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Old 03-25-2014, 06:14 PM   #1
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FS Autocross Setup

I have been running FS on street tires and plan on sticking around this class for a while. That said, I am looking for ways to improve the overall handling characteristics of my 2011 GT/CS.

The rule changes for 2014 have been interesting and open up some possibilities.
I am currently running the 19x8.5" GT/CS wheels (Heavy) with the Pirelli PZero Neros 255/40R19 (also Heavy).

With the +/-1" rule this year this opens up the possibility of running 18x8.5 wheels and 18" tires. I have been kicking around the options and there are a number of sub 20lb wheels in this category. 18" tires are also several lbs lighter. If I am doing my math right it is possible to drop about 16lbs / wheel by making this switch. That is a lot of unsprung weight. Also all things being equal, a smaller wheel diameter is going to effectively lower the center of gravity for the car by about 1" between the two setups and acceleration will wind up being just a bit quicker, which would be really nice coming out of turns in exchange for a bit of top speed in each gear.
I am not particularly worried about that due to the course setups we have here in the vegas region being oriented to smaller, lighter, slower cars, I have yet to run into a course here where I can top out second.

So my question to all my fellow AutoX fanatics is this. Good idea? Bad idea?
Also do any of you have experience running anything wider than a 255 on an 8.5 rim? I would really like to get some R-S3 275/40R18 squeezed on there but I don't really know if that is feasible or effective with a big heavy beast like this.

-Static
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Old 03-26-2014, 01:45 PM   #2
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I think that is an EXCELLENT idea!
Going to 18's, that is...
I'm not a big fan of a much wider tread than rim width though. The guy that won my class (ESP) last year went up one size to a 255 on an 8 inch rim and it seemed to neither hurt nor helped him.
Remember, the sidewall is just as angled out on the inside of the wheel as the outside. Imagine what the inside looks like during hard cornering!
You don't want the sidewall pulling the tread up off of the racing surface.
I just run the stock size 245/45R17 200 tires on my stock Bullitt and it has been a very competitive setup.
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Old 03-26-2014, 02:02 PM   #3
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FS Autocross Setup

SLA set up and run 315s all around! That's what Brian with the 99 Camaro was running at the Oakland event. But he already has SLA.
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:04 PM   #4
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SLA set up and run 315s all around! That's what Brian with the 99 Camaro was running at the Oakland event. But he already has SLA.
I think that we'd have to use spacers on the front of our cars to run 315's. Not sure about Static's car.
Here's the thing about Brians car, the difference in times between his ESP illegal Camaro and my stock Bullitt, was about the difference between the R compound tires that he was using and the 200 treadwear tires that I was using.
Either the setup on his car was doing very little to help, OR, he was maybe a little rusty driving the car that he's owned for the last 16 years...
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:33 PM   #5
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I would definitely have to run spacers or a really offset wheel to run 315s. I am not even sure if they would fit at all in the front and running a staggered setup would just turn a stock 2011 into a worse push-monster.

I have quite a few pictures of the current 255/40R19s under load on the 8.5 wheels and they do not seem to deform much sidewall wise so keeping that profile on the 18"s would probably be the way to go. I don't have much (any) empirical evidence on the 275s. The sidewall angle and deformation on those is exactly what I was concerned about myself so I will let someone with deeper pockets give that a testing first. On something light like a Miata that probably doesn't matter as much. On my big red sled, I really don't know what the result would be so I am going to err on the side of caution Time to hurt my credit card and do some shopping


Out of curiosity, why are you running a stock Bullit in ESP? Wouldn't FS or STU be a better class for you?

On a completely different tangent, what, if anything, are you guys using for data logging?
I have been looking at a lot of different options but in the AutoX community it doesn't really seem like data logging is a really hot topic and most of the data loggers seem to be more oriented to circuit racing type stuff.

-Static
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:44 PM   #6
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Why do I run in ESP?
Good question! At first, everyone that I knew was in that class and I wanted to race with them. Then, I discovered, that the leader in FS was, usually, a little faster than the leader in ESP, so, I could be more competitive in ESP.
Also, my car is unimpeachable as far as tech goes...
I like being the underdog with a stock car, I had a great time chasing the leader all last year and got within 10ths of him at the end of the year... My rookie year in autocross.
I considered going into FS this year because, sadly, Bob, the winner last year, isn't able to attend this year. My ego is getting the best of me though and I'm staying in ESP and going to TRY to win the class because it is the last season that we will be racing at this location (Marina).
I'm still chasing the leader of FS... Just doing it from ESP.

