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Another noob thread

6
5
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
NC
Hey everyone, picked up my 2019 PP1 a few months ago. I don’t drive it on the street much except to and from the track and mountain roads occasionally. I’m a firm believer that seat time is more valuable than most mods and the way I see it, why spend $1500 on a “handling kit” when you could do a handful of track nights for the same money and you’ll never know what the most beneficial parts were with the generic “handling kit”

My question is, as I get more into the sport and find I need more out of the car, where do you start? I am starting with a square tire setup and MPS4S tires. My thing is, if I bought (for example) Koni Yellows, Steeda Dual Rate Springs, Steeda Sway bars, and installed that all at the same time, how would I actually know what helped or didn’t? I want to experiment and learn but without an open track for testing/tuning after a mod, how do you get the best data? I’m just not into the idea of throwing tons of parts on something without seeing/knowing how each one reacts/helps.

So this I guess is kind of a /rant for me but also just want to open a discussion about getting into the sport the best way without just dumping money on parts that may or may not help or may help if you’re Ben Collins but the average Joe isn’t gonna need/notice.

As far as my experience, I owned a C5 Corvette that I did a bunch of OEM+ mods (C5 and C6 Z06 upgrades) but never tracked it. Now with the Mustang I have completed a track day at Carolina Motorsports Park, and an Autocross event. Running Charlotte Motor Speedway next week and VIR in August and September. Super excited to dive deeper!

463FD42C-04F3-4875-8480-84F2AF781B3D.jpeg

049B61A4-DB1C-4D63-8C23-14B2739AB721.jpeg
 

TMSBOSS

Spending my pension on car parts and track fees.
6,777
3,996
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Illinois
Welcome to the site
You are spot on with track time being mean most important. A close second would be tires. Sticky and wide
Stick with a suspension package when ever possible. Ford, Cortex and Vorshlag are great places to source a package
Also get good instruction. SCCA track nights seldom have instruction. Find a track where organizations like NASA and others have solid instruction programs.
Get on Track and have some fun before swapping a bunch of parts.
 
6
5
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
NC
Welcome to the site
You are spot on with track time being mean most important. A close second would be tires. Sticky and wide
Stick with a suspension package when ever possible. Ford, Cortex and Vorshlag are great places to source a package
Also get good instruction. SCCA track nights seldom have instruction. Find a track where organizations like NASA and others have solid instruction programs.
Get on Track and have some fun before swapping a bunch of parts.
Interesting that you say stick to a package. I guess due to the lack of ability to tune individual parts at a moments notice, it would be best to stick to something that is already put together for a reason.

Yeah I plan to do the Ford school soon, and a few instructor led HPDE events. Just dipping the toes in with the track night events.

Definitely not swapping a ton of parts. I think I’m one of the few who can admit they’re not a pro driver and those parts don’t do a whole lot for me at my skill level. I know the car is way more advanced than I am at this moment lol
 
167
184
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
Raleigh, NC
Hey everyone, picked up my 2019 PP1 a few months ago. I don’t drive it on the street much except to and from the track and mountain roads occasionally. I’m a firm believer that seat time is more valuable than most mods and the way I see it, why spend $1500 on a “handling kit” when you could do a handful of track nights for the same money and you’ll never know what the most beneficial parts were with the generic “handling kit”

My question is, as I get more into the sport and find I need more out of the car, where do you start? I am starting with a square tire setup and MPS4S tires. My thing is, if I bought (for example) Koni Yellows, Steeda Dual Rate Springs, Steeda Sway bars, and installed that all at the same time, how would I actually know what helped or didn’t? I want to experiment and learn but without an open track for testing/tuning after a mod, how do you get the best data? I’m just not into the idea of throwing tons of parts on something without seeing/knowing how each one reacts/helps.

So this I guess is kind of a /rant for me but also just want to open a discussion about getting into the sport the best way without just dumping money on parts that may or may not help or may help if you’re Ben Collins but the average Joe isn’t gonna need/notice.

As far as my experience, I owned a C5 Corvette that I did a bunch of OEM+ mods (C5 and C6 Z06 upgrades) but never tracked it. Now with the Mustang I have completed a track day at Carolina Motorsports Park, and an Autocross event. Running Charlotte Motor Speedway next week and VIR in August and September. Super excited to dive deeper!

View attachment 77893

View attachment 77894
I upgraded everything at once and found that, to your point, I learned very little at the time about what each component’s effect was. I wish I had slow-rolled it. In hindsight I think I would have done anti-roll bars first, then camber plates, then coil-overs with at least a couple track days in between each upgrade. I would have learned more about suspension.

I’ll be at VIR in October with Chin. A friend of mine is a very good instructor, I can connect you if you are there.
 
