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ClearWaterMS
ClearWaterMS New Reader
3/29/21 11:23 a.m.

The old saying goes a bad carpenter blames his tools.  So it got me thinking, how much time is the wrong tool costing me?  So the question that I have for everybody, how much time, how much better would I be with a better set of tools?  

Relevant details:

club: http://gulfcoastautocrossers.com/ (great club, if you're in the area check them out, well run, great drivers, amazing facility)

event run on an a concrete air strip (awesome space) and the Sunday event is a 1 mile long course.  

class B-stock

car: 2018 Audi S4 /w General GS Max all season tires.  100% stock

delta of time (not including cones since I didn't get a clean run) is ~6 seconds from the next best driver and ~9 seconds between first place (F80 M3 /w RT660 tires)

 

So the question is this; how much is the wrong car and all season tires costing me?  How much faster would a good driver be able to get my car to go?  How much faster would I be if I had 200tw tires and a car setup for autocross.  

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
3/29/21 11:37 a.m.

Link to video: Autocrossing with Dick Turner 
Learn it, know it, live it!  

This was a video sold on VHS only back in 1987.  I bought my copy in 1994.  Though some fashions and technologies have changed, the physics have not.  Spend an hour watching the video.  I recommend watching the video again the night before an event.  

In the middle portions of the video it will highlight time savings.  These are savings that you can get from any tire.  The focus will be on launch, braking and most importantly correct line. Further highlighted will be how to read these lines and apexes.  

 

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/29/21 11:41 a.m.

I have personally autocrossed an Audi (B7 A4 6-speed) on those tires, and currently have a B8 S4. The tires are worth probably 4-5 seconds compared to a 200 TW on a 60-second course. There's maybe another second in setting the car up (autocross alignment, simple weight reduction, fluid changes). After that it's all driver skill.  The B8 is a pretty good platform out of the box and can be made to hustle around cones well.

So the short answer is, get the right tires and some seat time and find out!

ClearWaterMS
ClearWaterMS New Reader
3/29/21 11:49 a.m.
Javelin (Forum Supporter) said:

I have personally autocrossed an Audi (B7 A4 6-speed) on those tires, and currently have a B8 S4. The tires are worth probably 4-5 seconds compared to a 200 TW on a 60-second course. There's maybe another second in setting the car up (autocross alignment, simple weight reduction, fluid changes). After that it's all driver skill.  The B8 is a pretty good platform out of the box and can be made to hustle around cones well.

So the short answer is, get the right tires and some seat time and find out!

is the b8 and b9 the same?  The B9 switched to a turbo v6 and a zf 8 speed.  One of the things I noticed on the B9 is that even in manual mode, when you transition from brake to gas there is a delay making it difficult to transition.  The car also doesn't hold the gear even in Manual mode, if you hit the rev limiter it upshifts.  It's long enough that its almost like the car tried to upshift when you slammed the brakes and is going back to the original gear when you hit the gas.  

That being said, 6 seconds (i'm rounding up because I want to convince myself I suck less :) ) is the delta between me and a boxster S on 200tw tires and pretty close to the GT350, M3, and ATS-V that were the top of the class.  

RevRico
RevRico UltimaDork
3/29/21 11:51 a.m.

Put one of the local hot shoes in the driver seat and see what times they turn. It should give you a good idea on what it's capable of as is

 

ClearWaterMS
ClearWaterMS New Reader
3/29/21 11:52 a.m.
John Welsh said:

Autocrossing with Dick Turner 
Learn it, know it, live it!  

This was a video sold on VHS only back in 1987.  I bought my copy in 1994.  Though some fashions and technologies have changed, the physics have not.  Spend an hour watching the video.  I recommend watching the video again the night before an event.  

In the middle portions of the video it will highlight time savings.  These are savings that you can get from any tire.  The focus will be on launch, braking and most importantly correct line. Further highlighted will be how to read these lines and apexes.  

 

what is this VHS technology you speak of?  Is there an electronic version available anywhere online?  i checked netflix and Paul Blart Mall Cop was in the top responses.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
3/29/21 11:53 a.m.

The tires are most certianly costing you seconds. I cant tell you magic numbers on "how much faster" you will be with good tires. Hell, I've seen my tires fall off about a second if I try to get two full seasons out of them on a Miata. I could chart my drop in the results and zip right back up when I got fresh rubber.

I have also attempted to autocross on 7 year old Azenis RT215 in the white mustang you see to your left, it wouldnt go straight under throttle, it just wouldnt... I dont recommend it.    

Get decent tires and see if you can get someone quick to codrive the car or look into an evo school. http://evoschool.com/    The evo school is the most universally suggested thing I have seen and I have been meaning to do one, even with having autocrossed for 15 years. 

