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  1. #11
    Moderator Staff Team 12 Rep Points meFiSTo's Avatar
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    Focus was very fun at the track last weekend. First time with this car at the track. It took a little while to get reacquainted with the Ridge and then some learning about the car. By the fourth session, I was getting a feel for the car and the Ridge, but by the end of fifth session I was getting a little groggy and missed several consecutive apexes. I called it a day. That was probably wise as I got super groggy on the way home and had to pull over to take a little mental rest.

    My video setup was not working and was VERY distracting in the first two sessions, so I pulled the plug on that. It helped my concentration immeasurably to stop tinkering and worrying about it. I just sprung for a Waylens in-car cam this week. That should run mostly on its own once set up. I do like capturing lapping data, but I don't like messing with the stuff while driving.

    Here are some photos taken by Kirk Myhre of MyhreCreative:











    >>> RS Mutterings, Adjustments and Ruminations <<<

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  2. #12
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    I got out to The Ridge again last weekend. I was a little worried it is was going to be too hot, but amazingly, there was a break in the heat wave and it was a nearly perfect day. Some notes, images, and a 3-lap video follow.

    Location: The Ridge Motorsports Park, Shelton, WA

    Date: August 10, 2018

    Weather conditions: Breezy and cool in the a.m., then slowly warming to a high of 73 deg F with continued breezy conditions, but sunny after about 1 p.m. -- incredible considering highs consistently in the mid-90s for the prior couple of weeks in Shelton (including the day before the event).

    Temp Observations

    I really did not even have to monitor temps much. During sessions, the oil temp split the difference on the stock gauge between the midpoint and the "limit" indicator. The coolant temp was similar, but a little lower. I could go back and check the captured OBD II readings from my Waylens camera data, but the car just ran great. No brake fade (second day on mountune track compound pads with the Brembo fluid).

    Tires

    The tires held up pretty well, but are starting to show some track-related wear. I did learn an interesting thing. An instructor from the RS Adrenaline Academy in Utah was there (Ronnie) and he approached me concerning my tire pressures. He noticed that they were not inflated all the way to spec while I sat in pre-grid. In general, I have always bled tires to about 31/32 psi (side depends on clockwise vs. counterclockwise direction of track), so that the hot temp pressure is about 38 psi or so. That's always worked well for me, but he said that, at the academy, they recommend a cold tire pressure of 42 psi (the actual spec on the door). He acknowledged that it is counter intuitive, but that they found the tires hold up much better in the long run and work fine on track at the higher cold psi. I'm going to try 40 psi cold first and see how that goes next time. The fronts do look a little tortured. I'll snap a photo and post here later.

    He also is a vocal proponent of the Michelin stockers (Pilot Super Sports) and the (newer) Pilot Sport 4S. Not cheap tires, but there are not many options in this size.

    On Track Observations

    Wow. This car is a delight to drive at the track. It is both stable and nimble. What I love about the handling is something that probably some folks don't love. If I enter a little hot into a high-speed corner and the rear starts to slip, I can actually lift slightly and the nose straightens out bit, then back to throttle and instant traction. That's in "Track Mode." That's something that I could always do with my FWD cars, but I could not add much throttle. RWD cars would not take well to a lift during a rear slip. The back to throttle part is fantastic. The rear wheels engage along with the fronts and --> TRACTION, baby. Slight slide, little lift, back hard to throttle. Oh yeah. I try to minimize the use of nannies and this car handles that so well. Nothing seemed to overheat at all.

    And the brakes. OMG. The Brembos on this thing -- in combination with the mountune track pads and Brembo fluids -- are awesome. They work smoothly and progressively with zero fade -- and when you really need them (overshoot into threshold braking), the thing can stand on its nose. I don't recommend that (just not necessary with this car), but it can do it.

    As for overall performance, the car has plenty of grunt for my purposes in stock form. I have a lot more that I can do as far as driving the car closer to its limit before worrying about adding power. The suspension is probably a little stiff in track mode, but the car was very composed. I LOVE the way that it slips out a little at the limit on these stock tires and is so easy to bring back and get back to throttle. Throttle steering is so fun. I know there is a ton of room to play with that based on my lap times. I was basically getting lap times that matched the fastest times in my heavily modified Fiesta ST -- with no real effort on my part in the RS. I was just working on line adjustments (plenty of more work to do there), but not really pushing on the car much at all.

    So glad I got this car out to the track. I guess I'm glad my Fiesta was stuck in the garage. Hah.

    I've got a new in-car camera system from Waylens. The "Horizon" is not a cheap option, but generally it takes care of itself once set up correctly. I had some issues with the UI, but I think I have a strategy for getting set up more consistently when getting in to pre-grid. It's a little tricky to get ready. If you turn power off to the car, it resets (hardwired to a switched fuse). When you are belted in with a Schroth harness, HANS, etc., it can be a PITA to get it reset into lapping mode. I did get one good session recorded in the afternoon once I figured out how to get it into auto-lapping mode (with the help of my nephew-in-law @alexvollmer). There were practically no cars on the track, so it was a great opportunity to try some lines suggested by one of the coaches (Lane).

    Last points: The Hooked on Driving crew and event were both perfect for me. I like having someone to discuss different approaches for optimizing entry/exit for different parts of the track, but then working on that with no one chattering at me in the cockpit. Shelton is a moderately technical track. While not as complex nor as long as some (like Utah), it does have some technical areas. Those areas (back side of the track at Shelton) is where I lose time to better drivers and where I have a ton of room to improve. Having said that, I'm running a pretty consistent 2:10-2:11 when in the clear -- with a very laid-back approach (concentrating, but really only focusing on working on my line and adding speed incrementally in certain specific areas, etc.). I reckon I can pretty easily knock off about 5 seconds when pushing on the back side a bit (chasing a faster driver). That will be just fine for me.

    All in all: A really fun day in a wonderful car. Fiesta ST is now my daily driver (and maybe a car for recreational AutoX).

    YMMV.

    A couple images and a representative video.

    About this video: I (inadvertently) disabled the camera's microphone. So, this video has a couple of short soundtracks added. All you normally hear is engine noise and wind anyway, so it's no great loss.




    Thanks to Kirk Myhre of MyhreCreative for coming out to another track day and snapping some photos of all us car nuts.





    >>> RS Mutterings, Adjustments and Ruminations <<<

    >>>>>>>>>>>>> MRX Frankenfiesta <<<<<<<<<<<<<

    >>>>>>>>>>>> PNW Track Day Info <<<<<<<<<<<<<

  3. #13
    Moderator Staff Team 88 Rep Points GhostRS's Avatar
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    Great write-up.
    I really need to get to the track. I knew these cars would perform well.

    Nice to hear you didn’t have brake fade and no over-heating.
    'Ghost' Stealth Gray RS
    Build Number: 12615 Build Date: 10/23/16 Bought: 01/23/17
    2017 Ford Escape SE, 2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spyder, 2016 Ford Escape SE

 

 
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