In our twice-weekly online racing events, we’ve been testing out different scenarios in an attempt to level the playing field. I guess this is a plain old pissing contest to see who is fastest, no more than that. It presents an interesting dilemma, though. Virtually every car/truck/tank/POS can be tuned in many different ways.
On Saturday, we decided to use the Scion as a test platform and it worked fairly well. We used Deep Forest (I think) for the track and managed times around 1:27 to 1:30. All in all there were no major discrepancies in the times and we were all adjusting the final drive/top speed ratios as the only tune. This is, of course, based on trust but if you ever race with us, I think you’ll see that this isn’t a problem.
We’ve used NASCAR rides for pure fun with lots of crashing and smashing on Daytona but we take our cars to a road track now and then. I have to say that Nurburgring is a favourite for most of us. There is a fair bit of tuning available on these beasts but, again, we try to stick of un-modified cars for the most part. NASCAR is a lot of fun, believe me. Don’t ignore these vehicles or races because they’re American or because the cars looks pretty ugly.
They’re tough to drive well and, if you know the technology behind them, they’re pretty much on the cutting edge of racing technology. Sure, they’re all pushrod engines but everything else is as modern as you can get. The drivers themselves are top athletes, too. Some of these drivers race a few hundred miles on a Saturday then turn around and do the same thing on Sunday. Conditions in the cars during the summer are oppressive, to say the least. Don’t assume that they ‘just turn left’ all the time.
Somehow we always move to some go-kart racing. In GT5, go-karts are the ultimate ‘no tune’ test subject. Adjust the top speed and you’re off! We usually end up on the Eiger tracks, regular or reverse, and you’d think it was the Indy 500 from the sounds of the drivers hooting and hollering as they vie for first. The races are short, extremely intense and always a laugh.
Finally, and this is the main point of this post, we have used the Cotterham Fireblade every now and then. If you don’t have a Fireblade, pick one up and see what you think. Read the description and tune it however you want. I’ve taken one of mine up to around 250 hp, added everything that can be added and, guess what, it is a real terror to drive. Next to the karts, the Fireblade is the lightest drive in your garage. Adding a ton of power to that chassis is just asking for trouble.
The reason I tricked out one of my Fireblades was simply to see how I could tune it to get it to handle better. Top speed is around 150 or so but getting there on Sarthe was a trial until I did one simple thing. Every corner, every step on the gas made the car feel like it was on glare ice.
What did I do to make it handle better? If you’re online for the Wednesday or Saturday session, I’ll let you know what adjustment I made. Pump up the HP and fiddle with a few things, one in particular. (Clue: it had nothing to do with camber, caster, suspension or LSD). See you Wednesday! (Times and room numbers are posted in the forum and on the Facebook page.)