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Unread 12-19-2014, 07:28 PM
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Default Vorshlag Budget TT Build: Project DANGER ZONE

Project Introduction, Dec 19th, 2014: Welcome to Vorshlag's latest crazy project build thread. Many of you know how we have documented our various project builds on the forums over the past 12 years and this will be another fun one. I will (soon) be cross-posting this on a number of forums, listed below. Pick your favorite, subscribe, and feel free to join in the conversation! If you've never seen my build threads before, there are links buried throughout (usually in bold) as well as LOTS of pictures. Click on any picture posted and it usually goes to a larger resolution version. I will embed videos in here, too.
Before we get started I have to admit that this is just an introductory, background laying TEASER post. In it I will describe in basic terms what we are doing, and why, but we ARE NOT revealing what this new TT build car is until AFTER our first time trial competition event (NASA at MSR Houston Jan 17-18, 2015). Why? Everyone likes surprises, and I want to spring this on our competitors before they pitch a fit and leave the class, hehehe! This car will be built to run in a NASA Time Trial "letter class" (something from TTB to TTF) as well as SCCA Club Trials (when the two clubs' events don't overlap!). We might sneak it into a few other series and classes, if it looks like a good fit.

Who Are These Vorshlag Guys?



Some of you know Vorshlag (primarily a suspension parts manufacturing and supply company + street/competition prep shop) from our various online build threads, like our 2011 Mustang GT, shown above. We purchased this "test mule" to use for parts development, and with it we tested with 3 brands of shocks (AST, Moton and MCS), all with custom valving. We developed our second revision of the S197 camber plate set-up, helped Whiteline develop and test lots of parts, developed an 18x10" D-Force wheel for the S197 chassis, and tested and race proved Forgestar wheels, among other items.

We tested these things by campaigning it in various racing groups over the past past 4 years (GTA, SCCA, NASA, USCA, Optima, Goodguys) and it was extremely competitive in the last 2 seasons in NASA's TT3 class, with dozens of wins and setting 13 NASA class track records. We also won with this car in Optima/USCA, SCCA Club Trials, Goodguys autocrossing, and more. All of the development on this car has been shared on this Project Build Thread, but that car is currently for sale (here) and off limits to me on a race track from now on. We kind of went overboard on the custom fabrication and suspension work with that build, so somebody is going to get a smokin' deal when they buy it.

This Mustang was an example of Winning at All Costs. We used the best (and most expensive) suspension, high end aero parts, lots of custom body mods, and we ran on brand new "sticker" sets of Hoosier A6 tires ($1700 worth per weekend) at each event to guarantee success. Maybe we over did it... we set every TT3 track record for 2 years on the NASA Texas calendar and in 2014 had win margins over 2nd place by 5-7 seconds on most race days. Overkill costs extra. This DANGER ZONE project will be more about Winning with Low Costs, spending just enough to get that win, without massive overkill modifications or needless expenses. The inherent nature of the TT lettered classes limits our ability to go hog wild with spending or mods, too.


Our TT3 Mustang was a big brawler - we ran it HEAVY, with the biggest tires Hoosier made, and with huge aero

We learned a lot of valuable lessons with the TT3 build, with breakthroughs and mistakes, and shared them all publicly. While we had generally excellent results the last 2 years, the first 2 years of competition were a bust (poor planning on my part put it into the wrong series & wrong class), and even in 2014 I made a critical error that caused a high speed off. That little shunt at Road Atlanta caused some injuries to my back, but barely hurt the car or the splitter - this car is a tank! I am not keen to repeat those mistakes - so we will use all test data we can get and over-do the safety aspects on this car (spending far more on safety upgrades than are required in Time Trial - so I'm not counting that in the "race prep" budget). That TT3 car progressed greatly the last 2 years, winning 13 of 15 NASA TT events in 2013 and all of the TT events we entered in 2014, while securing the Regional TT3 championships both years by huge margins (with the maximum possible 800 class points). We relearned the importance of tires (width and compound) in TT, the value of proper testing, where to spend money on suspension, and of course we played with a lot of aero.

At Vorshlag, when we purchase "shop car" it is to develop new parts + to go prove those parts in competition. We usually only keep a car for one or two years, jumping around from different makes and models that have ranged from BMWs, Mitsubishis, Subarus, Mazdas, Chevys, Fords and more. Running the same red Mustang four seasons in a row has somehow made us into a "Mustang shop" in many people's eyes. But Vorshlag is much more than that - we make suspension products for over 24 different makes/models and prepare and build race-oriented cars for many motorsports venues, including autocross, HPDE, TT, Club Racing, Pikes Peak, drag race, rallycross, and even top speed competitions.


This pair of Subarus we have worked on aren't track cars. Left one is made for running Bonneville, the other for Pikes Peak

We hope this new build will show some of the variety of cars we work on, across all budgets, and show off some of the fabrication and race prep skills our crew excels at. Of course we are known for LS1 swaps into BMWs (E30, E36, E46, Z3 - see below) and we have Alpha Builds (development projects for future kits) for the Miata NB chassis and Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ as well. We have sold over 120 V8 swap kits since 2007 and we keep picking up new platforms to add big aluminum V8s to. Sadly, project DANGER ZONE won't be getting LS1 V8 powered swap, but it will make good power for it's class.



