Originally Posted by iwilson
Stan, when I first got started I did run the car completely stock standard. I did OK normally in the top 3 but never 1st. I was always up against other Elises with a 40hp advantage and/or Nitrons. When I swapped to Nitrons, I started winning on a regular basis despite the power difference. Of course the driver is a major factor in any Motorsport event. The S2 suspension was a major improvement over the S1 and many S1 owners have upgraded their cars with the S2 bilstein dampers and springs, Nitrons are an incremental improvement over these. But all this is fairly meaningless to your situation. What really needs to happen is for you guys to get friendly with Lotus USA and try and encourage them to produce a factory option specifically tailored to AutoX requirements. They would be stupid to ignore this important market segment. After all win on Sunday sell on Monday...
Out here, very understandably, I think that Lotus is trying to establish itself and get off the ground. Most people in America have never heard of or seen a Lotus car. Lotus has the '06 cars coming out and many dealers have inventories of available '05s to move.
Clive or Clyde came out to the SCCA (Sport Car Club of America) National Finals this past September. Apparently he had no idea! Lotus did add the LSD option and in a way that is legal for '05 and '06 cars. Else serious types would have to ditch their '05 and run an '06 in order to use the LSD. Even though the car's are fundamentally the same, the model year is different and you can only run bits that could have come on a new car. The rules are sorta vague..but I gather that you can run bits that came on a car or could have but didn't come on a car. For example if a BMW had a sunroof delete option available...but noone bought one...someone could add the nonsunroof roof to their car. Something like that.
So..a big factor is HOW stuff becomes available. Lotus can help '05 and '06 cars if they add choices via TSB or service manual changes. For example a competitor can revise the settings on his brake pedals because that is now Lotus approved and 100% legal, although no parts changed.
It would be nice if Lotus did some TSB or servive manual changes. Such as allowing an alternate front ABS wire holder: so that we could remove the last camber shim if that was desired. Such as reducing the occurance and severity of ABS ice-mode which turns down the braking power to all four wheels if one decelerates "too quickly" for the ABS computer. See here for actual data logs showing what happens to your braking power when ice-mode kicks in:
Black trace = ABS Ice Mode:
At the moment, Lotus says it's a nonissue. Well, it's not, IMO. Ironically...the LSD may help the Elise with braking! See...if we can run a softer front bar...because the LSD allows power to be fully put down at corner exit...corner entry may benefit...since the softer front bar may help reduce the intrusion of ice-mode at that time. This stuff is all interrelated.