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Luisi doesn't stop MGAWOT III

The GTR MGAWOT III from RIPS had more success at the 2014 NZ Nationals on Sunday, 16th March, despite Cyclone Luisi and the event now having to be split over two weekends.

Rain on windscreen at 2014 NationalsAnother challenging weekend trying to deal with rain and high winds. Saturday was cancelled by around 11am and Sunday turned into a wait for the rain to stop, have a run, then get shelter from the rain again.

By 10.45am the Fram track guys had finished drying and prepping the track but it was still pretty cold. We thought we’d need to be conservative so we could post a qualifying number that we could repeat during eliminations. I told Jase I thought 7.80 to 7.90 was around the number we should go for due to the track temp and other unknown’s and I left him to it to decide how best to go about the boost curve to achieve that.

Qualifying 1

I came up to the line, got spooled up, let go the trans brake and the car left great, nice and smooth. It felt OK - nothing brutal about it, just like I’d expect a smooth 7.80 to feel. It ran dead straight and I was happy we’d have a number on the board we could repeat if required.

The boys in the tow truck came over the hill lights flashing, arms waving and I was seriously confused. I was totally gobsmacked when they said it was a 7.64 @ 182.26mph - that’s under our current SS/BB record!!

7.64 run 
First qualifying run of the meeting. 

Then the rain came. . . we had time to talk and come up with a plan. It was decided that we were pretty confident we could repeat the 7.64 if required so we would go for broke and try for a 7.5 on our second qualifying pass. Jase adjusted the boost curve to be more aggressive off the line and to give it a bit more of a nudge about 1 second out (right where the good gains can be made if it sticks). Once the rain stopped and the Fram track guys had finished drying and prepping the track (again) and a few other cars had been down it was our turn again.

Qualifying 2

I came up to the line, got spooled up, let go of the trans brake and got away a little harder for sure, but then got a little out of shape requiring some correction, all of which scrubs off time. It felt nice and strong for the rest of the run so I thought it would be around a 7.65-7.70. Once again the boys came over the hill lights flashing and arms waving and I thought “no way we’d done a 7.5 surely”. It turned out we hadn’t quite but we did net a 7.61 @ 181.76mph which became the new SS/BB national and track record with a backup time of 7.64 and we were now only 2/10ths of a second away from the GTR world record!! Very happy camp indeed.

7.61 run 
2nd qualifying pass getting a little greedy with bringing in the power. 

We were through to eliminations, the track was cold, the clouds were dark but we still wanted that 7.5 so we decided to de-tune just a fraction in the 1.0 to 2.0 second zone and hope the slight de-tune there coupled with a fraction more in the mid track area would average out to get us the 7.5.

We dialled in at 7.59 and it was agreed that if the run felt strong, even if I was ahead I would stay in it and risk breaking out, we’d be incredibly happy with a 7.5 and to us, it was worth the risk of losing the race to get it.

Eliminations 1

I came up to the line, got spooled up, the other guy got a 3.3 second head start, then with him off in the distance I let go of the trans brake and almost instantly got out of shape, I thought “bugger I’m in big trouble here” the car headed for the wall but there was no way I was backing out with the other guy well ahead of me , besides I couldn’t risk getting crap from the boys for having what we call a “sissy lift” so I kept it nailed and off the wall, got the car back on track and run him down before the finish line, a lucky win with a 7.70 @ 181.57.

7.7 run 
1st round of eliminations after more rain, looks like we didn't take enough power out, lucky to get the win, through to round 2.

We then decided to de-tune some more for the 2nd round of eliminations and dial in with a 7.69, we were lined up ready to go when it started to rain again, bugger, this time it was defiantly over and out, game over, the meeting was cancelled.

MGAWOT III launching at 2014 NationalsWe packed up between showers, stayed at the track and had a few drinks and plenty of laughs with the track staff and some other racers then left for home on Monday morning feeling both happy and a little worse for wear.

It seems our ultimate dream of running a 7.5 in our first season with this car will have to wait but it sure looks like it might be possible so we are happy and can’t wait to get back out there again next weekend where they will run the conclusion of the Nationals.

Massive thanks as always to Jase for the hours and hours he puts into going over data and coming up with the best plan of attack, Spook and Flat Dan for being there through thick and thin and for her first time at the track with us, thanks go out to Charlie.

Thanks:

Thanks to Vi-PEC, Infomotive, Turbosmart, Nitto, GSS, Ross Dampers, Te Poi Tavern, Trufold, Kelfords, Custom Shirts NZ, Scotty’s bar, Autotrans, Regal Automotive, NAC Insurance, REPCO and all of our families, friends and supporters, we simply couldn’t do what we do without you all.

Bring on the 7.5s!!!

Regards
Robbie

R.I.P.S.

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