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Old 07-04-2013, 02:46 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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Location: Grand Rapids/Big Rapids/Bangor/South Haven, MI
What I Drive: 2008 Vista Blue SES Coupe

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A little track time learning curve

Well i spent the day at a open track day at gingerman raceway in south haven mi. And let me tell you it was a blast and completely addicting. $60 bucks for an all day pass which also gets you $5 mill in coverage. There was a r8, 458, gt-r, gallardo, and a 911 turbo for the rich people rental cars there today. $140 got you 2 laps. I guess the insurance was incase you smacked one of those ....

What i learned.

The continental extreme contacts are a decent tire. I was able to hang with some 5.0 track pack stangs in the corners but they had me on the straights.

The brakes in stock form are great. Even with 130k and all factory bits there was no noticeable fade. The parking brake did feel a lot tighter after a few laps and what i could normally get 5 or 6 clicks out of i could only get 3. Im not sure what changed there...

The factory clutch can take some real abuse but doesnt feel all that great.

The trans is robust but i did end up with a crunch on the 3rd gear syncro if i threw it to hard. Gearing wasnt ideal as the car is set up of economy not track. I bet the 6spd from a fusion or svt would be great. Its a small track and i was only able to use 2nd and 3rd never going slower than 40 and going to what ever the limiter is in 3rd. Another gear could have shaved off a good 5 secs or so and kept the engine in the power band

Cooling. The gauge never moved no matter how hard the engine was wrung out. But turn the enginge off and the temps climb quick. The fans never turned on with the engine off and the key on run. Start it back up and the gauge returns to norm straight up and down once the fans kicked on....

The suspension. I tried everything coming in hot, braking late, turning in hard all the combos... this is a safe and mild to neutral little car when on frpp coils and dampers. Keep your foot baried and there is the slightest hint of under steer. The snappy over steer that my car used to have when on the stock suspension was gone. I had a hard time coaxing it out.

Steering was light and quick but no as communicative as i wouldve hoped but that may have been the smooth pavement.... i did how ever boil the ps fluid and it now covers a majority of the engine bay. I wouldnt say that i was sawing at the wheel any more than in normal driving. It may have been being at the higher speeds and revs... but i shoild look into adding a cooler

I need to get better bolsters installed into the seats as there wasnt much lateral supoort

Power. there is very little of it. Enough to teach you the basics of car control but with the frpp kit the chasis can handle soo much more. If i had spent any more time out there it wouldve ended in disaster as i tried to milk every ounce from the thing. But i guess more power and flaws would atart to appear like the need for a limited slip diff or poly bushings everywhere

Has anyone had any track experience in their 2nd gens? Any nagging issues like the over heating ps fluid?

2008 Vista Blue SES Coupe 5spd FRPP Zx3B Suspension
5000K D2S Retrofit
130,000+ miles and still on factory brakes and clutch!

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