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Thread: Handling characteristics of the FFR Roadster on-track

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    Handling characteristics of the FFR Roadster on-track

    In light of another thread here suggesting to overhaul the sub-category, I am a new member here looking to get a sense of how an FFR handles on track. I am a young professional, and don't have the means to support a wheel to wheel addiction but have been attending track days over the last several years with a miata, which I have then turbo-charged. An FFR roadster doubles the power of my miata, with a 10% reduction in weight, and that seems to be a combination that I can use to rotate myself to my oblivion.

    I understand that there's a lot of nuance to this question, and lots of "it depends", but how does an FFR handle, and how does one manage these handling characteristics? I plan to buy in to a local mk4 project here, which will be utilizing a coyote motor, 3 link suspension, and the koni reds.

    For track days, I intend to switch to larger wheels, (17s), and run either NT01s or Hoosiers. Lastly, I may consider light aero work in the way of a splitter, a flat bottom, and diffuser or a gurney flap, and possibly windshield removal.

    Lastly, I often "virtually" drive miatas within either Iracing, Project Cars 2, or Assetto Corsa to stay warm. The miata is a very neutral momentum car that I can rev out and fairly predictable. Assetto Corsa has a 427 cobra which I find much more difficult to drive, slower turn-in, and far more demanding in terms throttle balance for rotation management. What does an FFR actually feel like on track?

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    The FFR handles quite well. But, it is old technology, and basic technology. It's not a race suspension. I won five local championships with my MII, but it took a lot of work.

    OTOH, you already own the miata. It wouldn't take much to make it lighter and faster. www.RacingTheExocet.com
    .boB "Iron Man"
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    www.RacingTheExocet.com

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    Bob, so glad you replied because I actually saw your post over on ffcars yesterday - it's one of the first Google results for exocet vs factory five.That thread ended with you receiving the frame, it was quite the cliff hanger! With your response, I feel like i just stumbled onto several full seasons of a critically acclaimed show on Netflix.

    Belated congrats on the mk2 wins and the completion of the exo. How would you compare the handling between the two you've owned? Im expecting the exocet afcos are significantly more refined than the ffr konis. The exo tubular frame must certainly be more rigid than the mk2 you retired after heavy use.

    I will build the ffr for two big reasons. First, it's a "grail car" for me. I got the dvd about 20 years ago while I was in high school and have been wanting to build one with my father "one day" for that entire duration.

    Second, I also want to use the ffr to go get fried clam strips with my wife on nice weekends (I can't do it in the exocet, my wife is not a fan of the miata, and the family Volvo does not tug at my heart strings)

    What is it like with 400hp and 1600lbs? Is it "overkill"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Cowan View Post
    The FFR handles quite well. But, it is old technology, and basic technology. It's not a race suspension. I won five local championships with my MII, but it took a lot of work.

    OTOH, you already own the miata. It wouldn't take much to make it lighter and faster. www.RacingTheExocet.com

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    The Exocet has about 100 hp less and weighs about 400 pounds less than the FFR. The Exocet is significantly faster than the FFR ever was. The reason is because the suspension is so much better. My top speed is a bit lower, but my lap times are much faster.

    There is no such thing as too much power, only not enough control. The Exocet makes about 435 hp, and even that's not enough. I'm considering a turbo.
    .boB "Iron Man"
    NASA Rocky Mountain, TTU #42
    FFR MII: Dart 427W, Momar 8 stack EFI, Tremeac TKO, IRS, Red with Ghost Flames, 600'ish HP.
    -- Gone, but never forgotten
    BDR 1642: Coyote, 6 Speed Auto, Edelbrock Supercharger
    www.RacingTheExocet.com

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    I am very interested to know how the FFR Roadster handles as well. I don't know whether to build a Factory Five Roadster or a Challenge Car. Or hell, should I buy a Backdraft or Superformance? I'm leaning towards the Challenge Car because my intended use for th car would be Autocross (competitive), HPDE/track days, occasional drag race (not as serious about this), weekend car meets/cruises, and the occasional fun drive to work. I figured I can put a windshield on the Challenge Car and even remove the front splitter for the random daily use, then swap wheels/tires, remove the windshield, and add the front splitter for autocross. I really want to know if the Challenge Car handles that much better than the roadster due to the chassis.

