Well, it was yet another wet, gloomy day in
February. A perfect day for an indoor automotive adventure. We set
off for a 72 mile drive to Rocklin. That is the location of Bush-League
Racing. Jeff Bundelli had arranged for a special group rate for us.
The attendance was low, but for those hardy racer who showed up it was a unique
experience. I know that Jim and I would not have happened upon this
place by ourselves. Those racing were: Jeff and Jason Bundelli. Rick
Carlile, Carl Stein, Jim and Emilia Seiferling. Rick Mosley came but
didn't race. ( He had spent part the prior evening and morning at the
emergency room with his Dad, who is doing better now.)
Bush League Racing is a racing simulator place. The
driver sits in a race car that is on hydraulics to mimic track motion. You
race against the other cars in your group as well as "computer cars" that fill
out the field. I will describe this from the viewpoint of one who has only
driven the Pantera on the freeway, and that is only occasionally. These
cars are very touchy and it is very, very easy to end up on the wall or in the
infield. Personally I was in the infield more that the wall. I found
that prospect less scary. I know where the correct driving line
should be, but my comfort level kept me very low and slow on the track.
That was my plan to give the other drivers ample practice in passing. I
never thought that I would be happy doing nothing but left turns but that again
was a comfort thing for this driver. That was the track at Fontana.
I lasted less than one full lap at the Portland Road Course. I didn't know
the course, spun out when I caught up to the group, which had crashed at the
first curve. I got turned around and ended up going the wrong direction on
the course. I realized this when I noticed the infield was now on my
left. I tried to turn around and start going the correct direction
again, got disoriented and then began to feel nauseas. I was already hot
and sweaty from the first two races at Fontana. The hot feeling must be a
common one since there is a fan built into the cockpit of the car to blow on the
driver's face. That marked the shaky end to my race career. The one
thing I must mention is that I was not dead last in the first race at Fontana,
that honor went to Carl Stein. After that I was secure in that
placement, as long as I lasted. I have been motion sick many times in the
past. I have been queasy on land, sea, and air, never when standing still
like today. It was suggested that I wear "The Patch" for my next racing
Jim didn't fair that well either. He's raced sail
boats on the ocean, flown our Cessna 182 for 20 years, driven sports cars for 35
years, flown the full motion Lockheed C5A simulator for 2 hours courtesy of
Mike Drew, and never been motion sick. Well, after 3 laps on the
Portland road course he finally found his limits. He pulled over on the
main straight and called it quits, before he needed a bucket to hurl in!
This "simulation" can do really bad things to your perception of motion and how
your brain deals with it! He really didn't feel normal until the next
After the five race set was completed, it was time for a
late lunch. We were unfamiliar with the area, but Jeff suggested
the group follow him over to Cha Cha's. This was a Mexican
restaurant that has an artistic decor all over the place. It's a cross
between an import shop and Disneyland. They seated us right away.
After chips, salsa, margaritas, beers and good food it was time to
head home. We thank Jeff for setting up this event. Maybe next time
we can get a better turn out. This is something anybody can do, except for
those who are prone to motion sickness.
The guys that didn't turn green
Dyno Day Myth Busting in Space
For those of you that don't follow the deTomaso forum in
the internet, here is a post that I thought would be very informative to all you
This weekend, the Space City Pantera Chapter sponsored a dyno day for it's
members and eight Panteras ran on the Dyno.
With the aid of a wideband sensor and dyno operators who allowed us to tune
the cars on the dyno, we were able to explore several variables in a
An article outlining the event in greater detail will appear in Profiles,
but, I was encouraged by the attendees to share three learning's with the
1) Total timing advance. Myth - Cleveland's like 32 - 34 degrees total
advance. We tested open chamber Cleveland heads and Aluminum A3 heads from
32 to 40 degrees total advance. We did not test the closed chamber as the
total timing test for these heads was performed at a previous dyno run.
All the head configurations tested made more HP and TQ at 38BTDC. All made
less at 32,34,& 36. These results were consistent with the closed chamber
test that also performed better with 38 and more advance.
Myth - Busted. All engines tested made more power at 38 degrees advance.
2) Myth - The Dogbone Air cleaner ( known as B & M, Air Tec, etc) is
constrictive on carbs with a choke horn because the air cleaner sits low
over the carb.
This test was performed at the request of Gray Gregory whose 377 stroker
topped with a dogbone air cleaner made an impressive 347 HP at 6400 RPM.
His carb has a choke horn, no spacer between the air cleaner and the carb,
and a single air filter on each side. I submit that this is a serious
challenge as we are talking about a larger than stock engine running at higher
than average RPMs.
The result, a one horsepower difference (loss) at 6400 with the dogbone
verses no air cleaner at all. You read that correctly - 1 horsepower at
6400 RPM on a 377 stroker.
Myth - Busted! It proved not to be an impediment to airflow on the primary
side of the carb.
3) Myth - Coating Ceramic headers significantly reduces engine bay
We tested the temperature of every cars' headers with a pyrometer
immediately after shutdown of full throttle testing.
Ceramic Coated headers averaged about 460 degrees and painted headers
averaged over 800 degrees!
Myth - verified as true
This was a great event. Everyone learned a great deal about tuning and
benefited from the information provided by the wide band A/F meter. More
cars were too lean verses rich and the owners were able to rejet on the spot
to improve their A/F ratios and performance results.