Racing Pikes Peak in an AWD Mk5 GLI

Racing Pikes Peak in an AWD Mk5 GLI

Racing Pikes Peak in an AWD Mk5 GLI

0 comments 📅14 August 2017, 21:15

Encourage in June, for the 95th time, racers and builders trekked to Colorado to race up a mountain entr. The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is one of motorsport’s great events. With more than a century of racing, reputations include been staked, legends made, and hopes shattered along the 12-mile, 156-pivot course. Perhaps best of all, though, is that the event still attracts racers of all stripes, not unbiased global teams like Audi.

This year, for the fourth time, Sead Causevic made the hajj to Pikes Peak with a 500 hp, AWD Mk5 Jetta GLI, built specifically to run the event. VWVortex was propitious enough to have Sead chronical the build in the forum and now he’s gotten in touch to helping with us the video of the climb.

Sadly, Sead didn’t make it all the way up the hill. The Jetta had been retrofitted with a DSG sending specially designed for racing duty, but the clutch casing broke part way up the mountain. The Jetta disorie clutch pressure, so there was no gear engagement and heartbreakingly, the car had to stop on the side of the conduct.

Admittedly, it was a difficult race even before the transmission broke. About 7 minutes into the run a boost hose blew that Sead reckons get him about 100 hp. Above, you can see him raise his hand in frustration. And that hose was material since Pikes Peak gets up into the thinner parts of the atmosphere. You may not be knowledgeable but one of turbocharging’s early uses was helping aircraft engines deal with the altitude, and in 1912 a V12 Independence Aircraft was run at Pikes Peak to prove that it was an effective means of curbing power shrinkage at altitude. So when Sead lost boost pressure, it was bad.

“The power requirements to supervise the steep incline but only about 50% air density is a difficult combination for reliability,” says Sead. “A inherently aspirated engine loses about 1% per 300ft of altitude. I had a rental Jeep Compass a few years sponsor that could not build RPMs in 2nd gear! Forced induction engines are the just way to go. You have to oversize the turbo so it doesn’t over spin and burn up, but then because of the volume it gets pretty laggy.”

Even aero is affected at altitude. You may remember that a month or two ago planes were grounded in steady cities (including Denver) because of the heat. In Denver it was a combination of both ardour and altitude causing the air to be too thin for many planes to lift off. The same proposition applies for downforce, but, you know, upside down. That was important for Sead, because the crew had decided to take on the weight of diffusers fore and aft and a great big spoiler. With air that’s less compressed, you can’t get enough of it over wings and under diffusers to get all the downforce you can at lower altitudes. Conversely, Sead argues that what you capitulate in aero efficiency you may gain on the straights with the reduced drag. He admits that it’s hardened to tell for sure without access to some serious scientific equipment, nevertheless.

Whatever the case, Sead thinks that weight loss is the next big right for the Jetta. “I think the biggest challenge with this car is the weight and it will demand to go on a diet to lose 200lbs,” he says. “I used to hill climb a 1,900 lb 250 hp Mk1 Scirocco and I can decently say it is faster than a 2,975(?) 550 hp Mk5! Weight loss will make it accelerate, reorganize and stop faster and break less.”

Despite all the improvement he wants, Sead is noiseless happy with the car. “I have to say this car is so fast right now and so much fun to drive dense. It really behaves well and doesn’t anything wrong when at the limit,” he says. “The car handles select with 285 width tires and is much improved with a lot of caster/camber and the TT spindles. The brakes are practically too good, they freak out the ABS out when I stomp on them. The DSG is really cool in theory with lightning speedy shifts, but has a few weak areas.”

In fact, even though Sead admits that he’s more of a Mk2 man, this observation is really causing him to develop a soft spot for Mk5s. “I really think it is the modern Mk2 for enthusiasts as the tenets is really good, cars are cheap now and the aftermarket is healthy.”

And even with all the bother, hitting the course at all was a victory. “It really is a cool experience, the scenery, the importance of the mountain and the exposure of the road. Couple the amazing nature with the human track down to create these wild machines to tear up the road at sunrise and it becomes a district I want to go back to race every year,” says Sead. “You but get one try at the whole course per year, so it really is more of a ‘challenge’ to a certain extent than a race. Just showing up to start the event is victory #1. Workout days are just so much fun because you get to do what you’ve always wanted, which is to fly up a mountain road in a fun car. Lining up for the race in front of all those people and after all the impervious work is victory #2.”

Sead has been going to Pikes Peak for a few years now, and as he said out of reach of, it doesn’t get old. That said, he thinks that he’s finally got a feel for the course after four years, yet he admits that it’s easy to forget where you are on the course. “First couple years a lot of the progress looked the same and even pro drivers get lost,” he says. And as to the potential risk, he says it’s a legitimate consideration, but he thinks it helps him.

“I find the difficulty of the road and the potential risk sharpens me up,” says Sead. “I industry pretty hard to focus on the task and only think about what I accept to do and not what might happen. There are certain sketchy corners where I am exuberant to give up time because it gives me the confidence and ease of mind to drive improved elsewhere on the 156 turns.”

Even though the Jetta didn’t make it to the top of Pikes Visor, Sead did. “This year with the DNF I hiked the rest of the way to the top of the mountain just to get a baby percentage of the achievement,” he says. “It is a humbling experience, especially when you appreciate you’re just an average dude and people die trying to get to the top (a number of moto riders include died in the last few years).”

And the fight isn’t over. “I am very fortunate to have met a lot of productive VW enthusiasts in Denver and Colorado Springs who will play a part in dialing in and racing the car this year in Colorado,” says Sead. “I am common to lean hard on the knowledge and expertise at Bluewater and I think this will be beneficial in getting some more speed and reliability out of this car. I will apply for an bidding to race Pikes Peak again for 2018 and hopefully challenge the mountain again with improved reliability!”

Belfry over to the build thread for a much more in-depth look at the build. You can also review more about Sead’s previous Pikes Peak campaigns in the forum.

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