The Mustang Forum for Track & Racing Enthusiasts

Taking your Mustang to an open track/HPDE event for the first time? Do you race competitively? This forum is for you! Log in to remove most ads.

  • Welcome to the Ford Mustang forum built for owners of the Mustang GT350, BOSS 302, GT500, and all other S550, S197, SN95, Fox Body and older Mustangs set up for open track days, road racing, and/or autocross. Join our forum, interact with others, share your build, and help us strengthen this community!

boss 302 as a track racing car vs others

235
2
Hey guys,

I would like to get your opinion on how the 2012-13 boss 302s perform at a track in comparison to others in general.

I have a 2013 boss 302 and I am trying to weigh the options wether to keep it or go for a 370z, corvette c7 or a camaro 1LE ...

kindly share your opinions on wether the boss can compete with camaros ss 1LEs, corvette c7s and 370z ... in terms of handling, braking, acceleration just everything to basically get a better idea overall.

Thanks,
 
257
137
I race a 2012 Boss 302 S clone that is very competitive. That being said, a C7 corvette is on another level. One would have to spend a lot of $ on a solid axle mustang to get it close to the handling and braking of the Corvette.
 

Mad Hatter

Gotta go Faster
3,859
2,354
Santiago, Chile
I would leave the 350Z of the list, too hard to work on and will not be competitive without a turbo or blower. Corvettes are always a good choice but they seem a little but more delicate. None has lasted very long down here though.

Camaro 1LE is a great, but a 6th gen.

My Boss has always been punching above its $$ range. Was succesful against BMW M3's and M5's when it was near stock, and now thats its far form stock, it does battle with Cayman GT4's.

This best part of the Mustang is its a sound chassi with a huge selection of cheap aftermarket parts.... AND this website!! You can get a S197 or S550, follow the guides in TMO and end up with a competitive car without having a long expensive learning curve... (for the car, the driver is another matter).

You can have a forged Steel crank for less money then ring set for a BMW.
 

JDee

Ancient Racer
1,262
1,124
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
halfway between Mosport and Shannonville
I would say the Boss is outgunned by the 1LE and the vette, not so sure about the 370 I know little about them.

There's another consideration, and that's cost of operation. In that respect the 1LE is likely going to be less expensive to run long term since it has a full suite of driveline coolers. That's huge when you're going to eat a gearbox every 2 years minimum when tracking a Mustang MT82. 1LE also has a Tremec, should be much better.
 
I would say the Boss is outgunned by the 1LE and the vette, not so sure about the 370 I know little about them.

There's another consideration, and that's cost of operation. In that respect the 1LE is likely going to be less expensive to run long term since it has a full suite of driveline coolers. That's huge when you're going to eat a gearbox every 2 years minimum when tracking a Mustang MT82. 1LE also has a Tremec, should be much better.
As to a stock Boss 302. 1LE is fast and capable. C6 same. Boss can hang with a capable driver. C7 a step up.

I run with a lot of track modded 1LEs and C6s that are running R7s and C7s and I’m driving the below. Its got a worked 4.6 puts out 420 hp at the crank, Koni yellows and H&R race springs. One day maybe my mom will let me upgrade to JRZs.

The Boss is capable but like any track car it’s 80% driver.

I’ve had Miatas pass me.

Your driving skill comes first then the car.

BD107625-75BE-4D57-AA0D-D0EB63E0CE7A.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
5,549
4,081
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Blair, Nebraska
I normally run against C5s in ST 2 and have not been beaten by one so far , yet a C7 is another story. The 370Z is a solid car, but you should be able to outrun one easy enough -- the other plus is the ton of parts available for the Boss at a somewhat reasonable cost. Overall you will have fun with any of them, but this is a pretty biased page , so most will suggest the Galloping Live Axle Stallion , haha.
 

Mad Hatter

Gotta go Faster
3,859
2,354
Santiago, Chile
Was just thinking.... We started a American V8 racing club here in Chile in 2014. We had three ZL1's, a camaro SS and three S197 Mustangs.. With the help of this website, soon the mustangs were on par with the ZL1's.

