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Sort of picking up where this thread left off:
https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f99/most-competitive-street-class-lotus-scca-2017-a-401434/

I autocrossed an Elise with sport pack for ~5 years locally. I sold it in 2017, missed it immediately, and ended up buying a 2007 Exige S last fall, which I've also been autocrossing. I didn't specifically buy the Exige for autocrossing, but once I saw that the S and S240 were SS legal, I did take my time to find a stock car with the options I wanted: track pack and LSD.

I thought I would post a bit on my experience and see if any others want to join in and offer their experiences.

First of all, the supercharger is a great fit with this engine/car...the throttle response is still very rapid, the power still builds with RPMs like a sportbike engine, but there is more mid-range. The crazy sounds from the engine bay are fun as well.

As far as the suspension setup, I've been trying a lot of different things. I started with an alignment similar to what I had on the Elise...small amount of toe out in the front, small toe in in the rear, max camber in the front (worked out to ~0.7 deg on my car).

For sway bar, I've tried the OEM track pack bar and the BWR street/track bar (worked great on the Elise), full range on both. Most recently I did an event with the front bar disconnected. With the BWR bar, there is much less roll and the car transitions quickly, but there is a lot of understeer (especially under power - see LSD comments below) in longer corners. With the sway bar disconnected, turn-in is awesome, but the car is loose, as you'd expect.

Overall, the LSD does not seem to be a good choice for autocross. With my Elise, as I would feed in a little power, initially the car would turn a bit better and tighten its line as the front was unloaded, then if you went to far, it would start to push (or occasionally oversteer if you were high enough in rpms)...it was pretty magical...really able to steer the car with the throttle. With the LSD, I've gotten stubborn understeer and occasional surprise oversteer when the rears seems to "lock" together and the rear suddenly twitches. The only solution I've found is feeding in the throttle painfully slowly...it's appropriate for a road course, but way too slow (or at least much slower than I was used to) for autocross.

The track pack dampers are the first time I've had a car with adjustable dampers, and it's been fun learning how they change the behavior of the car during turn-in, under braking, and on initial throttle application. Overall, though, I don't think the OEM dampers can be turned up stiff enough on either end. They work well with the springs to create a ride that is WAY better than the sport suspension on the low damper settings, but the spring rates and damping rates are just not enough for autocross duty with all the very quick direction changes.

Finally, I added a GRP plastic splitter to the front of the car since the fiberglas OEM splitter is very fragile (and I also would like to avoid damaging the clam). I trimmed it so it sits about 1/2" proud of the OEM splitter and it's attached to the aluminum panel on the front that covers up the sway bar access area. It has worked great for preventing cone damage. Not strictly SS legal, but my local competitors don't mind, and ultimately I've just added a few pounds to the front and disrupted the totally smooth underbelly of the car, so probably hurt the aero in some negligible way.

I have not been as competitive in the Exige as I was in the Elise...there are several good benchmarks in my local club (Danny Popp, Tom O'Gorman, Jack Burns, and a few others) to try to gauge my year-over-year performance. We're at a different lot now, which is maybe a factor, but I don't think the car is setup as well as my Elise and it's more difficult to drive.

Other than purchasing an NSX, which is way out of my price range...if I were going to get another Exige optimized for competition in SS, I think I would go with a non-LSD car with the standard suspension (same as the sport pack on the Elise) and replace the OEM dampers with adjustable dampers matched to the sport springs. I went with the 07 for the wider front wheels...not sure if an 08 S240 with the extra power would be more of an advantage...I think front end grip is key on these cars, so the wider front wheels must be worth something.

Anyhow, if anyone else out there is trying to make a go of it in SS using an Exige S or S240 - let us know how it's going!
 

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Read this with interest as I bought an 05 Elise to run in AStreet and will run first practice this Saturday! (A "before changes" type thing). I have managed a 2nd and 3rd over years at SCCA Nats in the past, so hopefully will do ok. (Plus have Jeff Kiesel as a local benchmark PAX wise)

Sadly, nothing I can offer other than encouragement.. and curiosity as to why no Elises were in Astreet at Nationals this year...
 

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From my SS-spec Elise development in 2014 (4th in SS at nats) & 2015 (2nd in SS at nats), here were my findings:

Dampers: all stock and almost all aftermarket damper options are not optimal. I worked with BWR to create a valving that really brought the car to life, i.e., corner exit rotation. Before this, the car was terrible and I was likely to sell it. BWR can recreate this valving. Night and day difference, seriously. As I started tuning the dampers into the new force ranges, there was a "wow" moment.

Diff: LSD was worth a ~.75 sec improvement, if the course features digs. I imagine the improvement would be even greater with a supercharger.

Front bar: some bar is needed to reduce roll. I've driven a well prepped Elise on the BWR hardcore bar and I used the BWR S/T bar on 3/5 (5 being stiffest). I have a BWR hardcore bar and tried it a couple of times on my build, as well. Ultimately, I was more consistent and had more confidence in the car with the S/T bar installed.

Alignment: max negative front camber (I also got -0.7deg). Front toe to your liking... something between zero total and some total toe out. Rear camber around ~1.7-1.9. Use rear toe to tune "excitement" factor. I liked zero toe rear. Others that drove my car found it difficult to keep the rear at the rear.
 

