“The Bonneville Charm” The Story of the Man Who Challenged the World’s Max Speed with a Fully Tuned FC3S / Epilogue [DANDY x FC3S the Max Speed Throne Capture Plan 2009]
Back at the event, what were the genuine thoughts of the driver and tuner?
The two share their stories of the max speed charm…
●OWNER & DRIVER
Above all, it was fun! That’s really all that I felt. Before we even talk about records and such, I was honestly happy when random people we didn’t even know helped us fix up our car. I learned a lot, too. One of the guys who helped us with reinforcing the rollcage was actually a university professor, who specialized in welding.
When the inspectors first told us we had a lot of areas for improvement, I thought they might be picking on us because we were from Japan. But as we continued our attacks, we saw their point. If anything were to happen during the race, their regulations were in place to prevent any driver deaths. We understood that they were strict and very particular all for the reason of everyone’s safety.
The unstable behavior of the rear while driving made me feel uncertain at the beginning, but I coped better with it as the attacks continued.
That being said, I didn’t expect the front to go on the final attack and I had no idea how to deal with that. I thought I could use the parachute if anything happened, but I didn’t even have the time to touch the shift knob. Before I knew it, I was like, “Well… we’re spinning now.”
And one last thing, the engine that Dandy (aka Mr. Tanaka) made was truly the fastest.
I thought this when we drove the Z33 back in 2004, but the inspectors always have things to say. Plus, this time around, we had ten areas that we needed to fix, which took two whole days! Although it was the heaviest work I’ve done, my thoughts on getting this on the start line got me through it.
Speaking from a tuner’s perspective, there were a lot of issues and mistakes that happened. For example, we didn’t expect the oil cooler to puncture. And when we added on the weights, the lowered body shouldn’t have interfered with the propeller shaft because we raised the suspension.
Also, the water temperature. I actually didn’t believe it when some rotary type shop told us that over 8000 rpm causes the FC3S water pump to cavitate. If we set up a large diameter pulley and reduced the rotation speed, we didn’t have to worry about water temperature.
Out of all the various machines I’ve built requested by my clients, I’ve never had a blown engine at Bonneville. This time around, driving the FC3S made me certain that a rotary engine is far from low durability.
Deep down, I still want to surpass the Racing Beat record. Even after calming down, I truly think that it’s possible with this FC3S. Which makes me wonder–what would have happened if we kept accelerating to pass our goal?
For this event, the driver really hung in there. Though the records are whatever, my feelings are satisfied nonetheless.
● “Everything About Bonneville Speed Week” The Story of the Man Who Challenged the World’s Max Speed with a Fully Tuned FC3S / Prologue
● “Defeat Racing Beat’s RX-7!” The Story of the Man Who Challenged the World’s Max Speed with a Fully Tuned FC3S / Part 1
● “The Over 200 MPH Battle” The Story of the Man Who Challenged the World’s Max Speed with a Fully Tuned FC3S / Part 2
● “The Bonneville Charm” The Story of the Man Who Challenged the World’s Max Speed with a Fully Tuned FC3S / Epilogue