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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

    continued below

    So that means no worthwhile points for the TTC entry, but two solid "100 point days" for our TT3 entry, if we end up having the Mustang all season (it's still for sale). Four fresh Hoosier A7s (in the right sizes this time, yay) were won here, so we'll have fresh tires on the Mustang at TWS in April. The original set of 245mm R7s still only have about 8 laps on them in 2 race weekends and look great, so we'll run those on the C4 again at the next event (only won 2 new tires at MSR-H in this car).

    So the smoking issue and metal in the oil pan can only mean one thing: the the 24 year old LT1 motor needs to be rebuilt. That's two events in a row smoking and/or leaking oil in the C4, and I don't want to get a reputation for that nonsense. I want the motor rebuilt, back in the car, re-dyno tuned, and a track test day completed before #DangerZone goes back to a NASA event.

    The Mustang must have been weighed 4 or 5 times all weekend, but it was never close to being underweight. We gained some weight somewhere, as it was always about 70-90 pounds over the 3802 pound minimum all weekend, but I kept taking ballast out until we were closer. The C4 only made two laps, in two sessions, so it never had a chance to get called to scales. It was well over the 3203 pound minimum, as I kept topping off the fuel tank and the added mass of the front cage section was also present.

    Left: Saturday TT Results. Right: Sunday TT Results

    Official Results:

    Last up, some in-car video from the Mustang, shown below. This was with a suction-cup mount on the windshield, instead of the roll-bar mounted I/O Port mount usually located behind the driver. I moved that to the C4 and should really just buy another one to keep in the Mustang. It makes for a better view and shows the driver issues (flailing around like I usually am).

    In-car video of the TT3 winning lap in the Mustang

    The lap timer fell off it's windshield mount, so I was driving "blind" without predictive lap times. I hate that, and never want to drive on track without the predictive timing from the AiM SOLO. That 1:19.1 lap was a solid 1.8 seconds off my 2014 pace here (1:17.310, still the TT3 lap record) in the same car, but that could just be the difference between a sticker set of Hoosiers vs a very old and worn set. It was still enough for the win in TT3 and 4th fastest for the day in TT. We had 6 cars in class on Saturday and 5 cars in TT3 on Sunday. Amy was quick Saturday but was off the pace Sunday, when the front tires fell off. Glad she let me take 2 sessions in the car, because we needed it. Still won by nearly 2 seconds but it would have been a tenth or two short with her late Sunday times.

    On the photos - we took pics with our Nikon and my potatocam phone, but thanks to MohFlo photography for the shots they got (bought the digital files) and also to Jason Toth for the images he shot. Their stuff was way better than anything Amy or I took (maybe the one above was OK, which was from my potatocam). And the next time I want to bring to cars to race and DON'T bring any Vorshlag crew to help, somebody kick me in the head? That weekend was a lot of scrambling around, and I'm too old for this crap.

    Prep for Goodguys and Optima

    We were looking forward to this event, and I really wanted to test out Mark's 2002 Corvette before Optima at this event. As usual prep on anything I drive runs behind scheduled customer jobs, so the C5 didn't get much attention other than the new 18x11 wheels and some 295/315 Rivals mounted, but that was enough.

    Above: Construction of custom splitter version number 3, AKA: the "C Prepared" Splitter

    Ryan also made a new front splitter for the Mustang that Amy wanted to test. The new rules for USCA/Optima disallow any rear wings worth building, and we ran out of time to make a rear spoiler (that we'd likely never use again), so I asked the guys to make a "short" splitter to reduce front downforce. I had also looked at possibly running some SCCA autocross events and the only class that the car remotely fits in was C Prepared, with no wing and a short splitter (or SMOD). So we followed the CP ruleset for the "shorty splitter" and it follows a "top-down outline" of the OEM bumper contours. Short and sweet, with no need for the four support struts, this version allows for more street use; it has better ground clearance with the lower overhang.

    Left: Custom splitter version number 1, used at Miller in 2013, was 10.25" long. Right: Custom splitter version number 2 was only 6" long

    This makes the third splitter we've made for this car, starting with the original 10.25" we ran at Miller in 2013, the 6" splitter we've run all through 2014, and then this 2" splitter for CP/Optima use. It looks weird without the wing, to me, but the new rules just forced us to do this.

    So we had the same set of 335mm BFGs we used at OUSCI last November, which we kept mounted on the second set of 18x12" Forgestars. That's what she'd run at Goodguys and Optima. Not that we had any choice, as BFGoodrich was out of virtually ALL sizes of the Rival and the Rival-S was massively delayed. So it was a "run what ya had stashed" weekend. The C5 got a pair of 315s that I had run in early 2014 at Optima @ TMS, and some throw-away 295 Rivals a customer gave us (well worn). Couldn't buy any Rivals to fit the C5 for any amount of money, what do ya do?

    March 22 - Goodguys AAS at TMS (200 treadwear) Running both the '02 Corvette (me) and '11 Mustang (Amy) in AAS class on Sunday

    The typical Goodguys weekend works like this. There's a schedule of activities for their Friday-Sunday weekends with all sorts of events for vintage cars. Swap meets, car showing, and all of that. The Autocross competition is what we care about, but their main show is Friday-Saturday with the 1973-older cars, which run in 3 or 4 classes now. On Sunday they have the only thing we can usually run called "All American Sunday" autocross. This is the one day they allow newer, but domestic built/domestic powered cars to compete.

    The Sunday "AAS" autocross is a good bit less formal than their Fri-Sat event, but the prize package is the same - and includes a free set of BFG tires to the winner. I've entered this three times and scored a 2nd the first time and have won it the last two times, and its a nice bit of cheddar. More importantly I needed the seat time in Mark's C5 and Amy needed the seat time in the Mustang on street tires with no wing.

    We had some real competition signed up this time, too. Our order desk manager Jon was going to run his MCS/Forgestar/Rival equipped 2007 Mustang GT (below at left) in the AAS event as well. He's already a top competitor locally in SCCA's CAM-C class, and could take the win at AAS if I wasn't on my game. But bad weather rolled in Friday night and soaked the track. I had a bad feeling and decided to go into work and machine parts until I heard from Jon (you can show up right until about 11 am and still compete - its VERY laid back).

    Jon had pre-paid for this event and was there early. He texted me from the track and said that it was still wet, but the organizers refused to do anything about it. When it rained Friday night they had the Vintage competitors drive around the course at 1/2 speed to help dry the line. Not so on Sunday, and by 11 am I knew it was a bust. Jon stuck around until they called the AAS autocross CANCELLED just before 12 noon, and he left that track none too happy about how this was handled. Can't really blame him, but I warned him up front that Goodguys was run "like no other event I've ever seen" in 28 years of doing autocrosses. It's just... how it is?

    That cancelled event meant that we would have ZERO testing for the C5 or Mustang on new set-ups before the Optima event the following weekend, though. Crap!

    March 28-29 - USCA @ TMS (200 treadwear 5 event Challenge!)

    Wow, this post got really long. I'm going to push this Optima race coverage until next time...

    Other Mustang Work + Multiple "This Week At Vorshlag" Videos

    One of the more troublesome parts that I try to get Mustang racers to avoid are tubular front crossmembers (aka: front subframes) and front lower control arms. This is a critical area for suspension loads and chassis rigidity, but it seems that in the 1990s there were companies playing the "who can be lightest and cheapest" game with tubular crossmembers and it spun out of control, with the end result being that most of these began being made out of overseas sweat shops. Another area that people went chasing weight was tubular lower control arms. I've seen too many cracked or failed aftermarket tubular arms and K-members to count.

    As you can see, the Fox Mustang aftermarket tubular crossmember above is all cracked-up and about to explode, heh. Luckily this 1993 Mustang owner brought this track-only car (built by someone else) in to Vorshlag for a track inspection before this Chinese built subframe could come apart completely. We contacted the folks at Maximum Motorsports, who still make their robust designs here in the USA, and got this new subframe straight from them.

    Installing and squaring a crossmember to the chassis takes some time to get right (see this video). While we were in there we replaced the solid motor mounts with some poly versions, replaced a cracked steering rack with a rebuilt SN95 unit (the steering shaft coupler is different on Fox vs SN95s, BTW), and even swapped in some BBK long tube headers in place of the old school shorty headers.

    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

      I had Olof add 3" stainless V-band flanges to the collectors, because I absolutely hate ball-and-socket and 3-bolt collectors, and now they won't leak nor restrict flow. He also built a whole new exhaust, but kept the original mufflers, per the customer's request...

      With a 3" Magnaflow X-pipe section, 3" mandrel bends, and 3" stainless tubing the new system won't rot and fall off and it isn't 2.5" anymore. It also sounds NASTY, but in a good way. Now the motor (with AFR heads and cam) can actually breath and it picked up about 50 whp on my "butt dyno", heh. It amazed me in the 1990s how many Fox Mustang guys cheaped-out and went with shorty headers, based mostly on bad information or lazy installers. Upgrading to full length headers with a free flowing exhaust is the best bang-per-buck power upgrade on virtually any V8, this side of NAWSSSSS!!!!!one11!

      Also built a short splitter/aluminum undertray/air dam, added a rear tow hook, cut open the upper grill area for more airflow. Then we added stainless steel mesh to all of the openings - the upper and lower grill plus the brake duct holes, to keep the big grasshoppers out. This time of year we get swarms of the little buggers here in Texas. This Fox Mustang work is partially covered in a "This Week At Vorshlag" video - April 13, 2015

      Left: Factory 2014 aluminum hood with faux hood scoop = 35.2 pounds. Right: Seibon "Carbon" hood = 32.1 pounds

      Next up is a hood vent job we did for a supercharged, open track Mustang. Lots of underhood heat and 4 heat exchangers, but nowhere for the BTUs to go, so we came up with a plan to add some serious extraction. The customer really wanted a "carbon" fiber hood, but we warned him there would be little or no weight savings. As you can see it saved 3.1 pounds, which is about what I expected. While still a quality part, the Seibon branded hoods like this are a "composite" construction of fiberglass with a layer of carbon weave on top, as are virtually ALL "carbon" hoods.

      Jason and I put our engineering hats on and looked at the shape of he hood, some data of these cars tested in wind tunnels, available space underhood for airflow, then came up with where and how large to make the opening. This is essentially where the a GT500 hood vent gors, but about triple the size. Olof cut the hole then built an aluminum frame to match the hood contours using a lot of shrinking and stretching, welding and grinding, sanding and fitting. Customer wanted this to look NICE so extra time was spent on the finish work.

      The final frame and louver assembly looked amazing, and the top edge (which was to be bonded to the hood) was left rough for better adhesion. Every other surface was sanded and perfected to a brushed finish. Lots of hours but it was worth it. To keep from having visible hardware on the carbon hood surface, the frame was bonded to the underside of the composite with the appropriate epoxy. This was held in place with the green tape (above right) while the epoxy set-up, which was kept clamped for 48 hours.

      Four "Quik-Latch" brand quick release hood pin kits were added and the OEM secondary hood latch was kept as a backup. The finished result is pretty amazing and this, plus a lot of other work we've done to the car, helped the owner place well in the Design and Engineering competition at the Optima event in March.

      These changes helped keep the temps down and he was able to really push the car around the TMS infield road course during the Optima event, placing 6th in the Time Trial portion in the GT class competition. If you click the above right image you can see the "heat plume", with waves of heat pouring out of the hood duct. The car is back in again for some underhood "relocation" of the two coolant reservoirs, moving them back to the OEM battery location (and the battery to the trunk), which will open up even more room for a proper radiator duct to the hood. Will show that next time.

      There are a few more "This Week at Vorshlag" videos we've added since my last post, and they are all now on our Vorshlag Youtube Channel, since our SmugMug gallery site seems to butcher videos on mobile devices.

      Mustang Prep for NASA @ TWS

      Wow, this post is getting long, so I'm going to try to wrap it up.

