BLOG 2010

Previous year happenings!

 

 

2010 Season - The year of the blown engine

 

November El Mirage

With continued rain, the lake bed continues to be too wet to race :(.  That is the end of the season and we are looking forward to next year!


October - El Mirage


No racing due to recent rain and the normally dry lake is now a real lake!


October - World Finals


Friday - October 08
We arrived on the salt to find that the first mile on both courses was still underwater.  We moved both courses down a mile, but course 2 is now only a short course in length.
 
We replace the timing gear key and started the engine only to find a noise that gave us concern.  We discovered an issue with the fly wheel and as we do not have a replacement fly wheel or the bolts we are done for the week :(.
 
We did not have any better luck with the #788 Nebulous Theorem III Streamliner.  After spending most of the day working to get the engine started, we found that the engine might have an issue with one of the rods.  At this point we determined that this vehicle is done for the week too.
 
Not the week we were hoping to have with the two vehicles, but we did have some fast runs and any day racing is better then the best day at work!  Special thanks to Claude Parker who drove up from Santa Clarita, CA to help the WGB team.
 
Thursday - October 07
The WGBR #2111 Truck was the third vehicle to leave course 1 this morning; the salt was great!  The truck was fast up to the 1-1/2 mile when we lost one of the coils (coil #2) and the truck stopped making horsepower - running on 3 cylinders is not the fastest way do go down the course.  Impressively, the fastest point of the pass was 169.294 mph.  We towed the truck back to the pits and found we did not have an exact replacement coil.  So we improvised another coil and went back to the line.  The line was incredibly short, yippee!  The next run was somewhat better but the engine noised over around the 2-1/2 mile and Keith shut it off.  We did go faster on this pass, the fastest point was the 2-1/4 at 177.571 mph.  After investigation we found that the timing gear key had sheared and that caused the engine to stop running.  Tom volunteered to go to Layton, UT VW shop to acquire a replacement (5 hours round trip).  THANK YOU TOM!  We have high hopes for Friday.
 
On the left is the old gear with the key missing.
 
The #788 Nebulous Theorem III Streamliner had issues starting today.  The team worked on the engine for several hours and hope to make a run on Friday.
 
In the late afternoon the wind started blowing and the rain was back.  We hope to have a dry course (or two on Friday), but are not optimistic because the start to the one mile of each course was a lake....  the entire start line to the one mile is under a half inch of water.
 
Wednesday - October 06
Overnight we had some rain on the salt.  Unfortunately there was enough that course 1 could not be used today and all competitors had to use course 2.  Rick was one of the first few vehicles to run and he drove the #788 Nebulous Theorem III Streamliner to a fast 291.638 mph pass.  However, the engine did not make enough compression to surpass the existing record of 302 mph.  However, he was the fastest vehicle of the day.  The rest of the day the Nebulous Theorem III crew worked on the engine and they are now ready to make another attempt on Thursday.
 
We took the WGBR #2111 truck to the start line.  Once there we discovered a fairly short line and were about ready to get Keith into the driver's seat when we noticed that the oil pump belt was loose again - something we thought we had fixed on Tuesday.  We had to pulling the truck back to the pits to make the belt adjustments.  We then pulled the truck back to the starting line only to find a much longer line.  We waited in line but the progress to the starting line was slow and hampered by two incidents, a crash of vehicle #2115 at 260 mph (the driver walked away from the crash - a real testimony to the increased safety recently mandated by the SCTA/BNI) and a car that caught fire.  We finally got to where we were three vehicles away from the start line and the wind started blowing.... and blowing... and blowing.  The racing was called for the day and we ended without being able to run... but we will run early on Thursday morning.
 
Another good thing about the wind is that course 1 dried out and we should be able to run both courses starting tomorrow.  That will also help shorten the wait in line too.
 
Tuesday - October 05
We continued to set up the courses and the announcer stand.  We also worked on preparing the truck and the streamliner for Wednesday runs.  In the late afternoon the wind came up strong.
 
