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S550 Tommy's 2021 MACH 1 Build Build Thread Profile - S550 Mustangs

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209
178
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Colorado Springs
Hello everyone,

It's been a couple years since I've been on the forum, but I can't wait to read up on what everyone has been doing. Probably take me a little time to get use to this again. However, no more deployments for awhile. Anyways, I'm now stationed in Germany till 2025 now. Prior to leaving the states I've did some autocross, HPDE days and worked my way up to HPDE 2 with NASA Rocky Mountain Region. Set to go for HPDE 3, but time ran out and I had to move. In Germany, they don't recognize the training or HPDE's we do back home. So I've scheduled some classes for this year. 2 at Nurburgring, 1 Hockenheim and 1 at SPA Belgium. During the year, I've also reached out to instructors at Apex Nuerburg for consistent training.

As far as my goals, the main one is to keep this car and stop trading it in..lol. The season starts in March/April here, so while the car is hibernating, I'm learning to do as much maintenance for myself with it, reached out to Schropp to assist with a four point cage and safety equipment, complete racing seat set up, minor suspension tweaks, 19x11 wheel/tire setup and AIM data log equipment to get the baseline where the car is now. The end state is to have my skills on par as much as possible and the car ready for NASA ST2/TT2 when I return home. You would think three years is a long time, but it's really not.

I'm ready for some consistency as time permits it now, to progress as far as I can with skill and the car itself.

To the build we go!
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
8,496
8,494
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Blair, Nebraska
Appreciate your service and it sounds like you have plenty of time to modify. I would look into a few simple things to go fast and have ready when you return. Get some ARP studs, front 25 mm spacer, square set of wheels ( like Apex or Forgeline ) and closer to your return --- sticky tires. Add in a camber plate ( Vorshlag ), some competitive brake pads ( EBC, or pads from KNS Brakes, or OP Mustang ), and with a competitive alignment you are pretty much set. Who knows what the hot tire ticket will be by the time you get back. Sorry you did not have the Air Force ( assumed since in Co. Springs ) ship the car over since it would have been fun to see you ripping around the courses you listed with the Mach 1.

Curious, since you note you are going to do some HPDEs at some very fun tracks in Europe , what will you be driving at those events?

Went around Nurburgring at age 12 in a Mini Cooper and it was the true " Green Hell " back then ---- road with trees to slow you down ,ha. My Dad was stationed at Bitburg AFB ( closed ) though the car was owned by a wingman of his from an earlier posting. It was a riot and those 2 laps may have been what made me decide I needed to race in some form or fashion. Where are you going to be stationed ( if at Spangdahlem you are right in the same area I was for over 3 years ). You will have a great time in Germany, and do post here when you run at Nurburgring, Spa, and Hockenheim.
 
6,396
8,276
Why yes it! How's it going young man?! It's been quite sometime!!
Yes it has! Glad to see you are doing well. Working mostly for Kohr these days, we won an IMSA championship in 2020 with an Aston Martin.
I gave up on FB after being constantly censored and having my info mined, MeWe doesn't do that, but they are a much smaller community.
You should contact @ flyhalf for some good info on your car.
Very very glad to see you again.
 
209
178
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Colorado Springs
Appreciate your service and it sounds like you have plenty of time to modify. I would look into a few simple things to go fast and have ready when you return. Get some ARP studs, front 25 mm spacer, square set of wheels ( like Apex or Forgeline ) and closer to your return --- sticky tires. Add in a camber plate ( Vorshlag ), some competitive brake pads ( EBC, or pads from KNS Brakes, or OP Mustang ), and with a competitive alignment you are pretty much set. Who knows what the hot tire ticket will be by the time you get back. Sorry you did not have the Air Force ( assumed since in Co. Springs ) ship the car over since it would have been fun to see you ripping around the courses you listed with the Mach 1.

Curious, since you note you are going to do some HPDEs at some very fun tracks in Europe , what will you be driving at those events?

Went around Nurburgring at age 12 in a Mini Cooper and it was the true " Green Hell " back then ---- road with trees to slow you down ,ha. My Dad was stationed at Bitburg AFB ( closed ) though the car was owned by a wingman of his from an earlier posting. It was a riot and those 2 laps may have been what made me decide I needed to race in some form or fashion. Where are you going to be stationed ( if at Spangdahlem you are right in the same area I was for over 3 years ). You will have a great time in Germany, and do post here when you run at Nurburgring, Spa, and Hockenheim.

Bill,
Thank you for the support. Yep, I purchased those items from KNS and OP Mustang for the 2019 Mustang I had previously.INL Service for the Army ships our cars and I had it shipped with 1/4 tank weighing in at about 3780 pads. Currently have Girodisc rotors, Pagid racing brakes, stainless steel lines, Castrol SRF already in the car as well. Just hoping shipping prices will be somewhat kind to me as I start ordering parts.

Just want to research the Vorshlag and Cortex camber plates as there is quite a difference in price. Spoke to Rick from Cortex already and after Daytona he's going to help me put a small suspension package together.

I will be driving the MACH 1 on track, have a 2007 Audi A4 for the daily. Waiting on instructor to talk to me about their driving academies and the progression. German class A racing license is earned on the Formula 1 circuit on the The Ring, which there is no way I'm ready for that.

I'm in Wiesbaden area. Actually Brent Dalton is here too, will be doing track days with him.

This is my second time back here, so I'm taking advantage of it all before I get set to retire.

I was back in 2014-2017 with a 2015 GT. My first experience and that's when I got hooked.
 
