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Discussion Starter #1
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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This should prove to be interesting. Standing by...

Steve.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Out of curiosity, what track are they going to use?
'Streets' of Willow Springs Raceway

Since original plan was head to head in autocross, 'Streets' is our next best choice....it's a track that is a bit like an oversized autocross, lots of tight turns, two straights that are not super fast (just about 100mph top end on each straight at our current power levels)

For those not familiar with 'Streets', one of my Miata toys doing a lap there in video below.

 

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Judging by the looks of that track, I am putting my money on a Fiat win. :)
 

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Great track choice for these! Last time I was there was '05, I think. I really need to get back there. I keep saying I'll go back with SpeedVentures, Extreme Speed, or another group like that, but every time I just don't get the time to go down there.

Looking forward to the results!
 

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Very cool. If it is who I think might be driving, they have a lot of timed laps on that track to compare, including a stock Miata. Will be interesting to see the how big a difference the setup makes.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Great weekend of Fiata vs Miata Battle at Willow Springs Raceway!

It is shaping up to be an epic battle between these cars, they share the strength of a great chassis and yet each flavor has strengths and weaknesses. Ryan Passey and I took turns with each car and matched times in the Fiat which was just a tick ahead of the Miata on this day, but the tires on the Fiat were more fresh...the one flaw in our testing on this day which was more about making sure the cars are each well balanced and ready for Grassroots MotorSports Magazine to do a shootout on fresh Rival 1.5 tires in two weeks!

Cars were otherwise as identical as we could make them. Our Ohlins coilovers with springs rates 9kg front, 5kg rear on both, our Progress Sway bars on both, our 17x9 6UL wheels on both, Rival S 245/40 tires on both. Each car sporting our full exhaust systems. Fiat has our highflow 2.5 inch Crosspipe and Midpipe, muffler delete....plus prototype highflow converter. Miata has our longtube race header and one of our 2.5 inch highflow mufflers. Heights are the same, alignments are the same, etc. Miata has a tuned ECU, Fiat has Madness piggyback. Same Blackbird upgraded roll protection in each, same Good-Win decals (good for 5hp. :wink: )

Despite the extraordinary efforts to match the setups.... the feel is still very different, and not talking about just the motors. The extra half a foot of length beyond the wheelbase front and rear of the Fiat and the extra weight of the fiat in the nose means the polar moment is not as low...and you feel the difference when you jump from seat of one to the other. Two weeks to wait for the shootout on equal tires!




On Track Pics Courtesy CaliPhotography. Skidpad pic by Brian Goodwin
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Great weekend of Fiata vs Miata Battle at Willow Springs Raceway!

It is shaping up to be an epic battle between these cars, they share the strength of a great chassis and yet each flavor has strengths and weaknesses. Ryan Passey and I took turns with each car and matched times in the Fiat which was just a tick ahead of the Miata on this day, but the tires on the Fiat were more fresh...the one flaw in our testing on this day which was more about making sure the cars are each well balanced and ready for Grassroots MotorSports Magazine to do a shootout on fresh Rival 1.5 tires in two weeks!

Cars were otherwise as identical as we could make them. Our Ohlins coilovers with springs rates 9kg front, 5kg rear on both, our Progress Sway bars on both, our 17x9 6UL wheels on both, Rival S 245/40 tires on both. Each car sporting our full exhaust systems. Fiat has our highflow 2.5 inch Crosspipe and Midpipe, muffler delete....plus prototype highflow converter. Miata has our longtube race header and one of our 2.5 inch highflow mufflers. Heights are the same, alignments are the same, etc. Miata has a tuned ECU, Fiat has Madness piggyback. Same Blackbird upgraded roll protection in each, same Good-Win decals (good for 5hp.
)

Despite the extraordinary efforts to match the setups.... the feel is still very different, and not talking about just the motors. The extra half a foot of length beyond the wheelbase front and rear of the Fiat and the extra weight of the fiat in the nose means the polar moment is not as low...and you feel the difference when you jump from seat of one to the other. The Miata's lower polar moment helps it feel sharper and more precise, more compact, smaller, and more nimble. By comparison the Fiat feels much bigger and a little ponderous. But the corner exit torque of the Fiat's turbo motor was also obvious and very helpful for getting extra rotation on demand. Two weeks to wait for the shootout on equal tires!
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Fiat in the lead appropriately...
Fiat was cheating....newer tires. :eek:

Got eight matched date code Rival 1.5 Tires to make it a fair fight at the Magazine Shootout.....tires made in April....SO FRESH AND FAST!

The Fiat did 1.26 with both drivers last weekend on pretty torn up Rivals that had a plenty of heat cycles, the Miata was on even worse original gen Rivals with a few too many cycles.

IF we get cool weather I think we could see the Fiat do 1.25, perhaps even 1.24 on "Streets" of Willow Springs Raceway with the fresh shoes, which is seriously getting on with the program for less than a year of development.

I mentioned our AEM Failsafe mounting somewhere, picture of the bracket we made that uses the cup holder setup.

 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
The one thing in our notes after first track weekend with our Fiat vs Miata test was both drivers found the Fiat was at a disadvantage to the Miata on brakes. The Fiat had our four piston upgrade on stock size two-piece rotors and our Miata was on our Premium Good-Win Racing 12.88 inch Big Brakes. The 'Streets' of Willow Springs Raceway is not a seriously big or fast track, only hitting a bit over 100 on the two straights, but the downhill braking zone put enough heat stress on the brakes that it was enough to separate the performance of our Fiat with four piston upgrade on stock size two-piece rotors from our Miata using our 12.88 big brakes and SIX piston caliper. The Miata braking was consistent and smooth and driver could be late on the brakes with confidence they were going to brake and make the turn-in. The Fiat several times faded enough to go deeper than planned into the brake zone and that meant the line into the next turn lacked consistency for both drivers.

So....on with our big 12.88 kit and our six piston setup!

 

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Discussion Starter #18
Back from the Battle...great day of fun and driving!

We ran our own transponders so we could keep the results under wraps until the Magazine hits newstands.

So, I cannot say which car won...but I can say both cars about a full second faster than prior event thanks to super fresh April date coded Rivals....and that was despite fact it was hotter day.

These are my quick pics on phone, they got some amazing pics that we will see when the magazine arrives. Thanks to all involved for the great day.



 

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Me think, on thight curves the Miata will have an edge on the Fiat(due to lag on turbo) but on the rest, throw your rear view mirror out.

Unless it was the driver lagging.:eek:>:)
 
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