CO Tour & Rival S review - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-15-2015, 08:01 AM Thread Starter
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CO Tour & Rival S review

Let's start with tires. I took delivery of a set of 225/45/15, 245/40/17 Rival S tires last Thursday, installed them and set off on the 4.5 hour drive to Pikes Peak International Raceway for the 2015 SCCA Colorado Tour.

Road manners: I drive my car with the dampers set to their "race" settings. They are harsh. The Bridgestone RE-71R transmits every little bump, crack, sealer seam, etc... right into your body. They are one of the noisier tires I have used in the past 5 or 6 years of auto-xing. The Rival S, on the other hand, damped out some of the harshness. The road noise decreased a bit as well. Overall, I was glad I made the drive to CO on the Rival S vs. the RE-71R.

On the return trip, I encountered a couple of very heavy southwest-style rain storms. The full-tread Rival S was decent in these circumstances. They certainly are not an all season. When the road was completely covered with standing water, I had to slow to limit hydroplaning. The lack of weight over the front tires means they turn into wake boards relatively easily. For standing water auto-x, I will likely use a set of full-tread RE-71Rs.

Auto-x performance: I made it to PPIR with plenty of time to take practice course runs. First up was the Rival S. The course was simple - acceleration zone into reducing slalom, tight left hander up the hill, hair pin left hander onto a painted section, into an offset gate arrangement towards the finish. The cold grip of the Rival S was not on par with the RE-71R and required some heat to start working. The front had trouble sticking and shock changes didn't make notable improvements. My pressures were 27 and 29 psi. Being that is was just a Tour practice course, I didn't have time to change any/all variables... so, shock settings were my main tool. After 4 runs, they warmed up and reduced front compression helped with turn in. However, the straight-line braking was always lacking. The feel was very similar to the RS3v2s I used last season. I had ice mode issues on almost every run into hard braking sections. My best time with the Rival S was 30.49s.

I slapped on my Bridgestone RE-71Rs (28 runs so far) and turned the shocks back to my baseline settings for them. Pressures were 26 front 28 rear. My first run on them was 30.38s. The braking confidence returned and turn in was much better. My second run on the 'Stones was a 30.01s. I knew which tires I would be using for the CO Tour. The biggest difference was the longitudinal grip. If the braking feel had been similar with the Rival S, it would have been more of a toss up. With the RE-71Rs I had so much more confidence going into the braking zones that I didn't have to brake early or be timid with the brake pedal.

I've decided to keep the set of Rival S tires and take them with me to Lincoln. After Nats last year, I had the chance to test drive the BFG tires on a rubbered-in course. They worked. So, there's a chance the Rival S might shine in that environment more than they did on the PPIR surface. Testing at different pressures and further damper changes might help the Rival S find footing. We'll see...

Now to the CO Tour - woo hoo... great event. The day 1 course favored a thread-the-needle car/setup. That's what my car is good at. Day 2 allowed high-powered cars to better stretch their legs. I was able to snag 1st in PAX on day 1, 3rd on day 2 and 1st for the overall.

HUGE thanks to BWR for handling the damper component of my setup.

Day 1 video:

Day 2 video:

There were a total of 5 Lotus at the event, so we decided to get a group photo together. Tom probably has a better version of these.




2006 Lotus Elise

Last edited by jdawson; 06-15-2015 at 09:28 AM.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-15-2015, 09:45 AM
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Congrats on the really high PAXing.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-15-2015, 11:57 AM
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Great Info and Great Driving, Jake!


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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-15-2015, 08:39 PM
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My Rival S review is carrying RE71R's in the back of the SUV were surprising quiet and did not have abnormal wear in their tire covers on the drive up or down. :P

I ran my first National event with the Exige. The plan was never to do this...but a combination of my E Street ride being sold and a fellow SSP competitor offering to pay my entry fee had me decide to go. It was strangely tight overall for a Roger Johnson course and I regret not downshifting twice on Day 1 like Jake did which left me 9th in PAX but leading SSP. On Day 2 I was still adjusting the car chasing a good setup and ran 4th in PAX and extended the lead in SSP. The car is pretty well behaved now, it just pushes a bit at low speed and why you see me getting on the throttle fairly late in the slower corners, plus they are off camber on a slope.

My vids:

Day 1:

Day 2:


Pics:




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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-16-2015, 06:19 AM
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Damn! That is really tight for a Roger Johnson course. I'm used to seeing the walloms but those 180s! Wow. I hope he creates a course of typical RJ radness at Nats.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-16-2015, 06:49 AM
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Nice Paxing Jacob and Tom. Not typical you can top pax as much as you where rowing.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-16-2015, 07:15 AM
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Thanks.

Now to figure out how to fit something larger than 205/225 under the car, get some more rear camber, use the stiffer hole on the sway bar, and a dozen other things. I guess it's cheaper than buying cars every 3-4 months.

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-16-2015, 07:33 AM
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Thanks.

Now to figure out how to fit something larger than 205/225 under the car, get some more rear camber, use the stiffer hole on the sway bar, and a dozen other things. I guess it's cheaper than buying cars every 3-4 months.
Does that mean you got bit?
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-16-2015, 07:36 AM
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Not quite yet.

I gotta make sure I'm keeping it (I swear I am but my 35 car history says I don't keep cars). If I still have it next year, I'll get a lot more serious though seeing all the damage the Gladu car has makes me worry what mine would look like if I keep running it. Also, my budget is super tight this year, mid next summer it opens up a ton.

