The Hooncorp Thread

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Now that Covid seems to be for the most part behind us, and restrictions are easing, we are looking to put our Pro Series plans into action.

Part of this is I'll be looking at putting together a video series that should document the new build in its transition from scrap car to race car.

In the meantime though, we are on the lookout for any sponsors or supporters who might want to get behind this year's campaign.

At this stage, we have zero so all options are welcomed. Finances, supplied services, supplied consumables, anything like that. I have a complete sponsorship proposal / pdf to be emailed, so if anyone's interested in backing our second season in a sanctioned national endurance championship, then get in touch!!

(P.S. I have Jordan's permission to post this here. Much appreciated, Jordan!!)
 
Well, we ended up running the mighty Rusty Gecko Levin again, this time at the NAZCAR Lemons 24hr over 3 days event!

The driver lineup was exactly the same. Myself, Richard and Zef, and basically our only goal was "Can we nab a podium again?" No major overhaul, no modifications, just some fresh tyres, new brakes and haul the old girl to the track!

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The first day was largely uneventful, being the shortest day of the three (and equipped with the fuel consumption numbers calculated at the previous event) we managed to do six hours with only one fuel stop! We started somewhere in the middle, and got right to work.

Plenty of moving and shaking, and no one really wanting to take any risks as there were still two more full days of mileage to go, so really it was just a case of be nice to everything in the car and log some mileage. Still, we wrapped up the day 11th out of 47, knocking on the door of a top 10 spot.

The second day was foggy but deemed clear enough to race. The morning was interrupted twice by red flag periods, one because of a oil spill and one because of a heavy crash that unfolded right in front of me and I narrowly avoided. The fog actually hung around for a lot longer then anyone had anticipated, but it made for a truly unique driving spectacle, especially as only one half of the track was foggy. The other side was clear as! :boggled:

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Eventually that burned off and it was business as usual, we gained some spots and lost some spots, but eventually ended the day where we'd started, still knocking on that door to the top 10.

The third day was where things took a turn. After a solid morning, the brakes started losing efficiency and we were struggling to work out why. We thought there might be a leak in the brake booster system, so disabled the booster as running non boosted brakes is tougher but still very do-able. The continued for a little longer before a seal in the master cylinder went, and it also became apparent that the rear brakes were stuck on to a slight degree.



We unfortunately had to retire the car, only laps from breaking into the top 10. A gutting result, but unfortunately that's motorsport! Next up on the calendar is the Pro Series in July, so hopefully we can garner enough support to put on a decent campaign there!
 
Hey hey everyone!

The 2022 Pro Series has been and gone, apologies for not posting about it as it happened but things have been real busy and it hasn't left much time for blog-keeping. Anyways! It was a long, hard fought competition. Ultimately, we ended up runners up in Class 4, here's how that came about!

Round 1 - Hampton Downs
Starting off at the ever-familiar Hampton Downs, it was business as usual for us. Start at the back, get through the field carefully and gradually, and just keep a good fast pace.

...That was, until I climbed in the car!!

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Not ten minutes after I got behind the wheel (About 3 hours into the race), the rains came down and they came down hard. In fact, so much water dropped so quickly that almost everyone was struggling to keep on the track, while that early layer of oils and rubber washed off. Even when things had settled down, it was incredibly sketchy with several cars looping around or plunging into the boggy infield. Eventually the weather cleared up but the rest of the race was that cross between slightly greasy and dry.

We came home 3rd in class, a good start for any championship season.

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Round 2 - Taupo
The action headed south to the chilly heights of Lake Taupo, a track notorious for being super abrasive on tyres. The day started off very promising, with good qualifying pace and a strong first stint. Though things quickly turned sour when the Levin lost its brakes going into a corner.

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Because Taupo is much more technical and also has a much longer straight, we guessed we needed to take a page out of Supercars' book and tap the brakes before a corner to realign the pads ahead of a heavy brake zone. This bought us some laps, but it became apparent the problem was more sinister, the entire wheel bearing and hub had broke, and that was what was knocking the pads out of place.

We ended up retiring from the round, being a Toyota not a Nissan we were left with no spares and no plan B to feasably continue. We crunched the numbers and worked out that a strong class result was still on the cards but it banked on a cracking result at the final race.

