As part of our continued effort to keep in touch with the people who’ve kept in touch with us over the years, here’s a follow up with Mark Bullett, owner of the fastest, most powerful all-motor DSM on the planet.
GBXM: What’s new with you (cars & life, if you’re so inclined)? You’re clearly beyond the realm of the “staged” upgrades mentality, and probably beyond most common shelf parts. How would you describe the changes to the car since last we spoke in September 2010?
As any other “part time racer/full time employee” will tell you, one of the problems of being a single owner/driver/mechanic/builder/fabricator is not only doing all the “crap” that goes along with racing a car; but also that life intervenes. With the economy the way it is and work/personal schedules the way they are, it can keep you away from the car for long periods of time. This can test your resolve on wether or not you are passionate about racing.
That’s the situation I’ve been in for a bit. Just trying to find time to get out there and race. I’ve been trying to find time to not only work on the current race car but also my daily. With building new engines and making other changes to each car, its tough to find time to actually put the rubber to the road.
You see I’m also setting-up my daily as an “autocross” car (just wanted to try something new) and that is a whole new level of time and money.
With all that being said, I haven’t gotten as far as I wanted to. I have set-up the daily to stick to the road (full suspension upgrades etc.), but I haven’t gotten the power plant in and done yet. I wanted to use the current race car bottom end in the daily (as I was putting in the 16:1CR for the race car), but the car gods decided against it. From frozen heads to wrong sized rings to prototype broken promises to gremlins in the Megasquirt, it has been like pulling teeth to get any testing and building done. (Keep in mind that I’m also trying to test some set-ups out for our “community” – say running 12.5 comp on a daily with stock computer – so that also slows things down a bit).
But I am at the point that the 16 to 1 is finally built. It has only had one dyno session with a “not so properly ported” head (see previous reference to “frozen heads”) and an ECU tuner that had unknown electrical break-ups while on the dyno (see previous “gremlins in the Megasquirt”). But we were able to eek out a paltry 216whp. Not where it should be, but its a start (I also know the engine was good for 11.5k as that was where she ended up going when the tranny locked up while racing).
WHERE ARE YOU HEADED?
GBXM: How hard as it been to advance the platform from 219.4whp and 13.231 @ 106.09mph? Why is that?
The record is down to 13.14, but that is almost a nominal thing. While my power levels are good for 12’s – without a doubt – I’m running into a problem with the transmission being able to no lift shift above 8k. So that’s this winter’s project; rebuild a tranny that is capable of 8k+ passes. Sigh, never ending battle, along with all the other things; like I redesigned an LTH [long tube header ~bd] – our cars don’t have a provider. As far as I know, I’ve got the only one built for the 2GNT DSM. Well, after a whole bunch of “rigamaroll,” I finally found a local shop that said they would bend the pipes. OVER 6 MONTHS LATER, I was finally able to coerce them into bending a single set – and I made the jig and supplied the pipe for them! Like I said, like pulling teeth sometimes.
KEEP THE FAITH
Have faith, you single owner, part time racers. There is progress to be made if you keep passionate and focused. I could be going a lot faster if I chose another platform (which I won’t). I could be a lot faster if I chose to turbo my car (which I won’t). I could progress a lot faster if I took sponsors and had a team/crew to work with (which I won’t). I could progress a lot faster if I suddenly became a millionaire (which – haha – unfortunately, I won’t).
One thing I will do, however, is keep on moving forward and enjoying the racing and progress that I make. Because, when it’s all said and done, we ARE doing this for enjoyment…