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Old 06-26-2014, 05:05 AM   #1
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Moving up to Street Prepared worth it?

Hereís my current situation: I have a few sessions of autocrossing under my belt but this is the first season Iíve run every event. Iíve gone to classes, participated in practice events and have done 77 runs in total this year alone. Currently Iím tenth in points in my club and I know its about car control etc etc but Iím a little competitive and really want to be running in the top 5 of PAX times. Of course my focus will be to continue on improving my driving but Iíd like to move into ASP next year with a goal of running in the top 5 Pax. Using my last event which I think is pretty average Iíd need to drop 3 seconds off of my 51 second run to put me in the top 5 (including the time penalty from the new classification). In my current class Iím about .6 seconds behind (still a lot of time!). So the question in (which is not easy to answer) will coilovers, wide Hoosiers and camber plates be enough to drop me 3 seconds? Currently Iím running BF Rivals which arenít half bad to begin with. Iíd like to feel this out before I make a huge investment moving my car up a class. So what do you think is a street prepared setup with Hoosiers worth a WOOPING 3 SECONDS?

Hereís a snap shot of the last event (I did not include anyone below me)

Pax Pos. Pos. Class # Driver Car Model Total Factor Pax Time Diff. From 1st
1 1 ssp 1 Cann, Christopher 04 Chevy z06 47.448 *0.872 41.374 0.000 0.000
2 1 xp 322 Chamberlain, Wade 65 FFR Roadster 46.082 *0.906 41.750 0.376 0.376
3 1 csp 117 Schmidt, Jeff 95 Mazda Miata 48.637 *0.861 41.876 0.126 0.502
4 1 gs 365 Holzer, Stephen 14 Ford Focus ST 52.210 *0.806 42.081 0.205 0.707
5 1 hs 147 Comier, Cortney Cooper 52.941 *0.797 42.194 0.113 0.820
6 1 stc 53 Chenery, Jeff 90 Honda Civic 51.394 *0.824 42.348 0.154 0.974
7 1 csr 161 Chaplin, Kevin 07 Nissan 350Z Nismo 50.985 *0.834 42.521 0.173 1.147
8 1 sts 26 Banks, Joseph 90 Mazda Miata 51.411 *0.829 42.619 0.098 1.245
9 1 cam 51 Inskeep, Paul Merkur 50.776 *0.840 42.651 0.032 1.277
10 1 as 45 Harrison, Robert 07 Chevrolet Corvette 51.300 *0.833 42.732 0.081 1.358
11 1 stx 78 Ogburn, David 09 Mini JCW 51.702 *0.827 42.757 0.025 1.383
12 1 bs 130 Burgh, Stuart 97 Porsche Boxster 51.544 *0.831 42.833 0.076 1.459

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Old 06-26-2014, 06:03 AM   #2
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Not likely on a 40 sec AX course. You will continue to drop time as you improve your skill but 3 sec on a 40 sec course is way more than tires and suspension will yield. We figure it's worth 3-4 seconds on a 2 minute racerack. Tires and suspension might buy you 1-1.5 second depending on course design.
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Old 06-26-2014, 06:16 AM   #3
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I'd highly recommend not to mod the car until you're better than the car is. For some people, that's two events and for others (like me) its a whole lot more.

Then when you do mod the car, your driving skills will be ready to take you and the car to the next level where you can extract the extra performance that the car has in it.

Otherwise, you'll just be driving around in a highly capable car at (roughly) the same speed/times you are now. You have to be able to exploit the additional capability of the car or its (somewhat) worthless.

I know that this probably isn't what you want to hear, but it was the BEST advice that I was ever given (by Topless, Brad Roberts, Eric Oviatt, and a few others who know what they're talking about) and it really does work.

Patience and practice. You'll get there.
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Old 06-26-2014, 06:25 AM   #4
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Being a mod-aholic, I took the plunge into Street prepared my second season. Although the car itself was faster, I didnt get much faster until I had a lot more seat time. Im in my third season now, and Ive attended almost every AutoX possible... And Im finally becoming a decent driver, but im still midpack.

Have you let any instructors drive your car? That should tell you how far behind your driving ability is vs the cars ability. Ever taken a driving school? My friend, who occasionally codrives my car, went to an autoX driving school, and got so much seat time he had to leave to get gas. There were 45+ runs, and he left with a much better understanding of the cars handling at the limit.

