14-Hour Enduro at CMP 16-17 Spt 2017

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14-Hour Enduro at CMP 16-17 Spt 2017

Post by FJCamper » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:27 pm


Call me Ishmael.

The CMP track itself is flat, 2.7 miles around, with short straights between some tricky corners. It is Hawk's Great White Whale. He has sworn to win it. We, his crew, feel the same obsession. We are all in the boat, again, harpoons ready.

Victory taunts us. We have been just short of a Class C win for the past three races, retired twice for wallowing out our rear brake rotor splines, which left us with one podium finish at CMP and on the two spline failure retires, (CMP and Barber) having the splines strip when we were about to take a class win.

CMP in the fall usually means fair weather, interesting cars, and interesting people dressing up like automotive Halloween, for the traditional block party in the local town of Camden.

The racers love it because they think the locals are admiring them. The locals love it because it's a free carnival on wheels.

15Spt17; Friday. Jamrod (driver/mechanic) unloads our equipment into the garage bay, and David (driver/mechanic)and tourist Chris arrive and help Jamrod get the Blitzwagen offloaded and inside. The weather is clear, and near 90° F. toward midday. I'm sidelined with a wrenched back and sprained ankle after a fall trying to jump over a lawn mower, but I wouldn't miss one of these LeMons races in the same way people can't help but gawk at a crash on the side of the road. I do yell encouragement to Jamrod from my director's chair, such as "My grandmother could carry more tires than that!" Jamrod, sweating under the loads, keeps morale up by giving us the "We're Number One" sign, but only uses his middle finger.


Above: Many of the LeMons racers are comic. But the field has its share of BMW's, Mercedes, Porsches, and Mustangs.



David has been working on the Blitzwagen rear brakes. He has steel 5-lug Porsche pattern hubs with replaceable disks on the rear. No more stripped splines. He and Jamrod rebleed the brakes. David has 2lb residual pressure valves per each rear ATE/VARGA-copy brake caliper (dual 40mm pistons).

Up front we have Wilwood 4-piston calipers and Wilwood 570 fluid. All this is fed by a new 23.8mm Coolrydes master cylinder. Hydraulic pressure tests 1500 psi (good) at the front Wilwood calipers. New Wilwood pads have been installed.

Finally, David resets the Blitzwagen's ignition points and we consider race prep done. We've been running stock ignition points after a string of electronic module failures.


Chasing the Great White is the way to madness and madness takes its toll. Dr. Steve and Hawk drive the Blitzwagen to Camden for the downtown block party. Hawk and Dr. Steve wear neat white dress shirts, ties, and present themselves as automotive evangelist, complete with placards (What would Jesus Drive?), PA system, and repair manuals instead of bibles. Hawk fires up the crowd shouting "Let me read to you from the book of Chilton!" and "Praise axles!"

They set up a 5-gallon vat of free-to-all baptism-in-a-paper-cup of high octane mixed liquors labeled "Jesus Juice." Many were called, few were saved.

16Spt17; Sat. By the time the Blitzwagen returned from the long drive to and back from Camden, both rear (stock) torsion bars had finally settled and required the adjustable spring plates be raised to level the car.

Race day dawns clear and purposeful. There are nearly 70 cars making the start.

David goes out first. We are using 90-minute stints. The good news is the engine is strong and the handling and brakes just terrific once the new Wilwood pads had seated.


But about two drivers later, we discover the 3-4 cylinder side valve cover is leaking, and cylinder #4 is oiling up. Scoured cylinder? Bad rings?

The valve cover leak is frustrating because it should be easy fixable but it's not. Jamie and David replace gasket after gasket without good result, then try bending, replacing, and shimming the spring bail. We discover the fix far too late. The #3 exhaust header pipe under the valve cover can flex and push up against the valve cover, this due to some rough handling coming off the trailer, which bent the headers.

Then we get aggravation from our oil temp. We are at or near 300° F. in the late summer heat. The 72-plate Mesa cooler is horizonal, in deck, within the factory luggage area which was behind the stock back seat area. The upwards pressure under the car has negated the downward fan flow.

David is diapering the breather box to stop oil smoke and vapor, and we're running low on Brake Clean to spray off dripping oil.

We find our position 3rd in class on Saturday night. That was great in May 2016, our first genuine podium finish, but it is not good enough now. The Blitzwagen can win and we know it.

There she blows, Captain! Harpoons ready! That pattern on the Great White looks like a checkered flag.

17Spt17; Sunday. When I wake up, limping around the garage and sipping coffee, I see David has screwed a baffle inside the Blitzwagen's stinger, in worry that the stinger's roar might get us black flagged which would mean more time lost. I don't like the baffle, having brought a gutted glass pipe muffler that I consider less restrictive, but I let it stay on just to see what happens.

The green flag goes down and this is it. We get a 2:04 out of David and three 2:07's back to back laps from Dr. Steve.


Hawk drives two stints in a friend's 240D Turbo Mercedes automatic all morphed into #18, a Toyota pickup truck body. It is soft and slow. "Compared to the Mercedes," Hawk says, "driving the Bug is like being locked in a cage with a badger."

The oil temp still wants to max out over 280° F. We race with the oil tank cover door open to help cool the oil. It actually makes a difference. We're running on three cylinders. Power is down. I have Jamie remove the baffled stinger and bolt on the hollow muffler. We're leaking and burning almost a gallon of oil for every five gallons of gas now. We calculate we have enough to get us to the end of the race. We can't win, but we can hold our 3rd in class position.

And Steve get black flagged for our rear deck and fences coming apart. On one of our garage stops to fix whatever, someone had forgotten to reclip a spring-loaded fence hold-down, and the assembly had begun to flap. We remove the deck and go commando.


I have been little help in this race, because of my back, and we are about to suffer for it. David was still out on track, and at our next refuel, Hawk was supposed to take over for the last stint. But somehow, this simple plan fell apart, and David comes walking back to the garage bay. The Blitzwagen was out of gas, on pit road. No one had been there to fuel him.


Above: Hawk in the car, hooking up his Hans device.

David rallies the troops and they suit up and get the Blitzwagen refueled and Hawk out. He drives hard, keeping the 4th place car off us, and takes the checkered intact and us still in 3rd place, another podium finish.


The Great White got away again. But we shove off for deeper waters in December, to Road Atlanta. We'll have the harpoons resharpened, the crew sober, and we'll put Hawk right up against his obsession.

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Re: 14-Hour Enduro at CMP 16-17 Spt 2017

Post by VW&MGman » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:07 pm


Sorry to hear about all the trouble that the VW is causing. Couple of quick questions to help get a better idea on your cooling issues.

1) Are you running with an oil cooler in the fan housing or only the external one?

2) Which fan housing are you using?

3) Where is your temp sensor located?

4) What size oil pump are you using?

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Re: 14-Hour Enduro at CMP 16-17 Spt 2017

Post by WickedWagens » Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:07 am

FJC, Sounds like you guys have a good time!
1968 Karmann Ghia land speed
G/CFALT 106.643 MPH G/CGALT 113.131 MPH
G/CBGALT 134.606 MPH G/CBFALT 146.715 MPH
G/CBGC 158.242 MPH H/CBGC 94.334 MPH
H/CPRO 93.383 MPH H/CBFALT 101.282 MPH
H/CBGALT 120.591 MPH
Top Speed 161.896 MPH

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