      So the Mustang sat in the trailer after the Optima event, because the shop got so backed up with cars and work. We finally brought it in this week to prep it for next weekend's NASA @ TWS event. This will be the last NASA event ever at Texas World Speedway, as it is being bulldozed in the fall to make way for more houses in College Station, Texas. This saddens me, even if I have complained about the degrading facilities there in recent history. I ran my first HPDE there with the PCA back in 1988 and my first Time Trial event there the same year with TAMSCC (Aggiecross!). I also worked at the track over two years and have a lot of memories of this place. It will be missed... and this NASA event already has 300+ entries. Wow!

      Left: The Mustang as it ran in Optima trim, sans aero. Right: Yesterday as they began prepping it for NASA TT3

      The last NASA event this car was entered in was a last minute "insurance" policy against the C4 breaking (which it did). Even after sitting out of NASA competition for over 7 months we hopped right back in and won with it, but it was closer than I liked and we had a few issues to deal with. This time we know the C4 is not going to make it to TWS so we prepped the Mustang more seriously, assuming 2 drivers were going to use it all weekend.

      The brakes needed the most work. We had a caliper "de-thread" at the mounting holes at the Las Vegas Optima event. I wrote about it... well, in the ranting race update that I'll never post. We also had a front rotor issue there, so some Autozone replacements went on. They didn't last two weekends (NASA @ MSR-C + Optima), but the cheap stuff usually never does. So a new set of Centric Premiums went on along with a fresh set of Carbotech XP20 pads front and rear.

      If this were gong to an autocross I would have had the guys keep the pads on, as they had about half pad depth left. But for a NASA event at Texas World Speedway? Where we might be going into a braking zone at 150+ mph? No, I don't want to ever risk brake failure again like last year at RA. So we went with fresh pads, fresh Motul RBF660 fluid, fresh Alcon caliper temp strips, and fresh rotors. We even put on a fresh set of Brembo calipers up front as well. Look at the image above and you might guess why.

      Slowing down 3802 pounds of Mustang (with driver, fuel and ballast - to reach TT3 power-to-weight limit) isn't easy, even with massive 4" brake ducts and good fluid/pads. It takes its toll after 5 years, and this is now our 2nd set of worn out calipers. The dust seals were fried and the were just ready for a rebuild. The scratches in the upper sections were from gravel picked up during the "off" at RA and ground between the calipers and wheel barrels. The inside barrels of the front wheels got similar rock rash but had already been replaced.

      Instead of a messy, time consuming caliper rebuild, it is just cheaper for us to buy new calipers from our Ford source, which we use in our 14" Brembo upgrade kits. One of the old calipers had already been heli-coiled (Vegas) and the other was showing signs of worn threads. We didn't want to risk more abuse so they are now new, as are the Brembo clips and pins with new bits.

      The NASA TT3 aero package came out of the upstairs storage room and was bolted back onto the Mustang, including the rear wing and the 6" splitter. These were off for the Optima event, but they swap back quickly.

      One of the aftermarket motor mounts we installed a year or two ago failed, which was noticed when Olof was putting the splitter back on. The rubber (rubber?!) bushings had collapsed and the main structure plate was badly bent. This let the passenger side of the engine drop a good 1/2" and a header tube had been hitting/resting on the frame rail, ugh. This was found the day before we were to leave for TWS, so we had to just find a fix for it.

      This is what happens when I'm lazy and don't bother to make a proper part for a car we're racing. I went with something else and it failed. Bah. Oh well, we gathered up a lot of the polyurethane and Nylon bushings we use in our BMW motor mounts and we found some better materials to use.

      Olof and I tested out the cutting speeds on the lathe and he whittled down a pair of 95A durometer red poly bushings and rebuilt the passenger side motor mount. The main plate was straightened in the press and it went back in better than ever. We will look at making a proper motor mount for road course use in the S197 next.

      We had the crew from Pro-Tect Mobile come by and install some clear PPF on the leading edges of the flares, hood, front end, and along the lower rockers. They did an excellent job and now the fresh paint is protected before we screw it up, heh. Jon removed the decals in the way of the PPF and then took off all of the rest of the black decals as well. He then cut new white graphics and put them on the car.

      Last but not least - fresh set of Hoosiers. This was the set of four we won at the March NASA event and they are 335/40/18 front and 345/35/18 rear Hoosier A7s. Again, this is the last TWS event we will ever do with NASA and the lap record set this weekend (if our old one doesn't stand) will stay in the record books forever. And with 10 signed up in TT3 already (and a record 60 signed up for TT) we will have to bring our "A Game" to pull it off this weekend!

      Olof just bedded in the brakes, then after those cool down he'll install the Alcon temp strips and we can give the car a good washing. Jon has some more graphics to install, and one decal he put on as a joke to remove (you can probably guess). Then we will load up the car in the trailer and head down to TWS later tonight (Thursday night), to try to secure a paddock spot before 300 other racers signed up beat us to the best spots.

      What's Next?

      Here are a few likely events we will be attending in the coming months with our red Mustang.
      • April 24-26 - NASA @ TWS
      • May 2 - Cars & Coffee Dallas
      • May 3 - SCCA autocross @ TMS Bus Lot
      • May 9 - Five Star Ford Track Day @ ECR
      • June 13-14 - NASA @ Hallett, "Summer Shootout"
      • August 23 - SCCA Solo at Lone Star Park
      • September 4-6 - NASA @ VIR - Eastern States Championships

      That's all for this time. Gotta get ready to head to TWS!
      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 May 13, 2015: After returning from the last ever NASA race weekend at TWS a couple of weeks ago I started writing "a quick recap" of the last two race weekends for our S197 build thread (Optima and TWS). I started writing, got really busy, but finally attacked the March Optima @ TMS post since it was long overdue. Well we had gathered a lot of good pics, brought 11 cars plus had some other friends there, so this Optima event recap ran long. Then we ended up doing 2 more competition events in the Mustang after Optima, plus two other events, but I will have to cover those next time.

        We made a tactical decision before entering Optima @ TMS to put Amy in the Mustang in their GT class while I borrowed a customer's C5 Corvette to run in their GTS class, and I will explain why below. This Optima event write-up will be in both the S197 Test Mule and the C5 Test Mule forum build threads.

        Plus I have a new plan to sell our 2011 TT3 Mustang that I will explain at the bottom of this thread update. This is sure to get a buyer - because I have lowered the price until it hurts, and will keep sweetening the deal until it sells. Gotta fund the next build, and I don't want to inadvertently hurt this pretty car by continuing to race it. I've also noticed that I'm holding back on my driving of this car, since its for sale (but it still keeps winning - other than with Amy at Optima). Read below for more details, pictures, video, and more.

        March 28-29 - USCA @ TMS (200 treadwear 5 event Challenge)

        So my comments about prior USCA/Optima events have been all over the place, especially after the cluster-truck last November with the "OUSCI event" in Vegas after SEMA. I couldn't even post my review of that event, it went so far off the rails. This is a big series with all sorts of complications - a wide variety of cars, drivers of all skill levels, and various sponsor and TV obligations - and some rules I won't always agree with, but it is also televised and I can't ignore that for the potential exposure for our business. Fortunately they made a LOT of changes and improvements (new competition rules, timing equipment, and policy changes) in 2015 and it showed at this event back in March. Big improvements, and now the Optima series is back to the fun filled event I knew they could put on.

        Since there was a $3000 cash bounty on hand for "new Optima entrants" to win the GT class in a Mustang or Challenger (put out there by Camaro driver Ken Thwaits), we stuck Amy in our 2011 Mustang in that class. Why? Since I'd already run an Optima event before, I wasn't eligible, but I won this class in this car, and even against this particular driver. So since she had a shot at three grand, and she's a good autocrosser and licensed Time Trial competitor, we stuck her in big red. Jon from Vorshlag was also giving the $3000 cash prize a shot in his Legend Lime 2006 GT (above right) as well. Engineering intern Shannon (below right) was also entered in GT class along with her mother Jan, both driving in S197 Mustangs (but they ran Optima last year, so weren't eligible for the $3000 bounty).

        Since I wasn't going to be driving our Mustang I rented frequent Vorshlag customer Mark Council's 2002 Corvette (aka: the "eBay special") that I entered in the GTS class (above left). Neither Amy or I did all that well, but we still had a lot of fun and are both glad we went. There were a total of 11 entries from Vorshlag, from employees to customers, and we all had fun at this event. Remember that when reading my rants below that all of these issues were caused by the car I borrowed, which was untested and modified in weird ways. We've since fixed almost all of these ills, but we only had a few days before this event to repair some broken parts, and I took it with just a quick wheel/tire upgrade that we put together.

        Funny thing happened - When I signed up the C5 Corvette in GTS class (for 2 seat cars + AWD cars, over 3200 pounds) there were only 6 in class and 5 were novices, and no AWD cars. This was only a week before the event. Well somehow the GTS class grew to 16 cars, with some cars moving up from GTL, and 7 of the late entries were AWD cars. Those types of cars compete exceptionally well at the standing start Speed Stop and Autocross events at Optima, especially the way that they set up their courses. That influx of late entry AWD cars was an unexpected surprise.

        This made winning the GTL class no longer "shooting ducks in a barrel", as some seriously fast AWD cars were now balanced between both GTL and GTS classes, with some hot C6 Z06 entries in the mix in both as well. The 4 seat, 3200+ pound GT class was also stacked, and the vintage class (GTV) had some of the nation's top Goodguys competitors. There would be no easy wins this weekend!

        Overall Results from Optima @ TMS: LINK

        Amy was always going to be fighting a tough battle, as the top 3 cars in the 26 car GT class were serious, dedicated race cars built only for ONE purpose: racing in the Optima series. Ryan Matthews' 5th gen Camaro (below) is prepped by Detroit Speed; its a gutted and caged race car with a big nasty motor, real aero (with a new spoiler and rear diffuser to meet the 2015 aero rules) and a pro driver in it. Ken Thwaits somehow entered two 5th gen Camaros into this event, who was formerly a pro driver as well. Both his 1LE and Z/28 have radical motors, the same 2015 aero work, good suspension, and more. These 3 cars were in a class to themselves, and it showed in the results.

        Let's just breeze past the fact that pro drivers aren't allowed to compete (rule 24), or that participants may not register more than one vehicle per event (rule 22). The rules in USCA are more like suggestions or guidelines. There's a movie quote in there, I think? After the things I've seen over the years, I have stopped getting worried about the rules at Optima events - makes for less stress.

        This event was a packed with 72 cars - a record for any USCA/Optima Qualifier event - but they handled the extra volume of entrants well. Compared to last year, where this TMS Optima event had but 32 cars (8 of which we brought), this was a nice improvement in turn out. Thanks go out to the Texas shops (Evo-D, Dusold Designs, Robert Jack's crew) and Texas racers who came out and entered and brought customers with them. Vorshlag brought the most entrants and they noted this several times during the event, but more importantly, Texas entries were a big percentage of the overall entry list - which is how these events are supposed to work.

        Brian Matteucci (above) is an old college racing buddy and fiend - who sold me the smoking C4 Corvette (project #Dangerzone) I've been running in NASA this season - was also there in one of his two blue C5 Z06 Corvettes. The car he brought this time was his "track rat" that he had recently purchased for NASA TT prep. This car came with a worn-out smoking motor, on its last legs, but with a fresh LS block already in line to be built by HKE. Brian did really well at this Optima event in GTL class, especially considering it was a bone stock C5 Z06. He is an experienced autocross and road racing driver, and he proved that "skill > parts" once again. His Z06 was running on 275mm Bridgestone RE71R tires, which don't suck but were significantly narrower than the 295/315s I had on the 2002 Corvette.

        I point out his times to show how badly the "eBay" Corvette I drove did in comparison. Brian and I have known each other and raced together for 25 years, and we have co-driven lots of cars together. Our driving styles and general times are usually very close, so keep that in mind when you see his Autocross and Speed Stop times in a stock C5 Z06 vs the times I was able to lay down in a "modded" C5, using a lot of parts that are "popular on the forums". I only bested him in the Hot Lap challenge, but that was because he only took like 6 laps, due to the excessive blow-by and smoke from his worn out motor.

