Sears Pointless 2012 (Infineon Raceway)
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Thread: Sears Pointless 2012 (Infineon Raceway)

  1. #1
    3000 Post Club My location m610's Avatar
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    Sears Pointless 2012 (Infineon Raceway)

    Alan and I are gearing up for our next race.

    Track: Infineon Raceway
    Date: March 24-25, 2012
    Link: SEARS POINTLESS 2012

    Infineon (formerly known as Sears Point) is a twisty and technical course that has the feel of the roads in the coastal range around Napa and Sonoma, which is to say, it keeps you off balance while tempting you to still go faster. In other words, we are looking forward to it.

    We ended the 2011 season with the car in really good shape. Well, the important stuff was in good shape. Most of it.

    The Tinyvette Beautification Project was a success and thanks to this community we have a fresh door along with fresh decals and fresh Rustoleum. The car looks even better than before.

    The hit we took at Buttonwillow broke both motor mounts and chewed threw 1-1/2 fuel pumps, but that has been fixed. I'm still a bit surprised that we could run that car at speed for 12 hours and never notice that the motor mounts were broken. I guess between the motor's weight and modest power output we never could get it to flop around in the engine bay. Instead, it just slid over to the left about an inch.

    The fuel-spilling issue at Buttownwillow, due to the damage to the first fuel pump, prompted us to install a manual cut-off valve back at the gas tank. If we ever have a fuel leak again, upstream of the valve, at least now we can stop it at the source. I feel safer now.

    We are also running in 2012 with better brakes. The car is much better than it was a year ago, and our drivers are much better, and that resulted in the brakes getting too hot, hot enough the bend the pads and develop brake fluid leaks. We're going with the vented big-brake kit (front) and larger wheel cylinders (rear) from OGTS. It should be able to deal with the heat much better and stop us quicker. As light as the car is, we should be able to out brake nearly everyone. We'll see.

    Our transmission has held up for two races now. We switched to Redline Shockproof oil and welded fins onto the pan. We're pretty sure heat was killing our trannies. Even so, we've got two spares prepped and ready to go. I think we are finally good to go transmission-wise.

    So that's it. With the above and a minor kill-switch mod mandated by the 2012 rules, that's what we'll be running.

    The core team is still Alan, myself, and Alan's son Zep. Bernhard will be with us when he can but is currently stuck in Germany. Geoff has moved away but plans to stay involved. He'll crew for us at Infineon. Our fill-in driver is Brian, who was with us in our historic first race in August 2010. Brian normally runs his Porsche 928 "Estate", a car that does very well, but can be expensive to maintain and race.

    We've been getting offers from other people to race and crew with us. FraidyCat racing (V12 Jag) has folded and two of their people will be joining us to crew, and when a seat is available, to drive. There are two other people I know who are also interested, and both have some serious racing experience all around California, even Riverside, back in the day. Of course, we're trying to keep an opening available for Sabine Schmitt.

    Between the kind words that have been written here and these requests to join our efforts at the track, well, it makes us think we are doing something right.

    If you are in the area during the third weekend in March please drop in, hang out with us, and take in a bit of the racing. LeMons is novel, in many ways, but the racing is real. As for the hanging out part, we've rented a garage space for the weekend. It'll get us out of the rain, if that happens, again, and that space overlooks the track near the last turn, the most entertaining turn, the final hairpin before the front straight.

    I know there is at least one more GT in our area being prepared for LeMons racing. I hope they can make this race. It would be fun having two, or more, GTs out there.

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    Mike,
    Good luck with your CompuWare GT at Infineon.....and for the entire season! You are flying the Opel flag with pride and you've got the moral support of the Opel community behind you.
    Take Care,
    Mike

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    Member My location West Coast GT's Avatar
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    I'll be there again this year to watch. Best of luck.
    BTW – that winged yellow GT can be picked out of the crowd from any distance, anywhere on the track.

