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Drove on track for the first time ever today!
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jacobroufa  



Joined: 18 Nov 2016
Posts: 275
Location: Rockford, IL

PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2020 1:32 pm    Post subject: Drove on track for the first time ever today! Reply with quote

Hope you don't mind a cross-post from my car's thread: Weissach it to me...

EDIT: decided to just fill in more here than I did in my thread... sorry my head is swimming from a long and tiring day.

----

I drove on track for my first time ever today at Blackhawk Farms Raceway in South Beloit, IL with my 1981 NA Weissach edition. Bone stock, with some timing advance (currently 13░). I've been working on the car improving it year over year and this was the first year I felt comfortable taking it out. I think the only thing I have not done in terms of maintenance of this old car is sway and A-arm bushings up front and torsion tube bushings in the rear.. everything else has been done really.

This was for a PCA Chicago Driver's Education event, and I had an instructor in the car with me for the first half of the day. I did five total runs, and only lost control one time, on the last run, three laps before the end of the day!! I set my brakes too hard in turn 4, trying to touch the inside of the apex there, and spun into the grass when my rear end swung out. No damage, nobody was too close behind me -- I was really doing quite well the last run keeping folks off my tail, really gathering more speed than I had the whole day. I got black-flagged and went down the pit lane.. the woman flagging at the starting line asked me what happened and I told her I was just being too aggressive with that corner, and she told me I had about five minutes left. Managed two laps after that.

No hyperbole -- this was THE MOST FUN I have ever had in a car. Other cars bring other feels, but the sheer excitement from driving on a track... whew. I cannot wait to do that again. Since I live so close to Blackhawk I think I am going to figure out when I can just drive there again.. I know there'll be another PCA Chicago day out in late September, early October.. but having an idea about the track now I feel like I should just get as much time behind the wheel as I possibly can.

One of the things that was really cool about the day is how well the old NA 924 held its own against cars with 3x the power (or more). I was able to consistently hold more speed through the corners than a lot of them were. In the straights there is just no way I could keep up with any of them, but in the corners I watched more than a few drop behind me.. It'll really be great with more seat time, becoming smoother and learning the approach better.

So excited and so exhausted... What an absolute riot of a time!

----

Post-script:

I have no recording of the thing... I wanted to pick up either a GoPro or a nice secure phone mount and use Harry's LapTimer, but I just couldn't manage it before the day came. Will have to do that next time, so I have an idea of my lap timing, and can analyze my driving a bit.

I really want to get better at the thing. It was very rewarding to improve lap over lap, and totally exhilarating.
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1980 Porsche 931
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KDJones2000  



Joined: 14 Sep 2010
Posts: 321
Location: Phoenix, AZ

PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like another one is hooked

Glad you had fun...
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1987 924S SPEC car
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924RACR  



Joined: 29 Jul 2001
Posts: 8321
Location: Royal Oak, MI, USA

PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2020 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done! Welcome to the party...

Now, for the suspension upgrades...
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Vaughan Scott
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'79 924 #77 ITB racecar
'82 931 Plat. Silver
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MikeJinCO  



Joined: 08 Jun 2010
Posts: 913
Location: Maysville, Colorado

PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now you're in trouble. It is addicting. Look at the Blackhawk Farms schedule for lapping days as the another method of getting on the track. I was at Pueblo about two weeks ago and there were about a half dozen 911's and Boxters,+ a group of BMW's dart fast in a straight line, but some of the strangest lines thru the corners.
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Mike
Poco a Poco, #033 '78 Vintage racer, SCCA Dp-81
'77 924
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MikeJinCO  



Joined: 08 Jun 2010
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Location: Maysville, Colorado

PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now you're in trouble. It is addicting. Look at the Blackhawk Farms schedule for lapping days as the another method of getting on the track. I was at Pueblo about two weeks ago and there were about a half dozen 911's and Boxters,+ a group of BMW's dart fast in a straight line, but some of the strangest lines thru the corners.
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jacobroufa  



Joined: 18 Nov 2016
Posts: 275
Location: Rockford, IL

PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Thanks all!

Good call on looking for a Blackhawk schedule. I think the next event I can drive there is an SCCA track day August 6.. We will see.. That's my wedding anniversary and so I probably shouldn't even ask. Definitely will get in there again before too long.

So you say suspension upgrades eh?

Forgot to mention, I'm on stock 4-lug suspension and brakes, which held up very well with the recently flushed hydraulic system. I got new tires for the event too -- Nitto NT05. They were sufficiently sticky... I should have run lower pressure though maybe? I was at 35psi hot, and the wear triangles on my driver's side are gone. I was told that was one of the things to look for.

Again. Suspension upgrades. So, I'm at a crossroads.