        As I mentioned, another GT class competitor going for that $3000 bounty was Vorshlag's own Jon Beatty. His 2006 Mustang GT was on MCS TT2s, 18x11" Forgestars and some 295 Rivals - which is a package he uses to terrorize local autocrosses in CAM-T class (where he almost always wins).

        Vorshlag's Optima Event Gallery: LINK - pictures taken by Brad Maxcy, my S4's #potatocam, or from others posting on Facebook

        Doug Willie brought his "F Street" prepped 2013 Camaro autocross car to give this event a try also. Doug did really well and took 4th in the GT class autocross in a stock 2013 Camaro 1LE on skinny 285mm Hankook RS-3 tires (he was saving his 305 Hankooks for an upcoming National Tour). So once again skill > parts, at least in the autocross.

        So when it came to our two primary cars, Amy had to run the autocross in the morning Saturday while most of us ran the speed stop. She was shown in 2nd place at the autocross in GT class after the ~3 hours of morning runs, but as the course "rubbered in", the afternoon cars went much quicker and she fell down to 6th place in class (Jon got 5th while Doug got 4th behind the 3 race cars that swept the podium). Bummer. She had never done a Speed Stop event before but persevered and took a whopping 18 runs on that course (next closest was 13 runs). She scored her best time (10.9) on her LAST attempt, placing 6th in class for this event. The chances at that $3000 prize weren't looking good.

        And it continued to worsen as Amy's worst event in the Mustang was Sunday in the Hot Lap challenge (time trial), where she struggled to get 9th out of 26 in GT class on the road course. Why? Several reasons. She had never run the 1.1 mile TMS infield road course before, had never run this car on course with street tires and NO aero, and she said the car was WICKED loose. When all you are used to in your car for the past 3 years are 345mm Hoosier A6 tires and big downforce, it can be hard to adapt to no downforce and street tires. Lack of rear grip kept her cautious all day, but I was trying to motivate her and kept telling her to PUSH IT.

        Well she did push it, and on the opening laps of her 4th session on track (we all had 6 different 15 minute track sessions on Sunday) she spun it into the infield, shown in this short video, shot from Matteucci's C5 (with a potato for a camera, #potatocam). I couldn't get her to record any of her own video in the car but she managed to have one of the AiM Solo's that recognized this track, so she at least had lap times. And her spin was in good company, as Jon and Doug from our crew both had spins, and as you'll see below, so did I.

        It was a tricky, dirty track surface with ChumpCar running the day before. The track management had just added some tar repairs to cracks in the asphalt on the road course and parking lots, but in the heat those were coming up all weekend, making for lots of "OPR" stuck to your tires. It got so bad that it often felt like you'd thrown a wheel weight and people were coming in early to scrape it off. This was also an issue on the autocross, to a smaller degree.

        I fought the eBay Corvette all day Saturday in the Speed Stop then the Autocross event, cursing up a blue streak and even making up some new words. The Koni 3000 series dampers are way too long and only work at really TALL stock ride heights. With a 1/2" of lowering on the previously installed aftermarket spring bolts the car had virtually no rear bump travel (1/4"!) and would bottom out simply under acceleration, as well as whenever I hit any actual bumps or dips on course.

        Handling was flat TURRIBLE, but the braking was a big hot mess as well. The Hawk HP+ front pads were overpowered by the racier (Hawk HTC?) rear pads it had installed, and this threw the brake bias off so much that not even the C5's ABS could keep up with. This video is my 8th autocross run of 9 attempts, and one of the few where I managed to point it between the cones correctly. From the clutch to the shifter, brakes and handling, what a total MESS this car was. Of course it should have been tested before Optima, but as I wrote in my last C5 thread update, we didn't have the time to do any testing or change any significant parts. We ran what it had + the 18x11 Forgestar CF5 wheels we spec'd and had rush built, shod with some used 295F/315R BFGoodrich rival tires we had around the shop (Rivals were completely out of stock at the time, and this was the best we could come up with on short notice).

        Somehow, even in the worst handling car I've driven in a decade, the ebay Corvette still managed 3rd out of 16 in the GTS class for the Autocross, with AWD cars (unsurprisingly) in 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th. That finish result was shocking knowing how slow I was compared to Matteucci in the stock C5 Z06. My best time was a 44.995 and Matteucci ran a 42.638, on stock sized wheels and 275 tires compared to my 18x11's and 295/315s. Yes, you CAN make a C5 handle worse than stock, to the tune of 2 seconds, if you choose the wrong parts. So this ended up being a good test, to show which mods to not choose.

        continued below
        Last edited by Fair!; 05-20-2015, 08:58 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

          continued from above

          This C5 did have some good parts on it when Mark bought it (harness bar, seats, harnesses, headers) and the one thing we added helped (18x11's and bigger tires), but it was still full of what I call "eBay parts", the lowest cost options sold by shops that don't have hands-on experience.

          My perspective is that there is a lot of "group think" that comes from internet forums, some of which is led led by shops and parts sellers, but most of it by like minded folks. Because of a strange set of circumstances the worst parts available (the cheapest) end up being the ones most people buy. Why? Because people are convinced they need a lot of parts (many that don't really help) and they want the best deals. So a lot of folks end up buying the cheap option that everyone else recommends. They then shout about the new parts' positive qualities while ignoring the obvious problems, to help justify their purchase. This process is how low end parts are often touted as the best parts, without the buyer realizing the compromises inherent in them. "Most Popular" doesn't equal "Best". We see it in every market, and the Corvette world is no different. Sure, some folks know about proper dampers and choosing quality parts, but the racers at the front of the pack don't usually share their setup secrets as freely as the Internet Forum Experts. /EndOfRant

          In the end, all of the issues I noted in this car were created by a few upgrades that just didn't work well together or with the rest of the car. Some of these parts may work in some special circumstances, or with specific other parts. The Konis that were too long might work fine at bone stock ride heights; the cam that is too big and wrecks the power curve would probably work great in a bigger motor with more rev potential; something goofy happened in the tune (more explanation in the C5 thread) but it could have been from a part installed after the previous shop programmed the ECU; a grabby twin disc clutch that made it impossible to launch smoothly is often needed at power levels much higher than this car has; and the loud flashy quad-tipped exhaust makes the car miserable to drive. The mis-matched brake pads that made the rear tires lock up were just a bad decision on my part - I should have insisted on a new set of pads be used at both ends, in a compound/brand that we trust, instead of using random stuff that came with the car. Honestly, a bone stock 2002 Corvette would have been faster than this combination of parts, and a damn sight easier to drive.

          The Saturday events also included the Design and Engineering challenge, which tends to have real "hit-or-miss" scoring on the judging. The 3 judges can spend anywhere from 2 minutes to half an hour on any given car. They are supposed to check off items from a list for "streetability", which accounts for 15 of the 25 points. Glass, interior/carpet, HVAC/interior electronics, exterior lighting and "ergonomics". Then they look at unique engineering and modifications, fabrication work and "car show stuff" for the remaining 10 points. I saw one entrant who had a power point presentation on his laptop hog 25 minutes of the judges time; others would rattle on and on about stereos, fake roll cages, and all sorts of non-performance stuff I don't care about. Like my general disdain for car shows, this is my least favorite element of Optima, but its a necessary evil and it is't ever going away for this series.

          It is also where they are supposed to weed out the "dedicated race cars" with no interiors, but that doesn't always happen, either. So we had washed Mark's Corvette before this event, but after nearly a day of driving it was dirty so I cleaned up the exterior and interior quickly while waiting in the very long line. I ended up cleaning a few of our other cars in line as well.

          At least we spent some time actually trying to apply the many Optima series + sponsor decals on Saturday morning, and we washed our cars (some did neither), so I guess that helped our scores. The C5 ended up in 5th out of 16 in GTS class, behind only two dedicated race cars, so I guess washing the car helped. Amy's Mustang got 2nd in this category in GT class and our customer James Meeker (supercharged Roush Mustang) got 3rd. Both of those cars have all the street gear and LOTS of mods we've done, so I was pleased with that outcome. But since this is the only competition event that isn't scored by your "ranked" placings, the last placed car in GT class (a gutted race car) still had 17.4 points, whereas the first placed GT car had 20.3 points.

          Moral of the story is don't be afraid to BRING A RACE CAR. This is not meant as a critique of how USCA scores this sub-event, just a warning to potential competitors to help them focus on what matters and ignore what does not. The three driving competitions are scored differently - your actual best lap time gives you a ranking in class, and your rank determines the score (1st = 25, 2nd = 22, 3rd = 20 points, and so on). It becomes obvious that placing well in these 3 driving events in your class is CRUCIAL to winning the overall with all 5 events' scores tallied up.

          The Speed Stop was the other event on Saturday, and my experience in 4 former Optima events probably helped bolster my times, but it still didn't keep me from getting beat by even some Novice AWD drivers in GTS class. This is THE event where AWD really shines, and the top 5 times of this class were EVOs, GTRs and STis.

          Amy got a decent time for GT class but as you can see below, I ended up way down in 7th place for Speed Stop with my 10.584 second time on my 9th and final attempt. Same issues in the autocross fought me here on the C5: grabby clutch made launches difficult and the mismatched pads made for ICE mode stops, so I had to brake at about 8/10ths to avoid rear lock-up and axle tramp.

          After the 6+ hours of driving in the Autocross and Speed Stop events, plus the other hours spent prepping, walking course, or getting judged on Saturday, we were all exhausted. I was pretty disgusted with my driving and the handling in the C5, and was dreading having to drive it 70+ miles around town on the "Road Rally". This is where cars have to prove their worth by following a path on city streets, usually in traffic and on secondary roads with lots of bumps. This C5 was driving me nuts and wouldn't idle, wouldn't start smoothly from a red light, and the exhaust note was maddening.

          I ended up leading 6 other cars from our group at the track to the Rally party, so we only went to the marked checkpoints (beginning and end) on the map and cut out the crazy route they had chosen. Why? Because as we have found out in multiple Optima events in the past, it doesn't matter - they don't have hidden checkpoints and half the field skips the route and just goes to the end. I have complained about this loophole before, but with over half the competitors short cutting the rally and nobody else seeming to care, I quit worrying about it and finally just took toll roads and nice highways all the way to the final checkpoint, at the Pole Position indoor karting facility.

          Our entire group was hungry when we arrived, with most of us skipping lunch due to the long lines in grid and at all three Saturday events. The more competition runs we chose to take meant we could place better, and Amy and I both got some of our best runs at the very end of the day (and in the Speed Stop we both nailed it on our FINAL run). Stopping for lunch was a luxury we couldn't afford. So by the time we made it to the Karting center we were pretty hungry, but it was going to be an hour and forty five minutes before they served dinner, so many folks just checked in for the rally and then left.

          Too bad for them! Several of us burned time buying a "3 race package" that turned into 6 races and we ran the karts all night. The food was Bar-B-Q from Rudy's that was EPIC. With about half the 100 people not there we all got TONS of food, going back for seconds and thirds. The racing action was pretty fun but somebody kept putting me, Jon, and Aaron from DuSold Designs back on the "next up" display, and we kept taking laps. Lots of fun, but I was thoroughly exhausted by day's end after 5 or 6 sessions of karting - on a full stomach, after an exhaustively hot day. It was shorter distance to just drive all the cars home than take them back to TMS and leave them in the NASCAR garages overnight, so we headed for the house. It was 9:30 before we got back home, and Amy and I immediately crashed out while Matteucci was soon snoring in our guest room.

          Speaking of Aaron, he did DAMNED well in his 2015 Mustang PP, which we've used as our test bed for S550 suspension development. The first MCS coilovers, the first Vorshlag camber plates and the first Forgestar CF5 18x11s were fitted and tested on this car, and the results were pretty amazing. This car goes, stops, turns, and rides better than a similarly equipped S197. I'm not kidding - its pretty amazing, and if you didn't know it was a Mustang on the outside, it might fool you into thinking it was a BMW by driving it. Ford nailed it on this one and we got it right on the spring and damping for the suspension.

