Drag Racing the Pulsar my disastrous 3rd year (what makes a champ)


Year 1>>> http://www.gtiroc.com/index.php?threads/drag-racing-my-gtir-long-story.88306/#post-522478

Year 2>>> http://www.gtiroc.com/index.php?threads/my-difficult-second-year.89223/

A brief explanation of the racing I do. I take part in 2 drag racing championships at York Raceway:

JDM-DRC, a bracket class for anything Japanese

Sportsman ET, a bracket class for anything 12.00 and slower

Some of the reports there are two JDM-DRC to one Sportsman ET as JDM-DRC runs a round each day of a two day race meeting, Sportsman ET only run one.

In bracket racing consistency is the key and N/A Autos have it easy whilst, turbo stick shift cars it is a challenge. An explanation of bracket racing can be found here http://yorkraceway.org.uk/JDM-DRC.html

I would love say that the plucky pulsar continued another year of hard and continues drag racing, with virtually no problems like the previous 7 years. To be fair, the Nissan has had a hard life with me, I regally come across other pulsar owners and owners of other cars and they complement me on my aggression stating often ‘I wouldn’t dare drive my car like you’.

This story follows on immediately after posting my last year summary. The exhaust was blowing, but there was a more serious issue that I didn’t highlight, water was disappearing. A CO2 reader at the radiator cap confirmed the worst news, head gasket gone.

It was decided to keep cost down that I would do the engine removal and deliver the engine on a stand to a mechanic, to do what needed to be done, this turned out to be a small mistake. I had decided that despite being 6 months from start of the race season and what I already planned to be my last serious campaign, to start immediately delivering the engine by the end of October 2015 ready for the strip down and rebuild.

Unfortunately because it was just an engine on a stand it was shoved in to a corner and forgotten about until January. If it was a full car it would have been under the feet and they would have got on with the job sooner. Any way, in January the engine was stripped and found that after 7 years of Nitrous abuse the head had 12 cracks.

By February the car was back together ready to race unfortunate it wouldn’t start had to wait 2 weeks for an auto electrician to point out that the reverse switch was plugged in to the ignition. Finally with 2 weeks to spare before the first race, the car was alive. But the oil pressure light was lingering on, on start up (something it always did), but now it was flickering on and off during the first test drives. Despite the light the test drives seemed to go off without a hitch, but several mechanics scratching there heads some saying in the engine removal that it was likely I broke a wire or damaged a connector. Unfortunately in diagnosing the issue the bottom end started to rattle.

The sump pan at some point, had bent up and blocked the oil pick up, and it wasn’t just shell damage. Engine out again, new con rod, skimmed crank and a turbo rebuild later the car was ready to race, in April after missing the first round of racing in March.

Easter Nationals

Not to be deterred I entered the first round in my daily, my Honda Civic Type R to claim the points, something you can do if your back up meets the class requirements. Some how I got number 1 qualifier and reached semi finals in sportsman ET and a predictable but disappointing early exit in JDM-DRC.

Super Street Shootout

First May bank holiday is my first chance racing the Nissan. Now fitted with a new stage three competition clutch, hydraulic launch control and full rebuilt engine. In bracket racing not knowing exactly what your car does puts you at a huge disadvantage. A poor qualifier and 2nd round exit on both rounds of JDM-DRC meant I wasn’t earning much points. My bad luck continued in to Sportsman ET with another poor qualifier and first round exit not doing me any favours.

Volks Power’s Power Fest

I yet to set the launch control up properly. The launch control was imported from America and I didn’t know any one else who had it so there was no guidance or advice, in setting it up. The only way I could tell if it was doing what it was doing was full revs side step of the clutch. On the 3rd attempt bang and 1st gear was wipped out the day before the next race. Ironically the one of the main reason for this launch control it to save stress on the gear box. Back in the Civic.

Again poor in both rounds of JDM-DRC, but in Sportsman ET number 1 qualifier and reaching the final got me on top of the leader bored.

In June gearbox out for repair and back in ready for July deciding to tune the launch control whilst slipping it as a fail safe.

Sportsman Nationals.

Again I had no luck in JDM-DRC poor qualifying and first round exit, however my luck was in, in Sportsman ET reaching the final. The lunch control in conjunction with operator error letting me down as I left it engaged and it slipped on the 1-2nd change.

For the first time between races my car was running so I entered it in to my local vintage weekend for a laugh, just to see the disgust from the MGB owners as I drove past in a black Nissan, with its 5 inch exhaust and candy purple wheels. The car got plenty of attention.

Hot Rod Reunion

August bank holiday: during my last qualifier for JDM, 3rd gear decided to fuck off. After fighting the selectors to get it to out of gear and drivable. This time I was without the civic, I decided to enter the Nissan avoiding 3rd as loosing the race earned points where if I wasn’t to stage I wouldn’t of got any. Surprisingly I lost in the first round.

The following day was a lot more interesting. With nothing to loose and a broken gearbox that rattled a crunched as I drove around, occasionally jamming in to gear needing to be arm wrestled out, I thought fuck it!!! And went balls to the wall, flat out. 1st, waaaaappp 2nd waaaappppp 4th durrrrrrrrrrwaaaaappp. The beauty of a small turbo not so much lag running 13.3 I could not believe it the best I had got so far this season was a 12.9. a phantom red light cost me the first round of JDM-DRC which I contested but was told that despite my car not moving, the red light stood, no luck in JDM-DRC at all. Sportsman ET I reached the semi finals some how and with one round to go I was leading the Sportsman ET championship but only just.

The gearbox was out before the end of the week after the race but my lucky box didn’t have a spare 3rd and my patient gear box man said I needed a full new box unfortunately there were non available at reasonable costs so the civic had to fight for one last time.

UK Northern finals

I did enough to clinch the Sportsman ET championship, I was well out of the running in JDM-DRC racing for pride and to ruin other people chance of taking the championship, and took the round win.

I gave this season everything, I am thrilled that despite everything against me I came away Sportsman ET champion, I am disappointed I didn’t do better in JDM-DRC.

2014 I was Sportsman ET Champ, JDM Runner Up and Car Points Champion

2015 I missed 3 rounds and still cam away 3rd in JDM and 6th in Sportsman ET.

2016 Sportsman ET Champ, JDM 4th.

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