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Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT + S197 Development Thread

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  • Re: Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build

    Project Update for May 21st, 2014: So where were we? Ah, yes... April events and development work on the 2011 Mustang. First we ran an SCCA autocross in April on street tires - and all of our runs were during a downpour, so that was fun. There was an informal kart shoot-out we hosted the next week, then we created a new mount for a massive new (AJ Hartman) rear wing. Let's play catch up!

    Texas Region SCCA Solo at TMS Bus Lot, April 13th, 2014

    So there was a Texas Region SCCA event in April that we wanted to use for dry weather BFG Rival autocross testing with the new MCS coilovers. Amy and I co-drove in the 2011 Mustang on this rainy Sunday in April. We both ran in the first heat, in a steady rain that left little grip on for the BFG Rival 200 treadwear street tires. We both raced in the local "MAM" class (Modern American Muscle - a supplemental class to the new "CAM" Classic American Muscle class).

    The club had 122 registered entrants, which was pretty dang good for a day everyone knew would have rain. We got there and it was still dry, unloaded the car and applied the hastily made "MAM" class letters that I hand cut the night before. I had Olof mount the same set of 315/335mm BFG Rivals that we used at the USCA/Optima event weeks before. The tires still looked good but the rears were flipped and run inside mount, since I kind of mauled the outer tread blocks on the right rear in my 90+ laps on track at the USCA event.

    We had 5 runs each and Amy took 4 of hers first, then I took a couple of runs, then she took her last, and then I took my final 3. The rain was pretty hard at the beginning of the 1st of 4 heats and we still had to run the wipers on our last runs in the heat. It rained even into heat 2, stopped raining finally sometime in heat 3 and by heat 4 it dried up completely and times dropped by 10 or more seconds.

    I worked in the trailer in heat 2, announcing, and took lunch with 2nd place MAM finisher Jay Payson from HP Tuners. He was in town for business and rented a Penske Mustang GT, which he enjoyed running in MAM. Since we left the rain gear box at the shop I still goat soaking wet, while taking pictures of Amy while she drove in heat 1.

    Just a sample of the results showing how slow MAM was running in the wet compared to CAM that ran in the dry

    I ended up getting fast time in the 4 car MAM class with the rental Penske 5.0 Mustang in 2nd place and Amy in 3rd. The Penske car had fresh Goodyear 220 treadwear tires and Jay said it was remarkably easy to drive. He normally races an M5 in FStreet class but he said liked the Mustang a lot and we discussed the merits of an E92 M3 and an S550 2015 Mustang for F Street at lunch.

    Normally I -love- racing in the rain but as usual, the conditions varried too much to compare with other classes/run groups. And at this particular event we were definitely at a disadvantage here, with too much power and tires with too much width. See, in the rain it actually helps to have more pressure on the tires, just like in the snow, so you want a narrower tire with deep tread voids - which we definitely did not have on the well worn 315/335 Rivals. The new, deep tread, 255mm tires on the rental car were what you wanted in this instance, as strange as that sounds.

    And Jay almost whipped me in a car he had never driven, so I felt lucky to come out ahead. Everyone else in the class ran their fastest run on their 5th and final attempt, except me. I was 3 tenths quicker on run 5 but stepped on a cone, so I had to settle with my 4th run. I had to drive on my best behavior in these conditions, which was driving me nuts, but I managed to "throttle" my normal tendency to over-drive and just did the rain dance. Tip-toeing on the gas and smoothing out my inputs as much as possible. We also ran a tick more tire pressure than normal, and dumped the compression damping on all 4 shocks to zero.

    This was the slow in-car video from my 5th run. Its not very impressive, trust me.

    The rain lessened all day and by the 4th heat we heard it was completely dry and times dropped dramatically, so the PAX results aren't very representative for everyone. Heck, the only group I'd want to compare any times with was the first heat, of which I think there was one car quicker than us in the 59.8 second range (STS winner JJ). It got progressively drier in heat 2 and 3 but by heat 4 it turned into a beautiful day and was fully a dry weather autocross. That would have been fun to make a few blasts around the course, but you run in the heat you are assigned. Oh well.

    Left: We got to slog it out in deep puddles while... Right: The 4th run group had completely dry runs by day's end

    Overall this event was a bust for testing with the Rivals. Why? Well we're only testing these with tires to use at the Optima Ultimate Street Car shootout in November, which is held in Vegas. The chances of rain for the ENTIRE day of that event in Las Vegas are virtually ZERO, so wet weather testing does us no good for that series. I will say the Rivals have surprisingly good grip for as wide and as bald as they were on this day.

    Oh well, we got to see a lot of old friends and drive around really slowly. At least we didn't have any tire wear, ha!

    Vorshlag Kart Fight 3

    We are lucky to have a world class outdoor karting facility on the East side of Dallas called Dallas Karting Complex (DKC). Virtually all of the track, autocross, time trial and karting racers in DFW know about this place and have driven their rental karts before. We had a couple of Vorshlag sponsored Kart Challenges in 2011 and I was on a team of 4 in the first DKC 4 hour enduro in December of that same year. We got really busy in 2012 and 2013 and didn't have another Vorshlag-sanctioned karting competition for those two years, but I drove rental karts there many many times.

    Instead of the structured, all day Saturday, 3-round shootouts we held in 2011, this time Vorshlag just held an informal night competition event at DKC on April 17th, 2014. This was a Thursday night and we posted up a Facebook event on our main Vorshlag page a few days beforehand just telling people, "hey, come join us from 6-9 pm, run a few races, turn in your time sheets, and the fastest time of the night gets a trophy".

    We called it the Vorshlag Kart Fight 3, as this was out 3rd karting competition event since 2011. For something kind of thrown together at the last minute we had a surprising number of racers show up. By the end of the night we had nearly 40 people who came out to fight for the VKF trophy.

    Kyle and Olof built this awesome trophy out of some broken Subaru drivetrain parts, TIG welded together and bolted to a base. The competition format was simple: show up, pay $15 a race (each race is about 10-12 minutes in length), and your best times run that night from 6-9 pm in the regular We had some swag and gift certificates for 1st through 3rd places. We also used NASA TT rules for offs and spins: if you put 4 wheels off or spun 180 degrees or more on track ALL times from that session were voided for that driver. We all spotted for each other.

    continued below
    Last edited by Fair!; 08-07-2015, 02:42 PM.
    Terry Fair -
    2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
    EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


    • Re: Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build

      continued from above

      Left: I went over the driving line, as I run it, with anyone who'd listen. Right: Fastest time of the night went to Alpha LS1 Miata tester Jason Toth!

      I kept getting the same slug of a kart all night (excuses - I has em!) and while I had an early lead, I never improved on my first session times and could only manage 2nd quickest time of the night, a couple of tenths back from 1st. NASA TT racer Jason Toth was the winner, and (taking myself out of the running) 2nd place went to Billy Jack Smith and 3rd place swag went to NASA TT racer Jefri Tan (who runs in TT3 with me in a red EVO). We had one guy flip his kart (no injuries) and another NASA racer who put his kart so far off track he ended up in the sippy hole, and went home sopping wet. But no injuries and everyone had smiles on their faces.

      "Helmet-Cam" Video from Marc Sherrin

      NASA TT1 racer Marc Sherrin took the video above with a Go Pro strapped to his helmet, which is a compilation from about 3 sessions. As you can see we started off in daylight but it quickly got dark, and the track cooled off. They have excellent night lighting, so that made for extra fun NIGHT RACING! He even caught a glimpse of the kart that flipped in his video. We had 6 NASA TT racers, a lot of SCCA autocrossers, and various other local gear heads in attendance.

      Vorshlag Kart Fight Photo Gallery:

      Five people from Vorshlag were there and Brandon managed to snap some pics while we were there. Thanks to everyone that came out to join us - we'll do it again soon!

      New Massive Rear Wing on Mustang!

      Let me first start off saying: I am not an aerodynamics guru. I have a mechanical engineering background/degree, and I understand some basic concepts of aero, but Jason here at Vorshlag studied hydrodynamics in college and I rely on his expertise. I also know other people are aero gurus that I listen to, and read from. So I will try to cover rear wings in this section without butchering the science of it too badly.

      We have had an APR GTC-300 "3D" wing on our 2011 Mustang for the past 2, almost 3 years? This was supposed to be a temporary fix until we found a better 2D wing, from APR or another source. At the time APR was only making 3D wings, but have since come out with their own carbon 2D design. I initially bought this 67" wide GTC-300 carbon fiber wing element to use on another car, and we actually did use it on Brianne's Pikes Peak Subaru in 2012 for the PPIHC event that year. It is a good low speed wing (PPIHC is fairly low speed, as are many of our Texas tracks like ECR, MSR-C, MSR-H, HHR, TMS and others) but is somewhat "draggy" at higher speeds, and never was meant to work at the heights we ran it with on our car.

      We designed and water jet cut that original wing mounting set-up very quickly, over the course of a few of days. The goal was to re-use these uprights with a 2D wing to be installed later that year, which never materialized. Because we had planned to use a 2D wing with these, and from my insistence, the APR 3D airfoil was mounted about 6 inches above the roof line - against the wishes of Ryan and Jason. At this height about half of the GTC-300 wing was doing nothing but generating drag.

      Testing at both high and low speed tracks showed we were faster at max AoA on the APR wing: 12 degrees at the center

      After we kept this GTC-300 wing on the car for a year, and after constant advice from aero folks, Jason and others, we eventually cut down these uprights by about half to lower the 3D wing element below the roofline. It seemed to work a little better at this lower height - which is the opposite of what you normally want to do with an airfoil.

      Moving this 3D airfoil lower actually helped, due to the curved center shape of the wing

      Why is this rear wring shaped this way? Answer: To meet certain class rules. This "3D" wing profile was made to help improve downforce when used in some racing classes on sedan-shaped cars that limited the mounting height of the wing element at 6" to 8" above the rear trunk lid height. This rule was made to limit rear downforce and slow cars down, so aero engineers came up with a way to trick these low mounted wings into producing more downforce at this low height by tilting part of the airfoil element upwards by 10-15 degrees right behind the greenhouse (aka: the bubble of glass and steel above the shoulder line of a car that houses the passenger compartment).

      I always look at the C5R, C6R and C7R Corvette race cars for some of the latest aero tricks - not ashamed to admit that!

      So the center section of this type of wing is angled upwards compared to the outer edges, to grab more airflow coming down over the roof and following the rear window. It really only works well when mounted low, and should only be used when class rules mandate a low wing mounting height. But this became so widespread in professional GT racing and looked so "high tech" that they caught on with racers who didn't need to mount them low.

      CFD data shown on GT2 classed Corvette C6R race car (at left) and a striated smoke wind tunnel picture on a 911 GT2 at right

      I've even heard other racers try to tell me that this type of 3D wing is better than a high mounted 2D wing. Which is wrong. Don't confuse popular solutions for another set of rules to mean that there isn't something better for your class. It is always worth looking at the "why" of a design.

