Friday, July 20, 2007

Dauntless P2007.c Shakedown Tests

Dauntless Racing had a successful test day at Thunderhill Raceway in California evaluating their new CSR bodywork on a Ralt RT-40/41 Formula Atlantic chassis. The usual initial bugs were worked out, then the team proceeded to do preliminary tuning of the chassis and aerodynamic setups. By the end of the day the Clayton family had the car down to record breaking lap times.

Rennie Clayton, the son and team driver, reports, "We had a very successful shakedown run today at Thunderhill to work out teething troubles. We were unable to make the SCCA Regional race last weekend, but made it to the track today running with NCRC / TracQuest in their Open group (think ITE). Not going to release any lap times, but suffice it to say that if we'd been running at the SCCA weekend, there would be a new CSR track record (possibly outright, I'd need to check). We were running the same Hoosier tyres that I won the 2003 Formula Atlantic National Championship on - literally the same set, from 4 years ago.

As expected, there were a few mechanical gremlins to work out, but nothing that caused us to miss any sessions. A great deal was learned about the behaviour of the car with the new body kit, as well as how it all integrates together.

I can safely say at this point: It is fast."

Proud father Stan Clayton added, "I too had a great time at the track today, and it was awesome to get the Ralt back on track after a 4-year hiatus. The NCRC folks were very friendly and welcoming -- a big thank you for sharing the track with us! All the drivers in the Open group were very professional (half the cars sported SCCA stickers... :D ) with lots of point-by's and good, heads-up driving.

As Rennie notes, there were a few mechanical issues to deal with. I think the punch list has about 10 items on it, though nothing major. The engine ran like a top, and the new bodywork seems to really work well. We started off very conservatively, as this is our prototype bodywork and we didn't want to damage it. You can see in the photo that the car was quite high (about half an inch higher than in FA trim). As the day wore on we continued to lower the car (almost to FA ride height now) and fine-tune the aero package. All in all, I must say that I am quite pleased with our progress. Sorry about being a bit cagey about the details, but we are not yet at our final configuration and don't want to give away too many details too early. After all, we don't want to give our competition at the Runoffs too much to go on...!"

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[ Duantless Bodywork page ]

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