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This was the race leader, right up until they weren't.

Round 3 - Pukekohe Park
With the news that Pukekohe Park will be closing down soon, this ended up being quite the popular round with a fair few additional standalone entries arriving to compete in the last ever 6hr race at the track.

This time, we ran a tag team between the Levin and the Pulsar, pulled out of retirement for one comeback race at the venue where it all started for me.

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In between qualifying and the race it rained, and not six laps into things it got red flagged after another Nissan got wrecked hard at the fastest point in the track! The track did dry up around the half way point, and I whacked my phone into the Pulsar for my stint which can be watched right here!

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The driver was okay, but that's one way to turn a sedan into a hatchback!

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What I didn't realize (due to our comms failing) was the red Mazda3 was actually for position, and we missed out winning the 3 hour race by that much!! The entire rest of the race was still close, however! Once I tagged out and the Levin went to finish things, there were four cars in the running for class honors, and we came home 12th place, 2nd in class!

That was enough to take 2nd in class overall for the championship, a fantastic result and our second time being class runners up! Again, apologies for the brief whistle-stop summary of our season. huge things are happening behind the scenes but I promise you the 24hr will be more documented as it happens! That's in a couple of weeks now, so we're all prepping for that!
 

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Hour 2 is done and dusted, and the faster teams are starting to catch up. Still plenty of hours left in the race though!!

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It's nearly 11pm, and we're still maintaining a consistent 15th place! Both Pulsars are performing very well, and this International layout track is such great fun!
 
Congrats to all involved.

Now that it's all over Nath, you have to tell us all how you ended up with such a big lead so early on.
 
Congrats to all involved.

Now that it's all over Nath, you have to tell us all how you ended up with such a big lead so early on.
Congratulations to everyone at Hooncorp!

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Cheers, guys!!

With regards to the curiously good start, I have a theory.

These events don't have qualifying, and it's first come first served to the grid. Then the race is started single file, just to really ensure the best chance of a safe opening stanza.

I reckon we just got lucky with starting towards the front of the order, and the fast guys started more towards the rear.

With over 100 cars on track, even the speediest drivers would have to take their time navigating all the traffic, meanwhile we had a mostly clear run to log some laps and make us look like Kings for that first hour or so! :lol:
 
Cheers, guys!!

With regards to the curiously good start, I have a theory.

These events don't have qualifying, and it's first come first served to the grid. Then the race is started single file, just to really ensure the best chance of a safe opening stanza.

I reckon we just got lucky with starting towards the front of the order, and the fast guys started more towards the rear.

With over 100 cars on track, even the speediest drivers would have to take their time navigating all the traffic, meanwhile we had a mostly clear run to log some laps and make us look like Kings for that first hour or so! :lol:
Even so, at 1hr 17m, 33 laps into the race, and despite logging a fastest lap 23 seconds slower than the next slowest car on screen, your little rocket is 2 laps in front!

If I didn't know better I'd say you're mates with Harry Potter & you bought him a grandstand seat
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Even so, at 1hr 17m, 33 laps into the race, and despite logging a fastest lap 23 seconds slower than the next slowest car on screen, your little rocket is 2 laps in front!

If I didn't know better I'd say you're mates with Harry Potter & you bought him a grandstand seat
harry potter magic GIF
🤣🤣🤣🤣

That's not actually our fastest lap, that's our last logged lap which, having just done a driver change, will have been our in lap.

Funnily enough we were actually credited with fastest lap. You'll see at the bottom of the pic it claims the best lap was 53 seconds done by car 37.

Harry Potter didn't help out with that one, rather it was a deliberate move to try and give fast cars one less reason to push and drive overly hard. If the FL is something unfathomably unrealistic (53 seconds to do 3.9km???), then there's no point gunning for the "glory" of being fastest and hence one less reason to drive like a madman.

But getting back to our rocket start, as I type this I have been informed that the race "started" while the cars were in procession getting their on track photos taken, so because we were among the first to be photographed...

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..it meant we were logging laps before most of the rest. Yeah, that explains it.
 
A few more questions for you Nath.

