Thursday, December 27, 2018

STU Build - Power Adders and Engine Safety

After much deliberation, I decided to abandon the idea of staying in BS and proceed with a full-tilt STU build instead. A lot of factors drove me in this direction but the biggest factor was fun. Yes, Kay had all the special combination of options to be competitive in BS but the rest of the time she felt a bit underwhelming. It's a great car out of the factory but I think just a few improvements would really make her outstanding and more importantly even more fun both in and out of competition. As I compiled the list of things I wanted, I found that everything fell neatly into the allowances of Street Touring. That combined with the timely release of products I had been waiting for led to the natural decision to forge ahead and so here we are at the beginning of the STU build.

The main objectives for this build are:
  • Make her fun and enjoyable both on the street and at autocross events
    • Enhance the visceral and aural experience
  • Use the STU rules allowances to increase her reliability
  • Everything needs to be reversible 
    • No cutting holes in body or fenders
    • Any trimming of interior panels needs to be done on replacement panels (keep original ones mint)
  • Make the car as nationally competitive as possible to the limit of the rules
    • ...understanding full well that a 987.2 PDK would likely be the stronger version of the 987 platform in STU trim

Stock oil pan removed ready for baffled pan installation
The upgraded Porsche Motorsports air oil separator we installed in a few months ago helps quite a bit with reliability but the M97 engine can still suffer from oiling issues under heavy lateral load. While I'm not terribly concerned at local events on asphalt, I'm a bit more concerned running on longer, faster courses on concrete. One way to help the engine out is by installing a baffled oil pan with increased oil capacity. I picked up an FVD Motorsports baffled oil pan that also adds another 3/4 quart of oil capacity. The engine was then refilled with a fresh 8.75 quarts of Joe Gibbs Driven DT-40 oil. 

FVD Motorsports baffled oil pan
Although not completely necessary for autocross purposes, overheating power steering fluid is a known issue on the 987 platform under sustained high rpms. Installing a power steering fluid cooler is a relatively simple fix that offers extra peace of mind. They're not terribly expensive and we're already doing work on the car so adding a simple cooler won't really move the needle much on the project costs. Although a bit finicky to install, the location of the included Mocal radiator places it in a nice spot underneath the chassis for easy access. 

TunerRS Motorsports power steering fluid cooler kit installed
The next step is to unlock the power and awesome sound of the flat 6 engine. I was hoping that I could appreciate the sound of the stock muffler but after putting more miles on her I realized that it sounds too muted in stock form. I longed to put the FVD sports muffler back on but with the allowances of STU, I also wanted to maximize the power available to me so I mated it with the newly released Soul Performance long tube street header with HJS 200-cell high flow cats. The sound of this combo is glorious. At idle and low rpms there's just a light rumble, almost like a dog lightly growling at a would be intruder but once you open up the throttle and get above 4500rpms she makes all the glorious deep-throated roars you'd expect from a Porsche flat 6. I can already feel the extra pep and I haven't even put the tune on yet. 

Soul Performance long tube street headers
Soul Performance header installed - 12/26/2018
Soul Performance header installed - 12/26/2018
With an 11 year old car, some things are guaranteed to not be so great anymore regardless of mileage. Top on that list is the rubber in the engine and transmission mounts. These normally wear under regular heavy use and add onto that, years of being on the car, if they haven't failed already, they are likely going to fail in the near future. I wanted upgraded mounts but not anything overly stiff as that can cause issues with false triggers on the knock sensors causing the ECU to go into limp mode. I opted to go with Rennline HD engine mount which is made of a harder rubber.

Rennline HD Engine Mount
For the transmissions mounts, I went with Function First v2 upgraded mounts. These are OEM style but have a bit of polyurethane in them for some added stiffness without creating too much NVH. This combo is also perfect. The engine feels tight. There's some vibration transmitted to the cabin via the steering wheel and pedals but they are of the good race car variety but slightly reduced so as not to be annoying and ruin comfort. 