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    Director of R&D, FFR Jim Schenck's Avatar
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    Using the old MKII street car as a way of comparing how quick a modern IRS challenge car would be to any other car is apples to oranges. The newer cars have better suspension setup on all four corners, plus the chassis in the challenge cars is a good bit stiffer. I don't have any experience driving an Excocet and have never heard bad things about them, but I wouldn't say they are as quick as a properly setup challenge car from what I have seen. My experience is being at VIR with them for UTCC and some other NASA events, at no point were they quicker than us.
    Jim Schenck
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    Jim,

    Thanks for the speedy reply! I think my mind is pretty much set on the Challenge Car. I just finished watching the DVD you guys sent me and have been reading the damn catalog all week LOL. I'm already driving my wife crazy over this damn car. I think the amount of passion and confidence you all convey about your product speaks volumes. I do wish there were more resources on the performance of the Challenge Car, let alone how it performs in Autocross. When I finish my build, I'm going to be producing my own content on the Challenge Car within the scope of autocross. Thanks again.

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    Thanks Jim! Yes, apples to oranges between a tired MkII and a current challenge car. I'm posting here to ask about the MK4 roadster, not the challenge car, but am posting here as the fine folks here presumably have more track experience.

    What I'm simply trying to get at is - I'm looking to get into a street 289 coyote project with the 3 link and the konis and anticipate track days. You guys have evolved an amazing platform over the years, enough for me to late-night window shop over the course of practically the last 2 decades.

    What whould I expect with regard to handling characteristics? What key points would you communicate to someone before they hop in and warm up with a few laps?

    Lastly, the 3-link seems to be pushed on the website marketing as the de facto choice for the track - how would you compare it to the IRS in that application?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Schenck View Post
    Using the old MKII street car as a way of comparing how quick a modern IRS challenge car would be to any other car is apples to oranges. The newer cars have better suspension setup on all four corners, plus the chassis in the challenge cars is a good bit stiffer. I don't have any experience driving an Excocet and have never heard bad things about them, but I wouldn't say they are as quick as a properly setup challenge car from what I have seen. My experience is being at VIR with them for UTCC and some other NASA events, at no point were they quicker than us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chitty chitty bang bang View Post
    Thanks Jim! Yes, apples to oranges between a tired MkII and a current challenge car. I'm posting here to ask about the MK4 roadster, not the challenge car, but am posting here as the fine folks here presumably have more track experience.

    What I'm simply trying to get at is - I'm looking to get into a street 289 coyote project with the 3 link and the konis and anticipate track days. You guys have evolved an amazing platform over the years, enough for me to late-night window shop over the course of practically the last 2 decades.

    What whould I expect with regard to handling characteristics? What key points would you communicate to someone before they hop in and warm up with a few laps?

    Lastly, the 3-link seems to be pushed on the website marketing as the de facto choice for the track - how would you compare it to the IRS in that application?
    I can not speak on the IRS setup, but I can speak on behalf of the 3 link on a MKIII challenge car, coming from a spec Miata (that I later supercharged for SM2).


    The Miata, especially the spec package is a neutral balanced momentum car that like late turn in, a small amount of angle, and heavy application of the throttle early on.

    The challenge cars are tail heavy, and can oversteer even on light throttle. They have a lot of torque to go with that, but they can also really put the power down effectively with throttle discipline. The upgraded front suspension really improved the turn in and initial bite. So you can turn in early or late, then control the nose rotation with the throttle. Its similar to a 911 in that aspect. The 3 link is still a live axle, so uneven pavement can unsettle it a bit, but it usually recovers quickly. On a smooth surface it can usually out accelerate similar HP car from apex to exit. They can also carry a lot of speed into the turn as long as you keep it balance. They seem to enjoy bigger slip angles, and can put on an impressive drift while remaining predictable as long as you maintain that throttle discipline mentioned earlier.