      Here is a chart of Drag (HP), downforce (pounds) and AoA for the 14" x 72" AJ Hartman Racing wing run through CFD software

      You can see the CFD data on the GTC-300 airfoil at this link. And remember to look at the same units - the APR data is shown with speed in MPH (SAE) but force is shown in Newtons (metric), so you have to divide that Force data by 4 to see it pounds of force. The AJ Hartman wing just has better data, as you can see when comparing the two.

      When to use a 2D vs 3D airfoil:

      Even APR admits as such in the article above, and now that they make a 2D wing again they are pushing that design. And yes, we could have picked up a carbon APR wing, but when we were looking for one last summer they were having supply and manufacturing problems. Its no secret where their airfoils come from, and I would rather have a U.S. built carbon wing than one from an overseas factory. So we started looking at different wing manufacturers...

      After a lot of phone calls, emails, investigations, spreadsheets, data investigations and personal inspection of various brands of U.S. made carbon fiber wings we honed in on two brands. The final decision was a close one but we picked the wing with the biggest span and chord available: AJ Hartman Racing. Their 14" chord length (the front-to-back size of the wing) and the massive 72" max width were simply unmatched by anything in this category for anywhere near this cost.

      The Fulcrum wings are super popular here in Texas and I see them used to great effect on ST, AI, and other race cars

      This hand laid carbon fiber wing is molded by AJ at his shop in New Jersey. He installs the saddles (bonded and riveted) to the wing at your specified widths, trims the span to your specs and the final wing just looks amazing. They weigh 9 pounds, total, and his wings can support the weight of a full sized adult. You may not know the AJ Hartman Racing name now, but the original airfoil design and molds were purchased from Fulcrum Aeroworks, which was a company formerly based right here in Dallas/Ft. Worth.

      The retail price for this AJH wing is only $1300, which is insanely low (this airfoil easily compares to $2500-4000 U.S.-made wings), and now Vorshlag is their first ever dealer. AJ didn't yet have a wing mounting kit for the 2010-2014 Mustang trunk shape so we started designing one as soon as our first 14x72" AJH wing arrived.

      In NASA Time Trial we are only limited on wing mounting to a height of up to 8" above the roof, which is WAAAAAY up there, and FEET higher than what the 3D wings were really designed to be used at. A 2D wing is simply more efficient than a 3D wing, when mounted above the roof. This means: they produce more downforce (negative lift) and less drag at a given speed and angle.

      I spent most of a day on 4/19/14 making cardboard mock-ups for the 6 mounting pads, then making the trunk profile for the uprights

      Since we weren't restricted on mounting the wing anywhere close to the rear trunk lid, we figured we would see more downforce with a 2D wing mounted at or near the upper limits for NASA TT. The higher you can mount the wing, and the farther behind the car, the less turbulent the air will be that is going over and (especially) under the wing. We had originally looked at making a wing that met NASA American Iron and NASA TT/ST rules, but they were conflicting. TT specified a maximum height but AI specified a maximum of 1.5" behind the car.

      I transferred the cardboard to thin sheets of wood, cut those out for prototype templates and then bolted up the wing

      My first mockups (above) were both AI/TT legal, shown above in wood. After staring at it for a while it just didn't... look right to my engineering eyeball. It was too vertical and not swept back enough.

      If we see any trunk deformation at high speeds we will add tubing to brace to these two plates (at right) from the ballast weight bracket

      So when I gave the upright layout to Jason I told him to just centrate on the trunk shape and approximate height (we pushed it up to around 6" above the roof, within 2" of the TT max height). He transferred the trunk shape into SolidWorks then moved the actual upper wing mounting portion rearward about 8 inches, which put the wing too far behind the back plane of the car to be AI legal. I kind of knew this first aluminum unit we made would be a prototype that we would later need to tweak, so we will go back and make "production pretty" wing mounting kits for AI and another for TT/ST use on the 2010-14 Mustang trunk.

      Check out the video above showing the CNC plasma cutter making a wing upright in about half a minute

      After Jason had turned the trunk shape into a CAD drawing I ran to our metal supplier and picked up some aluminum plate in two thicknesses, then rushed over to Friction Circle Fabrications in Lewisville. There Todd Earsley used his brand new CNC plasma machine (see video above) to cut the aluminum I brought into the shapes from the files we sent to him. He cut the six mounting plates and two uprights in less than 35 minutes on his machine, and I was loaded up and racing back across town with the parts still hot.

      Once we got to Vorshlag the crew cleaned up the edges and started mocking up the mounting plates. We were super busy that week on customer cars and it wasn't until Friday afternoon that everything was finished, welded, painted and bolted together. We set-up the upper mounting holes with 3 initial Angle of Attack (AoA) positions: 6, 10 and 12 degrees from level. We left the wing at the lowest angle setting we made, 6 degrees, for our first TWS laps with NASA.

      Me (at left), AJ (middle) and Jason (right) posing for a quick pic with the new wing when AJ Hartman stopped by Vorshlag

      A couple of weeks after we built this wing, just after our TWS race, AJ Hartman happened to be flying through Dallas after a test with a customer down at CoTA. He stopped by the Vorshlag shop to check out our prototype mounting for our first AJH wing. He pointed out a few things we could tweak to make it better, but overall he liked the set-up. We showed him two more cars in the Vorshlag shop that need to get AJH wings, and he is making those for us now.

      That's all we have time for in this installment. Tune in next time when we cover the NASA TT race at TWS with this new wing installed. This Saturday is Five Star Ford at ECR - see ya there!
      Last edited by Fair!; 05-21-2014, 04:46 PM.
      Terry Fair -
      2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
      EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


      • Re: Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build


        I'm curious to know more about what you think of the Rivals. I have 295s on the front of my car on an 18X10 and 315 out back on an 18X11. I have the exact same wear on my fronts and its a little disconcerting. I autocross regularly and also drive on the street. I have maybe 7K street miles and maybe 6-7 autocross weekends, and 1.5 track days on the tires. How much did you get out of yours?

        One of the guys at autoX who runs the BFG R1s thought it might be from a soft sidewall coupled with a tire that might be a little big for the rim. The BFG's do seem to measure big when compared to competitors tires at the same "width".

        I haven't completely given up on them yet especially since I agree with you in that they have great grip and the center of the tire is not worn much. Flipping them could be an option but I wouldn't feel comfortable driving on them without checking the inside wear every time. I have some 275s I'm going to try out next. Measuring the bead with of the tire I'm right at 9.75in which I think should seat on the 10in rim nicely.



        • Re: Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build

          Originally posted by jacksisco View Post

          I'm curious to know more about what you think of the Rivals. I have 295s on the front of my car on an 18X10 and 315 out back on an 18X11. I have the exact same wear on my fronts and its a little disconcerting. I autocross regularly and also drive on the street. I have maybe 7K street miles and maybe 6-7 autocross weekends, and 1.5 track days on the tires. How much did you get out of yours?

          One of the guys at autoX who runs the BFG R1s thought it might be from a soft sidewall coupled with a tire that might be a little big for the rim. The BFG's do seem to measure big when compared to competitors tires at the same "width".

          I haven't completely given up on them yet especially since I agree with you in that they have great grip and the center of the tire is not worn much. Flipping them could be an option but I wouldn't feel comfortable driving on them without checking the inside wear every time. I have some 275s I'm going to try out next. Measuring the bead with of the tire I'm right at 9.75in which I think should seat on the 10in rim nicely.


          Scott - yea, the two sizes of Rivals you have might be a hair too wide for the rim sizes you are using? As you noted, the Rivals "run big" and we tend to run these Rival tires on these sizes...

          Vorshlag Recommended Wheel Sizes for BFG Rivals
          • 275/35/18 = 18x10
          • 295/35/18 = 18x11
          • 315/30/18 = 18x12
          • 335/30/18 = ?????

          I ran the 335/30/18 rears on 18x12s, because that's the widest wheels I have, and that might have been part of the problem. Maybe they needed 18x13" to wear better? But I also put a LOT of abuse on the rear tires during that 3 day competition with 50+ autocross/speed stop runs and 90 laps on a road course.

          We also ran the pressures fairly low, probably lower than BFG recommends. I'm sure that makes the tire flex and more around more and could have contributed to the outer tread on the rears getting beat up.

          For your next set of Rivals on those 18x10 front/18x11 rears I might recommend 275s up front and 295s out back.
          Last edited by Fair!; 05-23-2014, 02:48 PM.
          Terry Fair -
          2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
          EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


          • Re: Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build

            Project Update for June 3rd, 2014 Let's cover two final April events - NASA @ TWS and ordering a 2015 Mustang - then get to the May events to get more caught up. We had two events on the same weekend of May 3rd - double booked! - and I missed competing in the SCCA ProSolo to be able to attend a car show. It sounds crazy but there was a good reason for that. Let's hit it...

            Ordered a 2015 Mustang GT - April 21, 2014

            I ordered a 2015 Mustang GT in late April. I ran over to Five Star Ford of Plano and met with Corey White on April 21st to pick the options on our 2015 5.0L 6-speed Performance Pack GT, to get first in line at this dealership... before they even knew prices on anything. "Real" ordering started on May 20th, but they had options listed as of that April day, without prices or many stats, so we made some educated guesses and got our order staged in line FIRST! As you can see from the screen shot, there are some extra options we added to the Performance Pack, which include: leather Recaros, touch screen NAV, and the 401A interior package/equipment group.

            There's one reason why we got the car a little more loaded than you'd think for a "Race Car" - resale value. As long as it took to sell the base model 2013 GT we picked up, and in case the rumored GT350 voodoo engined car comes out within the next 12 months, we want to keep this 2015 as sell-able as possible. We have no idea when we'll see this 2015 GT - it could be late July to as late as the end of August. I will post up here the MOMENT it arrives, and quickly start a new S550 build thread. Our initial development plans include wheel and tire fitment, immediate camber plate development, weighing and track testing. We want to test it against a stock 2012-13 Boss 302 at a local road course (ECR) within days of arrival.

            NASA at TWS April 26-27, 2014

            The rear uprights was the last project Ryan Begham worked on - sad to see him leave us but we wish him the best of luck in school!

            Once we had the new AJ Hartman wing installed the next big test for the 2011 Mustang was NASA at Texas World Speedway at the end of April. Since Amy and I both knew this track fairly well we didn't go ahead and sign up for the Friday Test-N-Tune event. With a competitive car that has recent changes you would normally do that, but NASA Texas had an 8 hour enduro event scheduled for 2-10 pm on Friday, so we would have had to arrive very early to get any testing in. Driving from Dallas towing our rig takes over 3 hours, so we'd have to leave by at least 7 am to get any testing in... and Amy didn't want to burn a day off of work (she works 2 jobs: her normal day job and also at night, here at Vorshlag) so we blew off the test day. Our replacement front 18x12" wheel also still hadn't arrived, so we only had one full set of race wheels. We mounted up a set of new sticker A6 tires (winnings from the last NASA event, thankfully, as these are $1710 per set!) and hauled down to College Station.