Functon First V2 Upgraded Transmission Mounts
Everything installed underneath including FVD Exhaust
One thing about the 987 that I'm definitely not a fan of is the shifter feel. Even with the factory short shifter, the shifter feels a bit lazy. Since I've been driving S2000s for years, that's been my benchmark for shifter feel. With this in mind, I picked up a Numeric Racing short shifter for a more rifle bolt like action. The change is very noticeable. The shifts are short, precise and there's a real mechanical feel to it. This is one of my favorite upgrades. It makes a massive difference and it's incredible how excellent the shifts feel now. Each change of gear results in a satisfying and positive engagement. This alone made the switch to STU worth it. 

Numeric Racing short shifter
Numeric Racing short shifter installed - 12/27/2018

I'm also a big fan of Alcantara steering wheels despite the extra maintenance needed to keep them clean. Luckily, I was able to find a used one for sale and added that to the list of little interior improvements. The wheel feels great, making it easier to grip the wheel and I think adds a nice visual sports car touch to the interior. 

Alcantara Porsche Sport steering wheel - 12/27/2018
Quick drive / Audio recording - 12/29/2018

Next step from here will be to install the tune and fit the suspension on plus a few interior goodies. Big thanks to Lee Nieto at Hybrid Motors in Fairview, NJ for getting all this sorted with an impressively fast turnaround before the New Year. 

Maintenance Updates:

Mileage: 33,885
- Oil change - 8.75 quarts Joe Gibbs DT-40, Napa Gold oil filter
- Top off power steering fluid  - Pentosin CHF-11S
- Replace radiator hoses (preventative)

Old radiator hoses

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Winter Prep

A few weeks ago I switched over to my winter wheel and tire setup (Enkei RPF1s with Continental DWS tires). I don't really plan on driving Bumblestook over the winter but I wanted to get off the Mugen MF10s so I could properly clean and store them so the RE71s wouldn't flat spot. I took the wheels to a nearby self-service car wash, sprayed them down with Adam's Deep Wheel Cleaner, and gave them a nice long rinse to get all the brake dust off so they wouldn't cake over and put them away in my storage.

Cleaning Mugen MF10s - 11-17-2018
I was supposed to take my car to the dyno and for a final car wash this week but the premature winter storm we got on Thursday night pretty much killed that idea. The temps are back to normal but unfortunately, there's plenty of salt on the roads now and it's simply not worth taking her out anymore. I decided it was time to put her away for the winter so I cleaned her as best I could in the garage which was easy since she was washed by the body shop after the recent repairs so the only real issues were the few water spots on the paint. 

Science of Speed car cover - 11-17-2018
I finally got to put on the Science of Speed form fitting car cover in yellow that I ordered several months ago. It fits perfectly on the car even with the CR lip, Mugen wing, and the wide body. It's snug but not overly tight and fully covers the car all the way to the ground if I want. I also took the battery out of since I don't have a battery tender (no power in the garage) and I'm thinking about going with a bigger battery next year anyway since I'm getting sick of worrying about keeping a small battery charged enough to start the car a few times a month. 

Science of Speed car cover - 11-17-2018
Science of Speed car cover - 11-17-2018
Sad to think that I won't be driving her until March at the earliest but I'm happy for all the things we were able to accomplish this year. Looking forward to more fun next year but for now, the winter slumber begins. 

Friday, November 9, 2018

Hood and Hardtop Repair

When I got Bumblestook painted earlier this year I specifically bought extra paint since my plan was to color match the Mugen hood in case there were any issues with the carbon weave upon arrival. You never really know how carbon fiber parts will arrive especially when shipped across the world. The Mugen hood was for the most part super mint but unfortunately, during shipping, the trucking company must've not been particularly careful and despite the box itself being in good shape, the hood was transported with the pointy edge down. This damaged one corner slightly.

Mugen hood shipping damage
I contact King Motorsports and they were amazing. They offered to completely replace it with the only Mugen hood left in the country especially since I had waited 8 months for it. Since the damage was pretty minimal and shipping hoods back and forth would be a big hassle for me, they offered an alternative which was to give me a pretty generous partial refund on the hood. I was ok with this because I knew the hood could be repaired for much less and I don't really care about resale value. Also, a few months ago, my hardtop had an unfortunate accident while off the car. It tipped backward and the corner got chipped pretty badly.

