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Seems as though the ducting worked very well - my coolant temps were back to normal - sitting around 180-185F, and oil temps were also good, at around 205-210F. The car ran flawlessly yesterday! I was having some issues with my wideband O2 sensor resetting itself, but when it was working the AFRs were sitting between 12.5-13.0 at WOT .
Jamie came with me to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park and was my "race engineer" for the day. It was awesome - we got a whole bunch of data after every session including lap times, tire pressures, tire temps, suspension settings, etc. We debriefed after every session and I explained to him how the car was acting in different corners... it was really cool - I've never had to do that before and it forced me to think about what the car was doing while it was on track, and then to explain it.
Seems as though the strategy worked! At the beginning of the day I was running 1:43s (still getting the gitters out - it was my first time back since the crash). By the third session I was back to my times from last year - 1:38s, and then the 4th I dropped to the 1:36s and stayed between there and 1:37 the rest of the day. I may have been able to break the 1:35s if I was running with the same fresh rubber as I had in the morning, but it was really cool to feel the improvements of the car's handling.
Here's a video of session 4: Started out with a battle with an STi, then another with doogee, and finished off with a couple of Porsches
The no point-by passing is tricky because sometimes when you go to pass, you aren't sure if the other driver saw you or not. The "close" call with the STi was just that - I didn't think he saw me so I back off in the braking zone - good thing!
My battle with the STi also gave me my first real experience with aero effects – going up the back straight when I was drafting him, I hit the rev limiter in 5th super EARLY compared to sessions where I didn’t have anyone to draft. Very cool