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Hello to All,

Well..... they can't all by stellar nights :-( Last Saturday night's
racing at the 'Street Warriorz' EVent didn't produce an 11-anything, we
got beat two out of our four runs, and the worst part... we ended the
night barely losing in one of those two lost runs to a Z06 Vette in
front of a packed crowd! More details on what went down on this
super-hyped (by the EVent promoters) showdown between White Zombie and
the limited production 505 hp 'super car' red Z06 Vette will follow, so
keep reading.

The race day's weather turned out fairly well in spite of the forecasted
possible rain showers with a steep cool-down from the mid 80s
temperatures we'd been having the few days previous. As reported,
longtime friend, team Plasma Boy Racing member, and overall nut case
Rich 'Madman' Rudman' came down from Kingston, Washington in his
recently acquired and Manzanita Micro modified plug-in Prius. The plan
was to use the Prius as a rolling charger for White Zombie. I had written:

...will rely on Manzanita Micro's rolling power supply to do all the Zombie recharging
tonight! As a back-up, Tim will take his pickup with the NEDRA breaker
panel/ mains supply tapping device in the bed...just in case :)

The idea was sound for two reasons...the first, is that it's just plain
cool, and the second, is that Tim, Rich, and I all figured that this
nationally syndicated touring car show would have all sorts of
tractor-trailer rigs, stage setups, etc. all over what is normally 'our'
charging area at PIR, so being independent from the track's heavy
hitting power grid station would be a plus on this night.

The radical charging setup from
grid-to-Prius-to-gas-to-battery-to-Zombie was tested at the Wayland EV
Juice Bar first before we trekked on down to PIR. In what what Tim and I
fully enjoyed as a major Rudman embarrassment moment, the specific PFC
DC-DC charger he had tested at his shop before leaving for Portland, was
now DOA! Rudman guessed he had forgotten to flip a few internal breakers
before reinstalling the charger case over the internals, but we had run
short on time to do any charger-endectomy at my place
as it was getting late at around 3:45 in the afternoon and I had wanted
to be in line at the gates by 3:30 so we could get in as much track time
as possible. We then left later than I had hoped for as a three vehicle
caravan... Rudman in his Prius, Tim in his Dodge pickup with our backup
grid power distribution setup, and I in White Zombie.

WZ had not been driven for a few days, so its pack needed a bit of
waking up - just what driving it to the track usually does. We arrived
to the gates at around 4:45 pm, and the Zombie's 360V (nominal) Enersys
lead acid pack looked good and was still hanging at 374V static as I
pulled into the PIR complex. That's about 12.5V per battery after a 16
mile run that included a couple of throttle stabs and 1000+ amp
acceleration rushes due to some dude in front of me in a hotrodded late
60s Plymouth Valiant street machine. He was out enjoying his car, and
was also, I think, trying to impress me with his car's performance.

I had picked up the Valiant when I was cruising north on 122nd on our
way toward Marine Drive. It was painted the period gold color, it was
really straight and clean, and its back end was stuffed with fat rear
tires and sporting twin exhaust outlets. Instead of a big block growl
however, it's twin pipes sung a six cylinder tune that definitely
sounded muscular! Cool! Going against the same old V8 theme, this guy
had evidently built up a Mopar slant six! He turned west onto Marine
Drive as I followed right behind him. He stood on it and pulled away
impressively! I eased down on the amp pedal and easily caught up to him.
As we had noted just three days prior at the Wednesday night 1/8 mile
drags, the return to the 4:11 gear set has brought back the car's low
speed punch it lost with the 3:70 gear set (left over from the light
weight lithium version of the car) as used in this heavier lead acid
with roll cage version of the car. Moments before his second burst of
speed, I clearly saw his passenger turn around and look back at me while
at the same time I saw the driver checking out the little white Datsun
from hell in his rear view mirror, so I knew he was about to show off a
bit again...I was ready to taunt him :) The slant six barked the rear
tires as the Valiant jumped and rapidly accelerated. I allowed the
Valiant pull ahead a bit and I then kept WZ accelerating at about the
same rate as the Valiant...then when I knew they were watching, I leaned
hard on the amp pedal, shot ahead with a sudden rush of speed, and
appeared to be ready to push them off the dike. Of course, I was just
playing around with these guys and I let off the throttle just in time,
braked hard, then fell back to a more sane and safe distance behind them
once more...all the while poor Rich was trying to stay with us in the
Prius. There was no doubt the Valiant guys both knew that whatever was
under the Datsun's hood, it was WAY more than they had expected! The
point was made, I'm sure :)

