Aero Bits

Posted: 20th August 2012 by Joseph in Aero, DIY, The Car
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Not long after we implemented our first round of aero components at the beginning of the 2008 season was I already thinking of how to improve and build upon what we had created. So it’s fair to say it’s been on my mind for a while… just ask Jason – he was probably very thankful I finally shut up about it and made the changes 😉 We waited to post this information until after we were able to put our new changes to the test at NJMP’s Lightning circuit and we are happy to report everything held up great!

So in addition to the enlarged rear wing that we mentioned in our Budget Shopping & Tips post , we increased the size of the splitter dramatically, added some dive planes to get the air up and over the tires and added some hot air ventilation through the back of the fenders.

The splitter.

location, location, location – looking for the best bang for our buck

final – here’s the final look
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“Dive Planes”


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Fender Ventilation

Here’s a series of photos to show how I went about creating the fender ventilation using a spare fender we had on hand.

testing – removed the two bottom screws that held the fender in place and pulled the fender out. Wedged a block of wood in to find the right distance.

photoshop – once I found the right distance that I wanted to pull the fender out I did some photoshop to get an idea of the finished product

carnage – let the cutting begin

stowaways – some rolled up rubber that seems to find its way into the crevices.

fitment – finding the right fit and adding the new panel

mounting – since I had cut off the bottom mounting points, I had to create a new one

final – once I was satisfied with the outcome of the spare fender I moved onto the fenders we regularly run.
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Before & After
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We Drove the Tires Off @ Lightning

Posted: 20th August 2012 by 4amRacing in Events, News, NJMP Lightning
Comments Off on We Drove the Tires Off @ Lightning

We’ve fallen a bit behind with our updates, but that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten our responsibilities! Our next event at VIR is approaching fast so we wanted to drop in and post up a brief recap of our time at NJMP’s Lightning circuit with TrackDaze before we get even further behind 😉

It was a good event! TrackDaze again put on a quality show, keeping to their schedule and providing all drivers with four solid hours of track time over the course of two days. Needless to say, the Corrado took a beating but came through the other side with only a few minor issues. Unlike some drivers, we really like NJMP’s Lightning circuit. It’s a very fluid track with a good balance of technical turns and straights. Our car just seems to be suited for a track of this size. It doesn’t run out of breath on the straights and has enough torque to pull out of the slow turns and maintain momentum in the faster turns.

We went to this event with high hopes. We solved a few minor issues from our previous event, replaced our failed brake booster as well as added some new aero components. With our fingers crossed we made the trek down Friday night for a night of camping and an early start at the track Saturday morning. Having already prepped the car a few days prior, our Saturday morning was a breeze. We rolled the car out of the trailer, unpacked a few things and were ready to go. Jason was up first and admittedly a bit nervous knowing we hadn’t tested our new brake booster setup… but what better place to put it to the test then out at the track, right? Needless to say, everything went as planned. The booster did its job and so did Jason by keeping the car on the track and slowly chipped away at his lap times. The remainder of the day went off without a hitch and we were feeling pretty confident about the car and the lap times. To top it all off, we couldn’t have asked for better weather; warm with a really nice breeze to help keep things comfortable.

As it often does, as soon as everything goes as planned, something always creeps in to muck it all up. This time around we noticed the AFR’s continually increase (indicating a lean condition) as each session progressed. With each new session, after the car was able to cool down, the AFR’s would go back to normal for the first few laps, then slowly creep up by the middle of the session. We tried our best to tweak our fuel control setup to combat the problem, but in the end, we simply had to change our driving style for the remainder of the day. In order to keep the AFRs in a safe region we needed to short-shift to stay out of the higher RPM’s where the AFR’s seemed to be the most aggressive. We closed out the day scratching our heads and tossing around all the possibly ideas and components that might be contributing to this problem. As always, Olaf from Atomic Motorsports was on the phone with us brainstorming to help resolve the problem before the end of the day or at least before Sunday’s sessions.  Unfortunately, we weren’t able to diagnose the problem and made little to no improvements on the AFR numbers.

