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Oct
04

Formula Drift Round 6 | Showdown

Round 6 | The SHOWDOWN

The travelling becomes more easier after few repeats since we already know the drill. Only thing that we do not control is the transportation of our race car and all the tools and parts.
After Seattle we decided to add some more power to the car since some of the US tracks are faster than in Europe and as we still have the stock differential it is difficult to change gearing to suit the track perfectly.

I talked to our sponsor from Turbo by Garrett in Seattle and we found out an easy solution for turbo upgrade so we decided to go for it. We did realize, that the change would effect on our awesome low end torque since we even don’t have a stroker engine but we still wanted to try.

garrett

So when we landed Dallas, the next day our trip started with a Dyno. To our disappointment the dyno didn’t have good brakes so it is hard to tune this kinds of high powered cars properly. Since that dyno was our only option to get the car tuned, we still decided to try and just so some pulls against the handbrake.
Our tuner Pekka Nurmentaus from PIM Engineering got the car dialed in and we were good to go to the track.
The low end did suffer a bit from the bigger GTX3582R turbo, but we did manage to raise the power from 700 to 860 horsepower! That should be plenty to spin those 123S Achilles around the Texas motor speedway and very good compromise to get some more power.

dyno

The first time we arrived near the track on Thursday we couldn’t believe our eyes. I bet the Speedway in Texas is one of the biggest in the world since it was HUUUUGE! The stands just continued and continued and the BIG buildings hotels or whatever looked so tiny in the middle!

texasmotor

First practice started but we found out that our rear brakes were gone completely so no handbrake also. The pulls in the dyno had destroyed our brakes. Pads and discs were totally glazed and the other disc was even cracked from the heat.
Thank god our friends in the US, we found some new but very affordable discs and pads quick enough from a local parts store and the training continued.

I had waited for this track quite a long time, since it reminds a lot of the tracks we have in Europe. Fast track with snappy transitions, but no banking so you could really go full on all the time!

ajo2

Training looked promising and we heard we even had the highest entry speeds! The clipping points were a bit too close on the track so even if you stayed on the tarmac and on the correct line, you could still hit the cones and it wasn’t a deduction.
That was ok, but we did lose some of the skirt panels, bumper parts etc during the days 🙂
We had PRO2 series qualifying on day 1 but somehow did not get the runs we got in practice and was placed 8th on the grid.

ajo3

sitting

Day 2 it was raining. Our car was perfect on the wet and the runs we did were precise and still fast and lots of angle with the amazing Wisefab steering kit. All the training was on wet and after that started the PRO qualifying and it started to shine and dry.
When it was our time to qualify it was all dry and we already got used to the wet track. I did try my best but somehow the grip from the track was too much. I heard this from other drivers too that for some reason in the US, sometime this happens after a soaking track gets dry the grip levels get so high it is weird. I did get OK run but because of the grip I had to use a lot of handbrake to reach the clipping points. That and since we were one of the first ones qualifying the judges rated us quite low.
The second run wasn’t any better. Waiting on the track for hour and a half and then do one pull is hard to concentrate and get an awesome run. This really is a mind game.
Still this time we placed 31st and it was enough for the main competition!

pq

After the qualifying started the final PRO2 practice and we had some good runs again. Until..
A fellow competitor in a GT86 spun before me when I was following up close. I didn’t have anywhere to go and I rammed his passenger door with my front. We did few more practice runs and somehow the car was understeering always at the same spot at the track and I couldn’t figure out why. Soon after that the PRO2 competition started and I had to run against my friend Brandon Wicknick.

First I ran in front and the run I did was ok, but on first fast right turn the car understeered a lot again. The correction was small so I don’t think anyone noticed it too much but I did lose some speed by doing that.
Second run I followed Brandon.
From the start I went close to Brandon and I got through the understeering problem somehow. After that I went very close again. He was a bit slower than me and he got huge angle to the last turn. I braked and stayed on his door but he straightened and I hit his rear bumper which after we continued to drift but he’s line got way too out and I passed him using the correct line.

Decision was that the judges didn’t see him straightening and decided it was my fault so that’s that. We placed maybe 9th overall.

ajo

Saturday was the main competition day and we still were in the game so no time to worry about PRO2.
In the morning we did few checks to the car and we found a misalignment from one of the tires which had caused the whole understeering issue.

Last PRO training went well, but we didn’t get many follow runs and when we did, the leader did something that ruined our follow run. So actually I didn’t have any good follow runs during the whole weekend.
We were against Chris Forsberg, one of the championship contenders so I really needed to do GREAT to get the win from this one.

It was time for TOP32 and we started with a follow on Chris. He left the line Fast and I couldn’t quite stay behind him at from the start line. Because of that I had to cut the line a bit for the second corner and on the next turn I was right on his door the whole way until the end.

vschris

Second run and we were leading. Chris kept close before the first turn but after that he had no chance. Our line was great, angle was good and we left at least 3 car lengths to Chris.

force2

We really had a chance and once we got the results it was one against two for the judges and they granted Chris the win.
I would have hoped at least for a one more time, but no.

tuomio

Mentally this really is tough, but on this weekend we really proved a point. We proved that when we have good runs, even former or future Formula Drift champions can’t stay close to us. Even for the whole weekend there wasn’t a single run that someone would have driven on our door!
The BC Racing suspension with the Wisefab is really doing the trick! We actually weren’t even on our most aggressive setting on speed so we can still make it a bit faster if necessary 🙂

Also imagine that we are driving on these highly gripped Achilles Radial 123S semi-slicks and we still run on stock differential! I think the only reason the diff is holding all the power is the Driveshaft shop rear driveaxles which really are strong! We keep all the play minimum when it comes to drivetrain.

osia

Last round is at Irwindale 9.-11.10.
We were informed by FD that we can’t participate the PRO competition since team has to attend 4 rounds prior to Irwindale and we have only done 3 🙁
A Big misunderstanding from us but that really raises our motivation to show what we can do in PRO2. We are not giving up just yet. Although the year has been hard for us we still have a lot to show to the American drift scene.

Thank you all for supporting and following.

 

The Flying Finn
-Juha Rintanen

2 comments

  1. Pat Gwin says:

    Juha…

    I was trackside in TX. Stay in FD! You are going to be huge. Your speed and commitment on initiatiation is as good as it gets!

    Also, I have a piece of your car I’d like you to sign.

    1. juZz says:

      Hi Pat and thanks for the nice words. If you see me next year on the field I’d be happy to sign it 🙂

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