    Bottom line: They are quick, well handing and really reward smooth inputs. Its funny that even when the Challenge cars only has 200-210 HP they were as quick as the CMC, GS and GT cars.
    Last edited by mhoward1; 07-11-2019 at 07:53 PM.
    2012 NASA-SE FFR Champion
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    IRS - not IRL. It won't let me edit it for some reason
    2012 NASA-SE FFR Champion
    2011 NASA-SE FFR Champion
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhoward1 View Post

    So you can turn in early or late, then control the nose rotation with the throttle. Its similar to a 911 in that aspect.

    They seem to enjoy bigger slip angles, and can put on an impressive drift while remaining predictable as long as you maintain that throttle discipline mentioned earlier.

    +1

    No nannies - but they really reward "learn to drive the car - master it". (especially in 1st + 2nd - autocross).

    They punish any sloppy driver input - very much like a vintage 911 - I refer to that as "get sloppy with a throttle drop and it will instantly prison rape you - faster than you can say 'oops".

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    Director of R&D, FFR Jim Schenck's Avatar
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    After 20 years of tuning, suspension and chassis updates, and knowledge sharing among owners and racers (an often overlooked enormous benefit of both the forums and the openness of the guys running the challenge series), and you get where we are today with the cars even better than a lot of people who have driven the older ones have experienced.

    For many years the 3-link was the go to for track suspension and it still has some great benefits and is simple to set up. The previous generation IRS was more optimized for the street, softer sprung, more travel, more authentic, and took more time with the set up to make it work well on track. The newer IRS however really is the best of both worlds, it out handles the 3-link in terms of lap times and rides better on the street. When we first tested the IRS we took a street MK4 to the test track (NCCAR) and our test driver was a very experienced challenge series racer, his initial impression was that the street car with IRS was quicker than his race car along with being easier to drive. My initial thought was that the 3-link would still be quicker on an autocross because of the froward bite, with both the standing start and lower speed corner exits, however my experience there has been the same as on the track, the IRS is just quicker.

    As for how it drives compared to other cars this is still a 90 inch wheelbase, rear heavy car and it is going to be trickier to drive than a well set up 105+ inch wheelbase car at the limit, but with such a low overall weight, such a wide tire, and so much of the weight on the rear tires, the performance envelope is quite high to begin with. Its also quite rewarding and more fun than most anything once you get the hang of it.
    Jim Schenck
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    Jim,
    Is there an IRS retro fit kit for the MKIII cars?
    2012 NASA-SE FFR Champion
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    Director of R&D, FFR Jim Schenck's Avatar
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    The way the new IRS mounts it was not easy enough to offer as a kit. Some guys have done it but it really is best to have a race shop do the install as it is not self locating like the old one was.
    Jim Schenck
    Factory Five Racing

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    Senior Member Avalanche325's Avatar
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    My experience is mainly autocross, a little open track. I have a MKIV wtth a 3-link.

    Here are my comments to various things in the whole thread.

    I 100% agree with mike223. You have to do all of the driving. There are no computers making you look better than you are. Mistake = punishment

    I do think the chassis communicates well as to what it is doing and is going to do. However, it all happens very quickly with the short wheelbase.
    In autocross, my best times are with the car dancing on the ragged edge, but not to the point of being sloppy. God it feels sweet when you get it there. Autocross is 10/10ths for the whole run. I would not drive that hard on the track with walls, high speeds, etc. You have to learn throttle control on and especially off. Smooth steering inputs are rewarded. Sharp wheel movements, which a high HP car makes you want to do, hurt you times. I would autocross several times before I hit the open track.

