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Thread: SCCA Track Night in America @ PIR - 7/3/15

  1. #1
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    SCCA Track Night in America @ PIR - 7/3/15

    I finally was able to get my car out onto the track at Portland International Raceway for an open track day. SCCA has been running events across the country called "Track Night in America" where for an affordable fee you get three 20 minute track sessions within a run group (novice, intermediate, or advanced). Since it was my first time out on a track I registered with the novice group.

    For the event I ran the Kumho V710s and swapped in better brake pads for the track (Rotora H9s for the front and Hawk DTC-70s for the rear). I was initially concerned the DTC-70 pads would provide too much grip causing the rears to lock up but it ended up being very balanced.

    Here I am getting ready for the event.



    Unfortunately we didn't have our camera with us but my wife did snap some photos using her phone. The quality is not great but better than nothing.



    The first couple runs I was a limited in pushing the car due to traffic ahead. In the novice group we were limited to only passing on the front straight stretch of the track. A rule for passing is that the car ahead needs to provide a signal to indicate you may pass. There were some traffic jams that built up as a result of this. The pic and video below are from the second run of the day.





    By the third and final run of the novice group passing was open to the front stretch and back stretch. The passing helped alleviate the traffic jams faced in the first two runs and the pace was much faster. Below is the video from the third run. There are some things I want to do differently next time as far as camera, timer, and audio set up. I also want to have the exterior clean. My windshield is filthy.



    The weather was very hot at nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit. I ran at 12 PSI the first two and a half runs just to make sure all was well. The methanol was not spraying during the event for some reason but the tune is conservative enough to run without it. I noticed that the AFR read by my pre-cat wideband is about one point lower than the tailpipe AFR read on the dyno. You can see that the Aquamist flow gauge in the lower left of the double din blank does not move in the video from the third run. I have since got the methanol working again. Halfway through run three I turned up the boost to 15 PSI and AFRs were within safe range.

    The only area of concern I have from the data logs is my oil temps reaching 260+ degrees Fahrenheit. I have an oil cooler and temp restrictor that I will install to keep the oil temps closer to 215 degrees. The coolant temps were good. I think the highest ECT I hit was 212-213. Below are the .csv data logs I have from the last two runs.
    SX4 Track Night Run #2 07-03-15
    SX4 Track Night Run #3 07-03-15


    I am looking forward to the next track event and hoping to push the car a little harder after a few adjustments.

  2. #2
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    looks like lots of fun
    2012 SX4 Crossover 6sp Tech

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the entertainment. You were ahead by a lot from everyone
    AWD 2013. CVT. Beast (RIP 2019)
    AWD 2013 6 speed Monster (stay tuned)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by RS117 View Post
    looks like lots of fun
    Yes by far the most fun I have had with the car to date.

    Quote Originally Posted by Samus View Post
    Thanks for the entertainment. You were ahead by a lot from everyone
    You're welcome. Glad you enjoyed viewing the event recap. I'll see how the car fares in the intermediate group next time.

  5. #5
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    Looks like fun! Makes me miss going to the track. When they have certain passing rules it can sometimes get frustrating, especially when slower cars don't follow the rules. Like if passing is only allowed on the right and the person is hugging the right edge of the straight-aways with a line of cars behind them.

    Any plans to swap in a 5th gear from an '07? It really seems like you bog down once you shift into 5th on the long straights. No reason to keep that economy gear #becauseracecar
    '11 SX4 AWD 6-spd, '07 Grand Vitara V6, '01 GS500
    Father's: '12 Kizashi Sport & '12 Grand Vitara
    Proud owners of the entire North American Suzuki line-up

  6. #6
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    Great video! From what I can see you were taking things pretty relaxed and way within the adhesion parameters of the tires. Next time try using the complete track to your advantage as limiting steering wheel rotation will bring more speed.

    Also, try moving your hands to the 3 & 9'o clock position and not taking them off when steering (if you cross them you'll know you've exceeded the max steering input you should be providing). Putting them on top like in everyday driving does not permit fast handed corrections as you're hand location is not 180deg from each other (furthest apart from one another in the steering wheel). Your fastest reaction is always when your hands are on your sides almost parallel with your shoulders, not over them on an angle. If you look at the steering wheel, the 2 and 10'o clock bolsters you see on most steering wheels are not actually to grab them but to create a pocketed groove between them and the spokes where your thumb is held when you put your hands at 3 and 9'o clock. This permits fast steering input for corrections.

