Track day! Back to Button Willow to see how well all these mods do!
Ok, so 1) Temps never got above 208! The car ran 20 degrees cooler than my previous fast lap and the outside air temperature was the exact same, 54F! No oil or coolant temp issues! Never had to take a cool down lap, only slowed down when I caught up to the back of the run group.
Ok, the bad news about the track day…neglected spark plugs = no track time for you! The very first out lap on Saturday, the car started stuttering, check engine light came on, and I had two codes. P0101: MAF Circuit Range/Performance and P0300: Random Cylinder Misfire Detected. Not great. I limped the car off track, inspected for intake track leaks, reset the ECU, and took it for a short test drive. The car seemed fine, so I took it back out for a slow pace on track to see if the issue repeated itself. The car stuttered and ran like trash again. Pulled off track back to the pits and then car even stalled out pulling into my parking spot. Eventually the car wouldn’t even idle, but the codes didn’t pop. I’m guessing this was a function of the ECU being recently reset. I pulled a spark plug to try to rule out issues and found this:
Pulled the other three and they were all fouled. I’m running one step colder plugs and they had been in the engine since the rebuild, about 8000 miles. I believe the tuner recommended changing them every 10K, but considering I’ve done about six track days and some autocross on these, it was probably time. After an hour and a half of driving, I was able to find an auto store that kept the right plugs in stock. Got back to the track and put the new plugs in. I figured there was no way that was all that was wrong with the car. Got everything put back together, cranked the car, and BAM! The GR cranked up like it was new! I took it for some easy to moderate driving near by and it seemed to be running no problem.
I figured it’d be better to take my chances breaking down on track vs somewhere on I-5, I went out on track for the very last session of the day. The car ran incredibly well! It hadn’t felt that good since the final tune! So I stuck around, swapped the good tires on over night, and hit the track on Sunday!
The next morning the weather did not develop as forecast, and rather than an early morning drizzle, we got a morning of legit rain.
Went out for the first session which was very wet. Just doing my part to dry the track and see how the car was running. The GR ran strong and all my mechanical woes seemed to be behind me. When I went out for the second session, there was still some wet spots on track and standing water in Cotton Corners. However, the rest of the track was surprisingly dry, so I started pushing where I could. I ended up setting a new personal best of 2:04.7 on a somewhat wet course! The 265s were a shocking difference! There is so so much more grip. It’s going to take a while to find the new limit. And as show cased earlier, my temperatures were all under control lap after lap!
One other thing I was testing on this day was my new wheels and tires. Do they rub? They hadn’t on the street, but this was the first true test of aggressive driving. I didn’t notice any rubbing at all during the track day. On further investigation post track day, there was just a bit of wear against the inside rear plastic bumper where it meets the metal fender. Not significant and the plastic just filed itself down till there was no rubbing with no damage to the tires.
For fitment: I’m running -2.8 camber up front, -2.0 camber in the rear, zero toe all around, and have the super pro offset LCA in the front. I think the rear fender rolling I did is a must for track driving with this set up, but have read of some people who say it isn’t required for street driving.
After the emotional roller coaster that was my track weekend and seeing more rain in the forcast I decided to pack it up and head home. I figured starting from “oh my god I destroyed my car” to a successful test of all my mods and setting a personal record was enough for one weekend and headed home. I have some track time coming soon and am looking forward to seeing just how fast the car is with dry conditions. I’m hoping to find another 2-3 seconds, which will get me really close to my 2 minute goal.
I also sent some data logs to a tuner to try and asses if the spark plugs were the problem or simply a symptom of another issue I have yet to identify. My last oil analysis came back with a clean bill of health, so I’m hoping I’m just a dummy and waited too long to change spark plugs on a modded motor.