What’s the oil change interval on a sequential SADEV gearbox? How do you figure out what tire pressures to run during a qualifying lap? And what exactly are the settings for camber and caster to optimize your vehicle’s contact patch during a hot lap?
All of that and more will be in our latest series, Motorsport Mondays.
By now, you know about FCP Euro’s motorsports documentary series, The Paddock. It provided a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of our motorsports program, from securing sponsorships, traveling to races, and even some of the hardships we faced throughout each weekend at the track. But this year, we’re going to do things a little differently.
This year, our program is coming in-house. What’s that mean? Rather than using a logistics partner for the transport, prep, and race support, we’re going to do it all ourselves. That includes working on the cars in the off-season, transporting them to the race, working on them at the track during a race, optimizing them for winning the event itself and, more importantly, running it all out of the same facility that you pick up your parts. It’s a massive undertaking.
If I had to summarize Motorsport Mondays in one sentence, it’d be: translating how working on two professional championship-winning race cars can help you work on your European car. Our Volkswagen GTI TCRs are just cars, after all, and there’s plenty of things we have under our belts that could help you in your endeavors, whether it’s in your driveway doing routine maintenance or at a track going after your own fastest lap.
Last week on episode two of our new Motorsport Mondays series, we headed to the dyno to see just how much power our #71 and #72 TCRs were making after two full seasons of racing. We left off back at the shop with both of the cars in the air waiting to have their engines pulled to get to the bottom of the discovered power loss. That's where today's episode picks up from.
Back in the shop, one group took to tearing out the engines, while another was tasked with removing the 2019 livery. Removing the vinyl of last year's livery sounds like it wouldn't be that big of a deal, but after 2000 kilometers of on-track abuse, the vinyl held on for dear life. Luckily, we had dozens of helping hands on it to prep for this year's new design.
The first engine pull was a team effort and came out of Michael Hurczyn's car, the #71. Taking our time and using this as an opportunity to document the removal steps, pulling the engine only took a little over three hours.
The second engine pull was a completely different story. A friendly wager was placed between the team to see if the engine could pulled by the motorsports crew in under an hour using their acquired knowledge from the removal before. The team proved to be too much for the engine—not only were they able to pull it in under an hour, they were able to do so with over twenty-minutes to spare.
With both engines out, Gareth was able to take a proper look at the turbochargers, which were determined to indeed be the source of the issues. Two brand new turbos are already on order and will be installed on a later episode of Motorsport Mondays. Once installed and the cars are fully back together, they'll be back at the dyno one last time to confirm that these were truly the cause of the lack of power.
On next week's episode of Motorsports Mondays, the team begins nut and bolting the car to determine exactly what we'll need to bring with us on the road.
Like the series? Want to see something specific related to our race cars? Have questions about working on your race car? Please leave it in the comments below.
Writer/Editor at FCP Euro and owner of a daily R53 MINI Cooper, a track-built R53 MINI, and a 1997 Dakar Yellow E36 M3 Sedan. ••• Instagram: @evan.madore