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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So, after missing the March event due to weather and the April event due to work, I was able to run at the May event last Sunday. This was the first event with the Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 tires.
First, a little tire review.
Grip was pretty good from a 340 tread wear tire and being close to stock HP levels meant very little tire spin from a standing start. Turn in was also very impressive but lacked a bit too much feedback for my taste. Where the tire let me down was when it was pushed to the limit. It just lets go, no real feel for the limit so I had trouble staying at the edge so most of the time I found
myself either pushing too hard and plowing into the corner due to under steer or not pushing enough and taking a corner too slow, costing me time.
Despite that, I'm not disappointed with the tire. I find it to be almost perfect on the street and would happily buy again for daily use but on the track, it just can't keep up with stickier tires.

Now, my results. GS class in my local SCCA autoX is actually pretty competitive. Had two Focus STs, a MK7 GTI, and a MazdaSpeed 3 to run against this month. Right off the bat I'm under powered, there are some that say it doesn't matter but I completely disagree. To make things even more difficult, those cars where running 200 treadwear tires ( RE-71R and RS3s). So despite getting as much as I could from the Firestones, I finished 5th(last) at about 5.1sec behind 4th. Looks like I'm gonna need a set of spare wheels and some more competitive tires. Poor wallet.

Here's a video of my 3rd run which was my fastest of the day:
 

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Nice reporting!

I noticed the same things you did about the Indy 500s—good grip till the limit then its snap oversteer whilst trail braking.

Got a set of 595RSRRs now and they’re incredible. Loud as all hell, but set up properly they can really really grip. I feel like the limits of the tire are past my mental limits at the moment which is what I want. Gives me room to grow into them as a driver. Also they’re a little over half the cost of the RE-71s for 95% of the grip.
 

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The 595rsrr's are really good for the price. I run a 17x9 and 235 40 17 and very happy. Running within spitting distance of a Focus ST with 100whp and slicks. You'll probably gain 2 seconds on tires and a second can e gained on alignment imo.
 

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All stock except for re71r

This is today

859E7501-D4C3-42A4-84F5-229EDA86FB1F.jpeg
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The 595rsrr's are really good for the price. I run a 17x9 and 235 40 17 and very happy. Running within spitting distance of a Focus ST with 100whp and slicks. You'll probably gain 2 seconds on tires and a second can e gained on alignment imo.
Yea I'm considering the 595RS-RRs and a spare set of turbo wheels if i can find them cheap. One thing I do need to do is get a better alignment. Car is two years old and has 30k miles, I'm sure that alone will help me as you mentioned.
 

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I agree with the better alignment, I'm running -1° up front and that's on my VT which is a daily driver, I would recommend at least -1.5 or up to -2 depending on how competitive you want to be. The Extreme performance "AutoX" tires will give you about 1.5 second advantage. An alignment about .5 seconds. Driver experience about 3-5 seconds. May I ask how many AutoX have you been to?

I watched your video 3 times and the first chicane, I personally would have been on the power earlier. A found a few other small mistakes and you add them all together, adds up to about 2-3 seconds. I've won 4 local AutoX championships when I was very active about a decade ago, so the good news is I see a lot of room for improvement. Fast in, fast out, tight lines, practice, for front wheel drive cars try to use the throttle to help balance the car and turn in, it will help alleviate the understeer.

Also do you have a front strut tower brace? If not, get one ASAP.

Also adjust tire pressure, you should be around 43 front and 29-32 back. Maybe 34-35 if you need to rear to rotate more.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I agree with the better alignment, I'm running -1° up front and that's on my VT which is a daily driver, I would recommend at least -1.5 or up to -2 depending on how competitive you want to be. The Extreme performance "AutoX" tires will give you about 1.5 second advantage. An alignment about .5 seconds. Driver experience about 3-5 seconds. May I ask how many AutoX have you been to?

I watched your video 3 times and the first chicane, I personally would have been on the power earlier. A found a few other small mistakes and you add them all together, adds up to about 2-3 seconds. I've won 4 local AutoX championships when I was very active about a decade ago, so the good news is I see a lot of room for improvement. Fast in, fast out, tight lines, practice, for front wheel drive cars try to use the throttle to help balance the car and turn in, it will help alleviate the understeer.

Also do you have a front strut tower brace? If not, get one ASAP.

Also adjust tire pressure, you should be around 43 front and 29-32 back. Maybe 34-35 if you need to rear to rotate more.
In the VT, it's only my second autoX but its not my second ever autoX. I ran autoX religiously every month from 2007-2012(2 local championships) with some HPDE here and there. Then kinda got out of auto racing since then 'till this past February. I think performance driving is a perishable skill and i'm still learning what the VT likes to do when pushed.
So, taking tires and alignment out of the equation, I know there is still time there that's purely my fault.