For the next 7 or 8 miles I drove the speed limit and followed the
Valiant that I was certain, was also on its way to the street drags at
PIR. As I slowed to take the exit off Marine Drive to snake my way
through side streets over to the track though, the guys in the Valiant
kept going west on Marine Drive up and over the I-5 freeway overpass and
out of sight...hmmmm. Was I wrong, or were they still headed to the
track but in from an unknown-to-me west side entrance? Maybe 4 minutes
later as I turned onto the track entrance road, here came the Valiant
with its two occupants staring once again at WZ. I did a turn-around as
instructed by the track person positioning all the vehicles trying to
get into the show and ended up...you guessed it, right behind the
Valiant! I'm sure they were thinking, "Geesh, we can't shake that
Datsun!" I didn't get a chance to talk with them, as the line we were in
was starting to inch forward, and I never saw the car again
afterwards...oh well, it was a fun encounter. I now know too, that
there's a west side of the I-5 freeway road that leads to PIR, a good
thing to know for the future if there's a gridlock thing near the east
side of the freeway some day.

I wrote:

>White Zombie will be entered in tonight's 'Street Warriorz' street legal only
>races. This is a BIG EVent that should have a large crowd in attendance.
>
>

This race & car show was nuts! Talk about a BIG crowd and hyped out car
fans! As expected, this turned out to be HUGE.
The SCCA sports car full course races were still in going as three lines
abreast of tricked-out street cars were jammed into the pre-gate staging
lanes trying to get in to this over-the-top EVent. My concerns over
being late melted away as we slowly moved ahead in line for another 10
minutes or so as the circuit cars, including classic Datsun Zs and
Datsuns roadsters, were still racing. We eventually worked our way in to
the EVent to find the EV charging pit has been taken over by all sorts
of touring vans, tractor-trailer rigs, and radical machines of all
sorts. Tim and I tried to figure out where we could pit and arrange our
three vehicles. Rudman meanwhile, had found us a spot to pit in a
considerable distance away in the wooded park-like section of the
racetrack grounds, that to my surprise, also had a 240 vac power head we
could tap into. When the three of us were gathered together in the trees
abreast of the track walk bridge, I was surprised to see another high
current mains power station similar to the one we regularly use near the
tower, but Rudman was not. A hilarious Madman story poured out of
him...something about having scoped out the track grounds last year with
a track official, and finding this power head, then getting attacked by
a swarm of Yellow Jackets when he opened the panel box!

We were connected and getting WZ recharged off the 240 vac mains to
replenish the 25 ahrs or so sucked from the pack on the drive to the
track while Rudman was looking into (and finding) the reason his DC-DC
charger had not functioned. What can only be described as a spirited
conversation between Madman and I ensued when I expressed a desire to
let the show officials know there was a special vehicle at the track on
this night (an electric drag car). Laid back Tim Brehm just grinned and
took in the show:

I said something like:

"Well, guess I'll go do some PR stuff to see if they want to let folks
know an EV is racing tonight."

Rudman laughed at me and said:

"Wayland, this is not 'your' show this time. This is more than 'you and
your car' and nobody's going to care about some electric Datsun
(sarcasticly stated with an emphasis on the 'Dat' part of Datsun and
pronounced to rhyme with 'hat') tonight. This is a big car show that
makes its way across the USA. There's hundreds of hot cars here. There's
an audio competition going on. They've go that big stage set up over
there. There are car clubs everywhere and on display. For crying out
loud, there's even that bikini show! You're a very small fish in a very
big pond tonight! Nobody's going to care about 'you' and 'your car'"

I took the opportunity to correct him:

"That's 'The Barely Legal Bikini Contest', Rich"

Then I asked:

"Are you questioning my PR capabilities? Is this a challenge?"

Rudman:

"Yes it is! You'll just be an annoyance to them. You'll be wasting yours
and their time."

And with that, I marched off to see what I could do.