          Aaron drove well and with this car's bone stock brakes/pads/fluid, stock power (it has an axle-back exhaust), and the other performance mods we've helped develop he placed 3rd overall in GT class, behind the 3 race cars. Initially he was ranked as 4th, but a mistake in calculations put him ahead of one of Ken Thwaits's two Camaro entries in the final tally. Aaron scored 4th in Speed Stop, 7th in Autocross, and 5th in the Hot Lap portion. Dusold Designs has done other mods to this car including a custom grill, tow hook, rear spoiler, custom splitter (not in place for Optima) and other updates.

          So Sunday was the Time Trial portion, and I explained Amy's issues above. She just didn't have confidence in the set-up, with the change to street tires and no aero making the car very different. She put it in the trailer after her big spin. Matteucci took all of 6 laps in one session and the exhaust smoke screen got so bad that he ended the day early. I am stubborn and kept trying to battle my way to a better time with the C5, but only took 14 laps in two track sessions before calling it a day. I've never found a car I couldn't "drive around the problems" in, until the eBay Corvette.

          The clutch was no longer an issue on the road course, unlike in the Speed Stop or Autocross, but the rest of the parts mismatch problems were amplified at the higher speed road course event. The TMS infield isn't a traditional road course and the short course length surprises many with the higher speed corners and treacherous off course potential. There are tire barriers and concrete walls aplenty, but it is what it is - there is no other road course site in Texas that has the room to run the Autocross and Speed Stop simultaneously, this side of COTA ($$$).

          We went out on track in the first session but Danny Popp's GTL classed C6 Z06 entry only made it about 50 feet before something in the transaxle exploded, and the Expert 2 run group got a black flag. He laid down a little oil but the track workers had it cleaned up in about 10 minutes and off we went. Popp also had a set of BFGoodrich Rival-S tires, along with Kyle Tucker, but since those tires wouldn't be available for normal folks for weeks or even months, these two cars were moved to Exhibition Class. That was the right call by USCA and I applaud them for following their rules about excluded tires.

          Danny wasn't the only one who suffered mechanical issues, as the newly built tube framed 67 Camaro of our friends at Dusold Designs also had some teething troubles. Mike was FAST on the autocross course in this lightweight machine but when a control arm pick-up point failed, they had to run back to their shop in Lewisville to build a replacement. They weren't 100% confident in the fix, so after Mike drove the car on the Road Rally they called it a weekend. Didn't want to see this wild but mostly untested creation wadded up on the road course on Sunday.

          My first track session in the C5 was full of traffic but uneventful, other than I was cursing at the car for being such a mess to drive. By session two the track temps were up in the right range, and I knew I needed to lay down a good time NOW. Unfortunately the car just would not stop, turn or corner worth a damn. The non-Z06 C5 gearing is weird, and every corner and straight was right between 3rd and 4th - so it was either making NO power in 4th or revving to the top of the range in 3rd. The brake pad mismatch made the rears lock constantly, sending the rear axle hopping and making it loose. The lack of bump travel in the rear made the rear loose over bumps and in heavily loaded corners. And the peaky cam made the motor come on hard and spin the rear tires.

          The video above shows parts of 6 laps in Session 2, including my fastest on lap 3 - a 42.574 - while passing two cars off line. Traffic was brutal in the morning sessions but because of the spin I had at the start finish line after 6 laps during session 2, I called it a day. I'd already driven a borrowed car harder than I felt comfortable with and I wasn't going to wad it up in a concrete wall. I might have found some tenths in later sessions, but the 39 second laps I did last year in the Mustang were nowhere to be found in the eBay Corvette.

          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

            I was frustrated with the C5, physically tired, and the car now needed a major bath. So did I. But somehow, even with all my complaining and car troubles, this event was still a TON of fun. All of these frustrations were my own damned fault - for bringing a completely untested car with questionable parts to a televised event before we had a chance to fix the many wrongs done to it. Amy also had a struggle in the Mustang, driving in events she had never done, a course she had never driven, and on tires and an aero set-up she was very unfamiliar with. But she and I had several on camera interviews, we met a lot of cool folks, and got to see a lot of kick ass cars. The Optima/USCA folks took care of everyone and made sure we were having fun.

            Unlike some previous USCA/Optima events, they were very good about posting times up during the event, even had live timing up on Sunday, all of which was a welcome change. Since my driving felt so terrible I had no illusions of placing well in class. Of course there were still some surprises at the results ceremony at the end of Sunday.

            Wow, these cellphone pics have major #potatocam filter going!

            As I mentioned above, Amy's Mustang finished 2nd in the Design and Engineering competition against one of Ken Thwaits' two entries and our customer James Meeker got 3rd - both cars have been featured in this S197 build thread many times (we have Meeker's car in our shop now for more cool updates, which I will share next time).

            As you can see in the results above, James did well at the Hot Lap track event, (using the MCS RR2 doubles + Vorshlag camber plates + Whiteline everything + 18x11 Forgestars) taking 6th place right behind Aaron Sockwell's 2015 GT (which has MCS TT2 shocks and Vorshlag camber plates + 18x11 Forgestars). As I mentioned before, Aaron's 2015 looked good out there and we weren't surprised when he took 5th in the Hot Lap event (somehow a 2 seater 2006 Corvette snuck into the GT class to take 3rd?) and 3rd overall in GT class. Amy, Doug, Jon and even Shannon were all in the hunt on the road course, too.

            Matteucci's 2nd place Autocross and Speed Stop times were good enough to put him into 2nd overall out of 12 in GTS class, fighting against the lightest and fastest cars at this event - in a stock C5 Z06 with a worn out motor (this was the last event he ran in this car before pulling the tired LS6). Ronnie Soliman took 1st in the Autocross, Speed Stop and Hot Lap challenge in his 2006 Evo, which was very light and well built. Those AWD cars are still the overdog cars to watch out for in GTS - and since they combine all the classes for the main OUSCI event, also a threat to win it all in Las Vegas. If I were a betting man that's what I'd pick for the finale after SEMA.

            As bad as it felt, somehow the eBay Corvette earned 3rd overall in GTS class, surrounded again by AWD buggies. This was a complete shock to me, as I felt like my Speed Stop times and Design/Engineering score would keep me off the podium. But hey, I'll take 3rd in this mess of a car. Just going .04 seconds quicker in the Speed Stop would have put me in 2nd place in GTS class, but I was a long way from 1st. That was taken by our friend Todd Earsly in his EVO. Todd made a concentrated effort to focus on Optima events about a year ago, running NASA events in TT1 class on street tires just for the practice, and its really paying off - this GTS class win gets him a spot in the 2015 OUSCI event. Congrats to him!

            The Optima folks worked hard all weekend to keep everything running smoothly, and I'm happy to report that they did a nearly perfect job. Well worth the time and entry fee, so if you see one of their events coming to a road course near you, GO AND ENTER. As Matteucci showed, a stock car on decent tires can still do as well (2nd place with a busted motor) in even the toughest classes, if you can drive well enough. And my entry showed that even a terribly handling mess can still podium sometimes, too. Sure, it helps to have a fully prepped race car in GT class, but so what? Aaron's 2015 Mustang is a real daily driven street car and he took 3rd overall with stock power and just good suspension and wheels/tires (18x11 Forgestar CF5s and 315 Falkens). I'm going to drive Aaron's car soon at ECR event and see how much we improved the stock lap times with the new MCS and Vorshlag parts (I managed a 2:06 in it at ECR when it was bone stock).

            I'm glad our Vorshlag entries that had never done this event before trusted me and entered, and they ALL said they had a blast. We even had several in our group that had done this before (Shannon and Jan) and I'm glad they came back with us again.

            Selling our TT3 Mustang FOR REALS

            So my plans to sell this Mustang have not gone as I had expected. There's a dozen reasons - from a market that just doesn't value a Mustang chassis as much as another, to a "cost threshold" that had been surpassed, and on and on. It has been negotiated and "sold" 3 times so far, and yet none of these guys ever even showed up to look at the car (nor pay for it). That's what I need - a buyer that can be bothered to show up and look at this thing in person. Whatever, I've dropped the price from $48K, to $44.5K, to $42K and now I'm going under forty....

            Painfully Detailed FOR SALE web page:

            Yes, I'm losing my shirt at this price, but I really don't want to keep racing the car because - with my 11/10ths driving style, anything could happen. Right now the car has the brand new new clear paint protection film applied ($750) and a lot of fresh parts. These include new Brembo calipers, new rotors, and new Carbotech XP20 pads. The 18x12" wheels on the car have a fresh set of Hoosier A7s in 335 and 345mm sizes, with a handful of laps at TWS on them. Its set-up and ready to race TODAY. We win with it EVERY TIME WE GO TO THE TRACK and always bring home 4 brand new Hoosiers at a NASA weekend. We just won again at TWS and set the 15th track record with this car, then set FTD and Top PAX time at a Texas Region SCCA autocross (162 cars entered) a week later with zero changes.

            So please, take this unstoppable TIRE WINNING MACHINE (when raced with the proper tires and aero it was designed to use, in both autocross and road course events) and get on with it! Call our shop and ask for Terry - I will take your call if you want to come look at the Mustang. The first looker usually buys any car I sell, but damn if I can't get somebody serious to stop by and LOOK.

            As I will cover in my next update here, we won the biggest TT class at this past NASA event (11 cars both days) and I only needed a single hot lap on Sunday. Sets and resets track records every time it goes out on fresh tires. This past weekend I didn't turn a single wrench, didn't lift a finger other than to turn the key and drive it. We had a known issue with something in the Watts (since fixed) so even through I I was under-driving the car by 2 seconds per lap this car won with a 4.2 second margin over 2nd place. That's how well this car works.

            Want a very complete Spares Package? Well for an extra $2500, the car buyer gets an second set of 18x12" Forgestar F14 wheels with 335/30/18 BFGoodrich Rival tires mounted (just durometered at 58, so FRESH). I will also include the second "street friendly" splitter, as well as a BRAND NEW sticker set of 335/345 Hoosiers we won at TWS (a $1683 value). I will have them ship us a set of R7s for this set, so that set should last a while. If you run NASA TT its just gonna keep winning 4 more per weekend if you have at least 5 in class. This spares package also includes the original ABS module, any spare brake rotors or pads we have, some spare calipers and hubs, and whatever else we can find that goes with this car!

            We couldn't replicate this car for $80,000 right now (car + parts + labor), so this is a steal at $39.5K as it sits, or $42,000 with the spares package. I don't think it will last long at this price, so I've likely driven the last race in the legendary Vorshlag TT3 Mustang...

            What's Next?

            We did a number of events after Optima that I have write-ups started on, plus repaired the Watts after Amy's spin at TMS. I will cover these and more in my next update. Here are the highlights of what's coming up:
            • April 18th - TX Region SCCA 2015 AutoX School @ Lone Star Park
            • April 25-26th - NASA @ TWS
            • May 2nd - Cars and Coffee Dallas
            • May 3rd - SCCA Solo @ TMS
            • May 30th - Five Star Ford @ ECR (HPDE event)

            Some of those are events we've already done (and won) but I'll cover them next time, plus additional updates we've done to our TT3 Mustang as well as several other S197s that have come through the shop of late.

            We've already done some real work to the "eBay Corvette", including a new QUIETER exhaust (side exit), a dyno tune at True Street (car picked up +25 whp and +23 wtq after the exhaust + tune), and MCS shocks are being built this week. I'll cover much of this in the next C5 Test Mule thread update in the next 48 hours or so. We're also working on a number of other interesting projects...

            This Week at Vorshlag video for May 8, 2015

            Click above our my latest "This Week at Vorshlag" video, linked here. In that I cover many of the other projects going on in our shop that week, so watch that or check out our Facebook page or Blog to see what we're working on outside of the Mustang world. I write more insanely detailed forum build threads for all SORTS of cars - not just this S197.

            Thanks for reading!
            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 9th, 2015: So my last post was a bit late and we had completed a few events after Optima that didn't get covered, which I will do here. I also have some rather important news about our red 2011 GT which we call Big Red, at the end - some of which will make several people happy, but really just makes me sad.

