การสนทนาใน 'Drag Racing' เริ่มโดย Dr. Jeff Harper, 2 มีนาคม 2009
This photo tells it all: the transformation of the Bangkok Drag Avenue is almost complete!
My 2 setang worth:
So . . . . I was at the Bangkok Drag Avenue last Saturday night for the big "Re-Opening" of the track. Everybody was talking about the new facilities, the new retaining walls, the added length of the shut-down area, and all the other new features. But most of the conversation was about the racing surface - was the track going to be as good or better than before . . . or worse. Everybody had an opinion, which they are entitled to. My opinion was that no matter what the track owners do, a "green" (new) drag strip needs to have a large number of race cars race on the surface before it "comes in" (makes good traction, or 'bite'). That being said, the racing surface was nice and smooth, they 'rubberized' it by dragging tires across it, cleaned and washed it, and sprayed it with VHT traction compound. All in all a very good effort.
The first couple of cars had a difficult time getting traction, but as more cars did burn-outs across the line, the traction started to get better. As the night went on, and more and more cars made hard passes, the strip got even better. My observation was that some of the cars, including the high powered dragsters, were able to find excellent traction (on the new cement), while other cars struggled to get traction anywhere. Why was this? Was the track "bad"" My opinion is that "NO!" the track is not bad. If it were bad, NO cars would be able to get traction. What we saw on Saturday night was a case of cars with drag slicks (greater contact patch) and/or suspensions that allowed weight transfer "at the hit" of the gas pedal were able to get traction and run very well. There were several Ciferos with 2JZs and 1UZs that made excellent full-power runs without wheel spin, while other cars could not find any "hook" at all.
The cars that could not find traction should use this as an opportunity to learn about their cars' set-up: does their chassis work (there is weight transfer); do they need to adjust tire pressure or starting line launch rpm; do they need new (softer) springs in the rear and 90/10 drag shocks in the front? Or . . . just be patient for three or four weeks until more and more rubber is laid down in the racing 'groove' of the track and their cars can again use tire rubber (only) to get traction they were used to.
Any new track, no matter where it is, takes a little time to mature' to "come in" to a state of seasoning. Please do not be too quick in judging this track . . . is already good . . . and it will be excellent very soon. Be patient.
How good is the racing surface now? Well, my race car (Harper Racing Familia) has a very good chassis set-up that gets excellent traction anywhere and drag slicks. . . . actually broke the diff (rear end ring gear) on a hard 'back on the wheelie bars' launch last Saturday night! The track is and will get stickier further and further down track as more and more race cars go down it . . . . and when the owners spray the last 1/8 mile of tarmac with VHT. I think some racers have forgotten how "bad" the old surface was when it was first opened (green).
We are fortunate to have such a high quality facility to race on here in Thailand, and we have the owners to thank for that.
Racers: be patient. This track is as good as almost all of the tracks you will find in the USA or Australia where they are all this smooth. All the tracks in the USA and Australia needed time to season - have alot of race card go down the track under power - when they were first opened before the traction became great. BDA is already good . . . and it will become excellent soon enough.
Work with your combination: you still have to tune your chassis and tune your engine . . . it is not all a matte of how sticky the track is . . . . and most importantly: tune your engine and chassis TO THE TRACK!
I was at the drag strip Friday and Saturday nights this past week-end. The track owners are struggling to get the surface preparation right. I believe they are earnest in their desire to product the best racing surface in the world.
That being said, the surface was unsafe for racing on Saturday night. Khun Mac took the Familia down the track on a test run and was unable to find any traction in the first 1/8 mile of track. It was slipping in every gear . . . and my Familia has excellent traction and a great chassis set-up.
We racers need to stay positive and be patient with the race track operators. We need to offer encouragement and not be too critical. They will get it right.
thank so much
Well I was at the shop again yesterday doing some tidying up of the racer. There were only two other fast cars at the strip because of the never-ending Thai national holiday, Songkran. My racer is ready to go. At about 8:30pm I walked over to the Ram 77 team (they had an 11-second 2JZ street Cifero and a brand new probable 9-second 2JZ Open Street class Cifero) and asked if they were going to run tonight. They replied, "We were waiting for you to run your Familia first!" I said, "I was waiting for YOU GUYS to run first . . . I'm not going out there until some high-powered fool tries this green track under power before I make a pass!" Neither of us made a pass last night; I went home around 9:30pm.
The drag strip surface preparation looked "pretty good." But they forgot to tell their employees how to apply the expensive an dwindling supply of traction compound: the pattern they laid down can only be described as "pissing in the snow" (see photo below). Do any of you read Thai and can read what they wrote? Please translate for me. At first I thought it might be Hindi or Sanskrit, but it wasn't. Even if they were spraying a field for bugs this pattern wouldn't work!
Oh well. It was a hot and beautiful afternoon with magnificent clouds.