Because of that success, we have a crop of new mustangs entering racing now and so far no Camaros though I do hope that changes soon. The LS3 is a really great engine with easy bolton upgrades for 500 rwhp in a light affordable package. But your suspension goodies area considerably more limited compared to the Mustang and then gen5 cars are heavy. That, and I have not seen a TrackCamaroOnline website anywhere... :cool:

My good track buddy has a 350Z with a twin turbo setup. the car has 480rwhp buts its been a nightmare for him... the space is so tight on the car, that for almost any engine work, he has to pull the engine. the motor spends more time out of the car then in. Then again another 370Z has a procharger and that car is one of the fastest in our league.
 

Dave_W

Cones - not just for ice cream
357
345
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Connecticut
Are there any rules, how reliable do you want it to be, and how much money do you have?

The 2020 Ultimate Track Car Challenge at VIR was won by a Mustang from (site sponsor) Paul's Automotive Engineering. Can't remember if they started with an S197 or S550, but they beat several full-on Prototype racers (Ligier, Radical), a custom-built car from NASCAR team Hendrick Motorsports, a few Porsches, Ferrari 458, Viper, Audi TCR LMS race cars, etc.
 
235
2
I dont have something specific on my mind. I just feel like im used to the boss and try to experience and enjoy another car for change.

Basically my main problem with the boss 302 is the rear live axle, i feel like for daily normal driving especially with our sketchy and bumps roads in where I live it feels like driving a boat on wavy water lol .. if you got what I mean. The other concern is that i dont think that live axles perform good at the track and they may have limitations and i just feel like when the rear slips or is disturbed in live axle cars it gets out of control and no matter how much mods you make to it i think it will remain un predictable once the rear slips or when it is disturbed.

That's my opinion and what I feel ... If I am wrong please share your knowledge and convince me as I don't want to sell the car later and then regret doing so.
 

Mad Hatter

Gotta go Faster
3,859
2,354
Santiago, Chile
My first car was a 1980 euro spec GTI which my brother and I left with 140hp in a 800kg car. Then it was BMW's and Alfa's for the next 30 years. Always liked mustangs but regarded them as " vintage" After seeing the Randy Pobst video on the Boss, thought I would break with the past and try something new. The Boss was a huge change for me and a far more capable machine then the manual E39 540 that was a modified daily driver. Never really had much drama with the live axle and with a few minor mods and fat tires, I could hang with 911 Porsche s and embarrass e90 M3's at the track.

Yes the S550 is a more modern machine and has more potential, but its even heavier.. But I like the Rip snorting beast that the Boss is. It really makes you feel your driving it.

As far as the rear being uncontrollable... that's just the cars & coffee crash crowd. With the right TMO style modes the rear end is very controllable. In fact the one place I can reliably beat a Cayman GT4, is in corner exit.

The Phoenix S197 does not seem to have a rear traction problem! Might be something to do with the driver though!

1628276893742.png
 
Last edited:

Dave_W

Cones - not just for ice cream
357
345
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Connecticut
Regarding the live axle vs. IRS, you're right that potholes, one-wheel bumps, etc., will affect both tires on a live axle. Tracks are relatively smooth compared to city streets, though, and the advantage of a live axle is that there's no camber change when the car body rolls. The tires are pretty much always square to the ground.
 

ArizonaBOSS

Because racecar.
Moderator
8,540
2,370
Arizona, USA
Forget the Nissans.
With equal drivers, the Corvette is the superior platform. You would be able to find race-ready C5s easily, C6s just as good but a bit more expensive.
C7s as a race car seem like a good idea, but the cooler locations etc. if you are using the stock stuff will get expensive quickly if you have wall or car-to-car contact. Probably smarter to stick to the C5/6 at this point.

Mustang can still be quite competitive (ask me how I know), but it's an uphill battle and ultimately you will be plateau'ed with how far you can take an N/A Coyote without spending a bazillion dollars on a custom build.
 
