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Old 01-13-2013, 04:38 AM   #1
blackbob
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Smile How competitve can I expect to be ?

Seeing how drag racing is non-existant where I am,I'm curious to know how well on the road course the car can be. There is a road course every 5 seconds where I am and they have track days pretty much year round. So right now, aside from bolt on power mods I'm trying to improve the suspension as much as I can afford to. I have Peddlers "0" drop rear on now with OE replacement shocks ( I know,I know,I'll upgrade as funding allows). I will be ordering Peddlers 20mm front drop springs next week or the week after along with new shocks. Tax time should net me BMR sways,steal braided lines,White line shock tower bushings with bearings,BMR inner and outer radius rod bushings, and EBC red pads.

The car came with the factory tower strut bar already. However,I'm not sure how good it is compared to aftermarket or if it even matters. I'm still deciding on wheels and looking at ENKEI PF01's or RP03's with a matching tire. Given my plans and some minor adjustments,how competative can I expect to be out here running against M3's,Proches,and well....Ferrari's.
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:24 AM   #2
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Depends on how good of a driver you are! I've been to a few HPDE days over here at MSR, and ran a bunch of different cars. Constantly lapped z06's and a Viper, yet got my ass handed to me by quite a few Miata's. Was consistently getting passed by a 370z, until the kid decided to turn all of the electronic nannys off. Then he was spinning off course. Sticky tires are your friend! Our cars are heavy with a lot of body roll. First things I'd recommend getting a set of track rotors and pads. Also braided brake lines. Easily best mods I've done so far.

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Old 01-13-2013, 10:51 AM   #3
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Thanks ! I'm not bad,bit I'll have lots of oppurtunity to get better while I'm hete. I do plan to upgrade brakes again along with controlling the roll. I aspire to rape as many Ferraris and Lambo's as my budget will allow. I know power isn't big thing on a roadcpurse,but I have to ask do our cars hurt any in that department?
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:09 PM   #4
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BMR doesn't make sway bars for our cars. If you are worried about being competitive now then you will be very disappointed. Seat time will be the best mod you can do for your car.
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:49 PM   #5
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I agree with the above. The car won't be the limiting factor in lap times for quite a while. The straights are never a problem versus other cars. It's the need to brake earlier due to all the extra lard that goats have. I also couldn't seem to keep enough speed in turns because my nt555's weren't sticky enough. On shorter courses or lots of tight turns the extra hp is welcome to really help steer with your right foot.

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Old 01-13-2013, 08:15 PM   #6
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:09 AM   #7
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by cavell...View Post
I agree with the above. The car won't be the limiting factor in lap times for quite a while. The straights are never a problem versus other cars. It's the need to brake earlier due to all the extra lard that goats have. I also couldn't seem to keep enough speed in turns because my nt555's weren't sticky enough. On shorter courses or lots of tight turns the extra hp is welcome to really help steer with your right foot.Sent from my GT-N8013 using AutoGuide.Com Free App

Thanks Cavell ! I'm starting to see a lot of that as I go to more and more track events. These guys take track racing very seriously out here as everything is track inspired down to the Fiat ! For striaght line power, I have Kook's LT's lined up with offroad mid pipe and SLP cat back. I'm also shooting for a ported intake and a OTR or SVEDE in the near future with a tune. I know it wont make the car a rocket,but I do want nice crisp thottle with a slightly fatter mid range. When I went to Limotala,I quickly realized I coulda "sudo-drift" the car to help get it around the corner. My tires and front suspension was not up to the task. This is why I am addressing everything now. Realistically,would I have to ever worry about the car being a limiting factor ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by high school goat...View Post
BMR doesn't make sway bars for our cars. If you are worried about being competitive now then you will be very disappointed. Seat time will be the best mod you can do for your car.

I get that,what I was reffering to is general GTO specific road course issue I should be aware of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cavell...View Post
Depends on how good of a driver you are! I've been to a few HPDE days over here at MSR, and ran a bunch of different cars. Constantly lapped z06's and a Viper, yet got my ass handed to me by quite a few Miata's. Was consistently getting passed by a 370z, until the kid decided to turn all of the electronic nannys off. Then he was spinning off course. Sticky tires are your friend! Our cars are heavy with a lot of body roll. First things I'd recommend getting a set of track rotors and pads. Also braided brake lines. Easily best mods I've done so far.
Sent from my GT-N8013 using AutoGuide.Com Free App

I have DBA rotors on it now and I was planning on getting some race pads with steal braided lines. Will this due, or do I need heavier stuff ?
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:52 AM   #8
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I've got a set of OEM rotors and EBC Yellowstuff pads for track duty. Those, combined with the brand new feel of the braided stainless lines seems to be enough for me. Although I don't have any experience with any big brake kits. Sure there are other guys who have installed them to compare stopping power against stock calipers, rotors, etc..

