The format is similar to the track days outlined here: My Sirion M101
3 groups, grouped by relative track times, though not a competition they’re timed via external GPS units and Race Chrono. I was in the slow group
I had no major issues with the car all day - ran up to the 7.5K redline all day, despite a plume of oil smoke following me about. Just needed a 200mL top up between each session!
First session out was learning a bit more about the car and not stressing it too much - came out of it with a 1:42 best time. Also not being on the track for a couple of years, re-familiarising myself and not wanting to go out too hard (a Skyline had already tipped it into a wall in the first session).
The next session was about leaning on the engine and taking it up to redline / understanding where to shift. The long gearing of the Sirion meant only needing gears 2 and 3. The back straight or ‘kink’ at Mallala is the highest speed section and I entered the braking zone around 145km/h in the very top of 3rd.
These changes brought about a drop in time to 1:40
During the lunch break the interior was stripped track side to reduce the weight as much as possible, confidence in the car was growing and had the chance to follow some other people through the different corner complexes (low power FWD reacting different to a powerful 4WD). The real challenge is keeping that momentum up. So pushing deeper into the braking zones, trying to keep the momentum up, and not over braking I dropped a lot of time through to a 1:36.9
Race Chrono also outputs a ‘theoretical’ best from 3 sectors - which in my case was a 1:36.5 - so not far off where i was. Despite this, there is more in the car/driver.
Regarding the dynamics - I felt the car was pretty neutral. I didn’t feel a lot of understeer as is discusses when harder spring rates on the front are used. Despite not picking up a rear wheel, I could rotate the car and get the nose pointed in with a sharper steering input. But never to the point of feeling like loosing the rear.
Putting power to the ground was difficult in the couple of slow-mid corners where the inside wheel just wanted to skip and spin. So no doubt an LSD would be an ideal upgrade; any thoughts on 1 way vs 1.5way? Although another technique a guy in a civic was using was left foot braking, so perhaps I should work on myself first and car second.
Hard to tell on the braking situation - i couldn’t brake as late as some (mates Proton). Not sure if it is the stock rotors, limitations of the brakes due to their size, or if I needed to do bleed them more and there was still some air in system. The brake pedal did have a large dead zone at the start - but the feel towards the end was good.
All in all, the car survived, put a respectable laptime down for what was the lowest engine capacity out there. And i had a huge grin throughout the whole day!
Pictures to follow: