Racing Story

VW based Porsche. In a league of its own.

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Racer Chris
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Post by Racer Chris » Tue Jan 01, 2002 9:00 am

I've never had a problem without the alternator at the race track. I have a minimal number of gauges that use power. The only real draws are the ignition and the brake lights. I usually recharge between sessions, but I have forgotten and it was OK. At an autocross I have had a problem when my wife was also driving the car, due to repeated starting. The starter is a heavy draw. Sometimes the engine is hard to start, especially when hot, then I can have a problem if I haven't charged the battery recently. I plan to have a spare battery on a hand cart & plug it into the car battery when I am starting it so I don't use as much juice. My generator is loud so I try not to use it very often.

Chris

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Racer Chris
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Post by Racer Chris » Sat Jan 19, 2002 6:43 am

If you guys like a good story, here's one I wrote at the end of the 2001 racing season. It's purely congratulatory and totally tongue in cheek, but all true.Anyway, FWIW, enjoy! Also you can see pictures of my car at http://www.pelicanparts.com/gallery/Racer_Chris/


Chris Foley Repeats as F Production NARRC Champion


2001 was a very good year for the Tangerine Racing Team of Chris Foley and Mary Terhune. The CFR Welding sponsored Porsche 914 posted six victories in six races run, in the SCCA North Atlantic Road Racing Championship. Scoring 98 points of a possible 134, Chris topped the list of eight drivers who participated in the F Production Class. For the second year in a row the championship was decided before the final race of the season. Jennifer Wolff Hopkinson, in her first season in FP, scored 51 points to take second place honors. Other challengers included Giovanni Tartaglia, a seasoned veteran driving a red Fiat X/1-9, and equally experienced Andy Williams in his yellow MG Midget. At mid-season Jennifer had the points lead, as the Tangerine Racing Team had not yet begun its juggernaut.
Starting with two easy victories at NHIS in July, Chris and Mary announced their return in a big way. Next, at Lime Rock in mid-August, Chris proved that he was the one to beat this year. At first, everything seemed to go wrong, like forgetting his driving gear at home, and missing the first practice session, so it was no surprise to only qualify 18th. An engine problem turned out to be minor and easily corrected, however, and during the race Chris sliced through traffic with apparent ease, driving from deep in the pack to take the overall lead of the race on lap five. Polesitter Andy Williams said “ I knew I had to watch my mirrors, but never expected to see Chris so quickly.”
The team returned to NHIS on Sept 8th for a double race weekend with a backup engine installed in the Porsche 914 race car. The primary engine was removed when metal chips were found in the oil screen, only four days before the event. Chief rival, Giovanni Tartaglia, led the first race until a flat tire due to debris on the track from a crash put him out with only two laps to go. That handed win number four to Chris. Sunday’s race was exciting as well. However, the challenge came from E Production competitor and friend, Robert Smart, in his BMW 320. The two raced side by side for a couple of laps, with Chris ultimately pulling ahead before the checkered flag.
The season finale NARRC Runoffs was next, at Lime Rock Park, on Sept 29th. With double points available, and second place in the championship still undecided, the Tangerine Racing team had to be prepared for the toughest race of the season. The primary race engine was rebuilt and reinstalled for a dynamometer test on Wednesday. All was well, so the team was confident and expected another good result.
Qualifying took place in the rain on Friday and Chris put the Hoosier Wet tire shod Porsche on the fourth row, ahead of all the other F Production cars. At the start of the race, all the cars made it through the first turn OK and Chris was able to move up two positions. Then one of the E Production cars at the front of the pack spun in the left hand turn (turn 3) and partially blocked the track, but not before the tangerine 914 got through. The brief tie-up gave Chris a small cushion as he set off in hot pursuit of the first four cars.
Behind him, Giovanni Tartaglia’s red Fiat was the next F Production car to clear the incident. Lap after lap the two continued at an equal pace. Late in the race, however, lapped traffic played into Giovanni’s hands as Chris was held up on more than one occasion. With one lap to go the Porsche’s mirrors were filled by the Fiat X/1-9. At every corner of the last lap Giovanni looked for an opening as Chris drove a defensive line. Finally the two cars entered the final turn side by side. The Tangerine Racing Porsche 914 was on the faster outside line as they exited the diving turn for the last time and began the drag race to the checkered flag ¼ mile away. At the line it was almost impossible to tell who won. Giovanni piloted his Fiat brilliantly but came up short by less than eight feet. The Tangerine Racing team had triumphed once again, this time in an old fashioned fight to the finish.
This season was made particularly special for Chris & Mary at the Porsche Rennsport Reunion at Lime Rock Park. Many famous historic Porsches and their drivers gathered along with an equal number of currently active Porsche Club racers for a weekend of fun at the track. The Tangerine Racing Team sported a new paint job with graphics, on the Race Support Vehicle, for the biggest gathering of Porsche Race cars ever. In his race Chris finished eighth out of 27 cars. The only cars to finish ahead of the 914 were 911s with much greater displacement and horsepower.

