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This car is an amazing track car

I had my first track day at VIR last weekend and the Boss did NOT disappoint. The only problems I had were brought on by my own aggressive downshifts which I think put a little too much heat in the transmission and clutch. Other than that, the engine temps stayed fine, the brakes didn't fade, and even though the tires got a little greasy towards the end of the 30 minute sessions, the car still felt great. I was able to put up a best time of 2:32. I have no idea how fast that is compared to other stock Bosses, but it felt good. My instructor made me cap top speeds at 120 after I told him we were doing 140 one time, heh heh. Anyway, here's my impressions of the individual aspects of the car:

Engine: The power is great. The usable low end and top end, combined with the instant throttle response was very refreshing coming from a background of turbo engines. I almost never had to give point by's on the straights except to a C6 Z06, or to other cars that were faster through the rest of the course (of which there weren't many. No ego here, the Boss gets the credit.) So I'm happy enough with that to consider it "done."

Brakes: Excellent for factory gear. Hauling down a 3,600lb car with 350lbs of man meat in it (instructor and myself) is a tall order. I thought for sure I was going to have some fade towards the end of the sessions, but they held up fine. I was braking hard enough to engage ABS bringing the car down from 120 so I know I got some heat in them. As I continue to go faster, we'll see if they still hold up.

Suspension: Even at it's firmest setting, it's still too soft. Having said that, I was able to keep up with some very nimble little cars through the corners, so it seems that it's a good compromise for a street/track car. Also, this car is INCREDIBLE at putting power down. The whole weekend I thought the traction control was subtly nannying me through rolling into the throttle exiting some of the longer turns. Once I turned off the traction control, I realized that there was no nannying, the rear end just plants and goes. I'm amazed at what Ford is able to do with a solid rear axle. When the rear finally does lose grip, it's very predictable and controllable.

Overall I LOVE this car. When I first got to the track, I was envious of the C6 Z06's. I passed on one of those to buy the Boss because I thought the Boss was a better street car. Towards the end of the session, I realized that yes the Z06's are still great, but so is the Boss. I have absolutely no regrets about my purchase.
 
Sounds like a good time, good break down also. Do you have the brake ducts yet, and have you switched to DOT 4? I am envious of anyone who has been able to it VIR in their Boss.
 
Yes, I do have the LS brake ducts and I feel pretty certain that they helped a good bit. VIR has long straights that end with tight corners, so the ducts help cool everything down before you have to brake very hard for those corners. I also have ATE super blue brake fluid in the car.

VIR is an incredible track, and I'm told it's very technical. Almost every single corner is a late apex. I spent the entire first day summoning the patience necessary to turn in late enough. The first few sessions were just; see an apex, shoot for it, end up in a terrible position for the next corner.
 
Nice write up and yea those C6 Z06's are fast. As cloud9 likes to say they have training wheels! We're you running the stock brake pads and tires?
 
Yes, I was still on stock pads and tires. The tires were definitely getting greasy by the end of my sessions, but it was still manageable. Just a different feeling. I ran my best times at the end of the day on Sunday when it was the hottest. I'll attribute that to learning and ditching traction control though.

I bought the car from someone who tracked it, so it came with an extra set of wheels with slicks and race pads/rotors as well. Once I feel like I've learned enough on the street tires, I'll switch everything over.
 
That is probably the best thing to do, leaving the race pads and tires off, I have to slow down on modding my car until I am consistent on my lap times then I can start modding again as I know the car is holding me back and not the other way around.
 
Glad to see you're all in now, with overflowing enthusiasm. It took me a couple of events to really get sucked in, having never done HPDE or AutoX. I'm still learning and am far from an experience driver.

It's not that hot, so the engine temps and brakes have not been fully tested yet. The August session with Trackdaze will be a different story. The stock tires are functional but do lose a bit of grip through the sessions. As you use gripper tires and get more aggressive, you will need a brake upgrade. I would suggest moving to the Hawk HP+ pads next, all around. Remove those shields from the back as well (behind the rotor and in the rear wheel well). Also, drive your car slowly to the other paddock after each session to help cool those brake rotors. Eventually, you'll need race pads and go through them every other event, which reminds me to grab another set.

The shifting will always be a problem unless you upgrade to something like an MGW shifter. No worries, though, because we're not drag racing (although you could make the argument that each trip through the back stretch of VIR is one). Just take your time on the shifts. You'll notice from various Boss vids that shifts tend to be deliberate and slow to remain smooth. Anyhow, there is so much torque, you could run that whole track in fourth gear without switching and still turn some decent times. I would recommend a transmission scoop which is a pretty easy install.

Too bad the instructor was holding you back a bit, but I'm sure there was an agenda. You do need to go slow to go fast, if you will.

Over 140 on the back straight (by GPS, not the speedo) and under 2:30 is pretty good for our car.