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    3000 Post Club My location m610's Avatar
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    One week to go.

    One week for me, because I pack up on Thursday to get to the track early, camp out, then I am there at sunrise to start with the final preparations.

    In the mean time, progress in getting the car ready...

    The brakes are on, in, and working, except I still need to get out there and bleed them again and test drive it. I don't know if this upgrade will give us more stopping power, but I am pretty sure it will solve our heat problems, which was getting bad.



    That wheel spacer part of the brake upgrade has led to wheel-fender clearance problems. Actually, it is worse, the tire is a little outside of the fender, which LeMons rules do not allow. Picture two cars with outboard tires touching tires during the race. There is a LeMons video showing what happens. One car gets literally launched into the air. Still, I hope we can get that one past tech, and, think of it as more incentive for our drivers to avoid contact.

    Anyway, the problem, so today I called Diamond to see if they could get us a wheel with a larger backspace. They can, in two weeks plus shipping. Then I called Gil and he had a few suggestions, one being seeing if we could get by with a thinner wheel spacer. It turns out we can, maybe 10 mm, compared to the 15 mm we have now. He also suggested rolling the fender, and also mentioned that alloy wheels can often clear the calipers better than steel wheels. We have the C4-style wheels he gave us, but they do not clear the calipers any better than what we already have.

    Alan had the idea of disconnecting the leaf spring to free the a-arms and jacking the wheel up to see how much clearance we would have at full compression. It looks like things barely/almost fit. We'll need those thinner spacers and we'll need to roll the fenders, but I think we'll be OK.





    I took the transmission out and installed the RallyBob pan. It's really pretty, and it would be great if this solved our tranny-death problems. But if it doesn't, or this one is already too used up after two races, we have two spares and a lead on a third one.

    By the way, I can't say enough about how we appreciate RallyBob sending this to us, and how honored we are to have been thought of, and the general Opel-love we have been getting. (See the first few posts I made here. It 's in the "New guy" thread.)



    Including the above, the car has come a long way since Buttonwillow. We replaced a door, motor mounts, fuel pump, added a fuel cutoff, added a radiator switch/relay, fixed our radio/video interference problem, and fixed half a dozen other little things that Buttonwillow broke.

    We're looking forward to the race. The rain is expected to clear by next week which will be nice for racing and wrenching.

    Gil has suggested that we try to make this an Opel event, maybe a NorCal thing. Keith and his brother plan to come, I think Neil is considering it, and Gil said he will be coming out to see the race on Sunday. (I wish he could bring the Conrero.)

    So, come on out and bring you Opels. We'll have shelter for everyone in case the rain lingers of the winds revisit us. We'll have a cooler full of stuff and chairs and, well, we'll see what else can be done.

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    Mike,
    All the best to you and Team TinyVette! It's a shame for us Eastern folks that you are so far away; it would be an honor and hoot to stop by and root for you guys!

    I always thought when this series first was made public in Car and Driver, it was racing with an emphasis on junk cars and a gimmick (tiger tails coming out of the gas tank, giant paper mache tortoise shells for the roof) but after reading about your car and the work you have done to her, she is a real and legit little racing car. The dilemmas and solutions you guys have experienced are real.

    It'll be fun following your exploits for the coming season. The best of luck to all!

    Take Care,
    Mike

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    3000 Post Club My location m610's Avatar
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    Thanks, and Lemons is still all that, and more. There is some serious, or should I say, earnest racing going on, and some inspiring cars, very nice builds that started with junk yard parts. And there is certainly a good bit of parody of racing itself, and still other entries are parodies of the whole automotive world. But the days when LeMons was basically a demolition derby are gone. It's cleaned up a lot and now good clean racing is expected and respected.

    Jay Lamm, the guy who invented this whole thing, has two quotes that I think sums this up for me. One that he often says when in presenting the IOE, the highest award, (Two Opel GT have won this award.) that he says is for the team that "gets it", the team that takes "it" seriously, but not themselves seriously. The other is that he thinks racing is a pretty stupid idea, so if you are going to do it it should be fun, and if it is just for fun, it should be cheap.