In one of the earlier pics, I noticed that two of the cars have blue cam covers & two don't.

Does that signify a different spec engine, or do all four cars have the same? If they are a different spec, what was the difference in lap times assuming you used all four cars during the race?
 
A few more questions for you Nath.

In one of the earlier pics, I noticed that two of the cars have blue cam covers & two don't.

Does that signify a different spec engine, or do all four cars have the same? If they are a different spec, what was the difference in lap times assuming you used all four cars during the race?
Right, I'm gonna try and channel my inner Mark Larkham for a minute. Hopefully I can explain it coherently enough.

Firstly it's easiest to cover the Sentra at the end first as that's the outlier to all that's about to follow. It's powered by a 1.5L GA15 engine, and its a car we don't actually own, but we look after it as part of our contribution to the NAZCAR events. It's got enough power to give most people a thrill, but isn't overly fast.

Now, onto the more technical comparisons.

The remaining three cars are all powered by SR series engines. The blue top motors are SR16 VE engines, which are 1.6L but boast VVL technology. VVL is essentially Nissan's answer to VTEC (which makes sense given the N15 Pulsar's direct rival was the EK Civic).

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So you've got your variable valve lift mechanism, meaning at high revs a heap of technical wizardry happens and the engine gets much louder and more powerful.



It's especially noticeable in this clip of the Lucino on the dyno, there's a distinct change in engine noise toward the middle of the rev range. If you have headphones (or just a good set of ears) you'll pick it up straight away.

These engines were rated at 197bhp from factory, and I believe (though would need to fact check this) that the SR16 VE remains one of the world's most powerful N/A non hybrid 1.6L engines.

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So what about 37?

Well 37 is also an SR engine, but it's got an SR20 DE, specifically an Autech tuned version. They only made 576 of these, so they're rare as.

It's a 2.0L, but DE engines lack all the VVL super powers that makes the VE so punchy. However as I mentioned, these ones were specially tuned from factory by Autech. They feature unique high compression pistons, valve springs and port work, so they wind up to be only a few ponies short of the VE engines.

To summarize, the blue top engine has more punch and technical genius, but it's a smaller engine. The silver top engine isn't as advanced, but has some unique goodies of its own and its just physically bigger. No replacement for displacement, etc...

How do they feel to drive, and which is the faster car? Well amazingly, our cars all seem to be pretty well matched. The VZ-R is much louder and obviously relies a bit more on revs, but the Autech has a bit more grunt through corners and can power through long sweepers with zero worries. Lap times were virtually identical, so that's really all that matters to us.

Hopefully that's explained most of it for ya, Pete!! Cheers
 
Right, I'm gonna try and channel my inner Mark Larkham for a minute. Hopefully I can explain it coherently enough.

Firstly it's easiest to cover the Sentra at the end first as that's the outlier to all that's about to follow. It's powered by a 1.5L GA15 engine, and its a car we don't actually own, but we look after it as part of our contribution to the NAZCAR events. It's got enough power to give most people a thrill, but isn't overly fast.

Now, onto the more technical comparisons.

The remaining three cars are all powered by SR series engines. The blue top motors are SR16 VE engines, which are 1.6L but boast VVL technology. VVL is essentially Nissan's answer to VTEC (which makes sense given the N15 Pulsar's direct rival was the EK Civic).

View attachment 1193868

So you've got your variable valve lift mechanism, meaning at high revs a heap of technical wizardry happens and the engine gets much louder and more powerful.



It's especially noticeable in this clip of the Lucino on the dyno, there's a distinct change in engine noise toward the middle of the rev range. If you have headphones (or just a good set of ears) you'll pick it up straight away.

These engines were rated at 197bhp from factory, and I believe (though would need to fact check this) that the SR16 VE remains one of the world's most powerful N/A non hybrid 1.6L engines.

View attachment 1193869

So what about 37?

Well 37 is also an SR engine, but it's got an SR20 DE, specifically an Autech tuned version. They only made 576 of these, so they're rare as.

It's a 2.0L, but DE engines lack all the VVL super powers that makes the VE so punchy. However as I mentioned, these ones were specially tuned from factory by Autech. They feature unique high compression pistons, valve springs and port work, so they wind up to be only a few ponies short of the VE engines.