Hardtop damage 
With the season over, it was a perfect time to get the car back to K2 Auto Body in Edgewater where Eric took care of me right away. Unfortunately for the hood, with the incredible tight Mugen weave, just redoing the epoxy wasn't going to make it look right. Instead, we both agreed that the best thing to do to make the damage clean and not noticeable would be to spray that corner with some black paint and clear coat the edge again. The rest of the hood was just too mint to touch if we could avoid it. I obviously could've gone with my original plan to just color match the entire hood but I decided I could always do that at a later time in case the hood sustained any further cosmetic damage. I think it came out really great. If I don't specifically point it out or take a closeup shot, I don't think anyone would really notice.

Hood repaired - 11-9-2018
The hardtop was similarly repaired and the corner repainted and blended. They did an incredible job and I couldn't even tell which part was resprayed.

Hardtop repaired - 11-9-2018
Big thanks again to Eric and his team at K2 Auto Body for making her perfect again. Both the hardtop and the hood was repaired for less than what King Motorsports gave me back so that was a big plus. We've got a dyno appointment next week to see what kind of power (if any) the PasswordJDM intake makes over the K&N FIPK and then she's pretty much getting washed and put away for the winter.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Intake Install from Hell

I wanted to get a PasswordJDM dry carbon intake (a.k.a the whale penis among the SCCA STR crowd) since we started this build but without a hood to accommodate the snorkel, it really wasn't a good option. I bought the intake shortly after I received my Mugen hood but didn't get a chance to get it installed until now.  With the racing season now over, it was the perfect time to head over to SJF to work on the car before putting her away for the winter.

PasswordJDM Dry Carbon Intake and Cooling Plate - 10-28-2018
Due to the finicky nature of this install, under normal circumstances, the install of this intake is supposed to take around 2-3 hours if you take your time. Unfortunately, this would not be the case for me since the snorkel is supposed to sit exactly where my Setrab oil cooler sits so it took us all day to get it done. We didn't really have too many options for relocating the cooler since the lines weren't long enough to move to the other side. We eventually settled on simply lowering it and moving it closer to the AC condenser. Removing the driver side bracket allowed for the cooler to be screwed directly onto the radiator support. For the passenger side, we were able to reuse the mounting bracket but SJF had extend it to reach the cooler's new location. The horn had to be moved to the other side and extend the wiring to reach it.
Old cooler location
New cooler location
Now that the cooler was out of the way, the snorkel was able to be installed in the correct location to perfectly suck in cold air right from the bumper opening.

Snorkel installed
The next bit of trouble was the oil cooler lines. We routed them this past winter over the frame cross member because there was plenty of space there but unfortunately for today's install that's also exactly where the bottom of the intake chamber was supposed to sit. Rather than relocating the lines, I opted to just cut parts of the bottom of the intake chamber for clearance. I'm already getting nice cold air via the snorkel and I'm not getting any heat soak from the header due to my vented hood anyway so there was really no performance hit by doing this. My extra large radiator also caused fitment problems and we had to trim some of that intake on that side too to clear the mounts for the radiator fans. The fitment of the two intake chambers wasn't that great either. We had to trim the opening to allow the two parts to fit together without interference and after a few hours of slowly trimming, we finally got it fitting properly.

Intake chamber trimmed to fit. 
We got the intake cover on and after playing around with the dry carbon cooling plate with the cut out specifically for this intake, we finally got the hood to close. The top of the intake chamber just touches the frontmost vent on the Mugen hood but it's not really a problem. The other downside of this intake is that you can't use the stock hood prop anymore. I could use hood struts but with the Mugen hood weighing close to nothing, it's not really recommended.

Everything fitting perfectly now - 10-28-2018
Password JDM dry carbon cooling plate - 10-28-2018
The final challenge was putting on the bumper again. The right side of the snorkel actually hits part of the grill so that needed trimming as well.

