Angry Panda Racing 2014 Super Lap Battle – 2nd Place Limited AWD

This year there was alot of development done to the car and stepping up to big boy tires (Hankook TDs 285/30/18) for 2014 Super Lap Battle. It was just Emilio Cervantes from 949Racing and the guys and gals from FFTEC Motorsports that came out to support me and my Angry Panda Racing car. Weather was fantastic all day long. Perfect for breaking old records and setting fast times. In our Limited AWD class, 7 teams came out to compete. Almost 60 teams came out in total for the biggest event of the year. At the end of the day, my driver Emilio Cervantes beat JC Meynet’s old BRP 13CW standing lap record of 1:48.550 with a 1:47.425.
However, Professional Awesome owned by Daniel O’Donnel, who also came out was just too fast for us. They spent an entire year rebuilding and resetting up their new Evo 8 from scratch. They left no stone unturned and had a complete package capable of record breaking times. Their driver was Jeff Westphal, a professional racing driver who was also piloting GST Motorspost Subaru L machine in AWD Unlimited class.
We had our hands full after hearing their 1:44.062 time over the loud speaker in the early morning session. Realistically, we were fighting for 2nd place. Not blowing up, crashing, breaking stuff was the top goals heading into the event. Next was getting a sub 50 lap.
Before the day started, I had to swap to fresh Raybestos ST47 race pads in the front and bleed the brakes all around as they were down to 3mm of pad. In the morning sessions, we had a few issues to tackle, which slowed down some valuable seat time for Emilio. First was getting him to fitted in my car and adjusting the steering wheel length, sitting position. We ended up getting his wheel to fit on my quick release, which brought it 2.5in closer towards him. It was originally interfering with his knees and was completely unsafe and undriveable. So it had to be fixed. He is a lot taller than me, which was why. After sorting that out, he was able to go out in session and set a 51.5 lap feeling out the car. Later, there was a wastegate issue as something wasn’t tightened down, which allowed a lot of boost, which then blew a coupler off the licp during the first hot lap. That ruined our session 2. We also had to adjust the boost curves on how the power came on. It came on a bit too hard and felt more like an on/off switch, where you hit full throttle and you get some boost then all of it. So we smoothen that out with the help of Anthony Cardinale at FFTEC Motorsports. So far we have not even set an official time. Session 3, 4, 5 were the sessions where would actually set some times officially. We would adjust tire pressures after every session to dial it in a bit better. We however never touched the rear wing adjustments nor the suspension dampening adjustments and ran it as it was. The balance was almost there to his liking as it was.
As Emilio was getting more comfortable with the car, he said 47s were possible after doing 1:49s in session 4. Getting on the podium as just a wouldn’t have been enough to be on podium. On the last session of the day, Emilio was able to set a 1:47.425 in a car he has never driven before. He told me after that session that he had a mid 46 in the car if he drove a bit better, but it is what it is. In fact he did 3x 1:47 laps that session, so a 1:47 was not a fluke. Hell, I haven’t even driven the car with the new setup so I had no idea what it could do. I was actually behind the pit lane wall, timing him and yelled with joy when he did the 1:47 time. No freaking way!! 3rd was just on our heels driven by Ivo with Renner Motorsports in their lightweight Subaru GC with 500whp. They set a time of 1:48.5xx also beating the old record.
Overall, I was very happy we broke the old record with my car, but Professional Awesome was too far ahead and too fast and took home the AWD Limited Class win along with resetting the previous record by over 4s with a 1:44.062. All in all, a total of 12 drivers/teams did sub 50 lap times. 7 class records fell that day. Amazing!! The level of competition was fierce this year. If this same car ran last year in its current setup, we would have taken victory and the class and overall class record, but that’s assuming we had all our ducks in a row and all the variables like weather and track conditions were the same of course.
It was quite clear where my car needs some help to make it go even faster. Need to overhaul the brakes to a Big Brake Kit, shed another 200lbs from the car using skin doors, carbon fiber driveshaft, BBK, headlight replacement skin covers, delete rear mustache bar and replace side diff bushings, remove the heater core, and sound deadening which can be done. Install a 6pt cage as well as a fire suppression system. Installing a flat-bottom and revising the rear diffuser would also be beneficial.
Great job to the team and to all the sponsors that supported us to get to where we are today.
FFTEC Motorsports
Wasp Composites
Modern Automotive Performance
GF Suspension/Chassis
Massimo Power
Hankook Tires
949 Racing
ATP Turbo
Extreme Turbo Systems
My wallet :)

Thank you to all my friends, fans, family for supporting what I do
Here is the hot lap

-Zhong Cheung

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