There was a DJ-announcer on the big stage (that had taken over our
regular pit area) speaking over an impressively clear and powerful full
blown JBL sound system more typically used as a sound reinforcement
system for a rock band, and he was pumping the crowd about the street
legal drag races about to begin, the killer cars on display, the
sound-off car stereo competition at hand, and of course, the The Barely
Legal Bikini Contest! About the time I made it to stage-right, he had
turned off his wireless mike and was exiting the stage. He was
approached by their tech guy and they were adjusting things as I waited
for a proper moment. We made eye contact, where I reached out to shake
his hand and as I handed him a Plasma Boy Racing card I said, "Hello,
what a fun show this is going to be....I'm Plasma Boy!" I was then about
to go into my schpeal about the car and all, when there was an urgent
tapping on my left should from behind, and as I turned around, an
excited guy pointed his finger at me and proclaimed, "Wall Street
Journal, right? Car and Driver, right? You're the guy with White Zombie,
that sick electric car....tell me it's here and you can race it!" Whoa,
I wasn't expecting this kind of reaction! He introduced himself as
John, the show's promoter, then he and the stage announcer whisked me
away and up into the tower, a place I am familiar with. What I was not
familiar with though, was the group of outsiders who had invaded the
tower, as instead of the Portland based usual folks 'I' deal with, their
faces were all new to me. John got all of their attention, then stated
that he was changing the night's schedule of EVents. He told them that
the world's quickest accelerating street legal electric car was on hand,
and that the schedule was being changed to include it as one of the
night's 'showcased' feature attractions! The discussion between all of
us included thoughts of WZ being entered in the burnout contest, but
after hearing it was 60 seconds of continuous burn mode in an attempt to
destroy the rear tires, I passed on it telling them we needed to also
drag race with those tires! They understood. We ended up deciding that
WZ would start the burnout contest with a shorter demonstration burnout
followed by a quick solo pass down the track. They also said they'd
really talk-up the car during the evening and especially whenever we
would come out onto the track for heads up races with other street cars.
That sounded great to me! They put us in for 9:15 to be on the track and
ready to thrill the crowd. I wrote out a spec sheet for their tower
announcer and the stage DJ all about WZ, and said to myself 'mission
accomplished'. The DJ guy exited ahead of me, as the tower personnel and
I finalized all the info.

As I left the tower and was going out the door, the PA system fired back
up on the outdoor stage as the DJ dude was already on stage going right
into promoting WZ. In full power bandwidth over the JBL system, the guy
said something to the effect, "OK folks, the evening is just getting
better...we've got a special treat in store, as 'White Zombie', an 11
second street legal electric car, is here and will be out on the track
to show you what electric muscle is all about! This car was featured in
car and Driver magazine and the Wall Street Journal, and it's here
tonight to take on gas powered street cars!" He went on, ranting about
WZ's HUGE amount of torque, its estimated 0-60 times, its best 11.4 ET,
etc. As I walked the distance back to our wooded pit area, I couldn't
wipe away a big grin that had formed on my face as I thought about
Rudman hearing the loud PA booming about WZ :)

By the time I reached the Tim, Rich, and the car, WZ was all charged up
and ready to hit the track. I didn't say a word about the PR thing I had
just accomplished, but as I approached, Rudman just shook his head,
looked at me, and said, "Only you Wayland, only YOU!"

Because of the large amount of racers (all 8 lanes full), it would be
close to an hour later before we got our first run in, and with the
daytime mid 70s dropping to the mid 60s and with a cool wind whipping
up, the pack began to cool off. The track too, was cold and as we would
soon find out, most everyone's cars would be off their mark on this
night due to not-the-best track conditions.

Our first run came at 6:05 against a hopped up air-cooled red VW bug
with a whale tail spoiler and built four banger with a stinger exhaust
tube poking out high in the air. The bug ran a 15.5 ET, while our first
run was a 12.275 @ 103.35 mph. WZ had some wheel spin on launch (track
conditions) so the 60 ft. wasn't the best at 1.676 seconds, but the 1/8
mile was decent with a 7.633 @ 86.79 mph.

The Prius-to Zombie charging setup was not quite ready, so we hit the
240 vac mains again to recharge. The pack was barely warm to the touch,
so no fan cooling was used on the packs. The 12.2 was a good 1st run,
but as the pack warmed up we were looking to crack into the 11s again,
with an 11.7 being the number to shoot for. Unfortunately, we would wait
an hour and a half before the next run, and with the sun going down it
was getting cooler outside.