    So that's what LeMons is these days, good cheap racing. And art-car endurance racing, and the burning man of motorsports, etc.

    I'd love to take the car back east for some LeMons races and to drop in on Carlisle (spelling?) while we are out there. Maybe when that Compuware sponsorship money finally arrives.

    It may be possible to follow the race live via a web cast or possibly from your iPhone. Often at least one team will put a camera and wifi system or iPhone/camera in their car and will send the video to the paddock and from there on to the Internet. Also, there is an app that will display the lap times and positions of every car in the race as the race is running. It's been handy to have, and nerve wracking, when we are in contention for a position we want to finish the weekend with or a car we really want to beat. I'll get back to folks here if I find out if either of these will be available for this race.
    MikeNotigan likes this.

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    Opeler My location traytodd's Avatar
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    Best of luck. Will see you on the 14th for the Fun Run.

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    My brother is still planning to join me next weekend for the race; most likely both days.
    He's driving up from Fresno so we will probably miss the start (bummer).

    Anything I can bring and contribute (coffee, donuts, car parts, easy women)?

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    Project 1450 supporter... Site Supporter My location RallyBob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m610 View Post
    I'd love to take the car back east for some LeMons races and to drop in on Carlisle (spelling?) while we are out there. Maybe when that Compuware sponsorship money finally arrives.
    If you ever do, give us a heads-up. I'm sure you will need crew members and whatnot.

    There's also a chance a few of us forum members will be running a Lemons car in the next year or so (Opel Manta). Got a car, got the drivers. Just need some time...
    My Flickr photos.
    C.R.L. 9/22/69 - 12/8/99, J.M.L. 3/3/43 - 6/15/04, D.M.L. 9/19/50 - 6/23/10
    E.G. Sauer 2/26/66 - 2/18/10. Rest in peace big guy...

    '70 GT 'Bonnie', '71 Ascona 4-dr turbo - winter beater, '71 Ascona 4-dr 'Turd' - rallycar, '72 Manta Rallye - hillclimb car, '72 Ascona wagon - 'Red', '72 Manta - caged street car, '73 Manta Luxus, '73 Ascona 2-dr, '74 Ascona 2-dr - Project X, '74 Manta Luxus - factory sunroof, '74 Manta ITB racecar, '75 Manta, '75 Sportwagon, '75 Manta - racecar

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    3000 Post Club My location m610's Avatar
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    Bob, that would be great. LeMons has been wondering why no one has brought a Manta yet. OpelWasp was going to start a build but that hasn't happened yet. There have been a number of GTs, and an Ascona showed up at Reno-Fernley last year but went home frustrated because they couldn't get their cage up to spec. (No footer plates, etc.)

    And if we ever, somehow, did get to bring our car to east coast Opel races we'd definitely be hitting up local Opels for crewing and maybe driving.

    I'm looking forward to the Opel Fun Run. Cross-fingers that the car is still in shape for that.

    Keith, we haven't worked out how far we want to go with the hosting of visitors, but we'll let you know if we need anything.

    In other silliness, the attachment is the second issue of the Tinyvette Times. Basically, it is a version of my pre-race email to the team with some photos and other short items thrown in.
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    7,000 Post Club My location wrench459's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m610 View Post
    In other silliness, the attachment is the second issue of the Tinyvette Times. Basically, it is a version of my pre-race email to the team with some photos and other short items thrown in.
    Great news letter Mike!

    Si vis pacem, para bellum "If you want peace, prepare for war"

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    Mike,

    I'll second what Wrench says, too! Great newsletter and just a great fun and friendly vibe you get from reading it! Maybe an issue number 2 later on in the season? I'll be sure to look forward to it! Good luck again in the new season!

