It’s been an exciting first year for OnPoint. As another season comes to a close, with snow already on the ground I figure it’s a good time to review our first year, and share some of the highlights with you all. I’ve really enjoyed mobile dyno tuning, and am constantly thinking of ways to improve for 2014. Over the year I had a number of you that needed a location for tuning – and I am continually asked – when a shop is coming where it will be. Well, that’s not known yet – but what is expected are another 2 pods before the spring comes so that we can take care of the AWD cars out there. That and an ever growing list of supported tuning platforms – we are currently in talks with COBB, Diablosport, SCT and some European tuning companies to decide which markets to focus on in the future for OE ECU reflashing.
As the season is winding down, it also gives me some time to get started on all of the items that I never got around to during the high season – stickers for one, are the biggest request. More sponsorships to come for target cars next year, updates to the website, more videos for next year and more technical articles. We also hope to host a time attack test day at some point next season for all of the fastest cars in Eastern Canada.
Now that we’ve looked forward, let’s review how 2013 went. It was a bit of a delay, but after months of waiting the Dynapack’s finally arrived from New Zealand. I eagerly arrived at the Airport to Un-Crate the pods, forgetting that I would need tools. A few hours later with Fizzer’s help and sore hands, we finally had the pods safely loaded into the trailer. Dyno season was upon us!
From the time the pods showed up, OnPoint was intensely busy (maybe too busy) with Dyno Tuning and running as the Crew Chief for the #00 CKS Chevy Camaro in Grand-Am’s GS series. Ashley McCalmont and Bob Michaelian did great all year, and although we had a few bad finishes as a result of a couple of wrecks that were neither of our driver’s fault, we had a couple of top 10 finishes which is quite the achievement in a class filled with pro drivers. I got to see all of the big US tracks that I have played in video games for years, tracks like Road Atlanta, Daytona, Laguna Seca, Road America and Watkins Glen. A trip to the Glen with Kels must happen next year. The CKS guys are awesome, and while I would love to join them again in 2014, I’m afraid I need to focus more on OnPoint. Thanks CKS, it was an awesome experience!
And when we weren’t away racing, I was tuning! OnPoint took me all over the place, to shops I had never known about and to home garage’s built out enough to be shops. The truck and trailer hung in there and never let me down. I also did a lot of in-house tuning out of Speedstar and Centerline Motorsports. I am proud that OnPoint was also the selected dyno service for the CASC’s GT Challenge series – we were on-site multiple times at the racetrack dyno testing competitors post-race to ensure no one was exceeding the allowed Power:Weight ratio. It sounds like we will again be testing cars next year for the GT Challenge series which is something to look forward to.
A many of cars were tuned throughout the season, and you can read about a number of those cars throughout the website (here). Apart from the Nissan’s we made big headway with the Scion FR-S, having tuned more of those cars in Eastern Canada than anyone else (that I know of). The most powerful of the bunch being Pat Cyr’s Drift Car which made 380whp all season and never gave up.
Speaking of the FR-S, we had quite an adventure with the Scion Tuner Challenge – where I was the hired gun for Can-Jam/Top Tuner’s FR-S entry. I ended up tuning it as well once it was supercharged, and we had a ton of fun with various different challenges. Gymkhana, Drift, Time Attack, Drag Racing, People’s Choice, Show+Shine, Media Challenge and an Endurance Challenge. We did really well and ended up winning overall (Won the car!) – although on the last Endurance Challenge we had a horrible time. I crashed the car in drift practice, and then with too much nitrous we damaged the engine during time attack practice. We barely made it through the event. Luckily we had racked up enough points that we were still able to take the win. You can watch all of the videos (the Ice Racing video is the best) here: http://www.tunerchallenge.ca/. Our experience with the FR-S has been accelerated thanks to our involvement with both Pat Cyr’s drift program and the Tuner Challenge Program. There aren’t many other dyno shops out there with this level of experience – our Tuner Challenge car had both a supercharger AND nitrous!
