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Street vs. Track Driving Tips - Part 2

A few days ago, I posted the first of a two-part post about driving on the street vs on the track. I brought in some help from a DriveTribe pro for this one, Bridget Rebecca. But Bridget is not just a DriveTribe pro, she's also a true gear head. She drives a text book sports car; V8 in the front, manual in the middle, and power goes to the back. It's not just any proper sports car, though, it's an Aston Martin V8 Vantage. In case you’ve missed Part 1, you should absolutely go and read it first. The first post was featured on the DriveTribe home page following her posting on her Tribe, so you know we aren’t leading you astray. Once you’re done, come back here to read the rest!

Track Driving:


Tires, Tires, Tires

Best bang for the buck to improve performance. Another broken record like modding from Part 1, I know, but somehow, it still gets overlooked. You'll find people saying I can't afford this tire or that tire but they do springs, or dampers, or roll bars, etc. F…

Street vs. Track Driving Tips

I haven’t done a post like this in quite a while so I figured it’s time to do one. I have someone helping me for this one, though. Meet Bridget Rebecca. Bridget is a bit more sensible than you'd have to be to waste as much on track driving as I do, but why would you need two track rats working on one post? You've got the best one right here (Kidding!). She's a real gear head, though. If you don't believe me, she's got a pretty good rap sheet. She owns a manual car. That car has a V8 in the front and sends power to the back. Manual, front engine, V8, and RWD, right out of the sports car gospel. She also drives that car in the winter. Did I mention that the car is an Aston Martin V8 Vantage? The same car that won the 2005 Top Gear Award for Best Noise of the Year. Told you she's a gear head.

This isn't her first gig. She's got her own Tribe under her name on DriveTribe and they recently sent her down to SEMA 2018 to provide coverage for the show. She…

Service at ISI Automotive

I wanted to get an alignment done for this season so I decided to call my friends at ISI Automotive. My car has camber plates so there is a good range of caster and camber adjustment for the front wheels. I already did an alignment when I got the camber plates but my mechanic doesn't deal with alignment varying from factory settings and aftermarket parts of this sort so I called Phil Tuff at ISI Automotive to take it in.




Phil is the service manager who runs the shop with Steve Phillips, the owner. They have worked at VW and BMW dealerships for many years and decided it was time to open a shop, but it isn't just a job. Phil has 1981 BMW 320i. Well, it used to be anyway. It is a lot more M3 than 320i now. I always bombard him with questions about the build because I think it will be awesome when done. I asked him to send me details of the build so I will make a separate post about it. In summary, though, the current engine is based on a US spec S14 M3 engine. "Based on&quo…

Tire blowout.. Happy Father's day!

Today started great. My wife planned a great day for us today, being father's day. She and our son made a little gift for my office. We then went to a local wild life park with our son, which he seemed to love. Then we had a picnic. In the evening, though, we had to go to the store to pick up some groceries and life had different plans about ending the day.

We were driving home and heard a pop. The car drove normal and there were no other noises after. I figured we hit a piece of plastic or something and we were above to pull up in a few minutes so thought I'd check it then. We stopped at a traffic light and when we pulled up after it went green, I heard and felt the unmistakable noise and vibration of a flat tire. I pull into a parking lot, go to look, and sure enough - the wheel was basically sitting on the asphalt separated by a layer of rubber. The tire was completely flat.

My first thought was: "Crap tires!" The tires are Aeolus all season tires. It's a Ch…

Michelin Pilot Super Sport Review

I recently replaced my worn out Continental ExtremeContact DW with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. I don't know how they are at high speed (say +120 mph) because our local track doesn't have long straights but traction out of corners is phenomenal compared to the stock Pirellis and Contis. They take the heat better too, more stable over the length of a lapping session.

The car is a 2012 Mustang Boss 302. Sizes are 265/35/18 fronts and 285/35/18 rears on TSW Nurburgring 18" x 9.5" wheels at all for corners. All wheels are downsized in diameter from the stock 19" and the front wheels are wider compared to the stock 9" fronts. Front tires are also wider, compared to the stock size which is 255/40/19.
If you're considering pulling the trigger on a set of Michelin PSS's to use on the street/track, I highly recommend it.

I'm back as a new parent!

I unfortunately haven't been able to write lately but, luckily, it was for a very good reason. I am very happy to say that just over two months ago, we were blessed with a healthy little boy and I became a very proud father. Things are finally starting to settle down a bit and get into a routine (except for his sleeping schedule but, luckily, the wife is taking care of that) so I will have more time to start writing again. Now, to make this post as car related as possible, I'll conclude this with a few tips for new or expecting parents:

1 - Make sure you put the baby seat in the middle position. Many manuals and forums recommend the middle position but, aside from safety reasons in case of a crash, putting the seat on the left or right sides is less practical because it renders the door on that side basically useless for anything besides getting the baby in and out. Putting it in the middle will also make it easier to get the baby out from either side of the vehicle which is im…

Chicago hit and run - this is a bad one!