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
3/29/21 11:54 a.m.

If you hit cones on every run and you are way off it's a pretty good indicator that you're over driving the car.

Questions;

Where are you hitting the cones?

Are you plowing wide? (most likely scenario)

After knowing the where and why it will be easier to answer your question.

 

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
3/29/21 11:54 a.m.
ClearWaterMS
ClearWaterMS New Reader
3/29/21 11:55 a.m.
RevRico said:

Put one of the local hot shoes in the driver seat and see what times they turn. It should give you a good idea on what it's capable of as is

 

but isn't bench racing more fun when we don't actually have to worry about things like data, facts, etc.  

j/k that is a good idea.  

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/29/21 11:55 a.m.

In reply to ClearWaterMS :

The B9 is substantially similar to a B8 handling wise (nearly identical weight, wheelbase, track width, etc). Your DSG issues are rough though. That's why I have a 6-speed manual. 

I went and looked at the results, you coned 4 of your 5 runs so you should really focus on seat time. Your delta is more like 10 seconds and I would maybe account 3-4 to tires on that course. I would try maybe leaving the car in automatic mode. Do you have ADS? 

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
3/29/21 11:55 a.m.

Seat time and look further ahead then feels natural. 

Without having video I'm basing this upon not having gotten a clean run. Next would be rubber and an alignment to take advantage of the rubber. I'm betting that 5-6 seconds can easily be found there.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
3/29/21 11:56 a.m.

In reply to ClearWaterMS :

Don't get confused by the section of the video that focuses on braking.  All the test were done before a little thing called ABS.  

ClearWaterMS
ClearWaterMS New Reader
3/29/21 11:58 a.m.
Tom1200 said:

If you hit cones on every run and you are way off it's a pretty good indicator that you're over driving the car.

Questions;

Where are you hitting the cones?

Are you plowing wide? (most likely scenario)

After knowing the where and why it will be easier to answer your question.

 

cone hitting was always done at the end of the slalom.  The car has a tendency to oversteer on hard braking, you can quiet down the rear end by applying some throttle, but that (as you mentioned) caused me to over drive the slalom and hit the last cone. 

I don't think I was dealing with too much understeer, if anything I was likely fighting oversteer on transitions (still probably over driving the car)  

 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
3/29/21 12:01 p.m.

In reply to ClearWaterMS :

Was that slalom an increase slalom or a decreasing slalom or equal?   If unsure, watch the video!  

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
3/29/21 12:03 p.m.
ClearWaterMS said:
John Welsh said:

Autocrossing with Dick Turner 
Learn it, know it, live it!  

 

what is this VHS technology you speak of?  Is there an electronic version available anywhere online?  i checked netflix and Paul Blart Mall Cop was in the top responses.

He linked it.

 

Here it is again  https://vimeo.com/38283015

ClearWaterMS
ClearWaterMS New Reader
3/29/21 12:05 p.m.
Javelin (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to ClearWaterMS :

The B9 is substantially similar to a B8 handling wise (nearly identical weight, wheelbase, track width, etc). Your DSG issues are rough though. That's why I have a 6-speed manual. 

I went and looked at the results, you coned 4 of your 5 runs so you should really focus on seat time. Your delta is more like 10 seconds and I would maybe account 3-4 to tires on that course. I would try maybe leaving the car in automatic mode. Do you have ADS? 

I tried leaving it in automatic, the challenge there is that it upshifts almost immediately when you apply the brakes and quickly downshifts (sometimes multiple gears) when you hit the throttle.  The best way to get the car to be responsive was to put it in Manual mode but because the car automatically upshifts, just let it do the upshift and drive in that gear for the rest of the event.  The problem there is that I think the car prevents you from lugging out of a corner so it will downshift as well.  

ClearWaterMS
ClearWaterMS New Reader
3/29/21 12:06 p.m.
Apexcarver said:
ClearWaterMS said:
John Welsh said:

Autocrossing with Dick Turner 
Learn it, know it, live it!  

 

what is this VHS technology you speak of?  Is there an electronic version available anywhere online?  i checked netflix and Paul Blart Mall Cop was in the top responses.

He linked it.

 

Here it is again  https://vimeo.com/38283015

thank you very much, i missed that.  

ojannen
ojannen Reader
3/29/21 12:40 p.m.

In reply to ClearWaterMS :

Good news and bad news for you.  The current B Street national champion was at the event running a B Street car in the pro class.  

He beat you by 11 seconds.  If you took a fully prepped car in H Street (the slowest class) and ran it on the same course with the same driver, you should expect it to be around 3 seconds behind.  Running on the wrong tires costs you another 2-3 seconds.