Snorkel behind the trimmed grill - 10-28-2018
This whole day was pretty much an exercise of patience. Measure, trim, fit, remove, measure, trim, fit, rinse and repeat to satisfaction. Big thanks to SJF Performance for putting up with what will forever be dubbed "The Intake Install from Hell". I'll have to go back on the dyno to measure the difference but my butt dyno definitely felt a difference on the drive home with the nice cool air rushing into the intake. In VTEC it also sounds really great!

Other miscellaneous fixes today included tightening the brake cylinder brace that somehow vibrated itself loose and tightening up the slack on the throttle cable.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

First Oil Analysis

I wish I had done this more regularly before but I guess there's a first time for everything. I sent the oil sample I gathered from the last oil change before I went to The Glen to Blackstone Labs and the results seem good considering some track miles in there. It'll be good to see how this trends going forward but the years of racing seem to have not had any measurable negative effect on the engine health so far.

Blackstone Labs oil sample results - 10-23-2018

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Tight Competition

We're down to the final two events for the season. It rained quite a bit overnight and B-Street was set to run the first heat. Although the rain subsided by the time we ran, it was still fairly damp and the temps stayed constant at around 55F with a fair bit of wind.

Ready for 1st Heat - NNJR SCCA - 10-20-2018
We had a good turnout for the class with 7 drivers in total. Danny Kao drove up from DC to co-drive Sang Yi's Evo so I knew I was in for an uphill battle. The conditions favored both AWD and co-driven cars but I really enjoyed the challenge to try and close the gap regardless. Our first run or two was a real struggle for grip but the course eventually dried enough to put in decent times.

Danny set fast first run and all of us were chasing him. I'd find some time but then so would he but I would keep trying to close the gap as best as I could. By our second to last runs, I was within 0.38 seconds off his time. He went out to put in a fast final lap but hit 3 cones in the process leaving the door open for me. There was plenty of time still left to be had out there so I knew I just had to push harder. Unfortunately, I pushed too hard and ended up spinning before the back wallom.

NNJR SCCA Autox - 10-20-2018

I'm still pretty stoked though. Considering this is only my third event in the car, I think my pace is already getting pretty competitive and I finally found the limits of her grip with that spin. I knew the rear was coming out but I really wanted to see how far I could push it before really losing control and it's pretty incredible how high those limits are.

B-Street results - 10-20-2018
In other miscellaneous things, I finally installed the euro triangle in the frunk. I definitely don't need this but I figured why not. German yo!

euro spec emergency triangle
Also, I finally got to see the new exhaust tips in daylight. It looks good, I like it, but man the stock exhaust sounds so lame compared to the FVD Brombacher I had on previously. Ugh, maybe one day I can put it back on. For now it's just hanging out in the garage next to the JRZs.

Soul Performance Tips

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Watkins Glen with Hooked on Driving

The return to The Glen was as fun as I imagined it would be. I don't do track days for competition, only to have fun, so a successful track day for me means checking three boxes and those are:
  • Are you alive?
  • Did you have fun?
  • Is the car still in one piece?
This event checked all three, with the fun component fulfilled in spades.

Watkins Glen International - 10-18-2018
The day didn't start off too well though. The temperatures had dipped into the low 40s overnight and I woke up to a steady cold rain shower. Not exactly what you want returning to a historic track where the cost of a mistake often means smacking into a blue armco at speed.

Watkins Glen International - 10-18-2018
Although the first session was very wet, the sun did occasionally pop out and the wind allowed for drying conditions but we still had to be very careful on any of the painted surfaces as those seemed to refuse to dry at all. The event ran pretty smoothly. All the run groups ran on time and there were no incidents to speak of on the track which is pretty good for a track that's notorious for claiming a few cars each event. Unfortunately, I didn't run any session where I didn't hit some traffic but it was still pretty manageable. Not too bad considering my run group had around 40 or so cars. I managed a mere 2:25 on RE71Rs in these conditions. I suspect that's not a great time but since I never recorded times before at least I now have my baseline for the next time I come up here.

 Laps 6-8 of Session 3 - 2:25 on Lap 8
Watkins Glen - 10-18-2018

That ends the 2018 motorsports season for Bumblestook. I've got a new intake to install but in general, I will just be getting her ready to be tucked away for the winter. It's been an incredible year with her transformation and she's exceeded my expectations in every single way. She truly is the one S2000 to do it all for me.