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From my SS-spec Elise development in 2014 (4th in SS at nats) & 2015 (2nd in SS at nats), here were my findings:

Dampers: all stock and almost all aftermarket damper options are not optimal. I worked with BWR to create a valving that really brought the car to life, i.e., corner exit rotation. Before this, the car was terrible and I was likely to sell it. BWR can recreate this valving. Night and day difference, seriously. As I started tuning the dampers into the new force ranges, there was a "wow" moment.
Which dampers where these? Penskes? Is perch in the right place to remain "street legal". I have 3 events on Elise and so far have just changed front bar to BWR harcore and pretty happy with it. Dampers where next on list this offseason.
 

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From my SS-spec Elise development in 2014 (4th in SS at nats) & 2015 (2nd in SS at nats), here were my findings:

Dampers: all stock and almost all aftermarket damper options are not optimal. I worked with BWR to create a valving that really brought the car to life, i.e., corner exit rotation. Before this, the car was terrible and I was likely to sell it. BWR can recreate this valving. Night and day difference, seriously. As I started tuning the dampers into the new force ranges, there was a "wow" moment.

Diff: LSD was worth a ~.75 sec improvement, if the course features digs. I imagine the improvement would be even greater with a supercharger.

Front bar: some bar is needed to reduce roll. I've driven a well prepped Elise on the BWR hardcore bar and I used the BWR S/T bar on 3/5 (5 being stiffest). I have a BWR hardcore bar and tried it a couple of times on my build, as well. Ultimately, I was more consistent and had more confidence in the car with the S/T bar installed.
JD... reason why you have not run at Nationals since? Do you think the car is not competitive in AS?
 

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JD... reason why you have not run at Nationals since? Do you think the car is not competitive in AS?
I moved states, changed jobs and gained access to awesome tracks in CA. I’ve done some auto-xing since then and worked with Donour to develop dampers and a front bar for his BS Evora.

With the Elise, once you add front camber, add wheel width, lower & stiffen the suspension the car goes through a transformation. The car now has incredible mechanical grip and is more predictable than it ever was in street class form.

An Elise could be competitive in AS, if in the right hands and if developed properly. Just my opinion.
 

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I started with an 07 Exige that is not SS legal due to having quite a few track desirable mods. I run it in a local Street Tire Other class (if it street legal, 200 tw tires, and smog equipment). It had Nitons that I replaced with the BWR Penske double adjustables. I put slightly wider wheels and tires (RE71Rs). I replaced the adjustable Lotus front bar with the heavy BWR bar. The previous owner added baffled oil pan, surge tank, better fuel pump, various aero bits. I added the BOE bolt on recommendations (3 inch supercharger pulley, bigger injectors, different intake and tune). I don't have an LSD.

After spending months steadily adding suspension bits and adjusting everything, I have the car handling very well. I changed alignment again last week so I have not finished sorting everything out. Despite not having a LSD I have not been able to detect a need for it. Another driver thinks it could benefit from a good LSD. In my STR S2000 I did add an LSD and we did notice an improvement. I autocross with 3 different clubs so it gets heavy use. I rarely notice understeer but I have 1.8 degree camber in the front.

I wrote SCCA a letter trying to find an ST type class for the Exige but I was turned down.

Now that I have the suspension worked out I have started doing some track days. The extra power is very helpful in keeping up with the high end Porsches.
 

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An Elise could be competitive in AS, if in the right hands and if developed properly. Just my opinion.
I was 2nd in CStock Nationals in 1998 in my 1979 TVR 3000S so a challenge is not something I'm afraid of...lol

Thanks for your insight and may be yabbering with you as I get more seat time.
 

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With the Elise, once you add front camber, add wheel width, lower & stiffen the suspension the car goes through a transformation. The car now has incredible mechanical grip and is more predictable than it ever was in street class form.
This statement is golden!! Absolutely true :grin2:
 

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From my SS-spec Elise development in 2014 (4th in SS at nats) & 2015 (2nd in SS at nats), here were my findings:

Dampers: all stock and almost all aftermarket damper options are not optimal. I worked with BWR to create a valving that really brought the car to life, i.e., corner exit rotation. Before this, the car was terrible and I was likely to sell it. BWR can recreate this valving. Night and day difference, seriously. As I started tuning the dampers into the new force ranges, there was a "wow" moment.

Diff: LSD was worth a ~.75 sec improvement, if the course features digs. I imagine the improvement would be even greater with a supercharger.
Hello JD!

Well, I enjoyed my first event/practice on a course I designed...lol. Bounced around quite a bit and spun only 3, maybe 4 laps..hahah I was running consistent mid 56 lap times, rode a bit in the Orange Exige mentioned and was asked to instruct another Elise with a new Autocross driver (He had done several track events in an M4 I believe) He was spinning, etc. I rode, drove one lap and I got sideways with a mini off course and did a 60.0 At the end of the day he got down to a 63.0, dropping at least 4 seconds. I know he was on stickyish tires, and some other mini mods, but can't remember all.

I was on 2 year old R888r Toyos and pretty much stock LSS set up. Exige seats and Larini Euro style exhaust.

I was 3.5 secs off the NA Exige pictured with brand new Yoko A052s, lowered, and heavy suspension mods and LSD. I am happy I was that close in my car, and I was running on a damp and drying course first group versus his dry warm group 3. Andreas was hustling his car very well!

I have the BWR hardcore bar in route and talked a little to Fred regarding the Nitrons. Are those the single ajustables you used I assume? I may go PM for details.

PS- I'm in San Diego area, are you So Cal too or where?
 

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