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Last Post 01 Jul 2015 04:56 PM by  Fair
Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build (STX?)
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Fair
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12 Jan 2011 11:56 AM
Project update for Jan 6, 2011: Crap, more than a month since my last update?! Well we've been busy and have done all sorts of testing and multiple camber plate and spring installs on the Mustang since then. Plus we installed the long wheel studs and some other bits. I was going to break this into 3 smaller posts, but I'm so far behind on so many threads I'll do one big brain dump to catch up here



Initial check of the stock alignment - click to enlarge


First, on December 10th, 2010, we got a "snap shot alignment" at COBB Tuning Plano to check the stock alignment specs . See the pic above. These guys were super fast and efficient - its THE place to get a performance alignment in north Dallas. Anyway, the front had about -0.5° camber and +6.7° caster, as delivered from the factory. Not too shabby; that's a lot more caster than I thought it might have, and about all I suspect it will need.




Next we installed the 3rd version of the S197 Vorshlag camber plates and some OEM style upper spring perches (one of our existing BMW-based perches works perfectly, and this allows us to use the double row radial bearing on an OEM style spring - win!) onto the stock struts and springs, to verify that the ride height was unaffected (it didn't alter it even 1/16" of an inch from stock), and the car got down to -2° camber up front.




We could easily add more caster (I didn't feel the need) and a tick more negative camber at this ride height (maybe 1/2 a degree more). To reach the extra camber range we'd needed a smaller "normal" height and diameter M14-2.0 (goofy thread pitch we don't already stock) locking nylock nut, as the stock nut limits inboard camber travel. I've got them on order and will offer these for use on OEM struts with our plates, like we do for most others. The stock strut top nut is a MASSIVE thing that takes up extra room.




Next we put the brand new 2011-specific Eibach Pro Kit lowering springs on the car on December 20th, and man... what a difference that made. This dropped the Mustang a hair over 1" at both ends, and the drop naturally bumped the front camber 1/2 a degree more negative (to -2.5°), with the same camber plate top setting as before. We rated the stock rear springs as well as the Eibach rears, and of course the lowering springs were progressive. I need to make a fixture to located the MASSIVE diameter of the bottom of both the stock and Eibach front springs onto our spring rater, in order to hold them secure while rating. But trust me (after compressing both multiple times to do camber plate installs), the fronts are both SUPER soft. I'll post up the stock & Eibach spring rates/weights/length numbers when I get caught up.




Of course the Mustang looks a LOT better with this lower ride height... duh. But it still rides nicely, too (the rates on these are still pretty soft - your grandmother wouldn't even complain). After driving it around for several weeks my wife says drives almost exactly like stock (it should have been an optional spring set from the factory!), with of course an inch less bump travel. I drove it again today (I almost never see this car) dropping off some late order deliveries, and I was LATE as hell so I was driving it like a complete a-hole. I managed to bottom the rear suspension just once, just slightly, and I was driving over some nasty bumpy roads (not always on 4 wheels). So it was highly unusual conditions, heh. I would recommend these Eibach lowering springs to anyone on a budget with a 2011 GT that wants to get rid of the 4x4 look - you can't spend ~$260 in any other way and make a bigger visual improvement on these cars, period. It won't make the car faster on a race track, other than the lower cg, but it will make it "look right". We sell these springs, so I figured we'd test them before going onto coilovers - and I'm glad we did.




Somewhere in there the longer (and expensive) ARP wheel studs were installed in the front hubs. This is in preparation of installing some ~7mm wheel spacers, to test fit the 18x10 RPF-1s properly. Woo, the first "racey" looking parts!




AJ pulled the hubs off the car and did these the right way, using our hydraulic press. About 45 minutes of work. We've also had the brake lines off the car, twice, getting stainless braided lines built to order. They look so money, and fit perfectly. I had the rear lines made 1" longer than stock, since the stock rear lines were being yanked a bit at full droop, from the factory (facepalm). We will make one more refinement to one bracket and offer them on our website for all 2005-2011 Mustangs, soon. Did I mention they are red and blingy? Pedal feel is of course excellent. I'll post up pics when I've had time to upload the studio shots.


Put those shiny bits on the left.... onto that car on the right... do it now!

The S197 AST 4100 coilovers are going on next. Hanchey at AST-USA is putting the magic valving tweaks on our set (after they get back from Daytona GA testing) and we should have these beauties installed early next week. The Hypercos we're trying out first (somewhat soft, at both ends) are here and ready to go on as well. And our complete set of 18x9" Enkei FP01 wheels and 265/40/18 Yokohama AD08 tires (remember: STX class limits tire and wheel widths) should be here on Monday. Hopefully we'll have time to get everything on, and the car re-aligned, before Costas and I bomb down to Harris Hill Road for the NASA instructor clinic track day event next Saturday.

I'm so excited to get back on track! I haven't raced anything since October 16th - even though I was at the SCCA TMS road course event on the 17th , I didn't get to run the 330 before "someone" blew up the motor - and I'm going INSANE. We'll grab some data via the DL-1 and some in-car video with the new auto-x tires and AST suspension on. I love that little track, even if it is a bit bumpy these days (not that we'll notice much). We'll post up more data and vids shortly after. The first official 2011 NASA Texas track event is in 3 weeks, at MSR-Houston, and there's a Pro Solo and SCCA National Tour in Texas coming up rather quickly. I haven't even bought my "now STX legal?!" giant rear wing & splitter, or nasty full length headers yet, either. Lots to do!

Cheers,
Fair
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19 Jan 2011 10:40 AM
Project Update Jan 18, 2011: We got a lot accomplished on the Mustang over the past week, including installing the first set of AST 4100s, our first set of Hyperco springs, another set of Vorshlag camber plates, and the 18x9" Enkeis and 265/40/18 Yokohama ADVAN AD08s. Then we had the car aligned again at COBB and got it ready to take to the track for Saturday Jan 15th, where Costas and I ran it at the NASA Instructor clinic. Busy week... let's catch up.

AST 4100 on S197 install gallery = here




Stuart at AST-USA put the valving mojo on this set of 4100s, based on the spring rates we discussed and experience he has on his own S197 with ASTs. We picked them up Wednesday and AJ started the install on by getting the Mustang on the lift. He quickly removed the stock front struts assemblies (these had the Eibach lowering springs + Vorshlag plates - which we left intact) and then started on the rear, so I could make a spring perch adapter for the back.




Normally this AST 4100 S197 set comes with a machined black Nylon rear spring adapter, but they were out of stock and only had this set of shocks on hand from a previous test set. No worries, I got the measurements and machined two spring adapters on the manual lathe. Took me too long but I finally got the 3" OD Nylon cylinder whittled down to size, and they slide over the alignment cups on the rear axle. The AST adjustable ride height platforms fit over the Nylon adapter pieces, and the 2.5" ID x 8" x 200#/in Hyperco springs fit onto those, and slide inside the upper OEM spring alignment stub.




As convenient as the inverted rear single adjustable shocks are to adjust on the current 4100 S197 sets, we're working on a new set-up with AST-USA that will go to a standard arrangement + the body will get shorter; this all will give us more stroke at a lowered ride height. We set-up the ride height at the rear to 15.5", same as with the Eibach Pro lowering springs, for now.




Up front we went with a 60mm x 7" x 450 #/in Hyperco spring and a set of our camber/caster plates + 60mm double row bearing upper perches, all placed on the standard 4100 S197 strut. We set the ride height at 15", same as before. We're also working with AST-USA on a new 4100 strut arrangement that will keep the same stroke but allow a 1" lower ride height up front, as well as a double adjustable that is completely different. Look for several more AST shock designs to be tested on this car throughout 2011.