Many thanks go to the team’s associate sponsors: D & D Auto and American Specialty Products. Their support was invaluable throughout the season. Additionally the many volunteer specialty workers of the SCCA made each race a success and a true joy to participate in. We thank them all.

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Evill Ed
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Post by Evill Ed » Sat Jan 19, 2002 9:15 am

OUTSTANDING Chris, great job. Chris, do you have a page detailing your car and the specs?

Regards,
Ed

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Racer Chris
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Post by Racer Chris » Sun Jan 20, 2002 11:47 pm

Thanks Ed,

Here's a quick run-down on my car:

Engine - 1717cc (91x66mm)displacement, 12:1 cr, custom Wiseco pistons
Elgin camshaft - 272deg@.050, .398" lift at lobe
Stock pushrods, lightened stock rockers
Stainless steel valves, double valve springs
8000rpm redline
Dry sump, custom oil tank in passenger footwell
Front mounted oil cooler, Canton oil filter
Custom corvair flat mounted cooling fan with custom shroud
Adjustable external oil pressure regulator set at 80psi
Weber 40IDF carburetors with velocity stacks and custom debris screens
914 Super Header Exhaust system
Ignition - Bosch blue coil
Pertronix Ignitor in Bosch 009 distributor
No alternator, stock battery located in passenger seat area, kill switch
Transmission - 914 with open differential, A,F,I,Q,X gears, 7:31 r&p
Suspension - 23mm tubular torsion bars, 180lb rear springs
22mm adjustable front sway bar, 16mm adjustable rear sway bar
Poly-graphite bushings
Camber-ball strut bearings in front
Custom spherical bearings rear shock mount
Front spindles raised 7/8"
7x15 Keizer wheels - 4-1/2" backspacing
Hoosier Slicks - 23x9.5x15
4-1/2" ride height at rocker panel corners
Brakes - Stock calipers and rotors with KFP brake pads
Brake cooling ducts f&r
Rear calipers modified to remove parking brake and manual adjust mechanisms
Custom 6-1/2 gal fuel cell in right side of stock tank location
Custom aluminum race seat
LeCarra 13" steering wheel with quick release
Custom steel fender flares
Custom welded roll cage attached to f&r shock towers
Custom aluminum air dam
5lb Halon fire system
Weight as raced - 2030lb with driver

There's a few thing I haven't mentioned, and as you can see I haven't left anything unchanged. I have plans for further changes before the 2002 season as well.

Chris Foley

914URY
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Post by 914URY » Mon Jan 21, 2002 11:30 am

Chris,
I see you don't run an alternator. Do you ever run out of battery during a race? Do you change batteries or just recharge between races? I've thought about doing this, but have never talked to anyone who has done it.
What are the problems involved with it?
Thanks.

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Racer Chris
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Post by Racer Chris » Tue Jan 22, 2002 8:03 am

Beam me up Scotty.

914URY
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Post by 914URY » Tue Jan 22, 2002 8:49 am

Chris,
Do you use anything different for a battery? Like a marine deep cycle (like used on trolling motors), a gel cell or a larger than stock size? What was the reason for doing this-same the weight alt. or save the HP draw down of the alt- or both? (of course
both) Do you think it is worth the gain?

Sorry for all the questions but this has always been in the back of my mind as an option for my car. Also, are you coming to the PCA Club race at Sebring in a few weeks? I know the race draws in alot of people from the frozen north for some sunshine in February. Thanks.

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Racer Chris
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Post by Racer Chris » Tue Jan 22, 2002 9:08 am

Good Morning 914URY,

SCCA rules specify a minimum weight of 2020lbs after the race, so I use a stock battery inside a marine container located in the passenger seat area next to the Halon bottle. Additionally I have 40lbs of steel ballast on the floor ahead of the crossmember. I don't think a marine deep cycle battery will charge fast enough for my use, and I don't think the full discharge capability is necessary anyhow. I might use a gel cell if the battery was in the stock location.
I haven't been to the club race at Sebring, however some of my friends have been taking a semi with 5 or 6 cars the past few years. I did go out to Sebring to catch a ride at a drivers ed day back in the late 80's when I was in West Palm on business. I got 3 rides actually, 2 944 Turbos and a 930 slope nose. All three had stock harnesses so it was quite exciting. It was also the IMSA race weekend in WPB so I stayed for that too. All in all a very exciting time for a newcomer to the Porsche scene.
When I am rich (haha) I'll travel to all the great race tracks with my car for the PCA races. See you then!

Chris

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Post by 914URY » Tue Jan 22, 2002 11:14 am

Thanks for the reply Chris,
I only run autox's and 1 or 2 PCA races a year so I will most likly leave the alt. in for now. Or who knows, maybe one day when I need something to do, I'll take it out to try it. I'm always looking for something else to do. Right now I'm into making molds for f-glass fenders and doors. I made a f-glass passenger door with a big NACA duct with a 6" round flex duct running through a hole in the engine bulkhead feeding the air to the cooling fan of the engine. Sebring will be the first time I've run with it. I'll see if it really does anything.