    Cheers!
    Last edited by AdR; July 14th, 2015 at 04:00 AM.
    "It's kind of like having a harem. It's really expensive and WAY overkill, but how much fun is it to brag to your friends that you have one?"
    SX4-Turbo @ 11psi

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wagoneer View Post
    Looks like fun! Makes me miss going to the track. When they have certain passing rules it can sometimes get frustrating, especially when slower cars don't follow the rules. Like if passing is only allowed on the right and the person is hugging the right edge of the straight-aways with a line of cars behind them.

    Any plans to swap in a 5th gear from an '07? It really seems like you bog down once you shift into 5th on the long straights. No reason to keep that economy gear #becauseracecar
    Actually I hadn't considered doing the swap but I did notice the lack of power when shifting to 5th. Great idea!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdR View Post
    Great video! From what I can see you were taking things pretty relaxed and way within the adhesion parameters of the tires. Next time try using the complete track to your advantage as limiting steering wheel rotation will bring more speed.

    Also, try moving your hands to the 3 & 9'o clock position and not taking them off when steering (if you cross them you'll know you've exceeded the max steering input you should be providing). Putting them on top like in everyday driving does not permit fast handed corrections as you're hand location is not 180deg from each other (furthest apart from one another in the steering wheel). Your fastest reaction is always when your hands are on your sides almost parallel with your shoulders, not over them on an angle. If you look at the steering wheel, the 2 and 10'o clock bolsters you see on most steering wheels are not actually to grab them but to create a pocketed groove between them and the spokes where your thumb is held when you put your hands at 3 and 9'o clock. This permits fast steering input for corrections.

    Cheers!
    Thanks for the advice. Any other input you have is welcomed. Next time I'll try moving my hands to the 3 and 9 o'clock positions. The first run of the next event I also plan to take one of the instructors out with me to provide additional guidance on how to get around the track quicker.

    I know I did end up braking too soon after the straights but was a bit uneasy coming up to the corners from 100+. More experience will help with this. I will try to push it harder next time now that I have a better familiarity with the track and car.

  9. #9
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    If you really want to start pushing the car and find it's limits of grip you won't be wanting to change gears mid-corner like you're doing. Time to practise that heel-n-toe during braking! If the corner permits, you want to be in your exit gear before you turn in. I know if you aren't really driving on the limit it's not necessary but it's a bad habit to get into on the track. Especially if some corners need a bit of trail braking to get the car set up for the exit. Unless it's a tight hairpin going into a long straight I doubt you'll have to with the SX4. It's a small wheelbase and the chassis rotates quite well as is.

    Other than that you're doing great. You're very smooth for your first time. A lot of first-timers think quick jerky inputs are going to make them go faster for some reason. You've already mentioned the REALLY early braking so you're aware of that. A lot of these things will just come naturally the more comfortable you are with pushing the car.

    The car sounds like a beast though! That shifter is great how it's so close to the wheel, hardly takes any time at all to reach for it. How'd you like those brake bads? Good job not messing around with street performance pads and just going to a race formula. I glazed over a lot of "performance" pads before I finally swapped in race pads for the track. But holy jeebus are race pads messy!
    '11 SX4 AWD 6-spd, '07 Grand Vitara V6, '01 GS500
    Father's: '12 Kizashi Sport & '12 Grand Vitara
    Proud owners of the entire North American Suzuki line-up

  10. #10
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    Just as an insight for when you finally start heel & toeing on the SX4 (if you aren't already). Unless you have done the update to the ecu to reduce the lag time you'll notice that you have to predict the throttle opening before you actually release the clutch to rev match. I had a hard time figuring out the sweet spot for the pedal depress to clutch engagement timing when i first started and thought I was doing something wrong until I accepted that DBW doesn't have the linear familiarity that a cabled throttle has. The throttle opening curve comes in with a slight lag and an agressive opening afterwards very different from a cable setup. I kept getting the same input from everyone on my videos that I needed to heel and toe without them knowing that I was actually doing it/failing miserably and cussing inside my helmet (reason why I didn't even mention it).
    "It's kind of like having a harem. It's really expensive and WAY overkill, but how much fun is it to brag to your friends that you have one?"
    SX4-Turbo @ 11psi

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