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Old 5/10/11, 7:57 AM   #1
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Memorable Track Weekend - Learned a lot about the car setup too!

OK, I just got back from a fantastic track weekend at MPH (Motorsports Park Hastings) in Hastings, NE. MPH is a private club that hosts several different events from karting, club racing, autox and drag racing. It's a 2.1 mile very technical track. This was my first visit. First off, I have to say the hospitality was overwhelming. You got the white glove treatment from the time you got there until you left. The track is very new having opened in 2006. It is the most well maintained track I have ever run. I washed the car last night and had very few rubber marks to clean and I ran well over 200 track miles in two days.

I had the opportunity to run with a Boss 302 Laguna Seca in addition to Z06s, a variety of Porsches, a Superformance Cobra, Mustangs, Camaros and a variety of other cars.

On Saturday, I started out running in the high 1:47s and 1:48s. By the last session of the day I logged a couple 1:44s and a high 1:43. The track president commented how he was really impressed with the lap times for a Mustang and said that car was really set up well by Ford. I asked him for some benchmarking and he said Mustangs typically run in the 1:53 to 54 range and as high as 58 to 59. He said a Z06 on street tires would be around 1:42.

Sunday was interesting. There weren't any cars signed up to run, but I had driven 5 hours to get there and was hoping to run at least two days. The track president said they would be open from 10-3 regardless since they had some SCCA cars to tech and those times were member hours to come and go if they chose. Turned out I was the only car on track for most of the day. It was like going to Disneyland and being the only kid there with free run of all the rides Click the image to open in full size. I told him I felt bad the corner workers had to be there and he said they were actually having a lot of fun watching the Boss run. They started radioing in the times and holding up a board each time by the tower with my previous lap time. I started out Sunday running consistent 1:44s. By the second sesssion I ran a 1:43.5. In the next session I ran two 1:42s including a 1:42.221 which was my best lap time of the day. Toward the end of the day the other Boss came out. We chased around a bit and then they gave me the checkered and I pulled into the hot pits. The owner was standing by his Laguna Seca and told me to park my Boss. He said hop in so you can experience the difference. I was really humbled and can't say enough about how cool that was. I ran about 6 laps. The car did feel more stable in the sweepers and I sensed a little less body roll. However, I also noticed quickly the stock brakes and wheels/tires. While the Pzero Corsas were sticky, they were over an inch narrower than the Nittos I was running. The stock pads worked well, but didn't have the bite of the DTC 60s/70s so my braking points were very different. Also, I had -1.7 negative camber on my car so there was a noticable difference in turn-in. I also felt the fronts rolling over on some of the early turns because I was trying to drive it like I had driven my own car for two straight days on the same track.

My lap times were in the 1:46s and 47s for those 6 laps. Granted I also had a passenger and limited time with that setup. I would have certainly adjusted my line after realizing the differences in braking and turn-in. I learned that the wheel/tire combo I am running and the brake pad/rotor combo is perfect for my car.

Here's a link to some photos and short videos on the front straight: http://www.racemph.com/Track-Day-5-7-2011.htm

All I can say is Thank You Ford for building an amazing car! IMO, I wouldn't TOUCH the suspension on this car. Play around with wheels/tires and brake pads that work for you, but leave the rest of it alone. The engineers nailed it.
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Last edited by cloud9; 5/10/11 at 9:16 AM.
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Old 5/10/11, 8:32 AM   #2
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I wouldn't TOUCH the suspension on this car. Play around with wheels/tires and brake pads that work for you, but leave the rest of it alone. The engineers nailed it.
That's what I've been waiting to hear!

Brakes, wheels & tires I can handle. Just didn't want the same never-ending mod fest that the GT500 is......

Just show up at the track and have fun
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Old 5/10/11, 8:47 AM   #3
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Thanks for sharing your track experience with your Boss. It is invaluable to those of us who don't have the experience and/or resources (or even a vehicle yet - lol) to be able to find out what this car is capable of.

I've raised an eyebrow or two at those who are already talking about changing out springs etc. to lower the cars' stance. Seems to me it would be a lot of work to rebalance the car's handling once this is done.
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Old 5/10/11, 8:59 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by 66sprint200 View Post
That's what I've been waiting to hear!

Brakes, wheels & tires I can handle. Just didn't want the same never-ending mod fest that the GT500 is......

Just show up at the track and have fun
C'mon man!!! Full Griggs!!!
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Old 5/10/11, 9:11 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by BOSS_man View Post
Thanks for sharing your track experience with your Boss. It is invaluable to those of us who don't have the experience and/or resources (or even a vehicle yet - lol) to be able to find out what this car is capable of.

I've raised an eyebrow or two at those who are already talking about changing out springs etc. to lower the cars' stance. Seems to me it would be a lot of work to rebalance the car's handling once this is done.
+1. As much as I'd like to lower the car I don't want to mess with the dialed in handling Ford has given us. My ride height will stay stock until someone has a solution to lower the car AND maintain the well balanced handling.
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Old 5/10/11, 9:31 AM   #6
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So no need for Koni Yellows and Steeda Competition springs?
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Old 5/10/11, 9:32 AM   #7
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Gary, great technical write up on your track impressions. Thanks very much!

