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Unread 12-29-2012, 07:11 PM
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Fair! Fair! is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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Default Re: Vorshlag BRZ Project Build Thread

(continued from above)

GRM Photoshoot

We got a call from someone that writes for Grassroots Motorsports asking for a pictures of an FT86. They were looking for some action shots with typical autocross classing/sponsor stickers shown mid-corner or in a slalom. They had a tight deadline and nobody had any pictures of an STX prepped FR-S or BRZ they could find. We love working with magazines and especially the folks at GRM, so we made it happen.

Olof washed and detailed Matt's car, Jason cut some class/number/sponsor decals, and Olof and I slapped on the numbers and some GRM decals. I asked Jason to make the numbers big, but dang - you can see these from space! Then we went in search for a parking lot that would work for the photo shoot. Once there, we set up a slalom and Brandon got his camera gear ready. I got in, strapped on a helmet, and hooned around the cones - while keeping an eye out for the law. This was an unsanctioned operation...

The parking lot we picked was a local movie theater across the highway from Vorshlag, and by a large helping of dumb luck we just happened to see my 2013 Mustang GT parked in the same portion of the giant parking lot. Apparently my wife had snuck off to watch some sparkly vampire movie - on a vacation day she took from work that she "needed" in order to get ready for a Thanksgiving party we were throwing the next day. Sneaky. What she didn't know was that I had an extra key to this car... so we moved it to another lot about a half mile away and I waited for her panicked call.

It didn't take long - half an hour later I got the call, "The Mustang is stolen! Either that... or.... YOU took it!" She knows me too well. I told her where the car was parked and she hung up on me. Later that day she admitted it was a good practical joke, heh. We laughed about it for days!

The photos came out well and you should see one of the above shots in an upcoming GRM issue.

Two FT86 Track Tests @ ECR

At the end of my October post we had three track days in the works for October and November. Matt was out of town for the NASA event, where we ran two of the other Vorshlag shop cars and set some new personal best lap times (in our 2011 and and 2013 Mustang GTs). Then the SCCA Club Race/PDX event was cancelled (they had all of 37 people sign up...and we were 3 of those. Club racing in our region is virtually dead), but the Five Star Ford track day event was the first one where we had some FT86 content.

Vorshlag Picture Gallery - 5 Star Ford ECR Track Day -

This November 17th event was an HPDE hosted by Five Star Ford of Plano at Eagles Canyon Raceway. We had fun at their event back in June so we signed up three more cars for their November 17th event. Amy drove the red Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT to her new personal best at this track (1:57.70!) and Matt drove his 2013 Subaru BRZ (2:11.0). I was there for track-side help and in-car instruction, Ed was there to help with the three cars, and Vorshlag's photographer Brandon was on hand and took some great track pictures of many of the cars in attendance. Perfect weather, well run event, and we had about 63 cars in attendance, so we got a LOT of track time. Big thanks to Corey White for setting this event up!

Left: Matt's BRZ on course. Right: Britney and her FR-S.

Being a Ford dealership sponsored event there were a crap ton of Mustangs in attendance, and I will go into more of that in our next Mustang project thread post. Having two FT86s there was a treat - and in fact there was a third one, but it was still on the stock tires and had no lap timer (we ended up doing track preparation work to that car at Vorshlag in December).

Britney and Stephen also brought her FR-S to this event, and you can see me riding along with Stephen in the Asphalt Gray FR-S, below right. NASA Time Trial racer KenO took some hot laps in her FR-S during a later session, and I took some hot laps in Matt's BRZ at the same time (below left). We both had lap timers/data loggers on board, but unfortunately we didn't get any in-car video in either car that day. Still, we did get some good pictures and data.

The data showed what we felt in the BRZ - the new brake pads were working VERY WELL and I saw some braking data that I couldn't quite believe (1.5g peak braking?!). The harder I pushed the brakes, the deeper it would brake. This was just with Motul fluid, our SS brake lines and the Carbotech XP12 front / XP8 rear pads! No brake ducting, but we never saw any fade - and I pushed the brakes hard for about 4-5 laps. Lateral grip was also extremely impressive, showing sections of corners with sustained 1.3-1.4g lateral?!

