Round 5 of Formula Drift is in the books for Team Ksport USA / Fueled Racing. When we got back from Jersey we made some suspension adjustments along with a new 1.5 way rear end. The difference was night and day, says Hosford. We were able to get a few nights of practice in at the Bondurant track before packing everything up and making the 1600 mile trek to Seattle. We had a minor hiccup during our journey in downtown Pasadena, CA where we had to pull over and address a flat tire on our trailer. After about a 2 hour delay Dustin and I were back on the road.
During Thursday’s practice session Corey was getting a feel for the track and taking it easy on the first couple runs.
Hosford: I was really excited going in to this round. First, this being my first high speed bank oval and second, we made a ton of great changes to the car that we felt would help us out alot going in to this round.
Hosford: Thursday practice started out pretty well considering the changes we made were drasatic ones. After a handfull of runs we made the car way too tight which made it difficult to run the top of the bank. As the practice progressed we started to loosen the car up which really helped me run higher up on the bank. One of the changes we made was we pulled the rear wing off to see if that helped which it did. The one thing we really wanted to focus on was the entry and the bank, we knew the judges were going to judge that section real hard.
Hosford: Near the end of practice on thursday we ended up having some issues with differential. The stud that holds the diff to the sub frame sheered off which broke the drive shaft and the diff cover. This did not help us going into Fridays practice / qualifying.
After further inspection we noticed the end of the driveshaft connecting to the diff broke….
HUGE thanks to the locals who helped us locate a driveshaft repair shop that wasn’t too far from the track. We got up early and went there first thing in the morning when they opened. At first they told us there is no way they could get it done for us the same day. Our fearless leader Mr. Nick Jackson walks in and offers an extra $100, they tell us come back within an hour and it’ll be done! Money talks!!
Hosford:Early Friday morning we had to hustle to NorthWest Driveline in Everett to see if the can repair the broken drive shaft. Luckily they were able to get us in and out in about an hour! The next big hurdle was fixing the diff. Luckily enough the guys over at City Tire Online lent us a spare diff they had. With all problems now put aside, the weather ended up being another issue. With non stop rain all morning we went in to practice making alot of adjustments to the car trying to regain some grip on the wet bank. First few runs of practice the car felt great for the conditions we were driving in! I felt really confident going in to qualifying.
Hosford: On our last practice run I was really focusing on laying down a 100 point run. As I went into the bank I noticed I initiated a little higher up which felt like where I needed to be. I was able to hold that line until I ended up getting too close then clipped the wall with the rear of the car and ending up sucking the front of the car in as well.
Hosford: The damage didnt look too bad from my first inspection sitting on track. Maybe a fender, wheel and bumper. After getting the car back to the pits and a taking a better look, we noticed there was some pretty bad damage to the rear subframe as well as the whole front left suspension. With the amount of time we had to fix the car, unfortunately it wasn’t enough. The team worked hard trying to get the car together before qualiftying ,but we were not able to get the parts and have it assembled in time.
Once we got the car back to the pits we were able to inspect the damage and assess the situation. We had enough parts to fix the front suspension but we did not have an extra 350z rear subframe on hand. Due to the damage caused to the subframe it would not have been safe to “rig” it just to get by. You will be able to see what I mean in the photo we took once we dropped the subframe completely out of the car.
Once we got the wheels off we were able to get a clearer picture of the damage. In the front suspension we had some bent arms and in the rear the eccentric camber bolt basically sheered into the aluminum of the subframe and got pushed over a couple inches.
Team Ksport USA / Fueled Racing remained in good spirits despite the set back that we weren’t able to make qualifying. All we can do is learn from our mistakes and move on to the next event and hope for the best.
Hosford:Thanks to everyone who put in all their hard work this weekend trying to get the Ksport Z back on track. Its nice to see there tons of people out there still willing to get there hands dirty to get their friend back on track.
Meanwhile Saturday we decided to hard park the Z and just hang out and chat with other drivers, teams, media and whoever else wanted to hang out with Team Ksport / Fueled Racing. Some teams/drivers pack up and leave the same night that something goes wrong with their car, but not our team. Why come all that way to just pack up and bounce after 1 day?!?!?! Makes no sense to me.
Saturday afternoon I was hanging out in the pits going thru some of my photos when our friends from CityTireOnline pulled up in Jhonnattan Castro’s red 350z. Apparently there was an incident involving some hoodpins and the hood flew up and broke the windshield. Being the awesome team that we are, Team Ksport / Fueled Racing donated our windshield to Castro so he could compete in Top 16. The CityTireOnline crew had to improvise since nobody on site had proper tools to remove a windshield. I’ll let some of the photos do the talking.
One of our Ksport dealers, Passing Lane Performance had a vendor booth and was repping Ksport products like a boss!! They also ran a contest to give out a free Ksport hydraulic handbrake. Thanks for the support guys!!!!
Here are some close up shots of our rear subframe after last night when pulled the entire rear end out….
Here’s how she sits as of right now. Team Ksport will have her back up in normal operating condition way before we have to load up and head to Round 6 in Las Vegas. See you there!!!!!!
Words By: Chris Minshall and Corey Hosford
Photos By: Chris Minshall