Car setup notes to self:

  • Increase front compression by 3 clicks to combat rear twitchiness under braking.
  • Ran 30/28psi cold pressures.
  • Car felt very neutral. I like this setup.
  • Front toe might have slipped. Steering wheel slightly angled to the left now. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

JRZ RS Pro and Thoughts on STU

I was happily minding my own business earlier this week when I got sent a deal I simply couldn't pass up. It was for a set of used JRZ RS Pros from a 987 Cayman race car with 600lb/700lb Hypercoil springs that have only seen about 3000 miles of track miles since they were last rebuilt. Now, I know what you're thinking. "You said you were committed to B-Street for 2019". Well for starters, buying these doesn't mean I'm installing them right away. They were a good deal no matter what and I plan on sending them off to ANZE Suspension over the winter to have them dynoed and rebuilt as well as add quick disconnects for the external reservoirs. Whether or not I install them on Kay or some future Cayman or flip them, will be decided after winter.

JRZ RS Pro for the 987 Cayman - 10-10-2018
The obvious conclusion some might jump to here is that I'm taking Kay to run in STU instead of B-Street and that would be logical. I've certainly considered it but at this very moment, I have no plans for it in 2019. However, I'm not one to not do my homework to consider all possibilities. I've been spending some time thinking about what STU would look like for a Cayman. In general, I think that allowance for mid-engine rear wheel drive cars to finally go up to 265 width tires makes this a viable choice. Sure you lose out on not having 285s which you can run in B-Street but with better suspension, ability to add lots of camber, plenty of top speed in 2nd and add a bit more power and cut weight then it could be a formidable weapon.
JRZs installed in previous owner's race car
My main concern is that Kay might not be right for STU. Both the 987.1 and the 987.2 Cayman S are allowed in STU and given the same level of prep, the 987.2 (2009-2012) simply has more power. It's not a ton more power but certainly more. It also has arguably a better engine. However, with premium the 987.2 commands over the 987.1, I'm not sure how many people would actually build a 987.2 for STU. It's some serious coin and I can see a full tilt build knocking on the doors of higher mileage GT4 money. At that level of cash, I'd rather have the GT4 and run in Super Street.

Furthermore, Kay is equipped with PASM which is the ideal spec for B-Street and switching to STU and slapping on the JRZs means disabling PASM, completely negating the reason why I paid more for Kay to make sure she had both Sports Chrono and PASM to begin with. Also, with the ND2 in a TBD state of classing for Street Touring, I'd be hesitant to start STU prep only to have it classed in STU later. In autocross, lightness is king and I do believe that the ND2 in ST trim could pose a serious threat to the general higher horsepower but much heavier cars that are already in STU.

Those concerns aside, here are my notes on what I think a decently competitive STU 987 Cayman build would look like for me:

Wheels and Tires

You can go a lot of ways here but for me, I don't see a problem just continuing with XRR spec 18x8.5 and 18x10 wheels I run in B-Street. I don't think 265 square is the right choice. I think the car does like a bit of a stagger so I'd probably run 255/265. This would make the fronts less pinched and feel less squishy as result. I'm only running 265s up front now in BS to balance out the 285s in the rear otherwise, I'd much prefer a 255.


I think the stock shocks even with PASM isn't going to be enough. It'll be ok for an "STU Lite" build but will likely still be too soft for grippier surfaces like concrete. You'd also probably want to lower the car a little to get a lower center of gravity and get more negative camber. Obviously, I already got JRZs so I'd run those. The 600/700 rate springs on them now are probably fine too. If it's a fully dedicated max prep configuration optimized for Nationals, I can see wanting more spring rate but I don't think you need to get too stiff to be competitive. It can work, you just have to turn the wheel earlier. Getting good damping is key and the valving and figuring out where the compression and rebound need to be is going to be critical.

I'd keep the Tarrett Engineering GT3 front sway bar and drop links in the front and complement it with the Tarrett GT3 rear sway bar and drop links to be able to fine tune the balance more. I'd also add GT3 lower control arm in the front only as there's adequate rear negative camber but the front needs -4 or more to compensate for the strut suspension and losing camber under compression.


