A Letter From Ron
Hey Kenny, I hear ya! The Grand Am series (Shock Settings, October '07) needs a serious re-think. Unfortunately, compared to the ALMS series, it's every bit the poor sister. Grand Am's one big race, the Daytona 24 hours, is run in February, when most folks aren't aware that racing has started for the year. After Daytona, what's the attraction? Proto-turtle cars with few of the star drivers that ran at the 24 hours? In contrast, ALMS cars run at Le Mans, a world-famous circus of a race smack dab in the middle of the season. Add to that a group of drivers, cars and teams with much higher profiles, and it's no wonder Grand Am can't find spectators three months later for Laguna Seca. I live a few hours from Laguna and didn't hear one peep from any kind of media about that race. Promotion is lacking. Tony George proved that dividing one strong racing series into two smaller ones results in apathetic fans and lackluster attendance for both.
That's Kerry, Rob, Kerry. Anyway, we're glad you're on the same page as us. Thanks for the great letter.
Don't Get Heavy, Man
You folks crack me up. According to your own your 'Project Z4 guidelines, Minimalist Philosophy,' you wouldn't 'add' any systems. Then the first mod you make is 'adding' a strut tower bar. You then selected some nice lightweight wheels and added a 29.5-pound front tire and a 31-pound rear. Wow, if you really think saving a few pounds is that big a deal (I agree, it is), then perhaps you should have shopped around a bit. I found Continental Sport Contact 3s at 24 and 25 pounds, respectively, in the sizes you used. That would have saved you an extra 23 pounds, or 192 percent.
What I was referring to mostly was power-more complex powerplants and/or forced induction. I wouldn't classify a strut bar as a 'system.' As for the Invos, sure, there may be lighter tires out there (and the SportContact3s are excellent), but the bottom line is that even with increased wheel and tire widths, overall unsprung weight is down and not up. -DN
With all due respect to Ms. Jennifer Byrne, who did look quite happy in the driver's seat of her Cayman S, I wanted to share a photo of my new Cayman S. Along with it, you'll notice my model-buddy, Ms. Cora Skinner, who I feel looks quite lovely standing alongside my 'gator. Isn't she a beaut (the car)? Awesome ride too (again, the car. I know how you guys think).
Looks good from where we're sitting...