VW underneath a classic Italian body design.
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- Location: Birmingham AL
ROAD ATLANTA FLAT OUT IN A KARMANN GHIA
Here's the complete 9-minute video of our first sprint race at Road Atlanta on 22 April 2017 during the Historic Sportscar Racing's annual Mitty event.
To show on the Ghia's first time out that we didn't bring a knife to a gun fight, practice and best race lap time of 2:01 was the same for our Ghia and the green MGA #42. We were very evenly matched. The MGA was to win and us to place 4th, but as the video shows, we went under the bridge to the flag side by side with the 2nd and 3rd place cars, so only a few seconds separated us all.
Our engine was (and is) a modest 9:1 compression, 85.5 x 74 stroke balanced to run 7000 RPM easily.
This is not to say that the Ghia was optimal. We were underjetted for this race (150 mains in our 36mm venturis Weber IDF's), we were running an extractor exhaust with a poorly formed 4-into-1 collector, and we were pushing air through a power-robbing 36mm fan and 6-inch pulley. The 356 boys run 4-inch pulleys and 16 to 28 blade fans.
Just changing these items might have brought us 1st place victory. We did finish 2nd the next day, in the rain, on 155 mains.
Anyway, during the video, you'll see the pace lap, and the flag will go down just as the Lotus 47 (another class) passes us.
The Ghia actually got slower the longer we were on the track, as the Falken street radials got hotter and less precise, the engine got hotter due to the jetting and lost its edge.
Note how Barret can catch the field on the uphills. On the long back straight, Barret saw 6700 RPM, which with our tires and gearing comes out to about 125 to 130 mph. Our goal is 140 mph, at 7000.
Enjoy the video. That rattle sound you hear at the beginning was an unsecured tow hook ring on the front bumper near the GoPro.