LA Porsche and BMW Repair

Mon - Fri: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Building a Racecar Driver - Chapter 3

Prepping a brand-new racecar, where to start. So, we take our knowledge of the street cars and of the racecars and then combine everything we know, but as you might have assumed, a mistake can mean someone’s life, so everything relating to racing must be taken very seriously, never letting up, or you could easily get bitten.

One team last year didn’t keep up with the TSB’s (Technical Service Bulletins) and by off clocking the rear brake caliper hoses just ever so slightly, created a fracture in one of the rear brake caliper hoses causing the car to lose its brakes, thank God nobody was hurt. These things can happen, but your team must stay ever so vigilant, never letting up. I live by the words of Mr. Harry Pellow, Murphy is my co-pilot. Note, Murphy’s law says “ if it can happen, it will”!

Then Porsche holds your hand for the more complicated issues, such as dealing with the Cosworth ICD (Intelligent Colour Display) Instrument Cluster, bleeding the ABS brake system if it has been apart, internal engine issues and everything else for that matter. They also offer technical training from time to time.  As for PMNA (Porsche Motorsport North America) assisting us, it is of the greatest value.  They not only sell the new race-cars, they import them, offer technical assistance and also supply us with any and all the needed spare parts and TSB’s as they become available. They offer a PMRSI (Porsche Motorsport Race-car Service Information).

Bleeding the brakes are the same as with any dual master cylinder racecar, both the front and rear inner bleeder screws are bled at the same time, then both the front and rear outer bleeder screws, and then both the front and rear inner bleeder screws again, this way you’re not stressing the balance bar.

Here is an excerpt straight from the PFC (Performance Friction Workshop Manual):

“The function of the balance bar is to adjust the distribution of pedal force between two master cylinders. This is accomplished by changing the location of the balance bar pivot towards one master cylinder pushrod or the other. If the pivot is perfectly centered between the pushrods, the force applied to each master cylinder will be equal. This is called the “neutral position” of the bias adjuster. If the pivot is moved closer to one pushrod or the other, then that master cylinders will receive a higher force that is proportional to the distance between the balance bar pivot point and master cylinder center lines.”

Taking a new race-car apart and checking all the fit and fasteners are not just to check for any loose items, it’s important that the technician get absolutely fully aware and comfortable with how everything is assembled, for that off-chance something has an issue. AND those off-chances happen quite often, as with every racecar.

Also while the car is apart, you need to finish installing the fire suppression system, a radio for driver communication which includes all the wiring and antenna, I chose Racing Radios, and it doesn’t end there, the radios all need to monitor race control so you know what’s happening on the track at any given time. A video recording device for playback and driver learning, we chose the VBOX system, a driver cool suit system, a jump start Anderson connector for easy handing of low battery issues, additional lights for night races including all the wiring, installing a better interior mirror, a WINK mirror was my choice, temperature tape on all the brake calipers and heat paint on all the brake rotors (discs) and not to forget, the data logging and tape marking of all the new components on the racecar, to keep track of the hours of all the components such as control arms, drive axles, wheel bearings, wheel hubs, brake calipers, dampers, etc.

I also like to flush out the new engine oil and filter that comes from the factory when new, they always carry additional metal debris from the manufacturing processes.

Then there's sourcing and installing a timing transponder.

Once all that stuff is sourced, installed and finished, then begins the car set up, a setup is when you change the alignment specs, the Camber, toe and ride heights. This is per race track and different most of the time, but hey, it isn't so bad, because we used to have to change gearing depending on the track, but with the PDK were more lucky.

When we just need to check things, we call this a set down. Usually during the track weekend not only to see how things are going, but to track and document the alignment changes we make at the track during the race weekend.