What do you get when you take a high powered EVO made to run the toughest hillclimb in the nation and put its rally shoes back on? Well, you basically get a low level aircraft!
After a bit of a rough ride at Pikes peak this year the car is back in action and ready for another local hill climb. Monarch is part of the CHCA series, in fact it is the last race of the series. The Kerns currently hold the record on the hill when they ran previously in the EVO with almost 200 less horsepower than it has currently. After fixing damage, replacing parts and basically converting it back to a rally car we took the car out to CORE to test it out.
The EVO has so much power that all four wheels spin in nearly every gear on the dirt. It is a bit of an incredible thing. In addition it goes so much faster than the BMW that when you are going along the same course you spend close to double the time simply off the ground. There were several times when I thought: “Hmm, I sure hope we can land, regain traction and make that corner right there.” The funny thing is that the Ohlin suspension is so smooth compared to the BMW that even though you can tell you are going faster, the visual inputs are coming at you quicker, but it feels so smooth that you feel as though you are either going the same speed or going slower than the BMW.
After a solid run at CORE we packed it up and headed home. No need to run it all day but we had a good solid test and it was a bit humbling to see Dave say with what appeared to be genuine surprise. “Wow, after testing with the BMW all summer, the EVO is FAST!”
For some reason when you buy a GoPro suddenly there is nothing sacred in this world and the GoPro MUST be mounted to everything. I know it sounds silly, but seriously, go buy a gopro and find out for yourself. I can assure you that you will say “Oh! I could put it on ______!” to more things than you can imagine. So when we were out at CORE and Aaron brought along a kite… well guess what happened next!
Turns out the kite is a great way to get an ariel view. However there will be a bit more work to figure out a good way to get it mounted a bit nicer on there. With the aid of a Zip Tie and a My Life @ Speed sticker we were able to get it reasonably mounted on the kite so we could get a few shots.
Of course, timing is a bit tough. The camera takes photos every 2 seconds. (on the setting we were using) and that seems like enough time to get a shot of a car in general part of a course. However that assumption is completely wrong
The GoPro does have a 1 second interval as well and we will try that out in the future as well as some new mounting ideas. In the mean time I bought my own kite to see if we can use a stunt kite to direct the camera a bit more toward what we want to see. I suspect that it will be twitchy and tough to watch like the video that we shot initially (wow, don’t watch that kids you are going to throw up!) But this definitely ads another element to the fun stuff you can do with a gopro… so what do we think, should we try this shot for Pikes Peak next year?
Oh, as a side note. Aaron has this kite for a pretty awesome reason if you ask me. I mean, kites are fun and all, but he bought this so he could fly it at the top of the 14ers that he ascends…
It’s all part of building a race car. Nothing works perfectly the first time around. Ask Rhys Millen. They built a million dollar car for Pikes Peak last year and without enough testing they had issues with the wing, the transmission and on and on. Well, for the Kern’s it isn’t that different. Each test has revealed a problem. The first showed some issues with the diff. The second test showed some issues with the suspension and between those tests we had some issue with the oil pump.
Yesterday we headed out to CORE and we tested again. 11-2:30 with only a few stops that were each under about 10 minutes. About 3 hours of running at 80-100% (except when I was driving that was probably more like 50%!) This thing is proving itself! The engine runs strong, very strong! The transmission is working nicely and the suspension is nearly dialed. One more switch around with valving and possibly a bit of a change on the rear spring rate and this thing should be ready for whatever you can throw at it.
Check out some video from the day and don’t forget to check out RaceKern.com for updates from the Kerns