The next day was more of the same; beautiful weather, a solid breakfast made by yours truly, a great event by TrackDaze, but a car that was a bit off in the engine department. Like I mentioned earlier, the car was built for this track and it was in fact hooked up for the first few laps of each session, but due to the rising AFR’s, we had to stay out of the higher RPM’s which of course affected our lap times the entire day. We are, however, happy to report once again that we finished the event unscathed and although we did struggle a bit with that AFR issue, without a doubt, we did enjoy our time on track.  With so much track time, how could we not have fun?  How much track time you ask?  We came with front tires that were one rainy event old and left with completely bald tires… that much track time 😀

We finished out the event, packed the car up and headed home feeling pretty good about our weekend overall.

As always, thanks again to our sponsors!  Olaf @ Atomic Motorsports with his incredible positive support and the guys @ TyrolSport with their continued contribution – thanks again, guys!

Here are a few videos we put together from the event. Unfortunately, the microphone battery was dead so we don’t have that wonderful VR6 engine note to compliment the video, but we are improving our data overlay setup so things hopefully look better and are easier to view. Feel free to give us some feedback… both on our videos and our driving 😉

Some photos from the event as well.

[flashgallery columns=”4″]

Lightning & Dogs

Posted: 25th June 2012 by 4amRacing in News
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2012-06-23_20.19.54.jpg 2012-06-23_20.24.58.jpg

more to come…

Comments Off on Budget Shopping & Tips

We are always on the lookout for inexpensive alternatives to parts and materials.  Here are a few we’ve found along the way.  We’ll update the list as we think of others or find new ones in the future.


Aluminum Tube Split Collar (for roll bars/cages).

These sell on most racing supply websites for $15-20/ea.  We found these (1-3/4″ ID) on Ebay for $9/ea and can probably be found for even less.  We bought six collars @ $9/ea = $54, saving us $36 had we bought six @ $15/ea.  We didn’t feel there could be much quality variation between the ones found on the expensive racing websites and some of the ones found on ebay; fortunately we were right.  The ones we purchased from “Uberacer” on ebay are great and have worked out perfectly since.



 Stainless Steel Turnbuckles (for splitter or rear wing stabilization).

Another Ebay item we found that worked out for us, both in price and function are the stainless turnbuckles for approximately $12/ea.  The key with these turnbuckles, since they have a clevis (fork & pin) at each the end is how they are mounted to whatever it is that you are supporting.  Knowing how we wanted to mount these, we scoured the internet until we found exactly what we were looking for: aluminum “eye-ends” at Midwest Control Products

Not including the price of the bolts/screws you’ll need to mount these turnbuckles, each turnbuckle and two “eye-ends” costs us <$15/ea.  Compare that to the minimum $60 price for a set of two turnbuckles by APR Performance; that’s a very respectable savings.


Foamed PVC (great for aero elements, dash face plates, etc).  Very easy to work with.

One material that we like and have been using a lot of lately is “foamed PVC”.  Foamed PVC is a lightweight PVC plastic that can be cut, drilled and even bent (using heat).  It comes in several colors and we’ve seen thicknesses from 1/8″ to 1″.   We’ve used it for everything aero related and a few other small projects.  We created our rear diffuser/underbody element, front splitter, rear view mirror brackets, etc, etc using various thickness of this material (1/8″ & 1/4″).

These sheets can be found online, but we sourced ours locally because we wanted two large 48″x96″ sheets.  Foamed PVC is often used by storefront sign makers, so check with your local sign maker if you are hoping to source some material locally.