369
321
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Lenoir City TN
These cars are really capable stock. Seat time is more important than mods with the exception of brakes. Like was said in a previous post good brake fluid and pads are a must. Brake cooling can come later as you progress and need it. I would stop there and have fun. As you progress as a driver and get faster make changes to correct behaviors you don't like or to correct things that are holding you back.

Tires usually come after brakes, but you are starting with a decent set to begin with. The PS4s should work for awhile.

I think the reason that most use suspension kits is that the parts are proven to work together. Also, shocks/struts, springs, and camber plates are usually done together since the labor is the same if you replace them all or just one piece. Sway bars and trailing arms can be done later.
 
6
5
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
NC
I upgraded everything at once and found that, to your point, I learned very little at the time about what each component’s effect was. I wish I had slow-rolled it. In hindsight I think I would have done anti-roll bars first, then camber plates, then coil-overs with at least a couple track days in between each upgrade. I would have learned more about suspension.

I’ll be at VIR in October with Chin. A friend of mine is a very good instructor, I can connect you if you are there.
I’ll have to check my calendar to see if I can make it to that one. I’ve heard good things about the Chin program.

Thats what I’m trying to do though, is learn more. It’s a fun experiment in my mind and an enjoyable hobby. I guess technically I’m starting with tires/wheels but that will bring with it camber plates/adjustments at the minimum a more aggressive alignment.
 
6
5
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
NC
These cars are really capable stock. Seat time is more important than mods with the exception of brakes. Like was said in a previous post good brake fluid and pads are a must. Brake cooling can come later as you progress and need it. I would stop there and have fun. As you progress as a driver and get faster make changes to correct behaviors you don't like or to correct things that are holding you back.

Tires usually come after brakes, but you are starting with a decent set to begin with. The PS4s should work for awhile.

I think the reason that most use suspension kits is that the parts are proven to work together. Also, shocks/struts, springs, and camber plates are usually done together since the labor is the same if you replace them all or just one piece. Sway bars and trailing arms can be done
Yeah I guess the kit explanation makes sense. I just feel like I’d want to learn or understand how each piece effected the car differently. In due time. The car is very much above my current skill level so I’m not seeking mods right away just thinking towards the future. Especially with tires and wheels coming, that brings up the idea of suspension/alignment for dialing everything in. Im well past the days of senselessly throwing parts at a car.
 

Dave_W

Cones - not just for ice cream
568
660
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Connecticut
You can think about grouping modifications into 3 categories as you develop the car - increasing safety, reducing consumables, and increasing performance. For drivers starting out, I recommend concentrating on the first two, then as they start to feel the car is "holding them back" and have developed their driving skills to where they can identify where that's occuring (braking, grip, power, etc.), they can add performance while stepping up safety in proportion to increased track speed.

Many mods can help more than one category - camber plates can reduce tire wear and increase cornering grip, track-oriented brake pads can increase safety by being more resistant to fade, last longer than "street" pads, and let you brake harder/deeper to reduce lap time. However, think about why you're making the mod in terms of those 3 categories.

As others have said above, I'd recommend track-oriented brake pads (and possibly dedicated rotors) and camber plates as the first two mods you make. The pads are probably the biggest and easiest single track-oriented safety upgrade you can make to a stock car; the camber plates will help to reduce uneven outside edge wear on tires, which are typically the consumable you'll spend the most money on if you get hooked on track days.

I'm a bit in the minority here by recommending you don't go to a wide wheel and sticky tire package until you get more seat time. I think that the lower grip of a narrower tire lets you learn the feeling of traction loss at a lower/safer speed. Only once you develop a "feel" for tire grip and have practice in making driving corrections for understeer and oversteer should you think about increasing the grip threshold. Starting out with "too much" grip can mask bad driving style habits that then take longer to correct, have the car at a higher speed when you do lose grip, and give you less time for you to correct for understeer/oversteer before you go off the track. This may mean finding a cheap, used set of stock(ish) wheels in the classifieds here or on Craigslist, before you eventually go to wide wheels and "real" track rubber.

If there's one word that describes an ideal car for novices, it's "predictable." Which means that there's no change in the vehicle dynamics from the start of a session to the end of the session. So you want brakes that don't fade, tires that don't get greasy, an engine that doesn't overheat, etc. Given the same driver inputs in the same conditions, the car always responds the same way. Keep that in mind as you start making mods, and you'll do well.
 
