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Discussion Starter #1
Went to the BMW drivers ed event at Blackhawk farms in Rockton. 1.9 mile 7 turn road course. No real big straights (115 MPH tops). Ran in instructor group with E36 M3s, tube frame 325's, 944s, and the odd Vettes. Ran with stock fluid, stock tires, stock brakes. First two times ran in auto DCCD...kinda slow coming out of corners...car felt unbalanced. You really needed to manhandle it...finese did not cut it. Next few times tried manual, increasing DCCD to first level yellow (about 3rd click). WAY BETTER. Very balanced. Throttle modulation allowed very nice rotation. Highly recommend this setting. Ultimatley I could keep with a 200hp 2100 lb tube frame 325 with track tires and race pads. Passed race-prepped 944's and many BMWs. Went out in a friends VERY WELL prepared e46 m3 (coil overs, big brembo's, Cup race tires, etc). Way faster than the stock STI. Scary fast. (I could however, catch an e36 M3 with race tires and lowered!)

Oh well, enough bragging. I'll probably hit a tree a Road America next time out. :-?

Charlie
 

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just have that radio deal panel laying around....

First time I hear that STi is much slower than M3 on the track, considering M3 is rwd...
 

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Driver is everything. Once Chasmcco has another 10+ track days under his belt he will probably mop up. I tracked my S2000's all the time and I still need a lot more experience before I call myself good. Hell, Id say it takes 25 track days just to really learn a track good (like PIR for example)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Driver is everything. Once Chasmcco has another 10+ track days under his belt he will probably mop up
Well I do have 10+ days under my belt but only 2 at this track (or maybe I just suck)... I agree with your 25 days a track really helps. And I WAS faster than all street M3's and street vettes in my group and a tube frame 944s (and I could keep up with E46 M3's that just had race rubber) When I used to race the M3 driver I was reffering to with my equally prepared car, we were very close. My main point was 1) STI's ARE good on the track, assuming you turn the DCCD off auto (contraryt to R&T, C&D, etc).

As to the "mop up" comments, I doubt this will ever happen. Any decently powered properly balanced (50/50 on a m3...not that on an STI) car that is track prepped (i.e. E46 M3's with a 265 rear Pilot Cup rubber, 3000 in suspension work, etc. OR maybe Y2KS2K in a S2000) can probably beat any street vehicle no matter how well prepared assuming equal driver skill.


And as far as RWD being a detterant to performance it is a non-issue on a dry track (other than initial launch to corner 1) IMHO. Audi's big racing advantage was getting corner 1 before everyone else. And of course they loved rain.
 

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I agree with Chasmco to a certain extent.

I was just up at a track day and my E46 M3 with a suspension alignment, cross drilled rotors, and hoosiers absolutely shat on my friends Sti (yes it was broken in.) Depending on who was driving the Sti (3 people took turns driving it) I gained anywhere from 8.5 seconds to 12.5 seconds a lap on a course that took me about 2 mins. When the instructor went out in the Sti he praised it for it's quickness and raw power, but complained that it pushed way too much. The owner of the Sti is a pretty knowledgable person about cars and he said that was what he expected; he said the 58/42% front/rear weight distribution and the fact that it's
AWD makes it very hard to take the understeer out of the car. A modified WRX was also up at the track but it was clearly no match for the Sti. The Sti was probably about 10-15mph faster in the straight than the WRX and my M3 was about 10 mph faster than the Sti (I hit 150-155 at the end). Where I really made up my time on the Sti was in the back of the track, as my car has been sorted to the point where understeer is no longer an issue. This simple adjustment of the camber/toe can really help understeer and it's only about 200-300 dollars to get done (I dont' know if Sti's can do that but if they can I definitely recommend it.)

