The results are in! After our win at Autobahn Country Club, we’ve leapfrogged the field and found ourselves tied with the Cobb Tuning powerhouse. This puts PA at a very comfortable position just a week before the Redline Time Attack event at Sebring. If the team keeps up its momentum, we should find ourselves out in California competing against the best of the best in the time attack world! First things first though: Sebring is next week and you’d be just downright wrong to think that the team would be sitting around doing nothing – the palatial Professional Awesome compound has been filled with activity as the team works to keep improving the Evolution.
On the Professional Awesome-designed side of things, Grant and Mike have finished a one-off headlight deletion kit and Mike has made a solution to remove Mitsubishi’s fake NACA duct on the Evolution’s hood. The headlight deletion solution involved a great deal of patience and skill as well as a good deal of fiberglass-ing know how. The factory headlamp assemblies weigh in at over 7 pounds each, which on its own doesn’t sound like a great deal of weight, but it’s important to keep in mind where that weight is located. The further that the weight on a car is from its center of gravity, the greater the effect it has on the car’s handling; in the simplest terms, consider holding 15 pounds of weight on a ~7 foot lever arm. Suddenly that 15 pounds of weight has become equivalent to 105 lb-ft of torque (Torque=Force*Length of Lever Arm) acting on the car. Having this weight at the outermost point of a vehicle creates a substantial amount of resistance to change in motion – this is what all of those engineering types refer to as a polar moment of inertia. By creating a lightweight fiberglass shell of the headlight profile, the polar moment has been effectively lowered, which, as you may have guessed, is a very good thing. On a side note, they just look cool too.
On Mike’s end he decided to stay true to removing anything that doesn’t have a valid function and the fake NACA duct fell squarely in his crosshairs. Bear in mind that the Evolution does act as a homolgation car for Mitsubishi’s racing programs, which means that to legally compete in various rallying/road racing programs, Mitsubishi had to make a production car that shared the majority of its architecture and feature with its racing car. This is why we find fake NACA ducts on cars. On Mitsubishi’s rally cars, the NACA duct serves duty as an air inlet for the intake due to radiator and intercooler location under the hood. On the production Evolution, the radiator and intercooler find themselves at the front of the car, just behind the bumper, which allows for a more traditional intake tract, rendering the NACA duct useless. Lewin being the man he is and an opponent of useless things on automobiles, decided that it was time to remove the NACA duct and make a smoother hood for the Evolution. In the racing world, NACA ducts rely on acting as an obstruction to airflow so that they may channel air into the engine bay (or into the cabin, towards braking systems, etc.) and their very specific design guarantees that air will be directed to exactly where the engineers would intend. In our case, we aren’t looking to redirect our intake plumbing to make use of the NACA duct so blocking off the duct actually works in our favor. While this may not be the single greatest enhancement to the car, we’re all staunch believers in the “every little bit helps” philosophy when it comes to building cars.
Speaking of airflow, brakes are also huge fans of getting lots of air. Having an intimate understanding of the needs and wants of braking systems just happens to be one of Grant’s strong points, which is why he has decided to create a brake ducting system for the Evolution. Grant has developed a system that uses the factory dust shields as a template to which he has added a generous amount of ducting to keep the brake temperatures within a reasonable realm of operating temperatures. For road racing, the importance of keeping your brakes at proper temperature can’t be stressed enough – asked me how I know… Here’s a hint: it involves the same car you see here taking a trip to the beach up at Gingerman due to overheated brakes. Not fun. With guaranteed high track and ambient temperatures at Sebring, it was imperative to ensure that the brakes stay in a healthy operating temperature range to make sure that Dan can bring the car back down to speed without risking a close encounter with the cement walls that make Sebring so treacherous.
As far as the custom fabrication at Professional Awesome is concerned, that about sums it up for now and I would like to take the chance for a shameless plug now : everything you see on our site can be part of your race car build! Feel free to contact us and let us know your goals for your track car and we’ll happily design and engineer a solution just for your car and needs, with the attention to detail and quality that you’ve come to expect from Professional Awesome.
On the sponsor-provided side of things, MA Performance has stepped up their game and provided Professional Awesome with some very high quality upgrades. While our old exhaust system was adequate, we couldn’t help but think that it could be done better. Knowing this, we contacted MAP and they designed and fabricated this beauty of an exhaust system. While it may not be a “streetable” exhaust, if you’re looking to extract the most power out of your car, this is a very worthy upgrade. The quality of the welds and materials used is second to none – the guys at MAP really know what they’re doing!
MA Performance didn’t stop at the exhaust though – they gave use a full intake porting treatment as well as full thermal coating on the intake manifold. The ported intake tract will provide a smoother and more laminar flow, which will aid the combustion process, giving us (you guessed it) more power! The thermal coating will also keep out intake temperatures lower; cooler air is dense air and dense air allows for more fuel, more fuel leads to (again, I’m sure all those smarty-pants readers out there have guessed it) MORE POWER! Where the Evolution was no slouch before, there’s certainly no harm in adding more goodness to our race car. We can’t stress enough how good MA Performance is – go ahead and give them a call, you’ll be amazed at the service, knowledge, and quality of the products they sell.
Sebring should be a great event for the team and we look forward to seeing our fans out there!