The limiting factors of GTO's are momentum and intertia No matter what mods you install on your car, you're still driving a ~3800 lbs car with you in it.
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:37 AM   #9
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Thanks,all input is welcomed ! I have DBA rotors on there now and I was going to throw on higher performance pads and steal braided lines. I'll see how that combination works out and goes from there.
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:14 AM   #10
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If you have drilled and slotted rotors, get rid of them and go with slotted only. Good race pads and if you can, get air ducts installed to help cool your brakes.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:12 PM   #11
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Good info from these guys so far.

Biggest limiting factors for the GTO are the stock brakes, front end geometry, and limited tire size.

For the brakes, stock up on the cheapest rotors you can find (I found some for $8 each and bought a dozen of them), a set of track duty pads (Carbotech XP10, EBC blues, etc ...), and get some good fluid into the lines (I use Wilwood EXP 600).

Rotors are consumable items when you track this car, so DBAs are not the way to go unless you're ok with spending that much cash every couple of events.

Keep the DBA rotors and EBC red pads for street duty, and swap them out for track events.

For the front end geometry and tire size, you're pretty much limited to .5 -.75 degrees of negative camber with the stock configuration and 245/45/17 tires (are you on 17 or 18s?). To get more camber, you'll need different rims with a better offset, or some wheel spacers.

I've been tracking my GTO for almost 3 years now, and go to 5 or so events a year. Each event is 2 days, with four 20 minute sessions per day. I've run the EBC yellows, Blues and Oranges, and liked the blues the best. My next event is this weekend, and I'm going with Carbotech XP10 pads this time.

After you have a few events under your belt, and the tires start limiting your times, move up to a comp-R tire (I run Nitto NT01s).

Believe it or not, the stock suspension on these cars is very good on the track. It's predictable and easy to control, especially for someone who is learning. The biggest draw back from the suspension is the understeer. To dial it out, you can swap the rear sway bar only, and leave the stock front bar in place.

My car right now has stock springs, Monroe Sensatrac replacement dampers, SLP rear sway bar, all poly bushings and 6mm spacers up front. I'm able to get neg 2* camber up front now, and that combined with the SLP rear bar, completely eliminated the understeer. The car feels fantastic now, although I'm not sure how well I would have done 3 years ago if the car was setup this way.

The understeer is safe, and will keep you on the track when you enter a corner too fast. You'll turn, and the slip angle will be huge, causing you to scrub lots of speed ... eventually you'll end up taking the corner wide, but remain on trackl. The same situation in an oversteer car, can easily cause you to spin before you realize it.

Another thing to watch for is oil pressure ... the front sump design can be problematic with high lateral G forces. Get a good gauge and look at it each lap in a safe spot (long straight). Also put an extra quart of oil in before an event to help control the oil starvation risk.

Good luck!

Oh, and I forgot to mention: Sliding is slow ... if your drifting, or spinning tires, or sliding, you're losing time. This is not a bad thing if you're wheel-to-wheel and trying to prevent someone from passing, but in time trial (or HPDE), it's just going to eat into your time. Watch a small, light, low HP car go around the track. That's called a "momentum car", and a good driver will squeeze every thou of a second out of it by using minimal braking and setting the car up to be on the gas as soon as possible mid-corner. If you come flying into a corner with all your Horses pumping, and can't slow down enough, it will feel fast as you slide through the corner, but reality is you can't get on the gas until you have control again and are setup to ride the angle out to the exit berm. The guy in the momentum car will come in casually, brake a little bit, and glide through the corner, getting setup to be on the gas just before the apex, and blow by you on corner exit; and because of this, his momentum will most likely prevent you from catching him on the straight even though you could have 200+ HP advantage on him.

The sayings "Smooth is Fast" and "Slow in, fast out" are absolutely true!
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
For the front end geometry and tire size, you're pretty much limited to .5 -.75 degrees of negative camber with the stock configuration and 245/45/17 tires (are you on 17 or 18s?). To get more camber, you'll need different rims with a better offset, or some wheel spacers.

