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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a seasoned Autocrosser, but I've never been to a full race track before. So last weekend a few buddies and I took our cars to Toronto Motorsports Park where Sigma Time Attack organized open lapping and a quick time attack competition at the end of the day. The fee is on the expensive side, $200CAD. But the organizers are very professional, the rules are strict to keep everyone safe, they provide a timer for each car, and since it's expensive the turnout is not big, means more track time for me ;ol;.

Track map:


My car, 2.0T Aero. Stock everything except for Bilstein HD shocks, and ATE racing brake fluid.
Alignment settings are my own: -1.5 front camber, -1.1 rear camber, rear toe close to zero.

I had so much fun just from open lapping. Learned more about my car than I ever could from Autocross. Quite happy with my suspension setup, which is predictable and neutral enough if treated right. ReAxs feels awesome.

However my tires - Hankook V12 - which are a great comfortable and quiet day-to-day touring tire, really suck at the track. They are squirmy even at 46PSI (hot), and the rubber constantly chunks off. I can't wait till these wear out and I ditch them for Dunlop Star Specs. My Hankooks gave me no confidence to brake late and push in the turns.

But I wasn't there to compete. I was there to learn and have fun. My times were at the bottom of the pack compared to all the tuned sports cars and their proper tires. My 2.0T does lack high end pull, but it's only 210HP in a ~3300LB car, so I'm not expecting much.

Here are the pics and video:




See video's description:
 

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Nice photos and video man! your racing line was pretty impressive as well! :) Looks like a lot of fun. I wish they had something like that in calgary haha..
 

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Really nice! Only thing missing is the track overlay on the video ;)

I cannot recommend ALapRecorder anymore but am monitoring the development of 3 other similar apps, although they are still a few months from being ready...
 

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Awesome, no better way to learn the car than to thrash it on a track. Also allows you very glaringly to observe the cars pitfalls.
 

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so hankook ventus are a no-go for stuff like this? bummer, i was gonna use them as my next tire (though my tires are substantially wider than the ones on your car if that matters). in that case i'll wait for a deal on BFG KDWs or something of the like.

so you like the bilstein HDs vs the stock shocks? how does it corner vs the original suspension? i'm on the bubble on going lower or keeping the stock height and getting stiffer shocks.

looks like great fun. When funds permit I'll hit Fontana's Roval and post a video.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
so hankook ventus are a no-go for stuff like this? bummer, i was gonna use them as my next tire (though my tires are substantially wider than the ones on your car if that matters).
Unfortunately not, the Ventus V12's rubber compound and soft sidewalls don't put up with the constant abuse of the track. The Ventus RS3's however are relatively affordable and amazing for track use and can handle a lot of heat. They don't last long however.
I'm now considering Michelin Pilot Super Sport vs Dunlop Z1 Star Spec.

so you like the bilstein HDs vs the stock shocks? how does it corner vs the original suspension? i'm on the bubble on going lower or keeping the stock height and getting stiffer shocks.
I can't really compare directly with stock Aero shocks because mine were worn when I bought my car and completely dead when I replaced them. But in general I've experienced that Sachs shocks (Aero & non-Aero) are rough over bumps. The Bilsteins do really feel like a premium shock - smooth and precise. My setup (Bilsteins & Aero springs) is still considered "soft" compared to say, coilovers or any other lowered setup, so it's by no means race car handling if that's what you're looking for. It's just sporty.
 

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Unfortunately not, the Ventus V12's rubber compound and soft sidewalls don't put up with the constant abuse of the track. The Ventus RS3's however are relatively affordable and amazing for track use and can handle a lot of heat. They don't last long however.
I'm now considering Michelin Pilot Super Sport vs Dunlop Z1 Star Spec.


I can't really compare directly with stock Aero shocks because mine were worn when I bought my car and completely dead when I replaced them. But in general I've experienced that Sachs shocks (Aero & non-Aero) are rough over bumps. The Bilsteins do really feel like a premium shock - smooth and precise. My setup (Bilsteins & Aero springs) is still considered "soft" compared to say, coilovers or any other lowered setup, so it's by no means race car handling if that's what you're looking for. It's just sporty.
Pilots are a great tire, but they are an extremely soft compound and will disappear quickly at the track--this is relative to you keeping the same shoes on for daily driving after the track session.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Pilots are a great tire, but they are an extremely soft compound and will disappear quickly at the track--this is relative to you keeping the same shoes on for daily driving after the track session.
This new model has a treadwear rating of 300 :eek:. Star specs are 200. My Hankook V12's are 280.
I've read some good things about their durability, so fingers crossed.
 

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The Bilsteins do really feel like a premium shock - smooth and precise. My setup (Bilsteins & Aero springs) is still considered "soft" compared to say, coilovers or any other lowered setup, so it's by no means race car handling if that's what you're looking for. It's just sporty.
Interesting feedback about the Bilsteins. Been thinking about getting some Koni FSDs but the product quality does not seem to be there with a lot of failures and warranty claims. Bilsteins have a good name but have always heard that they are too hard!!!
 

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This new model has a treadwear rating of 300 :eek:. Star specs are 200. My Hankook V12's are 280.
I've read some good things about their durability, so fingers crossed.
I've had the Pilot Super Sports on since March, can't talk about track prowess or longevity yet but they do come with a 50,000km warranty, FWIW. Sticky as glue too, great in the wet. These are the only summers I've had on my current car (bought in Jan 2012) but comparing to the General Exclaim UHPs I had on my previous Saab ('99 9-3) is like night and day. Hope they'll hold up on the track but I would guess they will.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Interesting feedback about the Bilsteins. Been thinking about getting some Koni FSDs but the product quality does not seem to be there with a lot of failures and warranty claims. Bilsteins have a good name but have always heard that they are too hard!!!
The FSD's progressive damping design sounds cool for city driving, but personally I'd think it would be unpredictable for track/autoX purposes. Like one moment it's soft then the next it's stiff. And I just have more faith in Bilstein :cheesy:.

I wouldn't say that my Bilstein HDs are too hard at all. Once you get used to the initial bounciness, it absorbs the bumps of Toronto's terrible roads very well. But still definitely stiffer than my dad's stock 9-3 Arc.
 

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so hankook ventus are a no-go for stuff like this? bummer, i was gonna use them as my next tire (though my tires are substantially wider than the ones on your car if that matters). in that case i'll wait for a deal on BFG KDWs or something of the like.

so you like the bilstein HDs vs the stock shocks? how does it corner vs the original suspension? i'm on the bubble on going lower or keeping the stock height and getting stiffer shocks.

looks like great fun. When funds permit I'll hit Fontana's Roval and post a video.
I also agree with the soft side walls on the v12. On Tire Rack they get mixed reviews, they may work better at a lower profile with a wider rim. I'm running 235/45/17 on a 7.5" rim and the tires still bulge even running them at 40 psi. My neighbor has v12's on his c300 and they look firm on his 18" rims.
 
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