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TDI Motorsports This section is dedicated to the folks who push the TDI to the absolute limit racing. Topics should include articles about TDIs in the SCCA ProRally Series, Drag Racing, AutoCross and any other events that include TDIs.

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Old August 6th, 2007, 16:19   #1
bluegraphite
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Thumbs up Entry level racing - Hillclimb your TDI!

My TDI Jetta and I tried a hillclimb for the first time. Wow - it was great fun!

I wonder if some other TDI drivers would like to try a hillclimb?

A few weeks back, I was wondering how our favorite turbodiesel would stack up in hillclimb? Pretty good, I suspected, since classes are assigned on the basis of cc/lb and the TDI's torque seems ...well... real useful! I discovered my 90hp, grocery-hauling TDI is competitive in the class called "Unprepared 4" . Mine was the quickest U4 car at Okemo that day, more than 10 seconds ahead of a Spitfire with veteran drivers. (Just imagine what a chipped and injected TDI could do!)

The other competitors couldn't have been nicer! They answered my newbie questions and gave me lots of tips on what to do during "new driver orientation" and later, while strolling around the pits. The event was well run by members of the Killington Sports Car Club. A little rain Saturday afternoon brought the pace down and closed the hill early, but gave me a chance to study the course from the driver's seat. Sunday was beautiful - we each got 5 timed runs, after a "familiarization run". I even had a chance to work a checkpoint and the starting line between my runs, so I got to see & learn a lot by watching. (Full details, schedule & rules at hillclimb.org)

I heartily recommend trying a hillclimb to anyone who wants to get a taste of road racing in a controlled environment! It's not so costly, you can run in your daily driver and have a great time!
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Old August 7th, 2007, 11:05   #2
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Fuel Economy: 52.5 best/45+ w/ current mods/39 how?
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That does sound like fun. I wonder, since you mentioned classes are asigned on the basis of CC/LB, how a modded TDI would be classified.
Good stuff. If there is one of these in Sept..I might give it a try.

You just sun stock tires and all? On gravel?

Edit..in the classification...since our cars come stock with a turbo and are diesel...we still have to add 30% to displacement because of turbo (if stock turbo)? And same for the intercooler?(25%) ...I guess so if the norm is '2 valves + 1 injector per cylander...etc'

And how did you determine your class? Estimated curb weight on my 4dr GLS (2002) is 2875...according to my registration. Bone stock that'd put my car in U2 not U4. As it is modified... I'd be placed in SP2. Curb weight estimated by: GVW - (5(as seating capacity is 5 in the specs)*175)...I'm gonna figure this out. - If going by GVW (3925) - (5*175)= 3050. It think with skid and some other items my car full wet is in the range of 3150. Ahh well...
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Old August 7th, 2007, 18:17   #3
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Well, the classes exist to put together cars of similar "quickness" and level of "preparation" (aka weight reduction by stripping). The class is ultimately decided by the race officials. A diesel (biodiesel actually) is a bit of a novelty, and they want to encourage new folks to try hillclimbing in the "Unprepared" classes. At the hillclimb I went to, the KSSC organizers decided that a 90hp diesel w/ stock turbo should run with naturally aspirated gasoline engines of the same displacement, since a typical 1.9L gasser puts out 135hp or so (thinking of my old Saab). They also told me that injector and ECU mods are free (but not turbo upgrades), and that got me pretty excited!

My Jetta is running street "performance" tires, and the mountain roads are pretty well paved (but not without some features like damage, camber changes, etc that influence how you pick your line.) I hear what you are saying about the mods on your Jetta, and I had a similar worry about mine, but they said that "bolt-on" mods are allowed in U classes. Basically, a car that you could pick up your boss from the airport with is a U. The cars in S included a couple of full-on rally cars and most had full cages and none had any upholstery behind the driver's seat. The P cars look like tube-frame purpose-built racers or drag race stockers, all with slicks on 4 corners.

But I had a huge amount of fun and ran respectably fast in my street car. And I learned a bunch about driving too!
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Old August 7th, 2007, 19:41   #4
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I see there is a race mid-Sept in So. VT. The entry fee is $125...and break-out time is 3:20 over a 3 mile course. I may give a call or drop an email closer to the date to the coordinators about a modded TDI...suspension isn't stock(Shine) and w/ rear sway bar. Funny how injectors/ecu are 'free' ...wonder about injection pump.(run an 11mm) The battery in my Golf is also relocated in the trunk(something talked about in classifying SP vs U).

