The Search for Traction Finale

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Hard to see smiles behind a full face helmet, but they're present. The NX is not the fastest car nor will it ever be the fastest car on the track. It is, however, a very fun and surprisingly fast car on the track. It's the culmination of years of tinkering to make it a great handling car with enough power to make almost anyone appreciate.

After a session behind the wheel, there was no question about the NX in Katie’s mind either. It was, finally, the car that I have wanted for over a decade. The swap, done four years ago, provided the car with the power required. Bits and pieces have been improved each year. The significant piece, however, was the installation of the Nismo LSD. No longer do I leave a solo trail of rubber on corner exits. I do not have to feather the gas while trying to find traction. I can mash the gas peddle mid-corner and the LSD and tire combination simply pull it through. I love the Toyo RR tires – the grip that they exhibited throughout the weekend was astonishing. Even more astonishing was the LSD. What an absolutely wonderful device.

 

With the GA16DE engine and all of the bolt-ons I could find, my car was fun but slow. Amazing handling with the KYB AGX's and GC coilovers. With the SR20DET we had power (especially once the GFB Electronic Boost Controller was added) but I lost cornering capability. Custom strut housings and Koni 8610s, stiffer springs, custom LCAs all helped a bit. Yet it was not enough; the Nismo LSD was the missing link.

As the weekend progressed the boost was increased to 16lbs and the car was an amazing rocket around the track. Now, I will get down off of my self-inflated pedestal and acknowledge that there are much faster cars in Ontario – see #teamcanada is coming for proof of that. This build is not to compete with cars like that – it is built to compete against itself. I wanted to see the NX perform effectively. Essentially, I sought to build the car the way that I wish Nissan had built it originally.

 

For nine years Katie and I have been taking my NX1600 to the track. It has changed drastically since I purchased it in 1992. I wonder how many more years of track use it will see?
The morning of our track day began with beautiful sunshine beaming into the RV windows. It bode well for the day ahead.
The following weekend we were out at Canadian Tire Motorsport Parks' famous Grand Prix track. It was first thing in the morning so we were taking it easy and allowing the car to warm up. Pic by Richard Wintle.

In early May the car was loaded back onto the dolly to head back to CTMP; this time to drive the Grand Prix track. Katie has beaten me here every year she has driven since 2010. This year I had the faster time, although, the manner in which I obtained this victory was ignominious. Out in the opening session we did three or four laps to ensure the car was warmed up. The yellow flag was also out to ensure everyone was ready for a return to the track after a long winter. Even under yellow on the fourth lap we added a bit of boost to the back straight run and it was feeling pretty good. Rounding the start/finish the flag went green, all yellows were removed, and we accellerated into turn two.

 

Rounding Turn 3 during the yellow flag session. One more lap until the green flag is thrown and the track goes hot. The car is feeling good and, I think, looking good. Please understand that I am biased about this fact. Pic by Richard Wintle.

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