If anyone here checks the Facebook page, you know by now that the season ended with a bang at the NASA East Coast Championships. Not a good bang. A buddy of mine was driving my car in Thursday practice and #265 got away from him at Turn 9 at Watkins Glen. Not a very forgiving place to go sideways. He hit the wall at about 45 degree angle at 33 mph and subsequently tagged the back corner in the resulting spin after the hit. He came away perfectly unharmed, all the safety gear doing exactly what it's designed to do. But we were done for the Championship before it even started, and the season was over. T'was a shame since with the new clutch and brake master cylinder the car was running as good as it had all season. I think we could have fought for the win on Sunday, though perhaps not considering what a crash fest the Championship race turned out to be.
The damage was extensive. Unless you're a real Corvette nerd it would bore you to hear the list of parts needed, but you can get the idea from this picture. Thankfully motor and suspension parts were unharmed. Frame needs to be cut, straightened, and a new section welded in. Of course it would be silly to not make upgrades as long as the car is getting torn apart, so we're adding an AJ Hartman carbon fiber hood and leaning forward a new racing radiator and ducting the air out the hood for increased downforce and better cooling. While we're at it we have to flip the intake manifold and run the air intake into the cabin. So we might as well add a Fast 102 intake manifold as well as an LS2 throttle body and fuel rails to take advantage of the new ST2 rule allowing more horsepower next year. Yay racecars. We'll also make a new splitter but this time use 3/8" thick wood and wrap it in carbon fiber for stiffness and lightness. I'll be doing the carbon fiber work so I assure you it will not be pretty but it will be functional.
The wing itself has minor repairable damage, but all the mounts need to be replaced. Seeing how far all the aluminum bent, it's quite a testament to the strength of properly made carbon fiber parts. Thanks to Kognition Racing for making a solid wing! AMT Motorsport will be making all new mounting hardware milled from carbon fiber plate this off season, and we'll take the opportunity to move the wing a little higher and further back on the car. Car is also getting new wide fenders put on so we can run the absurdly wide 335 Hoosier A7s that have become the norm on racing Corvettes.
The car finally made it to Peter Agapaglou at Autosport Fab in Plainville, CT last week. Pete got right to work taking the broken bits off the car and taking inventory of any extra parts that needed to replaced that we hadn't already acquired. Luckily there were no surprises.
See? Not that bad-ish.
Engine needs to be removed to facilitate frame straightening, cutting, and re-welding. Oh hey and while the engine's out we may as well get rid of the needle bearings that run the rocker arms and switch to a solid trunnion upgrade! Yay racecars!
Trunnion upgrade comes from Straub Technologies. Price is actually quite reasonable and the quality is high. Point of these parts are simply to remove any little metal bits that could possibly come apart in the heads and grenade the motor. The stock rollers have needle bearings with hundreds of tiny little cylindrical metal pieces. Just one of those failing would cause big engine damage, so we're being proactive in taking those out of the equation. While the motor is out Pete will do a full inspection to make sure everything still looks good in the bottom end of the motor. Motor doesn't have 20 hours on it so the damn thing better be cherry.
Clear shot of the frame damage. We'd hoped that maybe the damage was isolated to only the front of the car since it was bent so heavily, but it appears the car may have a sway all the way to the back. That's no big deal - the car had to go on a frame machine anyway so once they start tugging the frame with 30 tons of force, it'll get back to where it's supposed to be. The car is now at AC Automotive in Hartford, CT and they're taking care of all the body damage. Oh, and of course the steering rack will be taken out and sent out to Turn One for a full re-build and upgrades. Yay racecars.
In other news, we finally have some official AMT Motorsport product on the shelves and ready to sell! One thing I thought I'd be doing with this blog is more product information and now that the season is over and we're waiting for the car to return we're finishing up projects at a good clip. We currently have Full Floating Rotor Kits ready to ship as well Upper Control Arm Stud Kits. Within 2 weeks we'll be shipping Camber Kits. Shortly after that we'll be accepting control arms for spherical bushing upgrades. After that we'll be finishing up our low profile seat mount brackets. We have camera mounting equipment and zero-clearance racing mirror mounts coming shortly as well.
As always thanks for anyone out there reading this! Please respond with any questions and comments you might have and pass the blog along to any of your friends who might be interested in all this absurd Corvette stuff.