you’s to those who have been supporting us in one way or another: Olaf at Atomic Motorsport for his continued track setup information and for a very easy to use (and affective) rear sway bar. Mike at Tyrol Sport for dealing with our shop needs and my constant emails. Lastly, Allen at Herbys53, for just taking care of business and getting everything set up for the day. Thanks for reading.

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