To summarize, the blue top engine has more punch and technical genius, but it's a smaller engine. The silver top engine isn't as advanced, but has some unique goodies of its own and its just physically bigger. No replacement for displacement, etc...

How do they feel to drive, and which is the faster car? Well amazingly, our cars all seem to be pretty well matched. The VZ-R is much louder and obviously relies a bit more on revs, but the Autech has a bit more grunt through corners and can power through long sweepers with zero worries. Lap times were virtually identical, so that's really all that matters to us.

Hopefully that's explained most of it for ya, Pete!! Cheers

Thanks Larko, err, I mean Nath.

I guess all of that means be in the right gear at the right time with the VVL or you get basically a 'Meh' whereas the Lucino being a 2.0 you can afford to be a little lazier having the extra torque make up what it can.

I've got VVT on my 2011 Mazda 6 2.5 though a much milder version than Honda's VTEC or Nissan's VVL, I can still feel it wake up at 3500rpm.
 
Hey hoons! 👋


Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas! Thank you for all of your support this year, we've had a ripper season and will be whipping up a "Year In Review" video to touch on the highlights. 🤩👍


Until then, stay safe on the roads, and enjoy the holiday period! 🎄🎉


Mike and Nathan

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Our year is off to a solid start, with the first (and saddest) event on the calendar done and dusted, the Pukekohe Final Fling!!

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L-R: Daniel Scott, Tim Vaughan, Myself, Tom England, Spencer Bourne, Dennis Kendall, Judah Schokker, Wayne McCarthy & Dad

Our last competitive event at Pukekohe before it's destroyed, this was a MASSIVE event with an entry list that ballooned past anyone's expectations. 80+ cars on a track about the same size as Hampton Downs, but with much more full throttle and some phenomenal passing opportunities!

Suffice to say, on track action was nothing short of hectic. Cars everywhere, very little time alone on track, and a constant need to keep checking all around you! As a unique twist, the 8 hour race was split into two halves. The first half chopped out the chicane before the hairpin, which turned the track into essentially two drag strips with some corners on either end. The second half re-instated the modern chicane layout.



We only had a few minor hiccups over the course of the day. The Autech died on Spencer down the back straight, and when he got roped in, it was revealed he'd somehow hit the kill switch while going for 5th gear, which wasn't something I thought was possible, but hey. Better than a siezed engine or something like that!

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The team reacts accordingly to the realization that 37 is fine. "Oh, wait a minute!!" :lol:

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The tag-team approach works so well in these sorts of events. The cars don't work so hard, and all the consumables last much longer!


The second time, the VZ-R lost drive totally. At first it was thought the clutch may have gone, but a later autopsy revealed the CV joint had popped out, so it was "one wheel drive". Not very suitable for racing, but that's why the Lucino was there as the backup car! The rest of the day was smooth sailing for us!

Of course, with all the action going on, there was bound to be some casualties. Both at the same corner, the final blind crest as you top the hill on the run to the front straight! The SsangYong attempted to adjust its line in order to overtake a slower car at the final corner. A complex where you have to be perfectly balanced the whole way, so making last minute moves is always going to end ugly!
And the BMW simply got loose as it crested the hill, and the driver lost control. Went into the concrete backwards.

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Ultimately, we came home 33rd out of over 80 starters! We're still absolutely gutted that this track has been condemned, I just wish some rich bigwig would come along and save the lot!

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The Last Chequered Flag

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Mike got asked to do the commentary at the Monster Trucks Extreme show, and despite the drama that surrounded the build up, it was a phenomenal show!!

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Definitely hope to see more monster trucks in NZ in the future!

 
Hooncorp hosted its first fully-fledged event since before the days of covid over the weekend, and what an event it was!!

We ran an Autocross day at the Meremere drift park, in which just over 30 participants brought a mega variety of cars from road cars to dirt track, some custom classics and even a Daihatsu Midget!

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I'm currently going through all the pics and vids, getting some of the footage chopped and uploaded, but here's one to show the layout of the course featuring a very, VERY tail happy 350Z

 

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