Once the ASTs were on we mounted up we scheduled an alignment check at COBB Tuning Plano for Thursday. I took the car by there and they were amazed that AJ had eyeballed the caster, camber and toe almost spot on. They just had to tweak the toe and we were done in minutes. The car ended up with -2.8° camber, +7.2° caster, and 3/16" total toe out (that was probably a bit excessive, in hindsight, and we'll bring it in to 0" toe for future track events). The ride quality was exceptional, as always, even with radically more front spring rate. We left the rear rates low on purpose, to hopefully help put power down for auto-x use. We might end up with two different spring rates for track and auto-x use - testing different rates at both types of events will show us more, which we'll share.



(click alignment sheet thumbnail above to see larger version )

When I got back from the alignment the tires and wheels had arrived from Tire Rack, and I only had to get one loose tire mounted to the "Test fit" wheel we had ordered earlier. AJ got those mounted up and they looked good.




Click the wheel and tire pics for larger versions

Friday I dropped off dealer orders around town in the Mustang to hopefully get the silicone mold release off the tires, then drove an hour across town at days end to head to Costas' place - they weren't very scrubbed but oh well, we'd get them good and scrubbed in at the track... right?




Wrong - it rained for the next 24 straight hours. It started raining as soon as I arrived at Costas', and we had to load the car onto his borrowed open trailer in the rain. Since we had a simple "in state" tow of only 4 hours, and we weren't bringing much in the way of gear/tires/spares (1 day event), we just used his buddy's open trailer and Costas' truck to tow down with - instead of hauling out my 38' enclosed gooseneck or his 28' enclosed tag trailer for this simple day at the track. Saves a ton on gas and towing with a little 18' open trailer is a total BREEZE compared to either of our big enclosed rigs. We could have driven the car down, but with so many new parts we didn't want to risk some silly failure sidelining us, and we had to be back in Dallas by 6 pm that day.

So we left DFW at 4 am Saturday morning and got down to San Marcos at 7:45am, unloaded, and were ready for the NASA instructor clinic by 8. It rained the entire way down and all day at Harris Hill Road, plus it was cold as balls. We still had fun, even if we didn't get any meaningful testing/data/video on the Mustang, due to the crappy conditions (standing water in most turns, visibility was poor, and grip was non-existent). Costas was an "instructor trainer" and I was there as an instructor trainee, hoping to get signed off for NASA (which could potentially give me a little flexibility at NASA events to take people for ride-thrus). The event was a blast (event write-up located here ; picture gallery here ) and we both got some good (soaking wet) track time in the Mustang.




Costas took around his trainees in the first 2 of 3 training scenarios in the car while I rode with "mock students" in their cars during the same tests, trying to point out their driving errors (on purpose), proper lines, etc. In the 3rd scenario I drove a "mock student" (Costas) around at 80% speed in my car to show the proper lines, techniques, etc. It was easy and fun, but just not that exciting due to the severely reduced speeds (rain + training). Luckily, after lunch they let us all loose on the track for a fun session, which ended up being about 35 minutes of quicker lapping in the rain. That session made the day!



The Yokohama AD08s were extremely planted in the wet

The Mustang was a blast to drive, even in the wet. 4th gear around the whole track (3rd just caused wheel spin), and with the AD08s and ASTs the car could seemingly pass anything out there. Lots and lots of fun. Big thanks to Costas for towing the car down, shooting so many pictures (430?!) in the rain, and for signing me off on the instructor deal.



There were no fewer than six 2010-2011 Mustangs at H2R that day

So next up - we've got the first real NASA Texas TT/HPDE/race event in 2 weeks (MSR-Houston ), which we plan to attend, but the first Dallas area autocross we can make isn't until Feb 27th. We're looking at everyone's schedule and there's literally 4 autocross groups with events the same weekend as the first NASA event - damn it, why does this happen every year??

Anyway, lots more changes are in store for the Mustang. The splitter we're using is supposed to be available in about 2 weeks, and we have several other (STX legal) aero parts planned during the same time frame. Then headers + exhaust + cold air + tuning.

Stay tuned,
zo7vette
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19 Jan 2011 01:51 PM
Keep the awesome updates coming, love the build so far.

Your last paragraph talks about STX legal aero parts, are you just talking about aero that you will add for track days? The aero rule changed a few weeks ago, aero is no longer legal in ST*.

I have been very tempted to buy a '11 5.0 Mustang, they are so bloody fast.

Jeff
jzr
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19 Jan 2011 02:31 PM
zo7vette wrote:
I have been very tempted to buy a '11 5.0 Mustang, they are so bloody fast.

Jeff

Dooo eeeet Jeff! I can help you build and tune it while the Camaro comes together...

The Nebulizer
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19 Jan 2011 05:01 PM
Terry, did you also consider the RS3? If so, what made you go with the AD08? I am trying to pick between these two for next season and just looking for some advice on a similar style car.
Fair
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24 Jan 2011 05:54 PM
Project Update for Jan 24, 2011: The first NASA Time Trial event we're running in is this weekend at MSR-Houston, so its time to look at TT classing for the Mustang. Of course we had been keeping track of everything in our spreadsheet for this car, but I wanted to share it with everyone, hopefully to help people see how "Easy" it is to class a car with NASA TT. ;) The rules and classing for NASA TT are a bit confusing, some would even say very confusing , but the basic classes go like this (from slowest to fastest): TTF -> TTA. But its nothing at all like SCCA classes/categories. Its.. "simpler"... you just find your base class, add up points for every mod you've done, and figure out where the car goes.

So to start the classing process, we have to know where we begin. Each car is assigned a "base classing", some with penalty points already assessed, and then you can count the additional "points" for any modifications done. Each class has 19 points worth of mods you can do, then you bump up to the next class at +20, and if you keep adding points you might go to the one past it. There's a set power-to-weight ratio limit within each class, and all sorts of modifiers for the power-to-weight number, too. Once you bump out of TTA you go up into the TTS>TTU>TTR classes, which do away with all of the "points" and are strictly power-to-weight ratio based classes. Clear yet?

Let's start out with the base classing for the "S197" chassis (2005-2012+) Mustang GT:
[LIST]
[*]'05-06 Mustang GT is TTD**
[*]'07-10 GT is TTC
[*]'11 GT is TTB
[/LIST]
The two asterisks after the TTD class above means the '05-06 GT starts out in TTD class but begins its tally with +14 penalty points (each asterisk are worth +7), so that car can only do +5 worth of mods before going up to TTC.

So the 2011 GT with the new 412hp 5.0L got bumped up a full class from the 2010 GT, and the minimum race weight jumped dramatically to 3770 lbs (with driver). That series of base classing changes, to me, seemed to coincide with the power and suspension updates that the Shelby GT350 had for '07-08, which was an optional package those years. So the full class bump (a huge change) for the '11 GT had to include the power + the Brembo brakes, right?

Wrong. I got the bad news on the NASA forums today about more points assigned to our Mustang. This little tid-bit isn't even in the class rules, but is noted at the bottom of an online form for TTA-TTF classing:
Quote:
Proceed to calculate your vehicle’s modification points assessment for up-classing purposes. Fill in the blanks with the number of modification points assessed for each item that affects your vehicle. You may leave the lines blank next to modifications that your vehicle does not have. Proceed to Page 2, and calculate all modification points’ assessments, then fill in total points below. ALL Factory Options and Parts Not on the Base Trim Model Must Be Assessed Points!!!

Somehow after 4 years of NASA TT racing I had missed this little note on the classification form about "factory options". This means that the following factory installed but optional bits on my 2011 GT will be assessed "points" for NASA classing - even if they are just cosmetic changes.




