“The Over 200 MPH Battle” The Story of the Man Who Challenged the World’s Max Speed with a Fully Tuned FC3S / Part 2 [DANDY x FC3S the Max Speed Throne Capture Plan 2009]
Published : 2019/10/28 08:14 Modified : 2019/10/28 15:31
The silver-white Salt Flats and an over 390 km/h (about 248 mph) goal!
Team DANDY Close Coverage Report Day 5 – 7
Day 5 (8/12 Wed.)
Unable to withstand the 10 kg/cm2 oil pressure–a ruptured oil cooler!
Since they all thought that they could obtain the B License easily, this was an unexpected step backwards. In addition, on their first run for the day, the car spun out again in fourth gear at 8300 rpm.
“Whether you’re stepping or not stepping on the gas, the rear loses traction around 170 mph and the car is basically drifting on all four wheels,” said Tokoyoda. The team decided to finally proceed with a plan to combat this. Their aim: increase the overall rear heaviness by loading additional weights.
Their solution that they prepared was sandbags; they planned to simply load them into the rear. However, officials disapproved this plan due to the weights “not structured as solid matter, and not bolted onto the actual body.”
The team’s next idea was to insert 50 liters of water into its non-functioning genuine fuel tank. And with this idea, the FC3S successfully hit the mark–a record of 190.517 mph–which granted the team with their long-awaited B License.
Tokoyoda commented, “This time around, in the 2.25 to 3 mile stretch, I was able to keep at 8700 rpm in fourth gear. The rear’s behavior is still a bit nerve-wracking, but we’re headed towards the right direction since that floating feeling is gone. Anyway, I honestly didn’t expect that we would struggle so much with the short course.”
But not all was golden–on their second attack, they discovered an engine oil leak. The oil cooler had a crack, where they found the oil spurting out.
Without question, the engine bay was an oil fiesta. The oil had spewed from a crack found on the base of the oil cooler intake. The team concluded that the culprit was its oil pressure: 6 kg/cm2 while idling and over 10 kg/cm2 while running.
Fortunately, the engine did not suffer any damages. That being said, the team deduced that since they will need time for the repair work, they could not start on the long course that day. The team projected to begin repair work on the following morning, so that they could race immediately after.
“About that oil cooler–it actually cracked in the exact same location when we were back in Japan doing some run settings. Its design probably doesn’t tolerate an oil pressure over 10 kg/cm2 in the first place, so it can’t be helped. And I’m a little concerned about the water temperature. For this attack, it was up to 126°C (258.8°F). Though we don’t have the thermostat attached, it seems like cavitation occurs once it reaches over 8000 rpm. Despite all that, we’re still going full power on the long course–even if it overheats,” Tanaka mentioned.
Even at 190.517 mph, the throttle opening was at a mere 30%. There was still more than enough power left, especially as a tuned machine.
Team DANDY seemed cheerful, albeit a few problems they had to overcome. They successfully cleared all checkpoints in order to challenge the class record, and tomorrow at last, they could set foot on the long course.
Day 6 (8/13 Thu.)
In fifth gear at 8300 rpm–finally above 200 mph!
They began work on the oil cooler bright and early. Although its twin oil cooler specs focused on cooling functions, they can no longer use the side that cracked. Therefore, the team changed the setup and hooked up the pipe to support just one unit. There was a high chance for recurrence, but considering the time remaining, this was the only method possible.
After completing the oil cooler repair work, just before noon, Team DANDY stood ready at the start line of the long course. In reality, they would have been able to shoot for 200 to 249 mph by this point and kill two birds with one stone–obtaining their A License and renewing the Racing Beat record. However, due to their spin-outs on the short course, officials instructed them to attempt this course in two steps: first at 200 mph, then at 220 mph.
Memo with notes on the dashboard: for 200 mph, 7500 rpm in fifth; for 220 mph, clear with 8300 rpm.
On the first attack, the FC3S slid at around 180 mph, and despite being tossed to the edges of the course, it recorded a 196.723 mph in fifth gear at 7400 rpm. Because the revolutions were low and the speed was high, the water temperature maintained at 108°C.
After driving, the team reset the ECU in order to make the fuel control thinner overall when it was not in full throttle. “The temperature was near 40°C, and the intake air temperature rose over 50°C, but there were no issues with the air fuel ratio. The injector can still handle more, too,” Tanaka explained.
For their second run, they reached 202.024 mph in fifth gear at 8300 rpm–a first for the team to go beyond 200 mph. Since the boost pressure was only 1.2 kg/cm2, this record was not the full power of the FC3S.
Additionally, the vehicle’s behavior seemed strange in fifth gear. They looked at the log data and learned that precise on/off control of the accelerator took place during the run.
Therefore, before the third run, the team chose to load 70 kg (about 154 lbs) weights on the rear overhang.
The FC3S attempted its third run, now that the body carried an additional 120 kg (about 264 lbs). “Traction was much better, so I had a great start. But around the 2-mile mark, all of a sudden, I heard a rattling noise. I immediately stopped the run and took it off the course,” explained Tokoyoda.
The team swapped the rear suspension to a one-off rigid type that extends the trailing arm forward from the differential carrier. By installing the weights, the rear sunk dramatically when accelerating. In reaction to this, the front end went under an increasingly large amount of stress. The attachment bolts came loose, and hence interfered with the propeller shaft.
And with that, the team attempted no further attacks for this day. They decided to remove one of the weights (17 kg/about 37.4 lbs) in order to prepare for the last race day.
Day 7 (8/14 Fri.)
Last chance for the record run!
Although attacks were allowed up to 7 PM each day during the race week, the license runs stopped at 12 PM on the final day. After that, only vehicles that surpassed the current record could proceed with the record runs.
In other words, the DANDY FC3S must defeat Racing Beat’s 238.442 mph record on the first run. They then need to attempt the record run, where the team must produce a faster max speed record than their first run. With the average of these two surpassing the Racing Beat record, the team would finally be able to achieve their goal to top the record.
Regardless, time was of the essence; the FC3S had no room for mistakes. There was indeed no time for regretting neither their two-day delay of repair work, nor their struggle of obtaining the B license. All they needed to think about was the renewal of Racing Beat’s record by focusing on their first run.
To get to the record run, the team drained the gasoline in the fuel tank completely, then refueled. They sealed the refueling port in order to prevent any insertion of additives. Therefore, the team connected the hose directly to the fuel pump to suck out the gasoline in the tank.
When the refueling finished, they taped the cap closed. And with the after-run check in mind, they marked the tape with nail polish to see later whether the tape detached.
Frankly, this was the final attack for the DANDY FC3S. The team stood at the start line–expressing a nervous energy unlike any before.
The measured record at the 4-mile mark was 213.928 mph, but right before the spin-out, the log data showed an 8595 rpm in fifth gear. If we followed the conversion from the speed chart–with an error correction coefficient–the speed equaled out to 366.149 km/h (about 227.514 mph).
As the race week came to a close, Team DANDY posed for a photograph to commemorate this event. We sensed a strong sense of satisfaction from everyone’s smiles; they completed their battles successfully without any major issues.
Though they could not take home the prized Bonneville new class record, the DANDY FC3S victoriously took home the status of Japan’s fastest tuned rotary.
● PHOTO: Katsuyoshi Kobayashi
● TEXT: Kentaro Hiroshima