Since Club Lotus NW cancelled its spring track day at Portland International Raceway, we had a hole in our schedule to fill. Luckily, our friends over at Portland Speed Industries were holding a "customer appreciation" day at a popular autocross venue in central Washington the same day.
The location is the site of a long-closed lumber mill in Packwood, Washington. It features 15 acres of wide open asphalt and is privately owned and rented out for automotive uses. PSI rented the venue for the day and invited several of their customers and friends of the shop out for some fun on the pavement.
This proved to be an excellent opportunity to put our turbocharged Lotus to a test of durability. Our long time friend, and professional Formula D drifter, Justin Pawlak "JTP" also attended the event so we handed the keys over to watch the pro driver smash on the mid engine Elise.
Despite the open differential in the Elise, JTP was still able to get it sideways in a controlled drift. The car spent several 10 minute sessions at constant high RPM and full boost and never missed a beat. However, late in the day we suffered a charging system issue and blew a VVTi fuse. The turbo kit performed exactly as expected and was solid as a rock. We were testing out several changes including a new journal bearing GT28 turbocharger, a simple turbo oil return technique, and a new boost calibration tune.
The weather oscillated between torrential downpour to blazing sun all day, but we got several good sessions of dry pavement. Some of the customers had just as much fun in the water.
Twin Turbocharged Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera
PSI's R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R
Andrew Coomes used the opportunity to practice his drift technique in his LS powered 240sx.
This event also provided the opportunity for us to work with YAER Productions on shooting a professional level Radium Engineering promo video.
We would like to extend a huge thanks to PSI for inviting us out and letting us bring out the turbo Elise in a safe environment.