Left: The optional Brembo brakes are +2 points. Right: This front grill insert is is +3 points

Factory installed options, not on the "base trim level model", that will now count for mod points
[LIST]
[*]Rear wing delete = +4
[*]The optional 4-pedestal factory GT rear wing = +4
[*]A 71" wide multi-piece CF wing with a huge cord, up to 8" above the hoodline, and 12" tall end plates = also +4?!
[*]Brembo brake package = +2
[*]GT500 rear valance (now optional on all GTs) = +1 (planned)
[*]CS/GT front lower grill insert (now optional on all GTs) = +3 (planned)
[*]Boss302 LS front splitter = +6 (with the CS grill insert included)
[/LIST]



Left: This is the base GT rear "wing". Zero points. Right: Ordering without that is +4!

Here's our current list of what I consider "real modifications:
[LIST]
[*]265/40/18 Yokohama AD08 = +2 (for 140-200 treadwear)
[*]AST 4100s = +3
[*]Coilover Springs = +2
[*]Camber plates = +0
[/LIST]
But we have many more mods planned, which was pushing us to the limit of TTB. Now add in the cosmetic changes we had planned and we're going to be well into TTA. This new twist is pretty crazy, and I'm pretty disgusted with the NASA TT rules at the moment, but that's the way it is written. Now every time I hear a NASA racer make fun of the SCCA's thick rulebook, I can point out how retarded it is that a factory optional wing delete counts the same number of points as a massive CF race wing. ;)

All of these planned mods are legal for STX class, plus many more - and that class is essentially the slowest of all Street Touring classes (ie: STX cars still get beat by '89 civics with 100 hp). Doing some basic shocks + springs + these "factory option" mods above would kick the car up into TTA... which is home to C5 Z06 Corvettes on Hoosiers, and highly modified cars like supercharged Miatas with giant aero, at least here in Texas. So now at least we know all we need to account for to stay within TTB, right? Oh no, there's more.

There's the set power-to-weight ratio limit for TTB that we have to stay under
[LIST]
[*]Minimum Competition Weight for 2011 Mustang GT: 3770lbs with driver
[*]Tested Wheel Horsepower: 367 whp (corrected) It tested 378 uncorrected, but that doesn't matter. It was a chilly day. :)
[*]TTB Min Weight/Power Ratio: 10.25 lbs/hp
[/LIST]

The Mustang currently weighs 3563 lbs, with zero fuel. Add +200 pounds for me and +50 pounds for fuel, and its around 3813 lbs. That gives me 372 whp before it would have to go up to TTA. Are we done yet? Nope.

Then there's the adjustment factors ... see Appendix C (page 52-54)
[LIST]
[*]For running a smaller tire 275-250 mm DOT = +.4
[*]For having a competition weight 3800-3899 lbs = +.65
[*]Total adjustments = -1.05 (they show + when they mean -, but their example calculations show it correctly)
[*]10.25 lbs/hp - 1.05 = 9.2 adjusted lbs/hp ratio.
[*]At 3813 lbs / 9.2 = 414 whp max for TTB for this car
[/LIST]

And I assure you, someone will contend something in all of those calculations and rule interpretations in this post . "Its so easy" that it takes spreadsheets and multiple interpretations of rules to even class a car in TT. So now I see why the SCCA ruleset is made by a committee and is very carefully worded. There's less room for interpretation and the try to close these odd loopholes where a giant wind tunnel tested wing counts the same as a stock rear spoiler, or no wing at all. I have a new respect for the SEB today, after seeing this mess. You won't hear me singing their praises often, either.

So we've got some thinking to do. Every single mod we have planned has to be assessed for STX legality, NASA TT points, and if anything lowers the weight or ups the horsepower at all, we have to re-check the power to weight ratios. We know its unlikely that the 3800 pound race weight RWD Mustang is going to burn up the STX class, but TTA? We'd get killed on little 265mm street tires against typical TTA cars. Sure, going to TTA would give us another +19 in mods before we'd kick up to TTS, so we could go to a wider wheel and tire package, like go to giant Hooisers, just for TT use. Two sets of race wheels/tires, one of which is a gumball Hoo$iers? Then we could run a "Real Wing" for NASA and different aero bits for STX. And on and on...

The slippery slope begins. Fun, fun! :)





I was talking with Stuart from AST-USA today, who has an '06 GT (above, left), and his car starts at TTD** (as does Kent's shown above, right) so he could do a HUGE amount of suspension/wheel/Hoosiers/aero mods to his '06 and still stay in TTC class, whereas I've got to be really careful or my car bumps into TTA - even on street tires. So check your base classing, read the rules, and have the TT director check your classing form. And still, just be ready to have someone to contest it. One of our customers had a car that set some TT track records... never had a competitor protest, until a NASA director saw it and assessed something like +12 points to the front bumper, which was an aftermarket but purely cosmetic piece. All of his records and results were expunged. So sometimes, you never know where you should be classed with NASA.

Sorry to piss and moan so much in this "update", I'm just really frustrated with the TT rules and classing at the moment. I'm seriously looking at other cars to run in TT this year, like the E30 V8 or the E36 M3. The '11 Mustang GT is pretty much boned beyond what we've done now, and this is hardly the final set of mods we had planned for the car.

Cheers,
Fair
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24 Jan 2011 06:04 PM
Sorry for the dorked-up formatting on my thread update, above, but SCCAForums has a "unique" set of syntax and formatting requirements - that I am already tired of doing to all of my posts. Maybe someday they'll support the same BB coding as other, more mainstream forums use. Until then, you get this mess. Sorry.

zo7vette wrote:
Keep the awesome updates coming, love the build so far.

Your last paragraph talks about STX legal aero parts, are you just talking about aero that you will add for track days? The aero rule changed a few weeks ago, aero is no longer legal in ST*.


Oh yes, I'm very familiar with the latest swing at the "14.2.F" Aero rules that was issued 2 days before Jan 1, 2011... everything I'm planning will mee the letter of the new rules. I've got all the documentation, clear and concise. One of the planned mods won't be legal for another few months, awaiting a new car to be released (which would then fit with the new and unusual update/backdate aspects of the re-re-revised 14.2.F), but when it is I'll explain further.

The Nebulizer wrote:
Terry, did you also consider the RS3? If so, what made you go with the AD08? I am trying to pick between these two for next season and just looking for some advice on a similar style car.


I'm still uncertain of the RS-3. I have not driven on them myself, yet, but Matt here at Vorshlag just got a set for his STR Miata (NB - and I know, its not the right Miata for STR). We just mounted the 225/45/15 RS-3s on his 15x9" 6UL wheels and we're mocking up some new ASTs on it tomorrow, so it will be run at an autox soon and I'll check them out.

I already know the AD08, having run on them in 2009, and the AD07 was so good to us in 2006 and in 2008/9 on the M3 and EVO X. The AD08 also runs BIG, and mounted to our 18x9" wheels, the 265/40/18 tires I got measured a solid 10" of tread on the ground.
christoc
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24 Jan 2011 06:12 PM
Fair wrote:
Sorry for the dorked-up formatting on my thread update, above, but SCCAForums has a "unique" set of syntax and formatting requirements, that I am already tired of doing to all of my posts. Maybe someday they'll support the same coding as other, more mainstream forums. Until then, you get this mess.

Maybe one day, but probably not

AutoX Z
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24 Jan 2011 06:19 PM
Fair wrote:

zo7vette wrote:
Keep the awesome updates coming, love the build so far.

Your last paragraph talks about STX legal aero parts, are you just talking about aero that you will add for track days? The aero rule changed a few weeks ago, aero is no longer legal in ST*.


Oh yes, I'm very familiar with the latest swing at the "14.2.F" Aero rules that was issued 2 days before Jan 1, 2011... everything I'm planning will mee the letter of the new rules. I've got all the documentation, clear and concise. One of the planned mods won't be legal for another few months, awaiting a new car to be released (which would then fit with the new and unusual update/backdate aspects of the re-re-revised 14.2.F), but when it is I'll explain further.

The Leguna Seca version has a very serious looking splitter... Thankfully the wing doesn't look that significant.

