It was an overcast Saturday morning at WRTeknica, where the team planned to meet before the trek to Buttonwillow Raceway Park for a weekend of customer support and race car testing. With the 991.1 GT3 development car loaded and secured onto our trailer along with the caravan of customer and employee cars ready, we started our journey.
One of our customers, Cody Walker, had planned to run his Honda S2000 in the Sunday event solely. We delivered the car there beforehand to ensure his car was prepped and dialed in as we had aligned and corner-balanced it the week before. Our service technician, Gil, along with another one of our customers, Dustin, had also taken their S2000 race cars to run the full weekend, which allowed us to compare all three setups to further optimize the S2000 platform.
We arrived at the Buttonwillow gates at approximately 7:30 AM, just in time for the first session of the day. Will ( WRTeknica CEO of speed ) got off to a flying start in the shop GT3. Our client Kenny also took his GT3 out to chase Will for the first session. After shaking down both cars, the team gathered around to analyze data to find further ways to improve upon the lap times.
Among the data gathered, we found the optimal tire pressures to compensate for the blistering Buttonwillow heat, and were able to get more overall grip out of the cars. Both GT3’s have our MCS and Swift Spring coilover setup. This setup uses some of the most advanced motorsports technology available to consumers, meaning both cars are able to aggressively use the curbs at Buttonwillow; specifically at the bus stop corner leading towards Riverside. A dab of the brake and one downshift was all that was needed to make it out the other end, which allowed the car to carry more speed due to the damping ability of the suspension system.
Will spent the remainder of the day giving ride-alongs to a few friends eager to experience a flying lap, as well as a few clients interested in finding out where they can pick up some more time. Usually followed up with riding along with Will in their own car to get some feedback on where they can improve their driving and where some improvements can be made to the car.
One of our regular clients, Eric, brought his M2 Competition and clocked very competitive times close to what the GT3's were doing. His M2 had come into our shop a few times for setup and additional upgrades. Including MCS dampers, Swift Springs, AP Racing brakes, roll-cage install, WRTeknica alignment/corner balance, and a full interior strip-down to reduce weight.
Jason and his GTR also made it out for the weekend, fresh out of our shop the day before. The car had not run for a while, so this was the car's inaugural outing following a hiatus from the track. We engineered reinforcement brackets for his APR Performance rear wing to ensure it is rigidly mounted to the chassis, and went over the whole car to ensure it's safe and buttoned up to spec. Furthermore, we installed a fresh set of slicks, and performed our alignment/corner-balance magic to the car to dial it in for the weekend. As a result Jason's car ran flawlessly, and ran consistent times without fault. The aero reinforcement, alignment, and new tires allowed Jason to be consistent in the car session after session - ensuring the necessary data needed for further development could be gathered.
Two of our Shelby customers, Christian and Joseph, had brought their track weapons out on the Sunday running of the event. Christian had trailered his GT350R track car that had extensive work performed at our shop with one goal in mind - to fully develop and extract the potential of the GT350 platform.
Joseph brought out his 2020 GT500, also a customer of ours that is seeking to further develop his car and driving. Will assisted both drivers in understanding the handling characteristics of their cars, which allowed them to improve upon their lap times as they found speed in various areas around the track.
Dustin Williams of Legends Media brought his Spoon S2000 to shake down the car after getting brand new Advan A052 tires and our alignment/corner-balance. Dustin was ecstatic with his newfound car feel around the track, saying that the car was much more responsive around the corners and that the increased overall balance allowed him the confidence to push harder and harder each lap.
After speaking with Will about the dynamics of the car and making on-the-spot suspension adjustments, Dustin got his lap time down from 2:10 to 2:05, his new personal best. Corner entry and exit speeds were higher, along with average speed. We were extremely happy with Dustin's feedback, and will be doing more development with this car as well as a full write-up on the project.
On Sunday the track was being run counter clockwise. The configuration is called 13 CCW and is a little more challenging than it's CW counterpart, as there are more blind apexes due to the elevation changes on the track. While this layout of the track wasn’t the most popular for benchmark comparisons, it proved to offer a thrill and added an extra layer of fun for all the drivers.
Towards the day’s end, the team spent their time analyzing and deconstructing data, to find weak spots to improve on and strong points to reinforce. After packing up our equipment and loading up the racecars onto the trailers, we headed home after a fruitful and fulfilling track weekend at Buttonwillow Raceway Park.