I'll grant the fact that my hoosiers are good for 2 seconds a lap (the opinion of a professional race driver up at the track), but from stories posted on this board I guess I expected it to be closer. Also, this is the point where I will disagree with Chasmco. This is beacuse my E46 M3 (50/50 weight distribution) got completely owned by a 1999 Porsche 996 Carrera 4 that had the same mods (it already had cross drilled rotors) as my car did. The C4 only had 300 hp and 260 lb. of torque, but the gearing and handling of the car gave it acceleration that was close to mine with handling that made me look at its ass all day :cry: . I actually got to drive the car and my impressions were that the 40/60 front/rear weight distribution played to the Porsche's advantage because it allowed the car to hunker it's rear end down and accelerate through the entire turn. Maybe it was just the fact that this was only my 7th track day in my life and I'm not as good a driver as the driver of the C4 was, the gap of about 5 secs a lap between us would be pretty difficult to make up. When all was said and done I had a great time and hope to get revenge on C4 next time so I won't have to hear this again, "The C4 did to you, what you did to me(the Sti)."

Just thought I'd share my experience.
Peace :wink:
 

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chasmcco said:
Driver is everything. Once Chasmcco has another 10+ track days under his belt he will probably mop up
Well I do have 10+ days under my belt but only 2 at this track (or maybe I just suck)... I agree with your 25 days a track really helps. And I WAS faster than all street M3's and street vettes in my group and a tube frame 944s (and I could keep up with E46 M3's that just had race rubber) When I used to race the M3 driver I was reffering to with my equally prepared car, we were very close. My main point was 1) STI's ARE good on the track, assuming you turn the DCCD off auto (contraryt to R&T, C&D, etc).

As to the "mop up" comments, I doubt this will ever happen. Any decently powered properly balanced (50/50 on a m3...not that on an STI) car that is track prepped (i.e. E46 M3's with a 265 rear Pilot Cup rubber, 3000 in suspension work, etc. OR maybe Y2KS2K in a S2000) can probably beat any street vehicle no matter how well prepared assuming equal driver skill.


And as far as RWD being a detterant to performance it is a non-issue on a dry track (other than initial launch to corner 1) IMHO. Audi's big racing advantage was getting corner 1 before everyone else. And of course they loved rain.

I was thinking more of the lines of 10 track days in your Sti (at the same track). I feel like a newby again driving my Sti around. Its so different then my S2000 and Im tempted to start back in novice class again lol! Its so nice to just power around corners! Im still afraid I think becasue at those points my S2000's would start getting rear slide happy.

Ive seen quite a few postings at the S2000 boards about track times and the Sti has been pulling faster track times then the m3 :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
PocketEmpty said:
Once you put some slicks tires on that bad boy I'm sure it would be on par with the M3... No?
Pagid yellow pads are on order to help with braking. And some prodrive wheels with some decent R compound tires are also in the works. Also adjustable camber plates would be great. But there is still the physics aspect of 50/50 weight in the m3. To some extent AWD should somewhat compensate this, but I really don't think it's the panacea that some people think it is. And the day I was out it was 95 degrees, 99% humidity (sucky for NA's, but really sucky for boosted cars)...the E46's could pull me on the straight, but all the stock M3's I could catch (and pass) after a couple turns. Only those with race rubber or better mods caused probs. Don't get me wrong, I'm not upset with the STi at all. In fact I'm selling my 90 911 I think the potential for this car is so great for drivers ed events.

And as for comments about more time with an STI, I agree...but I have had many AWD cars from Subaru XT's to Celica All-tracs to Volvo XC's to Allroads to a RS2 Spec Audi set up for the track. I go to track events and play around on frozen lakes with these cars, so I am familar with AWD's handling (both positive and negative). The DCCD is what really sets this car apart. Only the rally-spec original Porsche C4 had anything like it. Play with on the track. It's manual mode allows for quicker times and more predictable handling (at least in dry :) )
 

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Considering the $20k+ price difference, the STi is not doing bad. But I would also consider:

M3 engines are max'ed out. The STi should be able to make reliably 350-360hp with the (mild) PPP upgrade, which should be ready soon (see NASIOC threads).

E46 M3 engines have had reliability problems. The STi engine is still a questionmark, but I don't think it'll be much different than the WRX reliability-wise.
 
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