When we made the decision to race towards the 60th Running of the SCCA National Championship Runoffs we knew that #BigBurd was going to need a few improvements. This car has already come a long way from her state of distress when we picked her up in 2019, but to run with the best cars and drivers in the country her good looks weren’t going to cut it.
The car prep beings -
This car in this class should weigh in around 2100 pounds. Meaning between myself and #Bigburd we needed to drop about 180 pounds. So, we set out to find the weight and take it out. Obviously, we started with the car because making major modifications to a racecar is much easier than counting calories and exercising! The 27 pounds of glass in the rear windows were the first to go and were replaced with custom Lexan inserts. Next, we looked for any unnecessary parts/metal/wiring that we could remove without compromising the structural integrity of the car. We exchanged the metal tubing in the stock front bumper for a smaller lighter weight tubing, removed the stock headlights, and finally cut out some of the metal used for the stock rear seats. All those things combined with our new lightweight wheels from Konig, we believe we’ve lost around 50 pounds.
After we finished with the weight reduction, we moved on to some other necessary items that needed addressed. We rewired the rear lighting system to address our intermittent brake light issue, then put in the required rain light and made it all look nice and organized with new wire coverings to please my OCD. Then we fixed two issues that stemmed from my brief relationship with the turn 4 tire wall at Summit Point. We replaced the broken grill with a new one, and then installed a freshly painted (yellow of course) mesh piece, for better airflow and headlight blank. Next, the header that had been welded more times than I can count was replaced with a bright and shiny new one. Unfortunately, this makes my car sound less like a V8 and more like the VW that it is, but it will probably increase my horsepower to at least 85! Finally, we added an air dam limiting the air flow under the car.
Along the way we found some other safety and comfort items to fix as well. Turns out that the current belts were expiring so we ordered and installed a new set and added some roll bar padding to a few spots around the driver's seat. Lastly, we moved the driver’s side mirror for a better view, added a new vent for some fresh air on those hot summer race days and of course added all the stickers we’ve collected over the past few months.
Still to come -
We had every intention of having a new engine in #Bigburd for the first event of the season. Unfortunately, however, the engine just isn’t ready yet and we don’t want to rush the build or the installation. Therefor the engine will have to wait until our mid-season downtime between May-September, but let’s talk about the details for a minute. The block we are rebuilding came out of The POS (Mike’s racecar) and was original to the car from the factory. We dropped the block and lots of new shiny parts off at Performance Autoworks for Billy to work his magic on. The engine will have new lightweight pullies and forged rods. It will have the largest cam, valves, and injectors that the class allows and will be bored to over .020 and at 11:1 compression.
The driver’s prep work -
We have done a lot of work to get #BigBurd ready for the season, but the driver had some work to do as well. My first stop was to OG Racing to get set up with a brand new OMP First Elle Ladies Racing Suit. Ladies, I’m telling you, if you want a nice fit, you must try out this suit. It’s comfy, fits where it should and gives room where a little extra is needed. The only downfall...no pockets! I also came out of there with a new Traqgear balaclava that is long enough in the back to cover my hair. When it comes to safety gear you need the safest gear possible, but also whatever makes you the most comfortable in the car so you can perform at your best. That’s why I always shop at OG!
We’ve also been working diligently on finding great partners to help us achieve our goals this season. As I’ve said a couple of times already, OG Racing has graciously helped put me in the best safety gear possible. We also have NGP back on board this season to help with parts and services. New to the team this year, we have Konig Wheels supporting us with the best light-weight racing wheels. A huge thanks to all our sponsors including our dear friends who help support us from OTL Racing, Autobahn Autoworx, Automotive Enterprises, Hyatt Auto Racing Team, Half-Fast Motorsports and 39 Designs. We’d also like to thank the SCCA National sponsors who will be handing out contingencies this season, Summit Racing, Hawk Brakes, and Hoosier Tire.
My last piece of business was to get us all set up on social media, our website, and get our shirts ordered. Be sure to follow our season on Instagram and Facebook via the links on my page. We will be posting all kinds of information there throughout the season. We have also placed an order for shirts that will be available for purchase.
A huge shout out to Mike Kelley for managing all the car prep in the off-season and to Matt Small for the use of the garage space. Without those two things wouldn’t look as promising as they do! We are so excited to get this season started! We hope you’ll follow along!