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Old 04-17-2002, 12:49 AM   #1
Patrick Olsen
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Cool So, I took my sister's WRX to VIR.....

I'm halfway home from the track now, spending the night at a friend's place in Annapolis, MD. Why did I take my sister's car to an open track event? Well let me tell you....

After much scrambling with the dealer and Cobb Tuning last week, all the parts were on hand Friday morning and the dealer took care of everything (heads, cams, flywheel, clutch, motor mounts) with two guys working on the car all day. Saturday afternoon as I'm doing some more scrambling to get the car ready to head down to VIR I find an oil leak from the driver side head. With a bit of investigation I decided that it's from one of the cam seals on the head - not something I would even want to try to fix, and on a Saturday afternoon there wasn't much chance of finding parts anyway. Double So, I called wac and rkkwan on their cell phones to let them know I would not be making the trip. By this time it was pretty late in the day Saturday - probably 6pm or so. I went out to dinner with my sister and a couple friends, and then decided to ask my sister if I could take her car. She took pity on me (she knew I was seriously bummin' about not being able to go to the event) and said yes. Woohoo!!

So, thus began even more scrambling to get the car somewhat track prepped. On went my 17" UK WRX wheels with Toyo T1-S (no Team RE92 for me, thanks!). I elected not to bring my Kumhos, as I figured running the street tires would keep me slow and safe. I packed my street pads (Mintex 1155s) and a couple bottles of brake fluid. Unfortunately, I had already put my track pads (Carbotech Panther Plus) on the Legacy, and as late as it was (about 10:30pm by the time I was done trading wheels around) I didn't feel like removing them - a decision I now regret. Just by chance last Thursday I had installed a WRX sedan rear swaybar - thank goodness, or else the car would have been really plowin' on the track.

I got up at the crack of dawn Sunday and drove all the way down to Danville, VA. Troopers were out in force on the NJ Tpk and in Northern VA on I-95, but my V-1 kept me safe. (As I said to Ray, "There's some sign at the VA border that says, 'RADAR DETECTORS ARE ... ' but I was going so fast I missed what the last word was." ) Linked up with Wayne and Ray at the hotel.

On the track the two things that became abundantly clear were (1) the wagon likes to understeer - a lot, and (2) the stock brake fluid + Mintex 1155s + stock rubber lines = inadequate braking with a very soft pedal as the session progresses. After 5 or 6 hard laps it got to the point that I couldn't heel and toe anymore because the brake pedal was going down so far! I had a couple of kinda tense moments when I was wondering if the brakes were going to cooperate at all. I think I probably glazed the hell out of the pads, as they just don't feel grippy at all now - I'm used to the 1155s being nice and grippy on the street, but driving up here to MD Tuesday night they just didn't feel good.

Since I'm tired and want to go to bed, I'll just sum up for now and will share more stories once I'm actually home tomorrow (later today, actually).
- '97 Legacy 2.5GT, ~180hp naturally aspirated, Kumho V700s, DMS Golds, Carbotech pads, stainless lines, etc etc - 2:35.26 best lap
- '02 WRX wagon, 227hp, stock drivetrain, stock suspension with sedan rear swaybar, T1-S street tires, Mintex 1155 street/light track (yeah right! ) pads, etc etc - ~2:36.00 best lap

Not bad, eh? I'd love to see what I could do with the WRX power in my Legacy's chassis.

Pat Olsen
'97 Legacy 2.5GT sedan
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Old 04-17-2002, 03:13 AM   #2
Slvrblt
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nice job pat!!

sorry to hear about the continuing saga of the legacy

speed safely

Brian
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Old 04-17-2002, 09:08 AM   #3
sorbee711
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Good to hear you got a chance to go! Aren't relatives great.

