NJMP Lightning Track Report

Discussion in 'Fiesta ST Road Racing' started by was-an-M, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. was-an-M

    was-an-M Member

    I just spent (what was supposed to be) 2 days with BMW CCA at NJMP Lightning. The weather was great for humans and for turbocharged cars - no rain, mid 70's to low 80's. Some very cool cars; 430 Challenge, 458 Italia, 997 GT3RS, etc. And, of course, awesome time spent with awesome people.

    I spent the weekend running in Green Solo (advanced solo) and spent a lot of time giving point-by's but it was largely a function of well driven M3's and such that just out power the Fiesta and I am down on experience compared to a lot of guys since it's only my second season.

    All of my runs were done with traction control fully disabled. And driving on Nitto NT01 tires.

    But enough of that, after my last experience I wanted to report back after making some changes. After that last track event I posted about at Summit Point Main I:
    • Replaced both front calipers (I thought they were causing noise, turned out to be the bent pads, but oh well)
    • Put in Porterfield R4 pads on the front
    • SPC Camber bolts (maxed out to -2.5deg)
    • New alignment with 1/8" total toe out
    The car was 1000x better than it was at Summit. Turn-in was a lot crisper and no more squirm or wiggle under braking. It was like driving a totally different car!

    Saturday (day 1) was great. I was turning 1:23's by the end of the day and that is "only" 2 seconds off a pace set by my friend who's a pretty good racer driving my car. I was pretty satisfied with that. The car still understeers and I spent a lot of time sliding around the track, but it was controllable and fun to play with. I got a lot of comments from people about how much fun the car appeared to be sliding thru turns.

    Sunday (today) was cut pretty short. I early apex'd T10 and gave it too much throttle and ended up going off to the outside. No big deal...there's plenty of runoff, but after the session was over I brought the car in and was giving it a good going-over and noticed that the front right rotor had a lot of fairly sizable cracks, but nothing I'd consider unserviceable. Then I went over to check the driver's side and the rotor had at least 3 cracks that went to the edge and all the way thru the thickness of the rotor. So needless to say I shut it down. I should have picked up a spare set of rotors when I got the new calipers, but I didn't expect the rotors to go so bad so quickly.

    The Fiesta is good fun, but the stock components on the car (namely suspension and brakes) aren't meant, in my opinion, for serious track abuse. The brakes aren't sufficiently cooled and I think the suspension is a little soft for the sway bar, but that's just my read on it. It could also be a case of too much grip for the stock running gear.

    Not much else to report. The highlight is that the camber and alignment tweaks really fixed the instability. The lowlight is that I think stock brakes aren't really up to the challenge of track duty.
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  3. Golfguy11800

    Golfguy11800 Member

    Thanks for the post.

    I too am currently trying to find a good solution to cool the brakes down on my FiST and generally do a brake overhaul so they can last more than 3,000 street miles....

    Once the brakes are done I'm ready for some track.

    Did you have any issues with heat soak?

    I've found that running my car even with the defroster on full blast, the car tends to lose power after 35 min of hard driving.
  4. was-an-M

    was-an-M Member

    If you're only getting 3000 street miles then either something is very wrong with your car or you're driving in a way that's completly inappropriate on the street. I'd get the car checked out or stop driving like a hero on public roads.

    I never really had an issue with heat. I swapped the OEM coolant for distilled water and water wetter. And that seemed to do the trick.
  5. MLKN

    MLKN Active Member

    Were these stock rotors or aftermarket rotors? I've had no mechanical issues after three very aggressive track days and 7000 street miles on stock everything. The front pads do however need to be changed after this last event.
  6. was-an-M

    was-an-M Member

    Stock rotors, stock calipers, race pads.
  7. MLKN

    MLKN Active Member

    Interestingly, a couple of mustang guys mentioned that the calipers are similar in their cars and they have had trouble with cracking pistons.
  8. Golfguy11800

    Golfguy11800 Member

    I drive kinda slow on the street. Nothing too crazy.

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