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23Racer
02-12-2016, 12:36 PM
Some of you may have seen some of the videos that I am starting to digitize from that era, but I thought that this one would be particularly interesting on here. This is some of the Qualifying and Race Start from the 24 Hour Race from inside the #80 NTN Suzuki Swift.

Now full disclosure as the stautues of limitations have worn off. After getting our doors blown off for the first few races of the series, as we were the only car running legal in Touring, for this race we stepped it up a bit. Some of the other cars were running larger engines (like 800 cc larger), close ratio boxes, illegal diffs, treated tires, etc... all the joys of Street Stock racing, lol. For this race we were running a balanced and blueprinted motor, different cam phasing from stock, a Suzuki Skunkworks ecu with different fueling, timing and a 10,250 rpm rev limit and a Suzukisport locker diff. Made a huge difference to the raceability of the car and allowed us to carry 3rd gear all the way into Turn 8. Really odd fact was that the car was getting 162 to 165 kmh going into Turn 8 when we shifted to 4th and ..... 162 to 165 kmh by keeping it in 3rd and not shifting. NO FREAKING DIFFERENCE!!!! The biggest changes were coming out of 10 and out of Turn 5.

Also, anyone know who the super kind Corner Marshal was? Enjoy.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fem7rrKRuSc&feature=youtu.be

Eric

Pete M
02-12-2016, 02:30 PM
the only car running legal in Touring

Well, that kinda hurts. It's also not true. If you recall, we were not exactly at the pointy end for the first bit, until I realized what the difference between legal and accepted was.

I also felt that I jumped in a little too deep, and changed practises that I'd learned, because experienced guys told me something different.

I like all of these new videos, as it reminds me of the time where I was more active, and had a lot of (expensive) fun.

23Racer
02-12-2016, 02:53 PM
Pete, it was a joke. No personal slights intended on anyone other than myself and it was 25 years ago. A lot of the cars that raced in the Series were still legal, however there were a number of cars with interesting interpretations of the rules. In our case, we were down a ton on power and displacement and we started to interpret the rules differently as well just so we could keep up.

As you are aware, Showroom Stock style racing is the hot bed of creative engineering. We all have stories, first and second hand, of things that escaped sSrutineering and if they escape Scrutineering, the cars are legal...

Eric

Pete M
02-12-2016, 03:09 PM
I knew it was a joke. The smiley face didn't stay. :)

Oh, I agree that some cars were more legal than others! It's the racer's job to go faster, the Scrutineers' to find the inconsistencies. As they say, it takes one to find one.

No hard feelings at all.

DavidSim
02-12-2016, 04:08 PM
What kind of lap times were the cars turning back then in the Firehawk series ?

Pete M
02-12-2016, 04:13 PM
Eric and I were in Touring. On the all season 14", 60-series Firestones, I think the pole for my first race was 1:45.x. I'm pretty sure I was in the 1:48s.

GS was mainly in the 1:40s and up, if I recall. There might have been a VERY strong Camaro in the 1:38s.

Sports ran on the SV-X, I think, and GS on the high performance summer tire.

abrracing
02-12-2016, 04:40 PM
Ya well you were all a bunch of cheaters lol. I remember talking to Saleen AFTER they quit "showroom stock" racing in the Mustangs. Once they realized I was in fact Canadian the crew chief told me the only thing stock on the whole car was the shell. They had a complete "stock looking" K-frame where every mounting point was changed, the rear diff was only stock in appearance, including the limited slip, axles and housing was modified. That's how they got their cars so low.................. lol

23Racer
02-12-2016, 04:57 PM
Too bad that Camaro didn't finish the season... It was extremely strong and laid really long lines coming out of 5 under acceleration.

Pete is right on with the times. You have to remember that this was on the old Mosport which was at least a couple of seconds slower. The cars were full stock interior cars that weighed a ton. I think our Suzuki was the lightest car in the series and we were still around 2450 lbs and the tires, while durable as hell, were extremely long lasting (code for really really hard). It was harder to pull the 1:49's out of our Suzuki than to do mid 30's in any of my cars today. The cars really moved all over the place and slid around a ton.

It was tons of fun, we had grids of over 60 cars for almost every race, it was on TV and they paid prize money. Also, at some races guys didn't make the grid as they qualified too slow and had to go home without actually racing.

Good times.

Eric

23Racer
02-12-2016, 04:59 PM
Pete, remember camber shaving, LOL. Hot trick in camber controlled cars.

Eric

Pete M
02-12-2016, 05:51 PM
Pete, remember camber shaving, LOL. Hot trick in camber controlled cars.

