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View Full Version : SO... I ran Laguna Seca again ...



MattRobertson
11-18-2013, 09:36 PM
Did it on Thursday, actually. Foggy weather for the first run, cleared up nicely for two more and the ocean blew in more fog and a little wind for the end of the day. All in all one hell of a nice day considering it was mid-November.

http://www.lelandwest.com/auto-tech/magnum/laguna_2013-11-14_02_1024.jpg

I learned a couple of things out there.

First, this makes two track days run on the 'new', revised Wilwood big brake system that Todd TCE helped me put together. As I saw on the last day (in July), braking is phenomenal... perfect. Its so much stronger I can, if I so choose, brake much harder and use that to lessen the load on the transmission, which I was using to good effect for engine braking. However, even though I am still on my original transmission, downshifting to 2nd at 85 mph can't be good on general principles. Same goes for dropping to 3rd at... 130? Sorry not crazy enough to look down at the speedo to figure out where thats happening exactly, so just guessing.

Just as cool: No overheating. The EXP fluid retains its resistance to compression even though I may boil a few bubbles in it... and I get dam few of those. Better still I am doing this with only the aux brake ducts and not using the powered fans... one of them died so I had to leave them off entirely. While I bled once in July as a precaution, I didn't even bother worrying about it this time.

Cooler still: No cracking of any kind on the brake rotors. My rear rotors have now been on track twice, while I did in fact change out the fronts before the track day. Those old fronts were left over from the pre-blown-engine days and were looking pretty cracked... I had a spare set on hand and decided WTF lets change em just in case. I needn't have bothered, but still it was nothing short of a miracle on this track to see no cracking of any kind on the front rotors. I have some pad material wiping across them but so what... I can scrub that off in a few miles when I put the street pads back on.

So at this point I'm stoked to say that I've finally, fully dialed the brakes in as a street/track solution. And damned if they're not also the lowest-cost option of the big brake kits that are out there.

NEXT (and this is kind of a big one):
I debated as to whether I should just STFU about this and keep the advantage all to myself. But... what the hell, here goes: You know those used Continental Grand Am slicks that you can get for about $100 on the secondary market? The ones reportedly made by Hoosier that are supposedly grabbing in the middle of a Hoosier R80 and R100 (the latter of which costs $430-480 each depending on the size you pick)?

Well, they SUCK.

At least, they suck relative to the slicks I have to compare them to. Background for the peanut gallery: I was buying Hoosier R100's direct from Hoosier West, who are located where I work in Fresno CA. Pick 'em up at the warehouse and save shipping ... but two focking tires set me back almost $1000. So at some point folks discover the Conti deal and begin buying those. I didn't run out of Hoosiers before I blew my motor and so never tried them. Fast forward a few years and I'm back on track and the (6) wheels I bought from Hemi Family all have Contis on them. So I run with the things in July (wore 2 out then) and beginning this time as well on my last 4. Well, I sure didn't feel anywhere near as sure-footed at speed as I used to, and I put it down to being rusty, although it sure felt like I picked right up where I left off. Then I ran again last week and started pushing it. I had a couple of near-death experiences with the tires giving out that must have looked pretty spectacular. I replaced the rear two Contis with two of my R100's left over from The Olde Days and...

A freaking miracle happened. All of a sudden I was awesome again. No worries about the back end kicking out. No issues diving harder into corners and the car stuck just great. I have said before that the car has a 1:46 in it with those R100's on it, and now that I have them back on again - even if its only on the back - I believe that once more. Its freaking night and day.

Until now I don't think anyone has been able to run these tires side by side. Now that I have... I'm sad to say I'm never going to use those cheap Conti's again. Yeah they are a dam sight better than street tires, and their price is right. But you are running *nowhere* near your best on those things, and if you think you're on the limit that your vehicle can achieve with them... you're not. There's another level you haven't gotten to yet.

The bitch of it is we're talking big coins to get there. I've still got 4 of them on hand... and I have all winter to save for the backup pair that I'm gonna have to buy.

http://www.lelandwest.com/auto-tech/magnum/laguna_2013-11-14_03_1024.jpg

...

http://www.lelandwest.com/auto-tech/ul/AVATAR_WILLWORKFORTIRES.jpg

EDIT: YOU KNOW YOU ARE TURNING HARD WHEN YOU CAN SEE SHADOWS *UNDER* THE TIRES ^^^^. Above pic is right at the entrance to the Corkscrew; just decelerated from about 105 so I can drop off the edge of the hill.

joelvan
11-18-2013, 09:46 PM
As I understand it the Conti's are the same as the Hoosier R6s them being a DOT R compound and the R100s are a true slick. lots more grip.

MattRobertson
11-18-2013, 09:58 PM
As I understand it the Conti's are the same as the Hoosier R6s them being a DOT R compound and the R100s are a true slick. lots more grip.

That makes sense insofar as a performance comparison is concerned. When I moved up from R6's I shaved about 4 seconds off so that sounds just right. From what I remember, back when those things were first discovered 'the word' was that their compound was comparable to the race slicks.

Hemi Family told me that on the Corvette boards the same tires are considered to be decent but you give up about ... 4 seconds per lap with them. And they are more biased towards being an endurance tire.

Ron380
11-18-2013, 10:02 PM
Darth Hemi.....

RRRIIIIISSSSEE:lightsab::magburno::rock:

joelvan
11-18-2013, 10:15 PM
I go thru tires like a baby goes thru diapers . I pay around $500 a set for 80% scrubs and use them up in one weekend . its a drift show if I try to use them a second weekend.

