The second time around Mike reported that the car was much improved and the car looked fast. You could also tell that it was working much better than previously being much more settled in the bumps and under cornering load. We did another round of changes on the shocks.
I had requested that the team get Dai Yoshihara as the primary test driver because Dai and I have a very good working relationship and he can communicate what a car needs very well with me. Many people don't know this but Dai is a very skilled grip driver with road racing and TIme Attack wins under his belt. Dai felt that there was too much front brake bias and the car had a slight bit of mid turn understeer. We did additional changes to the cars set up and changed the rear brake pads to a more aggressive Project Mu compound.
With Dai driving we were able to really fine tune the car's suspension. Dai was able to turn a lap in the high 1.20 range not really trying in the car just doing paced laps testing the car cooling system. The car seemed very fast and Dai was able to easily keep up with a Porsche cup car testing at the same time. Dai reported that the car was nearly perfect in handling and the brakes were amazing by the time we got done. Dai also felt that he could go much faster if that was the objective but he didn't want to push the car too hard in shake down testing. Dai felt that the car could easily do 1.19's or less which is flying around Steets of Willow.
After our shakedown, the car was shipped to Pikes Peak. With Rob Walker behind the wheel, the car was fast in practice although Rob complained about some mid turn understeer which I was figuring due to having worked with both him and Dai in the past. Dai tends to rotate the car quickly and get on throttle early when Rob surfs it around the turn on the edge. Dai prefers a softer set up than most drivers and Rob likes a firm responsive platform.
Via the phone we suggested a few changes which Rob liked. All was looking good despite a few electrical gremlins that that team overcame. Unfortunately the car blew a head gasket partway up the mountain. The car was very fast on the lower sections before the head gasket failed and was 3rd fastest in the class in practice despite being underpowered.
This showing demonstrated what could be done in just a short time with little development and a small budget. In that way the effort was successful. There is always next year.