SCCAForums Staff
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24 Jan 2011 10:24 PM
Terry, call me when you have a minute... I run in TT and I'm not sure you're calculating these points correctly. Factory option wings are no points... and if Factory option is 'No wing'... it would be no points. Also... smaller tire sizes are not points... but your 'base class' depicts what your 'starting tire size is'. The HP to Weight thing is standard... just add weight... and you'll be fine. I'm sure you can get her competitive... but it's important in TT to realize what mods are 'worth' doing.

Love seeing the build updates... and your posts look great to me... but I'm biased! :)

Dave Schotz
Fair
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27 Jan 2011 08:37 PM
Project Update for Jan 27, 2011: Well, just wrapping up prep for the first "real" track event of 2011. Got some funny news last night - apparently our 2011 GT is contagious. An old friend/racing buddy Paul M drove our car once... that's all it took. He tried to order a car earlier this week, and we had his build all worked up on the computer: Brembo package, CS lower valance, GT500 rear valance, the 4-pedestal wing, 401A interior, Kona blue, SAT/NAV - all of the optional performance, functional, and cosmetic bits he wanted that aren't too tacky.

Then he saw this NASA "OEM options adds points" silliness...




So instead of getting the car he wanted , he found a car that fit NASA TT better . The car he bought was equipped with the "base" trim level GT wing (saves 4 points), base front and rear lower valances (saves 4 more), but still had Brembos (+2), had the NAV/SAT/Sync (I cannot overemphasize how AMAZING this system works), and was at least the color he wanted (and gorgeous). Its got the 400A leather interior, not the 401A kit like he wanted (different materials/dash), as well as the HIDs - but it was close as he could get. With this car he's now only starting with +2 points for NASA in TTB, instead of +10 like he would have been with all of the (cosmetic) options he wanted. Lesson learned. (more pics )

Anyway, Paul's car is still bone stock and looks pretty TALL parked next to mine... Attack of Godzilla!




It looked even more exaggerated in person. We measured the height differences back at the shop, and it was 2.0" in front and 2.25" in back, at the same points on the body. Some of its in the the coilovers, the rest is in the tire height differences (265/40/18 vs. 255/40/19 = 1" shorter tire, so 1/2" lower CG). The overall effect, visually, is huge. Our car isn't "Stanced-out" or anything, and you can't argue that a lower CG isn't better for grip and aero. :)



Left: Old and busted. Right: New hotness

Paul already has a SMod Subaru GC project underway, which will be his dedicated autox/TT car when it gets done (someday!), but for now the Mustang will step in and hold him over for track use + make for a fun street car. He traded in his '08 Subaru STi (TTA prepped) yesterday for this Mustang, which was probably a good idea seeing how much warranty work the Subie needed under his heavy right foot (engine problems - it go boom). We'll really see how strong the Coyote 5.0 and Getrag MT-80 are with Paul driving them, heh.




Anyway, Paul is building this car up a bit differently than mine, as Solo use and SCCA classing is not a concern for this one. He will instead focus on NASA TT use and build it to the limit of TTB... with no SCCA rules and autox compromises to limit it for TT use. But its still his primary street car, so its not a full-out track-only build, by any means. This will probably be closer to what a lot of you out there might do a 2011 GT, really.

We're going to first swap in some Eibachs springs (+2), Vorshlag plates (+0), and get lowered down by 1.5" next week - just for openers. ASTs will go on soon enough, but it will likely be using the new bits we're working on with AST. Then he's going to sit back and watch my car's on-track performance, and then see how the new aero bits and exhaust system planned work out, before moving much further into more mods. Should be a fun street car. Welcome to the Dark Side, Paul! :D




Just a few pics of installing the NASA TT required numbers (10") and class letters (4") on my car, before we load it onto the trailer tomorrow. NASA Texas is cracking down on number requirements in TT this year, and stated "no more taped numbers!", which is fine by me. Its hard to tell much about the car your passing (or being passed by) when they don't have proper numbers/class letters. This decal set-up shows class and number on the front, rear and sides, as well as SCCA classing on the sides (we're adding the required NASA decals at the track, plus a shout-out to GRM with their decals). Its just a temporary decal set-up, as we have our own vinyl plotter coming soon - so expect a more wild, completely tasteless graphic set-up soon. :D

NOTE: If anyone out there is a good graphic designer and can help us come up with new and unique Vorshlag livery for this car (that scales up to others car models - like our E30 & E46, plus some tester/customer cars), please PM me. Since we're getting a plotter we can try more stuff without racking up hundreds of dollars in vinyl bills anymore, until we get the look perfectly tasteless.

Thanks,
Fair
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05 Feb 2011 10:48 AM
Project Update for Feb 3, 2011: A little late, but here's the report from the track event last weekend (NASA @ MSR-Houston, Jan 29-30).

Pictures: http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-...on-012911/




On Friday morning we mounted two AMB transponders to the car: one wired transponder was registered for me in TTB as #193, and a second wireless transponder for Amy was entered as TTB #93, mounted straight to the front grill. The battery powered AMB mounted to the grill had a straight shot down to the ground, with no metal in its path. The wired unit was mounted to the inner fender, behind the strut on the RF corner, and also has a straight shot at the ground. We made an aluminum panel for the lighted switch panel that worked nicely.

AJ loaded up the car into the trailer Friday and Amy and I left at 3 pm; we made it from Dallas to MSR-Houston in about 5 hours, at a hair under 300 miles for the tow, of course with some traffic in downtown Houston. Somehow we managed to snag a good pit spot, in the dark, then unhooked the trailer and unloaded the car, and took it through tech at 8:30 pm Friday night. We got a logbook for the car and met a few NASA people while waiting in line, several of which mentioned reading this thread build-up. Reloaded the car in the trailer than went to find our hotel (luckily nearby - the race site is fairly remote).

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-...on-012911/DSC7086/1173575285_Hkgxu-S.jpg" />http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-...on-012911/IMG2369/1175805718_T2GQJ-S.jpg" />


Next morning at dawn we finally got to see the facilities at MSR-Houston, and they were pretty impressive. Lots of buildings, nicely paved parking pit areas, a concessions stand, several buildings of garages, Sunoco fuel pumps, and even an active kart track that was running all day Saturday. The weather was a bit chilly off and on, but not bad, with overcast skies most of the day. We had our drivers meeting for TT and then another for instructors, and I was assigned an HPDE2 student. He didn't have a passengers seat (CMC2 race car) but he already knew the track well, and pointed out some areas to me to watch out for, since I'd never seen the track. Other than checking in with him all weekend, and keeping an eye on him when I was riding through with other students, there wasn't much for me to do there. This let me work with Amy directly most of the weekend.

The Time Trial group was merged with HPDE4 for the weekend, which made for a 27 car session (24 TT drivers). Ken O had his very well prepped TTB E46 M3 out on Friday testing, so he was very quick in Saturday's TT session one, running a 1:44.049 on Hoosier R6s, which was faster than all other TT cars except one (and his fastest time of the weekend). We only got 4 timed laps that session, due to session scheduling catch-up (the NASA folks did a great job of keeping the event on schedule), and the best I could get in traffic was a 1:58.907 (11th fastest). Since I was an instructor I was able to take Amy out and let her see the track while I ran that session, which let her see the track before she drove it.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-...on-012911/IMG2372/1175807467_2Hb42-S.jpg" />http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-...on-012911/DSC7149/1173594086_HMRJG-S.jpg" />


Amy took the Mustang out in HPDE3 all day, but their small run group (about 8 cars) was combined with HPDE 1 & 2, just for the first HPDE session. This was a mess, as a very slow going HPDE1 student held up the entire field for the whole session, with 17 cars trailing in a train at parade lap speeds. This was because they forgot how to give a point by - and so did his instructor (we brought this up at the instructor meeting shortly afterward). We even came into the pits, waited, went back out, and still caught the train in 2 corners. Wasted session, but by session 2 they had HPDE3 all on its own, and Amy had clean laps the rest of the day.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/VIDEOS/4882794_PPm2C#1177759013_7uPse-A-LB . You need a secret decoder ring (a printout from the event) to figure out who is in what class, and what car they were in. Event results should stand on their own, always. Other than this complaint, in my eyes the NASA folks did an excellent job, and kept the event on schedule, even with lots of racers pulling some on track shenanigans.