    For "competitive" autocross, I don't think these are the right cars. The base class for these is XP, which means that the PAX is absolutely terrible. A top 10 raw time will put you in the bottom half in PAX. There is the option of CAM-S. For local events that is where the FFRs around here run. However, for nationals, I think you would have to ballast up to 2500lbs without driver. You also have to run 200 treadwear tires (NT-05, etc). You may be able to be competitive in that class. 2018 nationals had 30 cars, almost all Corvettes, with 2 FFRs coming in 6th and 7th.

    If it was a track only car, a challenge car would of course be safer, but a pain on the street without doors.

    Just my opinion. Superformance is more of a cruiser (look at the frame). FFR and Backdraft are more track ready. If I were looking for a more track focused Cobra, I would have a serious look at the new coupe.

    "Wife is not into the Miata"? I'll say this from being a member of the Deep South Cobra Club where 30ish of us gather up for a long weekend of cruising a couple times a year. NOT MANY wives are into these cars. They think the cars are beautiful (or "cute"), but don't really like being in them. They are loud, windy, unsophisticated, hot and brutal. How may women line up for that? There are guys that I have been meeting up with for 5 years and I have never met their wives. No way are the coming. Some tolerate it. Any maybe, just maybe, one or two actually like it. I have only ever seen one woman drive one for about an hour.

    However, they are an absolute blast to drive on the street, autocross, or track.

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    Steve >> aka: GoDadGo
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhoward1 View Post
    I can not speak on the IRS setup, but I can speak on behalf of the 3 link on a MKIII challenge car, coming from a spec Miata (that I later supercharged for SM2).


    The challenge cars are tail heavy, and can oversteer even on light throttle.
    Man am I glad I moved my my drive-line forward far enough to achieve a 50/50 front to rear weight distribution to get it to properly fit in the chassis.

    Thanks For This Tid-Bit Mr. Howard!

    I guess those hips that make the Cobra so shapely are there for a reason so with that said: Hit It Freddy!

    https://youtu.be/VMnjF1O4eH0
    Last edited by GoDadGo; 07-12-2019 at 02:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Avalanche325 View Post

    Autocross is 10/10ths for the whole run.

    I would not drive that hard on the track with walls, high speeds, etc. You have to learn throttle control on and especially off.

    I would autocross several times before I hit the open track.
    This speaks to my point exactly - best to learn all you can at lower speeds in second gear with plenty of run off room (autocross).

    Anywhere you're in 3rd or 4th is likely a terrible spot to run out of talent / training / "reflex quick" muscle memory / experience - these cars make things happen "quick".

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    How many inches forward did you push it? Can you photograph you subframe solution, or link to a build thread?

    Thanks!


    Quote Originally Posted by GoDadGo View Post
    Man am I glad I moved my my drive-line forward far enough to achieve a 50/50 front to rear weight distribution to get it to properly fit in the chassis.

    Thanks For This Tid-Bit Mr. Howard!

    I guess those hips that make the Cobra so shapely are there for a reason so with that said: Hit It Freddy!

    https://youtu.be/VMnjF1O4eH0

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    HAHA, I suppose getting my wife to like anything I like is wishful thinking!


    Quote Originally Posted by Avalanche325 View Post
    My experience is mainly autocross, a little open track. I have a MKIV wtth a 3-link.

    Here are my comments to various things in the whole thread.

    I 100% agree with mike223. You have to do all of the driving. There are no computers making you look better than you are. Mistake = punishment

    I do think the chassis communicates well as to what it is doing and is going to do. However, it all happens very quickly with the short wheelbase.
    In autocross, my best times are with the car dancing on the ragged edge, but not to the point of being sloppy. God it feels sweet when you get it there. Autocross is 10/10ths for the whole run. I would not drive that hard on the track with walls, high speeds, etc. You have to learn throttle control on and especially off. Smooth steering inputs are rewarded. Sharp wheel movements, which a high HP car makes you want to do, hurt you times. I would autocross several times before I hit the open track.

