The weekend started with a trip to Chicago late Thursday night; en-route to an 8am Appt at AMS Performance for some upgrades. Waiting at the shop was an upgraded 12 plate rear diff from Shep racing! Also planned was an AMS Moustache Bar Eliminator to further reduce unneeded weight and improve shifting.
Rain overnight and into Sat provided wet track conditions until about noon. I personally love driving the Evo on track in the rain and knew it'd be a great way to get used to the new Shep rear diff. I also was debuting new front Girodisc 2-peice rotors and Raybestos ST43 pads all around.
I did 2 sessions in the wet, both with Dunlops on (I planned ahead) and had a freakin ball with the new rear diff and some oversteer for once! Around lunchtime things started drying and I mounted up the Hoosiers. Since I was playing in the rain I had the #2 gridspot and stayed up front (and out of traffic) all weekend which was nice.
I was a bit cautious in the first dry session to warm up the tires and really see what this rear diff would do in dry conditions. The ST43 pads were definitely different, they definitely took longer to heat up as compared to the Hawk DTC60's I have been running and also squealed like all he11 for a good 2-3 laps. Once they were warm it seemed they needed far less pedal pressure to stop. This took some getting used to throughout the weekend. Rear diff reacted very predictably and I had some slight oversteer in several of the turns, enough that I had to countersteer a bit. I loved it! I ran a 1:35.2 which equaled my personal best from the July event. The next session I let things fly and set a new TTA track record with a 1:33.9. That also put me in 1st of 8 cars in class.
Absolutely perfect day. After missing the warmup session because I needed to bandaid an intercooler pipe that I bent, I went out in the next session just to put a time down. Ran a 1:35.6 which put me in 1st by just .1. The next session I let things fly again and broke my TTA record from the previous day - 1:33.1. That landed me 1st of 6 in class.
Along with the new TTA track record, I set a personal best by nearly 2 seconds. I did this with rear tires that had 22 heatcycles by the end of the weekend! The ambient temps were great, but with newer tires there's definitely more left in the car. Overall, the transition from TTB -> TTA (where I get 19 more 'mod' pts).
Huge props to John Sheppard for an awesome rear diff. Thx to AMS for the install and great/safe tune as always. Thx to Martin @ Girodisc for talking me through both the rotor purchase and especially the ST43 pad compound differences. Also thanks to AMSOIL & Hoosier.
My new quest of lightening the car as much as possible along with needing new front rotors led me to Martin @ Girodisc! After some conversation a set of Girodisc 2-piece front floating rotors along with their recommended Raybestos ST43 pads f/r were on the way. The old front PowerSlot rotors did a good job for a 1-piece but after 14 days there were shot! This will also be a brand new pad for me, so I'm anxious to see the results.