With coilovers up front, wheel studs and spacers (or lower offset wheels) you should be able to fit 265-275 tires to match the rears and have a square setup.
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The cylinder heads became deformed because the air filter was so dirty they couldnt handle all the build up of air and oil coming through the air filter and the throttle body so i tried replacing the air tube with a cold air intake and i think the extra power blew out the cylinder heads and they crashed through valley pan into the crank. Then the crank spun hard and threw the pistons up to hard to cause a misfire

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Old 01-16-2013, 04:40 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by redtan...View Post
With coilovers up front, wheel studs and spacers (or lower offset wheels) you should be able to fit 265-275 tires to match the rears and have a square setup.

Right, it's a matter of spending the $$ for the parts needed to gain the clearance, then deciding if you want more tire size or more neg camber.

The bottom line is tire size and neg camber capability are both a weakness of this car for road course duty. There are ways to cure them, but it will certainly cost you.

I decided to stick with the factory strut setup and add wheel spacers because my GTO is only being used on the road course while I grow my skillset, and it's a fairly good setup as it is. I'm planning to move into a dedicated track car (f-body for AI/CMC) in April/May, and the GTO will go back to 100% street duty; So the $1000 I would spend on coilovers is better put towards the purchase of the AI/CMC car.

Another point to make is return for the dollar spent. So many people get into road course events and start throwing lots of money at their car to improve its capabilities, but the reality is they just want to brag about the parts and not really go any faster. If they wanted to go faster, that money would be much better spent on track time and coaching sessions.

A driver in a stock GTO, with good track experience and lots of coaching sessions under his belt, will run circles around a green noob in a fully prepped GTO with coilovers, swaybars, wide tires, big brakes, etc ...

NOTHING beats track time and quality coaching, and your time/money is much better spent on those rather than parts for the car (other than the basic safety stuff... which brake fluid, pads, tires are considered) IF your goal is to go fast on the race track.

So, 1st thing anyone should do when considering road course racing is decide what their goals are, and make financial decisions which support that goal. My goal (starting ~3 years ago) was always to use the GTO to grow my skils and get my comp license, then transition into W2W racing with an AI/CMC car .... what's yours?
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:00 AM   #14
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandu002...View Post
If you have drilled and slotted rotors, get rid of them and go with slotted only. Good race pads and if you can, get air ducts installed to help cool your brakes.


No I have the DBA rotors with just slots,I believe Maryland speed ran a special on them with Hawk pads. I figured they should more than suffice for what I need.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoopalini...View Post
Good info from these guys so far.

Biggest limiting factors for the GTO are the stock brakes, front end geometry, and limited tire size.

For the brakes, stock up on the cheapest rotors you can find (I found some for $8 each and bought a dozen of them), a set of track duty pads (Carbotech XP10, EBC blues, etc ...), and get some good fluid into the lines (I use Wilwood EXP 600).

Rotors are consumable items when you track this car, so DBAs are not the way to go unless you're ok with spending that much cash every couple of events.

Keep the DBA rotors and EBC red pads for street duty, and swap them out for track events.

For the front end geometry and tire size, you're pretty much limited to .5 -.75 degrees of negative camber with the stock configuration and 245/45/17 tires (are you on 17 or 18s?). To get more camber, you'll need different rims with a better offset, or some wheel spacers.

I've been tracking my GTO for almost 3 years now, and go to 5 or so events a year. Each event is 2 days, with four 20 minute sessions per day. I've run the EBC yellows, Blues and Oranges, and liked the blues the best. My next event is this weekend, and I'm going with Carbotech XP10 pads this time.

After you have a few events under your belt, and the tires start limiting your times, move up to a comp-R tire (I run Nitto NT01s).

Believe it or not, the stock suspension on these cars is very good on the track. It's predictable and easy to control, especially for someone who is learning. The biggest draw back from the suspension is the understeer. To dial it out, you can swap the rear sway bar only, and leave the stock front bar in place.

My car right now has stock springs, Monroe Sensatrac replacement dampers, SLP rear sway bar, all poly bushings and 6mm spacers up front. I'm able to get neg 2* camber up front now, and that combined with the SLP rear bar, completely eliminated the understeer. The car feels fantastic now, although I'm not sure how well I would have done 3 years ago if the car was setup this way.