This validates what I have thought all along, the Ford engineers have given us one heck of a good handling car. Minor tweaks for individual preference, but overall, they did their homework!

Keep those technical impressions coming and giving us insight on your tires, wheels and pad combinations.
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Old 5/10/11, 9:36 AM   #8
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Great write up Gary! Sounds like one heck of a fun filled weekend, and the car lived up and surpassed your expectations.
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Old 5/10/11, 9:43 AM   #9
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So no need for Koni Yellows and Steeda Competition springs?
I guess it all depends on how far you want to take the car and how much money, time and ability do you have to work out all the fine tuning? I have a full Griggs rear suspension and Koni adjustable coilovers on all four corners of the GT500. While it significantly improved the handling of the GT500, it's still nowhere close to how well the Boss handles right from the factory. The other big difference of course being 200 more rwhp on the GT500 and 300 lbs more in the nose. I'm sure if you wanted to replicate the 302R or 302S suspension, you could possibly shave a couple more seconds off your lap times, but at what cost and effort? Would you have to gut the Boss and cage it to equal the weight and torsional rigidity? Not to mention, after all that will you enjoy driving it on the street as much?
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Old 5/10/11, 9:49 AM   #10
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I should have mentioned what wheels/tires I was running:

I was running Enkei PF01s 18 x 10.5 38mm offset rear and 18 x 9.5 35mm offset front. For tires I went with Nitto 555RII 305/35/18 rear and 285/35/18 front. They provide a stagger of 1.25" front to back. The rear tire height is 26.6" which is within .5" of the stock size so it keeps gearing close to stock. The staggered stance and wider offset really provided a much bigger base than the stock setup. The rear tires barely sit outside the fender and with the negative camber, the fronts are tucked inside the fenders nicely with plenty of clearance to the strut. I would have preferred to run an NT01 or R6 but they don't have those sizes.

I also have a set of Laguna Seca wheels in black with machined face with 295/30/19 and 265/35/19 Hoosier R6s that stayed in the truck. I will be anxious to run those to see how they compare. Having that 285 up front was awesome though. The other thing about the Hoosiers is the rear tire is 26.1" tall which is a full inch shorter than the stock Pirelli even in a 19" radius! There are very very few choices in 19" R-compound tires.
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Old 5/10/11, 9:50 AM   #11
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Sounds like you had a great time Gary. In your video, was that the factory exhaust?
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Old 5/10/11, 9:54 AM   #12
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Sounds like you had a great time Gary. In your video, was that the factory exhaust?
Yep sans the discs. My friends with the Camaro and Cobra were teasing me saying I had the "stealth" car because you could hardly hear it Of course they were running catless straight pipes I guess they called it stealth because I kept sneaking up on them and passing them
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Old 5/10/11, 10:00 AM   #13
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Congrats Gary and thanks for the write-up.

Reading this makes me even more anxious for the SVTOA/SAAC/SCMC Superfest at VIR at the end of the month!
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Old 5/10/11, 10:21 AM   #14
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Just show up at the track and have fun
Well sort of! I don't have my own pit crew so looking at about 3 hours tonight to put away the spare parts and tools, swap rotors/pads and wheels and tires. If I didn't enjoy driving it on the street so much, I'd just leave it until the next track event and drive the GT500. The brakes were rock solid so I'll inspect the fluid but it's probably still good for now.
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Old 5/10/11, 11:19 AM   #15
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Yep sans the discs. My friends with the Camaro and Cobra were teasing me saying I had the "stealth" car because you could hardly hear it Of course they were running catless straight pipes I guess they called it stealth because I kept sneaking up on them and passing them
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Old 5/10/11, 11:34 AM   #16
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Sounds great!

Aside from the front camber, did you measure and/or adjust anything else?

Also, very good to hear about all of the rubber you can stuff under the fenders without issue!!

Those LS wheels are VERY heavy, aren't they?
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Old 5/10/11, 11:43 AM   #17
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Congrats Gary and thanks for the write-up.

Reading this makes me even more anxious for the SVTOA/SAAC/SCMC Superfest at VIR at the end of the month!
I would love to make that event. I'm a long time member of the SCMC and the president has been calling trying to get me to make the trek but it's just not going to work out.
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Old 5/10/11, 11:43 AM   #18
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Those LS wheels are VERY heavy, aren't they?
I think they are a pound or two lighter per wheel than the Boss wheels. They are not the lighest but they are supposed to be very strong.
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Old 5/10/11, 12:08 PM   #19
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awesome reading your experience, thanks for sharing!
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Old 5/10/11, 12:30 PM   #20
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Very cool, thanks for the write up. Can't wait to get out there
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