            With the decals still wet and backing paper drying I drove to the local Shell to fill up the tank with 93 octane. #becausestreetcar

            Getting the car ready on Friday was actually pretty tricky, as we were still finishing the wing install until around 6pm. Amy, Jason and I were also having a bit of trouble with some new material purchased to use in our vinyl cutter, but we got the old TT3 number boards re-created and installed. Ended up leaving the Optima door decals on, after removing them (carefully) and moving them back about 4 inches to make room. Some Hoosier decals, NASA decals, and the car went onto the trailer and we were rolling out by around 7:15 pm. Then we stopped at a Sam's Club to get drinks, snacks and ice for the weekend which put us on the road by 7:45 pm. We got to Costas' place by 10:45 pm and stayed up late talking about work, racing and stuff for another hour and a half. Late night!

            Vorshlag TWS Photo and Video Gallery:

            Note: with no Vorshlag crew, and no Brandon here to shoot his amazing pictures, and Amy feeling under the weather, we didn't get a lot of great shots from this event. Luckily Anna and Paul Costas shot a lot of pics and I used a number of their images in this event write-up. Matt Ruiter (a local TAMSCC racer) also took some great shots, which I have used with his permission as well.

            My favorite shot of our car all weekend was this one taken in our paddock by Matt Ruiter.... Full rez version in our TWS event gallery

            We got out to the track EARLY Saturday morning and dropped the trailer next to Costas and Matt White's trailers, who got a great paddock spot next to grid days earlier. Unloaded the car, topped off fuel, and got the sticker backing off, and went to a very brief TT driver's meeting where I handed our our TT maps.

            Our paddock housed: our Mustang, Costas' GT1, Matt's ST1 Mustang, Misty's ST2 Camaro, Adam's E36, Toth in a Supra, and Norm's TTD BRZ

            Amy and I decided that I would drive in the first TT session, which on Saturday is always a TT Practice that doesn't count towards anything except grid placement. But that still makes it pretty important, as gridding poorly only makes it harder to get a clean lap all day. You have to earn your place up the grid, and getting stuck behind slower cars can ruin your best TT laps. If you do poorly in Practice Saturday you often spend most of the remaining 3 sessions "working your way up the grid". As driver's get faster the grid placement shuffles, hopefully to keep faster drivers always ahead of slower drivers for the first few hot laps.

            This first Practice TT session was super packed, with 61 cars on grid. Yes, not only did we have a record number of TT drivers but we also had all of the Competition school students joining us. TWS is only 2.9 miles so you can imagine that with 61 cars out there at once it was going to get crowded. NASA TT driver and instructor Jason Toth rode shotgun with me in the TT Practice, to see the driving line on this configuration before he hopped in with his students and in his TT ride later that day.

            Getting ready for that first session, Costas took off these Goodyears and ran his this weekend on Hoosier slicks

            See, we can take students or others with us in TT, but if we set our fastest lap of the day with a passenger our times will be automatically DSQ'd. They actually encourage some TT drivers to take HPDE students along if we are instructing that day but we only told to drive no faster than about "8/10ths", for safety reasons. Since this was just a TT Practice it wouldn't hurt, and I knew it would be slow, so Jason rode along. We got to grid pretty early and luckily started out in 5th place. There were two TT1 Corvettes and two Vipers ahead of us, and a whole bunch of cars behind us.

            We had quite a variety of cars in the first TT practice session, with the Comp School thrown in the mix!

            Then this mess happened...

            A Spin, A Wrecker, Several Passes Under Yellow and two DSQs

            During the TT Practice there was a spin and a flat bed wrecker was called out on course for an extraction. There were then a number of Passes Under Yellow that were not appreciated by the track workers. Not one bit.

            If you watch the video linked above you will see that we had a front row seat to a big nasty spin by a Viper Competition Coupe from the comp school group, about 30 feet in front of me at the 3:00 mark, entering T11. See, during the entire warm up lap this driver was scrubbing his tires like mad. I commented that maybe that was a bit much, but overall I just had a bad feeling - my Spidey Sense was tingling - so I backed way off this car when the first four cars ahead of me went Green during the out lap entering Turn 3, to give this guy some extra room. And I'm glad I did, because even through all four TT1 cars in front of built a big gap on the main straight most of them braked VERY early into Turn 15, where we're all doing about 150+ mph. The big gap I left quickly vanished and I had to back off into Turn 15 then 14 to avoid catching him. No big deal, it happens when we aren't gridded up in order by times - which is why the first session is called PRACTICE, so we can get gridded up in order by the first timed TT session.

            Left: We have to run a nearly full tank and several weight plates to make our 3802 minimum weight

            In the video the Viper slammed over the left curbing hard at T14, which may have damaged something. I pointed out the hard curb hit in the video. We caught up to him a bit in T12 then he braked pretty early into T11, and by this point I felt something was going to happen. Sure enough, the rear tires locked and he spun under braking into T11, first this way then that, on track and off. The spin was actually telegraphed pretty far in advanced and I had actually told Jason "Watch this", but the mic didn't pick it up on the video. I got the Mustang slowed down in plenty of time, and when he couldn't get going (he broke a half shaft) we threaded our way around him and got up to speed again.

            Luckily I had pulled bit of a gap to the cars behind me, who probably didn't even see the spin happen, and I didn't impede anyone. The Viper pulled to the outside of the road in Turn 10 under momentum and parked - and without any halfshaft or drive, he was stuck. Everyone saw the Viper parked in T10 for 2 or 3 laps, with a waving yellow the whole time in this corner station. After getting back up to speed we took a leisurely hot lap 2 with an indicated 1:51.63 on the AiM SOLO, all while getting held up behind slower lapped traffic, making a pass, slowing heavily for Turn 10 (still waving yellow), and not really pushing it hard.

            Funny thing was, that very compromised lap damn near matched my TT3 lap record time from this event in April 2013, where I ran a 1:51.530 and won TT3 both days. That best lap in 2013 was with me pushing hard, going 10/10ths on fresh 315 Hoosier A6 tires, using the APR GTC300 rear wing, the same power level, but the stock hood and the Laguna Seca plastic front splitter. Watching that old video I can see the front end wanted to push a lot at speed on corner entry and the rear was loose at speed, such as entering Turns 2 and T1 before the front straight.

            After I ran that lap and saw the 1:51.6 as I crossed the start-finish line, I backed off (as you can see above, to about a 2:00 minute lap pace) and we immediately saw a waving yellow AND an EV/Ambulance flag added at the corner station before Turn 10, located inside Turn 13. Two corner workers there were waving two flags vigorously and that got my attention fast, even when slowing down from 150 mph. In the video I noted the yellow and the newly added Emergency Vehicle flag to Jason (at the 4:13 mark) and you can see that I backed way off, anticipating something new at the next corner station. We both knew what the two new flags meant - the TWS track crew must have rolled a wrecker out to Turn 10 to attempt a "hot extraction" of the Viper, which was stuck on the racing line in that corner for the past 2 laps. The entire session of 61 cars had already driven by the parked Viper, TWICE, so this shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone. Once you see waving yellows AND an EV flag AND a wrecker on course, that TT lap is OVER, if not the entire session.

            At the 3:38 mark in the video you see the second corner station in a row with waving a yellow flag and an obvious wrecker extraction going on. With the corner worker moved out of his protected corner station next to the track waving vigorously he really wants us to slow down for the wrecker driver, who is standing on the track and nearly right on the hot driving line. At this point I backed off even more as I approached this chaos, before T11. But there were some drivers blazing up in my rear view mirror between Turn 12 to T11, and I'm looking back and wondering if they had seen the flags at T13 and ahead at T10?? Nope. They are going full tilt, nose to tail in a major battle. It wasn't until the entry to T11 that I realized - these guys are about to pass me! Between a corner worker violently waving a yellow flag outside of his protected berm and right next to a wrecker driver trying to load the Viper - which has been sitting in the same spot now going on 3 laps - onto his flatbed.

            Left: Jefri Tam drove to 2nd place in TT3 both days. Right: John Roberts placed 3rd Saturday then 2nd place in TT2 in his LS1 Miata on Sunday

            I quickly pulled even father to track left, let loose a stream of expletives as the two drivers pass me going 10/10ths, mid-corner next to the wrecker, and watch as yet another driver behind these two also takes Turn 10 flat out then blows by me before we've even left the "danger zone" of this corner workers area (aka: 90 degrees from the corner station). Remember: this is a Time Trial practice session, the times during which don't even count, and nobody is racing for position. This exact corner has had a yellow flag flying and a car stuck on track for going on 3 laps.

            I got back up to speed after this corner, stayed out of everyone's way, and dove into the hot pits. Once there the TT director asked me how the session went, and I told him what happened with some colorful language to emphasize my point. Later I found out the TWS wrecker crew was furious and wanted a handful of people thrown out of the track for the weekend. It wasn't just 3 cars that passed under yellow near the wrecker, it was closer to 6. These track workers literally put their lives on the line for us, and deserve more respect from the drivers.

            continued below
            Last edited by Fair!; 06-04-2014, 02:16 PM.
            Terry Fair -
            2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
            EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


            • Re: Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build

              continued from above

              Pictures in Turn 10 from another session. At right you can see some power on oversteer and counter steering going on...

              There was a discussion about this incident on our local TT Facebook group a few weeks later. Some of the more experienced TT racers got pretty fired up when they saw the video and proposed some changes for the TT group. At a minimum we expect to have more post-session TT driver's meetings and hopefully some increased flag awareness from the drivers.

              And Now.... Back to The TT Action on Saturday

              I tried to stay focused and since I was gridded in P4 after the practice, which was good placing for the first timed session. Temperature was stable at 76F, as it was overcast and relatively cool almost all day.

              Left: Times from the gigantic clusterf*ck TT Practice session. Right: Times from TT Session 1 that followed

              Amy and I agreed that I would go out in this first timed TT session to try to put in a good hot lap or two. We were on the new sticker set of 335/345 A6 tires, which I scrubbed in during the TT Practice. I went out with cold tire pressures of 28 psi front and 26 psi rear, which gives me hot pressures of 35 psi / 33 psi. We left the new wing at 6 degrees AoA, as it felt pretty good during the practice session and I wasn't even pushing hard yet. Not too much drag, with just enough rear bite at high speed exiting Turns 2 and 1 onto the main straight.

              I had clear track and put in one good hot lap at a 1:48.440, more than THREE SECONDS quicker than our best lap here last year! That was exciting. As I crossed start/finish and saw the lap time I had the TT1 Corvette of Marc Sherrin tuck in behind and start drafting me, but I was pointing him by to pass, because I wanted to bank that lap (in Time Trial if you have a 4 off or spin on track your session times are DSQ'd). He figured it out and went on by me. Took a cool down lap and came in, figuring this would be my last laps of the day. That time went on to put us 6 seconds ahead of 2nd place in TT3, and we had 5 entrants in class on Saturday, so that meant we won 2 tires.