Early development of the rear diffuser:

New rear wing extension:

Comments Off on RaceChrono: Creating a Track Map Prior To An Event

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past seasons trying to figure out the best and admittedly, the cheapest way to log our data, lap times, GPS information, etc, etc.  Just this last year we stumbled upon RaceChrono, a lap timing program that will run on various platforms developed by a track enthusiast.  Because the program enjoys a small community, it’s limited to the number of tracks it has in its database, especially on the eastern side of the United States.

Not having the map before hand prevents the user from seeing lap times during their first session, not the end of the world, I know.  However, it does add one more thing to worry about and to do among the many things to do while enjoying a track event, especially right after the first session.

So after much research, I recently discovered a way to create a track maps in RaceChrono prior to an event.  So if you are unable to download a track map prior to your event and you have some time, patience, and some computer savvy, there is a way!


You’ll need to download two programs (both are free) in addition to your RaceChrono in order to create new track maps:

Google Earth
PerformanceBox Tools

Once you’ve installed both of these programs, open up your Google Earth and search/navigate to the track that you want to create.

Here’s a brief tutorial, developed by Racelogic (creator of Performance Box), describing how to use Google Earth to create a track map outline.

Google Earth Track Map: PDF

Read through this PDF and follow the steps as they describe it, except for one minor difference.  In the beginning of the tutorial, they say to trace the outside of the track and then the inside of the track.  This is not necessary when creating track maps for RaceChrono.  Create one single line around the track (ideally the “race line”).  It should look something like this when you are done (click to enlarge):


Continue to follow the tutorial until you are asked to save the file as a .CIR file.  Instead save as a .VBO file.  Once you have saved the .VBO file, you are done with the PerformanceBox software.



make sure to put a check mark in the “speed” and “heading” boxes.



Locate your .vbo file and open it with Windows notepad.  It should look like this:


Here’s the breakdown:


The data in this VBO file is formatted correctly, however there is one major change that must happen before you can import this VBO file into RaceChrono.  Currently in the VBO file, the “time” entry at each line is always zero (000000.00).  From my experience, “time” must increase in order for RC to properly import the file.  It’s not import how much the “time” entry increases, only that time increases, ie:

000000.04, etc. 

The other important thing to note is that the format of the VBO file must stay the same or the file will not import correctly.  Between each entry on each line is one single space, ie:

020space000000.00space+02540.46176space, etc

Also, “lat”, “long” & “height” must have a “+” symbol in front of it.  “lat” and ‘long” numbers must be a five digit number with five decimal places, ie: +00000.00000

“velocity”, “heading” & “height” can all remain as zeros.  For whatever reason, Google Earth does not include the altitude information when exporting the .kml file.  I went back and manually input one altitude number for all “height” entries.  I chose a number that was close to the track’s general altitude.

I can’t emphasize enough that the format of the VBO file can not change.  One extra space, one digit out of place will prevent the VBO file from being imported into RaceChrono.


  • Open RaceChrono
  • Go to: “Previous Sessions”
  • Go to: “Import New” (down at the bottom menu bar)
  • Go to: “Import Format” > Select “VBox”
  • Go to: “Import File” > navigate to the VBO file that you created
  • Go to: “Session Title” > name the session (session must have a name)
  • Go to: “Track” > select “Create New” > name the track (track must have a name)
  • Select “Start” (down at the bottom menu bar)
The new track should have imported.  Select on the “session” you just imported.  You’ll notice that there are no laps, but there should be information within “Traveled Route”.  Select on “Traveled Route” to review the new track map.  If the map is there and all is good, go back and add new traps as required and enjoy your first session!
Here’s what my VBO file looks like in RC (with added traps):


If there is no data in the “Traveled Route” and there were no errors upon import, there’s a very good chance that there is a problem with the VBO file.  Double and triple check the VBO file format.  Everything must be in order.  Go back to STEP 3 and review.
I hope this works for some of you.  It took me several attempts to to understand how important the data format was.  RaceChrono may appear to import the file, but unless the data format is perfect, the data won’t show.
Good luck!  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment here on the blog.  Hopefully I can help.