In the staging lanes we had a fun time taunting some guys who had
brought a gorgeous gloss black Italian road burning sedan, a Maserati
Quattroporte, a four valve (Quattroporte) V8 Italian stallion of a car.
They agreed to race us, knowing full well we'd beat them (we told them
our typical ETs in advance). At 7:34 WZ lined up against the Maserati.
Not designed for drag racing and being a sustained high speed cruiser
instead, the big sedan still pulled off a respectable 14.69 @ 99,50 mph
run, while WZ with its cooled-down pack barely went quicker than its 1st
run with a 12.195 @ 104.04 mph pass. Again, wheel spin was a problem,
but it was that way for most everyone on this night.

We again used the 240 vac mains to recharge, and again, it was a long
time between runs allowing the night air to cool things down.
During our recharge, we heard lots of PA announcements that included
some very nicely worded praise for our electric car. By about after
8:10, WZ was ready to go back out for another run. Knowing that we had
the 9:15 spot as the featured car, and knowing that we'd need time
between the run we were about to make to recharge and be ready for the
feature run at 9:15, I was concerned that we could pull it all off. I
asked the lane staging guy if in the line we in would be moved quickly
enough for us to get a run in before our scheduled run at 9:15. He
responded by telling me that the tower had already made it clear, that
the electric car should be moved up ahead of others because so many were
wanting to see it run, and with that, he told us to take the closed off
lane #1. We were suddenly ready to make a pass.

The race occurred at 8:20 against a car the lane stager hand picked for
us in terms of its ET capabilities...a sinister black Mitsu EVO, a
turbocharged 4 cylinder all wheel drive rally
car-for-the-streets...tweaked for even more power. He was in wireless
communication with the track announcer up in the tower, and the
announcer went right into talking up our car, telling all it could run
11s. The pack had warmed up a bit, though nowhere near the temperature
where we usually get enough power to run 11s. Tim jumped the Zombie off
the line with an improved 1.646 60 ft. time, besting the all wheel drive
EVO's 1.731, and also got him at the 1/8 mile marker with our strong
7.501 @ 88.49 mph to the EVO's 7.526 @ 87.81 mph. It was a good
match-up, for sure. We also had him at the 1000 ft. marker, too, with
our 9.716 vs his 9.849, but then Zombie's acceleration fell off a bit
towards the end and only ran 12.035 @ 106.06 mph to the EVO's far
quicker 11.765 @ a fast 117 mph! In short, the furious EVO blew past us
at the end and got the win :-( This was loss number one of the night,
and it was a disappointment for the Plasma Boy racing crew to not pull
off a win against the EVO in front of well over 1000 excited (and
cheering) street car fans.

Off into the dark of night and back into the woods we went to recharge.
This time though, the Madman had it all together, and all systems were
'go' for a Prius-to-Zombie electron transfusion! The recharge took a
little longer than normal as Rich had throttled back the charge rate a
bit on our first Prius-to-Zombie thing, just to play it safe. During the
recharge I took some very cool video of all the displays and winking
lights going nuts as Rudman and the Prius' computers were doing the
Vulcan Mind Meld! As the Zombie came up to full charge, out of the
darkness from behind the Prius we heard Rudman yell, "Oh NO! It's the
red triangle of death!" We had pissed off the Prius' computer as we had
evidently taken more from its pack then it had allowed...fun stuff!
Rudman was in sync with it all though, and after some quick-fingered
touch screen dancing, he had made the Prius forget about our past
transgressions, the triangle of death went away, and all systems came
back on line. This time, the battery pack was warmed up to the kind of
temperatures where it makes serious power, and I felt certain we'd pull
off an 11.7 - 11.8 run. It was now 9:05 with barely enough time to get
over into the staging lane # to do the 'showcase EVent' at 9:15 as had
been scheduled.