3,611
3,436
Corvettes are sports cars, mustangs are sedans, 2 different styles of cars. The vette is a good deal, but I'll always be a mustang fan. The Boss 302 was designed to target the BMW ( whatever number it is) and it accomplished that, the live axle is really not an issue as the car is still competitive in the SCCA even today running against Porsches and BMWs in T1 class. The S197 platform is well sorted and definitely punches above its weight, in the pic of the Phoenix car above, it was handling the Camaro GT4 spec car until the Boss was legislated out of existence, at the time, it was a 7 year old car.
 
Is this a dedicated track car? I mean if it's just a HPDE toy I wouldn't beat yourself up over this.

If you plan to one day make it a full on W2W car, sell the Boss and buy a cheap 2015+ S550 performance package 1 and build it up.

Corvette would be the only other platform I would consider from what you listed.
 
I dont have something specific on my mind. I just feel like im used to the boss and try to experience and enjoy another car for change.

Basically my main problem with the boss 302 is the rear live axle, i feel like for daily normal driving especially with our sketchy and bumps roads in where I live it feels like driving a boat on wavy water lol .. if you got what I mean. The other concern is that i dont think that live axles perform good at the track and they may have limitations and i just feel like when the rear slips or is disturbed in live axle cars it gets out of control and no matter how much mods you make to it i think it will remain un predictable once the rear slips or when it is disturbed.

That's my opinion and what I feel ... If I am wrong please share your knowledge and convince me as I don't want to sell the car later and then regret doing so.
There are “feelings” and then there are “facts”.

You are entitled to whatever feelings you have but not your own facts.

Very simply it seems that your experience is limited and you are being influenced by bench racers somewhere.

Fact. IRS is superior to stick axle. Especially on the street where as you noted irregularities appear and can affect ride and stability etc. However, at street speeds it’s not a major factor for many where other attributes of a car outweigh that minor drawback.

On the track it’s less of a factor as tracks don’t have real world irregularities and are for the most part smooth..as they need to be for race cars. The major bumps you will encounter on track are the gators which are not much of a factor especially with good suspension set up.

Here are some facts. Mustangs have been winning races and championships since 1965 with straight axles over IRS competitors including in IMSA in GT4 over IRS competition with the 2012/13 Boss. How did that happen if stick axles were such a disadvantage? Answer based on fact not feeling is it’s not a material disadvantage on track.

Go back to 2012. Look at track times for the Boss and Audi R8 and M3. The Boss was benchmarked against the M3. M3 is an IRS car as we all know. So is the R8. Boss was setting as good if not better times.

Take a C7 and run Leguna Seca. When you can break the Boss 302 time that Pobst set you are ready to move up to a faster platform.

See the Phoenix car above ^. I know Joe Acquilente and Andrew. They built our cars. They have won numerous SCCA championships and raced in IMSA successfully with Mustangs for years. They don’t run SLA front suspension or cambered rears. Take a C7 and see if you can run with Andrew in one one of their Boss 302s.

My son runs 1:58s at Watkins and 57s at Lime Rock in our Boss. Yes it has Penkes and FRP suspension bits. Those are IMSA times. However, my point is simply this..the Boss and Mustang platform is more than capable and can be made a track weapon with some suspension upgrades and a capable driver.

Don’t get sucked in by the Cars and Coffee blather.

Facts ^. Not feelings.
 
Last edited:

Mad Hatter

Gotta go Faster
3,859
2,354
Santiago, Chile
Pretty much bang on. Numbers don't lie. Andrew Aquilantes time at Laguna Seca is 1:30..... Thats pretty much the same time as Randy Pobst in a Mclaren P1 or Lamborghini huracan performante......

Amateur drivers like Sal Molinare have times of 1:36 at laguna seca (soon to be 1:35 I hope:cool:). The same lap times of Randy Pobst in a Ferrari 458 Italia or Mercedes amg gts. Before you can cry foul and say those are not race cars.. With modern rubber ( a Cup2R is a easily as good as a Hoosier for a fast lap) and way more HP, these super cars are still no faster then a modified S197.

If your car is not doing well, check the setup and get more seat time and instruction.

If you just don't like the feel. Get something that tickles your fancy!
 
Last edited:

TMO Supporting Vendors

Latest posts

Buy TMO Apparel

Buy TMO Apparel
Top