              Maybe I could have made an even quicker lap 2, but I figured I would just catch traffic anyway and I didn't want to waste the tires. Amy went out in an HPDE 3/4 session just before lunch, to put in some laps, learn the line and get her up to speed, then she planned on running the two remaining TT sessions after lunch. But she wasn't feeling good, with crazy sinuses and a massive headache, and didn't feel well enough to drive after lunch... which meant that I got to drive in TT session 3 and 4, if I wanted.

              Left: Saturday TT session 2 results. Right: End of day Saturday TT official results

              I went out in TT session 2 at 2:10 pm and put in a 1:48.481 lap, nearly matching my time from the previous session (.04 difference). I was on a good hot lap 2 but had to abort the lap when I came upon a inattentive driver on a cool down lap ahead of me. I assume he clearly saw me gaining on him for 4-5 corners and he sort of pulled to track right, so I attempted a pass in a high speed corner (T7). In the middle of the corner he just came over on me and I had to put 2 wheels in the dirt track left to avoid a collision. This isn't the first time this has happened with this driver, and I hope he becomes more aware of his surroundings before he causes an accident. I'll just keep giving this driver plenty of extra room.

              I wanted to note that this blocking situation is highly unusual in our NASA TT group, and the vast majority of our TT drivers have excellent situational awareness and go to great lengths to cooperate with other drivers, so that everyone can get their fast laps in.

              There was plenty of carnage out at EVO Island, with one poor guy wrecking or blowing up BOTH of the EVOs he brought

              The weather was still overcast and 77 degrees, but we started to get a hint of a sprinkle of rain at the very end of this second lap, so I took a cool down lap and came in. The final TT Session (4th) of the day got hot, after the sun had come out, and temps went up to 83F. Everybody that ran this session slowed way down. We saw this coming and I'm glad we didn't go out in the session and waste the tires and brakes. With a 3800 pound Mustang you have to conserve these consumables when you can!

              By 6 pm the racing was wrapped up and NASA threw a great Saturday night party, as always. This one was special: they had a massive crawfish boil, lots of beer and soft drinks, chicken cooked on a grill, and the School of Rock kids ROCKED THE HOUSE for almost 2 hours. We had a great time relaxing, bench racing, drinking and eating with racers and friends. After the Passing Under Yellow Practice fiasco and then getting run off track only two sessions later, I was more than ready for a few stiff drinks, heh. What a crazy day!

              Left: They had an amazing spread of food. Right: I got another TT3 lap record certificate and trophy - wish that 1:37.790 lap was mine, tho!

              An old college / racing buddy Chris Ramey (who is a National Champion autocrosser and who also spent several years racing wheel to wheel in SCCA) did his first NASA TT event in his red C6 Z06 and he had an absolute blast, so I'm sure we'll see him back. We had a big group at a table eating and drinking, with Marc Sherrin, Jason Toth, Adam Faust, me, Amy and Todd Earsley... then Ramey started making Scotch and Sodas and we floated a keg of Shiner. Amy was still feeling cruddy so we left early and crashed out at about 9:30 pm.

              Left: Chris Ramey was always known as Captain Oversteer - and he didn't disappoint! Right: Jamie Beck's 2013 GT has all of our goodies

              This was an unusual day for Time Trial - TT1 had an astonishing 9 entries, TTB had 6, TT3 had 5, and every class was unusually brimming with drivers. I was happy to end up in 5th overall out of the entire TT group, to win TT3 and to reset our old lap record by such a large margin, which was even quicker than the new TT2 lap record. They gave out trophies and lap record certificates - and while our's had the wrong time and even Vorshlag was misspelled, its the thought that counts.

              NASA TT - Sunday at TWS

              Left: Spec Miatas "bump drafting". Right: The Costas "ResQ" Supra, former stage rally car, made its asphalt debut with Jason Toth driving

              We got to the track early, Amy was still under the weather and not driving for the day, so I went out in TT Session 1. Well, before that it got a bit crowded and busy in our paddock area, Amy was kind of out of it, and we brought no crew with us. So I'm doing my pre-track checks: tire pressures, fluid levels, visual inspection of tires, torquing lug nuts, and put about half a quart of oil in.... and apparently left the oil fill cap off. Someone was talking to me and I got distracted.

              I went out in the first session and felt like it was a little down on grip in left hand turns. Never saw any smoke or indication that anything was wrong. I put in a 1:48.712 lap, throwing away some time in Turn 14 where I slid the car and lost time - its obvious in the video but not worth editing and trying to match the data to. Speaking of that, Brandon is having a helluva time with the data merge and it is apparently due to the abnormal video file format that my Sony HD vidcam puts out, so we're on the hunt for a new video camera that uses the same SD cards. I don't want a GoPro, but something with a real lens and that can use a remote start/stop/off like our existing unit.

              Left: Sunday's TT Session 1, my only session of the day. Right: Sunday end of day TT official results

              I tried a second hot lap in that session, it was a clear lap but I slowed down to a 1:49 and change and it was obvious the car was slowing down. I took a cool down and came in. I hopped out of the car while Amy opened the hood - "Terry, COME HERE PLEASE." She showed me that there was OIL EVERYWHERE. The oil cap, that I had left off, had fallen down in the engine compartment from where I left it. I checked the oil level and the engine was about a quart low (but we run this motor with +1 quart over full). Its amazing what a TOTAL MESS you can make with quart of oil! I fished out the oil cap, undamaged, cleaned up some of the oil mess, but it had pumped engine oil down and through the wheels all over the right front tire. This was big old mess that could have been bad. Didn't hurt the motor, never lost oil pressure, but this explains why the grip fell off in hot lap 2.

              Left: Leaving the oil cap off for 2 laps spilled a quart of oil out. Right: It was pumping through the wheel. This was my own damned fault!

              Hot engine oil on a brake caliper could have flashed over, caught fire, and ended up in a very stupid mistake. It was still 77F and overcast in that session, so we had the same conditions as Saturday. I thought about it and I could have gone out in TT session 2, but there was so much oil all over the car and I was once again about 6 seconds ahead of 2nd place that we didn't risk it. Amy still felt like crap, so after we stuck around to watch TT session 2, we loaded up and headed back to Dallas before lunch. TT1 got faster and their times dipped into the 1:45s to 1:46 range, but we just weren't going to catch them at our power levels on this high speed track. Any why should we? Those cars have nearly double the power per pound carried.

              It looked like it was going to rain any minute, and sure enough, after we got 10 minutes from the track it started to rain and continued to come down throughout most of our 3+ hour trip back to Dallas. I really wanted to save this set of Hoosiers for the Global Time Attack event at Road Atlanta in a couple of weeks, so it was a good decision to opt out of the last 3 TT sessions of the day. Conserving consumables.

              We watched live timing for the remaining TT sessions and SU races via Race Monitor on the way back, which was pretty exciting. TTB was a heck of a battle with our customer Allan Page in an E46 M3 fighting against Dysen Pham in an S2000, which has been almost unstoppable in our region ever since these cars got a "dyno reclass" and essentially 12 free points to play with for mods. Allan had taken the lead early on, reset the TTB record, then Dysen switched from Maxxis tires to a sticker set of Hoosier A6s and retook the lead and got down to a 1:52.824 for the win with Allan at a 1:52.972 - close finish! Another customer of ours, Norm Wilhelm (shown above), had a dominant win in TTD in a BRZ on MCS dampers and Vorshlag plates we supplied him with. Norm ended up besting the 2nd place TTD FT86 chassis twin by 2 seconds.

              continued below
              Terry Fair -
              2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
              EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


              • Re: Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build

                continued from above

                Mike Patterson won all 4 American Iron races on new 18x9.5" Forgestar F14s he got from Vorshlag, with a fastest race lap of 1:53.0

                Looking back at the weekend I took two hot laps in the TT Practice (1 aborted), one hot lap in TT session 1 and two laps in TT session 2 (1 aborted) on Saturday. For Sunday I took all of one hot lap, in TT session 1. That should leave us plenty of tires left for GTA, other than Amy's entire HPDE 3/4 session she took - but since she was mired in traffic it kept her speeds and tire wear down. Our new wing worked great, even through we only tried it at one position (6 degrees AoA). We made mounting holes for 3 positions - 6, 10 and 12 degrees - but the car felt so good I didn't want to mess with it, and with as few laps as we took here we didn't get in much testing - we were hoping to do that at Road Atlanta.

                Amy running in a DE group was pretty funny, traffic-wise

                We did make several shock adjustments on the new MCS RR2s during the weekend, and with easier access to the rear rebound knobs that was a welcome improvement. The dampers felt great with our Maxcyspeed custom valving, soaking up the bumpy pavement from this old track. New mechanical grip from the wider tires was evident in the slow turns and the added grip from the new rear wing helped at higher speeds. Its notable that we run the AJ Hartman wing at 6 degrees and it has more stick than the GTC-300 had at 12 degrees, and lots less drag. Last year we were "dirt tracking" through Turns 1 and 2 up onto the banking but this year the car was a lot more stuck down and confidence inspiring.

                I like the car with more downforce. Unlike true "aero cars" that have very narrow speed ranges of effectiveness and HUGE downforce numbers, our splitter and wing combo seems to just make the car easier to drive, makes the brakes more effective at high speeds, and we're dropping major time from last year's lap records with almost the same set-up and power levels. We won TT3 by about 6 seconds again on Sunday and with 5 cars in class won another 2 tires for a total of 4 over the weekend. This might have been the last time NASA ever runs TWS 2.9 going ClockWise, as there are serious rumors of the owners selling the track and turning the land into a housing development. The MUD passed by the city a few weeks prior to this event, so who knows? We might be back in 2015 for a final time, but if so I think this 1:48.4 lap is more solid than the 1:51.5 lap I ran last spring in 2013.

                It was a record attendance for TWS with NASA, with 335 entrants. Will and Dave and all the folks from NASA Texas did a great job with the racing, paddock, Saturday party, and I heard the Friday 8 hour enduro was a blast. We had a good time, with two solid wins and a new track record, especially considering the strange events on Saturday.

                Costas had a great weekend in his GT-1 car, putting in TTU wins both days and winning several of the SU races on new Hoosier tires (switching from Goodyear). In SU qualifying he managed a 1:45.0 lap, which was the quickest lap recorded all weekend - nice! He had a nasty blowout at one point but it didn't phase him and he just swapped on some other tires. I can't do it justice here, so check out his write-up for the TWS weekend is located at his Witchdoctor website, which is always fun to read.

                Texas SCCA ProSolo - Welcome Party - May 2, 2014

                the following weekend Vorshlag sponsored the Friday night welcome party at the Texas Pro Solo held out at Mineral Wells on May 2nd, 2014. This event was within days of the the annual Cinco de Mayo celebration that is huge in Texas, and was the theme of the event. Contrary to what you might think, May 5th isn't "Mexican Independence Day" but actually a celebration in both Mexico and the USA of our thanks to Mexico for fighting off the French, who were invading their lands in 1862 and threatening to support the Confederates in the American Civil War. The Mexicans were outnumbered 2 to 1, and the French hadn't been defeated in battle in 50 years. This battle also marked the last time any European force has invaded the Americas. The more you know...

