Another year in the books! It’s always the first week into January when I take a moment to sit down and reflect on the year that was. 2017 was again our best year ever, where we accomplished more than I could have dreamed, broke records and won championships. First I want to say thank you to all of our supporters, our great clients and all the awesome dudes we get to do business with. The best part of being in this industry is that you’re surrounded by people who are passionate about what they do – and it’s the reason I’ve realized there’s really nothing else I’d rather do.
One of the major focuses for 2017 was our electric car conversion – Blue Lightning. If you read my 2016 year in review, you can see we had just purchased the car and had started to take it apart. 2017 was the year it came to life! There is so much cool tech in this car. I’d love to make a post and share some of the details of it, I just can’t seem to find the time. The amount of time spent in Motec M1 Build alone is ridiculous. I must have almost 1000 hours in programming, mostly because I spent the majority of the season learning about programming!
Going through the city and testing every high power charger out there. There were a few I was having trouble with but it’s all sorted out now. So many options! #chademo #level3 #evtuning #motec #electriccar #tesla #EV
A lot of people asked us – Why the hell are you building this thing? Well, there’s no short answer to that question – but the main motivation has been my awakening to the health of our planet. As someone who is interested in knowledge and science, I tend to believe the majority of those in the industry when they tell us we are literally destroying our planet.
The curiosity to dig deeper is what led me to realize that it wouldn’t hurt to try to make a bit of difference in my life. Turns out the more you look into this problem, the worse it seems. Everything has been affected. The planet is changing at a rate that has never been seen before. Ever. Not just since humans. Ever. Period. And it turns out I have really dirty hobbies. My entire living is made off of burning gasoline. So that’s a big chunk of the motivation to go out there and show that electric cars can be a lot more than just a boring sedan. Tesla showed that electric cars can be fast in a straight line, and I like to think that I’m helping to show that electric cars can be fast and exciting in all aspects of driving.
I banked on the Evora being a good platform to show this, and thankfully I was right. The car outperformed absolutely every goal I had. We won a time attack even in Super Street (we originally wanted to enter Street Class, since the car is 100% legal for the Street class rules – but were not allowed). In fact we won by such a large margin that other competitors protested the car and demand it be placed in Unlimited class. This is a full street legal road car with full interior, and all of the amenities, beating out gutted racecars with wings and splitters. If you’re not familiar with CSCS – let me explain that there’s nothing “street” about the “Super Street” class.
Anyone who was at CSCS today knows that it was a special day. We brought the first electric sports car in Canada to competition. The full interior street car not only won its class, but it also placed 3rd overall beating out some serious race cars on slicks. If you were there, you are now a believer in electric cars. I know, because you told me. Thank you for your support. We are at the cusp of a total transformation of the automotive industry. Thanks to everyone that has helped with this project. You all know who you are! Some awesome incar to come. #raceinparadise Sean and Blake #bluelightning #evora #electriccar #neverstoptuning #cscs #timeattack
The car also went deep into the 11’s its first time out on the drag strip, has super fun traction control with various modes ranging from ideal acceleration to enough slip to burn up the tires sideways. The car drives like a dream. It rides smooth, quiet, has incredible instant passing power and seems to turn a lot of heads.
So while I don’t know if there is a market for us mass producing Lotus Evora’s with EV conversions, I think it’s helped get people in our car community thinking about electric cars, and I’m sure some very lucky buyer will get our one-off supercar (if we put it for sale it will be the only available electric supercar for sale under $1,000,000 – as far as I know). We have some exciting news coming in the next few months to hopefully further what we’ve learnt with Blue Lightning.
Jordan and I got together for a quick ten minute photoshoot at the track as the sun was going down last night. I guess you can say it went pretty well. It helps that the guy is insanely talented! @lenssenphoto #bluelightning #electriccar #carsofinstagram #lotus #tesla #evora #ev #pfaffmotorsports #neverstoptuning
I hope I didn’t sound like I was kissing my ass too much there, I’m just really proud of how well the car turned out. Everyone that helped on it should be super, super proud of themselves, because we did create something special. I have to thank the guys from Speed Academy also for doing such an incredible job documenting the build. Thanks to them Blue Lightning went semi-Viral and we have over 1 million views across all the videos of it on YouTube! Be sure to check them out if you haven’t seen them here.