Modifying your car is a lot of fun, but you wont get faster until your technique improves.
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Old 06-26-2014, 06:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
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Being a mod-aholic, I took the plunge into Street prepared my second season. Although the car itself was faster, I didnt get much faster until I had a lot more seat time. Im in my third season now, and Ive attended almost every AutoX possible... And Im finally becoming a decent driver, but im still midpack.

Have you let any instructors drive your car? That should tell you how far behind your driving ability is vs the cars ability. Ever taken a driving school? My friend, who occasionally codrives my car, went to an autoX driving school, and got so much seat time he had to leave to get gas. There were 45+ runs, and he left with a much better understanding of the cars handling at the limit.

Modifying your car is a lot of fun, but you wont get faster until your technique improves.
I have let a handfull of the instructors drive my car and they haven't beaten me yet. Althought they all drive very different cars as well. I've done a couple classes as well as HPDEs and feel like my ability isn't all that bad, of couse I could certainly improve. I could add a sway bar this season and remain in stock, I wonder if that would help close the .5 second gap at all, .2 seconds would be great! I could also potentially stretch a larger front tire on, I'm currently running a 225 up front. Could I run a 235 over the stock front tire if I used a hard sidewall autocross inspired tire?
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Old 06-26-2014, 06:50 AM   #6
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What tires are you currently running? Did you get a performance alignment? An M030 rear sway and wider front tire will allow you to rotate the car more easily. If you have the mod bug, do that.

Having the best possible tire for your class and making the most of it is very important in AX.
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:08 AM   #7
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I'm running 255 Rivals in the back and Hancook RS3 225s in the front (Rivals don't have that size) but both tires are as competitive as you can get and are apparently very close in carateristics. As I mentioned below I really think I could stretch a wider tire in the front given the stiff nature of these kinds of tires.

They sell a 235/45/17 Hancook RS3. Think that would fit on the front?
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:47 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by truegearhead View Post
I'm running 255 Rivals in the back and Hancook RS3 225s in the front (Rivals don't have that size) but both tires are as competitive as you can get and are apparently very close in carateristics. As I mentioned below I really think I could stretch a wider tire in the front given the stiff nature of these kinds of tires.

They sell a 235/45/17 Hancook RS3. Think that would fit on the front?
My suggestion to max your AX class:

1. Run 235/255 in the exact same tire. It matters. 35 psi hot

2. Alignment specs: Max front camber (-.7?) with a touch of toe out.
Rear camber (-1.2) with a touch of toe in.

3. M030 rear sway to rotate the car more easily anytime you lift.

$. Pull any excess weight within the rules.

This will only cost a few hundred $$ and might be worth .5 sec.
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:53 AM   #9
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My suggestion to max your AX class:

1. Run 235/255 in the exact same tire. It matters. 35 psi hot

2. Alignment specs: Max front camber (-.7?) with a touch of toe out.
Rear camber (-1.2) with a touch of toe in.

3. M030 rear sway to rotate the car more easily anytime you lift.

$. Pull any excess weight within the rules.

This will only cost a few hundred $$ and might be worth .5 sec.
Excellent! I think this is some may be the route. So you think a 235 will work? It sounds like some people are stretching 325s on a 7" wheel on other cars (like Miatas) but I've never heard of it on a Boxster. Also you think the rear is sway is more benefitial than a M030 front? I've heard people on both sides of the fence.
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Old 06-26-2014, 08:02 AM   #10
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Excellent! I think this is some may be the route. So you think a 235 will work? It sounds like some people are stretching 325s on a 7" wheel on other cars (like Miatas) but I've never heard of it on a Boxster. Also you think the rear is sway is more benefitial than a M030 front? I've heard people on both sides of the fence.
235/255 is the Boxster Spec setup. It works.

Some guys like a heavier bar up front but when I did it in 2009, understeer got worse and my times went up instead of down. My brother added a rear M030 and proceeded to win 3 regional championships. I think it really depends on tires and setup. A car with PSS9s, lots of front rake running A6s 285 square will need a lot more front bar. For a stock car with stock struts, relieving understeer with a rear bar allows you to add gas sooner and this is a good thing. Choose wisely.
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Old 06-26-2014, 08:58 AM   #11
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The instructors couldnt beat your time, and this is your first season? Either you are a prodigy who will soon be a pro racer, or the instructors in your area suck. In my area, most of the instructors are the fastest drivers.

I would try the M030 rear bar and maxing out the front camber, it'll definitely help with rotation. The alignment specs Topless mentioned are pretty much spot on and will make a day and night difference.
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:36 AM   #12
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The instructors couldnt beat your time, and this is your first season? Either you are a prodigy who will soon be a pro racer, or the instructors in your area suck. In my area, most of the instructors are the fastest drivers.

I would try the M030 rear bar and maxing out the front camber, it'll definitely help with rotation. The alignment specs Topless mentioned are pretty much spot on and will make a day and night difference.
My first "full season" I've been Autocrossing on and off for 10 years normally just doing 0-3 events per year
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Old 06-26-2014, 10:12 AM   #13
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So you think a 235 will work?
We run a 235 on the stock front wheels in Boxster Spec racing. They fit and work fine.
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Old 06-26-2014, 05:17 PM   #14
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FWIW, in 2010 Courtney Cormier was the SCCA ASP National Champion driving a fully prepped Vette. At least half of the others in that list are also quite accomplished. Chris Cann is having a breakout year.
You're doing great this year. Think about the cost to max out your car for your current class, then think about the cost to max it out for ASP. In ASP do you think it will be competitive with the cars that are winning?? Look at SCCA Nats...what cars are winning, and how are folks doing in base 986es??
By The way, moving to ASP is going to move you down the list in PAX. PAX is so the slow cars can feel good about themselves. Go for class wins and FTD.
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Old 06-29-2014, 02:52 PM   #15
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Some additional data points for you to consider:

My 986S is prepared to the limits of STU. The only trouble is SCCA will not let it run in any ST class. I have protested to no avail - we all know the SCCA always classes P cars badly.

Normally I just run PCA and BMWCCA where I can usually win FTD if I am on A6's. If I run on similar size ST tires (Dunlop ZII's), the penalty is about 3 sec. on a 60 sec. course. At that point, I can sometimes take my class, but FTD is usually out if anyone good is on R-comps.

When I run with SCCA, I run in ASP in a non-PAX group. I ran like that today on NT-01's, and won my class against rather poor competition, and was the fastest car in my session, but a few seconds off FTD.

Cars that are truly prepped to the limits of ASP will be completely stripped and barely street legal. Personally, I don't want to have a street car like that, so I live with the ST prep level, and know that I could not be competitive against a true ASP car that is well driven.

I don't like the PAX system myself, and it will not be your friend if you are not prepped to the limits of ASP.

The best bet is to find some place to run besides SCCA.
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Old 06-30-2014, 04:42 AM   #16
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Some additional data points for you to consider:

My 986S is prepared to the limits of STU. The only trouble is SCCA will not let it run in any ST class. I have protested to no avail - we all know the SCCA always classes P cars badly.

Normally I just run PCA and BMWCCA where I can usually win FTD if I am on A6's. If I run on similar size ST tires (Dunlop ZII's), the penalty is about 3 sec. on a 60 sec. course. At that point, I can sometimes take my class, but FTD is usually out if anyone good is on R-comps.

When I run with SCCA, I run in ASP in a non-PAX group. I ran like that today on NT-01's, and won my class against rather poor competition, and was the fastest car in my session, but a few seconds off FTD.

Cars that are truly prepped to the limits of ASP will be completely stripped and barely street legal. Personally, I don't want to have a street car like that, so I live with the ST prep level, and know that I could not be competitive against a true ASP car that is well driven.

I don't like the PAX system myself, and it will not be your friend if you are not prepped to the limits of ASP.

The best bet is to find some place to run besides SCCA.
Do you mean STR? I believe STU is for 4 seaters, Iím surprised that Boxsters arenít allowed in STR though when STR allows S2000s, Z4s, Z3s(including Ms), MR2s , RX-7 and basically every other car that out there that is similar to the Boxster. Iíd love to run in this class and I think that in a couple of years the Boxsters will be let in, or theyíll kick the S2000 out. Now that Iíve done some more digging and it sounds like the best place to run a Boxster (if there is any) is in Stock Class. Apparently the setup is a GT3 front sway bar, Bilstein Sports, US M030 Springs, 235s up front and either 245s or 255s in the back, I believe this year they have a provision for slicks as well. So thatís my plan, Iíd like to run further towards the top on raw times but I guess Iíll have to wait for a rules change or a new car.
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Old 06-30-2014, 06:48 AM   #17
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I just realized that my GT3 seats are probably illegal in StockÖ Am I correct that the 25lb fully padded, factory mount rule does not apply to stock? Man I HATE the factory seats, Iíd really rather not put those in.
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Old 06-30-2014, 07:43 AM   #18
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STU used to be for sport sedans until they let the C5 Corvette into STU. Otherwise STR and STU are basically the same prep except for allowable tire widths.

