Thursday, May 17, 2012

Putnam Park - 5.13.2012 - Drifting into 1st place!

Saturday evening I rotated the tires; X'ing the front backwards. I figured the LF would be nearly bald - and it was. But the RF was worse! Sunday was going to be interesting with no grip in the rear, but I was thinking since the fronts looked ok that I'd at least be able to turn like I could early Sat.

(Pic):  Left side tires from Sat evening. Front on the left; rear on the right. I rotating the bald ones to the rear....

I made more suspension tweaks, rolling back the changes I made late Sat in hopes it would help the car grip more. I had some pulsing in the front end under braking on the out lap. I figured something was stuck to the rotor and/or the tires were flatspotted from sitting all night as I had reset my pressures to my normal morning starting pressures. It seemed to go away with some really hard jabs so I put it out of my mind and hit it hard. I ran 6 laps with a best of 1:18.2 which the car was no longer sliding, but rather drifting today! Jeff's Evo was behind me this session and got some good vid; check it out below.

For S2 I bettered my time to a 1:18.1 but that's all I could get. The rear was drifting around so much that I had to do more than countersteer, I had to get out of the gas some which is a killer for times. This is the session I put the camera on the rear and had a Mustang 302 behind me. My overall times were better than his, but in this session I just couldn't get the power down and after drifting through T4 and getting out of the gas I simply pointed him around.
When done, I looked over my tires carefully to see how bald the rears were now and to verify nothing was corded. The tires passed inspection, but the LF rotor did not. Check it out:

While I had a spare, it was 12:30pm at this point and very hot. With basically 0 chance to improve my times and only to play around more, I decided to forgo the fix and just pack things in and go surprise visit my Mom with it being Mother's day and all. It'd only add about 45min to my overall trip. With all the crazy turmoil with my wife's family recently; I've been trying to take the extra effort with regards to visits and calls and whatnot. I was actually going to cancel this event but the wife told me to go and enjoy the distractions. So I watched the start of my friend's race after packing up and took off.

Overall the car did great. No mechanical issues, just the broken exhaust bracket which was no biggie, the broken rotor which is a wear item and my boost gauge is still broke (so no, I've no idea what boost I was running). Oh, and my time easily held up Sunday for first in TTA once again.

After looking deeper at all my GPS data, everything is pretty cut and dry.  An 8/10's lap from 2011 on wider A6's yielded a nearly identical laptime to this year's lap at nearly 10/10's on skinnier R6's. Nuff said.
Braking force with R6's is crap compared to an A6; I had data confirming this already. Cornering G's were about the same but that's the 8/10's vs the 10/10's thing to allow that. I was able to push my brakezones a bit which is good and the car rotated great w/o hardly any understeer given what front grip I had at least.

The 2012 setup vs the 2011 setup to me feels better with regards to power and rotation. I'm really happy with how smooth the car idles, and I don't even notice the Synapse BOV thx to Buschur's tune (he assured me it'd be smooth; he's right). The differences being a Buschur tune on the engine this year and an ACD-tuning update in the ACD unit. Also different on this track were taller tires and a taller 4th gear as compared to May/2011 - both of which hurt my laptimes as the car was previously geared incredibly well for Putnam. With less speed on corner entry from the ****tier tires and the gearing changes I was actually forced to downshift twice more per lap to keep the turbo spinning. So factor in all those changes and running 1.3 seconds behind my blitzing 2011 time of 1:15.7 and I'm feeling pretty good about the car.

Video's coming...

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