Amy improved throughout the day Saturday during her four HPDE sessions, and I pushed her in the 2 sessions I rode through with her and instructed. She got down into the 1:55 range with my hand timed laps, as MyLaps only captured her times on Sunday when she ran TT (HPDE isn't supposed to be timed). She was nailing every heel-toe downshift like a pro, and only lacked a bit of confidence to get into the gas sooner. I was using the Costas method of yelling "Gas! Gas! Gas!" at every corner exit, and pretty soon she had it down. ;) Still, staying in the throttle all the way to at the end of the long straights (into Turns T13, T6 and T2) were the only things holding her lap times back. As she gets more comfortable in TT I'm sure she'll be right on my times, like she is in autocross.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-...on-012911/DSC7197/1173648681_eC8Uh-S.jpg" />


Saturday night the NASA folks had a great party at the track, with a nice meal and cold beer, and the 2010 Texas Region Class Winners were announced. We got some good rest that night and made it back out Sunday morning, to the beginnings of a rainy day. For Sunday's first TT Session, Amy ran the car in TT (her first official TT session) and I rode along. It was starting to spit rain, and times in TT were markedly slower. Ken O was quickest, running a 2:12.574 on the Hoosiers, and Amy was 10th quickest at a 2:24.551. After that session it really started to rain and the track started to get slicker than snot.

I ran session 2 of TT in a downpour and only got a 2:27.572, which was 3rd quickest in the session. I did have a slight issue at the exit of turn 17, after making a pass coming in to this turn. I got a last second point-by from a slower car (otherwise I would have waited to pass) and braked deep into T17 over a patch of standing water, where I managed to put the car into a slide that... ahh.... turned into a gentle 360°. I stayed on track and never lost momentum (slid it in 1st gear when the car was backwards, and slipped out the clutch and back into throttle when the car was pointed back straight - the car never stopped moving forward on track), but this is technically called a spin, and a spin or an off gives any TT driver a DQ for that session. At least I gave the crowd something fun to watch in this session, heh.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-...on-012911/DSC7208/1173664978_nMmzi-S.jpg" />http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-...on-012911/DSC7209/1173666615_yWuYz-S.jpg" />


Since we aren't planning on staying in TTB in this car too long (and therefore don't need to try to bank points for a shot at an annual NASA regional class win - not that anyone is going to beat Ken O again this year), and we both felt like we wrung out the times we were going to get back on Saturday, we loaded up the car for the trip home later that day. Soaked to the bone, and dead tired. This means I got no official session time for Sunday, of well. The rain didn't let up for hours, but I stuck around to help with instructing and we watched the Spec Miata/Spec 944 race and then the CMC/AI race, both of which were entertaining in the rain!

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-...on-012911/DSC7253/1173736927_MvqkX-S.jpg" />http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-...on-012911/DSC7341/1173845633_L9wUe-S.jpg" />


In Sunday's HPDE session 3 I was assigned a new student, an HPDE2 entrant, who wanted some tips for running in the wet. He was trying to move up though HPDE ranks so he could hopefully get his Comp license later this year (he's building a Spec 944 race car), and we worked on some rain driving techniques. He was an autocrosser and had some track experience in Germany at the 'Ring. He picked up on my rain driving tips quickly, and I signed him off to HPDE3 with permission of the Chief Instructor.

After session 3 the sky looked as bad as ever, and the crowd was thinning out considerably, so we headed back to Dallas and made it back in 4h 45m, driving through some rain and a hail storm (?!) at one point. Apparently it dried up at the track considerably for the 4th session, and the TT guys all went much quicker, which changed up the results considerably for Sunday. Again, if you can make any sense of these results, you're a better man than me: http://www.mylaps.com/results/showrun.jsp?id=1778792

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-...on-012911/DSC7122/1173582137_yUVQa-S.jpg" />http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-...on-012911/DSC7111/1173580648_9UrJ4-S.jpg" />


So that was our first "real" competition track event in the Mustang. We had a blast and really enjoyed the event, even with the rain on Sunday and the utter trouncing we took in TTB at the hands of Ken O (he's a Vorshlag/AST tester, so its all good. Congrats on setting the TTB track record!). Hope this post wasn't too wordy and boring. Since its getting a bit long, I'll post some specific observations about the car in another post to follow.

Thanks,
Fair
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05 Feb 2011 10:59 AM
Update for Feb 4, 2011: After looking at my notes and in-car videos, I've compiled a list of ten observations about the 2011 Mustang GT and its on-track behavior. I've heard rumors of overheating, oil usage, and questions about the stock brakes. After our 2 drivers beat the crap out of our 2011 all weekend, one day in the dry and another in the wet, I figured I'd comment on the cooling, oil usage, fuel consumption, and track worthiness of the stock Brembo brakes (some of this might look familiar to one forum, but I've expanded this considerably since I posted that).




1. The water temp never got over "the middle of the gauge" warm. Sure, its a stock gauge, and I'll replace it soon with a trio of real oil/water/pres gauges, but so far I'm pleased with the results of the OEM cooling system (I may be singing a different tune around June here in Texas). It got a little warm outside on Saturday and Amy and I were running it in back-to-back sessions, for 8 total sessions on Saturday.

2. Oil consumption was minimal . We checked it after every other session and I added 1/4 qt of oil each day. That's minimal, and nothing like the 1 qt a day usage most of my LSx powered cars use on a typical track day. Not bad.

3. Fuel consumption on track was 6.8 mpg all weekend . On the street it has been averaging 19 in town, about 23 on the highway. Not bad, especially considering how I've been driving it (like it was stolen). On track consumption was not stellar, but it only drinks 93 octane, so it was cheap to fuel up at the track compared to the guys paying $8.75/gallon for Sunoco 98 or 110 octane. We accidentally let it get down to under 1/8th of a tank on track and it never fuel starved , not once. That's a relief.

4. The brakes were very impressive and confidence inspiring, and the ABS worked like a champ in both the wet and dry. They are bone stock other than the stainless braided lines we built for it. One of the other 2011 Mustang GT TTA guys had beautiful 2-piece ($800/pair) rotors up front, mostly for weight. He also had the CS lower valance on with ducting to the front rotors (see pics, below). Not a bad idea. Still, I think the stock rotors, pads and calipers worked fantastically at this track, at least for the current grip and power levels of the car. People that have driven with me say I am a pretty abusive to brakes (lots of left foot braking, trail braking, and late braking on track) yet I was pretty happy with the stock brakes all weekend. You'd think with 2 drivers running the car double duty we would have cooked the things, but the pads took a beating and kept diving deep into each corner. I complained once on video of a bit of smell from the brakes, but that was it. I don't know what pads these Brembo cars come with, but I like them. Minimal dusting, too.




5. Overall handling and balance was good with the AST 4100s and Hyperco rates we chose, but I had some trouble with rear traction . Many of the higher speed corner exits were tricky in 3rd or even 4th gear in the dry (and this is with the tallest available 3.31 final drive ratio), and we were running wider and stickier than stock 265mm Yokohama AD08s. I guess that's to be expected with a factory 380 whp. We've more than tripled front spring rate but rear rates went up only 63%: Hyperco 450#/in front, 200 #/in rear. The stock spring rates on the 2011 GT are 122 #/in front, and 154 #/in rear. The added front rate really cut down on brake dive and is helping control roll and heave from the over 1000# per front wheel. The relatively soft rear rate was chosen (with the help of AST-USA) to help rear traction. We have some more spring rates to test with (350# front, 250# rears), but I don't know if I want to lower the front rates much, and increasing the rear may make it have less corner exit traction.

