Portland Pirelli Test – Day 2
As the second and last day of Pirelli tire testing at Portland wound
to a close, both Risi and ACEMCO were fine tuning their set-ups.
Both teams had reliable runs and appeared to feel they made good
progress over the two-day test.
in the test, Rick Mayer of Risi declared, “I think we have
found our rear tire. We made a big advancement today. A small part
of it was a chassis adjustment, but most of the improvement was
due to finding a new construction that truly fits our car. We ran
with a base test compound on all of the different constructions
that we tried. The compound may have not been optimum, but we sure
liked what we saw with the construction.” Now that they know
what construction they want, further testing on compounds could
provide a significant advancement for the team.
Even late into the session,
they were making adjustments, working hard on getting the rear suspension
tweaked in. Even though Rick feels that this track at Portland will
not be a favorable one for them, he was happy with the times, feeling
that it gives them a chance to be in the ball park.
was looking after the proceedings, but was not in the car today,
after handling most of the driving chores yesterday. He too was
happy with where they are, but even though he was always around
and following the progress, he was looking quite bored. Such is
the life while testing.
ACEMCO team too was satisfied with the results from the test. After
performing more tire checks, Johnny Mowlem ran a full stint in the
morning. Overall, he seemed content, explaining that “the
car is slightly quicker, but the consistency is much better.”
As far as the track was concerned, Johnny stated that it did not
offer great grip. He found the transitions between concrete and
asphalt in the chicane to be tricky, especially on the exit, when
the car was struggling for grip when the throttle was nailed.
bored, grabbing the radar gun to keep himself busy when not in the
was devoted to tuning the car, especially working on the ride height.
At times, the rake looked to be rather extreme, but it is all part
of learning what the car wants and how it reacts to different settings.
Near the end, a short stint was tried with a light fuel load, in
sort of a go-for-it mode. No times were discussed, but the team
did appear to be very satisfied with the results (all smiles from
Rick Mayer and Johnny Mowlem, below).
the last few minutes, the team switched to the newly configured
Laguna muffler system, which to the amazement of some around, fitted
without an issue at all. No decibel readings were reported, but
there did appear to be an audible difference, with a little bit
of the bite taken out of the sound, especially at full song.
When 4:00 rolled around,
it was time to shut down the testing, but things were just about
to heat up at the track, as drag racing was scheduled for the evening.
With that tail-in-the-air rake, temporary mufflers and a Ford based
motor, the Saleen had the look and the pedigree to maybe have taken
a few runs with the hot rods. That could have been interesting…