Driving a VERY cool car!

Autocross, Road Racing, Rallycross, Rally...
User avatar
eaglecatcher
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 9441
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 2:04 am
Cars: '90 300ZXTT 5MT
Location: Ithaca, NY

Postby eaglecatcher » Fri May 25, 2007 11:56 pm

how much does one of them beauties cost?
Z1 Intake
Z1 2.5" Test pipes
HKS 65mm Hi-Power Exhaust
AMS Short Shifter
SZ Subframe Spacers
HKS Vein Pressure Converter
DDM Tuning 6000k HIDs

User avatar
black94boost
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 1138
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 1:09 am
Location: Western New York
Contact:

Postby black94boost » Sat May 26, 2007 12:22 am

I don't know, but the wheels look like F1 wheels and the front is just bigger. Oh well. Thats just what I think. :oops: Glad I lit up someones day. 8)
What'cha gonna do when we come for you?
Image

User avatar
GarySheehan
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 1101
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2004 3:00 pm
Location: SF Bay Area
Contact:

Postby GarySheehan » Sat May 26, 2007 12:52 am

eaglecatcher wrote:how much does one of them beauties cost?

I'm afraid to ask. Most V8 Can-Am cars trade hands between $100k-$400k with most selling around $200k. Don't know about this one in particular. I can tell you that when I was sitting in it Wednesday up on stands, it was immaculate, having JUST been fully restored.

User avatar
GarySheehan
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 1101
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2004 3:00 pm
Location: SF Bay Area
Contact:

Postby GarySheehan » Sat May 26, 2007 12:57 am

Excerpt from a web article I read recently on Can-Am cars...

It has been said that the vintage racing experience exists as a combination of craft, adrenaline, testosterone, and ego. Can-Am cars clearly occupy the ground where adrenaline and testosterone are at the maximum. They are at once wildly exciting and absolutely terrifying. They are generally hot and uncomfortable to sit in, difficult to see out of, heavy to steer or slow down, and numbingly loud inside. But if you can hustle one of these babies around the track, nobody will ever question your manhood.

User avatar
Sypher
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 7337
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 9:52 am
Cars: 05 Mazda 3 GT
Location: Hiding behind the dancing Peter Griffin
Contact:

Postby Sypher » Sat May 26, 2007 12:45 pm

look at 'em mirrors 8) :lol:
Image

User avatar
Paolo300zx
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 3184
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:03 am
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
Contact:

Postby Paolo300zx » Sat May 26, 2007 2:22 pm

black94boost wrote:
Anyway, it's a hot little car. Looks like a mini F1 car to me 8)




oh hahahha your hilarious! :lol:





(laughing with, not at...)

User avatar
comingbackdown
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 7399
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2007 3:17 am
Cars: 99 Ram 2500, 86 Ford LTD
Location: Ohio
Contact:

Postby comingbackdown » Sun May 27, 2007 2:23 am

I read your blog post on Myspace, Gary.
Have fun driving that bad boy!
Tell us all about it too.
We could all use some nice dreams/daydreams. :D
Image
1999 Ram 2500 4x4 360, 1986 Ford LTD 3.8L, 1983 Yamaha Venture Royale 1200

User avatar
GarySheehan
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 1101
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2004 3:00 pm
Location: SF Bay Area
Contact:

Postby GarySheehan » Thu May 31, 2007 3:07 pm

Anyone want to see photos and video? :twisted:

User avatar
jomotopia
Moderator
Posts: 10230
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 1:01 pm
Cars: 04 STi, 05 Matrix XR (AT)
Location: AWD Turbo Nirvana
Contact:

Postby jomotopia » Thu May 31, 2007 3:11 pm

GarySheehan wrote:Anyone want to see photos and video? :twisted:


of course :D
2013 Subaru Impreza WRX in Orange

User avatar
GarySheehan
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 1101
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2004 3:00 pm
Location: SF Bay Area
Contact:

Postby GarySheehan » Thu May 31, 2007 5:54 pm


User avatar
GarySheehan
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 1101
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2004 3:00 pm
Location: SF Bay Area
Contact:

Postby GarySheehan » Fri Jun 01, 2007 2:44 am

OK, finally, my update on driving the McLaren M6B.

