This was our 4th visit to Road Atlanta and were the only Datsun 510 at the 2013 Mitty. Being such a challenging track, we took advantage of Thursday’s Test Day to get additional track time and, with 55 cars in our Group, we did three uneventful Test Sessions and two Practice Sessions on Friday. The weather forecast was not encouraging, but Thursday and Friday were perfect for racing. Our Qualifying Session was on Saturday morning, and by then the weather had changed drastically. We switched to our rain tires and qualified 3rd in Class, in light to medium rain and very slippery conditions. By race time on Saturday, the clouds were still threatening, but the track was dry and it was back to our dry tires. We had not planned to push for a fast lap until Qualifying and, since that session was so slippery, we went into Saturday’s race not having improved over our previous fastest lap from our last visit to Road Atlanta. We made minor changes to our fuel jetting and race strategy and did very well during the race. Our best lap improved over our previous best time, and we finished 2nd in Class (six cars in our Class) and 17th overall (55 cars.) First in our Class was a BMW 2002. Behind us were an Alfa GTV, another BMW 2002, a Mazda RX2 and a Volvo 122.
There was another race scheduled for Sunday afternoon, but it had been raining heavily all day; we decided to head for home.
Although Sunday was a washout, we were very satisfied with our results and improvements in strategy. Our Datsun 510, once again, ran very strongly and trouble-free.
We felt we were heading to this event better prepared than ever. All planned work and maintenance to our Datsun 510 were completed two weeks before the event. Modifications to correct earlier vibration problem were effective and the car was flawless. We went on track five times (two practice, one qualifying and two races.) The two Friday practices were run in wet conditions. In qualifying, we consistently beat our best time from our last visit to PBIR. We qualified sixth overall out of 22 cars and second in Class 2 (eight cars). Our best lap improved even more during racing.
The Saturday race was the most exciting; we ran a very close battle throughout the 8-lap race with a Group 3 Mustang. As expected, the Mustang could pull away on the straights, but we could reel him in through the tight sections and swapped positions a couple of times. The Mustang had passed us and was leading on the last lap, but Alex was right on him coming into the back straight and was able to draft the Mustang all the way down the 6/10th of a mile back straight. The Mustang tried to break the draft by shifting left and right down the straight, but Alex stayed on him as if on rails. As they approached Turn 10 at over 120 MPH, the Mustang brake lights came on. That was the signal for Alex to immediately pull out and out brake the Mustang, knowing that if we had the lead into Turn 10, we could hold the lead through Turn 11, the last turn before the finish line. We held off the Mustang, turning our fastest time during that last lap and finishing 1st in Class and 6th overall. Strategy played a big part during that race, as Christian kept Alex informed through our radio of any traffic behind us. Alex held off making the final pass until the last minute to avoid being re-passed. It was a clean race. We spoke to the Mustang driver after the race. He enjoyed our duel as much as we did.
This was our Team’s first 1st place. We repeated our Class win on Sunday to end a perfect weekend.
As always, we thank all who stopped by for a chat with the Moya Motorsports’ crew — Alex, Christian, Néstor, Jamey and Terry. We also want to give special thanks to Pierre Pomerleau for his outstanding photo contribution.
Some videos and pics from other sources CLICK HERE
The End of a Perfect Weekend
1st Place Trophy (Race 1)
1st Place Trophy (Race 2)
Driver and Race Queens
Our First 1st Place – P. Pomerleau Photo
Turn 2 – P. Pomerleau Photo
Entering the Track – P. Pomerleau Photo
Turn 6 – P. Pomerleau Photo
Turn 1 – P. Pomerleau Photo
Turn 6 – P. Pomerleau Photo
Turn 6 – P. Pomerleau Photo
Turn 1 The Heat is On – P. Pomerleau Photo
Turn 6 Final Lap and Closing In – P. Pomerleau Photo
The first race of the year for Moya Motorsports and our Datsun 510 will be the HSR event at Palm Beach International Raceway the weekend of February 15th. We completed all maintenance and checks yesterday. Looking forward to the start of the new vintage racing season. Pictures and videos will be posted soon after the event.