Monday - October 04
We setup the communications for the event.  We had the race vehicles inspected and we had a small get together at the WGB to welcome the week correctly.  Rain blew around the salt all day long until about 5pm when a small storm dumped a little water on the salt.  The salt continues to be very hard and unless there is more rain tonight, it should be dry in the morning.
 
The White Goose Bar Gang on the salt.  We are busy setting up the course communications and radios (including the race repeaters on the mountain behind us).
 
Sunday - October 03
We left at 0600 for Wendover and arrived in a fast 11 hours later without any issues or problems.  Tom had something come up and could not leave until Monday.  Rick has some last minute adjustments on the streamliner and left about 2pm and arrived real late.

September - Car Show

On the 29th of September, the #2111 White Goose Bar Truck was taken to Lockheed Martin for the "Employee Connect and Engage Bring Your Wheels & Wings to Work Show."  Mike and Keith had a good time showing off the truck and talking with work friends and colleagues about their hobby and passion for LSR.  Tom Hanley (rider of the #529B WGBR Bike) brought one of his bikes, his Buell, to the show as well.

Both the #2111 WGBR Truck and the #788 Nebulous Theorem III Streamliner are ready to go to Bonneville for World Finals.  After Speedweek, the WBGR Truck needed new pistons and some modifications to the cooling system.  The team put in Ross pistons, replaced the radiator, changed the thermostat, and made improvements to the intercooler water pump.  See you all on the salt!

September - El Mirage

The #2111 WBGR Truck's engine was still apart while repairs to the damage sustained at Speedweek were being addressed.  However, the #788 Nebulous Theorem III Streamliner ran on the Flathead / Gas Streamliner (XF/GS) class and set a new landspeed record at 183.123 mph.  The engine went away at the end of the run and Rick was unable to go as fast as he hoped.  #788 fell to second place in the SCTA points race, after holding first place all year long � watch out for the team in October!  Rick will be on a mission to regain first place.  Tom Hanley had his debut on the dirt with the #529B WGBR Bike.  Tom made four familiarization passes; good as the course started to go away early and that gave Tom some experience ridding on a loose, rutted, dirt course.


August - Bonneville


Saturday - 21 August
We hit the road from Bishop about 7:00 am after breakfast and Rick caught us about an hour later.  We stopped at Rick's shop before noon to drop off the bike and proceeded home to start the task of cleaning up.  While unloading the trailer, I noticed that another tire was bulging and getting ready to loose it's tread... The tire was just under 5 years old; I would have expected a little better than that.
 
Friday - 20 August ... Finish up, Pack up, head for home.
Friday morning was a work day to pack and get ready to head out.  I spent all morning cleaning up the goose and packing things up.  Before noon they shut down the combo course so that the workers could start picking up the wire and etc.  John, Sean and I went out and took down the short course time slip stand, announcer stand and then when the meet was over the timing tower.  We have lots of boxes of gear that was all packed into the Emergency Response Trailer.  After finishing on the salt we stopped for lunch at the Mexican restaurant at the end of the road; it was welcome since by this time it was about 2:00 pm.  After we finished, it was back to the hill in town to retrieve the repeaters, take shower and hit the road.  We left town about 4:00 pm and headed for home.  Unfortunately, we only got about 10 miles down the road when Lee's truck spit another hose for the turbo and intercooler.  We waited at the top of the hill for him while he put a spare on.  After a quick stop for fuel in Ely, we ran into the night and stopped in Tonapah for fuel again.  At this point, Lee and Rick were done for the night.  Keith, Tom, John, Sean and I decided to press on.  We wound up in Bishop about 2:00 am and pulled over for much needed sleep.
 