                All that might explain why someone put a Mexican sombrero on me while I drank German beer and cooked American burgers and dogs for about 200 people over the course of a few hours. Jason went with me and talked to a number of folks at this Friday night event as well, and our shop foreman Brad Maxcy was running the event, as he does for all Texas Region SCCA Solos. Special thanks to Jen Maxcy, who helped me work the grill and serve the meats. The competition for the ProSolo was on May 3-4th, but we were double-booked with an event (see below) on Saturday, so we couldn't compete in this event. Bummer, would have been fun to run in Street Mod.

                Sam Pack 24th Dallas Spring Nationals Car Show, May 3, 2014

                And this is the event we missed the ProSolo for, held on the Saturday following the ProSolo Welcome Party. Seems a little nuts to miss a ProSolo for a car show, but I had ulterior motives: they had a pre-production 2015 Mustang on display, and I was hoping to both weigh and drive this car, or at least measure a few things and sit inside of it. Corey White from Five Star Ford convinced me to enter and even sponsor this car show, so we showed off our TT3 prepped Mustang that day.

                Photo gallery:

                We got there around 8 am and set-up our trailer then unloaded the Mustang, just as it was prepped after the TWS event. I cleaned it up a bit on site and then set up our tables and some demo parts. We talked to about 60-70 people that day, which is good for a typical car show, I guess. Saw several of our customers there, but many of them didn't show up until after 10:30 am as there was a Cars & Coffee event that morning (these events are HUGE and draw in 1200+ cars and thousands of spectators). Having this car show on the same day as C&C was a bit odd, but hey, its not my event.

                There were some beautiful cars at this car show, like the various C2 Corvettes above. And the typical, garish, silly car show stuff... loads of chrome ding-dongs and add-ons, little turntables with model cars under hood, every other car had a supercharger, etc.

                I have to admit, this is not my scene. At. All. But we were there for a better reason than entering a car show... to see another pre-production 2015 Mustang and hopefully measure, weigh and drive this thing.

                This pre-production vehicle was locked up all day and nobody could find the handler that Ford sent with this car to get us inside it, to ask if we could weigh it, or drive it. Aaron Sockwell from Dusold Designs and I took matters into our own hands and just went over and measured a few things...

                We crawled under the car and snapped a few pictures of front and rear suspension, but they show little more than we already knew. I did manage to snap a pic of the front strut to inner wheel distance, but it wasn't much. Discouraging.

                We measured outside track widths and the front was over 2.25" narrower than the rear outside track measurement on this car, which was equipped with 255/40/ZR19 tires at both ends. That's likely going to make the car understeer more, of course. Staggered track width or tire width set-ups are almost always done by OEMs to "insure understeer". Oh well, one more thing for us to fix.

                Corey called in some excellent food trucks and we tried a little bit of food from all 3 of them, including some amazing ice cream from the truck at left. The wood fired pizza truck was a huge hit as well. We killed most of the day waiting to try to get inside this car, hoping to weigh and drive it, and saw some neat stuff in Sam Pack's personal collection with the included museum ticket that all car show entries got.

                I Look Inisde The 2015 Mustang - Video!

                Finally, at around 5:30 pm, the Ford handler showed up to load the Mustang onto his trailer, and we were waiting for him. There were about 6 of us hounding the guy and we got to at least look inside the car's interior and trunk. I brought our Sony 1080P vidcam and we shot about 8 minutes worth of video, linked below. He wouldn't open the hood for us (in fact the hood latch was disabled) and refused to let us weigh the car (we can probably guess why). It was a pre-production and "very early build" car show model at that, so it had extra welding and bondo to smooth all sorts of sheet metal seams in the door jambs and trunk that would never be done on a production car. Turns out it was a 4 banger, which sounded like a vacuum cleaner when revved up, which we heard when Corey got in for a few seconds as well as when the Ford guy drove it away.

                In the ~8 minute video above, Jason and I walked around the car discussing several items on the S550 chassis, and were actually pretty impressed with some of the aero and drag reduction tricks they have done. Sure, it might gain some weight, but it will likely be the most fuel efficient Mustang ever built (esp. the turbo 4) and a lot of that is due to the hard work of a lot of body and aero designers at Ford. The clean trim work, tight body lines, divorced mirrors and some other tricks will also benefit racers like us as well. The interior room was remarkably bigger, and 6'6" Corey White fit well, and even had to move the seat up a notch. I did my "helmet test", and at 6'3" I fit easily with my full face helmet on and sitting comfortably upright.

                Sure, I was pretty bummed about the lack of a weighing or test drive, but what do you do? Ford is being pretty sly with this one, and could be covering up a whole pack of lies (weight claims) or... maybe they just want to save the surprise for when these are released. Who knows? We will see soon enough.

                Kind of wished I would have entered that ProSolo, though.

                By the end of this very long day they had awards to present for "class winners", and we won a 3 foot tall trophy - along with about 1/3rd of the attendees. I guess you could call it an attendance award.

                What's Next?
                • GTA @ Road Atlanta - May 9-10th, 2014. This is where I crashed hard on Day 1, broke my back and damaged the car. That really sucked.
                • NASA @ Hallett June 21-22, 2014 - Hopefully I will be cleared by the doctors to race at this event, and I'm really looking forward to that!

                That's all for this installation of the S197 build thread. I'll cover the GTA event at Road Atlanta in my next post, hopefully later this week, as well as more of my thoughts on the upcoming S550 Mustang and the rumors of it weighing "XXX" pounds over the S197 model. I won't bet the farm on the weight claims just yet - not until I see one or more of these cars on my scales with my own eyes.

                Thanks for reading!
                Last edited by Fair!; 06-03-2014, 10:45 AM.
                Terry Fair -
                2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
                EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


                • Re: Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build

                  It's rather off topic but:
                  Any chance on a telescoping Steering wheel? It may sound mundane but when my 6ft 4in frame sits in our 2012 i have to straight arm the wheel to reach...

                  Eagerly awaiting your next update;



                  • Re: Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build

                    Originally posted by Fair! View Post
                    lmy thoughts on the upcoming S550 Mustang and the rumors of it weighing "XXX" pounds over the S197 model. I won't bet the farm on the weight claims just yet - not until I see one or more of these cars on my scales with my own eyes.

                    Thanks for reading!
                    I thought those early claims of 300-400lbs less were wishful thinking. Ford adds a rear sub frame and tons of electronics, better safety equipment, more interior bling, and more suspension links front and rear, bigger brakes, and expect it to weigh less because its got aluminum fenders and hood?

                    if it weighs 3700 in track pack form that will be very light. a v6 loaded fusion is almost 3700lbs curb, imagine that but stiffer with a bigger engine and a huge new rear suspension, heavy rear end, and a drive shaft.


                    • Re: Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build

                      Originally posted by Son of Mad Dog View Post
                      It's rather off topic but:
                      Any chance on a telescoping Steering wheel? It may sound mundane but when my 6ft 4in frame sits in our 2012 i have to straight arm the wheel to reach...
                      Luke - I don't think it was, but it did definitely tilt. I will check again the next time I'm inside a 2015. We had a 6'6" guy in there and he had so much headroom that he could get the seat back tilted and didn't need a telescoping wheel, however.

                      Originally posted by twistedneck View Post
                      I thought those early claims of 300-400lbs less were wishful thinking. Ford adds a rear sub frame and tons of electronics, better safety equipment, more interior bling, and more suspension links front and rear, bigger brakes, and expect it to weigh less because its got aluminum fenders and hood?

                      if it weighs 3700 in track pack form that will be very light. a v6 loaded fusion is almost 3700lbs curb, imagine that but stiffer with a bigger engine and a huge new rear suspension, heavy rear end, and a drive shaft.
                      Agreed. The S197 is a great platform that was 3550-3650 pounds, but it had such a great motor and stock brakes and chassis rigidity for days that people could make it a lighter race car with some cutting or a heavy beast with 700 whp if they wanted. I think the S550 is going to be just a "better" S197... still a bit on the heavy side, but just as stiff, the same great motors to choose from (plus the turbo 4 added), and with better suspension. Why change the formula if it already works so well?

                      click the image above for an inside look at the aluminum F150 construction

                      Sure, it would have been nice if Ford could have invest the MANY BILLIONS they did on the F150 and made an all aluminum chassis... but the sales volumes of the Mustang compared to the F150 just do not justify the expense in engineering, testing and tooling needed. Maybe by the next generation Mustang they will have the costs lowered on this technology and we'll get a lighter Mustang in 7-8 years?
                      Terry Fair -
                      2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
                      EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


                      • Re: Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build

                        That would be impressive if the new Mustang had that room. I don't fit in the S197, though I'm not exactly the market for it. A Ford Falcon on the other hand...
                        -Sean Martin
                        2009 Pontiac G8 GT


                        • Re: Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build

                          Project Update for June 16th, 2014: Been a busy couple of weeks since my last S197 post. We've had major progress on some V8 swap and other race car projects here, which I will cover briefly. Our summer intern has helped us clear out some pallet racks of "Stuff" and we found all manner of things worth selling on our Clearance page. There's a brief video where Jason and I show the tips of fitting 18x11" wheels on an S197 Mustang. My back is feeling better so we signed up for NASA @ Hallett next weekend, and are finishing pre-race prep and some additional brake upgrades/testing on the Mustang before we head out to Oklahoma on Friday. And now I'm finally covering the GTA event at Road Atlanta from May 9th, including the crash - I'll try to keep that brief. Let's get to it!

                          Other Projects and Builds at Vorshlag

                          If all you care about is Mustangs just skip this section. Some of you only know about Vorshlag from this S197 build thread, so you might not know that we have a service and fabrication prep shop that performs race preparations and track tech inspections, some repair work, full suspension/chassis/brake/wheel/tire installation services, and more. The "and more" part is really a lot more than you'd think - we're well versed in engine swaps and we like to swap V8 engines into cars that never came with them. We've now exceeded 100 kits sold for our BMW E36 LS1 swap, our E46 LS1 swap is selling well, and we've done swaps in BMW E30 and Z3 chassis. But we do more than that...

                          Our first or "Alpha" LSx V8 Scion FR-S swap development is moving along nicely and we just made an update to that build thread (on 7 forums, including at Vorshlag). The motor and transmission mounts were just completed and they look great (top right). The LS1 V8 adds barely more than 40 pounds to this little car, yet triples the engine displacement. Sound like fun yet?

                          Our Alpha LSx V8 NB Miata project development has reached a milestone, with the custom tubular rear subframe and rear suspension design now completed and ready for final welding and fixtures. This bolt-in subframe assembly houses an aluminum 8.8" IRS diff housing from a 2004 Mustang Cobra, which it needs to withstand the 450+ whp that the built LS1 motor it has will put out. Our new head fabricator Ryan H, who just joined us from a Daytona Prototype race team, has done all of magic to this car over the past month. Look for an update to this build thread soon (here). Zoom-zoom....

