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Old 05-20-2006, 07:45 PM   #1
Patrick Olsen
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Default Legacy track report - VIR, late April

I already posted this stuff over in the Motorsports forum, but I figured I'd share it with my Legacy brethren, too.

Almost a month ago, on April 24/25, I ran with the Potomac/Chesapeake Region of the Audi Owners Club on the full course at VIR. This was my first track event after 3+ years of withdrawal (only a 0.8mi track to play on out in Hawaii), so I've been eagerly awaiting the event for a couple months now.

Unfortunately, due to my medical issues working on the car is at times painful, so progress on getting the car ready was slow. As a result I didn't get everything finished that I wanted to - I still haven't gotten around to installing some ducting on my "new" ricer bumper to close off the gap between the lower bumper opening and the radiator, and I was delayed in getting my Konis off to be revalved, so I had to do the event on the stock struts/springs. I had been hoping to have the car done in time to get down to VIR early on Sunday to catch the Rolex Series race, but it just didn't happen.

However, I did have a chance to complete some other modifications. I picked up a set of 2-piece rotors from DBA, their 5000-series (which only come slotted or slotted/drilled - needless to say, I went with slotted). The rotors are quite beefy, weighing in at a couple pounds more per corner than the OEM-sized Brembos I run on the street - honestly not what I expected to find. The DBAs are a full inch thick (OEM is only 24mm), and although I didn't measure, it appears the rotor walls are thicker than the Brembos'.


I also installed a Kool Brake Kit from Racecomp Engineering - a bit on the pricey side considering how basic the kit is, but it seems to do the trick, so... I say it's a "basic" kit because there's no backing plate, it's just a duct that bolts to the spindle, like so:

I routed the hose to the foglight holes in my ricer bumper through the fender liners:


That job was completed while lying on my back in the hotel parking lot the night before the event. Good stuff!

Last but not least, a little while back, I had had all 3 diffs on the car swapped out (helical up front, 35f/65r center diff, LSD rear), plus a shorter 5th gear installed (the Outback 5th, which is about 11% shorter than the 2.5GT 5th).

...to be continued...
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Old 05-20-2006, 07:45 PM   #2
Patrick Olsen
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... but wait, there's more!...

All in all, it was a great event. I've run with the Potomac-Chesapeake Region of the Audi Club back before I moved out to Hawaii, and I was glad to see their events are still just as good. The price is very reasonable, "free" T-shirt, good instructors (drawing from NASA, PCA, and BMWCCA), plenty of track time, very good safety record, "free" dinner Monday night, etc etc. And it's impossible not to like VIR!

I was signed up in the Advanced/Red group, which was split into two batches - theoretically Red1 was students, and Red2 was instructors. It seemed that the instructors were quite happy to come out in the Red1 heats, too, so my left arm was pretty busy with pointing people past. (Not that I was only pointing by instructors, they just added to the pool of damn fast people out there in my run group). Included in the instructor group were this guy:

... and this guy...

... plus a GT3 or two, my instructor's Evo MR (more on that later...), some 944 Turbos, some race-prepped M3s, etc etc. Pretty damn impressive.

My group was the first to take to the track on Monday morning. The Rolex boys had laid down plenty of rubber on Sunday, so the track certainly wasn't "green". I haven't been at VIR since mid-2002, so I was a little worried about remembering the line. I of course didn't bring any old tapes with me to review on the videocamera, and I thought I had some videos on my laptop, but it turned out I didn't. Doh! In the end, though, my fears were unfounded, as I very quickly was up to speed. My instructor, Marty Grand, had some good pointers on fine-tuning my line, and modified a couple of my shift points to make things a bit smoother. After my 2nd session Marty signed me off, and I ran solo in the 3rd session after lunch on Monday. After that my neck/left arm started acting up pretty good, so I decided to forego the 4th session on Monday and get some rest at the hotel before the banquet that evening. The highlight of Monday was getting passed by the Carerra GT on the backstretch during that 3rd session. I was doing about 105mph or so as he went by me at probably 140mph+! Amazing.