              Texas Region SCCA Autocross School

              Brad, Amy, Jon, and Olof from Vorshlag went to this autocross school April 18th, 2015 at Lone Star Park. This is held by the Texas Region SCCA every year, and Amy and I have been instructing there for about a decade. Together with another dozen instructors we (hopefully) taught 38 new students some autocross skills. Each student got dozens of runs that day and at least 2 instructors riding through with them 6+ times each.

              Left: Olof running Jason's NA Miata (which is about to get MCS coilovers). Right: Jon's wife Erin driving her Mini Cooper S

              Just showing this because it is one of many events we go to that I normally don't cover in some "Race report". This is how we end up spending 30 weekends a year at some sort of racing related event. Good times were had by all and I want to thank all of our Vorshlag crew for volunteering at these events.

              Film Crew at Vorshlag for Optima

              I meant to mention last time that Kevin Mooney and his crew arrived at Vorshlag the day before Optima to film some interviews and some of the cars in our shop at the time, several of which entered the March Optima event. We were slammed that day, but I turned the CNC machines off for an hour while they were here. They interviewed me and Amy both, and some clip might make it on the episode covering this March Optima event. That should air on MavTV around August, but since so many folks don't have this TV channel (myself included), they are going to start putting these on YouTube a few weeks after they premiere. I'll share those videos here when that happens. I still haven't seen 2 episodes from this show that I've heard we were shown in.

              Pre-TWS Race Prep on Mustang

              After the Optima event we needed some preparations for the "Last Ever" TWS event with NASA (more on that below). But strangely enough, I jumped ahead in time and covered this prep TWO posts back. Like I said then, we replaced the Brembo calipers, pads and rotors up front and rotors and pads out back, plus all of the fluids. ALL NEW BRAKES. On went our proven TT3 aero package front and rear, and also lots of NASA specific decals. We even had a $750 custom set of PPF film applied to protect the paint, since the car was painted recently (before SEMA) and we wanted to protect the finish for the next owner (LOL, what owner!?)

              But one thing we found that wasn't "ready" was some damage to something in the rear suspension. A bushing was checked and was fine before Optima at TMS, but we think it was smashed during Amy's massive off-track spin into the infield during Optima. She was doing 90+ mph when she took it off track, sideways. The problem was we were only a day from leaving for the TWS event when Olof found the issue during his normal pre-race inspection and alerted me. No time to source a replacement, so I said "screw it, I can drive around that problem", heh.

              Of course this was always on my mind and we massively limited both our number of laps in the car at TWS as well as the intensity of our cornering all weekend, as I feared this issue would allow the axle to move laterally a bit (it did). This car has logged 55 race weekends on this part, with the massive Hoosiers and the added aero loads this car has. As you will see in my data-overlaid video from TWS below, the car is pulling 1.4g lateral at low speeds and 1.5g and higher with added speed and aero loads. To make it 55 race weekends plus that big spin at TMS is remarkable, and we should have been more timely in our pre-track inspections - which tend to take place at the 11th hour.

              We were leaving for TWS the next day and it was "the last ever" TWS that NASA would hold, so I said "screw it" and we ran it with a damaged suspension part.

              This is also another lesson learned from me - DON'T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO PREP YOUR CAR FOR A RACE WEEKEND. Always give yourself a few days buffer, in case you find something worn or broken that you don't have on hand as a spare. Not having an extra set of brake pads and my "screw it, I can drive around it" attitude caused my loss of brakes at Road Atlanta last year. I could go on and on with examples - please, learn from my stupid mistakes! Keep extra consumables on hand and inspect everything in time to get a replacement if you find something amiss.

              NASA @ TWS April 25-26 - TT3 Mustang Entry

              Normally I would listen to audio notes I make on phone every day we're at the track, then write them down here. But my PoS phone (Galaxy S4, aka: #potatocam) up and died on me. I thought it was a battery but it turned out to be more serious (USB charging port), and I lost everything that wasn't saved onto the Micro-SD card. My contacts are all gone (weren't saving to the Google cloud) plus all of my track side audio recordings. So I'm gonna wing it, which means it'll be a shorter race report.

              Vorshlag TWS Picture Gallery:

              Pictures were a bit scarce, because we only took a handful of laps both days. We shot some pics with our Nikon SLR, some #potatocam pics from my now dead phone, plus some good images from Mohflo Photography that I bought after the event. We also have some video from inside the car with my old Sony 1080P vidcam.

              This was a crazy race weekend which we knew would have a record attendance for NASA, it being "the last ever event at TWS" with this club, since they are "closing in June 2015". Over 300 had signed up and we had a staggering 51 in TT rungroup signed up and then over 60 that ran in TT by the end of the weekend (super sized road racers and HPDE 4 students who moved up, after check rides). So instead of leaving Friday afternoon and getting a crappy (way out there in the mud) paddock spot that night, we left Thursday afternoon instead. That put us at the track at 9:30 pm, and we luckily found a perfect PAVED paddock spot to drop the trailer. We made it out of the track at 10:01 pm, right as the guard was locking the gate for the night.

              Funny story about country music video shot Saturday night at TWS: LINK

              It rained HARD Thursday night and well into Friday morning, so we slept in Friday and took a leisurely half day off (first day off work or racing I've had in many months - including weekends) and walked around the Texas A&M University campus in College Station. Amy and I went to school here and we haven't walked around campus in nearly two decades.

              Kyle Field (the TAMU football stadium) is being "redeveloped" to the tune of $450M, (will seat 102,512 for the 2015 season), and that was a quite an undertaking to behold. We noticed that lots of new buildings had replaced old ones, and they closed most of the campus roads to cars long ago.

              We finished the afternoon with lunch at an old bar on Northgate (Dudley's!) that we'd eaten at 100 times before, and it was as good as we remembered. Meanwhile the sun had come out and dried the track, so we headed out to TWS by about 3 pm.

              We never intended to drive the car on track on Friday, at the Test-n-Tune, as I wanted to keep the sticker set of Hoosier A7 tires fresh for Saturday. And if there's a track layout I know well, its the TWS 2.9 mile CCW circuit. I've driven this track hundreds of times since 1990 and many times in this car. NASA Texas has traditionally run TWS twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall, changing the circuit direction for the seasons. We missed this CCW event last year (part of our focus in 2014 on Optima @ SEMA) so we were sitting on a fairly old TT3 record we set in 2013.

              Saturday - Race Day 1

              Light rain was still coming down early Saturday morning and the track was wet (and still sprinkling) for the first HPDE sessions (shown below) as well as the TT Warm-Up session, so I didn't go out - only 13 TT cars attempted to get a lap in this 20 minute session.

              Their times were all way off BUT they got to grid in the top 13 spots, so I got to the grid early for TT session 1 was lined up in 14th place. The sun came out the the track got drier, but almost all the cars ahead of me on grid were slower, so traffic in this session was absolutely terrible. And it was very very full (44 cars!). Traffic wasn't just bad, it was just one big train. If you weren't lucky enough to grid up front you were doomed. I was having to pass 4 and 5 cars per lap, always getting blocked, and after two laps I had already caught the back of the field - so I threw my hands up and came in. The tire rub in the rear was very noticeable and I didn't want to cut a tire, so I was being extra gentle in the high-g corners (T1, T3, T7, etc). All I could muster in traffic was a 1:59.4; Now I regretted not going out in the raining Warm-Up session, since my grid positions would be compromised all day.

              Amy went out in an HPDE 3/4 session and took some fun laps, then she came in and I checked the car. Lots of rubber building up on the inner fender liners, from the damaged bushing allowing some slop in the rear. With my crappy session 1 times I gridded up for TT session 2 back in 14th, once again, so I knew traffic would still be a big factor. The sun had been out since the morning session and the track was almost completely dry, but now it was HOT and the tires wouldn't be happy out there for long. Still, I was sitting down in 3rd place in the eleven car TT3 class. I desperately needed a clear lap to try to drop the 9 seconds to get down to even our old lap record from 2013 (1:50).

              Amy having fun in HPDE3/4, with water still standing in some areas

              Traffic was pretty terrible once again and I passed multiple cars on my best of two laps, getting down to a 1:52.295. That was still 2 seconds off our 2013 pace but I was still mired in trains of traffic and the grid was PACKED with TT cars, and the temps kept rising. With the track heating up and no end for the traffic, I wasn't going to get a faster lap in without a miracle. And I don't believe in miracles.

              The closest TT3 competitor to my 1:52 time was Andrew Stevens' C5 Z06 ST3/TT3 car, with a 1:53.712 time, shown above. I met him this year at MSR-Houston when I was racing the TTC Corvette, and show the inside of his car in the pictures below. Its a fully built and legit W2W race car. Honestly, having a built C5 Z06 jump into TT3 has been my biggest fear for the past 3 years - these cars are easy to make fast in TT3 trim. My buddy Brian Matteucci has a nearly identical blue C5 Z06 he's building for this class, too.

              So anyway, Andrew was running in the Blitz W2W race group as well as the TT run groups. These W2W + TT entries are called "super sized" and its a bargain to register this way, as it gives you twice the chances to win tires. Unfortunately for him this weekend, the Blitz race groups were always running the session before TT. This would mean he would have to come off track after a 20+ minute race, go right into grid with super hot tires, and then go right back out on track in TT. So after the last Blitz race of the day I played a waiting game in paddock... we were parked right next to grid, and I was looking for car # 225 to show up. If he went out I would run hop in the Mustang, drive over to grid and counter, but he didn't show so I sat out the last TT session of the day fairly confident I had the win. Fewer laps = less chance to screw up the rubbing rear tires. Whew!

              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

                There is a lot of strategy involved in Time Trial - making good laps in the Saturday "Warm-up" to make sure you have good grid position, watching the temps and weather, knowing the track condition and any debris on track, keeping an eye on the times in your class, and watching to see if your competitors come to grid for any given session. I'm really tempted to get radios in the car and the pits to have a track side helper watch the NASA Live Timing and relay to me how I'm doing in class in real time.

                The crazy trike thing above was the pace car for some races, including this Blitz group (led and won by Paul Costas's GT1 Camaro)

                Radios would have been VERY helpful at NASA Nationals in 2013, where I ran the time I needed in the very last session but didn't know if my competitor got any faster (who was behind me on track). It was down to hundredths of a second, but then he got DSQ'd for blowing his dyno numbers and weights on the scales and I managed to keep the spot. Something like this from a helper track side would be a real lifeline: "OK, the 2nd place car has come in, you have his times covered, so take a cool down and come in now". For me its all about saving the tires for the GOLDEN session, to get that PERFECT lap. Others want to just barely win, not over-sharing their true performance, to avoid extra scrutiny. There's a lot of things that go into winning in Time Trial, and its all part of the fun.

                After 2 laps I usually come in, to preserve tires and other consumables. Getting off-line and not impeding others is key

                Its easy to say "Well just run all of the laps in all of the sessions, stupid!" but that's not what you want to do in TT. All of the consumables have a finite life, like the brake pads, rotors, and especially Hoosier A7 tires. I usually have a 1-2 lap window in any session where the tires work their best, and it can fall off a second on each successive lap. Not to mention the traffic issues (the front of the pack often catches the tail by lap 2 or 3). For this car on these tires, the cooler the session the faster the car is. That's usually the FIRST session of the day. Well on Saturday in the rain, that wasn't to be, but not going on track in the warm-up cost me grid position all day long. My 1:52.2 lap was way off the pace but it was enough to win, so I sat out very hot session 3. Nursing the tire rub issue made this even more important.

                So we ended up winning Saturday, placing 1st out of 11 cars in TT3, but only by about 1.5 seconds - the closest margin we've had in this car in a while. But I knew it had a lot more left in it, if I could get around traffic. This time was still 7th quickest for all of the TT field, which would mean we would finally grid higher up on the grid for Sunday (7th).

