Nevada Open Road Challenge
1989 928 S4

May 14-17, 2009

Open Road Rally
Ely, Nevada

Bill and I just got back from Ely Nevada, where we ran the Nevada Open Road Challenge Open Road Race. We were going to run my car in the 150 mph class with a 180 mph max tech speed. I had wanted to run in the 170 mph class with an unlimited tech, but since it's my first race with this organization, I need to complete the 150 class first.

Tim and Cheryl were there with the Beast. They had entered the 160 class with an unlimited tech. Matt was also there with his new navigator Eric running the 145 mph class.

Last Tuesday, Bill found that the oil leak that we were trying to fix had gotten worse. It looks like we may have to pull the engine to check the head gaskets and cam cover gaskets. We didn't have enough time, so we went with the back up plan. So Wednesday we installed the roll bar, harnesses, and fire extinguisher in Bill's car and swapped over my wheels and tires. Bill then went over to Jim's house to get the Sharktuner working in his car, since there was still a lot of tuning to do to get his car running well with the new intercooler. We left Thursday morning for the 8 hour drive to Ely. I got to "test" out the suspension with the "new" tires. From what Bill says, it was a big improvement. Also the car was running very rich when accelerating, so we glad to have the Sharktuner along.

On Friday, after Registration and Tech, we went out to drive the road and do some tuning. We got most of the LH tuning done, but had problems "talking" to the EZK. After a few email to John Speake and phone calls to Jim M. we swapped EZKs (and PEM) and got things working well. Saturday, after the car show, we went out and tuned the EZK and refine the LH. When we were done, the AFR was good, though a little rich at the top end and there were very few knocks (1 or less per run). There was a probably a lot more power left on the table, but we knew it would be safe to race.

Sunday was race day. The 150 class was the first group to run, and we in grid position 13. After a few communication issues, they started the first car around 8:40 AM. We left the line around 8:53. The car was running well, it had a little trouble accelerating at this altitude (5600 ft), but we still were able to get up to tech speed. We had worries about the cars handling before we started, but the car handled very well at speed. We were able to take the turns at 15-20 mph faster then originally estimated. By the time we got through the Narrows (a short twisty section at ~70 miles out), we were 40 seconds ahead of schedule. Since we were treating this as a "qualifing" run, instead of a try to win event, we just took it easy to the finish line. We arrived 22.014 seconds early with an average speed of 151.5445 mph over the 90 mile course.

Matt and Eric finished 4th with a 144.9198 avg, and Tim and Cheryl were Red Flagged, but finished 1st with a 161.4738 based on times at check point 5 and another 200+ mph run.

Here are a few photos:

Bill setting up the Sharktuner in the motel parking lot on Friday

Matt and Bill's car at the Car Show

Bill and I at pre-grid

At the finish line

GPS after the finish

We hit a bird during the race, luckily it hit the bumper and bounced over the windshield

Complete Results

Special thanks to Bill for all the hard work and lending me his car, Jim M for all the technical support and John Speake for the Sharktuner.

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Copyright 2009, George A Suennen