The understeer is safe, and will keep you on the track when you enter a corner too fast. You'll turn, and the slip angle will be huge, causing you to scrub lots of speed ... eventually you'll end up taking the corner wide, but remain on trackl. The same situation in an oversteer car, can easily cause you to spin before you realize it.

Another thing to watch for is oil pressure ... the front sump design can be problematic with high lateral G forces. Get a good gauge and look at it each lap in a safe spot (long straight). Also put an extra quart of oil in before an event to help control the oil starvation risk.

Good luck!

Oh, and I forgot to mention: Sliding is slow ... if your drifting, or spinning tires, or sliding, you're losing time. This is not a bad thing if you're wheel-to-wheel and trying to prevent someone from passing, but in time trial (or HPDE), it's just going to eat into your time. Watch a small, light, low HP car go around the track. That's called a "momentum car", and a good driver will squeeze every thou of a second out of it by using minimal braking and setting the car up to be on the gas as soon as possible mid-corner. If you come flying into a corner with all your Horses pumping, and can't slow down enough, it will feel fast as you slide through the corner, but reality is you can't get on the gas until you have control again and are setup to ride the angle out to the exit berm. The guy in the momentum car will come in casually, brake a little bit, and glide through the corner, getting setup to be on the gas just before the apex, and blow by you on corner exit; and because of this, his momentum will most likely prevent you from catching him on the straight even though you could have 200+ HP advantage on him.

The sayings "Smooth is Fast" and "Slow in, fast out" are absolutely true!


Thanks man, and a lot of this I kinda put together when I tracked the car the last time. I was looking for insite just like what you gave to help me from spending money in the wrong places and guide me to the right ones. I was debating on getting a front and rear sway,but it's nice to know a rear is all I need to get the steering back I want. As for the brakes,I'll order some cheapo replacements as soon as I come across some.

I know I will need these before I head to the bigger tracks like Mugello and Misano later this summer. As for power,did you ever feel like your GTO needed more ? I ask because I feel my stock LS2 is a FANTASTIC engine as it sits from factory,the only thing I aim to do is fine tune it where it is as efficient as possible. I've made a plan for just that and I'm slowing getting all the parts together to make it so. Did you upgrade your brake lines yet ? If no,why not ?

I already have a dual pod to put in the center of the dash and a mechanical oil pressure gauge ( sunpro brand ). However, I want to get an electronic one and throw a water temp next to it.

Right now I have stock 17's on the car and I want to upgrade to 18's,but there are a few things holding me back. I'm in italy and there are pot holes gallore along with just shitting all around roads. I want a more secure feel when corning,but I don't want to risk a nice wheel to do it. I have two bend wheels so I need to do something soon,it's just a matter of what option is best for me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by redtan...View Post
With coilovers up front, wheel studs and spacers (or lower offset wheels) you should be able to fit 265-275 tires to match the rears and have a square setup.


I was thinking of doing this with the BC's front only,but I wasn't sure how it would match my Peddlers rear spring.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoopalini...View Post
Right, it's a matter of spending the $$ for the parts needed to gain the clearance, then deciding if you want more tire size or more neg camber.

The bottom line is tire size and neg camber capability are both a weakness of this car for road course duty. There are ways to cure them, but it will certainly cost you.

I decided to stick with the factory strut setup and add wheel spacers because my GTO is only being used on the road course while I grow my skillset, and it's a fairly good setup as it is. I'm planning to move into a dedicated track car (f-body for AI/CMC) in April/May, and the GTO will go back to 100% street duty; So the $1000 I would spend on coilovers is better put towards the purchase of the AI/CMC car.

Another point to make is return for the dollar spent. So many people get into road course events and start throwing lots of money at their car to improve its capabilities, but the reality is they just want to brag about the parts and not really go any faster. If they wanted to go faster, that money would be much better spent on track time and coaching sessions.

A driver in a stock GTO, with good track experience and lots of coaching sessions under his belt, will run circles around a green noob in a fully prepped GTO with coilovers, swaybars, wide tires, big brakes, etc ...

NOTHING beats track time and quality coaching, and your time/money is much better spent on those rather than parts for the car (other than the basic safety stuff... which brake fluid, pads, tires are considered) IF your goal is to go fast on the race track.

So, 1st thing anyone should do when considering road course racing is decide what their goals are, and make financial decisions which support that goal. My goal (starting ~3 years ago) was always to use the GTO to grow my skils and get my comp license, then transition into W2W racing with an AI/CMC car .... what's yours?

