After hundreds of dyno pulls and thousands of kilometres completed on the rollers, our "Dyno Mule" Nissan 350Z finally got to spin it's wheels in anger for the first time at a competitive event. Its debut at the 2015 Bridgestone Coronet Peak Hill Climb was a challenging one with weather conditions changing throughout the day from snow, to sun and finally zero visibility fog cutting the event short.
Throughout the day the weather went back and forth from clear and sunny to heavy snow and rain, meaning it was hard to know exactly what the conditions were going to be until the clutch was dropped at the start line - It was pretty unreal racing up such a challenging hillclimb with snow falling on the road! The event got called off before our fourth and final run as cloud and fog had reduced visibility to only a few meters.
With so little grip available it gave us a great opportunity to do some testing on the traction control function that Link added to their new G4+ ECUs a while back. In our 350Z the ECU takes wheel speed input from the factory ABS computer and we can then define a target slip (wheel spin) rate for each gear and the ECU then uses a combination of ignition retard and fuel or ignition cutting to control wheel spin. There is a bit of testing required to really dial in this feature but by the end of the event we had a setup that was getting pretty close - Hopefully a few more wet days at the track will let us get it dialled in to perfection. Being able to rely on the ABS and traction control definitely provides a level of driver confidence to push on in some very trying conditions.
Andre Run 1
Andre Run 2
Ben Run 1
Both myself and Andre took turns behind the wheel navigating the short 2.7km section of the Coronet Peak Ski Field access road. Andre got to the top with a fastest time of 1.48:56 and I managed 1:56:67.