I haven't seen any data logging going on either. That doesn't mean that some of these guys aren't doing it though. Im just not SEEING them do it. A lot of sponsored cars and "test mule" cars from various aftermarket manufacturers show up at Marina, so who knows what they're doing?
Haha. The most that I do that could be considered "data logging" , is to put a few little white lines on the side of my tread so I can tell how far my tires are rolling onto the sidewalls.
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:58 PM   #7
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Why do I run in ESP?

Good question! At first, everyone that I knew was in that class and I wanted to race with them. Then, I discovered, that the leader in FS was, usually, a little faster than the leader in ESP, so, I could be more competitive in ESP.

Also, my car is unimpeachable as far as tech goes...

I like being the underdog with a stock car, I had a great time chasing the leader all last year and got within 10ths of him at the end of the year... My rookie year in autocross.

I considered going into FS this year because, sadly, Bob, the winner last year, isn't able to attend this year. My ego is getting the best of me though and I'm staying in ESP and going to TRY to win the class because it is the last season that we will be racing at this location (Marina).

I'm still chasing the leader of FS... Just doing it from ESP.



I haven't seen any data logging going on either. That doesn't mean that some of these guys aren't doing it though. Im just not SEEING them do it. A lot of sponsored cars and "test mule" cars from various aftermarket manufacturers show up at Marina, so who knows what they're doing?

Haha. The most that I do that could be considered "data logging" , is to put a few little white lines on the side of my tread so I can tell how far my tires are rolling onto the sidewalls.

Ron, so what class do you think I'll be in with my next mods and 4.10s?
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Old 03-26-2014, 07:01 PM   #8
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Interesting, out here I haven't seen anything in FS come close to the ESP numbers. I am currently taking 1st or 2nd in FS and I am usually 4-7 seconds raw off the ESP leaders depending on class. Granted the ESP leaders are running HEAVILY modified setups but in stock trim there is no way I am competing with those guys.

-Static
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Old 03-26-2014, 07:32 PM   #9
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Interesting, out here I haven't seen anything in FS come close to the ESP numbers. I am currently taking 1st or 2nd in FS and I am usually 4-7 seconds raw off the ESP leaders depending on class. Granted the ESP leaders are running HEAVILY modified setups but in stock trim there is no way I am competing with those guys.

-Static

Time to modify!
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Old 03-26-2014, 07:57 PM   #10
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That's a never ending road that I'm not going down just yet . I will do some stock class mods but that's it for a couple seasons.

-Static
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:01 PM   #11
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That's a never ending road that I'm not going down just yet . I will do some stock class mods but that's it for a couple seasons.

-Static
You do have a pretty good starting platform already...... I plan on graduating out of ESP next season.
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:20 PM   #12
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Ron, so what class do you think I'll be in with my next mods and 4.10s?
Im no expert in the SCCA class structure but if I had to guess, I'd say probably OSP.
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:40 PM   #13
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Interesting, out here I haven't seen anything in FS come close to the ESP numbers. I am currently taking 1st or 2nd in FS and I am usually 4-7 seconds raw off the ESP leaders depending on class. Granted the ESP leaders are running HEAVILY modified setups but in stock trim there is no way I am competing with those guys.

-Static
There are no 5 litre cars that are regulars in ESP up here... THANKFULLY!
The one guy that had a 5.0 wasn't a regular and apparently isn't driving his car this year so isn't in ESP any longer.
Nobody has been so fast that a set of R compounds on my car wont take care of... even the guys that have showed up on R's...

So far, that is...

And I WILL use the R's if necessary!

The leader in F stock drives a 5.0 and the dude is smooth as silk. We were talking, one day, about modding cars and came to the same conclusion that you did, basically... If someone else can get in your car and turn a three second better lap... the problem is NOT the car.
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:41 PM   #14
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Yeah I know I am not yet pushing the envelope of my 5.0 yet but I am pushing the edge of the current tires. I am on 220 tread wear Pirellis. As daily tires they are not bad at all but they are nowhere near the RS3s or r-comps.
The other problem here in Vegas is the heat. When it gets summer hot the Pirellis seem to lose a LOT of lateral grip. I have had a couple of other mustang guys ride along (both ESP both a lot faster than me) and they were surprised at the point I would start to get loose and how much earlier I had to be on the brakes.

I would love to let one of them drive mine next time and see what the outcome is.

-Static
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Old 03-27-2014, 12:22 AM   #15
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Yeah, the heat must be a killer!
You'll be a LOT happier on the Hankooks or any 140-200 tire. I use Dunlop Dirrezzas.
They don't seem to "grease up" as fast but I've never raced on a 110 degree day.

