I know everyone is going to challenge the title, how about "World's Fastest 2.5 NA Contour"?
I thought I would start a blog about my run up to Bonneville. I will be attending the World Finals the first weekend in October. I'm thrilled to have some interest in the Contour because honestly, even my wife says I should have a different race car. It is true, an easier option would be to run a car with better performance aftermarket support, but that is exactly why I run the Contour. Plus it's a great car and there is no turning back now, I'm in way to deep.
My next race is the SORC in Arnold Nebraska on August 11th-15th. I do this race every year because of the variety of events and the hospitality of Western Nebraska. We start on Wednesday with a track day at MPH (Motorsports Park Hastings). George runs the track and we have a blast running our cars around for the better part of the day. Most of us tend to take it easy because we other events to run so George pulls out the track car. The car is a supercharged Chevy Cobalt with a block of wood under the gas pedal. We all get one lap (no practice) to see who is the fastest. This can be very competitive and I'm sure the floor board has a bulging dent under the gas pedal. Then we breakout the Karts, which on a 2.15 mile road course and 45mph top speed you learn to draft quickly. After a blast and hopefully no broken cars we head northwest to Arnold for a welcome party.
Thursday is tech day. Depending on how late the party goes the night before, tech inspection begins around 9am. Since I've been so many years tech is usually goes quick for the Contour. They check all safety items per the rules for the class you chose to run. One of the most important items for this type of racing is the tires, most accidents involve some type of tire failure. I always run a high quality street tire that is no more than two years old, race tires are not ment to be run on county roads and are more prone to puncture because of their light weight design. The road is a Nebraska county road with gravel, holes, dips and a varity of wild life, but it is paved!
After tech inspection I usually go drive the road a few times. The race road is the county road on the north end of Arnold and runs north 30 miles to hwy 2. I run the road looking for any rough spots (which there are many) and verify my check points then make changes to my course notes. It is a very difficult road compared to other open road races, not just flatout for miles and miles. This makes it much more difficult to manage your time because you are constantly in a turn or setting up for one. I prefer running with a navigator (if you can find a good one) because then I can focus on the road. A good navigator can win a race for you but it is not an easy task! My wife has not yet been convinced to ride with me, I think she will when the kid get older but we will have to start slow.
Friday is the one mile shootout. We drive to a remote road about an hour south of Arnold near Calloway to a perfect stretch where several hundred people show up to watch. Keep in mind this is a two lane county road with little or no shoulder and ditches to slow any off road excursion. Most other one mile runs take place on airport runways. The other factor which seems to somewhat limit speeds is the altitude is almost 4000ft. I usually don't run the Contour in the one mile (have more fun riding with a buddy or watching) but this year I can't wait. With all the changes I'm anxious to see how it will run. My goal is around 145 which is about what a stock c5 corvette can run. This will also be help for Bonneville, I will know how long it take to get up to speed.
Then Saturday is raceday.
This may sound like and advertisement for the race, I guess it is, but if you are a car guy this is a dream weekend! One of the great things about these races is any car can run, there are classes from 85mph up to unlimited. Because of this it is very popular and difficult to get a spot in the race, check out the web site www.sorcrace.com.
Now about the car:
The transmission and axles are back from Terry and being installed today. The rear suspension was rebuild to allow for additional camber and toe adjustments. The wild card is the new headers, he is building them and they look fantastic but may not be done until next week. That only leaves me two weeks for break-in (new coating on the FD), dyno, alignment and nut and bolt check. If I can figure it out I will post some video from the dyno and maybe some pictures. I also purchased a set of camber plates from Ground Control and they look great but decided we didn't have the time to rebuild the front strut towers before I go to Nebraska so that will have to wait. They are not bolt-in and I need to do them right!!
Thanks and any feedback is appreciated.