I like the Weissach as a weekend (and summer daily) driver, and I don't know that I want to do any sort of modification, or put it through the abuse at the track. I've got my 1980 931, which on the street is noticeably more planted -- has the 5 lug suspension, and I've upgraded the rear sway to a Lindsey 5-way adjustable 19mm which made a huge difference from stock.

But I have some thoughts about power too. I definitely didn't have enough. The thing was downright lethargic on the straights.. 931 would be a different story, but being a more rare car I dunno.. I worry. One thought is to find a cheap 924S and take advantage of some newer suspension and all the gamut of 944 modifications available. There's one about an hour from me for $2,300...

Basically, I am at the point where after yesterday I think I want a dedicated track car.

I feel like if I asked for the grace and leeway to get that 924S something else would have to leave in its place.. so I'm leaning 931 for now.

As a dedicated track car, do any of you have thoughts about viability of either platform over another? Or encouragement to stick with the 924 NA?

Regardless one thing I have not done with either car is level the height in the rear (sill to ground before the rear tire to match height behind the front tire), and I understand that changes the behavior of the car in a good way.. So that might be a thing I could do for my next track day with the Weissach. I feel like I probably will be using this car the rest of the year as I just haven't had the time to dump into the 931 since earlier in the year and the Weissach is well sorted.. Are there other simple mods you might suggest for it this year which can be returned to stock?

I have the rear sway from the turbo -- maybe I could get the proper eccentric bolts for the rear trailing arms and do the large clamp mounting style I have seen in the forums.. that's an option too, and something I might like to do anyway..

I know that's a lot, but dang I have this and so many more questions. Thanks for hanging with me and the encouragement.
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MikeJinCO  



Joined: 08 Jun 2010
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Location: Maysville, Colorado

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Nitto 05's have a reputation for heating up quickly and loosing grip, more of an autocross tire. I use the Nitto 01's several of the small bore vintage racers around here use them as much less expensive and longer lasting than Hoosier race tires at the cost of maybe 2 seconds a lap. The ride height leveling supposedly helps reduce the weight transfer during braking.

I intentionally did not keep track of all my expenses on my race car and the one thing I have learned is that where you cheap out it probably will cost you more in the long run. The original purchase cost $350(really poor condition) estimated total of about $10k which includes roll cage, fuel cell, fire system and completely rebuilt motor. The only work I didn't do on it is motor machine work and some assembly, roll cage welding and building an exhaust. Porsche parts are expensive and aftermarket stuff more so. A front strut brace for a 924/44 is anywhere from $150 to $450, I built mine for about $35.

Probably the best deals out there are probably older spec Miata's and Spec944's. The Miata's are faster and parts much more available and cheaper. They only problem is that in specMiata races there is the belief that they tend to play bumper cars, in our vintage racing it is really not only no touch, don't even come close. Both of them could also be kept street legal except for the seat belts, as most places only DOT approved belts are legal. It also allows for real tesingt without going to a track day. For real race cars, pretty good Formula Vee's can also be found can be found quite reasonably and are easy to work on and parts available, they are also faster than most small bore(2l) cars, Formula Fords do get very expensive, a new motor is about $7K for the parts with a 40 hour life (maybe 4 years) but are as fast as the big bore Mustangs and Corvettes out here.

Vaughn and Fifty plus and your self are in much more competitive areas than us isolated out in the rocky mountains, our drivers love the idea of getting to Elkhart or Sonoma for races. Here the SCCA racesdraw a total of 60-70 entries, out next vintage race we have over 130 signed up so far, there are over 40 in out small bore group. Few folks from other areas commute 800 miles out here for a weekend. Next year we have a street race scheduled for Estes Park in July, the middle of tourist season that could get interesting.
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Mike
Poco a Poco, #033 '78 Vintage racer, SCCA Dp-81
'77 924
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Fifty50Plus  



Joined: 28 Feb 2008
Posts: 1096
Location: Washington DC area

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The key thing with what we do is to have fun. Jacob just got into it and sounds like he is having a ball. Some folks on this board are more into the building and power mods of the car while others are enjoying driving them in various forms (race, rally, autocross, hillclimbs, scenic drives, etc.). Whatever we are all doing, we are lucky that the 924 is a relatively inexpensive but enjoyable performance platform. Vaughan and I have found that the 924 is a very competitive car in SCCA while others have found that it is a very fun and exciting car for drivers ed events. Further, this board shares a wealth of knowledge, experience, guidance, parts, help and praise among its members.
Enjoy!
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1979 924 NA race car
1982 924 NA race car - Sold
1982 924 Turbo almost a PoS
1981 924 Turbo a real PoS, new engine
1982 924 Turbo nice body, blown engine
1972 911 E race car - going to Vintage
Various 944s to become IT-S race car
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924RACR  



Joined: 29 Jul 2001
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Comparative points: the FVs and SMs are only just barely faster than our ITB car in full prep with me driving. All of 1-2s per lap depending on track, no more.

