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gtferrari 07-04-2013 02:46 AM

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?

badazz2010focus 07-04-2013 07:38 AM

you're experiencing the same thing I am in 3rd if you throw it to hard............CRUNCH!

gtferrari 07-06-2013 10:06 AM

There was also a ratcheting noise from the driver side strut that has since disappeared. Somewhere near the top so maybe the bearing....but i havnt been able to coax the noise out.

Alptbird 07-06-2013 12:21 PM

We use the same manual in my chump car racer. But 3rd is usually the gear you find your self in the most once you get going. Obviously 2nd & 4th also but usually 3rd. It takes the most abuse and almost every time I rebuild one of our trans the 3rd gear fork and slider is bent or unusable safely. Also tires wise 180 tread wear rating or better. Front wheel drive cars you gotta keep your foot burried in the gas in turns point the car where you wanna go and have faith you will also need to keep the RPMs high to get the power you really need. If the RPMs are ok low then you tend to push in the corners.

Road course racing is addicting as hell!

We run about 3 degrees camber on the front and about 1-2 in the rear. Believe it or not on a front wheel drive a size wider tire in the rear than the front we have found to help keep the rear pretty sticky. But we also have a stripped interior and the back is pretty light.

The breaks are good and the suspension is kind of loose in stock form and you get some pretty healthy roll. But with some tweeks you can stiffen the car easily.

The ratcheting sound it either the strut screaming for mercy or something loose if you run on a stock strut for very long they have the tendency to stop dampening. They usually give up after about 2-3 hrs of hard racing. The quick alternating of turns and high pressures on a stock strut in the frequency of a road course and the steady abuse is jut too much. Stiff coil overs will help absorb the abuse but the stock shock just get to hot and fade away.

This is what we have found out in our limited 3 years of driving it in chump car series and the 24hrs of lemons.

gtferrari 07-06-2013 03:21 PM

^^awesome thanks^^

i think i may find a another focus to abuse at the track but used car values are on the up and up even for the beaters plus finding a manual is hard enough as it is...

but yes it is addicting as hell. for the following 24hrs all i could think about was what i wanted to buy to enhance the car. i am down on power and havnt been able to figure out why-this was well before i went to the track. ive replaced the o2 sensors cleaned the maf then replaced the fuel filter and have done a couple of tune ups with no results. i havnt been able to perform a cylinder leak down or a proper compression test yet and according to the diagnostic tool all cylinders are within spec of each other. maybe i should look into a new timing chain- it might have stretched a little over the years. i would definitely like 15 or so more hp on top of the 15 hp i feel that i have lost might be time for an intake and exhaust with a tune

badazz2010focus 07-06-2013 03:57 PM

Lmao I can't begin to tell you the squeaks and rattles that are comming from the front end of my car.

Alptbird 07-06-2013 04:12 PM

Yeah lol it is a long list! Spring seats,strut mounts, worn bushings, loose sway bar, too much crown and coke, beer, a-arm, grinding rotor., thumpy stereo from the Buick in front of you....

zetecDon 07-07-2013 10:14 PM

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Moved to "Road Racing & Rally Chat".

waraya 07-07-2013 10:21 PM

Never use your parking brake after running laps.... good way to mess up your rotors and or pads. Use wheel chocks

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