As we returned to the staging lanes, we were treated like the rock star
of the moment, with lots of excited race fans running to get close-in to
see what was about to unfold. With the Zombie poised at the front of the
otherwise empty lane #1, and with the announcer once again going nuts
over the car and citing its best ET, its best 60 ft. and its best trap
speed, a guy name Rob approached me near the burnout pits and introduced
himself as the guy with the red Z06 Vette, recalling how his and my car
had both ran 11.4s back in July. He 'really' wanted be be part of the
showcased moment and thought it might be more exciting for the big swarm
of street car fans in attendance to see the electric car taking on his
limited production 505 hp Z06! I told him our car was of its mark
tonight and that we were having traction problems as well as suffering
from cold batteries, but I also told him that I agreed it would make the
EVent a lot more exciting. He responded that he too, was having more
traction problems than usual and that he hadn't been able to drop into
the 11s yet. I explained about how the 11.4 second lithium version he'd
seen back in July was far lighter and quicker than the car was on this
night would be, and how we were about 800 lbs. heavier. I told him I was
pretty sure he'd beat us, but that we were always up for a good race. We
asked the the lane stager about it, he then radioed the tower, and
without any delay, suddenly a new hyped-out verbiage was flowing from
the loudspeakers:

"OK everyone, listen up! Have we got a grudge match for you! White
Zombie, the world's quickest street legal electric car, is going to take
on America's new super car, the Corvette Z06...that's 505 hp of V8 power
against 772 pound feet of electric torque! You don't want to miss this race!

To make it all more exciting, the DJ dude arrived in the burnout pits
with his wireless mic, and strutting between the shiny and oh-so-fast
looking Z06 and the boy racer electric Datsun, he began to do what he
did best and whipped the crowded mass of fans into a frenzy. He 'really'
talked up White Zombie and built and built up to Tim's absolutely
MONSTER burnout!! Tim literally covered 'everyone' in tire smoke soooo
thick, that visibility dropped to zero and I could feel the heat of the
smoke on my face and arms! It was pretty wild, to say the least! Then
accompanied by the continual banter from the DJ guy, both cars
staged...the moment had come.

The tree's yellow lights marched down, and Tim and White Zombie
absolutely toasted the Z06 off the line with both front tires jerked
cleanly off the ground in a what only can be described (to quote Car and
Driver magazine) as a ferocious launch. I watched it from behind and saw
the entire car left up high and twist against the electric motors
massive torque like some of the big block muscle cars do. Unfortunately,
the track was even colder now, so there was also a lot of wheel spin
immediately after Zombie's strong lift-off that resulted in a bad by WZ
standards 1.69 60 ft. time, though it was far better than the Vette's
2.02 60 ft. time. White Zombie then simply tore away from the Z06, a car
tested to run 0-60 in a scant 3.6 seconds...Zombie had to have hit 60
mph in under 3 seconds as there was at least 4 car lengths between the
two cars just seconds after launching. The crowd was cheering and going
crazy! White Zombie continued to pull hard and beat the super-Vette
through the 1/8 mile marker with our 7.519 vs his 7.849. You could tell
the Z06 was getting into its game by then though, because it was
clocking along at a swift 98.79 mph while the Zombie's speed was 88.86
mph through the 1/8 mile point...still, he was trailing the electric
Datsun at this point and trying to catch up. White Zombie looked strong
and was on schedule to run an 11.7-11.8 by the numbers of the time slip
that showed we were still ahead at the 1000 ft. marker (320 feet away
from the finish line) with our 9.885 vs his 10.004. About then it
happened....the Siamese 8 suddenly plug-braked the car when our old
nemesis, the fireball monster, returned to wreak havoc inside the front
motor section :-( Tim said the car shuddered and braked hard, so he
wisely shut down the car and coasted down across the finish line to a
12.074 slowing down to just 102.57 mph as the Z06 Vette screamed by at
an incredible 123 mph to take the win with his 11.827 second ET....damn!
Judging by our car's stats from the time slip, had the motor not freaked
out on us, we were 'right there' for an 11.7 -11.8 run....damn! A post
race inspection showed very little damage at all...in fact, only one
brush spring had received a bit of 'reshaping' from the arc, as I think
Tim save the motor by lifting off as soon as he did.

