Why USLCI Hit a Home Run with the FZ09; By Blake Erb
Why USLCI Hit a Home Run with the FZ09
By Blake Erb
For several years, I have been hoping we would see an engine update in the Legend cars. Don't get me wrong, the 1250cc air-cooled was once a great engine. For many years, I used to be able to get 30-40 races out of an engine. However, in the past two years, my average had dropped significantly into single digits, and it seemed like I was constantly dealing with head cracks, pulled head studs and rods coming through the block. So when the FZ09 was announced earlier this year, I couldn't wait to get my hands on one.
I was fortunate to have USLCI select me as one of the first to test the engine, only weeks after my last remaining 1250 blew up. When the crate arrived at my shop, I was not disappointed. USLCI does an amazing job of providing everything you need to make the swap, even down to the bolts and rivets. The components selected are of great quality, and I was particularly impressed with the radiator plumbing components and the wiring harness.
Installation is best done with the body
For our first race, we took it out to Wyant Group Raceway in Saskatoon, SK. This 3/8 mile track is one of the largest and quickest we run on in Western Canada. Based on recent reviews from others, I expected the FZ09 to struggle to keep up when coming out of the high banked corners. However, once we got the right gear ratio in the car, it kept up well. Where the engine really shined was during late corner exit and all the way down the straightaway. It pulls hard, and never seems to let off, even as you approach the rev limiter. I found the weight transfer and balance of the car to be very different, likely due to having to move and add lead ballast in order to maintain the weight minimums. However, after some chassis adjustments and some changes to my driving style, we were running times identical to what we were running two weeks previous with
We ended up winning the National Qualifier race that day, but it was only by a few thousandths of a second, and it was far from easy. The FZ09 will not make