My friend Bob Lee invited me up to Infineon Raceway on Wednesday, May 30th, to do some testing/setup work on his 1968 McLaren M6B. This was the car driven by ex-Formula 1 driver (and race winner) Jo Bonnier. The car has in the neighborhood of 600hp and weighs in around 1,700lbs. It's an aluminum monocoque, which is very different from modern racecars. Think of it as sheet aluminum origami secured with rivets. The only "safety cage" to speak of is a not very confidence inspiring main hoop, braced only with a stringer from the center top of the hoop back to the head on the engine, which is secured with removable pins.

Let me honest by saying that I currently feel like someone has beaten the crap out of me with a baseball bat. My lats, shoulders, pecs and upper arms are sore from wrestling with the car. I have a bruise/abrasion the size of a Coke can on my right buttock from sitting directly on the aluminum floor. Don't ask me how, I still don't know. Oh, and despite the earplugs, my ears are still ringing. All in all, I couldn't be happier and I wouldn't change a thing. Every muscle ache brings a happy memory back from yesterday.

The day started off pretty chilly when the guys (Tony, Tim and John) rolled car out of the garage. They told me to climb in, fire it up and drive it into the hot pits, since we'd set the cockpit up for me the previous evening. The guys had already set up our pit earlier that morning, so things progressed very quickly once I arrived and after a very brief coaching session on the gearbox, I was out of the pits and on track in a blur.

My first session out on Infineon's windy and hilly track was absolute rubbish. It's like I had never shifted a manual transmission before! I was grinding every gear, fighting with it the entire time. I was so focused on shifting the beast that barely any of my attention was focused outside the car. When I would get it in gear I'd put the throttle down and be pinned back against my makeshift seat (seatback insert, foam rubber pad and a rolled up towel!). The sound was awesome and the acceleration was so quick that I barely had any time to enjoy it before I had to dick with that damned shifter again.

I think they left me out there for 8-10 laps getting familiar with things. When they called me in I felt like absolute crap. How could I not shift a race car?! Tony explained that everyone has trouble adjusting to the shifter with the gearbox's huge gears and dogs, and it's tough to program the brain to slow down the movements while still being firm with the lever, ensuring that the shifter moves ALL the way across the gate. Then people started asking me about the balance of the car and what to change and the only thing I could tell everyone was that I hadn't pushed the car at ALL, that I had to get myself comfortable with the shifter and after that, get comfortable with how the car reacts to my inputs. I knew I was no where near any limit of the car and still had to acclimate to such a foreign machine. Apparently my fastest laptime that first session was in the 1:43's.

The next session out, Tony suggested I try clutchless upshifting. Well, I've got lots of experience with that from the formula cars I'd driven. I rolled out with a tiny bit of confidence that quickly grew once I started the clutchless upshifts. Now I could accelerate through the gears with very little effort and really feel how the car pulled. MAN! What a feeling. The car just pulled and pulled! The sound was just beautiful. Through this next session I was still having trouble downshifting until I just gave up on rowing down through the gears and went right for the gear I wanted. So for turns 7 and 11, this meant downshifting from 5th right to 2nd. It got so that by the time I came in from my second stint I was pretty comfortable with the gearbox and just starting to get some feedback on the balance.

When I came in from the 2nd session I was able to tell Tony that I was starting to detect mid-corner understeer. Not enough to piss me off yet, as I still wasn't really pushing the car yet, but it was definitely there. I also noticed a huge amount of inside wheelspin over turn 2 and 3b, despite the limited slip diff. I had to be so delicate with the throttle over these crests and just wait, wait, wait until I started to unwind before giving it any throttle. Tony looked around the rear of the car and noticed there was way too much rebound damping in the car, so he softened the rear dampers. He also removed the stiffer rear bar and put the softer bar on, in an effort to get the inside tire down. I'd dropped my laptimes to the high 1:39's and the guys from the shop seemed pleased with that.