Thursday - 19 August... Send the Monkey up the tower
Off and on during the week we fought low audio on the race radios from the Combo Course start line.  They were on the repeater channel three that is on the Wendover City site, you know the one that went down earlier in the week.  Rick and I traveled up to the site in his Honda truck for a repositioning of the antennas.  John Romero had not been up to the site and followed in his truck.  Even though the road is steep and lose dirt, John's truck made it pretty easy.  We took both repeaters down when we arrived and determined that the antenna that was in use was pointed off were it should not have.  Also, we discovered that the polarization was down instead of up, we were not sure if this was a problem, but changed it anyway.  When we got done, Rick had climbed the tower and moved both antennas almost 15' higher than before.  With the added change of re-polarizing and pointing the antenna, our communications were better than ever. Good thing Rick likes to climb... While were up on the hill Keith helped Tom run the bike at 114 mph.  Tom complained of it being squirrely so Rick decided to take for a ride.  He netted a 184 mph pass, which was faster than any of us thought it would go.
 
Wednesday - 18 August ... Two Hundred Mile an Hour Club, Don't fall down.
Wednesday was a pretty normal day, Rick and Jim tearing down the flathead and Tom making more street speed passes on the bike.  That evening was the Bonneville 200 mph club banquet at the casino and we purchased tickets for the crew to go.  During the presentation, I went to the restroom and Mike Waters followed.  As it turned out, he was going to leave and I caught sight of him starting down the first flight of stairs.  By the time I got the top of the stairs, he was starting down the second flight.  I got there just in time to see him stumble at the top of the second flight and fall down to the bottom. He lay open skin on both arms and his leg.  I helped him up and decided to leave with him to make sure there were no more stumbles.
 
Tuesday - 17 August ... Wasn't I a Boy Scout?
Boy Scouts are always prepared, like using the repeater emergency power connection...  When we set up the repeaters that are used for communications on the Wendover city site, we did not have a 12V car battery available to use as the emergency back up.  I mean when does the power go down in the city of Wendover?  It never has in all time we have been using he power site.  Well about 10:00 am on Tuesday morning sounds about right.  The power in the whole city went down and so did our repeaters.  We ran up to the hill with a car battery and brought up the repeaters on emergency 12V battery.  Boy Scouts would have done it right the first time.
 
Monday - 16 August ... Put, Put Kennedy is replaced.
Years ago, we were trying to get Lee Kennedy in the 200 club at Bonneville in Rich's Alfa; unfortunately I did not have the Nitrous tune up dialed in and Lee ran a couple of passes shutting down and coasting through the lights.  During that time, Glen Barrett nick named him Put, Put.  Well, Tom Hanley ran the Hyabusssa, going for his 125 mph license and ran a whopping 90 mph...  All week long...
 
The morning started with a photo shoot of the #2111 WGBR Truck.
 
 
Then the #788 Nebulous Theorem III team did a run at  290.152 mph, but it was not enough to qualify for a record return.  They continued to work on the engine the rest of the day.
 
 
It was finally time for Tom Hanley to ride the #529B Suzuki Hyabusa running in the 1350CC / Modified Partial Streamlined Gas (1350 / MPS-G) motorcycle class.  Tom made a slow pass (79.891 mph) to get used to the bike (first time on the bike) and the salt (also first time on the salt).  He found that his leathers were too tight and after some adjustments Tom made two more passes, the first at 103.654 mph and the second at 107.853 mph.  He is starting to feel much more comfortable with the bike.  Early focus is on proper technique, body position for best aerodynamics, and getting a feel for what traction (or lack of) feels like on salt. 
 
The condition of the salt today was good.  The short course was well packed, and provided good traction and short lines.  In general, you could run laps on the short course, today, without having too long of a wait.  The combo-course was alleged to be a little softer than the short course, but still provided good traction but slightly longer wait times between runs.
 
Sunday - 15 August ... The truck exceeds our expectations, but it is; The End ...
We took the truck out this morning to make a pass on the short course.  The course was very busy and it was late in the afternoon before we made a pass.  The truck ran 186 in the 2 and quarter and through the mile at about the same.  I thought that it had reached terminal velocity when it ran through the mile.  However, when I arrived to pick up the truck, it had boiled all the water out and Keith said that it nosed over in the middle of the mile.  We towed it back to impound thinking that the head gasket had blown and we were prepared to tear it down and get it repaired.  Unfortunately, when we got the head off, the motor had started to stick the pistons in the cylinders.  Later it was determined, that the ring end gap was insufficient and caused the pistons to seize.  We reinstalled the head in impound and returned to the pits.  While we were disappointed, it was great to see the potential of the truck... we shall return.
 