So where do you guys race in Vegas?
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Old 03-27-2014, 12:39 AM   #16
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The daytime events are usually out at the Las Vegas motor speedway. Lately it has been the south bullring parking lot but we have run on others. We also have events out at the old airfield in St George Utah about and hour and a half away. Night time events last year were at the silverton casino not sure if that will be the case or not this year.

Looking at most of the real competitive guys most of them out here are running the Hankooks if they aren't on Hoosiers so I am leaning that way pretty hard. We have a couple of national level drivers here and I am making a grand assumption that they know more than I do as a newb about what works in this environment.

The real killer in the heat is working a corner in the sun and a good wind for a couple hours. Last summer we had a couple corner workers with heat stroke problems. It happens quick out here. People forget to stay really hydrated and that's it.

Where do you guys run up there? I am up there for work pretty regularly and would love to stay the weekend for some track time.

-Static
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Old 03-27-2014, 12:56 AM   #17
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This will be the last year for events at Marina. We race at a decommissioned Army airfield. It's on a giant concrete ramp area that was used for parking helicopters. Soccerluvr4 and I have also begun attending SCCA events at the Oakland coliseum in Oakland CA.
The event that I'm REALLY looking forward to, this year in June, is the TireRack/ SCCA Nationals at Crows Landing CA. They set up about a 90 second course on these GIANT ex-Naval airbase runways and I understand that speeds get into the 100+mph range. It should be a BLAST!!!
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Old 03-27-2014, 01:09 AM   #18
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That sounds like fun. I am seriously thinking about San Diego in a couple weeks.

-Static
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Old 03-27-2014, 01:16 AM   #19
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This will be the last year for events at Marina. We race at a decommissioned Army airfield. It's on a giant concrete ramp area that was used for parking helicopters. Soccerluvr4 and I have also begun attending SCCA events at the Oakland coliseum in Oakland CA.

The event that I'm REALLY looking forward to, this year in June, is the TireRack/ SCCA Nationals at Crows Landing CA. They set up about a 90 second course on these GIANT ex-Naval airbase runways and I understand that speeds get into the 100+mph range. It should be a BLAST!!!

Looking forward to that one also!!! Gears probably would hurt me a bit since I'll be in 4th at 100.
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Old 03-27-2014, 01:34 AM   #20
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That sounds like fun. I am seriously thinking about San Diego in a couple weeks.

-Static
It's totally addictive!

We'll all have to meet up one of these days and wear out an expensive set of tires together!
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Old 03-27-2014, 01:40 AM   #21
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Looking forward to that one also!!! Gears probably would hurt me a bit since I'll be in 4th at 100.
Naw, you'll be good. You'll have more of a selection of gears to choose from on a big track like that.
I can't wait! I think that registration opens in about a month, and we have to pre-register, so we'll have to keep an eye on that.
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:37 AM   #22
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Addictive doesn't even begin to describe it, but yeah I need to find a tire sponsor riki-tik.

Running on a bigger track has a lot of appeal for our platforms. Being able to take advantage of some acceleration out of turns and on the odd straight is really where the I could see my car come into its own.

-Static
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:38 AM   #23
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Naw, you'll be good. You'll have more of a selection of gears to choose from on a big track like that.

I can't wait! I think that registration opens in about a month, and we have to pre-register, so we'll have to keep an eye on that.

Well my Torque Arm and LCAs come in today
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:47 AM   #24
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Nice, sounds like your weekend plans are coming together

-Static
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:17 PM   #25
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Addictive doesn't even begin to describe it, but yeah I need to find a tire sponsor riki-tik.

Running on a bigger track has a lot of appeal for our platforms. Being able to take advantage of some acceleration out of turns and on the odd straight is really where the I could see my car come into its own.

-Static
The club that I race with at Marina is infamous for setting up these, almost, insanely tight little courses. Lol. They're a Datsun 510 club...
I used to HATE some of the tracks that they came up with, but, now that I'm a bit more experienced they don't seem as tough anymore. They'll have at least one this year that will have me saying, "WTF was that?!?!?!??", though. They usually throw in a couple of fast courses every year as well. Ive still never bumped the rev limiter in second gear though.
I'm going to miss Marina. The people that run the show are very nice, along with all of the entrants. It makes it a fun experience no matter how the driving went that day.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:20 PM   #26
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Well my Torque Arm and LCAs come in today
AWESOME!!!
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:39 PM   #27
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Old 03-28-2014, 12:32 AM   #28
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I know what you mean about the tight courses. Even worse, the guys on the track team are all running little FWDs On the good side this means that some of the corners that they make tricky for them are a blast to trail brake into with just enough momentum to rotate clean and get right back on the gas as soon as the line starts to open back up. The bad side is some of their favorites like the decreasing distance slaloms just suck when it gets down to 2 car lengths and the car they are measuring off is a Civic EK hatch that I can put comfortably in my trunk or backpack.