I believe the cause of the arcing was a bit different this time around
and that all the advanced timing in the world couldn't have saved us
from the...cough...lifted com bars on the front motor section! Yup, we
had brush bounce at high current and high voltage, a recipe for
disaster! :-( My personal thoughts on this right now, is that the 3:70
gears against the hefty near 2700 curb weight of the lead acid/roll bar
version of the car when reversing, had been causing way too much heat on
the com during uphill back-up maneuvers. Since leaving the tall 3:70
ratio in the car after the super light weight lithium version and with
800 + lbs. of weight added back to the car, I had noticed it requiring a
much heavier foot input to the throttle to back the car up, and I saw
that the brush leads of the front motor section were turning purple
where the back motor section's brush leads were not (the back section is
off line during reverse). The stainless steel wide and short buss bar of
the front motor section that is part of its reversing setup had also
turned blue-purple due to heat from likely, 1500 - 2000 motor amps
during reversing the car. The effect was probably exasperated a few
weeks ago when Tim and I were at Victor Tichonov's house and we had to
back up and out his steep driveway - then even further up the steep
culdessack. The car struggled to slowly escape the Metric Mind workshop
and began to stall coming up and out of the sunken garage area. I had
Tim stop, roll back down into the garage, then hit it harder as the
Zombie shot backwards out of Victor's shop-garage at a fairly aggressive
speed and overcame the hill's gravity grip. That probably caused the com
problems, that didn't really cause too much trouble until under put
under the stresses of very high voltage at very high currents that are
the norm of electric drag racing. We had changed out the 3:70 gears in
favor of the 4:11 gears, but it was unfortunately after some overheating
of the com had taken place.

Back to the rest of the story...after we had recharged the car and had
licked our wounds a bit, Tim and I drove WZ over to the bikini contest
that was going on, as we helped ourselves past the crowds of guys and
parked the car on display kind of right in the middle of things...hey,
horn dog Tim was driving, not me! Instead of a hot chick show for Tim to
take in, though, it all backfired on him as the car suddenly stole the
show and we were surrounded by blown-away gas car guys that, evidently,
were still in shock over the way our electric car had, to use their own
terms, 'wasted' the Vette. Both Tim and I underscored that the Z06 had
gotten the win, not us, and that he had the best ET. It didn't seem to
phase any of them. They all kept talking about the way WZ leaped off the
line and ran away from the mighty Z06, and they talked about how he may
have beat us at the far end, but that he had to play catch up all the
way in order to do it. To make it feel even better for me, a young but
obviously smart girl approached with her boyfriend and proceeded to
inform everyone that she was at the track the month before and had seen
'this car' run an 11.4, and that she's seen it run 11s several times.
She went on to say that the Vette got a lucky break with our motor
problems. It was almost as if I had paid her before hand! She told all
that were listening, that White Zombie was the coolest car she'd ever
seen and that it proved that electric cars rocked!

Funny, we lost the race - the Z06 beat us fair and square. We also lost
to the hot EVO - he beat us fair and square. But in the race for the
favorite car of the night, it seems an electric car took top honors. It
still stings though, to have had the opportunity to race against and
beat such a powerful and world recognized car as the Z06 Vette, only to
not quite get the job done...oh well, as I said, they can't all by
stellar nights :-(

See Ya.....John Wayland


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Discussion Starter #2
Congratulations John and the White Zombie Racing Team on a great
night at the track. You are obviously bending a few opinions our there.

We are really happy with the way our new brush timing advance system
is working (and saving our motors). You are welcome to copy what we
have done. I'll even send you the CAD files! Aside from the machining
(thanks Derek) it is not terribly difficult to implement.

I know that you love the sight, sound, and smell of plasma, but motor
fireworks can get expensive. ;-)

Here is a link to some pictures of our set-up:
http://www.killacycle.com/photos/motor-details/page/2/

Bill Dube'

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Discussion Starter #3
-----Original Message-----
From: John Wayland <[email protected]>
To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List <[email protected]>
Sent: Mon, 3 Sep 2007 2:13 pm
Subject: [EVDL] 'Street Warriorz' ... White Zombie vs Z06 Vette at PIR!

Hello to All,

Well..... they can't all by stellar nights :-( ...



Snip, Snip...

Thanks John! Wow, Thanks for such a detailed account. It's like reading
a riveting novel, except it's all real!
After reading your post, however, I would have to disagree... I think
it was a very stellar night! :)

All of this is really major history: NEDRA at PIR is much like the
Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk, except the Wayland documentation is a
much easier read.


I do suggest doing something about that reverse thing though. If
nothing else, just turn the reverse motor amp limit way down. May have
a weak reverse, but, at least you get to keep a healthy motor!

Ken

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