If you mention hit and run, you already know there are bad driving manners involved. How do you define a bad hit and run? I think this video sums it up pretty well. In an attempt to run away and avoid having to provide insurance information, the driver hits not one or two but three cars. That's three cars while attempting to get away - i.e. three in addition to the car the driver hit in the first place for a total of four hit and runs within a few minutes. That's a bad hit and run.. luckily, the getaway was caught on camera so hopefully someone was able to get the license plate number. 




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 from th…

Got'er fixed - The Boss is all set to go!

Last time I took my car to the track, a 2012 Mustang Boss 302, I had a steering issue occur more than once, where it seemed like power steering cut off temporarily for less than a second at a time (full post: 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 - Back at the track!). I took the car to the dealership, Steele Ford, and they asked me a few questions about the issue when I went to drop it off.

As is the case with any sports cars owners, I was reluctant to say that the problem occurred on the track. There's a long track record (see what I did there?) of dealerships refusing warranty work on a car simply because the tires of it touched the asphalt of a road course, regardless of whether the cause of the problem is abusing the car on a track. Nevertheless, I decided to be honest to better help them diagnose the problem and to put trust in them in the hope of them putting trust back in me.

Well, I was not disappointed. They said they'll look at it and see if they find any codes and go from th…

Touchless Carwash Review (Esso)

I went to get a car wash today and I was very unimpressed with the results. I don't like to use automatic car washes. Touchless car washes usually don't clean that well and I worry about scratches at ones that uses brushes. However, we went on a long trip yesterday and there was a lot of dirt and some bird droppings on the car and I couldn't wash it myself. I don't like to leave these sitting on the car so I decided to go for a car wash. I know touchless car washes leave a little behind but today was even worse.






There were bird droppings left on the door sills and above the handles.





On the back, there was dirt left right under the taillight, along the entire length, and it's the same case at the other taillight and under the spoiler.

I'm not really suggesting that this specific car wash (Esso) is bad. I can't clean everything off the car easily while I'm washing it and I can't expect a touchless car wash to clean as well. This is simply the reason w…

Ticket for Driving 2 MPH Under The Limit

There are some people on the road who don't take too well to being passed, even if they're driving under the limit. Sometimes when I pass a driver and get back in the right lane, he or she floors the accelerator, changes lanes and drives in the left/passing lane next to a slow vehicle at the same speed that vehicle to block me for a while. Needless to say, it is VERY frustrating and it seems like people like that may have something to worry about in the future.

According to Jalopnik, a lady in Maryland was pulled over and ticketed for driving 2 mph under the limit (full post: You'll Love The Police For Giving A Woman A Ticket For 2 MPH Under The Limit). I don't know if she was blocking someone in particular, as I have seen happen several times on the highway, or she simply didn't think it was a big deal to drive under the limit in a passing lane. There is usually a law that states you can only drive in the left lane while passing. I don't know if that's the…

Mods That Make People Think You're A Dirtbag

Ever wonder what mods make you look like a dirtbag to people? Jalopnik put together a top-10 list of worst mods according to its readers (full post: Ten Car Mods That Make People Think You're An A--hole). I agree with the majority of them and I am actually (pleasantly) surprised that stance is number 1 on the list. However, I wouldn't put stance as number one. My number one is very low on the offence list - sitting comfortable at number 9.




HID Kits In Stock Housings: As Jalopnik wrote, wanting better and brighter headlights is just fine. Getting a cheap set isn't a problem for me either - it's your car and it's up to you to take care of it - and putting them in stock housings isn't necessarily the problem. The problem is HIDs in reflector/non-projector housings. Nothing says you're dirtbag more than blinding oncoming traffic, increasing the risk of a crash, because you're too cheap to properly modify your car.

HIDs in reflector housings are not only bad …

Snow Driving Tips

With snow on the roads, grip is reduced and, as a result, a vehicle's ability to accelerate, brake and turn is also reduced. Here are a few winter driving tips that could help you drive safer while there's snow on the ground.


Starting up

- Roll into the gas pedal: When taking off, always apply very little pressure on the gas pedal and start to roll into it very slowly to avoid losing traction and spinning the wheels.

- Start in 2nd gear: In manual/standard vehicles, especially those with high torque outputs, it may be helpful to start in 2nd gear as it will have less torque at the wheels and will be less likely to spin.