We were back on the course with the #2111 WGBR Truck, this time the new "combo" course.  Mike again cleared Keith for a "hot" run and Keith stood on the accelerator.  The truck did 186.651mph in the 2 1/4 mile and then the engine started to go away and Keith turned it off.  He "coasted" the truck for the rest of the mile with a speed of 186.195mph indicating the truck was really accelerating up to the point where the engine started to have problems.  However, the class record for 2.0L / Blown Modified Mid-Mini Pickup (G /BMMP) at Bonneville is 165.989mph and the run even when the engine was turned off for more than a half mile of course was 20mph faster then the previous record.  It was also fast enough for Keith to receive his Class "B" LSR license.  We took the truck to impound and started working on the engine to see if the head gasket had failed.  Unfortunately the engine had started to seize and that put and end to the WBGR Speedweek campaign.  The team will be back in October for World Finals!  The #788 Nebulous Theorem III team continued to work the engine.
 
Saturday - 14 August  We get started, corrupted data?
Saturday was the start of racing and along with it came the normal and abnormal issues.  The Rookie orientation that Tom had to attend wasted, I mean took three hours. I agree that something had to be done for the rookies, but 3 hours of lecture is ridiculous.  We spent the day sorting out little problems until everything was running smooth.  I had a note about data being corrupted, but to save everyone the embarrassment, I won't discuss it here.  Mainly it is me, since I forgot what the real issue was.
 
The salt this year is good with three courses working.  We took the #2111 WGBR Truck to the short course and had a good run, but Keith turned off the course after the one mile when he say the O2 sensor indicate that engine was running lean.  When the engine was shut off, the truck was in 5th gear and traveling at 155 mph with low RPMs.  We took the truck back to the pits found that the engine was not running lean, but the installed a second O2 gauge.    The #788 Nebulous Theorem III streamliner running in the Flathead / Blown Fuel Streamliner (XF/BFS) class had a great run at 306.893mph on a 302.674mph record.  Rick and the team found that the engine burned a piston and they were unable to fix the engine in the impound time and thus pulled the streamliner back to the pits to correct the problem.
 
Friday - 13 August ... Finishing Touches
Friday was spent completing the microwave network and testing it out.  We buttoned up a few things on the race truck, getting it ready less ice and water for the morning.  Once again I wound up playing with CB (Childrens' Band) radios, replacing Lee Kennedy's antenna on his truck, tuning four more antennas and installing a CB and antenna in Lee's golf cart.  Seems like every year I get sucked into CB problems somewhere.  Because of all the work in the week ahead, this will be the last early night we get into town.  Pam, Keith and Tom came into town late in the afternoon.
 
Thursday - 12 August ... Work, Work, Work
Thursday was spent working on both the communications for the association and setting up our pit area.  We always set up our pit area first so there is shade available while we are working.  When the pit is complete we started on the communications for the association, including the repeaters and the microwave network for time slips.  Vehicle inspection started on Thursday morning so there were competitors setting up pits and getting inspected.  We eventually were inspected late in the afternoon by an inspector that broke away to do the worker's cars.  By the time the day was finished, we had most of the network set up and radio communications completed.  Who said that this vacation was all fun and relaxing?
 
Wednesday - 11 August ... On the road again.
We left Lancaster for Wendover at 5:30 am this morning. Our caravan consisted of Mike, John and Sean Romero in their truck, Dan Warner in his truck, Jim Miller in his truck and Lee Kennedy met us at Peggy Sue�s in Yermo.  Rick and Pete were supposed to leave with us, but at the time we left Pete was still coming down from the bay area to meet up with Rick.  We decided to start with out them and continued down the road.  It was a pretty easy trip despite changing a tire on the Goose at the side of the road in the middle of Nevada, changing a turbo hose on Lee's truck and waiting for road construction twice.  Fortunately we did better than Rick; he lost one tire on his trailer before Victorville and another at Primm.  It took him all day and he did not catch up to us.  Not withstanding all the roadside stops, we still made the trip in 13 hours.