                It was hot at the end of the day and everyone was sweaty and tired. There was the usual NASA dinner party Saturday night, but the 300+ entrants made for super long lines, so a few of us decided to go into town and get some good food we missed from our days living here decades ago. Los Cucos is a Tex Mex restaurant I first ate at in 1996 in Houston. They opened one of these in College Station a few years back - I really wanted to get some of their fajitas a la Cucos, and of course a TALL and cold mug of Dos Equis lager on draft to cool me down. Paul and Anna joined Amy and I and we feasted surrounded by lots of other NASA racers eating there as well.

                Sunday - Race Day 2

                Each weekend day of a typical NASA race weekend is a new race for TT, so with a win and two Hoosiers won on Day 1 we were aiming to repeat this on Sunday - plus with the better grid placement, were hoping for clear track and a new TT record for the class on Day 2.

                The rain and bad weather held off Saturday night, so we were treated to a dry track in the morning - something Texas hasn't had much of lately! The off-track areas were still SATURATED with rain and any cars going off were almost guaranteed to get stuck in the mud, so I really wanted to avoid any "offs" in the pretty and clean Mustang.

                The car had been running great all day Saturday but I wanted to really limit our laps on track Sunday, if possible. Amy was still just trying to get in her last few laps at TWS before the track "closed in June" and she wanted to run at least two more sessions, but I was worried that this $1700 set of Hoosiers were going to get chewed up if we kept pounding laps on them, and that we really needed to fix the rear rubbing issue before we pushed the car any harder. We also had this car FOR SALE, so we needed to keep it clean and unbroken.

                So after our "strategy session" that morning we decided to put me in the car in TT session 1 Sunday with a goal of making ONE HOT LAP, then come in and see how the car looked for Amy to make some laps in a later session. There's also the fact that in TT if you have an off or spin you lose ALL your times from that session. Also, if we could get loaded up and on the road home before noon we could make it back to Dallas before dark, relax for a few hours, or - more likely - go back to the shop and CNC machine more parts. That's all Amy and I do at night and weekends - load metal and run the CNC machines, making all of the pieces we need for camber plate orders.

                So we checked all the fluids and pressures and got the red Mustang to grid for TT Session 1, the coolest session of the day. With a dry track and cool air, it would be THE perfect session all day to get a fast lap in. Since I knew this car well (after 5 years) and knew this track like the back of my hand (my first laps were taken here in 1989!), I felt like I could get it done in a single lap. It was the LAST EVER event that TWS would have at TWS, so I wanted to cement our lap record in the books for good, and improve on our 1:50.6 TT3 record from 2 years ago.

                Excuses: we should actually be about 2-3 seconds faster than our 2013 laps, with the improvements we made in the 2014 season, so I was still 4-5 seconds off the pace. With the wounded rear I was taking it easy going into Turn 1 off the banking, keeping it to around 140 mph on turn-in and braking early. Still, I REALLY wanted to improve upon our 2013 record, as this might be the last time we run this Mustang with NASA, if a buyer finally shows up (we're at 4 flaked out buyers and counting). So, the goal was nothing less than a new a track record and two wins.

                The one lap I drove on Sunday, in TT session 1...with data overlay

                So my lone lap of the day is shown above, and with some careful gapping on the out lap I managed to get a traffic free lap. I was still feeling the tire rub on most high speed corners, which made me cringe, but I drove through it and managed to get in a clean lap. As you will see at the end of the video there was a big "off" by TTC Mini competitor BJ, who I race against in the TTC Corvette (when it runs). With the wet grass he was stuck and they had to roll a flat bed and tow him out of the mud, shutting down the session early.

                After that 1:49.9 lap I felt fairly confident we had the win in the bag, but it turned out to be a 4.2 second lead over second which stuck all day. Amy went out in an HPDE 3/4 session but a DE driver went off track pretty hard and found something to run into, which ended that session after 2 laps. So she brought it in and called it a weekend also.

                The sun came out and everything heated up, and in the end most of the TT field set their fastest laps in TT session 1 or 2, but 2nd place Andrew got his best lap in during TT session 3 (after we had left). We stuck around until noon, loaded up, said goodbye to our friends, and hit the road by 12:30. I watched MyLaps app for live timing on the way home, fingers crossed, and wasn't really sure we had won until later that evening - another "whew" moment.

                So that worked pretty well - 4.2 second win over 2nd, 6th quickest in TT all weekend, 2 wins, new track record, won four more tires, took one lap to get it done Sunday, and the car was reliable even not being 100% going into the weekend. The new set of A7 tires still had plenty of life left in them when we were done, too.

                Watch Out For Skin Cancer

                Quick public service announcement - I've been outdoors for much of my life, back when I was a kid in Scouts, then all through college and adulthood racing. Spending a lot of time in the sun (working corners at autocross was probably the bulk of it) means you need to slather on the sunscreen, often and heavy. 50 SPF, waterproof - the nasty stuff.

                Otherwise you will get sunburned. And like getting heat exhaustion - sunburns are CUMULATIVE. The damage builds over time and eventually, almost without fail, you will get skin cancer. It looks nasty, and if left untreated, it can get much worse. In some cases it can even be deadly. So yea, I've had dozens of sunburns over the past 30 years racing, but they are finally catching up to me. Over the past 6 months I had a few spots on my face and arms that were red colored, and the skin would get flaky on these small patches every few days. Just a little discolored but I knew something was wrong.

                "Statistically, in the United States approximately 3 out of 10 Caucasians may develop a basal-cell cancer within their lifetime. In 80 percent of all cases, basal-cell cancers are found on the head and neck"

                After my regular doctor looked at me during my annual physical "You've got skin cancer, dummy!", I finally went to a dermatologist and she said, yea, that's "Basal-cell carcinoma". This is one of the easily treated skin cancers, luckily, but if left untreated it can spread and damage surrounding tissue, possibly leaving you disfigured. If you want to be grossed out, just Google search this stuff. "Let me get the sprayer"... she says. Comes back and freezes the patches with liquid Nitrogen, seven spots in all, none bigger than your finger nail.

                Sporting the zombie look at TWS was fun. Thanks to Costas for the Hello Kitty band aids...?!

                That process is supposed to be the easiest way to kill the cancerous skin cells and let the regular skin cells come back, but liquid Nitrogen spraying on my face FREAKIN HURT. Felt like a red hot poker burning my skin, but the pain subsided substantially as soon as the liquid N2 spray stopped, and pain was gone completely in about 8 hours. The patches were REALLY red now, and in 2 days they were NASTY. I won't show it, but I looked like the Walking Dead. The spots were nasty and blistered badly within 72 hours (while I was at the TWS event). I put band-aids over most of the spots for about a week, but it was about 4 weeks before I looked human again. There are still some divots in my face that I hope will grow back, but maybe not.

                So, learn from more of my mistakes - PLEASE WEAR SUNSCREEN when outdoors, reapply often. And yes, get a big floppy hat. /EndOfPSA

                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

                  TWS - Not Quite Dead Yet?

                  So right after this NASA event at TWS, the "last ever", there was an article in the Bryan Eagle newspaper about the track staying open...

                  Bill Mather, president and CEO of operations for Texas World Speedway, told The Eagle on Wednesday the track would remain open through the end of the year, and perhaps longer, depending on how soon several issues related to the planned development can be resolved.
                  The track managers have already started booking events past June, and there's even a NASA Texas event on the TWS event calendar for October 17-18th - but it isn't confirmed with NASA Texas, yet. I hope the track stays open indefinitely. Sure, it needs a lot of work, but there is simply no other track like it in the country, and Texas needs this centrally located track with some higher speed corners.

                  Texas Region SCCA Autocross - May 3, 2015

                  We haven't raced in an SCCA Solo event since 2014, so we left the Mustang in the trailer after TWS and just hauled the rig out to Texas Motor Speedways' asphalt "Bus Lot" and joined our friends with the Texas Region for this monthly Solo event. Since Amy and I signed up early enough we were able to get the work assignments we usually do - with me announcing and Amy working the timing computer, both of which were in the air conditioned trailer (and out of the sun).

                  It was a sunny warm day and they had an unusually large turn-out - 162 entries. We did nothing to the car after NASA @ TWS - just rolled it out of the trailer, threw 5 gallons of fuel in it, and slapped on some "SM - W" decals where it usually says "TT3".

                  They split up the drivers into 4 heats, where you run one, work one, and have the other two off. Amy was running the PAXed "Womens" class, running 1st and working 3rd. I was on opposite rotation running in Street Mod, working 1st and running 3rd. Amy would get cooler temps but a less clean course, where I had a cleaner course with higher temps - and those latter conditions favored the car.

                  Of course this car isn't set-up for autocross and hasn't been since 2012, but we occasionally run it in SMod, where it fits but is VERY heavy for the class. There is some archaic engine displacement-to-weight formula with a modifier for turbos, weight break for FWD and a penalty for AWD, but I lost interest in SCCA class rules 3 years ago and try not to pay attention to the seemingly constant changes. It fit there, so that's where I ran it. Shouldn't be competitive at 3800 pounds with driver (and 4000 pounds with a passenger on board), but a good suspension set-up and large Hoosier A7s don't hurt...

                  Old racing buddies Tim and Henry both ran against us in SMod in this 2004 STi, which we've worked on in the past

                  Amy went out in the first heat, when I was working as announcer, and she was taking passengers and having fun in the car. She didn't take it too seriously - neither of us did that day - and had a ball. She started in the 48 second range and by her 4th run at a 43.854. She was admittedly rusty and the rear suspension was sill busted, so the rear tires rubbed like crazy. You could feel the car lurch when the rear axle moved over and the sidewall rubbed the inner fenders. I warned her but told her not to worry about it.

                  She did get called out for "blowing sound" (with a high of 104 dB), as did about a dozen others in the first heat. While I was trying to work in the timing trailer that heat, no less than five busy bodies informed me that we MUST do something to lower the sound "before she could make another run!" Some of them got quite huffy and exasperated when I told them - if you want it quieter, I will just drive it into the trailer, leave, and be on our merry way.

                  After they told Amy it affected her driving, and she was trying to upshift to 3rd gear near the completely irreverent sound meter, but eventually the Regional Solo RE came by and said (I'm paraphrasing): "Don't worry about any of these folks - none of whom are the Sound Chief - TMS is a race track and is NOT a sound restricted site. They are just taking data for the National office. Have at it!" By then Amy was done with her first three runs and could finally open it up on run 4, but slowed a tick on run 5. She placed 2nd in this PAX'ed W class by 2 tenths, oh well. She had fun running with her good friends Jen and Melinda.

                  We grabbed some lunch in heat 2 then came back to the site and got the Mustang ready for my runs in heat 3 with StreetMod. Other than checking tire pressure and making some shock adjustments, we left the Mustang exactly as we ran it in NASA @ TWS (which worked pretty damned well there). I had riders lined up for all 5 runs (and then some), and never took a run solo. I had also forgot to bring the dang vidcam and other camera gear, so all the pics are from my phone or Brad's pics and there's no in-car video.

                  Jon from Vorshlag beat a large CAM-T class this day

                  I was feeling the car out (wow, it can LAUNCH now!) and managed a 43.3 on my first run, matching Amy's best. The temps were up and the A7s were GRIPPING. The course was also set-up well for this car, not too many slalom cones, with speeds topping out 2nd gear in a couple of spots (high 70s). This is the first time I've autocrossed the car on the 335/345 Hoosier A7s and I was VERY impressed with the mechanical grip. Of course there was little to no aero help here, but the big wing and splitter made people ogle the car all day.

                  I under-drove the car on my first run, but I didn't let that happen again. By run 2 the times were in the low 42s, and by run 3 I realized I was under-using the brakes. With warm pads the car would STOP but I had to really dig into the pedal. On my 3rd run I topped out 2nd gear in the first setion and went for the brakes very late, pressed HARD AS **** and something went POP! The pedal dropped down another couple of inches but the car still stopped. The rest of that run was weird and the pedal had a lot of slop in it, but I managed a 41.3 second time - Fastest Time of the Day (FTD) so far, by a good bit! Of course I coned it away.

