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Showing posts from July, 2013
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What is the best mod to cut down lap times?

You've got some money saved. You have been thinking about modifying your car to make it quicker and now is the time to go shopping. If you're not sure what to get, the good news is that with track days and interest in lapping becoming more popular, you can easily find good resources online. Better tires are usually recommended as the best place to start and I couldn't agree more. If you want to improve the specs of your car, tires are definitely the best place to start. If you want to go faster, though, save your money.. Last weekend, I headed to the track for Atlantic Sports Car Club (ASCC) Time Attack #2, my first timed event. I've only been going to non-timed, lapping events for the past few years but I've wanted to start going to timed events for a while to make sure I'm moving in the right direction. The event included 5 sessions - a practice session and 4 hot sessions. I was planning on using my GoPro camera to film all timed sessions but, unfortuna

Mazda MX-5 (Miata) Defy Convention

Defy Convention.. that's how Mazda sums this ad. The ad starts out with a group of cars, all of which are convertibles faster than an MX-5 (Miata), lined up to set up for a drag race. The Mazda, an uninvited guest according to the ad, shows up as they're getting ready to launch and just before they take off, it starts "raining" (later in the ad you learn that a water truck starts dumping water on the track). As soon as it starts raining, they all "race" to put their top up before they take off and the Mazda gets the top up the quickest, takes off and finishes the 1/4 mile first. I have no problem with a good play on words for ads. I love creative advertising. In this case, "the world's fastest convertible" is the one that takes the least amount of time to put the top up. The problem I have with the ad is the selling message. The Miata has never been about features. It has never been luxury, speed or power. It is isn't even abou

2014 Corvette Stingray gets 30 mpg, rated at 29 mpg EPA highway!

How does it get 30 mpg, yet it's rated at "only" 29 mpg on the highway? Well, you may remember from an earlier post -  Corvette Stingray makes 460 hp!  - that one of the new engine technologies for the Corvette is Active Fuel Management (AFM) which saves fuel by shutting down half of the engine's cylinders under light load driving conditions. Many enthusiasts, myself included, were not too sure what to think about the AFM technology from a performance perspective. Will throttle response be delayed or dull to prevent firing up all 8 cylinders? Will the auto transmission shifts be slower or hunt for a higher gear on the highway to activate AFM? These are among the questions that were worrying me but, as it turns out, enthusiasts need not worry. At the live reveal of the Corvette earlier this year -  The Stingray is back!  - Chevy announced that the car will be available with a 5-mode Driver Mode Select (DMS) feature which varies attributes like active

Discount Tire Direct - A Canadian Order That's Tough to Beat

Last December, I bought light weight 18" wheels to replace the heavier 19" stock wheels. I had been planning on doing it this summer but I was forced to do it at the time (find out why here ). I always have several automotive parts website bookmarked. Whenever I want to buy something, I open up the related sites (in this case Tire Rack, Discount Tire Direct, 1010Tires, etc.) and decide (mostly) based on prices and shipping charges, the latter are often a lot for orders shipping from the US to Canada. I ended up on Discount Tire Direct  (DTD) because they had the best prices and they were very helpful over the phone. I was happy to find good service but was very disappointed that Discount Tire had the best prices.. let me explain. If you go to the home page of 1010Tires , you'll see "We are Canadian, Eh! All Canadian orders are shipping from Canada, Pay no duties, Pay no brokerage fees, etc." A clear selling message that if you're in Canada and you buy






Does An Aftermarket Grille Really Increase Airflow?
I put a Saleen S281 grille to the test to answer that question.

Stock Suspension S197 Mustang With Square 305/30/19's
What you need to fit a proper size square tire setup.

How Limited Slip Diffs Make You Faster on Track
What you need to know about how they put power down and pros and cons.

Can Telemetry Explain Schumacher's Talent?
A comparison between Schumacher's and then team mate Herbert's data.






Cayman GT4 Track Review
The first Cayman with proper (911-challenging) power.

Is an EcoBoost Mustang any good on Track?
Two days at the track in a Mustang short 4 cylinders.

2016 BMW M4 DCT Track Review
It's quick (properly quick). But is it fun?

Can a stock Golf Diesel handle a Track Day?
Not your every day track beater.




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Michelin Pilot Super Sports vs Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 - Street Review

I've been a huge fan of Michelin PSS tires and exclusively bought them for the Mustang over the last four years. So how did I end up here? This year, I was hugely interested in trying an "R-comp" tire. I had my eyes set on Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R's for two simple reasons: price and reputation. Although not a true "R-comp" tire on paper, it performs like one by the account of every single test and review I've read (down to wear rates...). They seem like they're easily the most affordable (from a big brand) R-comp tire and combine that with a reputation for having tons of grip, it was an easy top contender. I had my concerns, though. For one, I'm told and have read that they are an autox tire, not really designed for high speed, pressure, and temps associated with open track. For another, the Mustang is a heavy car (as far as track cars are concerned) being roughly 3,800 lb. (including driver), which will amplify the unwanted open track load

Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R Track Review

2012 Boss 302 on square 305/30/19 RE-71R's at AMP - Graham MacNeil © For better or for worse, I have heard and read so much about RE-71R's. Everyone swears by the grip but complains about the wear. Generally speaking, the pros are: 1. They grip as well or better than most R comps. 2. They don't wear as quickly as R comps if driven occasionally on the street. 3. They work better in the rain than R comps. The cons were limited to overheating quickly when used on track (being an autocross tire) and wearing too fast on heavy cars like mine. In the popular 200 TW category, they are faster than the popular Hankook RS-4's and BFGoodrich Rival S's according to published Tire Rack Tests. According to plenty of reviews, they are also faster than well established R comps like R888R's (which don't seem to work too well on heavy cars anyway) and the venerable NT01's. But I was still hesitant for a while until I talked to a tire tech support gentleman

Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2's vs Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R's

I never thought I'd ever run Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2's on my 2012 Boss 302. The cost is astronomical and they are supposed to last the least of anything comparable. So how did I end up with (nearly) fresh Sport Cup 2's? A complete fluke. I came across a lightly used set with only a few hundred miles and no track time; 305/30/19 takeoffs from a GT Performance Pack Level 2 (GT PPL2). I knew my 71R's were getting very worn before the season started and likely wouldn't last the whole season, even this short one. The price was far better than a new set of RE-71R's, a little more than half, and local Time Attack rules (Canadian Automobile Sport Clubs) recently made 180 and 200 TW tires equivalent, meaning no PAX or PIP point penalty for going with 180 TW tire like the Pilot Sport Cup 2's. I have been very curious about how PSC2's compare to RE 71R's but I stayed away due to their being painfully expensive and, up to last year, their 180 TW rating would

Michelin PSS vs Firestone Indy 500 - Track Review

A couple of weeks ago, I posted my first impressions of Michelin's PSS vs Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 tires. I've run PSS's for several years on the Boss, but I'm trying the Indy 500's for the first time. In short, I was worried about the narrower tires (I was running 285/35/18 PSS but could only find the Indy 500 in 275/35/18) and tread squirm, but I was happy with them up to that point just driving on the street. I had the chance to drive on them for three track days now. So what were they like? After my first session, they made an impression that basically persisted for the rest of track sessions on them. Phenomenal, unmatched value. Now, if value is something that stands out above all else, it typically means the compromise between qualities you want and those you don't is less than ideal, but the value is attractive. This is no different. I'll start with the bad, which really boil down to two: ultimate grip and grip longevity. Grip is noticeably l