July - El Mirage

The #2111 WGBR Truck did not compete during the July meet as the engine destroyed from the June meet was extensive and the Class G engine was being assembled.  The team is focused on getting the 2.0L Class G engine together for Bonneville.
 
The #788 Nebulous Theorem III streamliner continued their outstanding season.   Rick Yacoucci drove the streamliner to a new record of 238.937 mph, just bumping up his record he set last month in the Flathead / Blown Fuel Streamliner (XF/BFS) class.  For the third meet in a row he took fastest vehicle pass of the meet!  Rick also continues to be the person everyone in the SCTA is chasing for the points championship.
 

#788 Nebulous Theorem III at the lights setting a new record of 238.937 mph in Flathead / Blown Fuel Streamliner (XF/BFS)

 
Tom Hanley was unable to get all of the stars to align to race the WGBR motorcycle, but will be ready to go at Bonneville.

June - El Mirage

June 13, 2010 was not the best day for the #2111 WBGR Truck.  The first pass was a combination of a fuel pump starting to go away, most noticeable in fourth gear and driver error, could not find fifth gear (Keith Pedersen was driving).  This first pass the WGBR Truck went a slow 129.950 mph on our 3.0L / Blown Modified Mid-Mini Pickup (F/BMMP) class record that we set in May.  The good news is when we looked at the data, the truck was going 161+ mph in fourth gear (Keith got out of the accelerator when the truck seems to not want to go any faster, could not find fifth gear, and the timing lights were near).  We work on the truck in the pits, cleaned the fuel filters, and installed a spare fuel pump.  Special thanks to Tom Hanley and Randy Moore for all of their help.  Mike Manghelli and John Romero made a few changes to the engine map that allowed the turbo to build more boost, more quickly in fourth gear, in an attempt to be able to get to 5th gear faster and have more course left for acceleration.
 
The second pass started not so good, Keith had a hard time finding first gear, then had a hard time finding second.  But after that things improved (for awhile).  The truck really accelerated in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th gears and was a fun fast ride..... all the way until the engine blew at the shift point in fourth gear ~8500rmp (~165 mph).  As Keith crossed the finish line and was trying to slow down and turn to the right as quickly as possible, he got the truck loose and almost hit a set of cones - now his adrenaline was really flowing.  Keith had to turn to the right to notify the race officials that he thought engine parts might be on the course and this action causes immediate reaction from ALL of the emergency vehicles (turning to the right is the driver signal to the event safety staff that something is very wrong such as blown engine, fire, or worse).  Their quick response and the announcement on the radio that the truck had turned right caused some concern with Keith's wife and the WGBR crew as they wondered what was happening; the good thing is no fire and no injury.  Then to top that fun off, when Keith got back in the truck to steer the truck as it was pulled off the course so racing could resume, his knee bumped the cockpit fire bottle push release and Keith got soaked from the fire bottle emptying on the driver.  On the bright side we determine that the DJ Safety cold fire system works perfectly and if there had been a cockpit fire, it would have done the job of protecting the driver and it lasts a LONG time.  Bad side is not only do we have to deal with the massively blown engine, we need to have the fire bottle refilled too.  Needless to say this was the end of our day and we will have to change engines for the July meet (likely we will return to the G engine class).
 

#2111's blown engine: some of the bigger pieces of the engine block.  Notice the twisted piston ring in the center of the picture.