There's really not a lot more power you can extract from the M97 in NA form and be STU legal. Obviously, sports headers with 200 cell catalytic converters and a "cat-back" exhaust that eliminates the secondary cats is the way to go. A good air filter and a tune to maximize the power would be a good idea too. It should be possible to get the power up to 300hp to the wheels. 

My engine and trans mounts are also 11 years old now and I don't have a high degree of confidence in the state of the rubber in these mounts at this age even with the relatively low miles. The engine is only held down by a single motor mount up front and two trans mounts on each side. I wouldn't go overly stiff here as I've read you can increase vibration to the point where the knock sensor gets triggered retarding power. Personally, I'd probably just go with Rennline HD engine mount and Function First transmission mounts (V2). 

I'd also strongly consider adding in a higher capacity and baffled oil pan. I don't think this is a must but considering how finicky this engine is, it wouldn't be a bad idea given the allowance for some added peace of mind.


I honestly don't know how much a good differential is worth on a Cayman STU build. With Sports Chrono engaged during my runs, I never once felt I couldn't put the power down or I was spinning tires. I'm reserving comment on this for now but I don't believe it's a must-have item. If I did change it, something clutch type would obviously be my choice but I don't see any evidence in few times I've taken Kay to autocross so far where I felt I couldn't put the power down because of the diff.


You can probably save some weight by changing the seats to racing seats. I also think I'd install the Numeric Racing short shifter for a more bolt rifle action like shift engagement for more accurate quick shifts.

Final Thoughts

I've never driven or set up an STU prepped Cayman S before so what I've written above are just my thoughts on this matter. It could very well be a load of rubbish. Am I tempted to do it for the learning experience? Sure! Is it the right thing to do for 2019? That I'm not so sure about. 

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Ready for The Glen

One of the things I wanted to do this year with Bumblestook was to go back to Watkins Glen. After a successful shakedown at NYST a few weeks ago, all she needed was fresh oil and a nut and bolt before I make the return to The Glen a reality next weekend.

Oil sample taken for analysis - 10/6/18
I figured while I was doing the oil change anyway I might as well get a sample to send over to Blackstone laboratories to get an oil analysis done.

6 fresh quarts of Amsoil 10W-30 - 10/6/2018
Going over the car was a good idea. A lot of bolts had worked their way loose such as sway bar end link, subframe bolts, header side engine mount and even bolts for the doors. She might be a street car now but she still retains a lot of her race car DNA under the surface so it's really no surprise things vibrate themselves loose.

Oil filter stopper
One thing I absolutely don't want vibrating loose is the oil filter. It's never happened to me before but it has been known to happen. On a car that has bolts with Loctite vibrate loose, it only makes sense to add some extra safeguards here. The filter is always properly tightened but as an additional piece of reassurance, we installed an oil filter stopper. Since I have a Mocal sandwich plate, the bracket had to be bent out to line it up but it works quite well. It's attached on one end to the motor mount and then onto a hose clamp secured to the oil filter to prevent it from backing out. 

There are a few things that I want to install and/or address after the season is over but for now, she's mechanically sound and ready for some fun up the esses.

Maintenance Log:
53,035 miles - 6 qt Amsoil 10W-30

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Just the Tip

I bought Kay with a nice FVD Brombacher "cat-back" exhaust but unfortunately, it's not technically SCCA B-Street legal since the OEM mufflers have integrated secondary catalytic converters and you can't delete that in Street class even though the primary cats are still in place. As a wild shot, I wrote a letter to the SCCA asking a for a rule change but as expected it was shot down (not that I really expected it to go through anyway) so here I am now putting the stock exhaust back on.

Dropping off the car with Lee at Hybrid Motors - 10/4/2018
Thankfully the previous owner also provided the stock exhaust when I purchased the car so it was a straightforward enough swap. At the very least I wanted it to look good so I did the only thing I could do legally which was to order replacement exhaust tips. I picked up the Soul Performance x-pipe short tips with angle cut and signature satin finish then dropped the car off with Lee at Hybrid Motors in Fairview, NJ today so he could swap it out for me while I was working.