Much in the same,I want to be better and I want to take the GTO as far as it will physically let me. Like you said though,I don't want to go overboard because I think a car more "track" oriented in design or intended to be track used is better suited for the coils,cage,etc. I want to maintain my GTO in all its do everything well glory. Later down the line once I see how I feel about road racing and the GTO,I will be more amped to spend dimb amounts of money on the car.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:30 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by blackbob...View Post
I aspire to rape as many Ferraris and Lambo's as my budget will allow.

The only way you're going to rape Ferraris and Lambos is by driver skill. You could dump $10k into your car, and with equal skill drivers, the Ferrari and Lambo will still run circles around the GTO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbob...View Post
I know power isn't big thing on a roadcpurse,but I have to ask do our cars hurt any in that department?

No, our cars definitely do not hurt in that department. I haven't spent a single dime with the intent of making more HP as I built my GTO up to be a reliable trackable car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbob...View Post
For striaght line power, I have Kook's LT's lined up with offroad mid pipe and SLP cat back. I'm also shooting for a ported intake and a OTR or SVEDE in the near future with a tune. I know it wont make the car a rocket,but I do want nice crisp thottle with a slightly fatter mid range.

What you have is significant overkill for someone learning road course driving

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbob...View Post
When I went to Limotala,I quickly realized I coulda "sudo-drift" the car to help get it around the corner. My tires and front suspension was not up to the task. This is why I am addressing everything now.

You shouldn't be sliding at all ... if you are, you're losing time. This isn't a limitation of the car, but is a sign of you being new to driving on a road course. Best way to fix this is a coaching session from a quality coach (good ones around here run $1000/day).

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbob...View Post
Realistically,would I have to ever worry about the car being a limiting factor ?

Not for several years to come

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbob...View Post
As for power,did you ever feel like your GTO needed more ?

Absolutely, positively NO! Adding more power is a cardinal sin for someone who wants to be a good driver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbob...View Post
I ask because I feel my stock LS2 is a FANTASTIC engine as it sits from factory,the only thing I aim to do is fine tune it where it is as efficient as possible. I've made a plan for just that and I'm slowing getting all the parts together to make it so.

Spend your money elsewhere if your goal is to be a fast track driver. More power will only hurt your driving skill development, not help it.

I do get a dyno tune every year, but it's not to squeeze every HP out of the motor. Me and my tuner look at the logs and make changes to ensure the mixture is safe, timing curve is safe, knock counts are safe, there's no pinging, etc ... See a pattern? I want to be sure my motor is going to last the season rather than see how high I can make the peak numbers go. Driving on a road course for 20 min sessions is not easy on the car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbob...View Post
Did you upgrade your brake lines yet ? If no,why not ?

Yes, I upgraded to braided lines when I did the initial prep for my 1st track event (upgraded lines, high temp brake fluid, new rotors, and race pads).

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbob...View Post
I already have a dual pod to put in the center of the dash and a mechanical oil pressure gauge ( sunpro brand ). However, I want to get an electronic one and throw a water temp next to it.

You already have a water temp gauge. Oil pressure and oil temp are the important things to watch on track. I have an Aeroforce gauge and have the annunciator setup to throw a warning light at me if the oil pressure drops below 25psi, or if the oil temp climbs above 290*F.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbob...View Post
Right now I have stock 17's on the car and I want to upgrade to 18's

Again, depends on your goal. $1000 for rims can certainly buy a lot of track time ... and guess which one will make you faster on the road course?
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:38 AM   #16
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As "STOOP" said, there is no replacement for track time. I started 3 years ago and it has become an obsession now. One way to gauge your improvement is to see how you compare with those cars that are better thru the turns. If you can maintain a close distance or increase distance if you are in front of them then you are faster in the turns. It will take awhile but that is where the track time makes a difference.
This year I will be running R compounds for the first time in place of Bridgstone RE-11's, so the learning curve starts over.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:43 AM   #17
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Cool

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Originally Posted by Stoopalini...View Post
The only way you're going to rape Ferraris and Lambos is by driver skill. You could dump $10k into your car, and with equal skill drivers, the Ferrari and Lambo will still run circles around the GTO.

Heh heh,well lucky for me most of the time out here,they don't have the driver mod

No, our cars definitely do not hurt in that department. I haven't spent a single dime with the intent of making more HP as I built my GTO up to be a reliable trackable car.