 
   
 
While the WGBR Truck struggled, the #788 Nebulous Theorem III streamliner continued their great season.  After Rick dropped a cylinder on their turbo charged flat head in May, Jimmy Stevens again performed his magic by rebuilding the flat head horsepower monster.  Rick Yacoucci drove the streamliner to a new record of 238.321 mph, impressively bumping up his record he set last month in the Flathead / Blown Fuel Streamliner (XF/BFS) class.  Not only that but he once again took fastest vehicle pass of the meet, second time in a row!  Rick also continues to be the person everyone in the SCTA is chasing for the points championship.
 
Tom Hanley completed his rookie orientation in preparation for his debut in July on the WBGR motorcycle.  He looks forward to the opportunity to start his landspeed racing fun.

 

May - El Mirage

The 2010 season started with outstanding results from the White Goose Bar Racing Team.  The #2111 WGBR Truck sported a new body wrap that received many compliments (we are very proud of it too!).  The #2111 WGBR Truck raced in the 3.0L / Blown Modified Mid-Mini Pickup (F/BMMP) class on a 160mph open minimum record.  The first pass down the course was 156.349mph; a good pass for a tune up run!  The pass filled the truck with dust so Tom Hanley worked to seal the truck for the second pass.  Mike Manghelli and John Romero made minor engine management software changes and the truck was ready.  The second pass speed improved putting a big smile on Keith Pedersen's face and sent the truck into impound with a 162.910mph record setting pass.  The celebration was now officially started (although we did do some practice celebration the night before).  Also of note is that the parachute worked, bringing smiles to the WGBR crew (and making Lee Kennedy happy, too).  Check out video of the pass on the #2111 Video page!

The #788 Nebulous Theorem III streamliner was impressive from the start.  Jimmy Stevens had prepared a turbo charged flat head that Rick Yacoucci powered down the course.  The run was FAST! Rick set a record in the Flathead / Blown Fuel Streamliner (XF/BFS) class at 229.148mph significantly improving the previous record of 198.308mph.  The record was the fastest vehicle pass of the meet and put #788 into the SCTA points lead!

We also ran the #57 Larry's Old Volks Karmann-Ghia.

 

Pre-Season 2010

 

May 15, 2010 was a long way away from the last El Mirage meet in November of 2009.  Where did the time go?  Fortunately, we have been working since November preparing for the 2010 season.  The initial thought was some minor changes over the winter and the truck would be ready for the next year of racing.  However, a closer look and documenting what was required, netted a long list of things to do.  Over the winter we accomplished things to make maintenance easier, improve performance and finally change the looks of the WGB race truck.  So after a long winter we have an upgraded transmission, built a bigger engine and installed a new wrap on the truck. None of the changes came easy, each required more fabrication, modification and work than anticipated.  Because of this, at 10 days before the May meet we are still not ready to go racing.  This definitely was not the plan in November of 2009.

All this work does not get done without a lot of support and effort from many people.  Over the winter, Rick Yacoucci received a better mill and we were the benefactors of the old one.  This became painfully important about 5:00 pm one Saturday evening while assembling the new short block when the crankshaft ran into part of the block.  After a few hours of machine work we were ready to reassemble the engine.  Speaking of machine work, Gary Boyer used the mill fabricating several parts and block off plates required to complete engine assembly.  A new addition to the WGBR team, Tom Hanley has been learning his way around the shop fabricating parts.  Along with his mechanical abilities, Tom is a software engineer and figured out the AEM serial gauges in no time flat.  Eventually, Tom is going to be riding one of Rick's Hyabusa motorcycles at El Mirage and Bonneville.  Mike Waters, of Mike's Moving, No Storage has been a valuable asset by carting parts for the race truck all over Southern California, saving vast amounts of time.  Eric Alton at Pit Image did a great job on the new graphics and wrap on the truck. The WGB lounge received a new set of curtains, with Disney's Cars thanks to Pam. Finally, things will look better under the hood thanks to all the parts polishing our local Fireman, Mike Brehm performed.  Thanks to all, without this help and support the WGBR team would be just another ugly racer.

In a week we will see if the fruits of our labors have paid off by setting a new record at El Mirage.  Stay tuned to see how our 2010 season turns out.  At the minimum, we will look good while we strive for records.