Dyno + Race Service Highlights:
You’d think that with all the time we spent on Blue Lightning that we would have seen a reduction in dyno business, but it was actually the opposite. We tuned more cars than ever last year, and with Bryson Cook being on board as our new General Manager, he’s helped keep the schedule booked up when I may have otherwise gotten distracted and let a few of you guys slip through the cracks (oops!).
We had the opportunity to tune some incredible builds by Touge Tuning, some of the fastest Subaru street cars in Canada are now coming out of their shop. Speaking of their shop, they also moved into a new very awesome facility. If you haven’t been by to check it out, I highly recommend it!
We also tuned a number of really cool customer cars, and even did a badass Motec M130 / C127 design / build / install on a widebody 944. That was a really enjoyable project and I hope we start doing more of these kinds of projects down the road. We also did a ton of harnessing this year, for everything from the racecars, to engine harnesses, to the incredibly complex vehicle harness for Blue Lightning. We’re always working on ways to reduce the cost of these harnesses to help get you all into proper motorsport electronics. So feel free to reach out if you’re interested. Most people don’t budget anything for electronics – but consider the cost of tires, turbos, fuel systems etc. Electronics are a critical component to your racecar. If you want to have the tools to know where you can improve, and if you want reliability, and if you want total control of your engine, you need good electronics!
In terms of racing, in 2017 both Bryson and I were working with Pfaff Motorsport again on their GT3 Cup Canada program. Orey Fidani and Scott Hargrove were the drivers this year, and while Orey had some incredibly bad luck this year, Scott went on to do what Scott does, and pretty much dominated the season. I’m proud to have helped out in their success this year and wish them all the best for 2018 where they will be campaigning a brand new 991 GT3.R in World Challenge GT, and Orey will be driving a Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR in GTS-A. We’ve been working away at the electronics on both of these cars and I have to say, the GT3.R is incredible. The carbon work on these pro racecars has me so so jealous.
Pfaff also sponsored some McLaren’s in Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, so we had the opportunity to build some harnesses and install some C125 loggers in those cars. By the end of the season those guys were doing incredibly well, and even won a race or two! Congrats to them on winning in that super competitive field!
Congrats to the boys for taking home P2 in Conti in their second race! Proud to have done the @Motec #C125 install, programming and harnessing for this car. We even have a neat fuel consumption calculator based on some CAN channels that proved very accurate at Daytona as the OEM ECU does not offer a fuel used value. #neverstoptuning #Repost @pfaffmotorsports with @repostapp ・・・ Congrats to @chrisgreengt3 & @jesselazare2121 for their 2nd place finish today in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race here at @sebringraceway !! Well deserved finish for this great pairing!!
Kels, The 350z Racecar:
Kels made it onto the cover of Super Street magazine! Wow. What a dream. I remember reading that magazine as a kid, thinking about how awesome it would be just to see your car in there as a reader’s ride or in the some of their coverage of a meet. To have it chosen as a cover car… that’s really something special. I really need to thank Jordan Lenssen because I think it was his photo shoot that made the guys at Super Street decide to put it on the cover. I had no idea until it appeared in print on the newsstand, so it was an awesome surprise to say the least!
Ridiculously excited that Kels made it onto the cover of Super Street! It’s been awesome to see the car community embrace racecars over the last few years. Racing is the new cool, and we have time attack to thank for it. So much better than wings west body kits and altezza lights. Never thought one of my cars would be on the cover of one of my childhood favourite magazines that inspired me to build cool cars. A huge thanks to @lenssenphoto for the amazing photos that no doubt are a significant reason why Kels was chosen for the cover! Thanks @superstreet #neverstoptuning #kelsrevival Repost: @duspeed
And Kels was more than just a show car this year, although she only got out only once. But once is all it took. If you haven’t watched the video yet, make sure to do it. It was some of the best driving I’ve ever done, and it was for sure the most fun the car has ever been before.
We built a new splitter, bought some new tires, and had our friend Alex machine the upper control arms to give us just that little bit of extra front travel we needed. Oh and we hacked away anything in the strut tower that was stopping the upper control arm from sweeping up higher. We added some bump rubbers and packers to the Koni dampers and finally set the car up to take proper advantage of these 325/660/18 Pirelli tires.
