I have a project that I thought might pique the interest of individuals with an engineering mindset and also wanted to mine said individuals for ideas to improve performance. My name is Dan O’Donnell and I drive the “Professional Awesome” 2001 Mitsubishi Evolution in a format of racing called “Time Attack.” This is essential time trials or qualifying in which we drive circuits throughout the USA with the goal of obtaining track records for our class.
So far we have been pretty successful, winning consistently over the past 2-3 years, but winning isn’t enough for us any longer. We want to continue to push the envelope and distance ourselves from the competition. The team consists of three individuals; one extremely competent mechanic, an extremely bright mechanical engineer/technologist and me, a mediocre driver. Our budget is extremely small, but we have been successful through innovation and reliability.
My goal here is to see what suggestions exist that look like areas for improvement. I personally feel that we have large gains available in the aerodynamic department, but we are limited to basic theory without the means for CFD or wind tunnel analysis. The car could also stand to lose weight, but we are starting to run out of areas to cut that still embody the spirit of the rules.
We compete in the “Street AWD” category with a near-future goal of switching to the “Limited AWD” category. See http://www.globaltimeattack.com/2011-gta-rules/ for rules.
Basic vehicle information (more detailed here http://www.globaltimeattack.com/professional-awesome/ )-
2001 Mitsubishi Evolution VII
Weight- 3263lbs w/ driver (FR 930, FL 982, RR 645, RL 706) (the entire interior is gutted save for the dash, center console and door panels per rules)
Horsepower- 490whp (we can make more and plan to when we have more reliable ECU tuning options, currently awaiting cash influx to purchase)
Tires- 255/40-17” Hankook RS-3 (Limited size by rules)
Front Differential- OEM Helical
Center Differential- OEM ACD (The ACD is a bevel-gear type center differential with a front/rear torque distribution of 50:50. The differential is controlled by an electrically controlled hydraulic multi-plate clutch.)
Rear Differential- OEM Evolution X S-AYC (The SAYC is similar to the center differential, though it allows for torque vectoring)
Coilovers- KW Motorsport Series 2-Way Adjustable. 10k front springs, 12k rear springs.
Sway Bars- Whiteline 26mm front solid, 24mm rear solid.
Brakes- OEM Brembo 4 piston front, 2 piston rear with CL-RC8 sintered iron pads.
Aerodynamics- Front Splitter extending 5 inches from bodywork, undertray extending to centerline of front wheels (limited by rules). Rear wing is Kognition, chassis mount.
After reading the rules, what should we do next?
Here is video from Road Atlanta, where I feel the car and driver performed very well. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LrzE5y2VP0
And here is the car as it sits now.
Please let me know if any additional information or detail is needed and wild ideas are appreciated! Thank you so much for reading!