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Cool Local Race Cars




Mk3 VW GTI: The first one is the 95 GTI IT-B car which, frankly, isn't too cool. It is a great car to drive (read more about my first race here) but besides that, there is nothing special about it. Until you find out about the work that went into it. I'm not just talking about the standard stuff, which in itself took a lot (a lot) of time and money to have the car as it is today, but I learned something even more impressive during the last race weekend.




The team apparently ran the cars on stock OEM hubs and never had a problem with them. Then, VW decided to switch the manufacturing for the hubs from Germany to China. The change in quality was dramatic. How dramatic? The wheels would fall off. The team tried to source the same hubs but to no avail. The solution? Build them. The team builds their own wheel hubs because they can't find the right parts. Brian Gay, who takes care of a lot of the maintenance and repairs on the race cars, machines the hubs for the cars. He also races (primarily) an E36 M3, which I mentioned in the last post about the last race weekend (The Ram's Eye is Racing (Again)!), and a Mk5 VW GTI. Speaking of which..




Mk5 VW GTI: I like this car because of the potential it has. It is owned by our team, Vantage Motorsports, who has been working on it to get all the issues sorted out and it's not quite there but it finally ran well the last race weekend. By well, I mean no boost leaks, no computer limp mode, etc. The suspension is still getting tuned and there are some fueling issues to keep up with the new found power..






The team turbo swapped to a K04 turbo and is putting down around 330 hp and 330 lb-ft torque - a massive increase from the stock 197 hp. It weighs around 2,600-2,700 lbs I believe so power to weight ratio is really good too. The team also added a helical gear differential to help put the power down. The car is now running 1:18's but I suspect it'll be able to go much quicker once it's all sorted out.



E36 BMW M3: Finally, there is this E36 M3. At first, it looks unsuspecting. Then you notice the funny looking exhaust. Then you hear it and you realize it's very different.




The car is V8 swapped. It has a small block Chevy out of a Cadillac Escalade. They said it was out of a first generation Escalade but I'm not sure if they are referring to the actual and short lived first generation up to 2000 or the second and far more popular GMT800 Escalade. The car is putting down around 450 hp, far, far more than all other race cars, with the exception of a Monte Carlo Stock Car that was not running in the June race weekend. The car was a bit tricky, though, as I was told it was set up for drifting, including the diff, which makes it very tail happy. It's a lot of fun to watch but would be tough to drive fast, although it is already a quick car, running a best time on Saturday of 1:16.243. The team had some car trouble, unfortunately, and didn't run on Sunday but once the car is sorted out, including probably being tuned for road racing, the car should be even quicker. Some would consider an LS-swapped M3 sacrilege but I think it's cool. Which do you think sounds better, the first (blue) one or the second (white) one? Watch the video below and decide.





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I put a Saleen S281 grille to the test to answer that question.

Stock Suspension S197 Mustang With Square 305/30/19's
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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 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

GTR vs Evo X vs STI: which has the best AWD system?

A few weeks ago, I made a post explaining  mainstream AWD system types and how they compare , pros and cons, etc. including some simple diagrams to show where the power goes and how much. As promised, this post will focus on specific cars and what AWD systems they use, especially ones that that have more or less been defined by their AWD systems, and the best place to start may be with a bombshell; the Nissan GT-R. Nissan GT-R (R35) The GT-R has built a reputation around having monster traction and very approachable performance, thanks to its AWD system - Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All-Terrain (ATTESA) - and what it can do for you. But the GT-R doesn't actually use the most mechanically sophisticated type of AWD systems discussed in the previous article, namely a "true" AWD with a centre differential. Instead, it uses a clutch pack to transfer power. RWD-based clutch-type AWD schematic - Rams Eye The Track Guy © The R32, R33, and R34 Sky

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 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