                          This Pikes Peak Subaru just came to our shop for a hair over two weeks to receive nearly 100 hours of custom fabrication work, including this new giant wing, a fuel cell install, custom firewall mods to accept a Tilton 3 MC pedal set-up and remote adjust brake balance bar, and more. This was a car we did a steel wide-body conversion on 2 years ago that our friends at Heritage Collision have now body worked and painted a few weeks before we got it. With all of the aero work completed it now looks like a million bucks.

                          There's a 5.0 Coyote V8 swapped German vehicle in our shop now getting a lot of work, but we didn't do this swap. We are doing some safety updates and fabrication work on this car, mostly by our new head fab guru Ryan H. When we had the motor out for extensive firewall rework (top left) we got a chance to weigh a Coyote 5.0 without a flywheel or clutch and it was 427 pounds, or almost exactly what an LS1 weighs in the same form. Interesting...

                          We have a BMW E36 LSx coupe (like above left) chassis already started, as well as an E46 coupe (like above right), a Z4 and an SN95 Mustang

                          Last but not least, we are doing more and more turn-key V8 swaps for customers, for both street and race cars. We're about to kick-off a new program where we take a rolling chassis we've acquired, set-up a plan for customers to pick the various drivetrain/suspension/safety options, and sell the build to the customer. This way they can choose the exact power level, suspension style, wheels and colors they want - and we build it. I've accumulated four really nice rolling chassis for this "Build a Racer" program, which I talk about more here.

                          Each one of these builds, and more I'm not even allowed to show, get the same type of photographs and "build thread" treatment for the owners, via giant emails. This takes a lot of time but it allows the owners to see their cars being built along every step of the way - just like our forum build threads.

                          House Cleaning - Vorshlag Clearance

                          We hired a summer intern and she 's helped us "find" a lot of Mustang parts in our shop that we have used and removed, or that some of our customers discarded after upgraded to something else. These parts are all still in great shape but just don't have a good home right now so we're blowing them out on our Clearance page. These are the Mustang related parts:

                          Lots and lots of used 315mm Hoosier race tires, in A6 and R6 flavors. Amy used up 4 of these doing about 7 sessions that day at Full Tilt speed at an ECR track event 3 weeks ago, and they were still very fast. We have dozens left. I've just removed all of the Hoosier entries from the actual Clearance page (no longer willing to ship) because I lowered the price on these by 75% to only $100/set cash. This gets you a choice of the best 4 we have, but we won't ship them at that price - you've got to stop by and pick them up in person. We need the shop space more than we need the extra scrub tires for our own cars.

                          Custom dual 3" stainless rear exhaust system for 2011-14 Mustang's. This is what we built using 3" 16-ga 304SS mandrel bends, two Flowmaster Series 44 409 stainless mufflers, two V-bands at the front, and with minimal work it should fit an OEM system at the "axle-back" connection. Fits better than any off-the-shelf ale back system with the stock Panhard, Whiteline Panhard or Whiteline Watts Link rear. We're blowing this one out cheap, and it could be shipped.

                          The custom 10" plexiglass rear spoiler we built for our time in SCCA's ESP class has been sitting on a shelf since late 2012. I forgot we even had this until something on a shelf in front of this part was moved out of the way. It is in perfect shape and we would charged 2 or 3 times this much to hand make one like it. It is built to fit a 2010-12 rear trunk and is made to the absolute limit of the rear spoiler rules for Street Prepared category. Comes with all of the hardware needed to bolt it to the trunk (note: a handful of nut-serts will need to be added for the lower rear strut mounts)

                          If that spoiler isn't your thing, maybe the big carbon fiber APR wing we used from 2012-2014 suits you better? Like the spoiler above, this also only mounts to the trunk so you don't have to cut into your fenders or anything else to add this. If you pick up a spare trunk, like we did (for $150), you can mount this wing to the spare and "swap trunks" between track days and street use.

                          We acquired a brand new Magnaflow X-pipe for 2011-14 Mustangs that we're selling discounted by $100. It wasn't used on a customer's install and had been sitting on a shelf for months. It is brand new.

                          This was one of the many Upper Control Arm and UCA mounts we tested in our car. This configuration is an unmodified UPR brand bolt-in upper mount with a Spohn Performance adjustable UCA with a Del-Sphere upper joint, also known as a Johnny Joint. Vorshlag customized the upper mounting bolt (larger) and made custom mis-alignment spacers. It works better than Spohn ever intended, but it makes a little noise, like many aftermarket UCAs do.

                          Spohn Performance adjustable Panhard Rod, M5-105, built with 4130 chromemoly steel tubing and Del-Sphere ends. This unit worked fine and we used it until we upgraded to the Whiteline Watts Link kit.

                          Mustang 18x11" Wheel Fitment Video + New Sizes

                          When we bought this 2011 GT and started racing it immediately, in mid 2010, I was shocked at the utter lack of wide wheels that were offered to fit the S197. I mean it had been out since the 2005 model, but most folsk were still jacking around with 8 and 9" wide wheels, or worse, using 18x10 or 10.5" wheels that POKED out the fenders like mad. I bought a variety of wheels (1 of each) to test 18x9, 18x9.5", 18x10 and 18x10.5" sized on the front and back of our test mule, trying to fit as much as possible under stock fenders.

                          After coming up empty handed we finally decided to pull the trigger and had our own 18x10" wheels made, which we calculated and verified would fit easily under stock fenders both front and rear. This D-Force 18x10 ET43 wheel was a success and now lots of other wheel makers have this exact same size. But I knew that we could fit more, so we did some more calcs and ordered 18x11" front and 18x12" rears, and made some suspension tweaks to make them fit with a 315 at both ends. We ran on this set-up for much of 2012-2013 before finally deciding to flare the fronts then the rears to fit 18x12s and even wider tires (335F/345R). the car only gets faster every time we up the tire and wheel width.

                          Click above for Hollywood quality video showing the tricks to install 18x11's on a Mustang (hint: its not Hollywood quality)

                          During 2013 we decided to try an 18x11" wheel for both ends, and came up with our proprietary fitment that uses radically different offsets on each end of the car. We have sold lots of 18x11" wheels now and have all the tricks and tips and this video above explains where the clearance is closest and the best way to have maximum room for street an track use. Jason and I made this video in about 10 minutes, so its not exactly Oscar worthy, but it gets the info across. We also touch on tire sizes to use on 10 and 11" wheels.

                          • 178.5 offsets from +6 to +50
                          • 179.0 offsets from +12 to +58
                          • 179.5 offsets from +19 to +65
                          • 1710 offsets from +25 to +72

                          In addition to the many 18" sizes we've run on various cars, Forgestar has launched an F14 wheel in several new 17" sizes. We begged them to do this for racers that were asking for their style of "custom built" flow formed wheel process and these are finally coming on line. There is also another F14 size we've been asking them to make that is about to drop - an even wider 18x13" size. Look for this big 13" wide wheel on our 2011 Mustang soon, and we've got sets being built for C6 Z06 customers as well. Bigger really is better in this instance.

                          continued below
                          Last edited by Fair!; 06-18-2014, 07:16 PM.
                          Terry Fair -
                          2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
                          EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


                          • Re: Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build

                            continued from above

                            Global Time Attack at Road Atlanta - May 9, 2014

                            The two weeks after TWS and before our trip to Road Atlanta were extremely hectic at the Vorshlag shop. We had customer cars with insane deadlines and our guys were working extra hours to get caught up. That meant our pre-race prep on the Mustang was very very delayed.

                            Since we were leaving on Thursday at 3 am, the car was quickly prepped and loaded in the trailer on Wednesday. The guys pushed some fresh Motul RBF600 fluid through each corner to make sure it was bled and clean, the same set of 335F/345R Hoosier A6 tires from TWS were left in place, 8 fresh quarts of Mobil1 15W50 synthetic oil and a Wix filter were swapped, and the car was given a good pre-race tech inspection. Shop Manager Brad noted the XP20 Carbotech front brake pad depth was only 1/2 thickness, and asked me where the spare pads were.... err... good question. "I think they are in the trailer". I went to get the trailer, no spare pads. Crap. This WAS the spare set of pads. "No worries, we'll manage", I said. We have 3" front brake ducting, so the pad won't get that hot. Ha.

                            Note: getting in a rush does not excuse the mistakes I made in this pre-race prep. We tend to push our own car to the back of the line when it comes to shop time, behind paying customers. My not taking the braking system needs and consumables seriously enough led to the accident below. Our Motul rep was shocked that we were still using RBF600 fluid on this somewhat fast and heavy Mustang. "You should ONLY use RBF660 on that car!" Motul RBF600 is great brake fluid, and appropriate for 90% of our road course customers, but the boiling point is a touch lower than their 660 fluid. We've been pushing the limits of brake system sanity in this 3800 pound car and I knew that our measured caliper temps were nearing the boiling point of RBF600. Don't ignore advice from your suppliers and don't ignore the data you are taking. Learn from my mistakes.

                            This Road Atlanta GTA event was the only "close" event on their 2014 schedule, and its at the same track as NASA Nationals East this year. It made sense early in the season to add this GTA @ Road Atlanta event to our own 2014 race schedule. Having never even been to Road Atlanta, much less driven it, we knew that I needed to get some track time there before going to NASA Nationals. This road course is notoriously tricky, and ATL locals tend to have a massive advantage over newbies at this track.

                            Even though the GTA series is ultra competitive, we were there for NASA practice more than anything else. Our car isn't built around the GTA rules/tires and the Hoosier A6 tires we run dumped us into their top class, Unlimited RWD. Turns out that the top 2 fastest cars for the entire GTA field of 43 competitors were in this class, hurray. This was a crazy "combo" event weekend with GTA, Formula D drifting, and 3 classes of Trans Am racing all happening over the same 3 days. GTA was to run a compressed schedule with one early morning Thursday practice, then 3 timed sessions Friday (almost back to back), and three more on Saturday (also within quick succession). The drifting was off and on all day and went late into the night, and the Trans Am practice, qualifying and racing was in between. It was a hectic schedule, but our GTA bits were all grouped together.

                            Todd Earsley drove the 15 hours solo from Dallas to run GTA in his street tire shod EVO

                            Since we had a 15 hour tow from Dallas to Atlanta, and Amy was already taking 2 days off work, we wouldn't make the early Thursday practice. We left in the trailer from our house at about 3 am Thursday morning with Amy, shop manager Brad and photo guru Brandon in tow. We drove 850 miles across 5 states, straight through and arrived in time to eat dinner near our hotel Thursday night. We got up and made it the 10 miles to the track early Friday morning to find a paddock spot and unload. Once there we found a few Texas folks in attendance, including MyShopAssist/FrictionCircleFab/NASA and USCA competitor Todd Earsley in his EVO, SPL Parts/NASA racer Sean Farrah in his boosted Nissan 300ZX, and NASA TT competitor Josh Garcia in his Toyota V8 powered AE86.