A lot of people that see us at the track or read our build thread think "These Vorshlag guys spend a lot of money!", but the reality is we build our cars to run on a tighter budget than you might think. How did we stay on sticker sets of Hoosier A6s in 2013 and 2014? We won all of them, except for 1 set purchased at the beginning of the 2013 season. Our service shop also has experienced mechanics and fabricators who do all of the work on our cars between paying customer work - so we have the manpower, tools and skills, but not always the big bags of cash. We kept the engine bone stock on our TT3 car because it was easier for us to do suspension and aero mods than "purchasing horsepower" (we don't build or tune motors here). We also have two guys in the front office that are crew chiefs on outside race teams, and everyone that works here is a racer with regular motorsports experience, track side and/or behind the wheel. So a lot of times we build the things that might seem "expensive" to others, but are really just hand built items that come from hard work and experience - which can often be worth more than just throwing money at a race car.



We have done some very low budget builds, too. In late 2009 we wanted to try our hand at a budget-restricted magazine shootout, so we jumped into the Grassroots Motorsports sponsored $20XX Challenge. This is an annual 2-day competition event with 3 differing categories: autocross, drag race, and concours. You have roughly two grand to spend on the car and parts, plus a rigid set of rules to go by. With an all-volunteer crew (15 people helped put in 1200+ man hours!) we built a BMW E30 in my home garage with a truck LS-series V8 and ran it in the the GRM $2010 Challenge (as in: we spent less than $2010). We did fairly well that first year, learned a LOT by going to that event, recognized what mattered most by watching the winners, and came back in 2011 and won the whole thing. Lots of people fell in love with that car - whether it was the home built wide body, the nasty little V8 under hood, the BMW Art Car inspired graphics for 2011, or the extensive custom fabrication work done throughout the car to keep the parts budget low.



I also ran our little GRM E30 in NASA TTU class (where it fit with the power to weight ratio it ended up with) and had a blast there as well. It was actually a better track car than an autocross car, funny enough. We cleaned it up, added a splitter, added some good looking 18x11" CCW wheels and sold that car for $18 grand... so sometimes your budget builds DO pay off after all!



Our very first NASA TT car was the TTU BMW E36 LS1 shown above, and it set an overall TT track record in its debut event way back in 2008. After that car left our stable we had a couple of other autocross cars that we ran briefly in TT lettered classes as well. My blue 2001 BMW E46 330 coupe (below left) was built initially around SCCA's DSP autocross class, flared with big 285s under all four corners, but it proved to be a MUCH better track car in TTD. It was run exactly one time and set a TTD record in the process. Same went for our STU autocross prepped 1997 BMW M3, which set a TTC record in one outing without any considerations made for track use.


These two Bimmers were initially built as SCCA autocross cars but ran briefly - and won - in NASA TT lettered classes

Before This Our 2015 Race Season Looked... Bleak!

After the last two successful seasons running our Mustang in NASA TT3 and a couple of other series, this car was tidied up for SEMA with new flares, new paint, and new aero. We ran it at the Optima Challenge after SEMA as well, then when we came back home in November mid it went up for sale. The car looks so perfect right now that nobody here will let me take it out on track. They think I'll bang up the bodywork or paint... and with as wild as I drive, they are probably right. It now sits to await its new buyer, untouched and undriven.


A major shop upgrade + new machines and equipment + extended SEMA/Optima trip all cost a lot of money

We just moved into a new shop that is twice as big as our old place, and did construction here for 6 weeks before we moved. The move happened 2 days before we went to SEMA, which was a 10 day trip for almost everyone here at Vorshlag. The pair of CNC machines arrived a month later. So needless to say, a lot of money was spent on the pre-SEMA car work, the move, construction and equipment of late. My "its a done deal" buyer for the Mustang fell through right before SEMA, too. All of that combined put a series dent in my personal 2015 racing budget!



There's a whole program of cars I was hoping to kick off with a shop built BMW E46 with a BIG nasty LS1 motor planned, and I've got 3 more chassis sitting in my home shop along with this E46, awaiting this turn-key race car program to start. But getting the drivetrain parts and wheels alone is going to take about $20K in cash, which seems to be missing at the moment, heh. So this project is delayed a bit while we get our CNC machines up and running and finish the construction at the new shop, so that meant no Vorshlag team car would be on track for at least 6 months. Sucks.

In Texas we race dang near year round. We did some track testing with the new S550 Mustang as recently as this December and there are NASA and SCCA road course events we need to hit in January and February, so there's no "off season" to complete any big build. Even if we kicked off the E46 build TODAY it wouldn't be on track until May or June. That's the majority of our Texas race season, and NASA Nationals West is in August. Long story short: We're out of time, and need to make a quick, low budget race car to be able to make the 2015 NASA race season.

continued below

Last edited by Fair!; 03-25-2016 at 06:09 PM.
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