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-16-2015, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by glagola1 View Post
I hope he creates a course of typical RJ radness at Nats.
I'm kinda hoping for another tight/twisty course to keep larger cars at bay

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-16-2015, 09:34 AM
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I'm kinda hoping for another tight/twisty course to keep larger cars at bay
I get that but there is a certain Miata that is more powerful, lower geared and a good bit more narrow than my car. I don't want any slow digs, please.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-16-2015, 09:37 AM
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digs would be really bad for SS too, 997 GT3 doesn't suck at those.

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-16-2015, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
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Dear Roger Johnson,

Please design a Lotus friendly course for nationals - lots of thread-the-needle and no digs.

Thanks,
Jake
Matt
Tom

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-16-2015, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by jdawson View Post
Dear Roger Johnson,

Please design a Lotus friendly course for nationals - lots of thread-the-needle and no digs.

Thanks,
Jake
Matt
Ryan
FTFY.

I'll likely weasel my way back to ES where I want digs in a Spyder over the Miatas. Also I know the SSR guys are trying to recruit me to help make their 35 count.

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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-17-2015, 09:46 AM
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The tightness of the RJ course on that lot has a lot to do with shape and runoff - most of the places to go off are not too scary, but there are a couple of spots that are _ugly_.

SCCA's minimum distance to hard objects with karts registered is 50'. The grass/dirt is not necessarily a "hard object" - in the NW corner of that lot, you can get away with running fairly close to the grass.

SW corner, OTOH, you do NOT want cars going off - there's a ditch which may or may not break windshields and open hoods if a car were to go off.

I suspect that RJ designed the course from afar (TX) while assuming normal spacing/not knowing where to get close/where to steer clear.

Combine that with some VERY conservative safety stewards, I'd not be surprised if a couple of things got squeezed a bit, which may have domino-effected both turnarounds.

Hypothetically, of course.

I liked the courses both days, and Jake was an AWESOME metric to have on site. He was also kind enough to drive my car and illuminate my problem; it won't be very expensive to fix, at all! Splendid.

Tom may have been the big winner, too - Hoosier contingency AND a free entry? winner winner pasta dinner.

I'm working the local region to schedule some 2 day events at PPIR - it is a good site. Not worth the drive for a one day event, if over 3 hours away, but two? Sure.

Next two day is August 22/23 - test and tune on Saturday, local event Sunday. We can do whatever we want Saturday, if we want to set up RJ's Tour course, we could do that, or two smaller courses, small course + skidpad, whatever. I'll likely have something to do with the T&T, we can do whatever we want. We'll be using the "work an hour" format - course runs from 10-3 or 4 or whatever, everyone works one hour, runs the rest. Simple, and affords tons of time for changing things.

Thanks for coming up, Tom & Jake - was a lot of fun having a buncha lotuseseseses on site!



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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-17-2015, 12:26 PM
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Next two day is August 22/23 - test and tune on Saturday, local event Sunday.
It should also be noted that August 23 is the LOG 35 AutoX. We will be running the course after SCCA is finished. We will arrive after a run up Pikes Peak. Perhaps folks who arrive early enough can cadge rides from some of you experienced guys.
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-17-2015, 12:32 PM
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It should also be noted that August 23 is the LOG 35 AutoX. We will be running the course after SCCA is finished. We will arrive after a run up Pikes Peak. Perhaps folks who arrive early enough can cadge rides from some of you experienced guys.
Well now that gets really interesting! I wasn't planning to attend LOG because of its close proximity to travel expenses for Nats. This might make that expense more tempting if that trip could be a 2fer.

Are you the gentleman we met Sunday at the event at PPIR this past weekend?

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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-17-2015, 12:40 PM
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It should also be noted that August 23 is the LOG 35 AutoX. We will be running the course after SCCA is finished. We will arrive after a run up Pikes Peak. Perhaps folks who arrive early enough can cadge rides from some of you experienced guys.
Ahhh I was on my way down to chat with you, got distracted, saw you drive away. Oops!

Should be fun to have the LOG down there!


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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-17-2015, 12:52 PM
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Well now that gets really interesting! I wasn't planning to attend LOG because of its close proximity to travel expenses for Nats. This might make that expense more tempting if that trip could be a 2fer.

Are you the gentleman we met Sunday at the event at PPIR this past weekend?
"Gentleman"? Flattery will get you nowhere. Yes, that was me.

Quote:
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Ahhh I was on my way down to chat with you, got distracted, saw you drive away. Oops!

Should be fun to have the LOG down there!


Iain
I was there to chat with Arnie and Lindsay, get an idea of the lay of the land. Obviously I didn't wander around enough as I saw only two Lotus when, clearly, five were present. Sorry I missed you.

Preliminary car count for AutoX is 32, I believe. More would be better.

Oh, and our track day is Monday at PPIR.
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-17-2015, 01:41 PM
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Gotit. Assuming I'm there, I'll stick around to help out with the Lotus festivities. Lindsey was looking for a car for a celeb to drive up PP; it won't be mine (uncertainty as to where I'll actually be, mostly), but I'm asking around.

32 sounds reasonable. Tom, you & Jake should come up. Maybe (!!!!!!!) the lot is available Saturday, too, hmmmm. I'll look into that if you want to do a T&T. I doubt it is, the lot is booked pretty solid on weekends.



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