Good to know !

What you have is significant overkill for someone learning road course driving

True,but I am also a drag racer at heart and still do when I get the chance. what I'm trying to do now is find a happy medium.

You shouldn't be sliding at all ... if you are, you're losing time. This isn't a limitation of the car, but is a sign of you being new to driving on a road course. Best way to fix this is a coaching session from a quality coach (good ones around here run $1000/day).

Of course,but I was having such a blast at the time,I didn't even care,lol. I am thinking of a nice wheel with a good tire in a 18" combo like a Enkei PF01 or something.
Not for several years to come


Absolutely, positively NO! Adding more power is a cardinal sin for someone who wants to be a good driver.

<--Still a drag racer this guy

Spend your money elsewhere if your goal is to be a fast track driver. More power will only hurt your driving skill development, not help it.

Note taken ;-)

I do get a dyno tune every year, but it's not to squeeze every HP out of the motor. Me and my tuner look at the logs and make changes to ensure the mixture is safe, timing curve is safe, knock counts are safe, there's no pinging, etc ... See a pattern? I want to be sure my motor is going to last the season rather than see how high I can make the peak numbers go. Driving on a road course for 20 min sessions is not easy on the car.

Yeah,I noticed especially considering the loads it sees are for much longer then a few second pass.

Yes, I upgraded to braided lines when I did the initial prep for my 1st track event (upgraded lines, high temp brake fluid, new rotors, and race pads).

Cool,I'll add fluid to this list as I can't buy the good stuff out here without being ripped off.

You already have a water temp gauge. Oil pressure and oil temp are the important things to watch on track. I have an Aeroforce gauge and have the annunciator setup to throw a warning light at me if the oil pressure drops below 25psi, or if the oil temp climbs above 290*F.

I'll start looking for a good oil press gauge and combine it with a temp.

Again, depends on your goal. $1000 for rims can certainly buy a lot of track time ... and guess which one will make you faster on the road course?

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Old 01-16-2013, 05:45 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandu002...View Post
As "STOOP" said, there is no replacement for track time. I started 3 years ago and it has become an obsession now. One way to gauge your improvement is to see how you compare with those cars that are better thru the turns. If you can maintain a close distance or increase distance if you are in front of them then you are faster in the turns. It will take awhile but that is where the track time makes a difference.
This year I will be running R compounds for the first time in place of Bridgstone RE-11's, so the learning curve starts over.

Thanks,and I was actually quite surprised of the difference between my fastest lap time and the one of the F430. Granted in road racing 3 seconds is a lot,but for someone starting out it was pretty exciting.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:39 AM   #19
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Sounds like you're still trying to decide what your goal is. Is it to build a road course car and develop your skills to run with competent drivers/cars, or is it to build a fast street car which you can use for the occasional road course fun day but no intent to be competitive?

The title says 'How competitive can I expect to be'. So to answer that directly: "Not very competitive if you spend your $$ and time on performance upgrades to the car" or it can be "fairly competitive if you focus on reliability upgrades and driver skill (track time/coaching)".

Also, FYI: For accurate oil temps, you'll need to install a sending unit. The factory PCM does give you an oil temp reading, but it's a calculated value based on various other sensor readings. I compared the PCM calculated value vs. my sending unit value, and they are very close during normal day-to-day driving, but they were way off when driving on the course. I was seeing 290*F + temps on some days, so I installed a Laminova heat exchanger to cool the oil. This brought it down into the 270*F range.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:08 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoopalini...View Post
Sounds like you're still trying to decide what your goal is. Is it to build a road course car and develop your skills to run with competent drivers/cars, or is it to build a fast street car which you can use for the occasional road course fun day but no intent to be competitive?

The title says 'How competitive can I expect to be'. So to answer that directly: "Not very competitive if you spend your $$ and time on performance upgrades to the car" or it can be "fairly competitive if you focus on reliability upgrades and driver skill (track time/coaching)".

Also, FYI: For accurate oil temps, you'll need to install a sending unit. The factory PCM does give you an oil temp reading, but it's a calculated value based on various other sensor readings. I compared the PCM calculated value vs. my sending unit value, and they are very close during normal day-to-day driving, but they were way off when driving on the course. I was seeing 290*F + temps on some days, so I installed a Laminova heat exchanger to cool the oil. This brought it down into the 270*F range.