We shall see. Glad your experience was as good as it was! Maybe I'll get bit by the same bug.
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Old August 7th, 2007, 20:11   #5
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WOw. If you can, post the schedule. I'd like to check it out. No driving for me, but I think it would be a blast to watch.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 06:07   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrchill
WOw. If you can, post the schedule. I'd like to check it out. No driving for me, but I think it would be a blast to watch.
Remaining events as posted on hillclimb.org

Mt. Ascutney II: September 15-16, 2007
Philo: October 13-14, 2007
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Old August 8th, 2007, 08:02   #7
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There is one coming up too, weekend of Aug 25 & 26 at Burke Mt, way "up Noth" off I-91. (Pretty easy to find, half mile beyond the ski area, on the Burke mtn toll road.) Drivers who have never driven a hillclimb at that particular hill are required to attend a Friday PM orientation, in which a veteran driver takes you for a slow drive up, pointing out most popular spots to leave the road and giving some pointers on the best line, etc.

There is a nice wooded campground right at the starting line that KSSC has reserved for the event. There are also places to stay in the nearby village East Burke, I would guess. Chris, if you want to really get a good spot to see the action, volunteer to work a checkpoint as I did. It's definitely something to see! - imagine that the toll road's posted speed is 15mph, and the hillclimbers are AVERAGING 50+mph on the hill.

mydeath, don't worry a lot about your suspension tweeks and the classing. I was very upfront about my Jetta's tweeks and I remained in U, as the Nissan 240 also running in U had a mostly gutted interior and the Spitfire had a TR6 (or GT6? didn't catch it) rear suspension setup. They assign a percent displacement increase "penalty", and if you overshoot the cc/lb ratio described on the hillclimb.org site, you move to U3 and run with the Rabbits!

One of the organizers even was toying with creating a "diesel" classification, if enough TDIs show up....
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Old August 12th, 2007, 21:28   #8
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From a quick read they take the GVW, deduct 175lb per rump holder and then they would tax us 55% per CC based on the 30% for turbocharging and 25% for an intercooler, 0.3 + 0.25 = 55%.

So the nominal 3900GVW for a Mk.IV chassis less 175 * 5 yeilds a curb of 3,025lb.

Now the confusing part is they tell us to take actual CC and multiply by the adjustment factor and then add that number back to the actual CC to yeild an adjusted CC. So 1900 * .55 = 1045cc. 1900 + 1045 = 2945 which is the same as 1900 * 1.55 = 2945 so take it as it lies I guess.

So now we have adujusted CC divided by adjusted GVW so 2945/3025 = ~0.97 cc/lb which would put a Mk.IV chassis in U3.

Now assuming we spent scads of cash and really up'd the game on power, a TDi running balls out with modified suspension damping and roll bars, a cage, full interior with a turbo swap but rolling on stock sized wheel and tire will on incur a 1.60% adjustment which would be okay so long as you're making enough power to justify the bump. You'd be classed in SP3 as it'd be 1900 * 1.6/3025: 3040cc/3025 = 1.00. .85+ in power and suspension against .25- in cage and interior gives up .6 overall. So 1cc per lb which is only fractionaly more penalty than running in U3. So if you build a 1.9 to crank out 200hp and 300lb/ft you're pulling 15.125 pound per pony. For reference an 08 vette would be instantly in U1 with 1.85cc/lb or 7.78 pound per pony. Any changes you make are going to throw you in higher classing right off the bat. Now while I doubt you could get a Mk.IV down to a fighting weight of 1555lb to match the vette ratio; you did do it for about half the cost and about double the power in the same RPM band.

I'm just saying, the lighter you go the more your power works for you. And right now it seems that TDi cars have the jump on the crowd.

