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350Z SCCA racecar

41169 Views 190 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  dkmura

This Z was built to compete in the SCCA Touring racing classes, and has the distinction of winning in three different Touring categories: T2 (2008-2012), T3 (2013-2015) and T1 (2015). Most of the mods are concentrated in the suspension, with Koni DA shocks, Eibach springs and fully adjustable swaybars. Enkei wheels and BFGoodrich R1-S tires provide the stick, while Cobalt Friction XR2 pads provide stopping power.

For 2015, we had success in winning the Rocky Mountain Division Championship in both Touring 1 and Touring 3. Traveling to Road Atlanta, the Z has won back-to-back Touring 3 titles the past two years in the American Road Race of Champions (ARRC).

There's still plenty of SERIOUS fun to be had with the Z33!
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Sorry - had to travel for business - back home now

This is Stephen Noble's latest paintwork

You can see older images here: Angryman Photography | Sports GT | Sports GT 59 Stephen Noble Nissan 350Z - Super Series Rnd 3 - Baskerville - 24-05-2015-5

Here are two of his in car videos:

Then there is Rob Whyte, 2012/2013/2014 Australian Drift Champion
He runs a 380RS engine on E85 with a supercharger ~500hp at the wheels
This is an old video

Another drift car

MCA have a 370Z drift car with a VK56DE
Massive job to put this one together, build inffo here: V8 370Z DRIFT BUILD | Performance Garage ? V8, HI-TECH, MUSCLE, IMPORT, HOTROD, EXOTIC, RACE, CUSTOM

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Thanks for the photos! Interesting that S. Noble's Z has side graphics that almost matched another race Z here in the States.
Hey MartinZ- while we're in the deep freeze here in the States, this should be peak racing time in Oz, isn't it? How many National level road racing events are there in the summer? How many cars are usually entered in each one? Finally, how is your own car prep going?
Hi, we don't do much racing in Dec and Jan because it's our holiday period (and it's too hot)
We race during the year, winter in Australia would be a "non event" for you, LOL
Categories race from Feb to Nov, some once a month, some once every two or three months (smaller categories)

Last year diverted me from my 350Z preparations
I bought a car, prepared it and raced in the Nissan Pulsar (that's a Sentra to you) Challenge, about 21 cars per race
It's a low cost and restrictive modification category
Some video here:

I won't be racing this year, my workload, team and budget have doubled and I will be travelling 1.5 times a month on average, that does not put me in a position to do justice to my racing (I'll be flying radio controlled helicopters instead).

Next year I'll be racing again, look forward to that.

I've done some modifications to my 350Z:
Tomei headers, hard engine mounts, 50mm radiator, oil cooler, air con removed,
SPL suspension parts, Nismo coppermax clutch & flywheel (overkill)
Harder diff and subframe mounts
I have recently started it using the Haltech replacement ECU - that was cool
Need to install a cage, install ITB's, tune the car, put a low ratio diff in the rear (I have a Cusco LSD).
I will also remove the variable exhaust timing (RevUp) as the Haltech does control it well
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Thanks for the reply! Very interesting to note what your race season is like. I enjoyed watching the Pulsar Challenge video- racetracks throughout the world look much the same. Another few questions: what do entry fees cost and is there any prize money for series like the Pulsar Challenge?

BTW- thought you might be interested in one of my past Nissan racecars: this was my Nissan 200SX (nee Pulsar) GT5 racer

It's almost the exact opposite of your Pulsar Challenge car: tubeframe, race slicks, 1300 cc full race engine with dog ring gearbox and silhouette bodywork. Tons of fun to drive when it ran, but TONS of work to get it dialed in!
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That's a real race car - I'm green with envy

Our series entry fee is $130 AUD and each race entry fee is $300 AUD ($207 USD) but no prize money - pretty cheap racing
In the world of motorsports, that is pretty cheap. In Colorado SCCA racing, the entry fee was $299 for four races (2 per day) over a weekend. No prize money there, either. You can win cash and tires for winning a SCCA Majors race, but that was more expensive ($550/weekend).
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Fast forward to March 2016 and it's time to create some new goals for the upcoming race season. First off, I'll continue to race in SCCA, but will primarily campaign in my home region. That means giving up the chance to win a SCCA Majors title, but I would like to qualify for the SCCA Runoffs in September. Goals for 2016 are the win the Rocky Mountain Division (RMD)Championship in both Touring 1 and Touring 3. That's a tall order, and depending on whether I can get my tubeframe Z33 up and running, all these plans may go up in smoke. In any case. here's the schedule as I see it in March:

Date/ track/type of race/ Class

April 30-May 1 High Plains Raceway- RMD Championship Touring 3
May 14-15 Circuit of St. Louis- SCCA Majors Touring 3
May 28-29 Pueblo Motorsports Park- SCCA Majors Touring 3
July 2-3 High Plains Raceway- SCCA Majors Touring 3
July 23-24 Pueblo Motorsports Park- RMD Championship Touring 1
August 20-21 High Plains Raceway- RMD Championship Touring 1
September 19-25 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course- SCCA Runoffs Touring 3

Seven weekends doesn't sound like too much, right? But it means the Z will have to have almost faultless reliability throughout ALL the races to finish in the points and depends in great part to how well my competition campaigns and finishes. For 2015, we achieved dual RMD championships, together with back-to-back American Road Race of Champions (ARRC) titles. This year is sure to be tougher, but I think both me and the 350Z are up to it!

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Yesterday I spent several hours going through all the fluids (including bleeding brakes), checking tires and brakes, cleaning and sealing the paint for the coming year. I've got a new AIM timer for this year, but am having a tough time figuring out how to mount it to keep GPS monitoring at max effectiveness. First race isn't for several weeks, but the closer I look, the more work I find!

BTW- for MartinZ: SCCA entry fees range from $330 for a quad regional weekend to $550 for a US Majors weekend.
This upcoming weekend is the Rocky Mountain Division SCCA opener. High Plains Raceway is a 2.55-mile circuit located about 60 miles east of Denver, CO and will be where we kick off the season in the middle of the country. Weather forecast calls for rain on both Saturday and Sunday, so I may get the opportunity to run some new BFGoodrich KDW-R rain tires I've been saving. With two races each day (four total), I need reliable finishes to start the season with.

Lots of fast cars in my group, Porsche 911 GT3, BMW M3 E46, Audi A4 turbo Quattro, Mustang GT500-R and others. While most of these are in other classes, we are still racing to gain position in the race. With the possibility (probability?) of rain, that promises to jumble the field even more. The 350Z is a good car to drive in the wet and I'm looking forward to a good race weekend.
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Well, these early season races in Colorado have a way of springing some surprises. A series of winter storms are tumbling across the state, bringing 8-16" of wet, slushy snow to the metro area and highways east. Here's my tow rig this morning, all prepped and ready to head out this afternoon:

Gotta love the PURE GLAMOUR of racing in the Rockies! At least the Z-car is clean and dry in the trailer for now...
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I just love those Enkei wheels
Thanks! But do you mean the Enkei Raijins (BBS lookalike) or the RPF-1? Both are well made, good lookin' and performing wheels. I also have some Enkei PF01 that have enough offset for good caliper clearance.

Also, this weekend's (4/30-5/1/16) SCCA races were cancelled due to the snow. They'll be delayed until next weekend.

This Z was built to compete in the SCCA Touring racing classes, and has the distinction of winning in three different Touring categories: T2 (2008-2012), T3 (2013-2015) and T1 (2015). Most of the mods are concentrated in the suspension, with Koni DA shocks, Eibach springs and fully adjustable swaybars. Enkei wheels and BFGoodrich R1-S tires provide the stick, while Cobalt Friction XR2 pads provide stopping power.

For 2015, we had success in winning the Rocky Mountain Division Championship in both Touring 1 and Touring 3. Traveling to Road Atlanta, the Z has won back-to-back Touring 3 titles the past two years in the American Road Race of Champions (ARRC).

