Lotus Cup USA at Oregon Raceway Park

In an effort to promote the Lotus Cup USA racing series and build interest in the Pacific Northwest, event organizers hold a track day in the region once a year. Last year, the track day was held at PIR in October. Sporadic rain dampened the event but everyone still had a good time. This year, after encouraging organizers to schedule a date earlier in the year to avoid rain, a date in June was chosen along with a new venue. Oregon Raceway Park is a newly built private track located 2 hours east of Portland, Oregon. It has been called “the most technical track in the nation” with 16 turns in 2.3 miles with an abundance of elevation change.
As for the weather, this turned out to be the second wettest June in recent history.

We arrived early to set-up. The weather looked like it was going to clear and we were anticipating a nice day at the track.

Radium is an official sponsor of the Lotus Cup USA series. Since this day was not a competition event, it was an open track day to help promote the series. Hopefully, one day we will have a Northwest Lotus Cup USA competition event.

Of course, our Elise was prepped and ready for a day of abuse. We now run E85, which is an excellent, affordable alternative to high octane racing fuels. We burned through about 10 gallons in 35 minutes of track time. With the Radium Fuel Surge Tank, we don't have to worry about the fuel level until we are almost on empty.

Looks odd without a gear shift lever...
We had the opportunity to talk with Washington driver Mike about his "flappy-paddle" 2005 Supercharged Elise. The conversion uses a sequential transmission with special adapters and control circuitry.  He performed the installation himself with help from EliseParts.com.  Mike experienced engine troubles the previous day and was not running in the Lotus Cup USA group.

Park Place Limited, a Lotus dealership from Washington, brought down a few cars to excercise at the track.

We installed the light weight wheels with slick tires for the track day.

Later in the morning, after the first session, the sky started looking a little ominous.

Within minutes, the sky unloaded a fierce storm of heavy rain, hail, and crazy high winds. The Radium tent was a popular place for shelter.

After roughly 15 minutes, the rain stopped and we emerged from the tent.

We had an early lunch and waited for track to dry out. The local fire department saved the day by hosing the mud off the track.

K.P.'s S1 Lotus Elise with Honda K20 powerplant. This was a very well put together and fast car.

With the track dry, the cars went back at out. Kris volunteered to mow some grass (picture above, video below) with his matte black Exige S260.

Portland native Dylan Pollock (above) and father David Pollock are ORP regulars.

CLNW member Travis from the Portland area made the trek out to experience ORP.
The track's learning curve is steep with lots of elevation changes and "white knuckle" moments.

This GTR muscled its way around the track with unbelievable fast times..

Stephen in his safety-green Elise was also new to the track.

The afternoon granted perfect weather and everyone was able to enjoy plenty of track time.

The Radium Elise performed flawlessly and was a blast on this tight track.

David Pollock is his 2006 Cup car.

Lotus Cup USA held an impromptu time-attack event at the end of the day.  John walked away with the best time in his 2008 Elise SC.

Everyone had a great time. We look forward to coming back again. Thank you to Lotus Cup USA for visiting the NW!

Please visit Lotus Cup USA to see the complete 2012 schedule of events. Support the series!

Evergreen Drift Event Round-Up

On April 21st, Radium attended one of the regional drift events at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington put on by Evergreen Drift. We went to check out the local drift community with a goal to expose our Fuel Surge Tanks which have been popular in the drifting circuit.

We had all of our universal products on display. There were plenty of stickers to give away and a large number of spectators to take them. Nissanparts.cc was camped next door and have become our newest dealer. Be sure to check them out here
Everyone got to see our products first hand and we enjoyed discussing our products in detail with anyone who would listen.

Another vendor on site was 425 Motorsports, located in Bellevue, WA. They specialize in racing gear, planted seat brackets and a huge selection of perfomance parts. Check them out.

Evergreen Speedway is large venue with lots of seating and parking.

In a sport dominated by Nissan S-chassis cars, we enjoyed looking at the variety of the different builds. Some were very professional, others were lucky to be running.

Qualifying ran throughout the afternoon for Grassroots and Pro-Am drivers. There was about 60 drivers trying to qualifying for the evening's competition.

