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Had a beautiful day autoXing. Stan showed with his yellow Elise, and we had a lot of fun. Five cars in SS, three Vettes and our two non-LSS Elises. One Vette ran around 40.6 secs, finishing 1st. Stan came in 2nd at 40.9, and I ran a 41.88 to plce 3rd. The other Vettes, I believe, never broke 44. So we came in 2 and 3 out of five, not bad considering the it was the longest course ever setup by Philly SCCA Solo II folks, and was considered to be a Vette course by all who attended. We learned a lot in the process, too.

-we both experienced significant oversteer, and inflating the back tires to 4 PSI over the fronts seemed to help a lot. I ran 27 - 31, Stan ran 28 - 32 front to back.

-Elises can very much compete with Vettes even in long courses. Stan and I were 1 and 2 for much of the competition, and only some last run heroics from the best Vette beat us.

-I learned that experience is good for at least one second on the course ;)

-with LSS and slicks, the Elise should become more than formidable. We can't wait for next spring to try this out as I believe we both plan on converting our suspensions to full LSS.

-and I learned that Stan is a great guy, who has done more "babying" and detailing on his car than imaginable. Beautiful car, Stan.

Jer (pics to follow later)
 

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Were you running the stock street tires? If so the A048s would be good for faster times and Hoosier autocross tires I would guess to be worth at least a second maybe more. What kind of tires did the Corvette have?
 

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We were running stock advans, and the Vettes also were running various stock tires I believe. Stan might remember for sure what they had on...

Stan asserted that Hoosiers might be 2 full seconds better than our Advans...
 

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Thought I'd check Elisetalk before I turned in...what a fun day autocrossing, meeting Jer and others. His BRP car looked great, especially when the sun was not directly overhead as the different shades and colors really came out in the mid/late afternoon. We parked next to one another and had a little Lotus Coral which received a lot of visitors. I have a quite a bit of successful autocross experience in various BMWs and wanted to try out different things with the Elise while getting a sense of how it behaves in different situations. My car is finally past the breakin and A.S.S. so I could wring it out a bit. So part of what I did while autocrossing is to try out a few things to bring our certain problems so I could get a feel for the range of capabilities, limitations as well as noting how well the car responded to corrections.

We ran the two LTS suspended cars against three Z06es on their street tires (Goodyear Eagle F21 Supercars..) in SS class (although the Elise is not yet classified). Basically true stock against true stock although in our case we had the lesser of the two handling packages for our car while the Vettes had their best along with the adavantage of their setup knowledge. For most of the day Jer and I were comfortably ahead of them. Each of us went faster as we found some tire pressures that seemed to work for the conditions, course and our driving. The LTS car *hates* entering turns too hot and will understeer quite a bit if you do this. The LSS car does this too, but likely to a lesser degree. The Elise loves smooooooth.

I came in 2nd overall but feel that the car was easily capable of winning as I blew a turn entering it too hot on my final run after nailing the preceding portions of the course. Even with the blown turn I tied my best time, which is why I think I could have beaten that red vette. His best time wound up about 0.23 seconds better than my best time. What a blast!

At least on that day it appeared that the as-delivered LTS Elises are very, very, very comparable to the as-delivered Z06es. And this was on a vette style course without much tight stuff or tough transitions that the Loti could really dig into to their advantage. I think an LSS car would have trounced them. Then again none of us were prepared fully to SS rules. At a guess the Yok AO48s should be worth at least a second over the street Yoks. Another guess is that the LTS Advans are not quite as capable a tire as the Goodyears, but they are still good tires. Using the aforementioned pressures my tire contact patches front and rear appeared fine with absolutely no tire rollover issues.

From reviewing aspects of cornering behavior via photos it appears that there is quite a bit of positive camber on the outside front tire, and the inside front *always* stays planted. So this tells us that adjusting in some front negative camber and adding some more front sway bar should help front grip. Not to mention using the wider LSS size front wheels and more rubber. The wider front tires would also help a bit with the enter-a-turn-hot = wash-out-the-front-end-big-time characteristic. The rear tires seemed to be cambered much better by comparison to the front and there were no real wheel spin issues as far as I could tell. Adding more front bar would tend to help the outside front tire achieve a better contact patch on the pavement, and discourage corner exit wheelspin.

BTW the stock front bar is about 3/4 inch. It's mounted in softish rubber bushings. The bar ends have space for another endlink hole or two. So you can stiffen up the stock bar with those two areas being addressed - add poly bushes and drill another hole which will still be serviceable by the stock link. Of course a stiffer, lighter (hollow) front bar with slider adjustments might be even nicer...
 

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Aren't those Vettes freaking *H U G E*. One of the Vette guys said my front tire looked like a mini-spare for a Vette. Then I beat him.



 

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Jer, Stan,

Did you guys hit the cams during the autocross? If so were you able to stay on them? or did you drive the car mostly below 6000 RPM? From the experience I've had so for by just by driving the car on the street it seems to me that the cams are going to really be more usefull on real tracks rather than for autox because once you hit the cams the revs climb so quickly that it might be hard to drive it all the way around the course on the cams.
 

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It will very much depend on the course.

I have done two autocrosses in the Elise.

The first one, I was only in the cams twice for a short period. Maybe 10% of the run. On the second autcross, it was easily over 50% of the run since most of the course was done around 50-70mph, which is the cam on 2nd gear.
 