                  I managed to break this brake pedal cross pin after 5 years and a LOT of hard braking

                  There were people coming by and looking at the car more seriously after they heard the times announced, and the right seat was never empty. After this run I tried to see what was wrong with the pedal, saw the issue, but ran out of time and had to take run 4 with a broken pedal arm-to-brake booster clevis pin. The little plastic pin showed above is ALL that holds the pedal to the clevis, and when it shears the pedal can travel further before it eventually runs into the "U" in the clevis. Makes for terrible pedal feel!

                  I left the car in grid while I ran to our trailer to get parts, to repair the busted brake pedal pin

                  On run 4, fighting the busted pedal pin, I over-drove one corner and slowed down to a 41.8. I immediately got out of the car, sprinted the 200 yards back to the paddock (in another parking lot across the road), rummaged in our trailer and found an M8 bolt and nut, ran back, and made a quick paddock fix for the busted pin. It worked and I jumped back in the driver's seat in time to put in my 5th run, a 41.553 second pass, which was my fastest clean run. Much easier to drive with the pedal directly connected to the brake master cylinder, heh.

                  The results for Big Red were shocking, but we'll take them: a Win in SMod, Top Time of Day and Top PAX Time!

                  Man, that course was fun! Somehow these "just screwing around" runs with the axle sliding around and the rear tires rubbing inboard, we still managed to win the Street Modified class, set Top PAX time and also set FTD out of the 162 drivers. This car is unstoppable! We had dozens of folks stop and tell us that they LOVED the car, the sounds and sights, and thanked us for coming out. I do miss autocrossing, especially when we have a fast car. The BMW E36 "Alpha" car was this much fun to autocross back in 2009, when this gutted 2500 pound car had the 490 whp 7.0L LS2 engine and giant Hoosiers. FAST HOONAGE!

                  Setting FTD and Top PAX was easy in this V8 BMW back in 2007-09 - driving the Mustang on giant A7s made me fast in an autocross again!

                  Amy and I were both carrying around passengers and didn't have the car optimized for autocross, but it was still effortless to drive on the big tires after I made the shock adjustments. Why didn't we ever run tires this big when we were in ESP in 2012? Oh yea, that wasn't really the class we prepped for back then, and making 335/345s fit costs real money. But like I always say - TIRES MATTER MOST, and as we've seen on this car, BIGGER IS BETTER.

                  People ask me why we run a 345mm DOT Hoosier on this car, and I tell them "because there isn't anything bigger!" Seriously, with a 3600 pound car + a 200 pound driver and 400+ hp, you really can't have "too much tire". My next track build (which we will begin as soon as we sell this car) is going to be 1000 pounds lighter, make more power, and have more aero. Do you want to guess what sized tires it will run? (hint - nothing smaller than these!)

                  Despite a few irritating folks, we still had a lot of fun running with the Texas Region SCCA that day and the Big Red Mustang really dropped the hammer. I wish we had tried to run this car on these giant Hoosiers sooner, as the only SCCA autocrosses we did last year were on the 200 treadwear street tires, in preparation for Optima @ Vegas. Gotta love that "Purple Crack" (Hoosiers!). At least we finished our last autocross in this car on top.

                  Post Event Repairs

                  After this autocross the tire rub issues had to be fixed. We had actually looked at the issue more closely after the TWS event and ordered the part. It arrived the day after the autocross. Olof did the swap then upgraded my "track-side bolt fix" with a properly sized bolt/washer and nut for the brake pedal clevis.

                  Then I had the guys vacuum the interior and finally photograph the current Cobra seats and Scroth harnesses, which we never seemed to get a good picture of. All of these are new within the last 12 months, and they look perfect. I was going to add this to the For Sale ad, but it seems pretty pointless now, as we're going to part the car out.

                  The Unsellable Mustang - Time to Part Out Big Red

                  The last two events only show how well this car works. We show up at a NASA event and leave with four free Hoosiers, every time for almost 3 years. We show up at a big regional SCCA event and set FTD and Top PAX, just screwing around. Easy to drive, easy to win with, and rarely do I have to turn a wrench at an event. Its a solid performer and you'd think we could sell it rather easily.

                  You'd be wrong. I've been trying to sell this car ever since we came back from NASA Nationals in 2013, since November of that year. Almost 18 months and we have had no serious buyers. A few flaky bidders, but no follow through. I've already slashed the price almost ten grand and we have done a lot of upgrades since 2013, and still not a call, nothing. I guess since it is not a "real race car" and its not a "perfect street car", it scares people off? It doesn't matter - I need to raise some capital for our growing business and I cannot just keep this car, so I have to do something to make it sell-able.

                  Instead of just dropping the price more and more, hoping to keep this car together in its current form, we're going to part it out and put it back to as close to stock as possible. It sucks but it seems to be the only way to generate any funds and sell this car. The entire front sheet metal/hood/splitter/bumper is going back to stock, and luckily I kept all of the OEM parts to do that. Wing/trunk, seats, suspension, rear axle, everything. We cannot take the steel flared rear fenders off, and removing the headers/exhaust is more work than the parts are worth used, but the rest of the mods we've done are being removed.

                  Some of the OEM parts going back onto this car - which is almost always the best way to recoup any costs

                  Roughly $40,000 in mods, custom work, and parts are being removed, photographed and added to our website for sale. I'll be lucky to get 50 cents on the dollar for some of this stuff, but so be it. After we de-mod all of the suspension, aero, interior and other bits we'll puts some 18x11" wheels on the front to match a pair of the existing 18x12" rears and put the car up for sale. This car still has a $27,000 loan value, so it should bring something with a "wide body rear" and big wheels/tires + ARH stainless full lengths and custom stainless exhaust. Will post up a link to our Clearance Page when we have the various parts removed and for sale here. Not that anyone here will buy it, but I'll post the ad for the de-modded Mustang here when it's ready as well.

                  Five years of hard work about to be dismantled.

                  This whole situation sucks. We spent 5 years building and refining a package on this car that cannot seem to lose, yet nobody wants to buy it. It pains me to see a LOT of hard work get dismantled and have to be sold off, piece by piece. Please don't PM me about any parts yet - I will post up here when they are ready for sale.

                  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 July 1st, 2015: This is the last time I will have pictures of modifications to our red 2011 Mustang in this thread - because we no longer own it. Read below on what we did to sell it, plus a hint at what we're building next. We will continue to update this thread with work and parts we're making for other S197 Mustangs, of course.

                    Deconstruction of a Masterpiece?

                    Well maybe "masterpiece" is a bit pretentious, but I felt like we had an amazing package we had put together and was really bummed that we might have to tear it apart to sell the car. At the eleventh hour we got a "stay of deconstruction" from a potential buyer, so we ended up NOT having to remove the go-fast bits from this car after all. This makes me happier than selling the car and parts for more money.

                    Jason here at Vorshlag summed up our time with this chassis well:

                    Sold the S197 Mustang we used as a Vorshlag development car. I've worked on a lot of competition cars, but this one was the most rewarding. We continually developed the chassis, leaving the drivetrain stock, and ended up with an easy to drive and fantastically competitive car while retaining many of the street car amenities. This car set track records for it's class at every track we competed at. And then we set higher records every time we would revisit the track.

                    The new owner is a track day enthusiast in Michigan. Look for it at tracks up there.

                    Adios Big Red. Next up - The War Hammer!
                    Spot on. We DID have a really good run in this car, setting 16 track records and winning dozens of events. We never had to use the "big horsepower" card to do it, either, which was strangely fulfilling. Suspension, tires, brakes and aero were our focus and these improvements went a long way. Keeping the engine bone stock made the package more reliable and was lower stress for me at every outing.

                    Brief Overview of Classes This Car Raced In

                    We custom ordered this car in the summer of 2010 and started working with shocks, wheels and tires in SCCA's "STX" class for autocrossing. At the same time we ran it in NASA's "TTB" class for NASA Time Trials. This was a somewhat frustrating period of racing for us, as the STX class limits (265mm street compound tires on a max 9" wide wheel) were just not suited to a big heavy car with V8 power, either on track or in autocross format.

                    We spent a lot of time slipping and sliding around on these skinny tires in STX, and I regretted going this route almost immediately. Strangely enough but had markedly better results in our brief stint of running in STU class in late 2011, which is the same basic rules but higher tire and wheel width limits (285mm and unlimited wheel widths allowed). Just a +10mm bump in tires and a 1" wider wheel made a remarkable improvement (275/35/18 Bridgestone RE-11 tire on 18x10 D-Force wheel was used).

                    We jumped back and forth from STU to STX in early 2012, but spent the majority of that year dabbling in two new classes on much wider and stickier R-compound tires: ESP (SCCA Autox) and TTS (NASA TT). We took the car to SCCA Nationals and grabbed a trophy in open and a win in ESP-L. The wider tires suited this car much better and that - coupled with changes in the suspension and aero packages - made for big improvements at the end of the year, where we edged our way up to some near wins in TTS.

                    2013 was a break out year for development on this chassis, and we started winning and setting track records in the newly named TT3 class immediately. We dominated TT3 in the Texas region that year but took home a disappointing 3rd at NASA Nationals, with big untested aero changes right before that event. 2014-15 were spent with this car still dominating in TT3 class, not losing a single NASA event during that time. We kept refining the package and scored a big win in Optima in 2014 and the car was faster than ever at autocross events on the NASA TT3 set-up. The car won its last two competition events with us, a Time Trial at TWS and an autocross at TMS, by huge margins.

                    New Buyer To Keep Racing It

                    After reading my last post here where I had given up on selling it as a complete package, the new buyer decided to make a call and stop us from taking the car apart. I'm glad he did, because I really didn't want to do that.

                    Other than removing most of the decals, we left the car alone and just got everything cleaned up to perfection. Our shop manager Brad spent some time cleaning, detailing, waxing and getting this car ready for Eric to stop by our shop for a look. He had followed the build for years, but liked it even better in person.

                    On Sunday Eric test drove the car and decided on all of the spares and OEM bits and pieces he wanted to purchase in addition to the car. Then Monday it was hotter than nine Hells when we loaded up the car and parts. After that we went to the bank to finalize the sale.

                    He appreciated the rear S197 Tow Loops we had installed on the rear axle, as looping an axle strap over the sold axle tubes can be a bit of a chore, especially when you have an aftermarket/rerouted swaybar or Watts Link in the way. We have towed many times with these tie-down loops and have installed about a dozen sets on customer cars. After this testing we have finally released this as a production product, about two weeks ago. You can order just the loops or add the optional longer rear LCA bolts as well.

                    I got a text Tuesday morning from the new buyer saying he made it home and everything was A-OK. Look for this car at track events at Gingerman, Mid-Ohio and other tracks near his Michigan location.

                    Other Mustang Work at Vorshlag This Week

                    People often ask us so I wanted to assure everyone - we are NOT abandoning the S197 (or S550) platform just because I no longer own one! We still work on several of these Mustangs in our shop every week, and will continue to develop more parts as time allows. Our S197 focus won't change, and I will still update this thread with other S197 development work we do it.

                    Both of these S197s above are getting a laundry list of work in our shop today, as I write this. The white 2013 GT is Jamie Beck's and we've featured it in this build thread before. The Silver Roush Stage 3 is owned by James Meeker, and has also been shown here before. The list of work we're doing to the white car on this round of mods is extensive and includes removing the AST 4150 coilovers and replacing them with MCS RR2 remote reservoir doubles.

                    The ASTs are fine. He just wants double adjustables and he went with the best option available from MCS, the RR2s. They worked so well on our TT3 Mustang that he went with what was proven to work. Jamie has also been waiting for more test time before jumping into Hoosiers, but with the complete drought of 295/35/18 BFG Rivals, he's running out of options. So that may happen sooner rather than later, as well as a laundry list of other mods we're tackling in the next 2 weeks.

