January 2, 2015

December 30, 2014

Back in Italy for the holidays.

Switzerland!

December 29, 2014

I have officially moved to Switzerland for work and have been here since the beginning of December. Awesome scenery and roads makes up for the lack of tracks in the country, but Monza and Nurburgring and a few other French tracks aren’t too far away! The Great Danton came down with me and is now living the daily life; hopefully for not much longer as I’ll find an Accord replacement.

Enjoy some Grindelwald and Bern area scenery.

Archie’s 325ti.

November 18, 2014

Halloween at Cadwell Park

November 7, 2014

Last Friday (31st October) I tackled the awesome Cadwell Park at a Javelin organised open pit lane track day. After watching a few onboard videos the narrowness of the track and some high speed sections seemed quite daunting, but its probably one of the best tracks I’ve driven on. Technical, full of character and interesting, and the Mountain proved to be as fun as I’d hoped.

My earlier post outlined some of the changes I’d made to the car and its current spec. Performance wise there weren’t any major upgrades, just a few changes.

It was great to be back on track with the Great Danton after so long but it was also a good opportunity to do some benchmarking. Cadwell Park is one of the tracks on the Time Attack UK calendar and this would allow me to see at what performance level both the cars and drivers compete at, as its a championship I would be interested in competing in. I know my car is close to stock in terms of performance, with nearly all the interior and leather trim still in the car, but it would allow to gauge what sort of work would be required to be competitive.

Next to my mates 318 ti.

Onto the highlights:

SR20DET T28 @10psi
Bridgestone Potenza RE002 Adrenalin 245/40/18
Approx. 1265kg wet weight

The fastest lap of the day was a 1:51.95 during my last session. The track was completely dry by that point after a bit of fog and dampness in the early morning.

The car went without a hitch all day, but I did finish the rear pads again like at Donington; down to metal. The rear pads were EBCs again but this time I went for the Red Stuff compound, which I thought would last longer but only did a couple of thousand miles on road and this track day. Not great. Some Ferodo DS2500 would be a better choice, which I have on the front, but they are nearly 3 times more expensive for the rear; the price difference for the front pads is much closer. I had some temperature strips on the front calipers which registered up to 188degC, which is fine for the brake fluid.
Overall I think I need to upgrade the braking system; not only do the bigger tyres offer more grip but they have a slightly bigger diameter thus reducing the brake performance. Future work on the braking department will be bigger discs at the front and to rebuild the front calipers, and get some 2 piston rear calipers (Z32) to balance the braking system.

Had some good battles out there with a TVR Cerbera, 330Ci and a racing Citroen AX. There were a few great cars that I’d hope to run with but we’d go out at different times or be on different ends of the track during a session, and it’s difficult to slow down to let them catch up when you’re having a blast. It’s the same thing when you reckon you should come in and rest the car: why should? I don’t want to stop! And then you end up on track for an hour and you’ve worked up a sweat.

The RE002 tyres performed very well for a sport tyre as they could easily hang with semi-slick draped cars in the corners, though for my next track day it’ll have to try the set of R888s I have. Such GRIP!

Time Attack UK
So I’ve posted a list of lap times around my fastest lap showing where the Great Danton currently sits among them; these times are from this year’s Cadwell round and only a small portion of lap times are shown.

- 1:42.097 – Club RWD – Mazda RX-7 FD3S
– 1:43.802 – Club 4WD – Nissan Skyline GT-R BNR33
– 1:45.093 – Club NA — Honda Civic Type-R FN2
– 1:48.380 – Club FWD – Vauxhall Astra Turbo
– 1:48.810 – Club 4WD – Mitsubishi GTO (600hp)
– 1:50.688 – Club NA — Ford Fiesta ST
– 1:50.706 – Club FWD – Vauxhall Astra
– 1:51.95 – Great Danton
– 1:53.213 – Club FWD – Alfa Romeo 155 V6
– 1:53.820 – Club NA — Peugeot 205

Overall I’m very pleased with how the car compares with the current crop of Time Attack machines. If I remove and/or replace the leather interior, tune to 270hp and slap some semi slick tyres on I think I could shave the 10 seconds needed to compete in the Club RWD class, given that a couple of seconds could have been saved by improving my lines and pushing a bit harder on the braking points.

Pre-Cadwell

November 4, 2014

Was at Cadwell Park for an open pit lane session last Friday but before I get into that I thought I’d give an update on the Great Danton and its current condition.

So since the last track day at Donington a few cosmetic, performance and service items have been changed.

Cosmetically the front wings have been cut and painted to match. I’ve been questioned a lot about it but I love the look. Eventually some composite covers will be added to make it less spartan.
At the rear the standard bumper has been modified into a JDM spec one and fitted with a central square LED fog light. A full write up will be coming on how to approach this. It transforms the rear of the car!

New rear discs, rear and front pads where fitted; EBC Ultimax, EBC Red Stuff and Ferodo DS2500 respectively. The braking system was freshened up with some Halfords Racing DOT 4 brake fluid.
The worn Pirelli P Zero Rosso didn’t last very long so a set of Bridgestone Potenza RE002 Adrenalin have be fitted in the same 245/40/18 size. They qualify as a street MSA 1a list tyre.
A 3″ aftermarket exhaust and an Apexi Power Filter have been added on the respiratory department. The spooling time is reduced and max boost is now held all the way to the redline. On the standard exhaust the pressure drooped by a couple of psi by the time is came to max rpm. I actually wasn’t expecting these mods to make such a noticeable difference.

On the interior as well as the Personal Neo Grinta there is also a D1-Spec quick release, which brings the steering wheel closer by 70mm (with a 10mm spacer), greatly improving driving position and helping with heel-and-toe. An Apex Perfomance short shifter has got rid of the sloppy, loose original gear shifter.

458 Challenge Underbody

September 15, 2014

While spending the afternoon at Ferrari Racing Days with ff Corse I thought it would be a good opportunity to see some of the details on the Challenge cars. They have been developed over so many years and across numerous models that you’d expect them to be pretty well proven.

A splitter is something I’m very keen on making soon as it’s one of the few steps I can take to improve frontal grip.

The splitter on the 458 Challenge is this carbon fibre skinned sandwich roughly 12mm thick. The “aesthetic” part of the splitter, which also formed the air dam, sat on top a plain carbon aramid panel that formed the rest of the front underbody. It was interesting to see that the front underbody/splitter was the only aramid fibre I could see on the car.

2 canards were riveted to each side of the bumper.

Recessed mounting points and venturi tunnels in front of each wheel well can also be seen.

Read the rest of this entry »

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