    For "competitive" autocross, I don't think these are the right cars. The base class for these is XP, which means that the PAX is absolutely terrible. A top 10 raw time will put you in the bottom half in PAX. There is the option of CAM-S. For local events that is where the FFRs around here run. However, for nationals, I think you would have to ballast up to 2500lbs without driver. You also have to run 200 treadwear tires (NT-05, etc). You may be able to be competitive in that class. 2018 nationals had 30 cars, almost all Corvettes, with 2 FFRs coming in 6th and 7th.

    If it was a track only car, a challenge car would of course be safer, but a pain on the street without doors.

    Just my opinion. Superformance is more of a cruiser (look at the frame). FFR and Backdraft are more track ready. If I were looking for a more track focused Cobra, I would have a serious look at the new coupe.

    "Wife is not into the Miata"? I'll say this from being a member of the Deep South Cobra Club where 30ish of us gather up for a long weekend of cruising a couple times a year. NOT MANY wives are into these cars. They think the cars are beautiful (or "cute"), but don't really like being in them. They are loud, windy, unsophisticated, hot and brutal. How may women line up for that? There are guys that I have been meeting up with for 5 years and I have never met their wives. No way are the coming. Some tolerate it. Any maybe, just maybe, one or two actually like it. I have only ever seen one woman drive one for about an hour.

    However, they are an absolute blast to drive on the street, autocross, or track.

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    This makes lots of sense, Mike.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike223 View Post
    This speaks to my point exactly - best to learn all you can at lower speeds in second gear with plenty of run off room (autocross).

    Anywhere you're in 3rd or 4th is likely a terrible spot to run out of talent / training / "reflex quick" muscle memory / experience - these cars make things happen "quick".

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    Quote Originally Posted by chitty chitty bang bang View Post
    How many inches forward did you push it? Can you photograph you subframe solution, or link to a build thread?

    Thanks!

    You can't go far or you're going to need a new header / exhaust solution - where the sidepipes com through the fenders.

    I think I recall GoDadGo is small block chevy - so he was already into custom stuff.


    The rear bias is really fun to drive - once you get the hang of it.

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    Steve >> aka: GoDadGo
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    Mr. Bang,

    I'm about 6" further forward, but I'm Not Ford Powered.
    Also, a lot of SBF guys locate their batteries up from for the added weight, shorter main electrical leads which gains them additional trunk space.
    Good luck with your project.

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike223 View Post
    The rear bias is really fun to drive - once you get the hang of it.
    yes they are:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffJk0mH5J60
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    Director of R&D, FFR Jim Schenck's Avatar
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    50/50 weight bias is not something we ever shoot for because it really is not optimal. Sure its better than 55% on the nose, but in a performance rear wheel drive car, (and in particular one that has space for a wider tire at the rear) rear weight bias will always give better performance. The three things you want the car to do are first accelerate, and the best thing for that is as much weight on the rear tires as possible. Second is braking, also most beneficial to have a strong rear bias so that under deceleration the load evens out. The final one is steady state cornering to which everyone thinks the 50/50 is best, however if you have 15% more tire on the rear then your front tires are having to work harder than the rear and you lose that perfect balance. A car with 255 front and 315 rear tire widths is fairly extreme example but that is what we are talking about here and on our cars more than most, the more weight you can get in the back the better. Given a clean sheet of paper and open choice of tire widths I would say 42/58 is much closer to the ideal balance.
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  28. #25

    Steve >> aka: GoDadGo
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    Jim,

    Some of us like to Drag Race where turning left or right is frowned upon plus it can get you in trouble too.
    A short wheelbase with a rear weight bias can be a Wheelie, Wheelie A Bad Thing in this scenario.

    https://youtu.be/D96-qcOpHcI

    My point is a street cruiser that hits the strip from time to time will benefit from a more neutral weight distribution.
    With that said a 50/50 weight distribution can have it's benefits depending on the use of the car; don't you agree?

