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A Rollercoaster week of Time Attacks with GST Motorsports
Posted on March 19, 2008 - 7:27 PM by Ali Allage Source: GST Motorsports, Inc.

It all started on Tuesday night at the shop as we all loaded the L into the trailer for the Super Lap Battle at Buttonwillow. For those of you that are not familiar with this event, it is a Time Attack put on by the Primedia Group for the fastest Time Attack cars and is an invite only event.

In the two weeks leading up to this event, our partners at Calculated Risk had put in some serious work on the chassis which included lowering the car another 1.8” and some more aero tweaks. While this was happening, we took what we learned from our competition previously this season and set about developing a new power plant for the setup (we had been running a lower compression Cosworth motor with GT30r) and built a high compression Cosworth motor mated to a custom GT35r courtesy of Forced Performance. This package gained us a 100whp improvement over our previous setup with no loss in low-end.

Upon arriving at Buttonwillow on Wednesday morning and unloading the car, we were greeted with some of the fastest Time Attack cars in the world. If you have not seen the HKS EVO you should check it out; that is one serious car!!

Moving into our first hot lap, we had the car on its low boost setting with our driver Brian Lock of GOTO:Racing. It was set at a 6,000rpm limit for the first couple of laps we were out on track. The car was looking very unsettled through the bus stop and our morning would get more eventful within the next 2-3 turns as Brian fought the less than setup chassis and took the car off at roughly 110mph at Talladega.

Bringing the car in we found the front end was a mess. The splitter was toast on the passenger side and we had bent the fender, lost a side marker and the whole front bumper had lowered itself about an inch causing some rubbing issues on the front tires.

While Brian downloaded the data and worked with his brother Mike Lock (his partner in Calculated Risk) the rest of the team led by our chief mechanic Tommy Wu set about getting the front end back together.

As we worked throughout the day on the chassis setup, we managed to get the car to a setup that Brian could drive enough to put down a 1:49.1x which while leaving a lot on the table the team felt happy with the potential the car was starting to show (given some more setup time we feel the car has a lot more in it).

Moving on to Thursday morning, the team was now back in the shop and discussing what to do for the Redline Time Attack finals on Saturday. The decision was made to remove the high compression motor for our smaller turbo setup so we could try and make the 92db limit (the high compression GT35r was simply not breathing through the muffler setup we were trying to use).

I think we tested 3 or 4 exhaust configs until late in the night on Friday when the decision was finally made not to run the Redline event due to tuning issues with the exhaust. This was a decision that was not easy to make given the thrashing of all the employees and partners such as GOTO:Racing, Calculated Risk and all of our sponsors.

Given that we had tuned both the Calculated Risk Street AWD car and the ESX Unlimited AWD car, we decided to attend the event in full force to support our friends.

A subdued and somber air was around the rig on Saturday morning as we watched the competitors take the track. At the end of the first Modified session our good friend Christian Miller of 034 Motorsports came up to us and said “Mike, you need to go get the L mate, I got hit at 84db and my car is louder than your race setup”. We were all dumbfounded and the decision was made to rush back to the shop and stick on a couple of resonators and a turn away so away we drove.

First to leave the track was the Calculated Risk team of Brian and Mike Lock accompanied by GST Motorsports Greg Simpson and a friend of the Calculated Risk crew Dave, who thrashed back to get the car off the dyno where we had left it and fabricate a new exhaust setup less restrictive than what we were testing but with the necessary turn downs and resonators to pass sound. I followed after the second practice session so I could get data from the ESX STI prior to my departure.

By the time I arrived at the shop the team had managed to finish the welding work and were getting ready for me to tune the car on the dyno. With the car strapped down I started to get to work on the map, first a low boost (21psi) map. As I got to work on the mapping, I noticed a slight miss at higher rpms, as I got more and more into the tune the miss got worse and worse. We decided it was not worth risking the motor to rush and get the car back to the track to turn a lap to be eligible for the Subaru Tsukuba portion of the event, so we went about swapping the plugs, coil packs and changing a ground. With this work completed, the car pulled to redline with no issues and I proceeded to map the car from 21psi up to 26psi which we decided, while not at the end of the turbo’s efficiency would be asking as much as we could out of the setup given the less than ideal exhaust setup we were running.

With the car packed up we set about heading back to the track to arrive at a damp raining Laguna at around 8pm. Rumors were flying around the track of several teams having motor related issues and this would prove to be true as our friends at PDX Tuning had removed some serious weight from the front end of their car and were awaiting a new motor at some point in the evening/early morning. Man, this was turning into the 25hrs of Thunderhill all over again ☺

Sunday morning came around way to soon for all of us I think and the track was drying fast. With the help of Steve Lock of GOTO:Racing as well as the various people who came out to help us (way to many to name you all but you know who you are and we owe you all everything for all the help!) the car was setup and ready to go out for the first unlimited practice session. With some chassis tweaks from our previous event on Wednesday, Brian was able to manage the car a lot easier and reported back to us that the car was close to being where it needed to be for him to get some decent times; I believe we ran low 1:34’s within his first 2 laps.

With some changes made to the cars chassis setup for the first timed unlimited session, Brian made his way out to the grid. The changes worked with Brian managing a fast time of 1:32.48 putting us 2 tenths behind the blisteringly fast AMS EVO which was fighting sound all weekend.

Brian reported back that he blew a couple of corners and that the car should run a low 1:31 perhaps even a high 1:30 as it stood so we felt comfortable with the setup and upped the boost a little for the final session.

As we prepared for the final session, we learned our friends from ESX had blown their tranny in the final practice session so we set about locating a spare for them. Up stepped Evan who drives the Calculated Risk/GOTO:Racing Subaru STI in Street AWD as he had broken his clutch the session before that. With everyone thrashing at the last minute the tranny was not able to be removed from the ESX car due to the splitter placement and no easy way to jack the motor. The crew thrashed and got the car back together sans 5th gear.

Back on track with the GST jalopy, Brian was heading our first for the final session, his first lap was a mid 1:32, second a 1:32 flat (or there about) with the third being a 1:31.85. We sat and waited for the AMS Evo to go out and knew their car had more in it than previous times showed. On their second lap they ran a 1:32 flat and got black flagged for sound, none of us at GST can say we’re happy with taking the AWD unlimited win in this way as the guys from AMS are a great bunch who traveled across the country only to thrash all weekend to pass sound then fail, then pass then fail..

GST Motorsports would like to thank all of those that came out to the track and supported/helped us all weekend; we could and would not do this without you all.

We would also like to thank our sponsors for their support this season and hope that we have helped represent there companies to our fullest ability this year.

Stasis Engineering
Forced Performance
Element Tuning
Endless USA
KW Automotive
Nitto Tires
Calculated Risk
TEC Engineering

Without your products and support we would not be able to campaign this car, Thank you all so much!!

Lastly we would like to thank Brian Lock for piloting the L this past year, you sir are without doubt the link that makes this all work and we look forward to developing the car to it’s potential so you can have a car worthy of you driving talents to continue pushing the envelope next year.

GST Motorsports, Inc.

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