Again, I have to see more data to believe this, but the fat R-S3's were making mountains of grip. Like I said before, the track width on these 17x9" wheels is 71", which is WIDE. By comparison our Mustang, which is a giant 3600 pound car, on the mega-wide 18x12" wheels is 73.5" wide - a mere 2.5" wider than the 2750 pound BRZ. So you can see where some of the massive grip is coming from on the FT86. This chassis has a "wide stance" and as we know, track width adds lateral grip. The OEM shocks were a bit floaty in bumpy sections of the track, and it bottomed the fronts a few times a lap, so it will be much better with real monotube dampers. In a handful of laps with Matt riding along, I managed a 2:10.5 lap in heavy traffic, after seeing a 2:09.5 indicated on this same lap. So given a few more laps and no passenger it is a 2:08-2:09 car at ECR as it sits, which ain't half bad. I was making Matt nervous sliding the car around, but he hopped in for the second half of this session and dropped two seconds following the same lines, and pushing the braking points deeper like I had, to manage his 2:11.0 lap.

Left: We set-up a table showing off some Vorshlag and Whiteline parts. Right: Vorshlag/AST tester KenO in his E46 M3.

KenO took the 215mm R-S3 equipped FR-S to a best lap of 2:11.5, which was quite good considering it had Hawk HPS pads and only 7" wide wheels. We both had passengers on our laps, and in a 2750 pound car an extra 150-200 pounds matters. I hope we can get these FT86 twins back out to ECR soon and really open them up. I haven't had this much fun tracking a sub-200 whp car... EVER.

Yes, I will admit that driving the BRZ on track with these minor mods was a lot of fun. And I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to track cars, normally driving something with nearly three times this power level, which says a lot about the "fun factor" of the FT86. The car did everything so well - turning, stopping, shifting, corner exit. The pedals are placed perfectly for heel-toe down shifting, the brake and steering feel is superb, the shift throw is short, and the stock seats mostly keep you in place on sticky street tires. Sure, a proper harness and race seat would help driver confidence considerably, but it was a great overall package with just the added negative camber, fat and sticky street tires, and good brake pads/fluid/lines. The prototype Swift springs were a bit on the soft side, and we're about to swap in the production units next, along with shortened bump stops. That should keep the front suspension from bottoming on the bumpy bits at ECR and should help drop lap times too. We'll be back!

Vorshlag picture gallery for ECR Toy Run -

We were back at ECR once again a few weeks later, on December 8th, and Matt again brought his BRZ with zero changes from the November event. It was a much colder day and lap times were a solid 1-1.5 seconds off our times at the Ford event, when the weather was a bit more favorable. This time Matt took a lot more laps and got more acquainted with his car. I was busy driving my 2013 GT with new AST double adjustable shocks and Vorshlag camber plates, and Amy was in her 2011 GT again. Also, two of my buddies and I were doing our first track laps in our future ChumpCar, so it was a very busy day. It was so busy, in fact, that nobody got any pictures of Matt's BRZ on track! Doh. It looked so purdy with all of the decals... oh well.

He did get a little in-car video with his new GoPro Hero3. Not the best audio, but you can get some idea of what this car looks like on track.

For NASA TTD competition (the NASA class we are building it for), it needs to run closer to a 2:05, but with coilovers and some other tweaks we think that is doable on these R-S3's. For SCCA we're building it around STX class, which allows up to a 265mm tires. I don't think that will fit as it sits, but with their poorly written rules concerning fender contours and lip rolling, "anything is possible".

What's Next?

Coilovers are the next obvious modification, but we don't have anything to install yet - still waiting on his AST 4150's. For now we will go ahead and install the production Swift lowering springs and confirm the data we have seen on Mark's car (1" drop, great ride). There are some additional Whiteline FT86 bushings that have made it to market (rear UCA bushings) and more are promised in late January - as are their adjustable FT86 sway bars. No power mods will be done until there is a proper tuning solution, so 167 whp is where it will stay for a while.

We don't have any autocross or track events until February, but if we get in some parts before then we'll post up again. Sorry for the long update today, bu we had almost three months to cover. I will try to be more prompt in my updates in the future.


Last edited by Fair!; 01-24-2013 at 02:33 PM.
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