We traveled to Georgia’s Roebling Road for VDCA’s Season Finale, December 7th through 9th. We were very upbeat after our first Practice/Qualifying Session, which easily beat our previous best lap time.
During that 1st 10-Lap Session on Friday, we were black-flagged after six laps because we were 2 decibels too loud. However, our lap times were very promising. With no particular starting order, we started 11th, but by the 3rd lap, we were up to 8th and 5th by lap 4. By lap 5, the only two cars ahead of us were a 911 and a Corvette Stingray. There were 16 cars behind us, including six Porsches, four BMWs 2002, a GTV and another 510. We were less than a second behind the fastest car, and each lap we ran was faster than the one before…We were cooking!
The noise issue caught us by surprise and, while Jamey and I accomplished a temporary fix, Christian and Alex used a cardboard template to buy a more substantial temporary repair piece for a backup. We have our own sound level meter, so we did a before-and-after test with our first fix, found we were well in the legal range and used it for our second session. Although our contraption was well secured and resulted in an acceptable level of noise reduction, it burnt with two laps to go (see pics.) We installed our backup repair, which held for the rest of the weekend.
The rest of the weekend did not continue to go as well, as the driveline vibration that plagued us during our previous race had not been completely eliminated, forcing us to run mid-pack at a conservative pace. Still, while running mid-pack during Saturday’s race, Christian notified our driver with one lap to go. Alex, vibration and all, decided to chase down one of the BMWs that had passed us earlier. It was exciting to see us coming out of the last turn, on the last lap, right behind the Bimmer. Alex pulled out of the draft and went for the pass, which we missed by just 0.072 seconds at the finish!
We started the Sunday Enduro and, on the first turn of the first lap, we were side-by-side with a 911. The 911 was on the inside, but could not hold on, spun right behind our 510 and was hit by another 911. This brought out a Caution and the Pace Car. After a few laps, we decided to stop for fear of causing further damage due to vibration.
We completed work last Sunday night and our Datsun 510 is ready for the track. We are more interested in testing, rather than racing, due to the many changes made to the drivetrain and electrical. Therefore, instead of travelig to Sebring, we have an opportunity to get some track time at Homestead this weekend, so that’s where we plan to be.
You may have read on our last update that we were revising the wiring. We include a few pictures during stages of the rewiring process.
Our next race will be at Roebling Road in December.
The videos from Road Atlanta have been delayed, but they will be posted … Soon.
We are confident that the source of the vibration we had at Road Atlanta has been isolated, and we expect to have no such issues at Sebring next week. Another problem we had at Road Atlanta was an intermittent misfire. We found what may have caused it and made the correction, but, in addition, we decided to upgrade our wiring form the original setup that was in the racecar when we purchased it. This has been very time consuming, but in the end our Datsun 510 vintage racecar will have a better electrical system and an accurate wiring schematic.
We’ve had to supplement our weekend work with a few eavening hours during the week, and this weekend we’ll be at it Saturday and Sunday in order to make Sebring by October 25th.
Alex’ B. Day – Melissa, Alex, Cristina, Néstor, Jamey, Terry and Christian
Photo by Tim Stocklas
Photo by Tim Stoklas
Photo by Tim Stoklas
Photo by Tim Stocklas
We’re happy to report that our new engine ran very strong. We did, however, have a driveline vibration that took us some time to trace. Thursday was a test day and we were hoping to experiment with some suspension adjustment changes, but instead we spent the day chasing the vibration until 1:00 am on Friday. We completed work on Friday, alleviating the vibration, but not eliminating it. On Friday, the qualifying session was used mainly as a test session.