    Steve
    Last edited by GoDadGo; 07-12-2019 at 06:53 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoDadGo View Post

    My point is a street cruiser that hits the strip from time to time will benefit from a more neutral weight distribution.
    With that said a 50/50 weight distribution can have it's benefits depending on the use of the car; don't you agree?

    Steve,

    I have no opinion whatsoever on drag racing weight bias.


    Otherwise, the best example that occurs to me is Porsche - 911 vs 928 (and to a lesser extent 944).

    I think it was generally agreed (back in the day) that "squared up" 50/50 928s were "technically superior" to 911s, *but not near as much fun to drive "at the limit"*...


    Maybe 928s have some cult following at this point (I have no idea), but I'm certain that the 911s have held their value (and way beyond).

    Because they're "driver's cars".


    From a guy who passed on *even bothering to go look* at a $2500 928 in the last 5 years.

    If I catch a $2500 911 offer, I'll probably go look - and be sorely, sadly disappointed...

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    Steve >> aka: GoDadGo
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    Mike223,

    I'll NEVER drive my car at the limits unless I am at the drag strip even though my pal Phil, A True Porsche Guy, is still attempting to teach me how to turn left and right.
    That's why I've got deep rear end gears (3.73's) with 6 moving forward because I love driving the Gulfport Dragway (110 Round Trip) to make a few passes before heading home.
    I've been doing this since the place opened in 1978, which is when I got my drivers licence and pushed a broom after school at Ken's Racing Services.
    For what it is worth I do like Porsche's and even have 356 Mirrors on my car so maybe they will help with the handling when turning left and right.
    The thing I'm looking forward to is being totally stable on the big end when I let off the gas when I finally bring the Dark Side Cobra to the track.
    My driving skills probably are best with a neutrally balanced car for that reason alone.

    Steve
    Last edited by GoDadGo; 07-12-2019 at 09:15 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoDadGo View Post
    Mike223,

    I'll NEVER drive my car at the limits unless I am at the drag strip even though my pal Phil, A True Porsche Guy, is still attempting to teach me how to turn left and right.


    My driving skills probably are best with a neutrally balanced car for that reason alone.

    Steve
    Steve,

    Not "shading" you, or what turns you on driving.

    I understand the neutrally balanced car.


    Much like Phil - the true Porsche guy - just trying to suggest how best to "enjoy" turning left + right.


    Never said "all that" was easy to learn, or "master" (ten years, it still regularly exceeds my personal comfort level - my build plan involved building a enduring challenge - like for the rest of my life).

    Manhandling it - on / off / in between / throttle / brake / turning right + left in second gear - not sure I'll ever master that reliably - too many things too quick.

    Greatest game I ever played...


    Mike
    Last edited by mike223; 07-12-2019 at 09:35 PM.

  33. #29
    Director of R&D, FFR Jim Schenck's Avatar
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    Steve,

    I think whats important to consider is set-up can have a larger affect than just the weight bias of the car. A rear heavy car like ours can still be tuned to understeer, just as a car with 50/50 bias will not handle neutrally unless it is properly set up to do so. For one of our cars being street driven and occasionally run down the strip I would still prefer a rear weight bias. The car will be quicker down the track, brake better in emergency stops on the street, and have just a touch of understeer with the standard staggered tire sizes. You could give up performance by moving weight forward to make the car more straight line stable, however you could also tune the suspension for more understeer if you wanted and keep the weight to the rear and not lose any straight line performance.
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  35. #30
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    Generally speaking, the more weight I have on the rear the harder I can hit the tires. My car is set-up with 52.6% rear weight bias and with a small tire car and an engine capable of more than 1000 HP I need to hit the rear tires very hard. It's capable of launching at 2.76-G's and that would transfer 833 lbs off the front and onto the rear axle. The suspension is set-up to hit the tire hard with very little spin. But with 113" WB and less than 13" CG height (at race weight with me in the car) it would take 4-G's to lift the front wheels off the ground (and BTW, that's wasted energy). The car hooks hard and goes straight. That's due to a combination of weight placement, weight transfer, and suspension set-up. And hard on the brakes at the big end is no drama -- stops as straight and controlled as it launches.
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  37. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike223 View Post

    Much like Phil - the true Porsche guy - just trying to suggest how best to "enjoy" turning left + right.

