June Test Day: Suspension Proving


All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. When you are preparing for a race like the Baja 1000 sometimes it feels like it is All work and No play. Even when you head out to the track to test the car sometimes you find yourself just thinking about how the car handles, how the suspension is working. Is that motor keeping up, is your gearing right, what about lighter tires, what happens if you add more weight here or there. But then you find yourself flying through the air and all that goes away for a moment as you remember how fun all of this is!

With all the planning, all the work and all the fabrication, sometimes you forget about the racing and the driving. Sometimes it gets lost that this car isn’t just all about improving the car and it is actually all about racing the car. I think this gets lost sometimes, I don’t think most people realize how much work goes in behind the scenes when a car is being prepared for a race. With “we restored this car in 4 days” TV shows and 2 minute racing clips on YouTube, it gets lost how much work goes into each one of these race cars between every event!

This was our first opportunity to really test a lot of major changes that we have made. New springs, newly valved shocks, newly developed rear suspension entirely really… it was all spectacular. The car has never felt so good and we still have a lot of tuning to do to optimize it! The suspension is as plush as a class 11 can get and produces so much more grip than it has before. Matt Wilsons suspension calculator was basically spot on so the time and effort he put in really has created a valuable tool.

We also tested out our new transmission as combined with our current motor. This transmission is smooth as silk and geared to the current Class 11 rules. It gave us a little more mechanical advantage to the power that our engine is producing.
A test day is never complete without making sure our crew has a chance to see what this little car can do. If you have never been in a class 11, it is hard to believe what they are capable of. You hear the specs of power and weight an see this little full fender bug and just make an assumption that it is going to perform a certain way. But when you experience it, wow, it’s a bit of a surprise.

Locally we test our vehicle at CORE, Colorado Offroad Extreme. This place is close, it is fun and unfortunately they are having trouble with insurance changes that are causing them to have a lot fewer days open than normal. We really want to test this car a lot more frequently, but unfortunately we just don’t have a local resource to use anymore. CORE has been our offroad family for years now and we really hope that they are able to keep it going after this setback.

After a full day we packed it all up and too it back to the shop with a small list of things to sort out before the next test day.

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