Both track events we've run in the GT so far were noticeably bumpy: Harris Hill Road had several bumpy corners and straights and was wet, and MSR-H had lots of bumps going into turn 13 ("The Launch"), where braking would have been compromised without quality monotube dampers, especially in the wet. Once I figured out where to brake into T13, I was able to run down a lot of cars by staying in the throttle longer and braking later, whereas I noticed some other cars were skipping and hopping over the same patch of track. The shock valving we're testing with felt great and took only minor knob adjustment to get the car sorted.

This set-up still has a bit of understeer mid-corner, so we'll play with the set-up a bit more, but we haven't even added aftermarket swaybars yet, which should help us make quicker adjustments at the track.

I was wishing I had a rear wing installed , and in the wet the tendency to lose rear traction was comical (we were using 5th on the straights a lot to avoid wheelspin). We've got a couple of OEM wings here already to test with (don't expect them to do much), and a big CF race wing on the way. The car could benefit from real race tires, like Hoosiers R6s, of course. Watching video we were losing the most ground to the faster TTA and TTU cars in the big corners, like the Carousel (T2).




6. Tire wear was excellent - wearing the tread evenly from inside to out. This was with -3° camber up front, using our Vorshlag camber/caster plates. The roll control from the increased spring rate also helped in this area. Tire wear shows we're definitely in the right ball park.

7. Also, the rear axle fluid was spewing from the vent on top of the right rear axle tube and spraying everywhere... the underside rear of the car is douched with lube, and some even made it out to the right rear wheel, and made a mess of that. Need to find a solution for that. From the many comments on corner-carvers it looks like a remote catch can and hose is pretty much a requirement on Ford 8.8" solid axle cars that are tracked.

8. The stock exhaust is incredibly quiet for a car that makes over 400 hp. I was on the pit straight garage balcony watching one of Amy's sessions and all you could hear when she flew past was the car cutting through the air... wooooooooooooosh! There was zero intake noise when coming at you, and no exhaust sound when going past - this was at around 100 mph. Freaky quiet! You can actually hear more on the inside via the intake sound tube ported to the interior. The exhaust engineers at Ford earned their money on this car, but I'm certain there's more power to be found in the exhaust. I have the full length headers and high flow cats picked out, but the after-cat exhaust is still a stumper. Do I do the traditional dual 3" exhaust with the two 409SS FM Series 44 mufflers already acquired, or go for a lighter single 3" rear exhaust, like the one Buschur came up with ? They are claiming a 65-75 pound reduction with their single exhaust.

9. I'm now even more impressed with the Getrag MT-82 transmission and stock shifter Ford came up with after running at at MSR-H, which took 9-10 up+downshifts per lap. The transmission never gave me grief with all of the gear rowing we did, never balking at the gate, and shift throws were short, quick and smooth. I am not looking to add an aftermarket shifter or knob to this car, for once. The transmission ratios are closely matched up, so we used 3rd, 4th and 5th gears a good bit on track, maximizing acceleration from the tractable Coyote engine. We could have used 2nd briefly in one spot (T5-T4-T3, "The Diamond's Edge"), but the added torque was too much for the rear tires when I tried to use that gear there. I wasn't trying to abuse the engine so I upshifted on most laps at only 6000 rpm, pushing the revs up to 6500 for shifts on laps where I had clear track. In the wet on Sunday, shift points were lowered to 5000-5500 rpm, otherwise the rear tires would just spin more.



Left: Stock 2011 GT "400A" seats are flat as can be. Right: Boss 302 Leguna Seca has Recaros, which look a tiny bit better

10. The stock seats are worth jack squat for driver control at the track, even with the street tire grip levels we're at now. Sure, they look pretty and are comfy for street and highway driving, but after a day at a dry track we're done with them. Amy and I are bruised and sore from slamming against the center console and door panels, and hanging onto the steering wheel. With the softer Eibach spring rates (nearly stock) on track (as we ran it at Harris Hill) it was even worse, even with only wet levels of grip. So much more brake dive and roll with the softer spring rates. Maybe the Recaros in the 2012 Boss 302 Leguna Seca will be a bit better , but it puzzles me why Ford went with a tilt-back Recaro in the Boss 302LS - as it doesn't even have a back seat? Must have been rollover concerns, without a roll bar or cage. Nothing beats a fixed back race seat on track. We've got a pair of Cobra race seats from my E46 that will find a new home in the Mustang very soon, which should help the driver experience immensely. The loss of ~100 pounds from the OEM power seats won't be a surprise here, either. We'll put in a suitable harness and harness bar at the same time. Its hard to "feel the car" when you're flying around inside like a rag doll.

Well that's all ten. Just wanted to throw that list of observations on here as a separate post to the already cluttered event recap, posted previously. I will say this: definitely get the Brembo package on any 2011 or 2012 GT if you are going to ever track it. Ford did the brakes right. And plan on getting real monotube dampers (ASTs), more spring rate, and a lot more camber (Vorshlag plates) if you want your tires to last and the car to stay flatter in the corners - even with street tire levels of grip. This is story from this weekend worth repeating: we had an HPDE4 driver move up and join us in TT on Saturday. He had a quick E46 M3 with a nice set of Pilot Sport Cup tires, but his otherwise stock suspension (massive body roll) and a total lack of negative camber up front combined to shred his tires down to the cords - in a single day. Save yourself the hassle and cost of ruining a set of tires at the track by tackling the suspension first .

Cheers,
Cito
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05 Feb 2011 04:17 PM
I am enjoying your posts as I recently picked up a 2011 GT.

With the inside wheel spin, I would suspect the differential. This was something that I experienced a lot with my 2003 Cobra until I upgraded. Is a Torsen T-2R in your future?

Have you done anything with the panhard rod? I have been reading that there are problems with the rearend shifting when th S197 mustangs are lowered.
ken o
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05 Feb 2011 07:46 PM
Need more pictures of 111 TTB. That car is sweet!
Fair
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22 Feb 2011 05:07 PM
Project Update for Feb 21, 2011: We've been busy working on several things on the Mustang, such as adding the CS front lower fascia, adding the rear trunk panel cover, doing our first drive-by sound test on the car, and taking it to the drag strip to get a base line 1/4 mile time. Let's start with the Mustang's base line sound test.



Click the above pics for the sound test video

The sound test was quite revealing. I've complained about how quiet the car is at the track, and this test proved it. We had a Vorshlag tester come by on Feb 12th to test his car for sound (Ken O's E46 M3 with new BW race exhaust, which knocked down a 101 dB test run ), so we left the equipment set-up to test the Mustang. Amy drove and Paul M helped snap some pics. It only peaked at 82 dB! This was driving by at wide open throttle in 2nd gear with the sound meter only 25 feet from the car, "A" weighting, fast sampling. We'll "fix" this issue soon enough (full length headers + new exhaust).




The CS lower front fascia became an option on all 2011 Mustang GT's mere weeks after we ordered ours, so we scooped up one of these bolt-on inserts to replace our plain jane lower piece and AJ here at Vorshlag installed it last week.




The entire front bumper cover has to come off to install this, but its not difficult, just time consuming. Looks great and now we have two nice 3" OD cooling vents we can tie into hoses to blow cooling air at the rotors with, too.