    What Real Porsche Guys Drive:
    https://youtu.be/hsvEx4vDVdg
    https://youtu.be/V39hEZ6XKYg
    https://youtu.be/SKrs8fYZ8Ro

    Phil's Current Ride TOJ-206:
    https://youtu.be/_y7ipvMvAV4
    https://youtu.be/zm2RdZ-FJmA
    https://youtu.be/uFm3CM8_Zf8
    https://youtu.be/JhR21Q24xHU

    Mike
    He's been trying to sway me to do just that, but I still like going staight! "
    Last edited by GoDadGo; 07-13-2019 at 07:16 AM.

  38. #32

    Steve >> aka: GoDadGo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Schenck View Post
    Steve,

    I think whats important to consider is set-up can have a larger affect than just the weight bias of the car. A rear heavy car like ours can still be tuned to understeer, just as a car with 50/50 bias will not handle neutrally unless it is properly set up to do so. For one of our cars being street driven and occasionally run down the strip I would still prefer a rear weight bias. The car will be quicker down the track, brake better in emergency stops on the street, and have just a touch of understeer with the standard staggered tire sizes. You could give up performance by moving weight forward to make the car more straight line stable, however you could also tune the suspension for more understeer if you wanted and keep the weight to the rear and not lose any straight line performance.
    I get it Jim and I know that you know best, but my little car will only be doing "Limited Track Days" with my pal riding shotgun so that he can teach me how to turn left and right. Also, my stagger isn't as extreme with 245/45's up front and only 285/40's on the rear so it isn't like I've got a pare of 315 fatties out back, but I find them A-Okay for the street.

    You probably won't like these changes either, but I did shorten you wheel base (.75") so that my rear wheels are centered within the wheel arches and added Mike Forte's last .75" front sway bar. I also moved the wiring harness to the passenger side of the car so that the foot box isn't so crowed. The good news is that my car handles way, way better than my old C-4 Corvette ever did so I'm happy with what I feel is my dream car.

    The Red Rider:
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    Last edited by GoDadGo; 07-13-2019 at 07:56 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhoward1 View Post

    They have a lot of torque to go with that, but they can also really put the power down effectively with throttle discipline.

    So you can turn in early or late, then control the nose rotation with the throttle.

    They can also carry a lot of speed into the turn as long as you keep it balance. They seem to enjoy bigger slip angles, and can put on an impressive drift while remaining predictable as long as you maintain that throttle discipline mentioned earlier.
    Quote Originally Posted by Avalanche325 View Post

    However, it all happens very quickly with the short wheelbase.

    In autocross, my best times are with the car dancing on the ragged edge, but not to the point of being sloppy.

    God it feels sweet when you get it there.

    You have to learn throttle control on and especially off.
    It occurs to me that we're off on the wrong track discussing 53/47 vs 50/50 vs 47/53 weight bias.


    To the above quotes - the key skill in these cars is to develop the finesse of throttle discipline and use the throttle to transfer weight back + forth between the axles as needed for grip (at will).

    That is the "big hammer" of handling in these "no nanny cars", and always will be.


    53/47 vs 50/50 vs 47/53 is completely academic in comparison.


    It's easiest to learn in 2nd gear on an autocross course - and it's something you don't ever want to make a big mistake with in 3rd or 4th gear.
    Last edited by mike223; 07-13-2019 at 07:48 AM.

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  41. #34
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    What an interesting discussion. I've also just accepted that 50/50 is "perfect". I'm Thinking back to the Miata ND see-saw commercial now. Perhaps in low-power momentum car situations where power application doesn't upset the system, it make more sense.

    For the FFR and it's high power/weight ratio, it completely makes sense that weight bias is combined with setup (tire and suspension) to manage the massively dynamic nature of a track environment.