Some were fairly new.

Others were more experienced.

Also on hand was plenty of eye candy...focused mainly around the Nissan S-chassis vehicles.

The Pro-Am drivers were a bit more experienced than the Grassroots drivers and carried high drift angles around most of the bank.

AE86 initiating a drift with a yank of the E-brake.

The more tire smoke, the better.

Last minute repairs were the norm.

Fresh set of tires just waiting to be destroyed.

Bumpers optional. #131 Jeremy Richter ended up with a 3rd place finish in the evening competition.

Remember that last minute fix? Well they got it fixed and Victor Moore went on to win the Pro-Am event.

Local driver Pete Funatake was the only FD-licensed driver participating in this event. He finished 4th in Pro-AM event.

Rob Primo always puts on a good show.

The main competition took place in the evening and the action was exciting to watch.
Results can be found here.
This event proved that drifting is alive and well in the Northwest. The event is growing exponentially every event and will see record attendance in July when Formula Drift and all the big name pros come to town.

We would like to thank the crew at Evergreen Drift for being gracious hosts and letting us be a part of the action. We enjoyed it and will definitely be back this season.

Radium goes to LOG31 in Las Vegas

For a brief LOG 31 video, click the link below

The annual Lotus Owners Gathering (LOG) was held this year October 14th-16th in Las Vegas, a mere 18+ hr drive from Portland Oregon. We were a sponsor of the event and we were looking forward to attending. This was our first LOG event and as such, we did not know exactly what to expect. Luckily, the event was run very well and the organization was top notch, so there were no conflicts with logistics or scheduling. This helped make the event even more enjoyable for first-timers like us.

This year the event was held at the Red Rock Hotel and Casino. This venue was perfect because it featured an adjacent  large empty parking lot that was used for the car show and autocross.

The Radium Turbocharged Lotus Elise in front of the Red Rock Casino.

We installed a new set of "street" tires days before leaving on the trip and were trying them out for the first time in Las Vegas.

The trusty Radium Toyota Tundra tow vehicle. A huge thanks to Portland Speed Industries for donating the enclosed trailer for this trip!

Saturday morning was busy with the car show and meeting owners from around the country that traveled out for the event.

A special appearance by the John Player Special vintage Lotus F1 race car.

We had demo products on hand and enjoyed Lotus owner's feedback.

Sector 111 unveiled their Elise with an artisitic twist.

Want to see what a $25k watch looks like? BRM Watches was on hand showing off their goods.

More shots from Saturday's Car Show:

Satuday also included an Autocross event. We participated, but did not get any pictures because our photographer was driving the car. Saturday evening was the banquet, with guest speakers. Due to prior engagements, we were not able to attend.

Sunday Morning we were up early (kind of) and made our way to Pahrump, home of Spring Mountain Motorsports Resort. This resort features a track that can be configured many different ways. This day, it was configured with 19 turns. Lotus Cup USA was on site conducting a race for their series. This provided some great interaction with race teams and drivers with the LOG group.


For the track we put our lightweight wheels with slicks back on the car. Our pit crew, Tyler Hara (Cosworth) and Eric Valdes (Street Image) worked hard keeping the chairs from blowing away.

We talked professional driver Robert Podlesni into taking our turbocharged Elise out for a couple of sessions. We were very interested in his feedback and to see what the car could do with a real driver at the wheel.

After the first session, Robert made several comments about how linear the power felt and with a properly set up race chassis, it would be unstoppable.
He managed to absolutely fly around the track during the LOG drivers sessions and was a real pleasure to watch and learn from.

The crew from Mulholland Motorsports was on hand keeping a gaggle of Lotus race cars dialed in for the Lotus Cup race.

Dietsch Werks was on hand acting as pit crew for at least one (maybe more) of the Lotus Cup competitors. Here they are swapping a clutch before the big race.

Ramon Manuel in his Exige Lotus Cup racer. Mulholland did an excellent job with the race prep of this vehicle.

The cup series race kicked off late in the afternoon and was an exciting race to watch.

Andrew Kern walked away with a healthy win this day.

Thanks to Spring Mountain and the Lotus Cup USA crew for great day at the track.