Last edited:
1,224
1,007
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Philly Metro Area
I agree with all of the above recommendations. Just be cautious with respect to this:
I'm a bit in the minority here by recommending you don't go to a wide wheel and sticky tire package until you get more seat time. I think that the lower grip of a narrower tire lets you learn the feeling of traction loss at a lower/safer speed. Only once you develop a "feel" for tire grip and have practice in making driving corrections for understeer and oversteer should you think about increasing the grip threshold. Starting out with "too much" grip can mask bad driving style habits that then take longer to correct, have the car at a higher speed when you do lose grip, and give you less time for you to correct for understeer/oversteer before you go off the track
It's a great recommendation but be aware of the track. Especially a new one to you. Read reviews and watch YouTube videos of the track you'll be running. You want to be aware of tricky turns where a narrow, less sticky tire may break loose at a very bad spot in the track. Blind curves with reverse camber curves on the other side when your rear end is unloaded are particularly treacherous, (Like Turn 5 at NJMP Lightning). You want to be careful and less aggressive on those until you get familiar with them. Same thing with tracks with turns that offer limited runoff areas. They offer less margin for error..

Of course, when you're searching for videos, make sure it's with something in your class and not a Miata. A proven driver that's on this forum or a pro like AJ Aquilante of Phoenix Racing are good places to start.
 
4
2
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
South Carolina
I was told stock/factory cars are the most dependable. Too many mods could lead to failures at the track. I have a 2019 Bullitt and the only change I made was brake fluid. Pure joy for track day fun and no wrenching. Now I'm looking for tires and will probably stick with MPS 4s, just go at bit bigger and square. For me, this car's best feature on hot track days, the air cooled seats! Don't laugh, they are the bomb! It will be awhile before I can out drive the car. My first mod may be a computer/engine tune.
 
4
2
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
South Carolina
You can think about grouping modifications into 3 categories as you develop the car - increasing safety, reducing consumables, and increasing performance. For drivers starting out, I recommend concentrating on the first two, then as they start to feel the car is "holding them back" and have developed their driving skills to where they can identify where that's occuring (braking, grip, power, etc.), they can add performance while stepping up safety in proportion to increased track speed.

Many mods can help more than one category - camber plates can reduce tire wear and increase cornering grip, track-oriented brake pads can increase safety by being more resistant to fade, last longer than "street" pads, and let you brake harder/deeper to reduce lap time. However, think about why you're making the mod in terms of those 3 categories.

As others have said above, I'd recommend track-oriented brake pads (and possibly dedicated rotors) and camber plates as the first two mods you make. The pads are probably the biggest and easiest single track-oriented safety upgrade you can make to a stock car; the camber plates will help to reduce uneven outside edge wear on tires, which are typically the consumable you'll spend the most money on if you get hooked on track days.

I'm a bit in the minority here by recommending you don't go to a wide wheel and sticky tire package until you get more seat time. I think that the lower grip of a narrower tire lets you learn the feeling of traction loss at a lower/safer speed. Only once you develop a "feel" for tire grip and have practice in making driving corrections for understeer and oversteer should you think about increasing the grip threshold. Starting out with "too much" grip can mask bad driving style habits that then take longer to correct, have the car at a higher speed when you do lose grip, and give you less time for you to correct for understeer/oversteer before you go off the track. This may mean finding a cheap, used set of stock(ish) wheels in the classifieds here or on Craigslist, before you eventually go to wide wheels and "real" track rubber.

If there's one word that describes an ideal car for novices, it's "predictable." Which means that there's no change in the vehicle dynamics from the start of a session to the end of the session. So you want brakes that don't fade, tires that don't get greasy, an engine that doesn't overheat, etc. Given the same driver inputs in the same conditions, the car always responds the same way. Keep that in mind as you start making mods, and you'll do well.
Great post. Thank you.
 
6
5
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
NC
I was told stock/factory cars are the most dependable. Too many mods could lead to failures at the track. I have a 2019 Bullitt and the only change I made was brake fluid. Pure joy for track day fun and no wrenching. Now I'm looking for tires and will probably stick with MPS 4s, just go at bit bigger and square. For me, this car's best feature on hot track days, the air cooled seats! Don't laugh, they are the bomb! It will be awhile before I can out drive the car. My first mod may be a computer/engine tune.
I wouldn’t know about the cooled seats but I can imagine! You’re probably spot on with factory is more reliable and I’m not looking to go crazy with a “build” by any means, my GT PP1 is more than enough, and it proves it every time I hit the track.
 
6
5
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
NC
Ran Charlotte Motor Speedway yesterday w/ TNIA - SCCA. What a fun track and very challenging. The PS4S tires in the rear - perfect. The Pirelli P Zero Nero all season up front - greasy as can be. Long story short my car came with some cheap cheap front tires from Carvana, friend of mine had his Pirellis laying around so I got them for free. On a positive note: It’s all understeer right now and much easier to correct 😂
 

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