It's more to see as far as road racing the car in general "how competitive can I expect to be". Especially considering the cars that will show up on the track days here in Italy when I go. To put it short,I'm trying to learn all aspects of the car as best I can so I can formulate the direction of the car. For the GTO right now, I envision an awesome all around performer,something like a AMG 6.3 Black series but on a budget....lol. I want to find the best way to modify it to be decent on the track,decent at the strip and still maintain all the things that I love about it on the day to day.

That and I got a killer deal on Kook's LT's WITH midpipe here in Italy I'm simply not going to pass up ;-). So far aside from weight and minor suspension mods,the biggest thing that appears hold this car back is cooling and so I will make a plan to address it. There are TONS of couching tracks out here too, everything from M3's to full out Kart cars ( that shit is happening ).
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:08 AM   #21
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3 seconds on a road course is years
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:10 AM   #22
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Quote:
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3 seconds on a road course is years

Also on drag strip,but it was fun as hell !
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:03 PM   #23
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As someone who's been tracking the GTO for 5 years, I second what Stoop has to say.

Spend your money on trackdays, and fixing what breaks on the car. You'll be much better off (and money/track time ahead) if you don't go mod-crazy. I ran the stock radiator for 3 years! The closer you can stay to what GM put on the powertrain, the more reliable you'll be.

As far as competitive, you'll be mid-pack in the GTO after you get your driving skill to a good level. If your intention is to compete as in race, learn on the GTO for a year and step up to a real track car. You'll only be passing Ferraris/Porches in the GTO if their driver sucks.

I have no aspirations above open-passing HPDE, so I'm sticking with my full interior caged GTO. It's been a very reliable car (at stock power levels) assuming you upgrade the necessary stuff like brakes.

Of course headers won't hurt, and it'll make it sound good. Do it. (assuming you don't have dB restrictions at the tracks in Italy)
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:00 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1337vending...View Post
As someone who's been tracking the GTO for 5 years, I second what Stoop has to say.

Spend your money on trackdays, and fixing what breaks on the car. You'll be much better off (and money/track time ahead) if you don't go mod-crazy. I ran the stock radiator for 3 years! The closer you can stay to what GM put on the powertrain, the more reliable you'll be.

As far as competitive, you'll be mid-pack in the GTO after you get your driving skill to a good level. If your intention is to compete as in race, learn on the GTO for a year and step up to a real track car. You'll only be passing Ferraris/Porches in the GTO if their driver sucks.

I have no aspirations above open-passing HPDE, so I'm sticking with my full interior caged GTO. It's been a very reliable car (at stock power levels) assuming you upgrade the necessary stuff like brakes.

Of course headers won't hurt, and it'll make it sound good. Do it. (assuming you don't have dB restrictions at the tracks in Italy)

Oh believe me, I'm lisening to all the advice very well because I want to learn the car overall. To be honest,I don't desire ZOMG HORZ POOWAZZ in the car right now. For some reason, I just don't get that feeling from the car. I do want to maximize what it already does now,by making it a little better in some areas. It came with a k&n on it already and a SLP LM cat-back. So my goal with the LT's is to simply finish it off and maximize efficiency. For as long as I am in Italy,this will be the extent of my power mods. Unless of course I am forced to do something major due to a catastrophic failure (god forbid).

Next up is dailing in suspension and new wheels/tires. Tracking such a large engine car here is kind of expensive, so I have every intention of saving money for the important stuff. The car doesn't strike me as something that is great at anyone thing. It is however really good at many things equally and I want to keep that aspect about it. So in the future I forsee me moving on to something better suited. Be it for road racing,drag,street,etc the next car will be much stronger base for racing in general. For now I will enjoy the GTO,but I will use this thread to track my progress on the road course.

The middle of the pack sounds good to me !! I don't mind as kong as I have fun and nake it home.

