Skip to main content

Posts

HOME   |   ABOUT   |   NEWS   |   TECH ARTICLES   |   AT THE TRACK   |   REVIEWS   |   VIDEOS   |   CONTACT ME

Porsche Club of America (PCA) - Acadia Region Track Daze

Last week, I spent another couple of days at our track with the local PCA to participate in their annual High Performance Driving School (Track Daze - link here). There was great turnout with plenty of cool cars, including the new 991 GT3 RS in the picture below, which you can also see (and, more importantly, hear) pass me in the video at the end of the post at 5:55. Weather did not disappoint either, presenting us with a dry track for two full days. This is the first time I have been able to attend, as PCA run their schools on weekdays and I wasn't able to find time the last few years. Luckily, this year, I planned it well in advance and made it there.




The school has four run groups - Green for novice students, Yellow for intermediate students, Red for advanced students and newer instructors, and Black for experienced instructors. The local BMW club - BMW Club Atlantic - also arranges HPDS's (Advanced Driver Training - link here), which I have been going to since 2011 and wh…

My 2012 Mustang Boss 302 Progress

My car is mostly stock but I thought I'd make a post about my progress with the few things I've done and their purpose.

- TracKey (purpose: performance): This is pretty obvious. I have read plenty of articles about the development of the track key with numbers ranging from 200 to 400 parameters in the PCM being changed, including throttle response, torque management, intake and exhaust variable cam timing, ignition timing, among others. It also automatically sets the steering weight to heavy (adjustable with the regular key) and relaxes stability control safety nets. I feel like ABS is also less intrusive/aggressive but have never read about that so could just be in my head. The intent was to tune the engine to run like the Boss 302S race car, dialed back only for street durability requirements and emissions.

- Ford Racing Torsen Diff - OEM spec (purpose: performance): I bought my car used (with 231 miles, mind you). It's a long story but the point is, I didn't order…

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. H…

The Rams Eye is Racing (Again)!

I went back for the second (and third) race days of the season. I heard this is the first time we had a double header weekend since 2009. For a lot of the teams (basically all local), it's tough to make sure cars are race ready for two race days in a row, due to limited budgets, crew, and resources in general. Unfortunately, due to the same constraints for the organizers, a July race day couldn't be arranged so the option was to have one fewer race in the season, or do a double in June. Obviously, the decision was made to do a double in June.




As I mentioned in the previous post, the car I am racing is a 1995 VW Golf GTI. I am very fortunate to have the Vantage Motors team. They maintain and transport the car so I had a lot less to worry about for the weekend. This time, I shared the car with Jay Barthelotte and, once again, Derek Lugar. This is how we split it for the days:

1- Qualifying A: Jay
2- Qualifying B: Myself
3- Race A: Jay
4- Race B: Myself
5- Unlimited (no classes)…

Is the Corvette automatic really slow shifting?

I lost count of how many times I've read a post about the new eight speed automatic in the Corvette and some Cadillacs, due to disappointment in the claim that it shifts as fast or faster than Porsche's PDK. I didn't doubt GM's claim when I read it but I lost faith after all the disappointment. After seeing this video, though, I'm starting to regain trust in GM's claim.

I think the trouble is that people are expecting it to act like a PDK or a good double clutch transmission all the time and I don't think GM intended that. I think GM wants it to act like a traditional torque converter automatic - slower and smoother - unless you're flat out and that's where the frustration comes from. If you keep that mind, the transmission works as advertised. Want to see how fast it shifts flat out? Skip to 1:05 of this video.





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…

The Rams Eye Goes Racing!

That's right, as of last weekend, I am officially a rookie race car driver! I have always wanted to race and ever since I started going to our local track for HPDS, lapping days, or time attacks, I became even more serious about it. Last weekend, I took the Race School and was able to get my racing license. The race car? An IT (Improved Touring) 1995 VW GTI race car. The car was prepped and is maintained by the Vantage Motorsports race team and it's a blast to drive, but I'll get into that later. I have expressed interest several times before and last year I have all but committed to Derek Lugar, team owner and Chief Race Instructor for our region (Atlantic Canada). He agreed to let me use the car if I cover the costs and I was absolutely thrilled and proud that he let me use their car. Speaking of which..



The car's power is mostly stock to meet the SCCA IT-B classification rules. I have been told more than once that it makes "108-112 whp" which would put it…

2016 Ford Focus RS vs. 2015 Subaru WRX STI vs 2016 VW Golf R - A Closer Look

This picture is a little misleading. Unfortunately, this isn't a post about a race on a frozen lake or a snow covered rally stage involving the three hottest AWD hot hatches (the WRX STI only a hatch in spirit). This is about the highly anticipated test recently posted by Car & Driver.

First things first, I wish C&D would stop testing 30-50 mph and 50-70 mph in top gear for manual performance cars. They are hugely (almost exclusively) influenced by gearing and are completely irrelevant. I could see them being relevant in a more mainstream class (say, comparing a base Focus manual to a base Cruze manual) because an average buyer may not want to shift. But there is no way the buyer of any of these cars is going to wait over 7 seconds to go from 30-50 or approximately 6 seconds to go from 50-70? Worse yet, why would anyone floor a small 4 cyl turbo in an overdrive gear and lug the engine outside of boost? Now with the rant out of the way, let’s look at numbers.


2016 +Ford For…

2016 BMW 328i xDrive Automatic at M3 price?

Car and Driver recently tested a 2016 BMW 328i xDrive. It has good performance numbers (posted here earlier in the ATS4 2.0T post). It seems like a good little car.. until you get to the price. I'm more dumbfounded by the proximity of price to the +BMW M3 than I am by the price alone. $59k?? One doesn't have to go far to find a much better deal. An +Audi S4 starts almost $10k under it. I just can't wrap my head around choosing this over an S4. This isn't expensive compared to a mainstream car with comparable performance/options. Both this and the S4 are German, both are AWD, and both are well established luxury brands. I personally put a lot of weight on a RWD-based chassis but this automatic 328i xDrive isn’t exactly a purist’s choice and at 3,700 lbs, it isn’t a featherweight. I would imagine discounts on it would be huge to lure someone away from an S4. That, or you have to be an absolute die-hard BMW fan to buy one.  








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

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…

2020 Mid Engine Corvette C8.R Race Car And Engine Specs Revealed

It's finally time to welcome the brand new 2020 mid-engine Corvette C8.R race car. I'd say this is the most hotly anticipated race car to debut since the current Ford GT, but Ford surprised the world with the GT so there wasn't a whole lot of anticipation. This may be the most hotly anticipated new race car ever in quite a while, much like its street going mid-engine sister.

It's the first clean sheet design in about 20 years, Chevy says, since the 1999 C5.R and will race for the first time ever at the 2020 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. Chevy says there is a deeper connection and technology transfer between the C8.R racing version and the road-going C8, and the highest percentage of shared parts of any Corvette generation before.


In fact, the C8.R utilizes the production chassis built right alongside the other chassis meant for street duty in the Bowling Green Assembly plant that builds the street version. As expected, there are some modifications to meet race requiremen…

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.



Follow Ram's Eye The Track Guy on Facebook and Instagram!





View this post on Instagram


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

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…