Team Viper West
Viper Racing - LA Street Race
LA STREET RACE DAY ONE!!
Well just finished our first day of racing in the Pro Series at the http://www.lastreetrace.com
The Coupe is running strong. In the morning Erik went out and got accustomed to the track with our R-1 tires (not the best). The track was real slippery but that was expected with the race thru the streets of downtown Los Angeles. We had trouble with new brake pads but resolved that problem. The shifter came loose and we had to remove the entire center console to tighten it back up.
At 1:30pm pdt they held a 15 minute qualifying race - Erik was in the back of the pack of over 50 cars because we finished the repairs after they went to grid. He went from last to eighth and qualified #8 on the starting grid. The car was flying, it was shooting flames out of the exhaust in back like a flamethrower every time Erik lifts his foot off of the gas!
The official race of the day was started on Figueroa - all cars were backed up to the wall diagonally in qualifying order with their cars turned off.
Then, when they start the race everyone turns over their motor and takes off - they called it "LeMans style".
Well things got gloomy. Understand first that two of our crew guys, Stephon and Chris along with Erik's Wife Sherry had gone over to the hot pits, each carrying a filled 6 gallon gas can. This was for the mandatory pit stop all drivers had to make in the hour long race. The rest of the crew was in the grandstands including myself and we were out of sight of the folks in the Hot Pit.
Well the race starts, they go around turn two as we hear the announcers calling the race, now the leaders are coming thru turn three, then all of a sudden they say OH NO! an NSX, car number so and so and another car have gone into the wall at turn three. We're located at the grandstands where there are big speakers and thet're loud, but no match for the lead cars that are now flying by the grandstands and we couldn't hear anything and then there was a lull in traffic and it went something like this.
They're moving thru turn two, now the leaders are going thru turn three, OH NO an NSX, number 'whatever' and another car have gone into the wall at turn three. The other car is and we hear the announcers voice again tailing off with "five" and then he continues talking about how bad the accident was, cars are mangled, etc.
Well guess what, we're number 35 and Erik has not come by us in the grandstands and the entire field has now passed.
I'm sitting there and starting to realize the worst and my son, Samson says "Daddy, where's Erik with the Viper?"
I tell him I don't know for sure but I think Erik crashed with another car and let's go see if we can get over to turn three. So Samson, my Wife Lisa, Doug Dye, Ron Hill and I start walking thru the paddock area (pits) and there's Erik. It was not him in the wreck.
Here's what happened to him. When he started the Viper and let out the clutch he sheared a half shaft on the rearend.
We weren't to happy to be out of the race but when I found out Erik wasn't in an accident - the half shaft became a very minor problem.
But wait, there's more, remember this is an hour long race that's going on and also remember three of our crew, including Erik's wife had heard exactly what we heard and didn't know Erik wasn't involved in the crash.
I had my cellular phone and so did Stephon, who was with her, so I decided to call him to let him know Erik was OK.
As I was calling Stephon, Erik asked me, standing at the door on the side of the trailer, so I start walking over, the phone rings and voice mail answers. So I hang up and speed dial it again, as I walk up to the side of the trailer I hear Erik say, someone's phone is ringing here in the trailer, yep!! you guessed it, Stephon left his cellular in the trailer.
On top of that, I go to put my video camera in the Suburban, and it's locked and Stephon had the keys. And even worse, we want to open up the back of the trailer and it's locked and Stephon had those keys also.
Well needless to say, we sat there doing what we could being so impaired by locked vehicles and trailers and had to wait until they got back from the Hot Pits after the race.
They found out Erik was OK only a few minutes before the end of the race by asking officials in the Hot Pit to find out what had happened to Erik, more specifically, it was Erik's Wife Sherry asking. So as you can see we had an eventful day and didn't get to compete in the first race of the ProSeries.
When we all got together after the race we delegated duties to each of the crew regarding the repair of the half shafts, suppplies needed for tomorrow's racing, and other things that need to be done.
And here we are.......
Erik has our UniTrack after market half shafts at his shop that we had just replaced with new CV Half Shafts (expensive) from TNT in Texas, they broke. So he will bring those early tomorrow morning and they'll get it fixed in time for racing.
I hope Day 2 of the LA Street Race treats our team a little better than Day 1. We think our car is the fastest and best handling car out there and we hope to prove it!!
So tune in tomorrow for our Day 2 update.
I'm going to bed, gotta be up early manana.
LA STREET RACE - DAY 2
Well - last nite when we broke the half shaft took a further toll on us today. This morning the guys replaced the half shafts with our Unitrax shafts.
When we went to bleed the brakes we found that the busted half shaft also busted a brake line. Because of this we missed the morning practice session.
We were assigned 40th position on the grid today in the 1/2 hour sprint - the race only lasted 20 minutes. Erik moved up to third from 40th in about 19 laps and the race was called 10 minutes early - that was OK because we lost the brakes. We're having big trouble with our brakes on this course.
Tommorow morning before the practice we're adding some ducting for the brakes and also trying another brake pad - if we can solve our brake problem I'm confident Erik will win.
I'm going to sleep - big day tomorrow....
LA STREET RACE - MONDAY - FINAL DAY
Well folks here's the final chapter for the weekend and it's quite a finish!!
We got back to the track around 6:30am the next morning - Erik had gone to Home Depot on the way home and purchased just about every size of ducting hose they had from 2" on up to 5" and we used most of it.
He pulled the entire front facia off the of the Viper. Chris cut holes in the carbon fiber wall right behind the facia and Erik to the 5" hose and ran that from the parking lite holes thru the carbon fiber wall. On the other side Erik split it into two 2-1/2" hoses. One he directed to the rotor in front and the other to the caliper. Chris ran to Pep Boys and bought two windshield washer motors, some mister fittings, a 2 Gallon plastic gas can and some rubber hose. Erik plumbed the misters into the hose that was pointed to the calipers while Chris and John hooked up the Plastic Gas Can on the floor of the passenger side. John hooked the electrical up so that everytime Erik hit the brakes the misters went on.
We finished doing this about 5 minutes before we had to Pre-Grid at about 5:00pm and we had this much time only because the Nascar race ran long due to many yellow flags.
We had no idea how all these changes would work. Stephon, Sherry (Erik's Wife and key Pit Crew Member), Chris, John and Charles went into the Hot Pits.
Erik again was postioned 40th and he had also been put on probation for the incident the first day. When the race started Erik passed 10 cars on the right side. By the time four laps were over he'd passed over half of the 40 cars in the race. He then had a right-rear blow out and touched the wall with the right reart of the car, scratches only.
He pitted and got a very quick tire change from our pit crew and was back out in no time. He contined passing cars at the rate of 3-5 cars per lap.
We then heard the track announcer say that because of the sun going down that the race will be shortened to 20 minutes.
When the race was over Erik pulled onto the start finish line with all the other drivers and the track announcer walked up to him first to commend him on the outstanding job he did racing. He has marveled by all the passing that Erik did. The media flooded around the Viper - the crowd was allowed onto victory lane - Erik was signing autographs, taking pictures and giving interviews to the media.
You would have thot he was the only driver out there. The public was in love with Erik and the Coupe and they let this be known with cheering and yelling and screaming.
We didn't find out if we won our class because many cars never made the mandatory pit stop and that's a 5 minute penalty. We think there's a good chance we won but they have to calculate all of this and let us know. We're waiting to hear from the Porshe Club now.