HotRod
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Post by HotRod » Wed Jan 23, 2002 11:15 am

Chris,

Just out of curiosity:

Why run a 1.7 if your not going to take advantage of the weight reduction?

Are you sure about your lift numbers for your camshaft? Using stock rockers, my guess would be that your lift at the valve is around .515 to .520. Not a lot of lift for a production engine.

I assume that your home track is the Glen?

Brian Miller
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Post by Brian Miller » Wed Jan 23, 2002 1:00 pm

I often wondered if it would be possible to rig a clutch to the alternator, similar to modern A/C compressors, where the pully spins freely until a switch is turned on to activate the Alternator.

That would seem to be the best of both worlds. Has anyone seen a set-up like this? Is it possible/useful?

------------------
Brian Miller
1974 Porsche 914 Delphi Green/Tan
2270 TYPE IV R.A.T. Motor

johnhora
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Post by johnhora » Wed Jan 23, 2002 7:05 pm

Chris...
How has the 901 with the AFIQX been? Apparently good with your records....congrats by the way.
I am currently runninbg a AFMSZ.
With the gears that close are you shifting all the time.
Also you said you are using the 1.8 heads on the 1.7 cyls with a head ring. Never knew you could do that. have you tried this with the 2.0 heads.
I too have chaged back to GT6 as running GT5 with out a 6 cyl is useless.

John

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Racer Chris
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Post by Racer Chris » Wed Jan 23, 2002 9:24 pm

Hi John,

Thanks. I like the gears a lot at Lime Rock and NHIS. They aren't too close at all. second and third are close but that gives me good starts no matter what. At Lime Rock I only use 4th all the way around the track and 5th on the front straight on a typical lap. The revs go down to about 4800 at the slowest point, which is right at the bottom of the usable range for my engine, but at that part of the track I can't use full power anyway. 4th gets me from below 70mph to over 100mph with this setup. I guess I would have a little better acceleration with shorter 4th and 5th gears but I'm happy for now. I don't know if I can even get to the top of 5th as it is. I guess I have to go back to Summit Point to find out
The spacer ring was my idea and it works great. Should work the same with 2.0 heads. I had a piece of 4" Sch. 40 pipe machined to the right wall thickness, then cut it open so it lightly spring loads onto the cylinder, for easy installation.
BTW your check was mailed Tuesday, since the P.O. was closed Monday.

Chris

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Racer Chris
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Post by Racer Chris » Thu Jan 24, 2002 2:24 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by HotRod:
<B>Chris,

Just out of curiosity:

Why run a 1.7 if your not going to take advantage of the weight reduction?

Are you sure about your lift numbers for your camshaft? Using stock rockers, my guess would be that your lift at the valve is around .515 to .520. Not a lot of lift for a production engine.

I assume that your home track is the Glen?</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hi HotRod,

The 1.7 and 1.8 are on the same page of the SCCA GCR, that means no weight break for running the 1.7. I lost the muffler at the last race of 2001 and after post race impound the tech inspector said I was 6 pounds from being illegal. The muffler only weighs 6 pounds so I'm close enough to minimum already. If I lost a few pounds I'd be right there with the car. My reason for staying with the 1.7 so far is to run in PCA GT-6 with the same setup. If I run the 1.8 in PCA I get moved to GT-5 which allows up to 2.2, and become uncompetetive. I am pretty sure the Tangerine Car will become dedicated to SCCA F Production and get upped to 1.8 liter displacement, a simple thing as I use 1.8 heads with centering rings for the cylinders. My white race car has a 2.2 for PCA GT-5, but I haven't begun upgrading the chassis yet
The cam I spec'ed gives under .500 valve lift actually, but it's no slouch. I can get more aggressive and shorten the lifespan of the engine, but I am not an engine builder even though I do build my own. Anyway I am learning very fast in all areas of racing right now and don't want to tempt disaster. Reliability is important too.
My home track is Lime Rock Park (1hr 20min away) where I must have near 10,000 miles by now. I also race regularly at NHIS (3hr), and I have been to Pocono (4 1/2)hr, Watkins Glen (7hr), and Summit Point (10hr).

Chris

HotRod
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Post by HotRod » Thu Jan 24, 2002 11:14 am

Chris,

Congrats on you NARRC championship (I finished 2d in MARRS FP last year). I don't know why, I just kinda thought that 1.7s were still allowed the weight advantage, like back in the EP days before the 2.0s were legal.

Which gears did you say you used? I use M, S, and X at Summit Point. I'm thinking about doing something with a 904 mainshaft and using 4 speeds for VIR and Pocono.

You gonna do the Summit point National in April? If so, see you there.

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