370 Dart
11-18-2013, 10:47 PM
And this is why its freakin expensive to play on road courses lol! Do Toyo R888 fair very well on these heavy cars? What about BFG R1's?

t500hps
11-18-2013, 10:58 PM
And this is why its freakin expensive to play on road courses lol! Do Toyo R888 fair very well on these heavy cars? What about BFG R1's?

I'm here because I ran a Charger for awhile and then bought a prepped mustang for wheel2wheel racing. The car came with a couple sets of Toyo RA1's and a set of R888's. I had also run my Charger on a set of those Conti take-offs mentioned above. The Conti'i did much better than the street tires and I got ahold of a set of Hoosier R6's and can saw there was not alot of difference. Once in the mustang I had a huge learning curve for the car and the RA1's (class tire). I later used a day to try the R888's. They were great for about 3-4 laps then they "went away". In no time I had overheated the tire and it got greasy. Under hard/heavy driving, they are simply not up to the task compared to any of the tires I mentioned above.

BTW: For comparison the mustang is right around 3,000lbs before I get in it.

Rose City GC SRT8
11-19-2013, 11:22 AM
Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us. Laguna Seca is such an awesome track. That corkscrew is the best in the world.

I always come back to that famous video of "The Pass". Zanardi going balls out by Herta into the corkscrew, where you CAN'T PASS!

MattRobertson
11-19-2013, 11:50 AM
What about BFG R1's?Well first of all its a DOT slick and that means the rubber compound is not going to be anywhere close to a dedicated non-DOT race -only slick. So if we can get it to fit it will still suck compared to a true race radial. Plus size and load capacity is all wrong. To understand the problem first look at the R6 load specs.

For the 255/40/18's I was using, load rating was 1323 lbs when inflated to the max rated *cold* pressure of 44 lbs. Hoosier recommended I shoot for a target hot pressure of 65 lbs, starting at 50 psi (over spec but assured it could take it fine) cold. The idea was that the Magnum was *well* out of spec for that tire and to get the sidewalls to hold up without failing under extreme load in corners you had to increase pressure to increase load capacity.

Now look at the BFG R1's specs. Best you can get is a 275/35/18 tire whose load rating is *down* to 1201 lbs at a cold pressure increased to *51* lbs. There's no room to play there. To take on a 4400 lb car you'd need ... what? 60+ cold psi? Just doesn't compare to the R6's.

Meech
11-19-2013, 11:55 AM
Nice write up Matt, thanks for the good word! Corkscrew pic FTW~~~!!

MattRobertson
11-19-2013, 12:05 PM
... I later used a day to try the R888's. They were great for about 3-4 laps then they "went away". In no time I had overheated the tire and it got greasy. Under hard/heavy driving, they are simply not up to the task compared to any of the tires I mentioned above.
Well that sucks. They have a nice size available (275/40/18) thats a little taller, which would be nice.

POWERMAN
11-19-2013, 01:20 PM
Not an easy task, driving a 4000lb beast like that around the track..

CT-MSRT
11-19-2013, 01:42 PM
Matt, I am glad you ended up back on the track finally and seem to be enjoying yourself. I just wanted to make one good note about the used continentals. Only 1 of us here actually competes in legitimate races where those seconds truly count. The rest of us schmucks try to keep our budgets under control while going fast and learning to drive hard on the track. There are sure better "full slick" tires out there than the conti's and that was never disputed. Pete ran Pirelli take-offs i believe and there are a couple high priced options further still. The tire was the one of choice for many of us due to the price/performance/reliability combo. Very few people like to spend needlessly on a couple of seconds at a track if wasn't for a competition.

Of course there are personal preferences on rubber, but when it comes to going fast for cheap and reliable wear and tear, there is still no better option. Spending the extra $1500 per set of tires for those couple of seconds may be worth it for your hobby, but it boils down to how fast do you want to spend and for what result. If the goal, is cost effective HPDE driving, then the conti's are still the best tire to refine the craft of driving. If it comes down to going as fast as possible, you might want to jump up to a bigger tire/rim combo and get yourself a larger contact patch to stick the boat. The 18" rim/tire setup i thought was purely a financial/availability one for efficiently running track days.

MattRobertson
11-19-2013, 04:07 PM
Mike I agree the tires are a great low-cost alternative to street tires. I'm not recommending that people abandon them... just be realistic as to their place on the traction heirarchy.

If someone thinks they are as fast as they can be right now with those tires, they are not and there is an upgrade path available that will transform their stability. The fact that they will also be faster is incidental. I'm all done with fishtailing my car towards a wall like I did in the morning before I figured this out. If my lap times go nowhere I'm happy just staying planted on the course. For people who want to scale back their speeds and spend more realistic amounts of money in the process... more power to ya. At least you are out there and enjoying the car.


If it comes down to going as fast as possible, you might want to jump up to a bigger tire/rim combo and get yourself a larger contact patch to stick the boat.

Done that. The only thing that meets all goals is a 285/645R18 R100 with a 10.9" contact patch (up from 10.1) and the same 25.5" diameter, which lets me keep the gearing improvements of that shorter tire. Needs a 10-12" rim with 11" being ideal. Cost on 11" rims that fit under our fenders won't be cheap. We're probably talking custom CCWheels here and thats $750 x 6. If I can do 10" wheels I can go with those F14's Will used on his car. Times 6.

If all I do is default to the tires I used in the first place (265/645R18) they work splendidly on the rims I already own and they've carried me to a 1:49 on that track during practice runs. So I'm going to pass on the even bigger bucks and stick with what worked so well before.


The 18" rim/tire setup i thought was purely a financial/availability one for efficiently running track days.Pretty much. Not a lot of tires in the 19" size (only two from Hoosier and I am pretty sure there's one from Pirelli that you can make work) and nothing in the 20's. 17's need wheels that are smaller than the big brakes so 18'" or 19" is pretty much where we are stuck.