Tuesday had a bit of a slow start, as I think my group was the last to get on track for our 1st session of the day. Weather picked up right where it had left off Monday (sunny, clear, 70s/low 80s) - just about perfect. I only ran 2 of the 4 possible sessions on Tuesday, as I was worried that my neck would act up on me and really complicate getting the car put back to street trim for the drive home. It turned out that was a lucky decision, as my next session would have put my rear brakes to metal-on-metal. I had a spare set of pads, so I threw those in when I put the street wheels/tires back on the car.

After I ran my 2nd session on Tuesday, I went out with Marty in his Evo. Wow, what a frackin' ride! Pretty much stock Evo MR - catback, intake, and some ECU tweeks (and R compounds, don't remember what he was running). I don't know what those ECU tweeks consisted of, but that car pulled like a damn freight train on the straights. He was able to hang right with (or pass) T1-prepped Z06s, a 911 GT3, etc. It truly is amazing what those cars are capable of with minimal modifications.

As for the success of my modifications... Everything worked really well. With the shorter 5th gear I was actually able to accelerate on the long straights. In the past I've hit about 103-104mph on both straights - this time I was hitting the 115mph range, and I really don't think my corner exit speeds onto the long straights was appreciably different than in the past (in fact, it may have been slower, as I was on somewhat less sticky tires and a softer/less capable suspension). Those top end speeds are just about the same as what I pulled in my sister's '02 WRX wagon a few years ago, so I was pretty happy about that. On the back straight, I shift to 5th while climbing a bit of a hill - with the stock 5th I would stop accelerating until I crested the hill, but with the new 5th I was able to keep pulling up the hill, so I was cresting the hill about 10mph faster. Despite the significant increase in terminal speeds, and later braking points, I had absolutely zero brake fade, so the beefy rotors and brake ducts definitely did their job. Pad wear also seemed to be reduced.

That's all for now. I'll try to get some video captured and posted in the next couple days, and I'll have professional photos coming on CD-ROM hopefully this week. They had some pretty good ones of me (showing off the massive body roll with the stock springs/struts), so I'm looking forward to getting those. Right now I'm uploading a few short videos I shot with my digital camera, so you can check those out here - http://www.submariner.org/thepno95/V...0April%202006/ - to tide you over.

Pat Olsen
'97 Legacy 2.5GT sedan
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Old 05-20-2006, 07:49 PM   #3
Patrick Olsen
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I've watched/timed all my videos, and it looks like my fastest lap was about 2:32.4. Of course, that's eyeballing my start/stop times off landmarks as they fly by on the screen, so there's probably +/- 0.5sec in there. My previous best, back about 3-1/2 years ago, was a full 3sec slower. At that point I was on the DMS coil-overs (an upgrade over the stock struts and springs I was running at this event) and Kumho Victoracers (probably stickier than the Yoko A048s I ran this time), but was down probably 15hp or so and didn't have the better 5th gear.

Unfortunately, my damn computer doesn't want to sync up with my Firewire, so I can't capture any video. I haven't captured video in about a year, but I haven't changed anything in that time, so I don't know why it won't cooperate.

In lieu of video, I present some pictures...
Yeaaah, those Carrera GTs are pretty fast I guess, but he couldn't hang with the ole 2.5GT through the Uphill Esses...


Before (look at front bumper-to-ground height):

After:

Body roll? Whaddya talkin' about, this thing's solid as a rock in the turns!!

Practicing my auto-x cone dodging skeelz...




Pat
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Old 05-20-2006, 07:57 PM   #4
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Pat,

Awesome write up! I really miss running open track events. Hopefully if i find a miata i can afford i'll be able to get back into it.

I was rather impressed with the bodyroll of my legacy. Bodyroll isin't the end of the world for handling as long as it sticks, but it can scrub tires pretty badly. If it were me and i was serious about the car, i'd go for a turbo crossmember so that i could fit one of the bigger swaybars.

Your JDM front end looks weird. I want to say it looks like a 2002ish protege. The mirrors and your brake ducts are pretty slick looking!