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Actually, Stan and I experimented with the cams through gearing. I stayed in 1st 90% one time, but the power coming out of turns caused me to lift a lot to avoid a spin. We also both hit the cams in 2nd, on a relatively straight stretch (one slalom cone) and that was easy to control. As with Stan, I pushed very hard on the last run, and was probably in 1st gear (and therefore in cams) about 40%, and in cams in 2nd gear 10%. That was easily my best run, except I overcooked it coming out out of one turn. Even though I lost it, and spun, I still came in at 45 seconds, 4 seconds off my best.

Stan and I re-affirmed that heavy accel is great because the brakes are so phenominal. I don't know about him, but I did not push it hard enough most of the time. I will learn.

ANd I LOVE my matching helmet. Pretty, huh?

:D

Jer
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
By the way-that's my wife strapping on the pink loaner helmet in Stan's last pic. She kept her hands in the car and on her side, and was quiet as I asked----except for the constant giggling. Pretty cool that she rode, huh? To top that, my 13 YO daughter rode with me on the last run.

They will both do it again, but neither wants to drive...
 

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I wil say this, too, at risk of pissing off the Vette guys. The red one in front of me was pushing so hard to pass us, he never did have a decent run. He was not a happy camper (a little play - I was wearing my happy camper t shirt). And the yellow Vette was totally outclassed. Before it started, he was glaring at me and I said "Gonna teach me a lesson?" His reply was "No, I expect that will come from you." Very gracious, even in defeat afterwards...

The missing Vette's owner, another red one, was fiddling pretty furiously with his pressures after we had both passed him. To his credit, he kept getting better, too, and did a nice job on his last too runs trying to herd that big car around.

IMHO, there is no such thing as a course where the Vette has an advantage- at least in autoX, where the longest straights still aren't that long. Have no fear, Elise owners.
 

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>>>Did you guys hit the cams during the autocross? If so were you able to stay on them? or did you drive the car mostly below 6000 RPM?<<<

I hit the cams *once* in 2nd gear. Maybe a couple seconds duration. In first gear it appeared that a short shift into 2nd made sense since the course began with a slalom whose spacing opened up as you proceeded. In first gear you couldn't floor it in that area anyway. In second gear in many of the corners it felt like the car could handle more power. But in autocross it is not always a good idea to downshift as you are already pretty busy and sometimes a downshift can add time as well as take away time for no real gains. In my case I am accustomed to BMWs with pretty ample midrange torque. My E30 M3 has a torque curve that is like a large, flattened out haystack centered at about 5000 Rs. I need to get used to a car with a step in the torque curve at just past 6000, as well as the best stuff being past that point. This particular group ran 5 runs per car and no fun runs. I would rather have done four runs and then a series of fun runs so that I could mess around with more stuff and wind up with maybe 8-10 total runs. One of the local groups I run with typically provide about 12-14 runs per event so this will provide an avenue for some experimentation.

BTW in some past discussions with Celica GT / GT-S drivers, some interesting comments about torque came out. The 2ZZ has peak torque of about 133 lb-ft at 6800 Rs (just into the cams a bit) whereas the 1ZZ puts out about 125 lb-ft but at 4200 RPM. That's 2600 RPMs sooner. The 1ZZ is stronger than the 2ZZ everywhere below 6000 more or less - if you were to overlay the torque curves the 2ZZ is much stronger past 6000 and revs much higher. But some of the deficit below 6000 first has to be made up for past 6000 in order for the car to be faster. So on some courses a 1ZZ torque curve might be faster and on others the 2ZZ. In general, the 2ZZ would tend to be a bit more difficult to drive on certain types of autocross courses. Going straight the 2ZZ is way faster than a 1ZZ since you can stay on the high cam (Lift) all the time. I'll have to look into what the S2000 guys do with their cars since that car turns into a Miata below 6000 Rs, and a giant killer past that point.
 

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BTW, I finally posted my Dyno charts from last week....note how much the curves back off with some heat soaking. The second curve is from a dyno done about 7 minutes after a dyno run performed with the engine lid closed, and plenty of time to heat stuff up.

My Elise Dyno
 

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Discussion Starter #15
atyclb-where did you get that picture of me, anyway? John must have taken it, but I don't know where he put them...
 

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>>>atyclb-where did you get that picture of me, anyway? John must have taken it, but I don't know where he put them...<<<

You can do a click right-click to view the properties and if you chop the URL you can get back to the directory of pics and find the Aberdeen batch. Here's one of me and Kelly. These don't seem to be John's snaps...

 

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I was working (cone chasing) at the third station of five during the event. I was in the middle of the course and got to watch the cars come out of a tight turn go though a short right hand sweeper, that changed to a left sweeper a long wide streight, with a pare of tighter lefts taking the dirver to the short one slalom cone that Stan (Surferjer) mentioned. The course was very fast. I am a rookie at this sport so please take what I say with a grain of salt and feel free to correct me if I mis state anything.

Both cars looked in their element from where is sat and it appeared the drivers did not have to work the car as hard to get speed. I agree that the BRP and Yellow Loti have more in them. Once there is time to tune the car to these events as Stan said the times should fall some more for each driver. The Vetts already have that body of knowledge avail. The drivers looked very comfortable in the turns and did not have to work as hard as others running the same event.

It was a bunch of fun watching the cars run. I was upset that I worked that set of runs (not upset that I work mind you). I took my camera with the idea of taking pictures of the two cars out on the ckt. Perhaps some other event.

My thanks to Jer and Stan for taking time to answer my questions. Stan thanks for the ride.
John
 
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