There's still plenty of SERIOUS fun to be had with the Z33!
She's beautiful
Thanks! It's hard to keep the race Z looking good, but it's a priority for me. It was repainted (AX6-redline) last year, with new graphics applied after eight hard seasons of road racing. Right now, it's safe and dry in the 24' enclosed trailer behind my Titan, but we'll be getting it out next weekend and starting the process all over again.
The latest news from the SCCA comp board is the 350Z will get additional restrictions in Touring 3 as of 6/1/16. The restrictions are double edged and include the use of twin 40 mm intake restrictors on the VQ35HR (restricts airflow and cuts top end power considerably) together with limiting tire size (275 section width down two sizes to a 245 limits braking and cornering potential). The rationale is an effort to equalize competition with four cylinder cars like the MX-5 and FWD sport coupes in T3. So for those who wonder which is faster, a new 2016 MX5 or an eight year old Nissan 350Z, well, there's your answer!

While these mid-season rule changes are frustrating, I'm NOT giving up! I accept the challenge of fighting with both hands tied behind my back and will test the water with these new T3 restrictions, while proudly representing Nissan in 2016.
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Our opening SCCA race was this weekend and what a wild one it was! First race the Z ran well, but holy cow were there a lot of $$$ fast cars in other classes to contend with. Factory built racecars like the Porsche 911 GT3, and BMW M235iR were seen up close (until they pulled away) and were my biggest competition even though they were in other classes. The second race was more eventful, as for the first time, I failed to completely latch my window net mechanism. After three laps, it came down in a fast corner and fell into my lap! Not much to do--once it was called in by a corner crew, I'd get black flagged anyway--I elected to make a quick pitstop and get it put back into place. Falling to last place in the race, the Z worked it's way back up though the ranks before the checkered flag fell.

So, a somewhat auspicious start to the 2016 season, but ECM and ABS codes were popping up, there's a leak somewhere in the CSC and (judging from tire wear) my wheel alignment is out. Lots of work to do before making the long tow to St. Louis this next weekend. The SCCA Majors race on a roval is next up, followed by another SCCA Majors at Pueblo Motorsports Park mean it's a very busy month!
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Back on the road again. Heading to St. Louis to compete in the SCCA Majors race at Gateway International, which is an ultra quick 1.65-mile roadcourse which uses part of the banked oval.
Quick update from the Circuit of St. Louis (formerly Gateway International): the Titan is heading back to my home in Colorado filled with Majors checkered flags and first place trophies! Two wins to start out the Majors season is the good news, but the bad is my single inlet magnaflow muffler was pushed so far to the right by centrifugal forces in the banked turns, it melted the rear bumper! Also ran over some track debris that badly damaged one of my sideskirts, so the Z will need some work before the next race.

Still over 700 miles to get back home...
Back home finally, and one more story to share. With lot of different classes racing in the same race, I found myself dicing with a GT3 Miata for most of the first race on Saturday. Z. Before anyone thinks I was beating up on a smaller car, the GT classes remove most restrictions, and a fully built race engine with high compression domed pistons, high lift cams, a built shortblack and more are allowed in a car highly modified for racing. Beyond that, the 1.65-mile roval circuit at St. Louis really suits a small, lightweight race car like the Miata.

From the start, my Mazda pilot had Hoosier race slicks which "came in" quickly and closed up. I could see him in my mirrors, looking for a way by. By the time we hit the banked turns, he could pull out of my (considerable) draft and try pulling ahead down the straightaway to T1. Lap after lap, the Z would scream down that section as I upshifted to fifth. He nearly pulled alongside and would have had inside position for the pass, except for the last 100 yards or so. To give you some idea of what that first turn is like (reminds me of the now defunct road course at Phoenix International), you set the car with a light brake, heel/toe rev match to fourth gear and stand on the gas as you turn in!

This lasts only an instant as you accelerate through the first third of the corner before using hard, threshold braking at the outside of the corner, while a second shift to third gear gets you in position to take a late apex off the turn and a clean launch down the next chute. It's great fun, and really shows off both the power of the VQ and the stability of the FM chassis on that critical section. Joking with the Miata's pilot after the race, he said the pass was made up 'till we hit that last section, when the Z pulled ahead. His Miata weighs more than a thousand pounds less than my SCCA-mandated 3,450#, and illustrates why light sports cars will always have a place in the sportscar market. But weight aside...give me the Z every time!
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