Soul Performance exhaust tips 
As you'd expect, it was a straightforward swap. The stock exhaust sound isn't really that bad after all if I had to be honest. It just doesn't have the growl that the FVD exhaust had. I'd say it sounds better now at low RPM and at higher RPM is still gives a nice flat-6 sound but muted. Perhaps I'll explore getting the valved Porsche Sports Exhaust one day but for now this will do.

Before - FVD Brombacher exhaust
After - Stock with Soul Peformance tips
The tip looks pretty decent too with the Satin finish. It actually matches the silver trim around the exhaust so I think it keeps the clean look.

Top down view of just the tip
As much as I'm not a big fan of this stock "street" class formula I can't argue with the fact that the 987.1 Cayman S is a serious national level B-Street contender and she's already proving to be lots of fun to drive as is. I have to hand it to the Porsche engineers. They really do know how to make proper sports cars.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Bumblestook at S2K Takeover 2 - NYST

After over a 5-year hiatus from enjoying track days, I finally got the opportunity to go again in Bumblestook. Brad set up another S2K Takeover at the NY Safety Track in Jefferson, NY after the first one earlier this year went really well. I arrived there on Sunday afternoon since I'd never been to this track before and wanted to be able to get a track walk in with the guys to get some pointers.

NYST - 9-17-2018
I'm really glad I did. Despite having watched a bunch of in-car videos from other people, it wasn't until the track walk that I understood how much of an elevation change there was and how blind the corners were. It's a bit disconcerting since there's also minimal to no runoff so for this track, in particular, I'd have to be extra careful the next day.

Track walk - 9-16-2018
I got back on site the next day bright and early. I did the usual things of emptying the car out and giving her a once over to make sure I wouldn't have any issues.

Ready to run - 9-17-2018
Coincidentally, the night before during dinner with everyone, I was chatting with Billman and he happened to have exactly one of his new generation TCTs (timing chain tensioner) with him. There's nothing wrong with my old tensioner but they do eventually go bad and it is 13 years old after all (the engine in Bumblestoook is from a 2005 S2000). Billman modifies the OEM tensioner to never be a problem so as part of buying the new TCT from him, he took care of the install which he can probably do with his eyes closed. At least I don't ever have to worry about the TCT going bad on me ever.

Billman's new TCT - 9-17-2018
Billman's new TCT - 9-17-2018
Billman installing the TCT before my first session - 9-17-2018
The track is definitely intimidating despite only being a mid-speed track (topped out at around 102mph on the straight). A lot of the corners are blind and cambered and as I mentioned earlier, the lack of runoff means you really can't just "send it". Although I'd say more than a few did and they might need to do some buffing later.

Track Map - NYST
The developers of Hotlap where there as sponsors testing out some new changes to their software that allowed real-time telemetry and track position to be seen on the web or on the phone. It wasn't entirely perfect not because of the software but because a lot of us were having bad cell service up there and more important, the cloud cover wreaked havoc on our GPS units. In one instance, even my Racepak dash was confused and saying I was going 500mph.

Hotlap data on my fastest lap - 1:44:630s 
Overall I'd say the track is a lot of fun but you really have to respect it or you might brown your pants. I'll probably go back again but exercising an equal amount of caution as I did today. I was hoping to get some good video using TrackAddict and the GoPro but the GPS issues caused all kinds of problems and all I was left with was the raw video. Thankfully due to the overcast, you can actually read my dash for once so at least there's that.

Final laps of final session - NYST - 9-17-2018

We all had a chance to do seven 20 minute sessions but I only did six and opted to leave early instead since I saw some big clouds rolling in. I'm glad I did because right after filling up the tank, I drove through a pretty decent rain shower all the way home. Hopefully, that did wonders cleaning up my wheels. The Carbotech XP10/XP8 combo was phenomenal and surprisingly really quite fine on the street. I'm now debating just leaving them on all the time instead of swapping back and forth with stock pads. The oil cooler is working great too. Didn't see temps go past 209F at any point during the day.