The rear of the 2010-up Mustang has always seemed a bit boring to me, and it bugged me having the big the GIANT fake gas cap (FGC) out back. I saw this panel from CDC and it was only around $100. Looked good in their video and it removes the FGC. Showed it to Amy and she hated it. So I bought it anyway. She can't always get her way, you know?! AJ & Matt got the old bits off and AJ & I installed the panel. Getting the FGC off took the most work, as its held in place with some seriously strong adhesive. The new panel went on in 30 seconds, with its pre-installed 3M adhesive.

We have a pictorial installation gallery for both of these items located here. The CS fascia is an obvious hit with everyone who has seen it and given feedback so far, but the opinion on the CDC rear panel is about 50/50. I think it will look even better back there with a rear wing installed.

This post is already too long, so let me cover the drag racing event in the next update.

Thanks,
Fair
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22 Feb 2011 05:17 PM
Project Update for Feb 22, 2011: Drag racing action! Here's the pictures, videos and time slips from our trip to the drag strip last weekend.

Amy had wanted to go to the track for months, not only to see what the Mustang could do in stock trim down the 1/4 mile, but also to practice reaction times and 60 foot times for the upcoming ProSolo we are entering next month, right in our own back yard (this SCCA event is mirror image, dual course autocross, with a drag race start using a real ".500 tree"). At the Pro here she's working registration, I'm the Impound Chief, and Vorshlag is sponsoring the Saturday night dinner, so we can't really miss this event! We're both running the Mustang there, where she'll be in the Ladies class (L1 or L2?) and Costas and I are running it in STX. Since we will be running the Yokohamas at the ProSolo, we mounted them up the morning of the drag race and just drove out there on them. Its still just a street tire, so we do occasionally drive on the street with them. :)




We met for breakfast with McCall and Duck, then headed out to Kaufmann, TX to Dallas Raceway at around 10:45 am. First time some of us had been to this new facility and it was surprisingly nice, as McCall had told us. 100% concrete 1/4 mile drag strip, very new facility, and an all-concrete parking/paddock area! This got the autocrosser in all of us wishing they'd rent the facility to the SCCA and other solo groups... but at $5K per day to rent the parking lot, none of the auto-x groups can afford it. Oh well, at least we have brand new and beautiful drag strip about an hour away. We paid our entry ($15 to watch, $25 to race) and unloaded our helmets, cameras and junk.




Deane was already there in his modded C5 Z06, and he even had some Nitto Drag Radials mounted, so we knew which car would be the quickest in our little group of autocrossers. He was car #1, so he got there right as they opened the gates, and already had some timeslips. We were there at 11:30 am and the place was still pretty much dead. After a quick trip to the restrooms we returned to see the Mustang surrounded by locals, all of whom had Mustangs themselves, and all of them wanting to run the flashy red Mustang with all of the decals. :D They told us about the other 2011 GTs that had been out to the drag strip already, and those had only ran high 13s or even 14 second ET's. Yikes...




We got McCall's TrailBlazer SS and our Mustang into the staging lane to be teched. That was the easiest tech ever - never even opened the hood. Didn't want to see our helmets and told us not to bother wearing them "unless we see you run real fast and then we'll tell you to". OK, works for me. He was quickly running on track against anything that would line up against him. The video above shows him against a supercharged CTS-V (LSA V8 motor, not "LM7" as I added in the title) that ran high 11's.





Amy, wearing a RedBull/Vettel/F1 shirt and confusing the locals, made several runs and got into the 13.6 range, many of them at 106-108 mph trap speeds. The trap speeds alone indicated that a 12 second ET was in the car, but she was focusing on the Reaction Times more than anything and not really launching the car perfectly. The 2.2 to 2.3 second sixties were a bit off the pace of what I'm used to getting on street tires at a drag strip, so we need to work on this in a test session at a later date where we can ride together. Like many skills needed when racing, you cannot teach yourself the skills - it always helps to be shown them first hand, and coached when you try it. Having done 1000+ drag strip runs on street tires I kind of had an advantage.

McCall continued to rip off a string of 13.6@100 runs in the TrailBlazer, which he would continue to do all day with extreme consistency. He had just taken this vehicle to GSS Speedshop to have Louis put a tune on the LS2, which came with Stainless Works full length headers, SW true dual exhaust, and a cold air. It made 367 whp and Louis fixed some lean-out and knocking issues in McCall's new-to-him SUV.





After Amy took a gaggle of runs we let it cool down with the hood up (10-15 mph head wind made quick work of that, but likely held back our ultimate times and trap speeds). I hopped in an took 3 quick runs, back to back, with a 13.6 against Deane's Z06 and his 12.5@112 (3rd gear balked a little on me), then another pass where I missed 3rd completely and backed out, then a final "by run" where I clicked off a 12.92@108.6 mph . That run had a 2.0 sec 60 foot time and perfect shifts. I was pretty happy with that time, especially considering that we were still driving into a steady head wind, and turned the car back over to Amy.

Deane, Amy and McCall continued to take runs back to back for the next hour and a half, since there was almost no waiting in the staging lanes. Amy and Deane lined up several times, but the Z06 always prevailed. Paul M arrived and then got in line to start getting his runs in. He was having trouble launching and kept hitting the rev limiter, but he got in some solid 13.6 runs @ 104 mph, but seemed to hit a wall and ent no faster. He was frustrated and really wanted to go quicker so I told him I knew what was holding him back - and held out my hand for the keys, mostly in jest. He threw them to me and I hopped in, took two quick runs, knocking down a 13.2@105 with a 2.0 sec 60' time. I told him the RPMs I was launching at and he got in and knocked off a 13.5@105, still bogging the motor a bit launching. After we left the track that day he realized that he never turned off the traction control , which is probably why my times in his car were quicker. He's ready to go back and redeem himself, soon.



At the end of the day Paul (who had been talking smack all week with McCall) finally lined his bone stock '11 Mustang GT up against the TrailBlazer SS , and it was a definitive win... for the 4500 pound SUV! We even have an after race interview, complete with excuses. :D



Crazy trucks at the drag strip. What can I say, this is Texas after all.

By then it was 2 pm and the staging lane was 20 deep, and more racers were (waking up and) pouring into the track every minute. We all had what we felt were our best times already run, so we packed up and headed out to lunch. I was very happy with 12.9's on our Mustang, especially considering the coilovers with stiff springs, lowered ride height, and -3° of front camber - none of which make a car faster at a drag strip.

Good times - we have to get more autocrossers together and do this again later this year!
SCCAForums Staff
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23 Feb 2011 12:25 PM
You are having WAY to much fun!!! Awesome write up!
Fair
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21 Apr 2011 07:15 PM
Project update for March 28, 2011: Prepare for a huge update! This should have been posted in at least 4 or 5 separate thread updates, as I've raced in 8 separate events over the last 4 weekends since my last thread update; 7 times in the Mustang and 3 times in the E30 V8. Each event had hundreds of pictures and videos that had to be cropped/uploaded - the pictures are up for now. March was an extremely busy month for the business as well as for the prep of our cars, too, so I'll try to cram the updates all into one mega post for both projects, so I can get back to work (might have to break it apart if I exceed forum limits for a single post). I'll try not to get so far behind next month, which thankfully doesn't have 8 racing events crammed into 4 weekends, like March did.

March 6 - BMWCCA Autocross (E30)

After re-writing this event coverage I realized I had already covered this event http://www.vorshlag.com/forums/show...#post56386 (of course they aren't up on the NASA website yet; check back in 2012)
[*]Pictures: http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-...-C-031211/
[/LIST]

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-...-C-031211/DSC8318/1223788983_ajxTa-S.jpg" /> http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-...-C-031211/DSC8264/1223736384_FpWXb-S.jpg" />


After returning to the pits I had to quickly jump into an HPDE1 student's car, so I didn't get a chance to look at the E30 for a while. Turns out it was only 3rd gear that let go, same as before, so it could have made it back to the pits in 4th. Oh well, it was done for the day. Meanwhile Amy was having fun in TTB in the Mustang, and ended up pulling down some times in the 2:40 range range. She ran 3 full TT sessions and tossed the keys to me at days' end, so I got to run in the 4th. Thanks, Amy!

