Driver Experience: John Carson at Redline Time Attack

Pic Courtesy of RLTA

Photo Courtesy of: www.redlinetimeattack.com

First off, I want to thank Attack the Track for letting me come on here and share my experience at Redline Time Attack.

Back in November, they held an exhibition event at Buttonwillow Raceway Park on the notorious 13CW configuration.  The birthplace of U.S. Time Attack. The idea of this event was to kick off the return of Redline Time Attack, and get people pumped about the 2013 season. This was really something special for history.  Although I never participated in Redline in previous years, I was told by Old School Time Attackers, that it had that old Redline feel to it.  I ended up taking home First in Street AWD, and also took home the Street Class Champ award, as I set fastest time in Street AWD, FWD, and RWD.  The overall turnout was great, with a majority of the cars making out the Street, Enthusiasts, and Modified Classes.  Hopefully more unlimited cars will come out for the 2013 season.   

My winning lap was a 1:59.407.  Funny enough, this actually would of been good enough for 2nd in AWD Street at this year’s Super Bowl of Time Attack – Super Lap Battle.  I still have a stock turbo, stock aero, cams, bottom end, intake manifold, throttle body, etc.  If you need a driver for your Time Attack car, I am available!

This was my first time cracking two minutes on BW CW13.  It has taken me six visits over the span of a year and a half, through rain and extreme heat, to finally crack the two minute mark!  My two previous visits were a 2:02 flat and a 2:02.7 in the less than stellar and extreme summer conditions.  Buttonwillow in June and August is HOT!  Both of these days had an ambient temp over 90 degrees. One word: greasy.  The cooler weather for this event really helped over my previous efforts; however, the track conditions weren’t perfect either, considering it rained up until the day of event, washing away any type of grip that was laid down previously.  The Robispec suspension set-up, with it’s oversteer characteristics, proved this in Riverside, Buttonhook, and several other areas on the track.  This was especially true in the early morning practice session without any sort of heat in the pavement.  It did make for good fun though! 

Here is a very basic run down on the car:

2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX GSR SE (Evo), 3376lbs w/driver, 330whp on KT Motoring’s Dyno Dynamics, Robispec  KW V3 Street Tire set up, Hankook RS-3 -255/40/17

 RLTA Street Champ

On my 1:59.4 lap, I actually got locked out shifting to fifth gear on the back straight coming out Phil Hill. I probably could have went high 58 just from that alone. The lockout issue I experienced turns out to be a common occurrence on aftermarket Street Clutch Disc’s as they start to wear.   The wear creates a sort of dead zone in the clutch engagement which affects 5th gear speed-shifting.  When I came into the pits, and popped my head out of my car, I heard the announcer call my name over the PA, “ John Carson currently sits in first with a 1:59.407”.  It was a great feeling to hear that! I then heard them call out 2nd place, “Ben Siu, currently in 2nd place with a 1:59.65X”.  He actually pulled in right after this, and I delivered the news to him personally since he didn’t hear it.  His emotions were mixed.  On one hand he set a personal best for himself, and on the other hand, he was in 2nd place behind me!

Here is Ben Siu in his Evo.  He actually ended up being 2nd fastest out all the street sub classes.  Evo powah!!!

Ben

A friend of mine, Gilbert, helped me adjust the clutch engagement hoping to rectify the lockout going into the second TA session.  I was going to go for a 58 lap in the second TA session now that I had tasted 59’s, but unfortunately, the rain started to come down on and off during the latter half of the day.  I had parked close to Ben, and like I mentioned before, he was only behind me by 0.25 seconds! I was keeping an eye on him to see if he would go out again. He is notorious for coming back late in day and clenching a win. I’ve seen him do it multiple times this year!  The rain kept coming and going.  Ben had actually packed up, and then unpacked; only to pack up again thinking the rain was clearing, only to start raining again. Poor guy! You shouldn’t have left early buddy!

Looking into the sky, and the direction from which the rain clouds were coming, it did not look good. The clouds had a dark grey color composition to them.  You could see the rain coming down in the distance as the sun shined through.  It was quite beautiful, minus its adverse effect on trying to set a fast lap.   Multiple people said the track was losing grip. I was only going to go out if he did.

I decided to save my tires and brakes for another day, and hold out to see if my time would hold.  Later that day around five PM, it was discovered that my time was fast enough for the Street AWD win and the Street Class Champ award, as my time was faster than all the Street AWD, FWD, and RWD competitors.  

 Here I am with model Nicole Reckers. She is quite gentle on the eyes isn’t she?

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I would like to give a big thanks to all my sponsors that support my endeavors. I am so lucky to have their support!  This couldn’t have been possible without their superior products, advice, and fantastic service.

A big thanks to KT Motoring. They are one of the best Evo shops in Socal bar none!   Thanks to KW Suspensions for the amazing V3 coil over suspension and advice on set up for the rain (even though it didn’t end up raining).  ETS (Extreme Turbo Systems). Although no ETS parts were on my car at the time; they will only help me go faster at my future events!  Fuel Injector Clinic for their awesome injectors that keep my engine running on that corn juice (E85)!  And thanks to Swift Springs for the prize they gave me for the win!

This is the Trophy I got for being the fastest in Street Class out of all the sub-classes. 

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As a lot of you know, racing is not all glitz and glamour.  I had an ARK multi function display installed at KT Motoring prior to the event to monitor Oil Pressure, Boost, and Water Temperature.   I’ve been very lucky so far that I haven’t had any serious mishaps, a true testament to the 4G63’s reliability.  

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The adapter fitting that goes into the oil filter adapter for the Oil Pressure sensor decided to randomly snap in half going down the road.  I didn’t even run over anything.  It just snapped in half from the pressure.  Upon further inspection, the metal appeared to be very soft and brittle as we tried to tap it out.  The fitting not only snapped in half, it actually welded itself to the oil filter housing, as shown in the picture above.  A BIG THANK YOU to everyone at KT Motoring for getting my car up and running on short notice! 

Lesson learned:  Cheap little parts like fittings with poor material composition can cost you big time!  It could have been much worse, and I could have hurt my motor just days before the event!

Once again, thank you to KT Motoring, ETS (Extreme Turbo Systems), KW Suspensions, and Fuel Injector Clinic for the support!

Thanks to Redline Time Attack for hosting a great event.  Based on the car counts for this event,  Time Attack is still alive and well! 

Cheers!

John Carson

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