Many OnPoint tuned cars also performed exceptionally well all season – in grass-roots racing like CSCS Time Attack up to the Betz Pools championship winning Touring car in the CTCC. To list a few guys that took home series hardware: Damon Sharpe (CTCC Touring Champion), Andrew Cassidy (CSCS Unlimited RWD champion) Michael Gardner (CSCS SS RWD champion), Brad Paauw (CSCS Drift Champion) Vince Strati (CSCS Street RWD Champion), William Au-Yeung (2nd CSCS Unlimited FWD), Marin Guilbault (5th CSCS Drift), Response Engineering (Multiple Wins, G70+), Congrats guys, way to go!
We also tuned a number of street machines. Some cars so clean you can’t believe they have been modified, and some so wild and ridiculous it defies logic why anyone would want to drive such vehicles on the street. Some of these cars are making big power, but they are all a blast to drive.
As for the development of Kelsey, the 350z racecar, she was not forgotten. It was a long summer waiting for parts for the new HR engine build, but the wait was worth it. The first NA VQ 350z to break 400whp that I know of, and we’re only getting started. Speedstar and I ran the car at two events, and with their support we did really well. The engine ran flawlessly and Kels took home some trophies before the season was out. At CSCS we won Unlimited RWD, unfortunately failing to set a time better than last year. At Mosport, again failing to go much faster than last year, the car still went ridiculously quick – consistently running 24s. I would later learn that closing the hood was choking off the ITBs, and the actual power was less than 380whp – and even less as the engine bay would continue to heat soak.
A new wing was added to the car, which is creating a ton of downforce even fully trimmed out. Now that we have enough rear downforce (The APR GTC-300 couldn’t keep up, and was stalling badly – the car was also borderline loose at speed), the more challenging task arises to create more front downforce. Kevin from C3 (Custom Carbon Composites) helped by extending the existing splitter, which helped slightly but we still have a ways to go on the front aero. The car had a lot of push to it, but was still frighteningly fast considering the back straight speed. We ran a regional race at Mosport and won GT Sprints out-right, beating every car in the field – even some tube frame Trans-Am cars. It was one of the highlights of my racing career (read about it here). The Z still has a long way to go though, as I was really hoping with Mosport having the pavement resurfacing in multiple corners, and with the new engine that we would be substantially faster than in 2012.
Kevin from C3 has been an incredible help, we are currently working on carbon airboxes for the engine, as well as carbon panels to reduce weight. So far, the airboxes are just about done, and we have finished two dash panels and we just popped off a carbon roof skin only a couple of days ago. Clark from JWT is working on some larger intake cams, and is 3D Printing some trumpets that I will test on the dyno with the new airboxes. Gord Bush ported the Jenvey throttles, and the plan is to shorten the headers as well. All of these changes should help move the power up and to the right, how high we shall wait and see!
And to top it all off – I said SEE YA to the old open trailer I’ve had since 2005, and picked up a used Featherlite all aluminum trailer. We then set it up with aluminum cabinets, LED lights thanks to Alpena.ca (contact them to purchase some for your trailer), Aluminium tire racks and shore power. The trailer tows like a dream, even with my relatively small Nissan Titan. It’s going to be a huge step in the right direction having a proper trailer at the racetrack next year.
Looking back it was a fun and exciting year, and I have to say I’ve met some really cool people from different shops that I otherwise wouldn’t have met if I was still running SG-Motorsport. Rather than being competition with a lot of these guys now, I get to be friends with them and discuss the industry and how to be successful in it. It’s a totally different angle from the shop that did it all, and competed with everyone. I’ve had some great help from a ton of people – both with OnPoint and with Kels. So thank you all for your help. I look forward to learning more and tuning all sorts of new cars in 2014, and of course continuing the Z development. As always, if you have a project that you would like to discuss or are in need of tuning, don’t hesitate to make contact. Get in before the spring rush!