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-...-C-031211/DSC8290/1223779500_NvNun-S.jpg" /> http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-...-C-031211/DSC8429/1223815466_fWNq3-S.jpg" />


I had a blast in the Mustang, as did my DE student who rode along, and I managed a 2:39 lap. I quickly noticed that the brakes were less than stellar in the session, which she had stated several times that day. I guess the stock pads were finally done. My DE student's EVO X could out-brake the Mustang handily (with similar Brembo brakes and weight... but race pads), so I decided then and there to order up some race pads on Monday. Costas finished the day with 2 wins in SU after making some patient passes and careful laps in the borrowed GT-1 car. VTPP tester Paul Magyar ran his 2011 GT in TTB for the first time on some 275mm Dunlops and did well. Hanchey ran just two sessions in TTB (spending the afternoon tuning some autocross cars at LSP) and pulled down 2:32 times, very respectable for just a 225mm tire and Legacy GT power. Vorshlag/AST tester Ken O finished with a win and new lap record in TTB in his E46 M3, running a blistering 2:24.9, and on Sunday jumped up to TTA for another win and the TTA track record for the weekend. Nice work!

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-...-C-031211/DSC8624/1223977282_KjUnf-S.jpg" /> http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-...-C-031211/DSC8282/1223777275_4xGhg-S.jpg" />


March 13 - Texas Region SCCA Autocross (Mustang)

The next day we had entered the Mustang in Texas Region SCCA's autocross #1 for the year, held out at Lone Star Park. Costas and I were to run it in STX and Amy in the PAX factored "W" class. The course was somewhat tight and the unsealed asphalt surface comes apart badly, making for low grip conditions, so we went out for our first autocross in the Mustang with little more than cautious optimism.

[LIST]
[*]Results: http://autocross.com/tr/2011_1_final.html
[*]Pictures: http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/SCCA-LSP-031311/
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Costas and I noticed that the Mustang wouldn't stop from higher speeds in 2nd gear well at all, and we couldn't get it to rotate without coming in hard on the brakes. So we fought the car all day, cursing the worn-out stock brake pads and pushy front end. We finished 2nd and 3rd in STX, probably better than we deserved for such a completely unsorted car. In 5 runs Costas ran a best of 52.395 and I ran a 52.357, less than .040 sec apart, .5 sec behind Ledbetter in his well prepped STX 328is - Hanchey had spent the previous afternoon tweaking this car at this same site as well as Mark Berry's FP Evo. We PAXed 22nd and 23rd out of 109, which was not good . Brad Maxcy drove Ladbetter's car in STU class, running a 51.224 run earlier in the day on a slightly-less-gravel-covered course, showing us how far back we really were. Amy was almost a second back from us in W, placing 2nd as well.

We knew the car needed some serious test time, more grip, some major braking improvements, and a race seat + harness installed, as the stock seat was not keeping us in place. But we had no time for autocross testing, as the next 2 weekends had a National Tour and a ProSolo in store. Not typically the events what you enter a completely untested car in, but they were in our back yard so we had to go to help get the entry numbers up.

Since the E30 was down for a while (we're now looking for yet another T5) we spent the next week in a mad scramble of parts buying and prep on the Mustang. We ordered Hawk DTC-60 race pads for front and rear, 2nd day aired via FedEx to get them in time for my Wednesday night departure for Houston. We also ordered some Toyo R1R tires to arrive at a friend's shop in Houston on Friday, after seeing some back-to-back testing between Hankooks and Toyos at Sunday's autocross on Su and Stan's STR Miata.




I also borrowed a race seat from Paul M to take a look at the bracket he bought for his Mustang and EVO3 seat + Sparco slider, and I made one similar for our car + slider + Kevlar Suzuka seat. The seat bracket took me about 6 hours to make, using 3/16" thick x 1.5" wide steel plate. AJ and I put the lap belt part of a 6-point harness in, a stock seat belt buckle, the seat bracket + Sparco slider + Cobra Suzuka seat installed by 4 pm Wednesday. The slider allowed for 18+ inches of fore-aft travel, but without my co-drivers present that day (Costas and Amy) I had to guess where to put it (ended up being too far rearward). And yes, I know - going on track with a fixed back seat and no 28 point roll cage is a bad idea... instant death... spontaneous combustion... yes, I know. Save your typing. ;)

The front DTC-60s arrived but the rears missed their delivery (you suck, FedEx!) and we went to the track with the new track pads on the front only. Oh well, hoped it would be better. Cleaned it up and loaded into the trailer.

...Please see the second part to this long winded post below...
Fair
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21 Apr 2011 07:18 PM
Part 2....

March 17 - TX2K11 (Mustang)

Amy and I left north Dallas at around 8 pm Wednesday night and made it to downtown Houston before midnight. Some serious traffic there on I-45 considering the hour, and we had no less than 6 vehicles pass us at 100+ mph near downtown, with two different trucks at different times drifting across 3 lanes and nearly taking the front of my truck off. Somehow we survived that parade of death race entrants and got to the middle of nowhere, 30 miles south of Houston, at 12:30. We arrived at nearby Grandsport Speedway Thursday morning at 7:30 AM and prepared to run the TX2K11 Time Attack event. This event was part of a 4 day festival of speed that started 10+ years ago mostly as a big Supra meet, and has grown to include a number of other imports, Vipers, Corvettes, Lotus Elises and other cars. People come from all over the country, even other countries, to enter TX2K events. Thursday was their track event (HPDE + Time Attack), Friday was the dyno day, and Sat-Sunday were the drag race portions of the event. We only entered the Time Attack, as we had the SCCA National Tour event to enter on Sat-Sunday, and a test-n-tune to run on Friday.




This TX2K event was on our calendar months in advance and I had planned to run the E30 and Amy the Mustang, with Costas running his GT-1 Camaro as well. Since the E30 was down, I switched entries to the Mustang and Amy and I both ran it in alternating sessions, and all 3 of us instructed as well. It was a very busy day! The track was 1.3 miles of twists and turns on super smooth asphalt, with gentle curbing and good places to pass on the front and back straights.
[LIST]
[*]Pictures: http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/TX2K11-Grandsport-031711/
[*]Results: Who knows? http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/TX2K11-Grandsport-031711/TX2K11RRResults/1232296762_5J76F-L.jpg
[*]Pictures: http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/SCCA-Houston-Tour-031811/
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So we bombed 300 miles back to Dallas and somehow logged 1000 miles for the weekend - meaning we drove just inside the Houston city limits for a solid 400 miles. Did I mention I hate Houston traffic? Monday we unloaded and prepared for yet another short week and a 3 day weekend of racing, this time at the SCCA ProSolo in Mineral Wells, TX. Before this event we slapped on the rear DTC-60 brake pads that arrived and bled the system with Motul 600 fluid. We had been testing an all new, non-inverted single adjustable rear shocks were found over at AST-USA that we wanted to run, and they had been working great the past week. With some custom machined bushings out back they fit the S197 very well - adding more bump travel. AST now wanted us to try some new super-digressive pistons in the rear shocks that sounded like what we needed to control the excessive brake dive/rear axle rise. We also re-mounted the seat forward 2 inches and it fit Amy and Costas much better - no pillows needed! Since Mineral Wells just chews up race tires and street tires like a meat grinder, I had the still new Toyo R1Rs removed from the 18x9" wheels and mounted the Yokohama AD08s again. Cleaned up everything, reorganized the trailer completely, and loaded up for a Friday morning tow out to the event site 2 hours across Dallas and Ft. Worth (somehow this is still a local event for us).




See Part 3 below... sheesh! Sorry everyone, this was a busy month.
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