The weekend to run the Mustang at Road America finally came. I had been looking forward to it since moving to the Chicago area. Its only a 2.5 hour drive away. I joined the North Woods Shelby Mustang Club and they had a full 3 day event with around 150-175 cars per day on track. They had 4 run groups and groups 1 and 2 were pretty much all dedicated track cars. There were many makes and models of cars here not just Mustangs.
This was my first time at Road America. I would classify myself as an intermediate level driver. I managed several sub 3 minute laps my best being a 2:55. A Porsche 911 typical time is about 2:45 and a Porsche GT3 cup is around 2:20. The ProCharger supercharger held up fine under these harsh conditions, but I do still need a larger radiator to keep up with that much boost time. I feel confident with more track laps I could have pulled another 10 seconds out of my time. With more braking power and handling I could pull yet another 10 seconds out. Lets see how I do next year.
I ran the very first session on my street tires. They are rated around 300 TW. It had been raining and the track was still a bit wet. My best time was a 3:10. Then I put on the Nitto NT05 Tires and with the lighter Weld RTS wheels and with a bit of seat time I was able to decrease my lap times by 15 seconds. The Nitto Tires just felt better, especially on the corners. They are rated around 200 tread wear and gave me more a lot grip. I hope to be able to try some NT-01 tires next season. They are rated around 100 tread wear.
I really got to test out my EBC orange brake pads. They are rated at 5-1500 degree F operating temps. This is a very wide temperature range. I used some rotor brake paint and discovered that I hit around 1200-1300 degree temps at Road America. On the long straight I could hit 130 – 140 MPH. You might think its faster but you have to climb a hill for almost the whole straight. Then its a long hard braking zone before entering into turn 1. This is the test of how good your brakes are. I was very happy with the EBC orange brake pads. They were definitely more of a track pad than the EBC blues. I ran five 20 min sessions on the Orange Pads and had zero fade. I was also using Motul 600 fluid. Road America with 3 120MPH+ Braking zones will test your brakes to their limit.
I also felt confident with the new Kenny Brown Rear Grip Kit installed. The anti-squat geometry is superior to that of the other aftermarket setup I had on previously. With the rod end rear control arms the turn ins and corner exits were also greatly improved. No more rear end walking out, and when power was applied it just shot forward without pushing. It was a world of difference over other aftermarket parts that leave you to your own guessing on setup. I can not wait to install the front end suspension parts as well.
On the chassis and safety side I had my new S&W roll cage and Hal-Guard fire extinguisher. There was one crash each day I was there. Thankfully no one was hurt but these events are not without some risk. I can not wait until 2014 so I can get back out there and improve my lap times. Check out the video below for lots of action.
Article picked up by Stang TV.
|I was able to park in the Kenny Brown Paddock Area since I am a customer.|
|Placement of the Weld RTS wheels with Nitto NT05 Tires. They are rated around 200 treadwear and are a world of difference between a high performance street tire rated around 300.|
|Here is a shot near 3A. The #42 Meatball magnet is from Firestorm Graphix. These guys make them in all sorts of shapes and sizes. I added a bit of tape on the leading edge due to the fact this magnet goes over a body line and the track has 4 straights that speeds of 120+ are attained.|
|Here is a shot at 13A. This is an uphill elevation change and if you place it just right you do not need to hit the brakes to enter this turn.|
|This is the entrance to turn 14.|
|A great shot on my street wheels and tires.|
|Here I am pulling into the paddock area.|
|Here is a great action packed video of the fun I had at Road America. I mounted 3 cameras to the car and saw lots of action. Thanks for watching.|