And they drive rather like a 924 too - but tend to be cheaper to track. Not a lot faster though.
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Vaughan Scott
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Fifty50Plus  



Joined: 28 Feb 2008
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Location: Washington DC area

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Me-otter crowd has been lobbying to move their cars into more and more classes in SCCA over the past 10 years. They destroyed a diverse and competitive IT-A class here, are ruining the IT-S group and have been trying to get their 1600 engined car into IT-B. We still have a strong IT-B group here in the DC Region; 8-15 cars per race. Includes, VW, Honda, BMW, Volvo, Porsche, Toyota. If the older Miatas moved in that would be the end of the group for several reasons....they are a tad faster at Summit Point and they exercise their 5MPH bumpers religiously.
Not a fan of the group taking over the SCCA. Porsche folks have a big club and their own races, as does the BMW, Mercedes and Ferrari drivers. Mazda wants SCCA to do all their heavy lifting at events. Why can't Mazda rent their own tracks like the other groups do?
UGH.
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1979 924 NA race car
1982 924 NA race car - Sold
1982 924 Turbo almost a PoS
1981 924 Turbo a real PoS, new engine
1982 924 Turbo nice body, blown engine
1972 911 E race car - going to Vintage
Various 944s to become IT-S race car
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CÚdric  



Joined: 27 Aug 2004
Posts: 1985
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great fun isn't it i would advise you to drive more with the car you have to fine hone your skills before any car swap. The n/a is dead reliable on track and perfect for learning how to get max speed out of a car. I drove my n/a for 3 years on track many years ago, passing expensive porsches in the club, which was fun. Only mods i did were R comp sticky tyres, hawk HP plus brake pads and rbf600 fluid (brakes rebuilt of course). It was the same springs and sway bars as the 931 (23/14mm if i remember correctly), it was very soft but with-2.9 degrees of camber up front it was very grippy and balanced. A set of adjustable sport shocks made a big difference in feel, but still rolled of course. It was a euro 125hp car and our tracks are pretty small so it worked quite well. Making it too grippy makes it faster but not nessecarily more fun!
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924RACR  



Joined: 29 Jul 2001
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Location: Royal Oak, MI, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fifty50Plus wrote:
The Me-otter crowd has been lobbying to move their cars into more and more classes in SCCA over the past 10 years... and have been trying to get their 1600 engined car into IT-B.


Oh FFS... if we need to write some letters, keep us posted.
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Vaughan Scott
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'79 924 #77 ITB racecar
'82 931 Plat. Silver
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MikeJinCO  



Joined: 08 Jun 2010
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Location: Maysville, Colorado

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The idea at this point for you is too have a great experience, the costs can add up quickly. My first HPDE school was in my totally clapped out '77 that I had ressurected from a locked up piston when no bearings for a rebuild were available. My only mods at the time were adapting in some 24/18 sway bars from a 944 turbo and some cheap 55 series tires. I had a ball, my instructor, a Formula Ford driver after driving my under 95hp car said "that car has some potential" it was the slowest car on the track, but in the right hands could get around the corners quite well. Motor got retired after that weekend, smoking badly and low oil pressure.

I got into the racing side as I had helped out on some race cars many years ago and always enjoyed liked the idea and wanted to build one. Now I'm probably better at building than driving-though neither very well at this point My original goal (1970)was to build a D sports racer(850cc) back when people were still running Saab and Crosley motors, I came up with a Rotax snowmobile motor that had as much power and weighed about 60 lb, got married instead.

For upgrades, Cedric is about right, I would suggest Porterfield for brakes as they have a RS4 including pads for the drum brakes on the rear also, I have the Hawk HP+ and they are working fine for me so far, but dust a lot, the wheels turn black in a day(I have to learn to brake less and better). Run those Nitto's until they are gone, My 01's get quite gummy on a hot track and would be miserable on the street. The 944 folks seem to want the Nitto's at about 34 psi hot. To get serious your talking over $1k in personal safety gear alone. That can be quite a bit of seat time on track days.
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Mike
Poco a Poco, #033 '78 Vintage racer, SCCA Dp-81
'77 924
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924RACR  



Joined: 29 Jul 2001
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
My original goal (1970)was to build a D sports racer(850cc) back when people were still running Saab and Crosley motors, I came up with a Rotax snowmobile motor that had as much power and weighed about 60 lb


Ah, but bike motors are so much more fun than two-strokes! F600s are actually a really good balance between simple, inexpensive and yet fast, without the two-stroke and CVT of the F500s...
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Vaughan Scott
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MikeJinCO  



Joined: 08 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I won't disagree with the bike motors, the Saab's were 2 stroke and larger bike motors still not the norm, tho I believe there were a few with the BMW 750's, This was back in the day when some folks from Ohio even tried to stick Mercury outboard motors in cars, plenty of power and light weight, but the cooling passages weren't large enough for 180 degree water.
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