Also its good to hear how well a stock wagon does as likely I will keep mine stock at least for a while. Plus now that nice weather is here is about time to go test drive one.
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Old 04-17-2002, 10:15 AM   #4
CTKAG
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I hope you're going to leave some of those upgrades for your sister as 'Thanks' for thrashing her ride!! Nice to have another family member with a 'performance' car.
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Old 04-17-2002, 10:36 AM   #5
BrysImpreza
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Thats great! You should have swapped off your stock Legacy Sway Bars onto the WRX and saw what happened, may have cut off some more time (if they in fact fit)

Good story though!
Bry.
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Old 04-17-2002, 05:34 PM   #6
Patrick Olsen
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Finished the drive home today, no problems at all so a successful journey overall.

The Toyo T1-S tires seemed to handle the abuse pretty well. I would imagine their ultimate grip isn't as good as the higher end street tires (such as Ray's S-03s), but I don't have any way to compare. Feedback was pretty good - I could listen to the tires in the corners and keep them howling/singing (not squealing) with adjustments of the steering wheel. I don't think I ever got them to squeal, actually - if I cranked in too much steering they would go from howling to that grinding/scrubbing noise, which obviously meant I needed to back off a bit. The left side tires both took some abuse on the outer shoulder (damn lack of negative camber on the WRX wagon!!), but there was minimal roll-over, if any at all. I started with 42# front and rear, and ended up going to 42f/44r on the second day to try to loosen up the rear a bit. The only difference I noticed with the higher rear pressure was that the rear of the car just felt kinda funny going through the fast uphill Esses.

Probably the most exciting moment of the two days was getting a wheel off coming out of the Horseshoe, the 180deg right-hander at the end of the front straight. It's really two turns that you take in a big arc - you turn in late, turning nearly 90deg initially, then gradually unwind the wheel and get into the throttle, tracking out to the left edge of the track. There's a rumble strip on the outside of the track, and then a big patch of dirt after the rumble strip where others have done exactly what I did. I was drifting out to the left edge of the track, wasn't sure I was going to make it (understeering too much), so I breathed off the gas for an instant to rotate the car a bit. In doing so I put the left rear tire off into the dirt. Fortunately I was already back on the gas, and the car was heading in a direction that pulled the wheel back onto the pavement a split second later. However, in that split second the rear of the car jumped out a bit - woohoo!!!

My pictures from the event:
Here I am coming out of Oak Tree. This a tight right-hander (2nd gear) that dumps you onto the back straight. In the Legacy I take this in 3rd, but in the WRX I was able to get a much better launch out of the corner by being well into the boost in 2nd.


This is entering turn 4, a 90deg left-hander through which you cut a very late apex. I was taking this in 3rd, as I would in the Legacy, but probably could have (should have?) gone down to 2nd (as I believe Ray was).

This picture was from the first or second session on Monday. It took me a few laps, but I managed to work my way past the 944t as I was still feeling out the WRX. The pass was kind of fluky - I was catching him, but finally closed the gap when he got caught behind someone slower. On Tuesday, in the third session of the day, I had decided I was going to run a couple of hot laps to time myself and then take it easy. Well, after a couple of hot laps, I was starting to ease off and what do I see a ways ahead of me but a red 944t. Well, I had to prove that the pass on Monday hadn't been a total fluke, so I proceeded to walk him down over the next couple of laps, got the pass signal, and then put about 30 car lengths on him in the next lap and a half. Then I decided to take it easy, and let him pass me and just followed him for the rest of the session.

Pat
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Old 04-17-2002, 05:39 PM   #7
Mike2000GT
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I've been waiting all week for this report...

Glad to hear you made it down to the track, albeit in a WRX. I certainly hope it hasnt encouraged you to change teams (your curiousity of the powerplant in the GT eased my mind ).

I am impressed that your time in the under prepped WRX nearly eclipsed your GT time. More umph to the argument that the GTs are under powered.

Looking forward to the full writeup when you get back.

Mike
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Old 04-17-2002, 05:45 PM   #8
RyanC
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Pat, I had to take the Oak Tree in first in the 911 last year during One Lap... stupid tall gears and horrible turbo lag make for some funny gear choices heheh. Did you guys run the long course the whole time or switch between the three layouts? Just curious since you referred to the esses as being uphill but I remember the long course esses being pretty flat until the approach to the right hander at the end of them.