Thank you again for the organizers (Sean Lethbridge especially) of the LOG event this year, it was pleasure for us to participate. We are already looking forward to next year in......Orlando!?

Announcing the first ever E85 Fuel Surge Tank

Another Fuel Surge Tank joins the Radium family. Walbro 400/E85 internal. The highest flowing OEM style internal pump on the market today combined with our surge tank design. Available now!

The Walbro 39/50 DCSS 400lph High Performance fuel pump (P/N F90000262) is the highest flowing internal pump available on the market today. Official flow data for this pump is available HERE. The pump mounts internally using an anodized laser cut bracket. The FST also incorporates a nickel plated quick disconnect sealed electrical connector. All internal wires are PTFE coated to resist gasoline, ethanol, and methanol corrosion. The internal hose is a special fluoroelastomer formulation that resist permeation internally and externally and is submersible in all types of fuel. This cost efficient compact design can support ~850bhp. See below for E85 version.

The Walbro 39/50 DCSS High Performance fuel pump (p/n F90000267) is specifically designed for use with E85 fuel and flows about 6% more than the gasoline version. This pump was designed to use any mixture combination of ethanol and gasoline (0-100%). It features the same technology of the 39/50 DCSS pump but modified for better compatibility with the corrosive ingredients in E85.  Official flow data for this pump is available HERE. The pump mounts internally using an anodized laser cut bracket. The FST also incorporates a nickel plated quick disconnect sealed electrical connector. All internal wires are PTFE coated to resist gasoline, ethanol, and methanol corrosion. The internal hose is a special fluoroelastomer formulation that resist permeation internally and externally and is submersible in all types of fuel.  This cost efficient compact design can support ~850bhp (or 600bhp on E85).

NOTE: Horsepower ratings are estimates based on fuel pump flow rates. There are many factors such as compresion ratio, fuel pressure, brake specific fuel consumption, dynamometer brand, etc. that factor into real world results.

Lotus 2ZZ-GE Clutch Upgrade

Over the past few months we have been experimenting with various clutches in our Turbocharged Lotus Elise. Throughout last year, including 3 track days at over 300whp, we used the stock clutch without any issues. In preparation for the 2011 season, we were planning on pulling the motor  for maintenance and decided to upgrade the clutch since the install would be simplified with the engine/transmission out of the vehicle.  With plans to push the engine harder, the stock clutch might reach its max holding capability and a upgrade was necessary.

This picture shows ACT (top) and South Bend (bottom) clutches.

Having success with South Bend clutches on other applications, we chose their TZ Series KTY14 clutch. This clutch is rated for 25% more ft-lb of torque compared to the stock clutch. The pedal effort was very streetable similar to the Toyota clutch.

After installing the South Bend Clutch, we put around 50 miles on the clutch and then began dyno tuning. Toward the end of our dyno session we noticed some clutch slippage.  At this point, the car was making about 220 ft-lb max torque.  We thought the clutch was overheated and did not address the issue. The following track day at Portland International Raceway, after several successful sessions, the slipping issue returned.

After contacting South Bend, they requested that we return the clutch so they could examine and determine the problem. We are waiting for their diagnosis.

In the meantime, we installed an ACT TC2-XTG6 clutch. This is a 6-puck sprung disc with an "Xtreme" pressure plate. This clutch is rated at 400 ft-lb max torque (at the flywheel). We plan to test the GTX3076R (600+hp) turbo early next year using this clutch.

The ACT clutch comes with alignment tool.  This is the first 2-piece tool we have seen for the 2ZZ-GE.

The alignment tool bushing gets pressed into the center of the flywheel as shown. This bushing remains in place even after the clutch is fully installed.

Advanced Clutch Technology (ACT) clutch completely installed.

After driving this clutch on the street we have noticed some differences. The increased pedal effort is prevalent but not unbearable. Also, there is no excessive chatter during clutch engagement. We will be putting this clutch to the test this coming weekend at the Lotus Cup USA HPDE event being held at Portland International Raceway. We will report back on its performance.

Hopefully, these experiences will allow us to make educated recommendations when discussing clutch upgrades with customers.

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