I was watching some of Sam Strano's videos of his FS runs last year and I would love to run on some of the courses he was on. Its like they were made for the 5.0.

-Static
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Old 03-28-2014, 01:50 AM   #29
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Lol.
I know it. Its those corners that we just can't keep the front end down all the way through that are the real challenge!
My first experience with a true slalom was just two weeks ago at Oakland. They set up walls of cones at Marina rather than the typical single cone. It was a challenge for me, I had to think about which side to start the slalom from for WAY too long...
Haha.
I didn't even notice if it might have been getting progressively shorter! There were two, a long and a short, but I think they were both evenly spaced... I'm going to definitely watch for that in the future!
There's another club, American Autocross, that has events at Marina as well. Their tracks cater more towards our cars. I guess that I'm a glutton for punishment because I've never even been to one of their events. Everyone that I talk to says that their tracks are fun but the way that the event is run is kind of disorganized and there's a lot of waiting around. Everyone seems to favor the 510 club events so I just drove with them last year. This year, I might give the American Autocross at Crows Landing a shot... providing it doesn't interfere with Marina.
I think that there are three big events at Crows Landing this year. I might try them all!
It's the long straightaways where you guys with the 5.0's leave me in the dust!
I'll get KILLED on those long runways... But it will sure be fun!!!
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Old 03-28-2014, 11:40 AM   #30
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I have only been on one course so far which could be considered a "long straight" but even at that I never hit the rev limiter in 2nd. I would love to actually hit third sometime
After getting burned the first time I encountered a decreasing distance slolam, I make sure to pace those things off every time I do a course walk. It seems like a little thing but you can definitely tell the people who aren't ready for it (they are the ones with the last cone in the slolam stuck under their car) Increasing distance setups are interesting too, same track but backwards in the afternoon runs. If you are tricky, you can come out of them faster than you went in, if not you wind up sideways coming out of the series and completely screw your time for that run, don't ask me how I know.

-Static
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Old 06-26-2014, 12:25 PM   #31
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Well, after a couple months of waiting for my new wheels and tires to come in, I finally got to run them last weekend and what a difference! I am still trying to find the new traction limits and it is going to take a while to go through the data that I was able to collect from the last event but the difference is night and day. This last event was out in Utah on an old airport with 3 different surfaces, asphalt, flat smooth concrete, and heavily grooved concrete. The new tires performed very well on all surfaces and the lighter unsprung weight definitely helped minimize lateral shift on high g transitions between surfaces. This was a bigger track than I have run in the past and it was nice to be able to use 3rd gear for once. All in all, very happy with the new wheels and tires. Will update throughout the season with further experiences.

-Static
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Old 06-26-2014, 01:05 PM   #32
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Well don't keep us in suspense... What kind did you get?
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Old 06-26-2014, 01:30 PM   #33
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Ah sorry, I thought I posted what I ordered up above. I went with the Enkei Racing PF01 18x8.5 and Hankook RS-3 v2 200TW in 255/35R18. It's kind of an odd setup and they look tiny on the car but it does have the advantage of lowering the CG by over an inch without changing any suspension components or ride height.

-Static
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Old 06-27-2014, 12:00 PM   #34
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Haha
I find that pretty isn't always fast.
I'm glad the new setup is working well for you. Going to 200 tread wear is a big difference from 300's. I don't think that I could go back...
It will take you a bit to work up to the new "edge" of those tires but the confidence level that you feel on 200's is incredible. And they will get better by about the fourth race. I had my Dunlops dismounted and turned around on the rims after about 7 races and they are still in pretty good shape.
Well, my year was a giant misfire! I bought a set of Hoosiers and raced on them one time before the series that I was in got cancelled. Not only that, I installed a new Torsen differential 3 days before I heard of the cancellation.
It was too late to be in the points contention in any of the other series so I'm going spend the rest of the season putting together a new car built specifically to run in ESP on the Hoosiers. I've found a loophole in the rules that should even up the playing field and get me closer to the Coyote powered cars, as far as power to weight ratio goes.
Where in Utah did you race?
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Old 06-27-2014, 12:32 PM   #35
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Sucks to hear about the series cancellation, it sucks to do mods getting prepped for something only to have the rug pulled out at the last second.
One the good side, it sounds like you are well on the way to ESP greatness. What new car are you building?

We were racing in St. George at the old airport. I am digging the new setup, and I am definitely the weak link in the equation so it is time to do some data analysis to figure out what I can do better.

Here are a couple of links to the final run of the day for me on day 2.

Inside view with with telemetry and reference lap overlay



Outside view




-Static
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