The bad news is that even if you put all your excuses together, you are still 5 seconds back.

The good news is that was a weird course.  There was more time spend in 3rd gear than 2nd gear.  I wouldn't judge myself too harshly because those speeds along with autocross maneuvers take some time to get used to.

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
3/29/21 1:08 p.m.

In reply to ClearWaterMS :

Well the good news is you weren't guilty of driver induced understeer; that's a tougher fix.

As for the oversteer; slowing down your hands in the transitions will likely help. My son as this issue with our F500 in slaloms, it only becomes apparent at the last slalom cone. He get huge oversteer because his overly aggressive steering inputs led to a progressively building tank slapper.

How were you applying the brake may be the issue with oversteer; if you smack the brake peddle on, the instantaneous input will definitely over rotate the car.  It may be a case of starting to countersteer a little sooner and being a bit smoother with the brake application.

IF you can left foot brake, you could leave a bit of throttle on so that the car will snap straight the instant you come off the brake. That would cure it but the technique will also like do more harm than good without a lot of practice.

With all that said I'd say 1 1/2 to 2 seconds in the car.

ClearWaterMS
ClearWaterMS New Reader
3/29/21 1:11 p.m.
ojannen said:

In reply to ClearWaterMS :

Good news and bad news for you.  The current B Street national champion was at the event running a B Street car in the pro class.  

He beat you by 11 seconds.  If you took a fully prepped car in H Street (the slowest class) and ran it on the same course with the same driver, you should expect it to be around 3 seconds behind.  Running on the wrong tires costs you another 2-3 seconds.

The bad news is that even if you put all your excuses together, you are still 5 seconds back.

The good news is that was a weird course.  There was more time spend in 3rd gear than 2nd gear.  I wouldn't judge myself too harshly because those speeds along with autocross maneuvers take some time to get used to.

were you there yesterday?  which car were you in?  that is a great group of folks.  I ran the Saturday test and tune events in January and February and really enjoyed the site, group of individuals, etc.  I am heading back north (home is Chicago area) after Easter so I won't make any more events with the group but if I hope to come back next fall.  

ClearWaterMS
ClearWaterMS New Reader
3/29/21 1:18 p.m.
Tom1200 said:

In reply to ClearWaterMS :

Well the good news is you weren't guilty of driver induced understeer; that's a tougher fix.

As for the oversteer; slowing down your hands in the transitions will likely help. My son as this issue with our F500 in slaloms, it only becomes apparent at the last slalom cone. He get huge oversteer because his overly aggressive steering inputs led to a progressively building tank slapper.

How were you applying the brake may be the issue with oversteer; if you smack the brake peddle on, the instantaneous input will definitely over rotate the car.  It may be a case of starting to countersteer a little sooner and being a bit smoother with the brake application.

IF you can left foot brake, you could leave a bit of throttle on so that the car will snap straight the instant you come off the brake. That would cure it but the technique will also like do more harm than good without a lot of practice.

With all that said I'd say 1 1/2 to 2 seconds in the car.

over applying the brakes sounds very likely and thinking back that very much sounds correct.  So getting on the brakes a split second sooner but using that time to apply them gradually reducing the amount of weight transfer? 

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
3/29/21 1:42 p.m.

It's the instantaneous weight transfer that's going to be the issue; so yes a split second sooner gives the tires a better chance of keeping up.

We're trying to bend the tires; if you take a stick and slowly bend it, you can bend it pretty far, but if you try bend it that far instantly the stick breaks. Same goes for tires, you're trying to load them as slowly as possible. It may be as little as taking .005 to apply the brakes vs 0025, you just have to see what degree of finesse is required.

ojannen
ojannen Reader
3/29/21 2:50 p.m.

I didn't go to this month's event.  Here are some videos of the event if you want to compare to your runs.  I believe the mustang was in your class.

aw614
aw614 Reader
3/29/21 3:13 p.m.
ojannen said:

I didn't go to this month's event.  Here are some videos of the event if you want to compare to your runs.  I believe the mustang was in your class.

Hey that's my 3rd run from the event! I struggled a lot with gearing at yesterday's event and had an idea how to go faster, but couldn't execute a faster run on my 4th and 5th runs. 58mph second gear sucks lol

I remember seeing the S4, I think we were in the same run group. I don't know if I'll be able to go to the event in May, but if so and you aren't working the course or parked near me, feel free to ask for a ride along. How many events have you done? It really took me a few years before I got comfortable and didn't go straight into 200tw tires until maybe 3 years into autocrossing. I went from what came on the car (crap all seasons) -> Max/Ultra perf summer tires -> 200 tw stuff. 

Also take videos of your runs and watch them and ask others for suggestions on where to improve. 

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