Looks like all of those sleepless nights paid off! For testing, we were running ~100 less horsepower than we were running last season so that we can safely break in the car. We were faster than we were last season.
How is this possible? Let’s take a look at how far we’ve come with the Evolution: last season, Dan was piloting what was a nearly stock Evolution VII with some minor suspension and power modifications. This year, we’ve added a world class suspension setup, thanks to KW; completely stiffened up the chassis with Cartel’s roll cage and seam welding; added our own Professional Awesome! front splitter; upgraded our brakes with Girodisc-recommended Raybestos pads; gutted the car as much as legally possible; reinforced the engine with a combination of help from Cosworth, JM Fabrications, Blox Racing, MA Performance, T1 Race Development, and Zeitronix as well as our Professional Awesome! mechanical know-how. Overall, the Evolution’s been through a lot these past months.
The first day at Gingerman found Dan facing a very wet track and cold ambient temperatures, much less than ideal for testing a race car. However, we dedicated the day to ensuring that all bolts were tight and everything worked as it should. The lower level of stress was also welcome for Grant and Mike who had been awake for at least 48 hours finishing the car. For the record, when Mike doesn’t have sleep, he randomly bursts into fits of hysterical laughing and psychobabble, which provided entertainment for everyone.
Sunday, the racing gods smiled upon Gingerman Raceway, giving Professional Awesome! perfect testing conditions. The track was dry, the sun shone, and temperatures were steady at 70º all day. Dan took the car out in the morning to really give the car a workout. Within a few laps, we were consistently seeing times that were significantly faster than last season’s. on new street tires. with less power. This speaks volumes of the car’s progress, the quality of the parts used, and the aptitude of our mechanics.
The Professional Awesome! front splitter also proved its worth, drawing admiration from both Dan and I, who love the fact that high speed kinks and turns do nothing to upset the car, and others in the paddock, who consistently drooled over the splitter and asked repeatedly “Where did you get that splitter?” Happily, and with a bit of a smirk, I would reply “Our garage.” Massive props to Grant, Mike, and Jordan for their work there!
After Dan’s morning session, I got behind the wheel after a year absence from tracking the Evolution. Never before have I felt a car with so much grip, I constantly found myself having to reprogram my brain to match the Evolution’s abilities. Where the past cars I’ve raced would require a very careful and comparatively cautious approach to driving, the Evolution demanded that you forget everything you thought you knew. Every lap, it would tell you to brake deeper, to carry more speed; it demanded that you turn off any notion of fear or hesitation, the car can and will perform like a true track star. After adjusting to the fact that this car will enter the corners at least 20 mph faster than any other car I’ve raced, I was able to see how much potential there is. Call it bias, but the Professional Awesome! Evolution will be able to compete with the best this season.
Speaking of which, the official start to our season is this weekend at the New Jersey Motorsports Park! We are all excited to get back into competition mode and we expect great things. Keep an eye on the site for updates from the track!
Also, thanks to Anthony Mason Pitts for the ride and his help at the track! For more pictures, check out the Gingerman 04/2010 Gallery below!