    Take Care,
    Mike

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    Project 1450 supporter... Site Supporter My location RallyBob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m610 View Post
    Bob, that would be great. LeMons has been wondering why no one has brought a Manta yet. OpelWasp was going to start a build but that hasn't happened yet.
    My buddy Jim in NH brought it up. He has a slightly wrecked former ITB Opel Manta (so it has the SCCA-legal cage already), and a ton of spares. It needs some TLC and a 'new' engine, which means the best used junk we can find to screw together.

    We know the car won't be a monster in terms of outright speed without spending money (not in the spirit of the rules anyway!), but for endurance racing the Manta should kick butt!
    My Flickr photos.
    C.R.L. 9/22/69 - 12/8/99, J.M.L. 3/3/43 - 6/15/04, D.M.L. 9/19/50 - 6/23/10
    E.G. Sauer 2/26/66 - 2/18/10. Rest in peace big guy...

    '70 GT 'Bonnie', '71 Ascona 4-dr turbo - winter beater, '71 Ascona 4-dr 'Turd' - rallycar, '72 Manta Rallye - hillclimb car, '72 Ascona wagon - 'Red', '72 Manta - caged street car, '73 Manta Luxus, '73 Ascona 2-dr, '74 Ascona 2-dr - Project X, '74 Manta Luxus - factory sunroof, '74 Manta ITB racecar, '75 Manta, '75 Sportwagon, '75 Manta - racecar

  16. #14
    3000 Post Club My location m610's Avatar
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    Bob, make sure the check the LeMons rule book on the cage.

    The Tinyvette is finally getting brake ducts.


    I don't think this race will be web cast, but someone might decide to do it at teh last minute.

    The iPhone app is called Race Monitor.


    Link: Race Monitor for RMonitor

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    Member My location West Coast GT's Avatar
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    Just checked the weather forecast for Sears Point. Showers possible Friday through Sunday.

    Highs 59 F; lows 42 F.

    Chance of rain Friday 40%
    Chance of rain Saturday 50%
    Chance of rain Sunday 60%

    But no never mind, I'm still there looking for the yellow GT to reappear every lap in turns 6 & 8A. I'm getting excited. Already got my Route 66 Mother Road Opel GT Nationals shirt out ready to go.

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    3000 Post Club My location m610's Avatar
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    The car is ready, except for mounting the two tires that are currently at the tire shop.

    Now we are down to stuff like this =


    I guess I have a few more hours of work tonight, sorting tools and parts and washing some clothes. I might even shower. It's been a while.

    We plan to leave tomorrow before 5 PM. I'll camp at the track and will start moving us in to our garage the first thing in the morning. Alan will come by with most parts and donuts in the morning.

    Tech and BS are on Friday, racing on Saturday and Sunday. Rain is predicted but the forecast of the severity keeps changing. No matter. We are ready for rain.

    I'm looking forward to seeing our NorCal friends at the race. I think you'll have a blast.
    Last edited by m610; 03-22-2012 at 12:20 AM. Reason: Cursed tyops!

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    3000 Post Club My location m610's Avatar
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    The car is on the trailer now. Zep and Alan are strapping it down. We'll be on the road within 15 minutes.

    We may update the facebook page during the race, and since Alan is coming home each night to a warm bed, maybe I can get him to update this thread.

    Wish us luck, and we're looking forward to seeing you at the race.

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    I was planning on coming to watch on Saturday with a group of friends. Unfortunately those plans have fallen apart and it looks like I'll have to join you guys another time.

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    Sears Pointless

    Rocky and I will be with the crowds cheering for Tinyvette on Sunday. Can't do Saturday this time, Best wishes whatever the weather ! Make us proud !

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    7,000 Post Club My location wrench459's Avatar
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    Us chaps on the east coast might be able to catch the race.
    Raceway Webcams | Multimedia | Infineon Raceway

    Si vis pacem, para bellum "If you want peace, prepare for war"

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