When you’re so excited about how something is going to turn out that you don’t even care how bad the picture is. Been sick for a while now but Kels will have her day this year. We will rip. @brysoncook getting the splitter ready for me to fab some mounts, put some bump rubbers in the front dampers and it’s party time! #kelsrevival #neverstoptuning #aerodynamics #motorsport
They are so tall that before we were crashing the suspension really badly, and with the extra front downforce the extended splitter wasn’t stiff enough so it was sucking itself to the ground, so there was no point in lowering the car more anyways. With our new stiffer splitter we bolted on some titanium rub plates, and the bump rubbers/packers gave us the rate rise we need for the extra aero. Everything worked just as we hoped. The front splitter made so much downforce that the car was finally flat down 4 – it’s never been able to do that before! The car had so much grip there was no need to brake for corners 1 or 2. I have NEVER not needed to brake for corner 2. It’s awesome. Even after adding more rear wing the car was diabolically loose. Being stupid and not wanting anymore drag, I didn’t add rear wing, but I almost wrote the car off because of it! It was fully sideways down corner 4 at over 200km/h because of the aero imbalance!
So all in all it was an awesome one day with Kels. I can’t wait to do some more development for 2018. If we can find the time (and the money), I really think that with a flat bottom, diffuser and some work on improving the efficiency – we can make it into the 1:19s. It’s only 1.9 seconds away. (only!)
We also sponsored Will from PZ Motorsports again this year. But for this year we finally were able to convince Will to step it up and put in a Motec. Will went with an M130 ecu and a C125 dash, and I think he will be the first to tell you he wished he had done it earlier. The main advantages Will found was the boost mapping which we did with trims for throttle position, gear and a steering wheel mounted boost trim dial. That gave him the driveability of a Naturally Aspirated car just about. The second thing Will really liked was the traction control flexibility. The third thing, and in my mind the most significant – is the data analysis. Will’s car is getting to a point where you need to be spending a lot of time sifting through data. And there is just so much that you can do with Motec i2. I’m not sure if he knows yet how powerful that tool will be for his program.
Will did an incredible job this year, winning the Global Time Attack championship, as well as going to World Time Attack in Australia and having a perfectly reliable car that was absolutely mind bendingly fast for a FWD car. And for his first time there. I can’t say how proud I am of them. But I don’t want his ego to get too inflated so don’t tell him I told you that.
Good luck to all of our OnPoint friends and clients who are racing today! Speedring is going down in Michigan where Richard Boake and the rest of the @canjamracing boys will be fighting for a 20k prize, and Chris from @tougetuning has his work cut out for him against some very capable EVOs! @pztuningwill has his old RSX out as the Civic is sitting in a container in Aus waiting for WTAC! At ICAR the Blanchet FRS is making it’s debut after we just did a whole pile of electrical work and tuning on this thing, Philippe is back out with his Genesis and Eric is also competing in his trusty BMW and should be clinching the championship today! And @bcook was out supporting the @pfaffmotorsports boys as they run indycar legend Scott Goodyear and his son Michael in the CTMP 3hr enduro this morning! #timeattack #neverstoptuning #casc #ctcc #icar #speedring #ctmp #onpointdyno #motec
There’s so much more that happened in 2017, so many cool customer cars I would love to highlight, but this post has already gotten too long. I’ll make more of an effort to make some postings throughout the year of the neat things that are going on. I always say that and it never happens.
Finally, 2017 was the year I became a dad! Our daughter Laurel was born August 7th and Nicole and I couldn’t be any happier. She’s healthy, smart, and ridiculously fucking cute. It’s an incredible experience to see her develop and grow each day. It’s really something that you need to experience yourself to appreciate.
So that’s 2017. In an 1800 word nutshell. I am proud to say that we’ve cut our energy consumption down by almost 80% since 2013, and once we have a full electric car (common Tesla Model 3!), we’ll be close to producing all the energy that we use. It’s really NOT hard to make a significant reduction to your energy use (or produce your own clean energy). It doesn’t cost a lot of money, in-fact most of the options are the same as spending money on a 7-15% returning investment. It turns out what’s good for the environment is now also good for your wallet. If you’ve got any questions feel free to email me and I’ll happily give you some tips. That’s one type of consulting I don’t charge for! Have a great 2018. Try to un-fuck the planet a bit this year. For Laurel.