I went out for my third session with a lot more confidence in my ability to shift the car and was ready to start exploring the limits of the car. I started pushing the car through 3a and 3b and it didn't really do anything scary. I started picking up understeer through 5, 6, 8a and 8b and turn 10. One thing that was really noticeable is that the wheelspin over the crests of 2 and 3b were much reduced. It was still there a little, but mostly gone. Finally, I started to feel some type of rhythm with this car and I felt like I could drive it.

It's probably worth saying that this is a rare, historic and very expensive race car. One that's probably not very suitable for crashing. Financially or physically. Considering that Bob was going to be racing it at the Wine Country Historic races over the weekend, I tried to take good care of the car. So I took it relatively easy in the high risk corners, like 1, 9 and 10. Still, the car loaded up the right side tires pretty hard through turn 1 and man, did that steering get heavy! It took real effort to get the car to the left to set up for turn 2. Coming through Turn 5 was a real workout as well, and there was more than one time I came out of 5 breathing hard and catching my breath. Same thing through the esses and through 10.

I was definitely feeling lots of understeer by this time and I felt it was slowing me down. Now that I had some confidence in myself and the car I felt I could quickly get a sense of what it was doing and give some feedback. I came in and explained what I was feeling. Tony suggested some additional rear ride height and three turns later I was back out. It felt a little better over the next couple of laps, so I came in and we tried a little more of that. And out I went again.

I was noticing that I'd have lots of understeer with even throttle steady state, but when I began to feed in the throttle, I could dial out some steering. So if I got to throttle earlier and harder, I could unwind due to the additional slip on the rear tires. I told this to Tony when I came back in. He didn't like that I couldn't put the power down very well coming out of the tight corners, so he'd decided to go in a different direction while we ate lunch.

The guys from the shop seemed pretty excited about the car's pace, since the car was fairly new to them (this particular car, not McLaren M6's by any means) and I was an unknown quantity to them when the day started. By this time I was in the mid 1:38's and Tony mentioned that that was the fastest he's seen one of these cars go around Infineon with the skinnier treaded tires that were on the car. The fact that the tires were two years old also helped to make me look good :)

So, while we ate lunch, Tony, Tim and John lowered the rear ride height again and cranked in quite a bit of front rebound in an effort to keep the nose pinned a bit more in the corners and prevent the front float he was observing on the straights and the nose high attitude coming out of the corners. We planned only two more quick sessions so that Bob could get some time in the car as well as some coaching with me.

The car felt much better with the changes Tony made. Much more driveable and even a bit tossable. Now I was able to roll onto the throttle coming out of the carousel and carry a little bit of oversteer out to the exit curbing. The car was much more confidence inspiring after that change. I came in after only 5 laps and told Tony how it felt. He wanted to try one more change, stiffening the rear bar to counteract some of the mid-corner understeer I was still feeling. Zip, out of the pits again for another 4 laps. That change also improved the car and I really started to feel like the car was flowing with me. I was able to carry nice drifts out of the corners under hard acceleration and the understeer was definitely manageable. In fact, I think the car could go back to the bigger rear bar and be better still, but we ran out of time for me and it was time to set up the cockpit for Bob to get it.

Tony was kicking himself because he made a timing mistake just before what was my fastest lap. He got a happy finger and clicked the stopwatch a bit early, just before he could see the car, about 3 car lengths. My next lap was a 1: 38.18, including the additional time for the jumpy trigger finger. He was bummed because he was sure that lap would have been a high 1:37. He really wanted to see it happen. :)

By the end of the day I was over the moon. Tony and I had improved the car set up quite a bit over where it had started and saw even more room for improvement. I was confident that the car would do mid 1:37s just the way it was if I really attacked turn 1 and 9. With new slicks instead of the old treaded tires, Tony is confident we would have been turning 1:34's. And dammit, I JUST SPENT THE DAY DRIVING A FRIGGING CAN-AM CAR!!!!! The very same Can-Am car that ex-Formula 1 winning driver Jo Bonnier had driven. Just awesome!

Some things that stick out in my mind from the day...

- Having to lift my elbow up and over the shifter linkage to get my hand on the shifter to shift, then lifting my elbow back up and over the linkage to get my hand back to the wheel and my elbow tucked back in to steer. Every shift.

