For the last two years the Lang Racing team has been focused on gaining knowledge of different prototype race cars, and we don’t just mean the Norma anymore. We are excited to have the opportunity to support Vasili Stratton in his Wolf GB08 Extreme and Jason Chin in his Ginetta LMP3 car. Both of these cars have challenged the team to learn the new platforms and work with new suppliers.
Vasili’s Wolf Extreme weighs in at just 1500lbs (yes we checked) and comes equipped with a special Ford 5.2L V8 producing about 650hp. This makes it the best power to weight ratio car we have ever had in our shop, to put it in perspective, it’s has a better power to weight ratio than the Koenigsegg One:1. The build quality on this Italian prototype really impressed us, it comes with aircraft hardware all around and a very clean mil spec wiring harness ready for all kinds of upgrades like ABS, traction control, and even live telemetry. The car landed in the US just a month before NASA Nationals giving us very little time to prepare it. Fortunately the car came very sorted and there were only a couple things to take care of. The high compression engine takes a lot of battery power to crank so a larger lithium battery had to be fitted and a ground strap added from the starter to the engine block. On warmer days we have noticed that this car runs quite warm on coolant temp and that has to be carefully monitored to make sure the car doesn’t climb above it’s prescribed operating temperature and lose water. The car came equipped with Avon tires which heat cycle wonderfully and a single set can get a driver through a whole weekend while still being very competitive.
Vasili was diligent in preparing for NASA Nationals at Laguna Seca and was able to do alot of events in northern California to make sure he was comfortable with the car. The weekend went pretty trouble free, the biggest mishap was being late to grid for the qualifying race on Saturday. An error with the grid officials resulted in the Wolf not being allowed on track and having to start the Sunday main event race from the back. Despite this, with the 45 minute race Vasili was able to come from the back and pass some very fast competition to take first in SU nationally, we were impressed to say the least. We still have quite a bit of work to do to dial in the suspension and aerodynamics on this car but despite that, it was able to deliver impressive results. While the car was not the fastest on track the whole weekend the V8 engine proved very reliable and was able to take advantage of competitors unreliability in their more high strung turbocharged platforms.
Jason Chin joined us for Nationals despite having just gotten a handle on the LMP3 car. It came to us 3 weeks before the event with much work needing to be done to get the car prepared to race. We worked hard on this old chassis and ensured to make it reliable. Despite that we struggled with some throttle body problems on Friday and Saturday resulting in Jason not getting much track time and similar to Vasili having to start from the back for the Sunday main event. While the results were not as strong as we hoped, we know that this LMP3 will be a formidable competitor in 2023 after the reliability issues are sorted out and the car gets setup. We’ve already taken the opportunity to fit dry breaks on both side of the cars to utilize the same fueling as our Norma and we hope Jason will be campaigning this car in NASA WERC races in 2023.
The Lang Racing Development Norma had mixed results throughout the weekend as well. Unloading the car from the trailer and getting the car warmed up Friday morning revealed a problem we have been dealing with all season, the car simply would not start. We spent several hours troubleshooting and changing every component we had in our spares box. Frustratingly the car started working without explanation and left us worried about when we might see this problem again. The Norma M20FC ran great all through Sunday, with Andrew’s consistent lap times he was able to end up in 7th for the qualifying race on Saturday. Competitors dropping out landed him in 4th position for the start of Sunday which was much higher up the grid than we had anticipated. Our Norma is relatively underpowered compared to the competition as it carries a simple high compression Honda K20 engine at 2.0 liters. We found it was down on power even compared to another Norma competitor that was able to come from behind on Sunday and get around our car. We do have plans to build a 2.3 liter stroker K20 to try to gain some power back and give us some more passing power on the straight in the near future. We were very pleased with the SU results on Sunday with Vasili finishing 1st and the Norma finishing 4th.
The Norma continued on to the Monday race at the Seaside Cup with WERC, a 6.5 hour race. This was the longest race of the season and unfortunately our mystery problem reared it’s head again on Monday morning during practice and qualifying. The car was running but very down on power and could not pull past 7k RPM. We started the race but were unable to keep the car on track the entire time. We traced the problem down to a variable camshaft solenoid being inoperable. Unfortunately on our Norma this cannot be changed without removing the engine from the chassis, so we decided to run the car down on power as long as we could to try to take as many points as we could. We placed 4th, which will seriously hurt our championship winning odds since we had to use our only drop for our race at UMC where we were unable to start.
On the BMW front we supported George Edison throughout the 4 day weekend, replacing a damaged splitter in the pits on Saturday night. The car proved very reliable throughout the weekend, on Monday George and his codrivers were able to take 2nd in the E1 class, despite having to change a broken gas pedal in the middle of the race. The car was very easy on tires and did the entire 6.5 hour race on one set of Toyo RR’s.
2023 is shaping up to be an exciting year for Lang Racing Development. Our track presence has grown thanks to the addition of James Daverin to the team. He is dedicated to supporting our race customers and is a jack of all trades who can handle transportation, track support, and maintenance and repairs for us. He’s a welcome and much needed addition to the team.