- Don't keep spinning: If, while you're trying to get going, the wheels keep spinning but you are not moving, lift off the gas right away. For one, the tires most likely will keep spinning without going anywhere and you could dig the tires deeper in the snow. For another, if you actually start moving, you could damage the gears and be faced with a very e…

Winter Car Maintenance Tips

It's this time of the year again and I thought I would share a few winter maintenance tips that can be overlooked but they can keep a vehicle running better and more safely.


1- Tires

They're the only components that connect your vehicle to the road. Regardless of the capability of a vehicle's drivetrain and suspension or how strong the brakes are, they will handle only as well as the tires allow them to. Always get snow tires and not summer or all season tires if snow stays on the ground. If you only get rain but no snow where you live, all season tires are a great choice.

Check tread regularly to make sure the grooves are deep enough. Tires have wear bars which indicate  when the amount of tread left is unsafe for driving. Snow tires have two wear bars; one for dry/wet driving and one for snow driving. If the tread is at the taller wear bar (the snow wear bar), the tires are not safe for snow driving but may still be used in the rain or dry. If the tread reaches the lower …

How to deal with drunk drivers

Luckily, I haven't been involved with any drunk drivers but I know many people who have. It is never pleasant, whether there is a collision or not. I saw this video yesterday and decided to make a post about  it. The driver in the Subaru does appear to be drunk but, IMO, this is definitely NOT the way to deal with a drunk driver.

The driving could have swerved violently across the lanes and hit this guy while he was passing. He could brake too quickly while you're close behind or accelerate and lose control while you're in front.



MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) Canada has been encouraging drivers to call 911 when they suspect there is a drunk driver and they list a few signs for drunk drivers:

 - Driving unreasonably fast, slow or at an inconsistent speed
 - Driving in and out of lanes
 - Tailgating and changing lanes frequently
 - Making exceptionally wide turns
 - Changing lanes or passing without sufficient clearance
 - Overshooting or stopping well before stop sig…

An unfortunate first post.. or is it?

Well, I took my car in for service today because my passenger side rear tire was losing pressure. The car had been parked during the last week of October because of the bad weather. When I took the car out last week, a low tire pressure warning came on and I thought it was just because the car was parked for a week in cold weather so I simply filled up the tires and drove away. While I was filling the tires, I heard a slight "hissing" noise but I didn't think much of it and thought it was just the air compressor.

The next day, the low tire pressure warning was back and I figured the hissing noise must have been coming from one of the tires. I checked tire pressure all around and one of them was down to 15 psi. Now I know I definitely have a problem. I filled it up because I had to go run some errands and drove away. I get in the car the next morning and, yes, the warning was back. I scheduled an appointment to get the tire checked because I couldn't see any damage.

I…






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.




🔥 Most Visited This Week

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.


The R32, R33, and R34 Skyline GT-R's used a system that looked basically identical to the traditiona…

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

If you've had any doubts about whether or not they will fit, fear not! You absolutely can run square 305/30/19's. I had a lot of doubts before pulling the trigger, even more so when the wheels where on the car. The tires do poke out a bit and I figured rubbing is all but guaranteed at full compression but I couldn't be happier I trusted APEX and those on here who have run it.

Here's what you need:

1. Camber plates: I have MM C/C plates and they are maxed out at -2.3 deg with the stock struts. I have been running them for years with many track days without issue.

2. 1"/25 mm spacer: I have Motorsport-tech 1" spacers and they look like high quality units. There is maybe a 1/4 inch clearance in the back so you can't go any narrower than 25 mm. http://www.motorsport-tech.com/adaptec/car/ford_s and you want Design 2.


3. Elongated studs: your best bet is to get the FPP hubs with elongated studs instead of reusing the old one. Bearings are consumables anyway so…

This Lanzante Porsche 930 is powered by a GP-winning F1 Engine

Whenever I hear of an outlandish 911 build, I always wonder what hardcore 911 would think. In my experience, they tend to love tradition and preserving the 911 legacy. This car breaks two of the holy trinity of classic 911's; rear engined, flat-six, and air-cooled. It is still rear engined but it uses a V6, water-cooled engine. But I can't imagine a single 911 fan being upset about this.

You see, this isn't just any water-cooled V6 engine. It is a Formula 1 twin-turbocharged 1.5 litre V6 out of a McLaren MP4/3 F1 car. Further preserving the Porsche-ness of this build, the engine was built by a partnership formed between Porsche and TAG to provide engines for McLaren F1 team. Porsche was responsible for the technical burden of design and engineering and TAG financed the effort and stuck its name on the engine as "TAG turbo" since McLaren didn't want Porsche's name on their F1 car.

Lanzante first revealed the car in October last year shortly after the annu…

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