- Seeing the rear arm of the lower control arm where it comes into the cockpit, passes below my right leg and bolts to the chassis between my knees, about an inch off the floor.

- Forgetting how fast the car actually was going and being reminded as I just blew past some fairly impressive race cars like they were standing still.

- Looking UP into those rearview mirrors on those crazy long legs to see what's behind me.

- Leaning my head to the left as I entered turn 5 because the right fender completely blocked my view of the apex curbing. It didn't help.

- Drifting the car out of turn 11 towards the wall with people standing right there at the wall watching.

- Feeling the car literally LEAP out of turn 7 and bang through 2nd, 3rd and into 4th into the esses, with the car giving a little twitch over those first two apex curbings that you straighten out before the esses really begin.

- The sound of the engine coming out of 11 as I upshifted through the gears without the clutch. Just awesome.

It was one of the most fun days on the track in my entire racing career. It is something I will definitely have to do again. So my aching shoulders keep telling me this afternoon...

(edit - upon further investigation of my ass and my racing suit, it turns out that I have a nice fuel chemical burn on my right butt cheek. I must've sat down in a puddle of race gas. Now I know what an intense fuel burn feels like. And I had thought my ass was just falling asleep. Also, Marshall went back through the last laps of my fastest session and put timestamps on the laps during video editing. According to the timestamps, my fastest lap was a 1: 37.2. Tony will be thrilled!)

User avatar
Warner
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 2694
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2005 1:17 am
Location: Florida

Postby Warner » Fri Jun 01, 2007 5:05 am

Wow, that V8 sounds amazing.

That looks like so much fun. I think I'm speaking for everyone here when I say how jealous I am.

Why was there no seat?

Nice writeup, BTW. 'Twas an interesting read.

User avatar
comingbackdown
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 7399
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2007 3:17 am
Cars: 99 Ram 2500, 86 Ford LTD
Location: Ohio
Contact:

Postby comingbackdown » Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:00 am

Ohhhhh sweet!

I didn't know that race gas burns skin... Ouch...

That shifter is definitely different. I'd love to drive one of those.

Nice lap times. Very nice.

How were the G forces in those turns?

Wow... I wonder how one of us would fare trying to shift that thing, if it gave you problems at first... We need a simulator. I can see it now... *GRRRRIND, GRIND, GRIND*

Awesome writeup, btw.

I can tell you had fun, and that's a good thing. :)
Image
1999 Ram 2500 4x4 360, 1986 Ford LTD 3.8L, 1983 Yamaha Venture Royale 1200

User avatar
Johnf514
Moderator
Posts: 8568
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2005 3:59 pm
Cars: '07 Mazda3, '06 Ninja 636
Location: Orlando, FL
Contact:

Postby Johnf514 » Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:02 am

Gary - great post! I'm glad you got to have that experience. It sounds like a doozy! Thank you for sharing the photos and video with us - hope that chemical burn feels better. :wink:
2007 Mazda3
Mods: 15% tint, Eibach ProKit
2006 Ninja 636
Mods: NOS & sidecar

User avatar
GarySheehan
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 1101
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2004 3:00 pm
Location: SF Bay Area
Contact:

Postby GarySheehan » Fri Jun 01, 2007 2:34 pm

comingbackdown wrote:Ohhhhh sweet!
I didn't know that race gas burns skin... Ouch...
That shifter is definitely different. I'd love to drive one of those.
Nice lap times. Very nice.
How were the G forces in those turns?
Wow... I wonder how one of us would fare trying to shift that thing, if it gave you problems at first... We need a simulator. I can see it now... *GRRRRIND, GRIND, GRIND*

Yep, it burns. It's like a small patch of bad sunburn on my ass.

The g-forces were not insanely high. These old cars have no downforce and the body shape actually generates lift at higher speeds. Plus, we had treaded race tires on. The little Formula Mazda cars with wings and slicks were faster mid-corner.

Well, I've had a LOT of experience shifting non-sychro racing gearboxes as well as synchro gearboxes. At the end of the day I was at about 98% accuracy. I think you guys might find it very difficult to shift without a lot of practice.


Return to “Racing with Corners”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest