Difference Between the Exige and Others on Track - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-27-2017, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Difference Between the Exige and Others on Track

Question: I have a 2007 Exige with mostly stock Aero. I wonder if I'm driving it incorrectly as far as braking and cornering? My experience is all rear engine V8 Chevrolet products. At Raceway Park of the Midlands (RPM) I can get a ~1:44 lap time consistently in the Exige. The car has the BOE power recipe and is >300hp at the crank. I run R888 tires and have an aggressive track alignment. This is about the same time I could run in a 2015 Mustang with the Performance Pack. I could get consistent 1:42s in a 2008 Corvette Z51 on Hoosiers with an aggressive track alignement. This is my home track and the same place Phil at BOE ran a 1:35 five years ago.

So this year I took my daily driver Camaro 1LE with the track alignment and got consistent 1:41 lap times.


I don't have a video of my Exige laps but I'm wondering if this mid-engined car with the heavy rear weight bias needs to be driven completely differently than the other cars I've driven. I can give Phil 2 seconds for more HP, 1 second for better tires, 2 second for a better track surface than today, 1 second for a better line but that doesn't get me to 1:35.

Thoughts on driving the Exige at the edge and how it should be different than my Camaro and Corvette past?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-27-2017, 06:45 PM
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You can definitely brake later and less, carry more speed through corners than the other cars you mention. Slicks make a vast improvement too. If your corner speeds and corner exit speeds are not higher than the other cars you mention its your driving. Elsewhere ie straights, well hp is hp although exit speeds should make up the difference.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 03:37 AM
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The big difference is that the Exige will carry more corner speed than what you are use to. Because of this, as mentioned above, you do not have to brake as much to get your speed down. You can either brake deeper or brake less. To begin with, I would suggest braking less until you get use to the high lateral load.

Another thing to remember, your peak HP is at peak RPM, therefore, you need to keep the motor wound up. You may need to down shift to a lower gear to achieve this. The V8 motors are going to be able to grunt their way out of a low RPM situation. Your little 4 cylinder is not going to do this as well. So, try to keep your motor above 6000 RPM.

Later,
Eldon
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 08:10 AM
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Are you running a stock suspension? Tires will make a big difference, especially if you upgrade the suspension as well. What brake pads are you running? Track pads will allow you to go much deeper than you ever imagined and then that suspension/tire will allow for much higher cornering speeds, etc...

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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I appreciate the feedback and believe there is truth in all of it. A limited search says the Exige has some aero added down force (maybe 200 pounds) at speed. I should be able to brake later/less and through the corner by using the down force, added grip, and additional stability from the mid-engine design. This is different than how I drive the RWD heavy cars where (braking and steering are almost mutually exclusive). I have Carbotech XP12 front and rear with two piece rotors front and rear. The front calipers have the BOE caliper mod and stainless steel pistons. I'm not building heat in the brakes or tires like I'm used to. I haven't been able to fade the brakes or over heat the tires but the track is short. Tire temps are even all the way across the tread width telling me the alignment is right. The car has the Bilstein factory track pack.

Here is what I'm thinking:
Less aggressive track pads will get up to temp and offer more modulation and thus more confidence (today it feels too on/off)
I should be carrying more speed through the corners by braking later and less. The car should have enough speed to 4 wheel drift through the corners (I'm experiencing very little slip or slide anywhere on the track)
Trail braking through the corners might necessitate a different line? (maybe earlier apex?)
Fresh tires are always better. I'm just wondering if I could get enough heat built up in Hoosier's to make them effective?

This should come together to get me greater corner speed and corner exit speed. You are correct, this is the answer in these little cars since they will mostly be beat on the straights.

When I watch Phil's 1:35 lap I don't see an obviously different line. I see he is braking less and later (at the ~1.5 and 1 markers verses 3 and 2 for me). He just seems faster everywhere.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 06:33 PM
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It's so fun to catch higher hp cars under braking. You can see them looking up in their mirrors staring in disbelief.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 07:56 PM
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Here's a 1:33, and I've done a 1:32 there as well, FWIW

There's a lot to the setup, etc...

You're close enough that we ought to just get together about it...

Cheers,

Phil

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 03:38 AM
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If you watch Phil's RPM, you will see he is usually above 6000 RPM at the apex of the corners. This is really important to make these little motors produce the HP that is needed to make these cars fast. Unfortunately, this is difficult to do with an OEM gear box. If you want to keep a non-race gear box, I would suggest checking with Fred at BWR about his trans.

I find it hard to believe that you can make XP12s work all the way around since the stock brake bias does not create much rear brake effort. I would suggest switching to XP10s in the front to try and create some rear brake bias. It is not the ideal solution but it will help with brakes. The only real solution is to change out the OEM brake master for something like what Phil sells and have adjustable split masters.

By the way, I would take Phil up on his offer to give you some help setting up the chassis.

Later,
Eldon
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 06:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XHILR8N! View Post
It's so fun to catch higher hp cars under braking. You can see them looking up in their mirrors staring in disbelief.
A couple of years ago I watched the Taggart Exige in PWC at Belle Isle. Even from the stands, the difference in braking zones was comical - the Exige would just do a brief stab of the brake whereas everyone else was braking much, much longer. Couple stronger reliance on the available stopping force with proper gear selection, and the car will really punch above its weight.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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Here's a 1:33, and I've done a 1:32 there as well, FWIW

There's a lot to the setup, etc...

You're close enough that we ought to just get together about it...
Wow, if the 1:32 was supposed to make me feel better on my home track, it had the opposite affect;}

This winter I did the BOE power recipe, water cooling upgrades, stainless front brake pistons, and rebuilt the front dampers.

I was hoping to keep the AC and passenger seat as I don't think they are 10 seconds a lap....

In the end, it will need a suspension upgrade and the rear clam hinge from Phil. I got to page 50 on the clam hinge instructions and questioned my aptitude.

The good news is these are all first world problems.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 07:11 AM
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Watched your video... There absolutely time you're leaving on the table where you get parked from blowing the turn.

Outside of that a couple very important points on your lotus. 1) the stock aero is draggy and doesn't work well at all. So you're getting dinged on speed relative to the DF you're getting in exchange. 2) your tires. If I'm competing, my car has fresh rubber on it. Since I was racing in those vids, I'm sure I was on heat cycle 1 or 2 with A6s or A7s. Compared to a 888, that's HUGE. Heat cycle 3-10 or so are no less than 1 second slower than cycle 1 and 2... Probably closer to 1.5-2.5 seconds on average. After HC10, they become tire swings. That said, relative to 888s, the As are night and day better even when they're in tire swing status. The chassis won't get R Hoosiers hot enough, so don't bother with them.

The seats and AC are not your weight problems in the porky exige. Start with proper thin skin only top and boot lid. We can have those made up for you and they're not expensive. That weight is WAY up high and there's a lot of it on the Exige. You can lose like 60lbs of the highest weight on the car with this advice and it will make the car transition much nicer. Leave the seats and AC for now.

Ditch the POS wing and splitter and use this car: https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f232...-exige-422393/ as an example for an exceptional "bolt on" aero package.

You can switch out to shorter and wider tires on 15s like on the orange car I linked to. The aesthetics are take it or leave it, but the shorter tires significantly improve the final drive ratio and improve roll centers.

That's 70% of what the car needs to go fast. The other 30% get expensive. The rest of the work is in your head. When you're in the turns, keep feeding the car skinny pedal to find the limit where it just pushes and then let off easy. I'm constantly giving it gas in sweepers. When the car starts to push, I let off a bit and then feed it some more again. that strategy keeps me honest. By that I mean I can honestly tell myself the chassis, in it's current state, would not take that turn any faster... Now, could I have entered the turn faster? YES! We can pretty much always brake better/later and enter with more authority and more consistently. In the middle of the turn, however, constantly gently feeding it juice to find the push point will ensure that you're at terminal turning velocity.

Hope that helps,

Phil
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 07:15 AM
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PS- your car should do 1:37s on that track. That's your target without anymore power....


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