Off to test!

The challenges just keep coming and we just have to take them on as they come.  The least of our worries, but adding to them, is the fact that Jonathan’s crew credentials for the test went to our old address, and Rodney’s to Australia.  More significant – yesterday we finally got the two sets of custom D2 wheels, with the 18×12 rears allowing us to run 335 rear tires.  Every bit helps there.


First challenge is that the valve stems are inexplicably on the INSIDE of the rim.  On all of them.  This will make checking and setting tire pressures much more difficult.  That’s the last thing we need on the Mountain.  Even more annoyingly, and I get all the blame for this one, is that I somehow specified 73mm pilot bore when we actually need 75.  We can’t machine the wheels so we have to machine the brake hats.  Fortunately, this is where my unorthodox CNC process really pays off.  I can just put the fixture in the vise, do a 2-minute program and machine the parts with 0.001″ concentricity.


No messing with setup.  It did take a few tries to dial it in just so – we want the new wheels to work, but also the old ones.  There is a 0.020″ cut depth window for making it all work and we eventually got it just right.

The bad news is that the D1PPS is not going, and Rodney is understandably disappointed, but we knew it was going to be tight.  More challenges here too, as some crossed communications resulted in us receiving the wrong size tires, but the correct ones are on their way now.  Would have been a bigger problem if we were taking the car with us tomorrow, but as it is just another glitch that is now dealt with. The car will be ready to run when we return next week and for the test Rodney and Jonathan get to share the D2RS.  Tristan is staying at the shop to continue working on it. We have two main goals for the testing – Jonathan will evaluate the changes (bodywork, aero, tire sizes, blipper) and Rodney will get familiar with the race course at speed.  We are not after fastest possible times here, just data gathering and familiarization.  The real race is coming soon enough.

Aside from dealing with wheel issues we had a long laundry list of items to take care of.  Jay and Chris have been diligently working to check them off one by one.  Brake updates, bodywork fitment, fabrication of various parts and pieces, etc.  So now the final part – loading the trailer.  Car goes in first, then all kinds of stuff from tools to gear to spares.

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This is the first time we’ve seen the car off the lift, with bodywork on.  I’m happy! 🙂  It’s the size of an Elise (well, about a foot wider but same length), weighs 500 lbs than the current version of the Lotus, and has a 660hp 6.2L v8 mated to a sequential gearbox.  And it’s 50-state emissions legal.  Yep, this is how we do.

Now to see what happens next. Tomorrow at 5 am we start on a 1,300 mile journey which we have to complete in 1.5 days.  Weather forecast on the Mountain is snow. Wish us luck (of the better kind than what we’ve been having, preferably).

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