I agree with the mistake in that run that you pointed out, again just getting back into the swing of things. All that means is that I need more track time, something I have no problem with :cool:

As for strut tower brace, I've been looking at getting one as long as it doesn't knock me out of street class.
 

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You aren’t going to be competitive with those cars on federals. You sound serious so either re71r or the Newcomer direzza SS v3. Which I’ll be moving to next month :)


These re71r have about 8500 miles, 14 autocrosses and four track days. For me the extra grip isn’t worth the lack of longevity anymore. The new star specs should improve on an already great tire I’m hoping.
2C459103-F5EB-489A-AEFF-1E8FE40E9427.jpeg
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
You aren’t going to be competitive with those cars on federals. You sound serious so either re71r or the Newcomer direzza SS v3. Which I’ll be moving to next month <img src="http://www.velosterturbo.org/forum/images/smilies/smile.png" border="0" alt="" title="Smile" class="inlineimg" />
.

These re71r have about 8500 miles, 14 autocrosses and four track days. For me the extra grip isn’t worth the lack of longevity anymore. The new star specs should improve on an already great tire I’m hoping.
View attachment 98641
Yea I don’t know what tire I’m gonna go with yet, won’t be getting them for another month or two anyways. Will probably go down to a 17” wheel and the RE-71Rs but we’ll see
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Was looking at the log I took of my 4th and final run, forgot to log the other 3, and holy heat soak the stock intercooler sucks. Intake temps at idle were 161*F and dropped to 141*F, a whole 54*f over ambient. Ouch.
log.jpg
 

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Was looking at the log I took of my 4th and final run, forgot to log the other 3, and holy heat soak the stock intercooler sucks. Intake temps at idle were 161*F and dropped to 141*F, a whole 54*f over ambient. Ouch.
View attachment 98649
Never run car on a stock intercooler any longer than you have to or you will have really high iats. This is pretty well known.

I can tell you that with iat at 142° and coolant at 210° that it's pulling power back a lot which costs a lot of time. Also not safe for motor due to higher misfire/knock potential.

I'd do all the heat reduction you can first if I were you. Colder thermostat, high water content coolant, higher psi radiator cap, and colder plugs would do the car wonders before even moving to an upgraded intercooler.
 

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Lots of other heat reduction & management tricks can be done as well.

You really need a WAI system though. That is the shortcut method to combat extreme heat soak and high IATs.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Never run car on a stock intercooler any longer than you have to or you will have really high iats. This is pretty well known.

I can tell you that with iat at 142° and coolant at 210° that it's pulling power back a lot which costs a lot of time. Also not safe for motor due to higher misfire/knock potential.

I'd do all the heat reduction you can first if I were you. Colder thermostat, high water content coolant, higher psi radiator cap, and colder plugs would do the car wonders before even moving to an upgraded intercooler.
Yea if and when someone releases a OEM style IC upgrade, I'll switch to it and try to sneak it in to stay in street class lol.
As for plugs, I think I'm NGK 1422 heat range 8 plugs. Guess I'll switch to HR 9 plugs .
Gonna look into changing out my coolant, getting the 160* thermostat, and wrapping my coolant lines.
 

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Yea if and when someone releases a OEM style IC upgrade, I'll switch to it and try to sneak it in to stay in street class lol.
As for plugs, I think I'm NGK 1422 heat range 8 plugs. Guess I'll switch to HR 9 plugs .
Gonna look into changing out my coolant, getting the 160* thermostat, and wrapping my coolant lines.
Getting a stock location intercooler made is a non issue if you can use it and be in the same class.

As mentioned, water/meth injection wiuld help a lot if you could run that.

You car comes with a heat range 8 from the oem. Going to a 9 will help some.

You can run a 75% water, 25% antifreeze mix where you are year round. Or 100% water for when over freezing temps. Mix in some water wetter as well. More water % makes heat pulled from motor night and day different and power will be gained as well.

The thermostat will help keep everything cooler in general.

Insulating all the coolant hoses/lines in the bay is also a good idea. So is removing the weather strip at the rear of bay, coolant bypass, and anything to vent bay or get more air moving through it.
 

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Meth injection isn't allowed at all and most of the other things listed push him up to modified or prepared. As for the federals being competitive I doubt they're more than 1/2 second off the RE71's. I'm in a class that allows slicks with them and fender flares going to a 245. If I get that done by end of the year I'm guessing it isn't out the question to drop 2 seconds. At the last event that would have put be in 3rd in pax.
 
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