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PDM RACING 510 (Part 2)
With construction complete the car was
brought out to the track for testing to make sure that all systems are in
working order. Andy straps into the car for its inaugural shake-down test
at Westwood Racetrack.
Here is the car in the official PDM Racing
colours, gridded next to Collin Jackson's semi-tube framed GT4 Datsun 510
at Seattle International Raceway.
The 510 swings through Turn 11 at Laguna
Seca without any company during Don's first Nasport race. Things were a little
more crowded in turn 9 at Portland, when John Norman (green Alpha) and Steve
Epperly (Sentra) gave chase.
Chassis : Full Tube Frame
Suspension (front) : Adjustable Coilover Strut,
Adjustable Sway Bar
Suspension (rear) : Adjustable Coilover I.R.S.
Brakes : Vented Discs, 4 Piston Calipers, Driver
Driveline : Nissan 1600cc Dry Sump Motor, 9300rpm
Redline, Crank Fired Ignition, Nissan Comp. Direct Drive Transmission, SSS
Competition Race Head, 50mm Solex Carbs
Body : 10 Panel, Quick-Release Custom Fiberglass
Panels, original Datsun Roof and Windshield
Cockpit : Full Guage Panel, Halon Fire System,
Driver Cool Suit, 2 Way Radio System, On Board Camera
Specs : Weight : 1700lbs Dry, 1980lbs Race-Ready
Horsepower : 180+ HP, Dyno Tested
Top Speed : 135 MPH (on race track)
Class : SCCA Nasport GT4, GT4
In addition to racing the car, Don also
regularly attended shows to promote and display the car for sponsors and
team exposure. The red 510 beside the PDM 510 is Keith Law's turbo 510.
The team trailer sits behind the 510 on the picture to the right.
These pictures will give you a good idea
of the overall dimensions of the car - it is quite a bit wider than a stock
Datsun 510. With all of its 12 exterior panels removed, and layed out, the
car literally "explodes" into pieces. Aside from the chassis, driveline, and
cockpit, these panels required constant cleaning, painting, repair or replacement
to keep the car in "show-quality" shape.
Even though the car is a beautiful "showpiece",
it's main function is to be driven! You can see just how LOW the car sits,
as it turns in for the Festival Turn at Portland International Raceway, or
sits waist-high to Crew Chief Chris Jehnichens.
Getting ready to head out... Don sits
on pregrid in the hotpits. This is one of the "worst" times to be inside
your racecar, as a million questions run through your head... "is this tightened
?" ... or "will it hold out long enough ?"... or " damn... how am I gonna
get past my competitor...and stay in front !"... Plus sometimes with the
outside temperature hitting over 110 degrees, you literally "bake" in your
car, with your 3 layers of nomex, gloves, balaclava and helmet on. This
"extra" time, is where your fresh air helmet and cool suit help to stabilize
your body temperature.
Racing is a family-affair for PDM Racing.
Don's mother and father help to clean the car in between sessions, while
Brent Wilson helps Don to bleed the brakes. Wife, and team boss Donna, take
a break from the day's activities.