                            We got to the track Friday morning with plenty of time, found the registration center and got our credentials to get in the gate, then we worked our way through the maze of infield roads trying to find the paddock. We asked directions from parking folks 3 times and were told to go 3 different places. We even found Todd Earsley in the infield maze of roads, who threw his hands up and just followed us. It was crazy confusing, and after coming back from this event I've found a map of the RA paddock areas and better understand why - there are TWO pit rows and TWO separate paddocks. The "infield" or "Pro" paddock and the "TT" paddock and pits set outside the track, across the T12-T1 front straight. If you learn anything from reading this post, it is to learn to ask WHICH paddock you need to pit in at Road Atlanta, and to NEVER underestimate this track's abuse of your braking system. More on that in a moment. They put all of the Trans Am and GTA cars in the left "TT" paddock and the Formula Drift cars were in the right or "Pro" paddock.

                            Josh Garcia's Toyota V8 powered AE86 Celica is always a popular car in the pits and on track

                            We unloaded the car from the trailer, and while I went to the driver's meeting Amy and Brad gave the car a quick wash at a nearby garden hose. They were drying it off, applying the GTA number boards, and checking fluids when we I got back. At this meeting the GTA staff warned us that this track was pretty treacherous and that they wouldn't be surprised if there were multiple crashes and car carnage. They were right.

                            Left: I'm talking with Sean Farrah in the pits before we went out in session 2. Right: Sean is a behind me here in his 300Z TT

                            We brought two sets of wheels and tires with us - a fairly well abused set of Hoosier A6 tires that had 2 hard weekends on them already and the semi-fresh set of 335/345 A6s that we had used for one weekend with NASA @ TWS two weeks earlier. The older, scrub set was a mis-matched mess: I had loaned out one of these 18x12" front wheels a while ago to Todd to test on his EVO, and it still had an old 315/30/18 A6 mounted to it. The matching 18x12" front wheel was brand new from Forgestar and not even powdercoated yet, and mounted with an old 335/30/18. We didn't realize we were missing the 315mm mounted wheel until moments before we left Dallas, but Todd grabbed it and brought it to Road Atlanta with him.

                            Left: After the GTA Session 1 results I was in 8th overall. Right: I found a 1.4 seconds in session 2, moving up to 7th

                            After swapping to our "test" tires, which were terrible, we never got a chance to put on the good ones

                            I figured Friday's first 2 or 3 sessions worth of laps would be throw-away times, since I was a total newbie here and intended to make as many laps as possible to learn this new track layout. So we mounted the worst set of mis-matched tires and put the 315mm on the inside (RF) corner, since it would see the least lateral loading. Contrary to what the sidewall numbers might lead you to think, the 315/30/18 and 335/30/18 Hoosier A6 tires are both exactly the same diameter (25.6" tall), so it shouldn't throw off speed sensors/ABS system due to side-to-side tire diameter differences.

                            They put us into two run groups sort of at random for the first session, and told us that based on those time's they would split the field in half and grid us by speeds. We got to grid early and got out first for the first session. There were a few faster cars that I let by immediately, during the warm up lap, who obviously knew this track better than I did. I tried to keep up with one of those but he checked out going over the "bridge" turn (T11). I quickly pointed by then tucked in behind Sean Farrah to follow his 300Z through this unfamiliar course. Unfortunately he was just as new to RA as I was, so it was more of the blind leading the blind, heh. We had a long first session and I ran until the checkered flag came out. The tires got greasy after the first 2-3 laps but they are A6s and I'm used to that. I still managed a 1:38.434 best lap, which was 8th fastest overall for the first set of sessions, and that put me in the "A" grid. This was one of my last laps in that long session and the tires were VERY hot by that point, so I knew there was a lot left in the car once I gained some course familiarity and confidence on the 5 or so TOTALLY BLIND corners. I had taken 11 laps in the first session

                            After making 11 hot laps and seeing the checkers for session 1, I took a cool down lap and came into our paddock spot. I hopped out, yanked off my heavy driving suit, had a quick download with Brad and Amy. "MAN this track is intense!!!", I kept saying. Even through ambient temps were around 77F it was VERY HUMID and my driving suit was soaked. My laps from this session were pretty ragged and I had failed to watch enough lap videos or practice this course in any driving simulators - mistake. I had some great track notes from TT racer Marc Sherrin, who had driven here at a Chin Motorsports event in a rental 5.0 Mustang just two weeks prior, but it wasn't gelling in my brain AT ALL and I had no idea where to turn in for T1, T3, T6, T11 or T12. Turn 11 was especially daunting, which is the uphill, blind, FAST turn over a hill as you go under the famous bridge that cross the track. I'm not ashamed to say that Turn 11 was absolutely terrifying - fast, completely blind, soaked in danger if you screw it up, and with virtually no visual clues to learn from. "Take it flat", they all said... "Are you NUTS!?!" my id replied, on every lap.

                            We topped off the fluids and fuel and got ready for session 2, about 30 minutes later. I noticed zero fuel slosh problems on this mostly right hand turn track, by the way - even getting the fuel somewhat low in the long first stint I took. We checked the front brake pads and they were looking a bit worse for wear, but we didn't have any spares in the trailer like we thought. BIG mistake. "Don't worry", I told them, "I just need to take a few more recon laps, then I'll bring it in". We would then have just enough brake pad left for a few sessions of 1-2 hot laps on Saturday, if I could just pick up this layout today. Famous last words.

                            The Trans Am cars were paddocked all around us. We met some nice folks with good advice about this track

                            Grid A second session almost got rained out, and the B Grid got some sprinkles when they went out. This time I got to the pits early again, but they lined up cars sort of in order of times and I went out in a pack of cars about the same speed as me. I think I made a few passes and was passed about 3 times, and again stayed out and made a lot of hot laps in a row. More than I'm used to doing in this heavy car, but the brake pedal felt fine. The same well used A6 tires worked great for the first two laps, then fell off heavily to a certain point and stayed there. I slowed down after lap 2, as expected, but after about the 4th lap, the longer I stayed on track the faster I was getting. Corners were finally stringing together, I was "less lost" in Turns T2 through T5, I felt like I knew what to do to put Turns T6 and T7 together, etc. Turns T11 and T12 were still kicking my ass, but I had one more session Friday and 3 on Saturday to get that right.

                            In-car video from my first hot lap in session 2 is shown above. It was a 1:37.28, which was with the same very worn mis-matched A6 tires at their best temperature. More importantly I was keeping up with the blue 350Z of Sasha Anis ahead of me, which was a more powerful car and he ended up with a 1:28.0 on day 2. A lot of drivers made significant time drops on the 2nd day, with the rain gone and the track rubbered-in from the Trans Am and GTA racers. Todd dropped 10 seconds from Day 1 to Day 2 best times, as did many others.

                            According to the data logger I took 8 hot laps in session 2. Then all Hell broke loose.

                            continued below
                            Last edited by Fair!; 06-18-2014, 02:15 PM.
                            Terry Fair -
                            2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
                            EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


                            • Re: Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build

                              continued from above

                              So after the Hoosiers fell off a bit I kept making laps, pushing 9/10ths or so, desperately feeling my way through T11 like a blind man. With walls surrounding both sides of nearly the entire track, steep elevation changes everywhere, BIG nasty curbs that could upset a battleship, and five corners that are over rises, it was the hardest track I've ever driven. Cars were dropping like flies - blowing motors, ripping splitters off, going off track, etc. By the end of day one I heard that half the GTA cars had dropped out (some made repairs and got back out on day 2). I kept pounding out laps, trying to soak it all in.

                              Again, in the 2nd session the car felt pretty consistent after the tires fell off about 2 seconds, after the first lap in this session. But learning the track was making up for the tires falling off and still I was dropping time late in the 2nd session. I made a 7th best lap time of a 1:37.015 with tires that we later noticed were absolutely FRIED. Down to the base rubber, zero tread left on the fronts or rears.

                              I still hadn't taken turns T11 or T12 at any respectable rate of speed, since I couldn't seem to find any visual markers to "line me up"... yes yes, I had 20 people giving me advice about "go under the red light" under the bridge, or "aim for the top left window in that medical building" over the horizon. It just wasn't working and I was still very slow through these last 2 corners. And those corners dictated the next long straight past the start finish.

                              On lap 8 I was on a good lap, finally seeing a 1:36 indicated on the predictive lap timer, finally with no traffic, but I wasn't pushing it any harder than I had been the whole session - the corners were just finally coming together. I was motoring down the LONG back straight and could see two cars entering Turn 10A as I went to go grab the brakes, doing about 150 mph. WHOOMP! Pedal goes straight to the floor, nothing happened. No brakes. Shit!

                              Most racers will mentally practice for this very situation. You should also practice a stuck throttle pedal, having a flat tire, and a few other "bad things might happen" scenarios. This way, when Bad Things happen (given enough time, it all happens) you know what to do automatically. In 27 years of driving on road courses I've had exactly one other sudden and complete loss of brakes before, in my 2013 Mustang on the OEM pads/small front rotors, I went off track after a 120 mph braking zone at ECR, and I was doing about 80mph when I left the track. I had time to downshift, pump the brakes a bit, try to use the E-brake, etc. THIS time it happened FAST and the loss of brakes was COMPLETE. I was going a lot faster here, the braking zone was steeply downhill, and the run-off area option was not very friendly. This wasn't just loss of pad material like last time, it was a total and immediate loss of hydraulic system pressure.

                              Last time we saw the front end intact and all one color for a few months...

                              As it often happens in a crash, my perception of time Slowed Down: I quickly evaluated options. There was a wall immediately off track to my right, a gravel trap just off track ahead, and two cars negotiating Turn 10B to my left. Pulling an e-brake could shed a tiny bit of speed but potentially lock the rear tires, put the car into a spin, and likely punt me into a wall. Or into the gravel trap sideways - and flip. Going left and "short cutting" Turns 10A-10B through the grass wasn't an option because I'd likely collect one if not both of the cars slowly exiting 10B right in front of me. So going off track straight ahead was my safest option. I managed a quick 5-4 downshift, as I would normally here while braking (and even go down to 3rd gear), but grabbing 3rd at 150 mph would only mechanically over-rev the motor and lock up the rear tires. According to the Solo DL, I left the track doing 142 mph, so the downshift was good for a tiny reduction of speed via engine braking.

                              Now of course we always video EVERY lap of every session Amy or I drive, to catch good laps as well as bad things like this - to hopefully learn from it. But we goofed didn't pull any video off the same SD card in this vidcam for 4 race weekends in a row, and the 1080P camera filled the card during the 2nd hot lap of this session. So we have no video of the crash. Sadly I always check the vidcam before a session starts, and would have realized "oh, this won't record, it must be full" and swapped cards before the next session. Just happened to fill up during the worst session of the weekend. We still have plenty of pictures of the shunt thanks to some sharp eye'd shutter bugs.

