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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…

I Pretend My VW Rabbit is a Rally Car

I hate potholes (what driver doesn't?). We are no strangers to them where I live due to plenty of rain and a lot of freeze and thaw cycles. I typically do my absolute best to avoid them. I cringe when I hit the smallest one. But when you're at a rallycross and you see... there's no other word for it, a little crater that's right where you want to be, what do you do? You pretend your car is a rally car and go for it. It might have helped that the car was cheap and I got it specifically for rallycross...

If you've read my first rallycross post - The Ram's Eye is going Rallycross - you already know I'm starting rallycross this season for the first time after finally picking up this car for it. The car is a 2007 VW Rabbit. It was the first manual car I came across in my budget that was in good running order and had proven aftermarket limited slip diff options. It has the standard 5 cylinder 2.5 litre engine making 150 hp. It was later bumped to 170 hp in 2008.…

Focus RS vs Rallycross

If you've read my last post - The Ram's Eye is going Rallycross - you already know that I'm starting rallycross this season for the first time. I started high performance driving 7 years ago in 2011 but have never strayed away from tarmac/asphalt. Living in Canada - which rightfully earns the name 'The Great White North' - means that I had to suffer serious speed withdrawals during the track off-season; that typically lasts from the middle of October to the middle of May. But there is a treatment for people with my condition and it has been available locally for nearly 20 years.

I went to my first event this past Sunday and spoke to a few of the seasoned rallycross veterans. I was told that local speed freaks started organizing rallycross events for that very reason around 1999; to get their speed fix during the winter. It took off a few years later around the 2001-2002 winter season and nobody looked back. I found out about those local rallycross events a couple …

The Rams Eye is going Rallycross

It’s official: The Ram’s Eye is going rallycross this season!  I've been wanting to go rallycross ever since I learned about local events just a couple of years after I started high performance driving. Unfortunately, buying a car to go rallycross just wasn't in the books so I had been waiting and watching from the sidelines. But the moment has come and a fix for track withdrawals during the off-season is finally in order. No, it won't be a Focus RS (unfortunately). It's not even an AWD car. My budget was very limited. Without a truck and a trailer, the car also had to be road worthy (or could cheaply be made road legal). No AWD car fit road worthiness criteria and the budget so it didn't happen.

But there were other must-have criteria aside from road worthiness. The car had to be a manual (of course) and it had to either have a limited slip diff from the factory or tried-and-true aftermarket options. After a few weeks of searching, looking around, and talking to …






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.…

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…

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…