Last edited by blackbob; 01-17-2013 at 12:10 AM. Reason: Damn cell phone key board...AARRGG !!!
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:36 AM   #25
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how far are you willing to go to be competitive is the question. Weight is what will hold you back the most. You can pull over 1000lbs out of the GTO if you are willing to take it to that level.
Also adjusting camber caster and toe is a must. Do all poly bushings, (adjustable rears) caster kit, good set of coilovers with spring rates for a track not the street. Upgrading brakes will help a lot for late braking into corners. Obviously Good tires and a temp and pressure gauge for the tires.
Dialing in the cars suspension will help out your times a lot more than adding 100hp or more. Focus on that. In the end its all about seat time tho.
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:49 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO Drifter...View Post
how far are you willing to go to be competitive is the question. Weight is what will hold you back the most. You can pull over 1000lbs out of the GTO if you are willing to take it to that level.
Also adjusting camber caster and toe is a must. Do all poly bushings, (adjustable rears) caster kit, good set of coilovers with spring rates for a track not the street. Upgrading brakes will help a lot for late braking into corners. Obviously Good tires and a temp and pressure gauge for the tires.
Dialing in the cars suspension will help out your times a lot more than adding 100hp or more. Focus on that. In the end its all about seat time tho.

Yeah I know as I have read thus far,but as of right now I want to increase the overall fun factor. I think it handles fairly well for such a big car,I just want a little more feel and confidence. I spent the better part of my lunch period looking up tracks within five hours of me here in Naples.

There is a track that offers a 5 day driving school with everything from GT cars to entry level Formula. There is also another fairly large track about 45 minutes from me as well. I also found out that there is a track event coming up where you get to make laps in a GT prepper Maserati for 60 bucks a lap....so happening !

I don't expect to take the GTO to super awesome full metal enterior competition just yet. Right now,I just want some insight to point me in the right direction and I'll take it from there. I will say though,if i can manage to get good enough to make a M3 sweat,I'd be pretty proud of myself.
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:20 AM   #27
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The middle of the pack sounds good to me !! I don't mind as kong as I have fun and nake it home.

This right here means you'll do well. This car's a lot of fun to drive on track, it's like a big yellow golden retriever.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:18 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1337vending...View Post
This right here means you'll do well. This car's a lot of fun to drive on track, it's like a big yellow golden retriever.

Thanks,I really do like the car and just want to get a heads up.
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:03 PM   #29
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Oh, and I forgot to mention: Sliding is slow ... if your drifting, or spinning tires, or sliding, you're losing time. This is not a bad thing if you're wheel-to-wheel and trying to prevent someone from passing, but in time trial (or HPDE), it's just going to eat into your time.

Yeah buy it looks AWESOME!!!

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Old 01-29-2013, 06:56 PM   #30
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Before I read any of the advice from the seasoned folks, I was thinking brake upgrade (you already have DBAs - good enough) and weight reduction as two immediate places to invest your focus/time/money for safe, reliable fun around a track. You've already got some fresh suspension bits, so that may tide you over for a while.

To me, the way I drive my car, as Stoop said, the car is pretty predictable in stock-ish form - it just behaves the same way every time, no overly scary surprises. Now, that's with my current setup (Lovells/KYB) though, but I imagine that characteristic of predictability is intrinsic to the GTO platform rather than any specific suspension setup you could apply to the car (busted stock bits excepted). Again, your suspension may be good enough to get you going for the next 3 months, maybe even year depending on where you want to go with.

As Stoop said, buy cheap rotors, as the race pads will literally eat through them if you track the car often enough. I like the point about oil temp/pressure gauges, too. Different pads for track vs street is a must, too.

miker, the local AutoX timing chief, has modded his car backwards and forwards 3 or 4 times (replaced some parts that many times even). He's the local SM champ, but has to drive the shit out of his car to do it, even with all the mods he has. Just saying you can make the car fast, but it'll take a good bit to get there, and tons of seat time. The expectation should probably be to have a forward-of-middle-of-the-pack car that has plenty of grunt on the straights but is balanced enough in the braking/twisties to really reel people in.

With the headers, maybe the tune should be your last HP mod. The Svede + ported intake will put you in the ballpark of 30rwhp gained over the headers+tune already. With all of that, you'd be putting down some heavy torque for an ass-happy, beefy, RWD car in the twisties, maybe too much to manage comfortably just starting out. The tune is simple anyway, not like pulling the intake manifold, which isn't hard, but still it's pulling an intake manifold and all that comes with it (vacuum hoses, fuel rail, covering the head intake ports, etc. - just kinda involved when you consider the extra HP may actually hurt you). Like you said, the LS2 already has torque everywhere, and a pretty flat curve at that, so there's no sudden, unpredictable torque spikes to deal with. Adding the Svede+intake may take you over the top on the torque in the twisties.

Like you said, the GTO doesn't excel at any one thing, but is a decent all-rounder, even if a bit beefy on the scales. Should be fun. Get ready to spend some money on broken/wornout/raced parts!
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