Mercedes-Benz is presenting a new customer sport racing car that…
With the rust (see also: lack of talent) shaken off, and a couple events under my belt for this season I’m looking ahead to a planned track-day on May 27th at Autobahn Country Club. Huzzah! I wanted to also start exploring more types of events like road rallies, lapping days, winter AX, etc. I’m a little nervous as this car is my daily driver, but I will do all I can like track-day insurance to provide myself some peace of mind. Which is an excellent segue into my next point. Not sure how many noticed, but I didn’t include my usual Event Receipt with my last post. Since I feel that there was a good amount of coverage on “The Cost to Autocross” last season I didn’t feel every post this season/moving forward necessitates a receipt. I will do it for the posts where I try something new, and I plan on doing another year end tally, but I don’t plan on having one for every post – forewarning. That being said, if you want to know what I spent, just ask.
As the title indicates I’ve been doing some upgrades. For starters I actually put in a real exhaust gasket — all by myself too (haha). If you knew me you would know how mechanically inept I am and realize that is a feat no matter how small a task. Beyond that, my friend Evan at Rally Sport Direct was kind enough to help me source some better brake pads and fluid; Stoptech Streets and ATE Typ200 to be precise. Though my pads only have ~15k miles on them I wanted something with a little more bite and I also wanted to swap the fluid. The universal rule of racecar building: Stop Fast, Turn Fast, Go Fast. I have never experienced brake fade and I don’t want to. I enlisted the help of my friend Ryan from 10 Karat Racing with the brake job as he said he would be happy to show me how it’s done. While watching I realized the job is rather easy; especially with such a new car and subsequently fresh hardware. Stop Fast – Check.
The car already has a tendency to do that, but I was running the OEM alignment (0 camber 0 toe). After running all last year this way, and the 2 events + TnT this way I knew I needed to make a change. If you’re new to alignment, there is a great video with Chris Forsberg and Jason Fenske talking about suspension dynamics for a drift car but the same laws apply. Basically the end game is to add some Negative Camber so that when I go into a turn I am actually rolling onto my traction patch as opposed to losing it. Here is a link directly to the bit about Camber – Jason explains it (and all things) rather well. I went with 0 Toe as I want my car to be neutral and feel out if I want to change it. Plus, if you set your car to 0 Toe while getting an alignment you can mark your tie-rods so that if you end up adjusting it on your own you always know where 0 is. I got my alignment doe at TF Works, and other than the fact it took almost 3 hours for reasons unbeknownst to me, I’m happy with how the car feels on the street. Turn Fast – Check.
The next Chicago Region SCCA event is this weekend so I’ll be able to put all the upgrades to the test.