We ran a sprint race on Saturday, then three races on Sunday, including a 1:10 minute enduro. All the racing was done with our backup gearbox, which, due to its different gearing, also required changing the differential. The backup gearbox has two drawbacks compared to our standard box. Firstly, the gear ratios are not as good and, secondly, it will not allow shifting as quickly as our standard box. We still managed to consistently run slightly faster laps than during our last visit to Road Atlanta, and this was very satisfying.
We should have the vibration issue corrected to run at Sebring at the end of October. Then, finish the year with VDCA at Roebling Road in Georgia in early December.
Four weekends ago we had estimated that we needed 17 hours of labor to finish work on our Datsun to be ready to race. Our estimate turned out to be very accurate. We finished work on our Datsun 510 vintage racecar last Saturday morning, then went for some testing on a Dynojet 424X rolling dynamometer to get a baseline on the new engine and to check our fuel mixture. Our street 510 was used for comparison. You can read about our street 510 by going to our January 4, 2011 post in our ”Older Entries”. The comparison between the two cars was very interesting. The shape of the power curves are similar, with the racecar powerband, as expected, shifted a few hundred rpm higher. The racecar has 25% more displacement, but produced 61% more torque and 73% more power.
Road Atlanta is not an easy track to learn, and there’s rain on the forecast for Saturday. We’ve only been there twice before. We’ll be checking how much we can improve on our previous visits and hope to show well against all the Porsches.
Our engine should be ready for installation in a couple of weeks, and our Datsun 510 should be back in competition on September 14 at Road Atlanta.
Meanwhile, here is a montage of our past racing, featuring our Vintage BRE Tribute Datsun 510, 2.5 TransAm (B-Sedan).
25 August 2012 - Rough weather, with a hurricane heading our way. With a final 8-hour day, we completed our new engine installation (see pic) with two weekends to spare before heading to Road Atlanta.
It fired right up. We synchronized the throttles, checked the ignition initial and full advance, and the engine sounded really nice. We plan to do a dyno run, to choose our shift points, before the race.
Driver Alex with the Legendary Peter Brock
Our Camp (Sebring March 2010)
A Full Tank of Gas, the Radio Being Checked and We’re Wearing Sunglasses
Orie Voigtmann in Pursuit Approaching Sebring’s Turn 3
Making a Pass at Sebring’s Hairpin (Richard Prince photo)
Pass Completed (Richard Prince photo)
Other Fast Company (Richard Prince photo)
With Bill Abel’s Alfa
Entering Road Atlanta
Our Camp at Road Atlanta’s Mitty, 2010
Christian, JOHN MORTON, Alex and Nestor
Peter Brock Just Autographed Our 510
The BRE Tent
Our Red 510 Among 100 Other Datsuns in the Corral
Track Touring Road Atlanta – Datsuns as Far as the Eye Can See
Bob Leitzinger – A Great Guy and Tough Competitor
Photo by Tim Stoklas
Alex, Nestor and Ernie Bello
She Knows I’m BAD
Everything is Ready – Let’s Go Racing!
Our 510s With Darrell Fancher’s
Getting Ready for Track Action in Wet Conditions
Early in the Race – We’re in 3rd (Palm Beach International, February 2011)
Turn 2 – Jerry just Passed Us at Turn 1
Turn 6 – We’re Not Giving Up
Turn 2 Again – We Passed Jerry Under Braking at the End of the Back Straight
Turn 6 – We’re Pulling Away
Jerry’s Catching Up
It’s A Good Fight
We Held On to 3rd
The Crew Congratulates Our Driver
Our First Podium
An Honor to Co-Drive for Darrell Fancher
We Have the Inside on Don Herman, Bob Leitzinger Leads
Our Crew – They Only Look Tired
Alignment and Corner Weighting – Two Days before Roebling Road
Leading Tom Turner’s Alfa at Roebling Road – September 2011
Ernie Bello’s Opel Leading the Way at Roebling Road