For stock (street), but I believe you will need to change back to the stock seats.

Original proposals for Street class allowed camber plates until SCCA figured out the P cars and BMW's would then be competitive. Then suddenly that allowance vanished.

Not sure you can win without fixing the poor front camber situation with these cars. Good luck
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:40 PM   #19
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I read through ALL the posts.. NOBODY asked him what the car was doing (or not doing) LOL

You don't want ANY piece of ASP.. stay out..

Back to the car: what's it doing or not doing? Low speed understeer? High speed understeer? Low speed oversteer? High speed oversteer?

I tell everyone to leave the cars alone until your ass is calibrated and can tell me/us what it's doing.

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Old 07-06-2014, 11:45 AM   #20
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To your original question, I would say that a street prepared setup and Hoosiers would by worth very close to 3 seconds. However, until the Boxster goes to a turbocharged 4 cylinder, the Boxster is not the best car for ASP compared to the boost buggie AWD cars and the boosted Solstice/Sky. Your car in BS, if you have the Boxster S, is one of the top cars that I think can win in the new BS class. Your time differential to the top 5 can probably be made up going to Version 2 RS-3's all around, as they are proving to be the best street tire for the Street class at this point. I would agree going to a larger rear bar on your car as the stock chassis tends to struggle with push. Also, if you are faster than Courtney, you are driving very very well, keep it up!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by truegearhead View Post
Hereís my current situation: I have a few sessions of autocrossing under my belt but this is the first season Iíve run every event. Iíve gone to classes, participated in practice events and have done 77 runs in total this year alone. Currently Iím tenth in points in my club and I know its about car control etc etc but Iím a little competitive and really want to be running in the top 5 of PAX times. Of course my focus will be to continue on improving my driving but Iíd like to move into ASP next year with a goal of running in the top 5 Pax. Using my last event which I think is pretty average Iíd need to drop 3 seconds off of my 51 second run to put me in the top 5 (including the time penalty from the new classification). In my current class Iím about .6 seconds behind (still a lot of time!). So the question in (which is not easy to answer) will coilovers, wide Hoosiers and camber plates be enough to drop me 3 seconds? Currently Iím running BF Rivals which arenít half bad to begin with. Iíd like to feel this out before I make a huge investment moving my car up a class. So what do you think is a street prepared setup with Hoosiers worth a WOOPING 3 SECONDS?

Hereís a snap shot of the last event (I did not include anyone below me)

Pax Pos. Pos. Class # Driver Car Model Total Factor Pax Time Diff. From 1st
1 1 ssp 1 Cann, Christopher 04 Chevy z06 47.448 *0.872 41.374 0.000 0.000
2 1 xp 322 Chamberlain, Wade 65 FFR Roadster 46.082 *0.906 41.750 0.376 0.376
3 1 csp 117 Schmidt, Jeff 95 Mazda Miata 48.637 *0.861 41.876 0.126 0.502
4 1 gs 365 Holzer, Stephen 14 Ford Focus ST 52.210 *0.806 42.081 0.205 0.707
5 1 hs 147 Comier, Cortney Cooper 52.941 *0.797 42.194 0.113 0.820
6 1 stc 53 Chenery, Jeff 90 Honda Civic 51.394 *0.824 42.348 0.154 0.974
7 1 csr 161 Chaplin, Kevin 07 Nissan 350Z Nismo 50.985 *0.834 42.521 0.173 1.147
8 1 sts 26 Banks, Joseph 90 Mazda Miata 51.411 *0.829 42.619 0.098 1.245
9 1 cam 51 Inskeep, Paul Merkur 50.776 *0.840 42.651 0.032 1.277
10 1 as 45 Harrison, Robert 07 Chevrolet Corvette 51.300 *0.833 42.732 0.081 1.358
11 1 stx 78 Ogburn, David 09 Mini JCW 51.702 *0.827 42.757 0.025 1.383
12 1 bs 130 Burgh, Stuart 97 Porsche Boxster 51.544 *0.831 42.833 0.076 1.459

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