                              I hit the gravel trap and was going through it at an angle towards the bridge. There were big berms/walls on both sides of the bridge span that I didn't want to nose into, and my hope was to shed speed in the gravel, likely lose the splitter, and get back on track and under that bridge without hitting any walls or the 2 cars ahead of me. And that's what happened, but the impact LEAVING the gravel trap was INCREDIBLE. There was about an 18" earthen berm that marked the border of the gravel trap and that's what got me airborne....

                              This vertical impact is what broke my back, and while I didn't know that for certain for a few days, I knew a new level of PAIN. The hit knocked the wind out of my lungs and I couldn't breath for about 90 seconds. My entire spine started spasming and it was the most intense pain I've ever felt. The left front tire blew and both front wheels bent going over the 18" vertical berm, but I still left the gravel trap with the ability to steer, doing about 90 mph, with no brakes. The momentum took the car up the hill to the bridge and I was just coherent enough to know that I was closer to the pits than a corner station - I remembered seeing where the ambulance was parked. I checked and since nobody was close to me from behind, I rolled into Pit In just past T11, rolled down and then up the pit road and pulled over right next to the Medical Building. I shut off the engine in gear to slow then stop, and was less than 5 feet from where the ambulance was parked.

                              Brandon was sitting on pit wall and snapped a few pictures of me coming off track. It took him a second to realize that the car ... didn't look right. The splitter was gone and part of the lower bumper and front flares were ripped off. He saw me pop the belts, roll out of the car and lay on the ground, which I did to try to get my diaphragm working and to be able to draw a breath. He thought I was checking under the car, walked up and then heard me moaning in pain.

                              It felt like someone was stabbing me in the back, and I still couldn't breath. The ambulance crew was on me in about 20 seconds and tried to immobilize me, learning that I had intense back pain. They checked me out for feeling in my legs, but by then I could breath and talk and kept trying to stand up - against their wishes. They wanted to load me into the ambulance and cart me off to a hospital but I was having none of it. I waited until the next Monday to get X-rays, and then saw the broken bones. It was a hard hit, and I think most of my damage (compression fracture to vertebrae T-11 and broken rib at T-12) happened where the pictures show me coming OUT of the gravel trap. There was about an 18" high ridge of dirt they cut into the ground for the hole for the gravel pit which launched the car about 2 feet into the air.

                              After 27 years of doing this stuff, dozens of offs at all sorts of speeds, this is the first time I got hurt. I was drenched in my driving suit and badly overheated, but they got me into the air conditioned medical building 20 feet away, cooled me down, and gave me two bottles of water which I guzzled. Getting out of the drenched driving suit helped cool me down, and they checked my vitals a couple of times. Amy was on the scene pretty quickly and wanted me to go to the hospital, but I was stubborn and stupid, and walked the 1/2 mile back to our paddock spot. Well, limped back while leaning on Amy.

                              This all happened at about 11:45 am, and while there was one more GTA session left there was no way I was driving and the car looked like crap. Brad came to fetch the car from Medical and after about 30 minutes it has SOME brake pedal and could be stopped, carefully. He pulled remnants of the brake ducts and splitter mounts off, noting some green fluid and a crushed air conditioning condenser. We don't run any anti-freeze and we figured out later it was just freon and whatever crud they use in the A/C system. Amy limped it back to our paddock spot with the mushiest pedal EVER.

                              These two cars went on to clobber me 1-2 in Unlimited RWD. Somehow my limited running time still held onto 3rd place

                              The car was relatively fine, but I was not, and I was pissed - at myself for not feeling any drop off in braking, not feeling any warning at a total brake system failure, and ignoring the other signs (pads). Looking at the brakes after the shunt, the rear pads were down to about 1/4 thickness but the fronts were down to 1/8th, at best. While they loaded up our gear and got another tire & wheel installed I fought through pain and brief stints of back spasms for a few hours. Somehow in there I did a 10 minute videotaped interview with Whiteline, standing in front of the car. I don't remember much of that. I mostly just lied down in the trailer that afternoon, and we knew our weekend was over.

                              Brad was shoveling gravel out of the car and removing the brake duct hoses - there's still gravel coming out weeks later

                              Amy and Brandon had called our hotel and managed to check out of our 2 rooms by 12:15, raced into town and got all of our gear, while Brad and I watched part of one of the Trans Am races. We stuck around for another few hours so Brandon could shoot some more pics of the GTA drivers and paddock, but we decided to leave early and head back to Dallas by about 4:30 pm. I was a wreck and that was the most miserable drive. We made it about 5 hours, with me downing Advil and applying Icy-Hot patches several times, then stopped for the night. We got back on the road Saturday morning and made it back by about 3 pm, and I laid on the couch for the next 36 hours.

                              When I got back to shop on Monday I made a doctor's appointment and the guys unloaded the car, and we saw the extent of the damage. It wasn't as bad as my back, that's for sure, and we had it fixed and back on track for Amy to drive a mere 10 days later. The actual repair work only took about 2 days and not many parts.

                              I'm trying to see the good side to this event, so please humor me while I bench race a bit here, heh. Since there's not a results page up on the GTA website for this event yet I put this page (above) together from a Facebook data dump they posted. Looks like my session 2 times from Friday were still faster than about 29 other GTA drivers (14th overall) with only 19 laps taken on this course, using a very worn out set of mis-matched tires. Many drivers picked lots of time on Saturday, including fellow NASA Texas TT competitor Todd Earsley, who dropped a staggering 10 seconds on Day 2.

                              The TT3 track record at Road Atlanta is a 1:29.64 (linked here), so I needed to drop about 8 seconds to be competitive, yet the ST3 track record is a 1:35.3, set just this last weekend (same rules as TT3). Knowing where I typically place relative to Todd's EVO when he is racing on street tires, like he was at GTA, I think I can bench race my way there. For a few weeks after this event I was NOT going to ever go back to this track, but after a bit of time and healing, I'm now thinking... yea. Gotta get back on that horse. We'll do NASA Nationals, and the Test day before. I am hoarding sets of Hoosiers now to be able to take at least 2 sticker sets + a set of R6s to test on for Nationals at the end of August. Its gonna be hot!

                              continued below
                              Last edited by Fair!; 06-18-2014, 02:35 PM.
                              Terry Fair -
                              2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
                              EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


                              • Re: Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build

                                continued from above

                                Lessons Learned + Brake System Upgrades + Safety Gear

                                We've had 5 weeks to investigate the car, and think about what went wrong. Please learn from my mistakes.

                                1. Don't ever take your braking system for granted. If you are tracking your car at a road course, make sure you have adequate and fresh brake fluid. Fresh brake pads and un-cracked rotors. For heavier and faster cars, seriously consider brake cooling. And if you have one of the heaviest/fastest cars on the grid, consider MORE brake cooling.
                                2. Don't skimp or shortcut on your safety gear. Fires, rollovers and crashes don't care that wearing all of that gear is inconvenient, costly or cumbersome. Get a quality set of 6-point racing harnesses and make sure they are TIGHT. Wearing a Head and Neck device is a pretty smart use of safety gear, and a fire-retardant driving suit/gloves/shoes is also a smart investment.
                                3. If you are to the point of investing in aerodynamic aids and aero testing to lower lap times, its probably long past time to have already installed a full roll cage.
                                4. When going to a new (to you) track and you want to get up to speed quickly, watch some good in-car videos and/or find this track in a driving simulator video game and invest the time to learn the track before you arrive.

                                Yep, I know... I'm not following my own advice here, but I'm working on all of these things.

                                The front pads were very worn after the Road Atlanta event. There was less pad thickness than backing plate thickness, as shown above. The front rotors were also DONE, with massive heat cracking on all of the surfaces. Those were both replaced with fresh Centric rotors and Carbotech XP20 pads and we won't do any more TT events without NEW pads at all four corners, and we'll keep full spares in the trailer (we usually do that already). The rear brakes looked fairly worn and after the first HPDE session at ECR 2 weeks later they were replaced at the track with a new set of spare Carbotech pads. The brake pedal was still mushy as crap after we got the car back from Atlanta, and the fluid looked like coffee. It had gotten HOT and boiled, as simple as that. THAT is what ultimately caused the loss of brakes...

                                But why did they boil? Two reasons: 1) I was driving longer stints than we designed the car for and 2) the worn and thin brake pad material wasn't thick enough to insulate the brake fluid in the calipers from the 1000+ degree rotors. We have since upgraded the Mustang to Motul RBF660 with a complete fluid flush. The Motul 660 looks light brown right out of the bottle, not clear like the RBF600 does when new. We had just flushed another car (see above pics) with 660 and that's what it looks like, fresh.

                                And even though these extended driving stints are very atypical for us in NASA TT, we went ahead and upgraded the front brake ducts from 3" to 4" on the front of the car, and plumbed the system with 4" flex tubing.

                                For 99.5% of you reading this the 3" backing plate + hose kits we already make (we now have the hoses as an option) are more than adequate for HPDE or even TT use. Our shop guys are building the 4" backing plates now (below right), but we ran it with the 4" hoses and front openings at ECR already and saw a 60 degree drop in front caliper temps. This weekend at Hallett will be an even better test.

                                Safety Gear Upgrades

                                I already wear an SFI 3-2A/5 driving suit, but its a very heavy material (read: cheap suit) and I'm going to upgrade to a more modern style that is about half the weight, and fitted better to my body than this giant Simpson STD.19. Having a lighter weight suit will make me wear it more often, especially during hot events, and reduce my chances of overheating my body. We're not going to use a cool suit, as that is overkill for our typical 2-3 lap stints. I borrowed a Simpson Hybrid Pro HANS device that I will use this weekend at Hallett, and if it works well I'll buy it for use for the rest of this season. Wearing a HANS device wouldn't have helped with the GTA shunt, which was an unusual force vector going almost straight up/down, but it would obviously help in a head-on or side impact crash.

                                I'll go with a new Alpinestar, Puma or Sparco suit soon. People might not know this, but we sell driving suits (it would help if they were listed on our website, I know), harnesses and all sorts of other safety gear - but we do. And if a driving suit comes in for local pick-up, our Operations Manager tests them out (see Sofi being a goof, above).

                                I've got a little bit more written but this post is getting too long, so I'll save that for another post later this week.

                                What's Next
                                • More post-Road Atlanta Repairs - Pictures and details of the somewhat simple repairs + a short video showing what worn front S197 hubs sound like
                                • FSF @ ECR - Track test after the car was repaired, where Amy drove the Mustang
                                • Gas Monkey Bar & Grill Moto GT Bike Reveal / Car show - Sofi's charity bike build was unveiled at GMBG
                                • NASA @ Hallett - Amy and I are racing the TT3 Mustang at the Hallett circuit this weekend with NASA and a record 41 TT competitors for this event

                                More soon,
                                Last edited by Fair!; 06-18-2014, 02:39 PM.
                                Terry Fair -
                                2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
                                EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev