Traveling there was tough, as my United Airlines flight went from delayed to canceled, causing me to arrive mid-day to VIR in the middle of the testing/qualifying day. Reimbursement in progress, going through United Airlines. #securethebag
The team, @bournegarage @rogerwsingh @alana.carter @joelfallaise @allthingschuckcarvalho @grantbourne, and the Scalar crew are really something special - the weekend was all good vibes, and even when we made mistakes and incurred infractions it was a team responsibility. Win as a team, fail as a team, and that's how it should be. And an immeasurable amount of gratitude for Alana's mom Linda for cooking all weekend to feed the team with awesome food, - chicken, steaks, salads - my goodness we ate like royalty.
The car was the Scalar Performance 'Gas GRRR' which is their GR86 converted to a racecar. Such a memorable experience to drive a car that has no power brakes, no ABS, and no traction system. Fun fact, I did lock up the brakes entering 'Roller Coaster' and spun the car on the downhill section, in a panic, trying to make a pass on a BMW. A humbling mistake that forced me to focus more on brake pressure. Otherwise, the car is quite a simple build, relative to what a racecar could be - modified header/tune, front splitter, rear wing, rear diffuser, Ohlins coil-overs, Wilwood brakes, and a competent wheel/tire package using Enkei wheels and Hankook RS4's. The engine defies the negative perception for these second-generation 86s - it survived a test day, two 8-hour races, and even more lapping at Atlanta Motorsports Park literally a couple of days later - all on an unopened motor, all internals stock, just a removal of the RTV and inclusion of an aftermarket oil pan baffle. The platform is a reliable track weapon, so long as the early-build oiling issues are addressed. As for the rear diff, there is a cooling system with a heat exchanger in the trunk, which helped the temps a bit over the weekend. I often see people sharing that one smear video on the car, where the creator showed oil pressure drops and whatnot, and the car community (especially non-owners) really took it to heart. What people fail to realize is that the video was one single example. Yes, there are other drivers who suffered similar failures (and shame on Subaru corporate for not immediately addressing their client’s cars after advertising the car as a track car), but also, there are THOUSANDS of other drivers, such as Scalar Performance, that are beating the hell out of these cars reliably. TWO 8-HOUR RACES UNDER INSANE HEAT, HOW CAN YOU BLANKET EVERY GR86/GEN II BRZ AS UNRELIABLE. Plus a lot of the comments are coming from BMW owners, are we really just going to forget the oil leaks from every possible gasket on the car? Plastic charge pipes? Plastic water pumps? I digress.
It was insanely hot and humid all weekend. We fitted a hose from the passenger mirror to the driver's face to cool the driver, and it helped out immensely, especially during the 'Code 35' caution moments when we had to drive at 35 mph (a VIR-specific rule that all drivers on track must not go faster than 35 mph when an off-track vehicle is being recovered) and couldn't otherwise get moving air into the cabin. We removed the trans cover plate under the car, also to cool the cabin - heat from the trans tunnel coming off an exhaust resonator was so hot that it gave Roger's right foot a massive burn and blister. This same heat caused the adhesives in Brian's racing shoes to melt and his shoe delaminated into three separate parts ... talk about HOT.
It was much better on day 2 with the trans cover off, the hot air escaped under the car. Lastly, we raised the auxiliary fuel tank higher and heat-taped under the unibody section above the muffler to help with the car starting - we feared that the fuel was being overheated by the hot exhaust in the lines before it got to the motor, which caused delayed start-ups between driver changes. All of these small changes summed up to an almost flawless execution on day 2.
We took P6 in Group 3 (the second fastest class of 4, with Group 4 being the fastest and Group 1 being the slowest), and P4 in Group 2. We were re-classed lower on the Sunday race because the
organizers thought we were in a GR86 Cup car, but really we were in a converted street car with no factory support and still landed one spot away from the podium as a new team in one of America's largest endurance racing series. I think we did really well.
And a small photo dump to tell more about our race weekend’s story: