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July 18, 2011

DNX408 wins 2011 FEMCA Championship – Scott McBride’s race report

Filed under: News — Team Durango UK @ 10:15 am
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Superstar wonderkid Kyle McBride would be the first person to tell you that without the support and dedication of his dad, Scott, he would not have achieved any of his successes. Scott works tirelessly to support Kyle, and together they make an awesome team. Team Durango are proud to be able to help Kyle and Scott with their racing ambitions, and we are delighted that Scott was able to send his own version of what happened in Malaysia a couple of weeks ago. Over to you Scott …

“Leaving Brisbane temperature (which was around 12 degrees) and hitting the wall of heat at the KL airport, which was around 30 degrees with 100% humidity, it was a very wise idea to get to KL the weekend before the big race so that we could adjust to the heat. Not wanting to waste any time, we went straight from the airport to the track.  During a quick walk of the track to check its condition and see what the best lines were likely to be, we had to down two litres of water to get rehydrated; it was so HOT in Selangor, Malaysia!

Kyle was extremely excited as the track was much like the Pattaya Worlds track, with a high level of technical sections, fast straights and lots of grip. Our first run was to get Kyle’s eye tuned into the track and get the engine tune perfected. With that done it was clear our shock settings were way too soft and certain parts of the track were extremely rough, so we decided to jump down from 1.4 pistons to 1.3 pistons using the same oils (550wt in the front and 700wt in the rear) as before.

Kyle hit the track for the second time and I could see Kyle’s Team Durango DNX408 was immediately far better through the rough sections and more stable through the in-field sections. After breaking the track record on his second run I was confident that we were heading in the right direction. Kyle did the first sub-40 second lap.

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The main focus for the rest of the day was to get as many laps in as possible and to chase a car set-up that was easy to drive and could get through the rough sections as the track was slowly getting worse. The side straight was as rough as guts, but it was a crucial part of the track that you had to be fast on.

During the next two days we tried many things, I think the best way to tell you is below:

I’ll break down the car set-up from diffs to front of car and the rear of car, e.g. shock geometry and camber link positions.

I think this will be the best way to explain how we ended-up with set up that we used from the start of qualifying to the A main.

Diffs:

As it was so hot I thought that we may need to go up in diff weight from our standard settings Front: 7000wt, Centre: 10000, Rear: 3000 to Front: 10000, Centre: 15000 Rear: 5000

This was a bad move. It worked in the sense that it was thicker, but through the rough sections Kyle’s DNX408 looked like a Goanna on steroids, wheels ballooning everywhere.

So, for the diff settings we settled on Front: 7000wt, Centre: 10000, Rear: 3000, which are Kyle’s standard diff settings here in OZ.

Front of the car:

I had the same thought process as I did with the diffs. We decided to go up slightly from 500 to 600wt with 1.3 hole pistons.

Kyle was still not happy with the ‘grabby’ feel that the front of the car was giving him, so I decided to go from 10 degree caster blocks to 12 degree blocks, in conjunction with that change we decided to give the car more camber, so we went from two degrees to three degrees. Now the front was looking extremely sweet! To tame the front down just slightly we changed from #6 hole to #7 hole on the tower. These settings did not change from the start of qualifying through to the A main final.

Rear of the car: (the most sensitive part of the car)

One of the biggest changes I have found with Kyle’s DNX408 is short wheel base on the rear hubs and moving the rear arm fully forward. This, for Kyle, has brought his DNX408 alive!

Now the same as the front, we decided to go up from 700wt to 750wt with the 1.3 hole pistons. The car was perfect through all the rough parts of the track.

Kyle was still not happy with the rear of this car as it still needed to ‘flow’ better through the rough parts of the track. So we decided to lay the rear shocks down to the inside hole on the top of rear tower. This was instantly better through the rough parts but was too soft through the infield. So we started increasing the rear spring rate with progressively stiffer springs until we found a good balance. Now in conjunction with four degrees of camber Kyle’s DNX408 was ready for the FEMCA championships.

On the rest day, the day before the timed practice, I though I should give Kyle DNX408 a face-lift to get it ready for the big event. Well, what a day! I ended up building Kyle a brand new car. His old car was destroyed on the extremely rough track, the chassis was hurt beyond belief!

After topping all of the timed practice runs Kyle was extremely confident heading into the first qualifying run.

Heat 1.

Kyle was flying, sitting on a 16 lap run until he started to catch backmarkers. The next four minutes was difficult for Kyle as one driver in particular simply would not let Kyle through. Eventually Kyle got past them and worked his way up to third place, two seconds behind the leader.

Heat 2.

Kyle was determined to win this one no matter what, and he did!

Heat 3.

Was the same – TQ for the round.

Heat 4.

Rained out!!

After all points counted Kyle took the T.Q. position.

In Kyle’s semi, Kyle lead from start to finish looking extremely comfortable pushing his DNX408 to take the win. Kyle won by over a lap from the other semi (which was won by former World Champion Billy Easton).

Time for the Amain:

From the start I told Kyle just to stay out of trouble for the first five minutes and then get into his groove and start pushing. That’s exactly what happened. Billy did the big death move up the inside of Kyle over the triples and Kyle just let him go through. Kyle kept the gap between himself and Billy constant for about four minutes and then started to pull him back in. Now Kyle was all over him, looking to take the lead. Billy made an error and Kyle took the lead; Kyle put down some brutally fast laps breaking away from the rest of the pack.

At this point Kyle was ¾ of a second faster than second place and looking extremely comfortable, his DNX408 looked sweet. There’s not much more I can say other than this is the best I have seen Kyle drive and his Team Durango DNX 408 was the best it has ever been! It’s taken a few months to get familiar with the car, but now that we are, the DNX408 is giving Kyle everything he needs. To prove it he became the 2011 FEMCA Buggy Champion!

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Positives for the meeting:

The DNX 408 was brilliant.

Working with our Team Durango friends from the  FEMCA region; the teamwork was great for the whole event (big thanks to John, Clayton and Lin).

Negatives for the meeting:

There weren’t any the car was brilliant.

Cheers,

Scott”

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