Eric

I worked at Tiremag just before that, and had access to the shaver. I helped develop that stuff!

terrydale
02-12-2016, 06:52 PM
Pete, it was a joke. No personal slights intended on anyone other than myself and it was 25 years ago. A lot of the cars that raced in the Series were still legal, however there were a number of cars with interesting interpretations of the rules. In our case, we were down a ton on power and displacement and we started to interpret the rules differently as well just so we could keep up.
As you are aware, Showroom Stock style racing is the hot bed of creative engineering. We all have stories, first and second hand, of things that escaped sSrutineering and if they escape Scrutineering, the cars are legal... Eric

"Creative interpretation of the rules" is the credo of the serious racer!! If you go too far - and get caught - at least now you know where the limit is!! :D

If you aren't looking for - and pushing - the limits, you are too slow!!! :)

terrydale
02-12-2016, 06:59 PM
Like I have always said, you only really find out what happened at the year-end banquet! ;)

I was the Series Chief Steward for the Canadian Firestone Firehawk Series in 1992 and had no idea all this was going on!! :D

That was also the last year I raced and I ran in the US IMSA Firestone Firehawk at their Sebring 12 Hour with Roger Elliot and Bill Lamb in Wayne Hosaki's Mazda RX 7. Tom Hnatiw, Rick Bye, Phil 'Bubba' Strudwick - lots more Canuckians there for that one!!

Great series - north and south!!

23Racer
02-12-2016, 07:39 PM
I still would like to see a tear down of that Camaro and that MX3 and a certain CRX just to see if the stories were true. I think everyone else was just garden variety bending.

It was a great series. Wait until I put the TSN broadcast of the 24 hour race up. With all the incidents, you actually get to watch and hear Tom Hnaitiw loose his voice in real time.

Eric

23Racer
02-12-2016, 07:58 PM
Like I have always said, you only really find out what happened at the year-end banquet! ;)

I was the Series Chief Steward for the Canadian Firestone Firehawk Series in 1992 and had no idea all this was going on!! :D

That was also the last year I raced and I ran in the US IMSA Firestone Firehawk at their Sebring 12 Hour with Roger Elliot and Bill Lamb in Wayne Hosaki's Mazda RX 7. Tom Hnatiw, Rick Bye, Phil 'Bubba' Strudwick - lots more Canuckians there for that one!!

Great series - north and south!!

Did that RX7 have the extended mileage gas tank? I own a big tank that supposedly came from that car? If it went much longer than an hour....

Eric

Stephen
02-12-2016, 08:31 PM
I drove that MX3...I think.
Was it the one run by Mauro Lanaro and driven by Stephane Proulx, Jason McCann, Greg Pootmans and myself?

23Racer
02-12-2016, 08:58 PM
Yes. There were interesting rumours about that car.

Eric

Stephen
02-12-2016, 09:20 PM
Well, it's 24 years on...let's hear it.

terrydale
02-12-2016, 09:38 PM
Did that RX7 have the extended mileage gas tank? I own a big tank that supposedly came from that car? If it went much longer than an hour....Eric

Well. interesting story about that car!!

Bill Lamb was driving and called in to say that he had 'no drive'. I asked him to describe what was happening and he said that when he hit the gas, the speedo went up but the car had no drive - translation, the clutch done blowed up. He had pulled off track driver's left past turn 3 and I went to race control to see the Race Director - Marty Kaufman - to ask about pulling the car back in - no way. Then I asked about doing a driver swap and I was approved to replace Bill at the car.

We all descended on the car but nobody was allowed to touch it except the driver - that would be me. 30 minutes later, the clutch was sitting on the ground still smoking! :) Back then I owned and operated my own shop and was pretty up to speed. Not like now - old, fat and apparently not nearly as smart! :eek:

Then the scrabble to find a replacement disc. The only one we could locate in the paddock was from a newer RX7 - slightly bigger. I installed that and figured that I could maybe get it to jam/lock up and we could get to the checkered flag that way. I reassembled everything back together - on my own - suited up and re-entered the race. We didn't get as far as we hoped but we certainly put on a great show for the crowd that gathered to watch!

Sidebar - we were blaming Bill for tearing the clutch up but the real reason I found out when I had removed the bolts from the pressure plate. They were standard bolts not shoulder bolts meaning that the pressure plate wasn't centered putting stress on the disc until it finally exploded. Proving that using the correct parts is never a bad idea.

Amazing experience and a cool way to end 25 years of racing - at Sebring!! :)

23Racer
02-12-2016, 10:04 PM
Stephen, you have a pm.

Stephen
02-12-2016, 10:21 PM
Back at ya.