    I should look in my manual but is there a alignment / setup table in published anywhere? John George Racing runs in my track club and publishes his setup for seemingly every race he runs. Does anyone else put their setups online?

    Jim, who is a good suspension specialist in the MA/NH area?



    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Schenck View Post
    Steve,

    I think whats important to consider is set-up can have a larger affect than just the weight bias of the car. A rear heavy car like ours can still be tuned to understeer, just as a car with 50/50 bias will not handle neutrally unless it is properly set up to do so. For one of our cars being street driven and occasionally run down the strip I would still prefer a rear weight bias. The car will be quicker down the track, brake better in emergency stops on the street, and have just a touch of understeer with the standard staggered tire sizes. You could give up performance by moving weight forward to make the car more straight line stable, however you could also tune the suspension for more understeer if you wanted and keep the weight to the rear and not lose any straight line performance.

  42. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by chitty chitty bang bang View Post

    I've also just accepted that 50/50 is "perfect". I'm Thinking back to the Miata ND see-saw commercial now. Perhaps in low-power momentum car situations where power application doesn't upset the system, it make more sense.

    For the FFR and it's high power/weight ratio, it completely makes sense that weight bias is combined with setup (tire and suspension) to manage the massively dynamic nature of a track environment.
    Perfect - you're getting it.

    Now - never forget that you can immediately throw a fat body (more like 4 fat bodies) on either end of the 90" see-saw with the throttle pedal (and no amount of setup will ever change that basic fact).


    Good commercial (but it doesn't have a lot to do with driving these cars):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rCvfOAxiMk

  43. #36
    Director of R&D, FFR Jim Schenck's Avatar
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    John's website is a very valuable source of information as is the racing section of FFCars. Also I can share any info we have accumulated over the years which includes not just our own race cars but our many interactions with the customers racing them. Pat McMahon is also a good resource up in your area, shoot ma an email and I can get you his contact info and any other set up info you need: jim(at)factoryfive(dot)com
    Jim Schenck
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  44. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike223 View Post

    (but it doesn't have a lot to do with driving these cars)
    Afterthought:

    Actually, it can relate well to driving these cars hard.

    If you can imagine you've got 3-4 people, perfectly balanced in the middle of the see-saw that instantly move from end to end - or anywhere in between - depending on what you do with the throttle.

    Add brake and it just happens faster toward that end of the see-saw.


    Just food for thought...

  45. #38
    Senior Member SSNK4US's Avatar
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    I posted this a while back on “everyone should read this” thread. 50/50 bias... almost exact same wheelbase as a MK4...
    I tracked the car.... Skip Barber and Bob Bondurant trained... Stuff happens (there’s a better word that comes mind) and it happens real fast! High HP and short wheelbase...And yes my head hit the ground. Be careful of snake bites....

    Kurt

    58C38D8E-E67D-45D7-BB4B-F0B9C2156CE2.jpeg
    Last edited by SSNK4US; 07-15-2019 at 11:35 PM.
    If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough....

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  46. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSNK4US View Post

    Stuff happens (there’s a better word that comes mind) and it happens real fast! High HP and short wheelbase...And yes my head hit the ground. Be careful of snake bites....
    Ouch! - Glad you survived.


    I'm guessing you went for that ride in a braking zone - in 3rd or 4th gear?

    Maybe even on a downshift from 4th to 3rd?


    That would be one of the easiest places to do it - no big mistakes or major miscalculations necessary.

    Just transfer a little too much weight off the rear (it's easy to do).

  47. #40

    Steve >> aka: GoDadGo
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSNK4US View Post
    Kurt,

    Down here in the Deep Southern portion of our Great Nation we'd call that a "Hey Ya'll, Watch This!" kind of moment.
    All kidding aside, thankfully you are still alive!

    Steve

    NOTE: I think I will stick to going straight compared to turning and burning.
    Last edited by GoDadGo; 07-16-2019 at 09:53 AM.

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