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Showing posts from February, 2019
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Mk7 Golf TDI Track Review

The local chapter of the BMW Club of America - BMW Club Atlantic - arranges one or two Advanced Driver Training weekends every year (HPDE's). That's where I started high performance driving nearly 8 years ago and where I made great friendships so I always look forward to it. I was just getting ready for the driver's meeting at the last event when one of the event's organizers came to me and said: "We have someone who needs an instructor. Can you take on a second driver?" (I was already assigned another 'student'; a guy with a 525 hp Saleen Mustang. You can read my track review for that one here).

I said: "Sure," so they assigned me this new student and I looked for their car on the driver/instructor assignment sheet. It was a 2015 Golf. I assumed it was a GTI because that's the first one that comes to mind when you hear of a Golf on track. But I looked at it, and it was very clearly not a GTI. I thought it must be a 1.8 TSI, the only ot…

Watch The Best Valentine's Day Inspiration: Wife & Husband Track Battle

Wife (R32) vs husband (Mk1 Golf) playing a bit of tag at Atlantic Motorsport Park in Shubie, NS. Both cars are turbocharged, both built by them for them to enjoy on a track. Oh, and the R32 shoots flames on the overrun. Every. Single. Time. This is the best couples bonding activity I've ever seen.



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A post shared by Mike R (@ramseyethetrackguy) on Oct 18, 2018 at 5:03pm PDT

Nigel Mansell's dominant Red 5 Williams F1 Car is going up for Sale

The dominance of the Williams FW14B is undeniable, even if the tech may be called into question. It took Nigel Mansell to his first (and only) F1 world title in 1992, the first time a British had won it since 1976. It qualified on a pole position 7 times out of its 13 races. And despite facing off against Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher, it set the record of 9 Grand Prix wins in a single season.

To this day, the car remains one of the most advanced F1 cars of all time due to rule changes in 1994 that banned a lot of the technology. It came with a semi automatic gearbox (which was just starting to take over), traction control, and active load-leveling hydraulic suspension. To allow all of this to work properly with the required fail-safes, Williams ended up having to come up with their own controller and their own programming.

The hydraulic load leveling suspension was initially meant to be an all mechanical system so it was a complete transformation in controls. And in an age whe…

Snow/Ice Rallycross in the Rabbit

FWD cars don't win the WRC anymore and they haven't in decades. In fact, all two wheel drive (2WD) cars have been rendered entirely obsolete on the world stage by the original legendary Audi Quattro. That's because 4 driven wheels are obviously far better at putting power down than just 2 and when you are on a loose surface such as mud, gravel, or snow, traction is in SERIOUS short supply. Thankfully, I'm not on the world rally stage or competing for the world title, so I'm happy with my little FWD rallycross car (for now anyway...).

I have already been to one event this season (which is my first rallycross season) in this car. You can read more about it here where I nearly caught air going over one of the bumps. Last time was on gravel, though. This time, it was a snow covered course and what I didn't know was that snow wasn't covering gravel. It was covering ice. What could possibly go wrong?

In what I seriously fear will turn into a tradition, I once ag…

Brabham BT62 Breaks Bathurst Lap Record

It wasn't long ago that Brabham announced that it was returning to competition with the BT62 to compete at the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and Le Mans. They also announced that they will be building a road-legal version of their mighty BT62, likely to qualify for the GTE class requirements so it can compete at Le Mans. Capitalizing on that, Brabham was planning on taking a BT62 for demonstration laps in the build-up to the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour race that's running this weekend, but they gave the people a lot more than a few hot laps.

With minimal testing on Thursday and with just four laps on Saturday, conditions were good so the BT62 test driver Luke Youlden went for a flying lap. That flying lap set a new track record of 1:58.67. The lap time is a verified clocked time, but it is labeled "unofficial" because it wasn't set during a competitive session. The previous lap record was 1:59.29, set by an unrestricted Audi R8 GT3 race car last year in tes…

Why Ford had to 3D Print Ken Block's 914 hp Hoonitruck Intake Manifold

To make 914 hp, the Gymkhana 1977 Ford F150 Hoonitruck needs A LOT of air for the turbos feeding the 3.5 L EcoBoost V6. Ford's custom designed manifold ended up being too intricate to cast, so Ford Germany put to use one of the most advanced 3D Printers and even that one was pushing the envelope to get the job done. The result? A high flow, lightweight, 3D printed custom manifold that's the largest 3D printed metal part on a functional car, according to Ford. Watch to see how it was designed and how long it takes to print just one, plus why Ken Block picked a 1977 F150.


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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 loads.…

Koenigsegg Gamera: 4 Seats, 4WD, 3 Cylinders, and 1700 hp

Meet the Koenigsegg Gamera. This car brings so many firsts, not just to Koenigsegg, but also to the entire automotive industry. For Koenigsegg, it is the first car to have 4 seats, the first to have 3 cylinders and the first to have all wheel drive. Koenigsegg calls it the world's first mega-GT (gran touring) car, and I think they're right. For the world, it brings the first four seater, mid-engine, hyper car. Koenigsegg says it wants to bring the "exciting performance traits of a mid-engine two-seater megacar with the practicalities of a four-seater car with more luggage space" so the experience can be shared with "family and friends." Clearly, I need better friends...

With 1,700 hp on tap, you are sure to impress those lucky enough to be your family and friends if you own one of those. Of course, a three cylinder engine with 1,700 hp is likely to have all the driveability and flexibility of a farm tractor so Koenigsegg doesn't rely on it for all the …

Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R Track Review

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 at Tire Rack who has gone faster on RE-71R's than NT01s. In a Mustang (his own, not…

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 lowe…