23Racer
02-12-2016, 10:30 PM
Back at you.

fast Ed
02-12-2016, 10:30 PM
Didn't we figure that the MX3 had a 2.5L V6 swapped in place of the 1.8??

I was in the Turtle team Escort GT in Touring class for the 24 hr that year with Neil Laing and Greg Coburn, turned out to be the only Canadian Firehawk race I drove in. Our car was definitely very stock and legal, we had even changed a few things on the car prior to the race to be sure there were no scrutineering issues. Pete, I'm thinking you crewed for us at that event?

From what I recall, even Neil who is a pretty good shoe could only get about a 1:50 or so out of the car. Upside was that it was dead-nuts reliable for the whole race, the only work needed other than tires and fuel was a set of front pads about 18 hours in.


cheers
Ed

Stephen
02-12-2016, 10:39 PM
Eric, your turn. You've been PM'ed

Pete M
02-12-2016, 11:00 PM
Didn't we figure that the MX3 had a 2.5L V6 swapped in place of the 1.8??

I was in the Turtle team Escort GT in Touring class for the 24 hr that year with Neil Laing and Greg Coburn, turned out to be the only Canadian Firehawk race I drove in. Our car was definitely very stock and legal, we had even changed a few things on the car prior to the race to be sure there were no scrutineering issues. Pete, I'm thinking you crewed for us at that event?

From what I recall, even Neil who is a pretty good shoe could only get about a 1:50 or so out of the car. Upside was that it was dead-nuts reliable for the whole race, the only work needed other than tires and fuel was a set of front pads about 18 hours in.


cheers
Ed

I've got loads of stories. Like:
- how did Phil's Camaros do 1.75 hours on the first tank of fuel, less than an hour on every subsequent fill?
- that MX-3 was running a 2.5L for sure. Same engine family, same block
- ok, I might have had a little bit more fuel capacity in my tank. Had to weld 2 tanks together, they might have accidentally welded the 2 big "halves". I put a tube around/up from the drain, so it would drain the correct volume if checked.
- the Camaros with cage tubes that restricted the head removal on one side, and that side had big bores. :)
- that "cough" Suzuki that popped the fuel rail off the injectors in the pit lane because of so much fuel pressure.
- the yellow CRX that spit flames out the side exit exhaust on downshifts.
- the Dicom VW Golf that pulled out and passed a Camaro on Montreal's front straight, totally under acceleration. Exit speed my a**.
- the strong Camaro that was about 2" wider at the back than any other.
- the 944S2s. In Tech: "This gear calculation seems wrong. Go check the other one to compare." Yeah, they were both wrong, but the same as each other.
- LSDs in the Acuras. In the jacking up process (in Toronto), a crew member went under the car with Jack stands and a pry bar. They popped out the driveshaft out of the trans before the scrutineers spun the wheel.
- LOVE this one. The Eagle Talon in Tech in Montreal, with the ECU on the bench in the ASN trailer being checked. A crew member saw the car, thought it needed to go back to the team. He hopped in and drove away. 2 harnesses, 2 ECUs. Lol.
- I know of one team running a turbo Talon, with those boost recorder boxes that ASN Canad supplied. Every race, they'd pressurize them with the compressed air tank, with tons of pressure. Blew the diagram every time.

That's it for now..... :)

Ed, I was the crew chief for the Escort and the Mustang in that 24. The Mustang drivers kept hitting other cars, including the Denon Porsche 3 times alone! 3 rads, if I recall. It was a challenge to schedule pit stops and fuel fills. The Mustang went 45-50 minutes, the Escort 1 hour, 45 minutes on each tank! I remember trying to calculate in my head if the Mustang was going to be classified as a finisher on Sunday morning. Lol.

Some fun times.

Pete M
02-12-2016, 11:05 PM
Didn't we figure that the MX3 had a 2.5L V6 swapped in place of the 1.8??

I was in the Turtle team Escort GT in Touring class for the 24 hr that year with Neil Laing and Greg Coburn, turned out to be the only Canadian Firehawk race I drove in. Our car was definitely very stock and legal, we had even changed a few things on the car prior to the race to be sure there were no scrutineering issues. Pete, I'm thinking you crewed for us at that event?

From what I recall, even Neil who is a pretty good shoe could only get about a 1:50 or so out of the car. Upside was that it was dead-nuts reliable for the whole race, the only work needed other than tires and fuel was a set of front pads about 18 hours in.


cheers
Ed

ED! I remember under a lengthy yellow Neil had to, shall we say, visit the little boy's room. Had to pit very fast for a paint can lid or something to use as a "vessel". Undoes his suit, starts to, uh fill the cap a few times. Of course, we have to back to green before he's done. Lol.