The C6 Z06 is a supercar no doubt. No point in trying to measure up. I will say that we're about even Steven with the C5 Z06 as long as I'm on slicks and it's on streets. It's more fun to pass those Porsches anyway. Also, even though we may be faster on the straights, you'll need to give those slower momentum cars the pass if they catch up in the twisties. That dude Colin was faster then me up the esses in a spec E30. Give credit where it's due. Excellent drivers like Skeen can break 2:20 in spec E30's!

The stock suspension really shines in its balance. There is plenty of body roll, and it's quite a bit softer than something like a 911, but the balance is unbelievable for a large pony. Plenty of us on here are still running a stock suspension and kicking a$$. I would do camber plates as soon as you can to prevent accelerated tire wear.

VIR full does have some technical sections but it is a very fast track featuring severe braking zones after at least two 140+ straights. Regarding the apex approach, you'll see that there are the so-called beginner lines and the race lines. The instructors teach you to brake in a straight line, then turn, then late apex. Once you learn the lines and the handle of the car, you can begin to trail brake, and eventually move to rotation and using the slip angle. Your approach to turn-ins will change as well.

Ultimately, being smooth will lead to better track times, and proving track awareness (of flag stations and other drivers) will lead to moving into the intermediate and advanced driving groups. Great to see you out there.
 
I don't have experience with those but some swear by those over Hawks, etc. I've only tried PFC, which were ok, and Hawk. Currently, I'm using a DTC 70/60 setup, for track use only, and am satisfied.
 
1,022
97
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
10-20 Years
Texas
I've got the Pagid pads as per Pete's recommendation. I'll have it on the track this weekend but first impressions were really good. Felt like completely different brakes vs stock pads. They bite hard and you only have to touch the pedal.
 
Haha, I certainly do love getting point by's from Porsches. The Corvettes feel more like "same team." My instructor's C5 with slicks felt superfast, but he still had that spec e30 right on his bumper climbing the esses and through southbend. I have a ton of respect for those cars and the drivers that can wring some of the crazy times out of them. If I ever do decide to get into spec racing, it will probably be with a Miata though. Long Road Racing is 15 minutes from me, and they build Miatas that win Grand-Am races.

I have the transmission scoop. I blame myself for the clutch issues. We'll see if it's still a problem at the next session. As far as engine heat goes, I'm a fan of the 302S grille anyway, so I've got no problem moving up to that.

I am going to pick up some whiteline sway bars and camber plates before next track day. The outside edges of my front tires are pretty chewed up, way worse than the inside edges.

I have the DTC 70/60 combo for pads as well, and I'm soooo tempted to put them and the BFG R1's on the car to run with the big boys, but I know I still have a lot of learning to do. Gotta walk before you run. As long as guys like Skeen are running faster times than me in a bone stock BRZ, I've still got a lot of improving left to do.
 
bobby.is.rad said:
Haha, I certainly do love getting point by's from Porsches. The Corvettes feel more like "same team." My instructor's C5 with slicks felt superfast, but he still had that spec e30 right on his bumper climbing the esses and through southbend. I have a ton of respect for those cars and the drivers that can wring some of the crazy times out of them. If I ever do decide to get into spec racing, it will probably be with a Miata though. Long Road Racing is 15 minutes from me, and they build Miatas that win Grand-Am races.

I have the transmission scoop. I blame myself for the clutch issues. We'll see if it's still a problem at the next session. As far as engine heat goes, I'm a fan of the 302S grille anyway, so I've got no problem moving up to that.

I am going to pick up some whiteline sway bars and camber plates before next track day. The outside edges of my front tires are pretty chewed up, way worse than the inside edges.

I have the DTC 70/60 combo for pads as well, and I'm soooo tempted to put them and the BFG R1's on the car to run with the big boys, but I know I still have a lot of learning to do. Gotta walk before you run. As long as guys like Skeen are running faster times than me in a bone stock BRZ, I've still got a lot of improving left to do.

That all sounds good, Bobby. I'm going with a slew of Whiteline stuff too, except the rear sway. You won't be able to put jack stands under the rear axel anymore because of the design. Also Tom Long with Long Road Racing is awesome to deal with.
 
I wanted to post an update to this after my second weekend at VIR with the Boss. I was able to shave 5 seconds off my lap time. (And got moved up to the blue group and cleared for solo, woohoo!)

The stock brakes faded this time (with ATE super blue brake fluid.) There were still there at the later part of the 30 minute track sessions, but they were definitely not at 100%. I had to press the pedal harder, and this kind of screwed up my heel-toeing because the brake pedal was now much lower than the gas pedal. I also had to extend my braking zones. It wasn't scary, but it definitely lowered my confidence in the brakes when they were this hot.

Setting the tire pressure to 41psi while hot got rid of the greasy feeling that I was getting before. The car felt a little bit looser at first, but altogether more predictable. The back half of the 30 minute sessions were much more enjoyable with 41 psi.

Btw, I wasn't at the track this weekend, this is a recap of the PCA event a few weeks ago.
 

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