Now that I'm on cable, i look forward to watching some videos!

Mike
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Old 05-20-2006, 08:54 PM   #5
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Good write up Pat. I saved that pic of you in front of the Carrera GT. Great pic!

But I have to agree with Mike about the bumper. It just really doesn't look right on your car. Looking forward to some vids....
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Old 05-20-2006, 09:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MitchGT
......But I have to agree with Mike about the bumper. It just really doesn't look right on your car. Looking forward to some vids....
OR....
...you can just get the rest of the kit to finish off the look.
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Old 05-20-2006, 09:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4wdrift
OR....
...you can just get the rest of the kit to finish off the look.
True true.
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Old 05-20-2006, 09:35 PM   #8
Patrick Olsen
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Sometimes I like the way the bumper looks, sometimes I don't. I have a new Subaru emblem to put on the grille, because I do think the front end looks too non-Subaru-ish without something there. The main reason I bought it was to have a deeper-than-stock air dam for better aero on track - I just need to get the lower opening ducted to the radiator to truly realize the benefits. Hopefully I'll get that done soon, I have what I need to do it, it's just a matter of finding the time.

Edit: Oh, and in the long run, I'm gonna break this bumper anyway. Even at stock ride height I've dragged/bumped it a few times, so when I put my Koni/GC setup back on the car and drop it an inch I think it'll just be a matter of time before the bumper is ruined. I still have the stocker, so no harm done.

Pat
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Old 05-21-2006, 12:58 AM   #9
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had to save the pic of the legacy in front the the porsche it tickled my innards lol...
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Old 05-21-2006, 11:13 AM   #10
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Hot stuff Pat!

Looks like a lot of fun out there
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Old 05-21-2006, 08:44 PM   #11
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Nice ram air, Pat, I just did that myself

PS, do you want my foglights that fit in that opening? I'm upgrading to an outback bumper with the large openings for Hella 500s.
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Old 05-21-2006, 11:11 PM   #12
Patrick Olsen
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I have the foglights, they just can't be there when the brake cooling ducts are installed.
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Old 05-21-2006, 11:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Olsen
I have the foglights, they just can't be there when the brake cooling ducts are installed.
oh, darn. I need to get rid of them
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Old 05-22-2006, 06:29 AM   #14
Jonathan
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Very nice setup, Pat.
I hope your neck heals up soon.

How much are you looking for your fog lights, Mark ?
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Old 05-25-2006, 11:03 PM   #15
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Nice PAT !! Good to see these being used as intended.

Let us know if you need anything.

Myles

PS. we just finished 20 more sets. ..if anyone needs a set.

mw
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Old 05-26-2006, 03:26 AM   #16
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I WAS going to give you come crap about using slotted rotors...

...but instead I'll say "cool" and "glad to see that you're tracking the Leg"

If you want an alternative bumper choice that fits pretty well, there's always the 97-99 Nissan 240sx front end.

What shocks/springs/coilovers are you using? My 10/8kg Megans don't have nearly as much body roll with Hankook RS2 and stock Outback sway bars/endlinks...?
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Old 05-26-2006, 09:28 AM   #17
Patrick Olsen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mranlet
I WAS going to give you come crap about using slotted rotors...

...but instead I'll say "cool" and "glad to see that you're tracking the Leg"
Trust me, if DBA made them plain, I would have bought them plain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mranlet
What shocks/springs/coilovers are you using? My 10/8kg Megans don't have nearly as much body roll with Hankook RS2 and stock Outback sway bars/endlinks...?
Quote:
Originally Posted by me
...and I was delayed in getting my Konis off to be revalved, so I had to do the event on the stock struts/springs.
Pat
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Old 05-26-2006, 07:17 PM   #18
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What I meant was: "Koni whats? What springs?"

The stock suspension for this event part got by me.
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Old 05-26-2006, 11:54 PM   #19
Patrick Olsen
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Koni inserts with GC coil-overs. I had been running 315f/280r, but when I reinstall them I'm gonna go to 350f/315r.

Pat
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