Formula D Rd. 1: Jeff Jones Racing

It’s official round 1 at the streets of long beach is in the books. It was a bittersweet weekend with the mechanical failure taking us out of the competition early. The car has been completely changed for this year with a boost in power coming from a cxracing custom turbo setup. The car now makes enough power to compete with the bigger teams but was defined for reliability going into rd. 1. With the added power it was up to me to make the chassis put that power to the ground. We sent out the cxracing Coilovers to Feal Suspension to have them custom valved to my spec, I’ve worked with Odi before and have 100% confidence in his ability. The knuckles were changed to my own (http://www.driftknuckles.com) knuckles to reduce Ackerman curve and help be competitive at FD speeds. Finally the car got my own corner balance and chassis setup.

We started the weekend out on a good note with Jeff shaking the car down and looking solid on his first couple of laps in practice. Then disaster strikes! Jeff came in complaining of no clutch disengagement and so we look into the cause of the problem and determine that the slave cylinder is shot. With very little time left in practice I had to make a decision wether we rush to change it and hope to get out for qualifying or practice with no clutch and try to put down a solid qualifying run with no clutch. With no real hope of having the parts in time Jeff goes back out to get a couple of laps under his belt with no clutch. Happy with the progression I was hopeful going into qualifying. I noticed scores were a little low in the field and we had a solid position after the first round of qualifying. Poised to put down a balls out run on the second lap of qualifying the ebrake slide was just a little too long coming into the first corner and the engine stalled with no way to disconnect the motor from the rear wheels. Even with the correction on the first corner Jeff finished out the run strong and it was good to see him comfortable in the car. Finished out with a 27th place qualifying run which put us in the big show matched up against JTP. Changed the slave cylinder and we got back out for the top 32 practice Friday night. Advise for Jeff in practice was to just have fun and get back on a positive vibe for the evening.

Saturday morning feeling good and having a game plan to work on corner speed we went into first practice with the advice that if he did decent with no clutch he should be killing it with a clutch. He did just that putting down some very solid runs and having some of the fastest runs of the practice session. Into top 32 we had witnessed JTP’s manji entry and did what we could to prepare for it but it still left a gap that was hard to overcome but even still Jeff put down a solid follow run even scraping the wall behind JTP. Switch places and Jeff takes off on his lead run with no JTP. JTP claimed a false start and didn’t even move from the starting line, Jeff finished up his lead run and when he came back on the radio I told him what JTP had done and he slowed down to hype up the crowd. A big clutch drop on the way back and bam broke an axle. We rushed to get it fixed and despite working great as a team we just missed the 5 minute mark. We were out. While I was happy with the car and the grip it had and I think we have a good base to build on it was tough to be out on a mechanical failure.

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~ by B. Rogers on April 8, 2014.

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