Even though things have been crazy with all of the R&D work we have been doing lately, time has been found to install a few new items on the GT-R and head off to the track!! The special thing about this particular outing is that it was ONLY for GT-Rs! Entry was limited to twelve cars and we were lucky enough to make our way into the group.
I would at this point like to mention that we have been working super hard on getting our own ZCG harness bar made and installed in our GT-R. This track-day is the first time it has seen battle and it worked perfectly. Our design is much simpler than the competition’s bar (as seen in the AXIS Wheels GT-R) but there will be more on that later on in this post and a follow-up post with pictures tomorrow.
Our day began with Rob, Fred, and myself meeting at the shop in San Jose at 4:30am. Not much sleep last night. We packed up our previously prepared “track-day kit” (tools, jack, spare wheels etc.) and headed on our way to Buttonwillow Raceway. We got to the track at 7:45 and met with the group for a few minutes before the drivers meeting. Since everyone in the group knew each other, thanks to the small GT-R community, the track rules were fairly easy going and allowed for a ton of freedom.
The plan was to have six cars go out in half hour sessions but as soon as the cars were warmed up they were all out on track. With such a small group though no one seemed to notice because we would be running track configuration 13 clockwise which has a length of almost 3 miles. Nice.
Throughout the day cars would pull in and out of the pits as they pleased. There seemed to be multiple driver, wheel, and camera equipment changes in a few camps besides our own. It was good to see owners and drivers out and experimenting with the cars. We personally went through three or four drivers throughout the day and went as far as inviting a professional out for the day to see what our car was capable of in some truly gifted hands.
As you can see from the early photos of the day we were running our one-off set of HRE wheels but tire rubbing issues (due to limited available tire sizes) sidelined the new Nittos we acquired a week earlier. So after two sessions we were back on the the stock wheels with the OEM Bridgestone run flats. These tires held up all day in full beat-down sessions without issue. It’s amazing how professional drivers know how to take care of tires (anyone remember that scene from “Days of Thunder” with Bobby D?)
We managed a best time of 2:02 on the stock wheels and run-flat tires, quite the accomplishment.
Update: We went through the lap timer this morning and found a 2:00 lap which took place in one of the very last sessions of the day. How crazy is this car going to be when we get some real rubber?!
Keep reading for the entire event report and more photos.
We broke for lunch around 12:30 and enjoyed speaking with everyone about their morning track experiences. They all seemed more than pleased with the performance of the GT-R with only those pushing fairly hard (ZCG and maybe two or three other cars) noticing any change in performance of the cars systems. When our professional driver was in the car for the full session he had noted some brake fade. This is entirely understandable as we are running the full stock setup right down to the factory fluid. We have brake upgrades already in the works so we were out to test the limits of the stock system today.
The day wound down with a group photo in the “hot pits” and then a couple more sessions as the sun was beginning to set. What an amazing day at the track. All GT-Rs, wow. There was even a sighting of the GT-R omniscient one, Sean Morris. Nice guy that Sean… We loaded up the truck and got on our way back to the shop while dreaming of our next GT-R adventures which are surely right around the corner. Boost leaves a great aftertaste.
I also want to add that we are now running South Side Performance plenum and throttle body spacers with a COBB Stage 3 custom tune on the car for track days like this one. There are many more parts going on the car very soon (quite a few coming form SSP) and we would like this opportunity to thank all of our sponsors, our car rocks thanks to you. We are also data logging all of our track info and sending it back to COBB for analysis to help future GT-R owners like yourselves. You can thank us later. Haha.
Now, getting back to the ZCG harness bar. We have been working long and hard trying to find a solution for all GT-R owners who want to track their cars but hate being limited to the stock seat belts. We have designed and built this system to bolt into existing mounting points in the body while retaining the stock restraint system and allowing for super simple installation and removal. The B-pillar bars are very un-intrusive and are nearly hidden from outside view. They are meant to stay in the car when the harness bar is not in use and actually make egress for rear passengers much easier.
With the mounting design that we have chosen for the horizontal harness bar, there are no sharp edges of any kind to injure owners or passengers when not in use. This design also allows removal and installation of the horizontal bar to take less than 5 min. That’s right, from rear passengers to 6pt. ready in 5 minutes. You saw it here first.
This is still one of the early revision prototypes but there are only small changes to be made at this point before production begins (time frame is 2-3 weeks before production version will be available to market.) So stay tuned here or contact us for more information.
I will have photos of our harness bar in a post tomorrow. It is well worth the wait. Enjoy the pictures.