                    S197 Rear UCA Install

                    One of the other recent changes we made to Jamie's white GT included replacing the Whiteline rear UCA assembly with some parts that use spherical bushings, from Multimatic and Steeda. This car has gone from "street driven track car" to a dedicated race car, so this move makes sense. The Upper Control Arm from Multimatic is the same as we used on our Red GT, but these have been out of production and not sold for a while. Jamie found the arm (below left) but not the matching chassis mount needed - so we made one. the Steeda spherical bushing assembly for the axle side (below right) of the UCA was also installed.

                    continued below
                    Last edited by Fair!; 07-01-2015, 04:01 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

                      The various UCA designs on the S197 Mustang are a sticky subject. The OEM piece (below left) has a big rubber bushing at the axle and as well as the upper mount for the UCA itself. These are pretty soft bushings because they need to PIVOT quite a bit on the sold rear axle suspension, so they have a lot of bushing slop that can cause axle tramp, change of pinion angle, and slow down the rear suspension reactions to torque changes. If you have read this build thread for a few years you know we tested a variety of aftermarket designs and settled on the spherical UCA design from Multimatic.

                      This was a $700 arm + mount when new, which is pretty crazy, considering the Whiteline UCA + mount (above right) is only $242. But.... the current UCA design from Whiteline isn't my favorite solution for this arm. The "elastomer" they use is very firm (like polyurethane) and doesn't allow the arm to pivot, which could lead to premature wear on the axle side OEM rubber bushing (which has to do almost all of the pivoting). We've been hounding WL to release a new design with their Max-C bushing (which I showed from my SEMA 2014 coverage in this thread). Most of the other brands also use a poly bushing upper mount, or a spherical mount, but most of those are even less desirable than the WL unit, due to a number of factors (poor adjustment style, low end materials, and most of all - NOISE). Virtually all of the spherical bearing units we've installed made heinous amounts of noise.

                      The Multimatic UCA design was elegant and simple. It uses modified, stamped steel OEM arm and upper mount, with a big spherical bushing added inside the end that is made to PIVOT SMOOTHLY, has no rubber to compress or deform, and has worked flawlessly for years in our car. The chassis mount is made to capture the bolt and machined bushings that fit snugly inside the spherical. Sure, it makes a little bit of noise due to it being all metal, but it works without any bind or slop. But you cannot buy them...

                      Since Jamie only found half the Multimatic solution, Olof took an OEM 2011-14 GT upper chassis mount and modified it to fit the Multimatic bolt, bushings and arm. This meant cleaning off the powder coating, making a reinforced washer to fit the included (non-OEM sized) bolt, TIG welding them on through the factory holes, and painting it all up.

                      At the other end of the UCA is a rubber bushing in the axle housing, which was cracked and failing. This was pressed out (not fun) and the Steeda housing and spherical bushing were pressed in place (also not fun). Luckily we have a lot of specialty tools for pressing in and out bushings. And it still was a bear to reach everything, with the axle still attached to the chassis. All of this is easier with the axle on a bench, but then you have to disconnect a LOT more stuff + rebleed the rear brakes.

                      All said and done the install of the Multimatic arm, upper mount, and doing the Steeda busing install was 2.24 hours. On a lift, with all of the right tools, so if you are doing this at home on jack stands, expect it to take 3-4 times as long. Much of that was the R&R of the chassis side bushing, which was a $89 part from Steeda. Its worth it for the UCA, because this has to pivot considerably during axle movement and body roll. Now the upper control arm is spherical at both ends, and should pivot freely with no bind.

                      Aftermarket Coolant and Oil Temp Gauge Install

                      We have been watching the oil and coolant temps on Meeker's Mustang, which makes 633 whp with a supercharged Aluminator 5.0L Coyote based motor. But it has OEM analog gauges, which are barely adequate for a stock 5.0L that is only street driven.

                      During road course use it is VERY difficult to keep the fluids inside a supercharged engine cool, and we need better data to base the effectiveness of the cooling mods on. To see that data, a pair of aftermarket digital gauges were added for oil and coolant temps, at the hottest points in their systems.

                      Normally I'm not a fan of digital gauges (hello, 1984 Corvette!) but in this case we wanted to know the numbers with more resolution than an analog gauge, and we've had good results with this brand and style before. Since there wasn't a great place to mount the gauges without hacking up the dash, we picked up a two pod A-pillar mount for 2-1/16" gauges, shown above. We then sourced Autometer Cobalt Series 2-1/16" digital gauges with included electric senders for both the oil and water (Auto Meter 6937 and 694. These gauges have temperature probes that were somewhat long-ish probes, and just jamming these into the oil or coolant streams would be difficult or cause other issues, so we made the installs a bit custom.

                      There isn't a great place on the head or block to add an aftermarket coolant gauge sender, so we looked at the cooling system layout and found the "hot side" of the coolant flow coming out of the block, but inside the thermostat (not on the "cool" side of the radiator). We purchased another OEM "Water Outlet Assembly" for a 5.0L motor, as shown above (so it would be perfectly clean and coolant/oil free, unlike the contamination we'd see on the used OEM unit). We also picked up aluminum weld-on bung from Fragola for the 1/8" NPT sensor.

                      Olof then cleaned, drilled, and TIG welded the bung to this coolant elbow on the motor side of the system, then threaded in the sensor (with Teflon tape) and wired it to the gauge per the instructions. Since this is beyond most folks capabilities, we might offer some more of these "Water Outlet assemblies" pre-made with the weld-bung added for 1/8" NPT coolant gauge senders.

                      The oil temp system was a bit trickier. We already had a giant Setrab oil cooler on this car, with a thermostatic bypass plate at the oil filter (see both above) for the big -10 AN feed and return lines to the heat exchanger.

                      We used another Fragola part to replace the fitting that went into the sandwich plate oil adapter, on the hot side. This -10 AN fitting has an 1/8" NPT threaded hole in the side for a small oil feed line or for temp probe, like we needed. Normally you could just screw that sensor in here, but it could have bottomed out inside the new fitting. Even if it did fit, the probe itself would be stuck right in the middle of the fluid stream and could restrict oil flow.

                      So a thick walled piece of aluminum tube was purchased. Olof chucked this up in the lathe and made a spacer, that was threaded on both ends (1/8" Male NPT into the fitting and 1/8" Female NPT for the sender side) then had two flats machined on it for installation with a wrench. Thank goodness for fabricators and good tools. The sender went into this "stand-off" and the tip of the sensor was right in contact with the oil stream.

                      Visibility for the new digital gauges was great, daytime or night. And since the OEM analog temp readouts were just "green/orange/red", after his next track day we will finally have some reliable numbers to critique for coolant and oil temps.

                      What's Next?

                      We are still waiting on the rebuilt motor for my TTC 1992 Corvette to return from the engine builder, and time is ticking away. The goal is to have a couple of track events in the car to finish tuning the ride heights and to get some seat time before NASA Nationals East at VIR in September.

                      But that car has maybe the rest of this season before its kicked out of TTC class, which we kind of knew going in when we built it in January. It will likely be sold at the end of this season, as it was more of a "fill the gap" car between the red Mustang and our next "halo car" for the shop...

                      Now that the red GT is gone we can bring a few of the rolling BMW chassis to Vorshlag that have been stored in my home shop for a bit. I will go into more detail when we start the build thread for those cars (again), but basically we are shooting for a 2700 pound BMW E46 chassis, 500 whp LSx engine, 335/345mm Hoosiers, and continue the aero development work we did on the S197. Should be fun.

                      Cars & Coffee Dallas - Saturday July 4th, 2015

                      Many of the Vorshlag crew will be at the Dallas C&C event this Saturday and we're bringing some American muscle to celebrate our Independence day! Meeker's Roush will be there, as will Jon's 2006 GT he races in CAM, and a C7 Z06 we've working on today. We will have the LS-swapped Scion FR-S there (above left, which I just test drove for the first time), which is injected with some American muscle.

                      This FR-S LS1 is an "Alpha" build we have been working on for about a year that is nearing completion, and already driveable. The swap kit production will start shortly after the final test drives. If you are in the DFW area this Saturday, come to the show and take a look at what we have on display. We will be parked near the SCCA crowd at the back corner of the giant lot there at Classic BMW in Plano, Texas from 6:30 am until around 11 am.

                      Until next time,
                      Last edited by Fair!; 07-01-2015, 03:56 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

                        Hey Terry,

                        What do you think is a better choice for a tire on a 2014 Mustang that I can drive too and from the track, sometimes a couple hundred miles each way? I'm considering the 295/35/18 NT05 combo you ran simply because of the whole can't go wide enough on these cars thing, but I know you didn't love 'em...

                        The other option is something like a 275/40/18 RE11, or even biting the bullet for a 19" tire (more weight I know) and rocking something like a 275/35 Direzza Z2, or even a 285/35 BFG rival... Thoughts?


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

                          Originally posted by McCarthy View Post
                          Hey Terry,

                          What do you think is a better choice for a tire on a 2014 Mustang that I can drive too and from the track, sometimes a couple hundred miles each way? I'm considering the 295/35/18 NT05 combo you ran simply because of the whole can't go wide enough on these cars thing, but I know you didn't love 'em...

                          The other option is something like a 275/40/18 RE11, or even biting the bullet for a 19" tire (more weight I know) and rocking something like a 275/35 Direzza Z2, or even a 285/35 BFG rival... Thoughts?
                          Well you didn't state what wheels you have, but I would probably recommend the following for mostly track use with limited street driving on any S197 Mustang:
                          • 18x11" Forgestars
                          • 305/35/18 Nitto NT-01

                          The NT-01 (100 treadwear) is a lot quicker tire than the NT-05 (200 treadwear) and it also comes in that 305 size, which fits these cars with our 18x11" wheels and some camber up front.

                          One of our testers (shown above at TWS) runs this on their car and its pretty dang fast, plus you can get some street driving out of it. They saw a marked decrease in lap times going from the 295/35/18 BFG Rival (which is nonexistent) to this 305 NT-01.

                          Note: The NT-01 is not a daily driver tire, but more of a "tweener" tire between the fastest "ultra performance street" tires and the top tier "R compound" DOT legal race tires (aka: Hoosier). Check out the video above for more info on fitting the 18x11 wheel to these cars.

                          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

                            Thanks Terry.

                            The plan was to run whatever wheel correspondingly fit the tire I end up choosing.

                            Watching your extremely helpful video I like the idea of the 18x11's for sure, but i'd be concerned going to an R-comp simply for life expectancy considering It'll need to survive a couple thousand street miles over its life. I wonder if I can fit 4 18x11's with 305/35/18's, and a jack in a Mustang, along with a cooler, tool kit etc... Hmm...


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

                              Originally posted by McCarthy View Post
                              Thanks Terry.

                              The plan was to run whatever wheel correspondingly fit the tire I end up choosing.

                              Watching your extremely helpful video I like the idea of the 18x11's for sure, but i'd be concerned going to an R-comp simply for life expectancy considering It'll need to survive a couple thousand street miles over its life. I wonder if I can fit 4 18x11's with 305/35/18's, and a jack in a Mustang, along with a cooler, tool kit etc... Hmm...

                              It sounds crazy but I've seen it done. 3 in the back seat, one in the trunk. Its tight, but ALL of the stuff shown above fit in Mark Council's 2012 Mustang shown in that picture.

                              Another, better option is a mini "tire trailer" that is towed behind your car. It seems unusual but it is actually very convenient, easy to tow, and commonly done in the autocross world - why not for HPDE cars, too? I built two of the three tire trailers above (both the M3 and RX8, former competition cars of mine) and towed tens of thousands of miles with them. The basic trailer kit is about $400; the trailer hitches are light, simple and inexpensive; and this is safer and less unwieldy than stuffing wheels and tires in your back seat.

                              With the weather proof "truck box" you can securely store a jack, tools, supplies, and more. I made the "tire racks" from welded tubular steel, but I've seen this done with Home Depot parts just bolted together, also. Just a thought...
                              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

                                Thanks for the advice!

                                I've also been shown a couple pics of two 315/30/18's in an S197's trunk, simply remove the false floor and one fits in the spare tire well, the other on top.

                                I'd go for the tire trailer for sure, however hotel parking lots aren't the most secure and i'd rather not lug 4 tires and tools up to the room!