Also sticky point I see is wheel/tire size. I've run into this with MB/BMW/P auto-x outings. Stock in generaly assumed to be factory fitable to that vehicle for that model generation. So fo'rinstance, If I'm rolling on 15" from the factory but the GLI rolled on 19" then I can up fit the 19" becasue they are stock for the chassis. I don't know how they feel about that, but thats the argument we've always used. Heck I've even fitted up stagger sizing to effect behavior. But still at 1% per .5" of non-stock'ness you'd have to be running on some 33" donk wheels to get bumped into SP2
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Old August 12th, 2007, 21:37   #9
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And before I forget. I know its not sporting nor is it fair (but when was racing about fair anyway?) But if they can't prove that your equipment isn't stock then they can't tax you on it. You could if you really wanted take a spray bottle of used oil and mist up your new VNT20 and high volume SMIC then run down a dirt road and I'm fairly sure they'd give it the pass. And who's to say you modified your tuning program or injection system, really? God you could be a ground pounding monster and they'd probably still stick you in U3. -insert evil laugh here-
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Old August 17th, 2007, 15:24   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thermopylaetech
And right now it seems that TDi cars have the jump on the crowd.
I agree!
Clearly you've read the hillclimb classifications pretty closely. Not much there puts limitations on the usual progression of TDI engine development, it seems. Mine was definitely not the first TDI they've seen at that hill. But a non-stock turbo and obvious non-stock intake mods should (rightly) bump a TDI up a class or so. There are other mods that are essentially invisible and might therefore be "free".

BTW, I wonder if or how much the doorplate GVWRs vary? Mine says 3925lbs, and the actual displacement is 1896cc, of course.
I have no doubt that a TDI, properly juiced up and driven by a hotshoe, could give even the V8s, GTIs and Subie STIs a good run in S or P class, maybe surpassing the breakout time. But our favorite powerplant can even run bone stock and be competitive in U classes. Whichever way you want to go, it is a ton of fun!

When I figured out the average speeds from posted results, I was surprised see the average speed in mph is pretty uniform . Top speeds increased with horsepower, to be sure, but a lot more time is spent on course in turns and quick transitions - like autocross. Diesel torque is nice to have on the exits!

I think the objective of the classing is to group cars with similar elapsed time potential together, so driver performance can be compared. The classification committee seemed pretty much to be an ad hoc group, composed of event organizers/drivers of top class cars. At this one event, they seemed to allow that 55% penalty for the stock setup was not appropriate. There may be a formal allowance (an "unpenalty") for turbodiesels in the future, as there is at LeMans, if some more TDIs show up. They really encourage newcomers to the sport, and they want everybody to have fun!
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Old August 17th, 2007, 17:04   #11
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Well you've got me sold on the idea of bringing serious torque to bare. I've auto-x a 635 and the waggy, tracked the 635, assisted with a radical 320i and I think when it coems down to it, barring a full track TDi; events like this are the best bang for the buck on modifications and retaining real world driveability.

There are track cars you *could* drive on the street and there are street cars you can track. Sadely I wish it were merely a differnce of opinion.

And yeah I did read the regs fairly close. I ascribe to the theory that says the rule books are not a list of things you can do but merely a list of things you can't. If the regs don't discuss it: it's not against the regs.

For instance, the rule may say no cam lift over .XXX", Well the rules say nothing about friction welding a shim to the stem now do they?! The valve moves .XXX + .005 but the came remains the same. It won't last long but if you don't mind buying valves each time, it's a cheap work around. That gem was bnorn by a buddy of mine on 2-stroke Karts and for what it costs, a stock valve with a shim was a steal.

Also on the GVW, I just borrowed the GVW I found listed for an MkIV sedan. With my waggy still in MD it's kinda hard to read the tag and I'm not about to send my buddy out to read it.
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Old August 18th, 2007, 13:37   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thermopylaetech
... events like this are the best bang for the buck on modifications and retaining real world driveability...
Yup, I think so too! TDI looks like a good performer when classed by cc/lb. Helps us deal with the massive amounts of "quality" that make the chassis so difficult to lighten.

So...how far are you from Vermont?

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Old August 18th, 2007, 13:59   #13
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Well I'm 90 minutes roughly from Albany, due south and some west. So factor as needed from Albany. I could drive there, race all day and drive home on a tank.
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Old August 18th, 2007, 18:18   #14
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Yeah well, I was horrified by my terrible mpg while hillclimbing - got all the way down to 25mpg
Of course, the gassers were only getting 2mpg - even the 4cyls. And all but a handful of them trailered too! Meanwhile, I was running my AC and cranking the Monsoon while waiting for the next run. (Well, not really, but I could have been!)

Love my TDI!
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Old August 19th, 2007, 19:06   #15
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I will be willing to bring on some heat in a bit to the events... I garrentee you a mk2 with a mk4 can rip well enough stock to put some sad faces on gassers...
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