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Car Magazine doing a track day shootout using our Fiat 124 and our ND Miata!

Both are prepared to essentially SCCA STR specs. Original plan was autocross day, which we have done a few times between our own team of drivers here (picture below from recent Autocross event). Now the plan is a track day, dedicated sessions with just these two great toys on track, drivers taking turns in each seeking fastest lap time, etc. Setting the cars up as equal as we can. That means same Ohlins Coilovers, same roll bar upgrade, same spring rates, same sway bars, same wheels, same tires, both cars with full exhaust systems, both cars with ECU reflash, etc. Excited, details when we get closer to event.

 

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Back from another day at Willow Springs Raceway....Fiat 124 new top top time of 1.25 at Willow Springs Streets. Credit EC Intercooler Upgrade...and our OFT Tablet Reflash for more consistent power.

During the 'Family Feud' shootout with Grassroots MotorSports Magazine the Fiat was fast yet frustrating, because first lap was needed to warm the tires...and then you had laps 2 and 3 to hit your marks or the power fell off so seriously with heat soak that the opportunity was gone. Yesterday our best was only 1 second faster...yet that doesn't tell the whole story, the car was MUCH more consistent. Last session of my day the ambient was 80F and best lap...was lap 7 because, though there was still some drop off in power, the car was consistent enough to allow the driver to get back to working with lines and throttle tip in points.

At this point, our Fiat needs two things: BIGGER TURBO....and AERO. Too much time lost to corner speeds without aero to help stick the car, and too much time lost on the straights with the little turbo not able to really deliver the torque the rest of the car is ready to handle. Need real aero like shown on our ND in lower pic. My guess is big turbo would drop our lap time another one second, aero would get us another second, be looking at 1.23 range and then serious weight reduction would be needed to get us to 1:21 range. I have gone that fast in a built Miata, but was stripped out flat bottom stitch welded trailer queen, I don't want to get that extreme with the Fiat project. Likely do the upgraded turbo next...which turbo does everyone want to see us try?


 

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Nice! Thanks for keeping us posted. It’s been fun following Eddie’s build with the GT1752, but I think there is going to be a lot of interest here in the upgraded OEM unit EC has been teasing us with. I’m not sure what other options exist, but that’s my vote! What is your target? I suppose that will be the deciding factor.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Nice! Thanks for keeping us posted. It’s been fun following Eddie’s build with the GT1752, but I think there is going to be a lot of interest here in the upgraded OEM unit EC has been teasing us with. I’m not sure what other options exist, but that’s my vote! What is your target? I suppose that will be the deciding factor.
Know it when we get there. In other words, no point for us in adding more power when power reaches the point we cannot make positive use of more in the tight environments in which we race the car. Without flares my experience with autocross is about 250hp for these little cars is about the limit of what we want in the car, about 300 hp if we add flares to fit more tire so we can use more power. Beyond that, need a lot of aero to stick the car to actually go faster with the great power instead of just spinning tires and upsetting the balance. I don't currently plan a full out track build, enjoying the Fiat for street duty and that means no flares and that means about 250 is all we can really use in tight autocross events with the amount of tire we can fit.

Example of the 'right' amount of power: our track record smashing...flat bottomed "NC LIGHT" below....'only 270 hp' but when you weigh only 2000 pounds that is the right amount to crush entire fields of Vipers. We custom flat bottomed the car so it sucked to the ground at speed...horrendously difficult to get right, then hard for the brain to drive, go slow and fall off the track, go faster and it sticks....as long as the power doesn't overwhelm the stick and upset the car.





My record at Chuckwalla for a Miata stood for many years but finally got crushed recently by one of our younger drivers here....Ryan's Beast below. Crushed all takers end of season GTA Superlap...more power....WITH MORE AERO to make it work. And yet he is already at the limit of the massive aero he has, he worked all last weekend on bigger and more effective aero so he can crush all the west coast records. I cannot give away the details but front end is going to soon look more like a Formula 1 car. Videos in build log on our site at THIS LINK might help understand how more power won't help now, he is already at the limit of grip/aero. Which all circles back to the point that in the track and autocross we do we can only use 'X' amount of power before upgrading everything else so you can actually use the power...and in my experience that 'X' is about 250 hp on tires that fit without flares, about 300 on tires that fit with flares, and more power needs massive aero or we might actually go slower.


 
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