Ryan <- wishing he had the money a couple of months ago to hit VIR with you guys
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Old 04-17-2002, 10:19 PM   #9
Patrick Olsen
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Quote:
Originally posted by RyanC
Did you guys run the long course the whole time or switch between the three layouts? Just curious since you referred to the esses as being uphill but I remember the long course esses being pretty flat until the approach to the right hander at the end of them.
Hmmmm, I think your memory must be failing you in your old age. The Esses on the Full Course are definitely uphill (albeit a rather gradual slope, not nearly as steep as the Esses at Watkins Glen, for instance), and the turn after the Esses is a left-hander that drops off downhill so track out is blind.

With that said, yes, we did switch courses. Monday morning the Beginner group was over on the South Course (which I've never had the chance to run) to perform some braking and cornering drills (I think) while the two Intermediate groups and the Instructor group were on the North Course. The rest of the event had everyone on the Full Course.

Oh, I've decided at this event that I want to organize my own OT events, and it will be all about self-esteem. At this event, there was no Advanced group - it was Beginner, Novice/Intermediate, Advanced/Intermediate, and Instructors. I figure why stop with two Intermediate groups and no Advanced group. I'll call my Beginners group the "Advanced" group, Intermediate will be "Really Advanced", and Advanced will be "Super Duper Advanced". That way even my first-time attendees will have reason to feel good about themselves.

Pat
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Old 04-17-2002, 10:26 PM   #10
rkkwan
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Okay, I'm finally back, after taking the scenic route along the Maryland Eastern shore and coastal CT and RI.

Quick comments:

1. I'm looking at the photo I bought, which was taken at Turn 4. My car does lean a little less thanks to the bigger Whiteline swaybars (and slower speed). [I suddenly realize that I don't have a floppy drive! So, I can't put my pic up there right now for direct comparsion.]

2. I was taking Turn 3 & 4 in 2nd gear, as Pat has stated. However, with better driving, the gearing might be a little too short, as I was at red line between those 2 turns before braking for Turn 4.

Some photos and more comments in a little bit.

-Ray

Hm... Wayne has his own thread. I need to comment on that one too.
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Old 04-17-2002, 10:27 PM   #11
RyanC
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Ah, I must be losing it in my old age. Speaking of old, isn't this a case of the pot calling the kettle black?
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Old 04-18-2002, 09:45 AM   #12
Patrick Olsen
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Oh, BTW, even with all the abuse I gave them I did not warp the supposedly weak WRX rotors. They did turn a pretty blue color from all the heat.

I really would be curious to see what times I could have run with my Kumhos and some good brake pads. I think sub 2:30s would be easily attainable. Hell, even on street tires, with good brake pads I'm sure I could have cut another second or two off my times.

Pat
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Old 04-18-2002, 10:02 AM   #13
rkkwan
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Quote:
Originally posted by CTKAG
I hope you're going to leave some of those upgrades for your sister as 'Thanks' for thrashing her ride!! Nice to have another family member with a 'performance' car.
Actually, Pat is doing that. Like leaving two big holes in the fender wells. I'm sure his sister will appreciate the better resistance to brake fade in her daily commute.

-Ray
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Old 04-18-2002, 01:50 PM   #14
EricB
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Hey, I was racing my motorcycle at VIR Saturday and Sunday, and saw a bunch of cars heading to the track as we left Sunday evening. If I'd known a bunch of you were running your cars there Monday, I would've stayed!



Eric
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Old 04-18-2002, 02:36 PM   #15
angus
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Default Re: So, I took my sister's WRX to VIR.....

Quote:
Originally posted by Patrick Olsen
Just by chance last Thursday I had installed a WRX sedan rear swaybar
"just by chance"...hmmm?
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Old 04-23-2002, 03:08 PM   #16
rkkwan
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Here's the pic of me at Turn 4 ("Left Hook"). Compared to Pat's sister's car, my car seems to be rolling a little less.

-Ray

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Old 04-23-2002, 04:14 PM   #17
Patrick Olsen
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Actually, Ray, it looks about the same to me. Not too surprising, really - sway bars will have some effect, but if you want to significantly change body roll you need stiffer springs and firmer damping.

Pat
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