209
178
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Colorado Springs
Yes it has! Glad to see you are doing well. Working mostly for Kohr these days, we won an IMSA championship in 2020 with an Aston Martin.
I gave up on FB after being constantly censored and having my info mined, MeWe doesn't do that, but they are a much smaller community.
You should contact @ flyhalf for some good info on your car.
Very very glad to see you again.
So happy to see you as well. Looking forward to ya'll season and I'm sure I'll be reaching out to you for guidance!
 

Ludachris

Chris
Staff member
Moderator
1,661
1,970
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Newcastle, CA
Tommy, I saw your email about starting a thread. Looks like you figured out what was going on. You were probably trying to start a build thread, but realized that creating a vehicle profile will create it for you.

Looks like you have two vehicle profiles - should I remove one of them or are they for two separate cars?
 
209
178
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Colorado Springs
Tommy, I saw your email about starting a thread. Looks like you figured out what was going on. You were probably trying to start a build thread, but realized that creating a vehicle profile will create it for you.

Looks like you have two vehicle profiles - should I remove one of them or are they for two separate cars?
Hello Luda,

If you could delete the Tommy's 2021 MACH 1 profile that would be awesome! I will be using this one.
 
209
178
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Colorado Springs
Hello everyone.

Tracks are getting ready to open up over here and I have my first event at Hockenheimring on 4/8/23. I'm just going to replace the OEM tires for now and get a track alignment to test the car in its stock configuration. However, since I've been out the game for a min I've been trying to research some transmission and diff fluid to swap out but coming up empty. Any help, guidance or articles that you can share is appreciated. I have to order bulk as some oils are hard to find here in Germany.
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
8,496
8,494
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Blair, Nebraska
There should be nothing tricky to use and I would just use Ford Factory fill. I have changed my tranny fluid twice as well as the rear end fluid with Ford fluids and I even went against my own rules and ran one extra weekend on the diff fluid since the Tech I use ( he was the Viper Tech for Woodhouse Motorsports ) is super talented and he said the fluid was quite clean the last time we changed it. I would imagine with the number of Mustangs getting sold in Europe , you should have no trouble finding what you need.

The Mach 1 has a Tremec T3160
 
209
178
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Colorado Springs
There should be nothing tricky to use and I would just use Ford Factory fill. I have changed my tranny fluid twice as well as the rear end fluid with Ford fluids and I even went against my own rules and ran one extra weekend on the diff fluid since the Tech I use ( he was the Viper Tech for Woodhouse Motorsports ) is super talented and he said the fluid was quite clean the last time we changed it. I would imagine with the number of Mustangs getting sold in Europe , you should have no trouble finding what you need.

The Mach 1 has a Tremec T3160
I appreciate the input. Going to order OEM transmission fluid in bulk so I’ll have some. Some things are a little limited over here😞
 
209
178
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Colorado Springs
2021 MACH1 Non-HP



April 29th was the first time I had the opportunity to get back on the track and with a new car since late 2021 I believe before I deployed.

The weather was 49 degrees, slick, rain was letting up and it was a tourist day (anybody and any vehicle could be on the track). With those four elements against me it was intimidating to say the least.



I hired an instructor to familiarize me with the track again, going section by section, reference points and braking zones. I was not worried about speed or lap times at all. I kept it humble for all six laps.



On the day I did not lower the tire PSI, no alignment changes and was all stock. We just went out there. First thing I notice was going through the gate in first gear (which you will see in a video) and getting the car going faster is going to take time. I say that per the traffic behind me was already on it and hauling ass. So needless to say that is one driver mod I need to work on. Torque was there and shifting into 4th was flawless. Compared to the GT’s I’ve had in the past; I did not miss one shift. The tremac is a very nice transmission. One thing I need to do next time I’m at the track is pay attention listening to the engine when I shift.The MACH1 has a feature that lights up when you’ve reached a shifting point. I had the shifting light set to 4k rpm, which I know I can move up.



Tires (Michelin 4s) had about 7k miles on them which were still in great condition.



In my opinion the MACH1 is an outstanding out the box 5.0. Yes, I know it has parts from the GT350 and GT500, but majority of novice/amateur drives would not need to do anything to this car for a very long time. Speaking for myself I don’t see myself out driving this car stock until end of next year. The MACH1 seems a little wider than the GTs to me and the weight is noticeable going up hills and coming into compressions. 3,868 pds is stated for it, but I haven’t weighed the car with a full tank of gas and myself in it. Suspension is great (for me) as I ran the car in sport mode. Higher the speed, the tighter the car got for me which I like. Any lower a person would have to be careful and be cautious of the springs they chose for this track.

I did not over/understeer the car, but I’m sure I’ll do that soon.



No server bouncing at all and the car remained flat. I’m sure other experienced drivers would beg to differ. I see no need for suspension modifications right now.



The Brembo brakes are more than enough for the average driver. Unless you’re under 9mins a lap, you don’t need to upgrade. Stock Brembo’s with Girodisc front rotors, Pagid RSTs up front and RSL29s in the back. This is the perfect combination that I’ve experienced and had me stopping hard. Trail braking was decent, but I know I can get better. Going in deeper then getting on the brakes (hard not gradually) is what I need to focus on. In some of the videos, you will see I didn’t trust myself or the car. I had no reason to be intimidated of the corners or apex, but its Nürburgring. Castrol SRF was the fluid of choice and used one bottle I believe. I’d like to find a solution of temp tape measurements or something to start measuring brake temps coming off the track.



As I’m a slender guy, the stock seats have to go. I did not feel planted enough in the seat. With 12.9 miles per lap, 150+ corners and compressions you really feel what the car is doing. Even as a novice such as I, in some parts of the track you do notice body roll. What I’d like to do is keeping writing in a journal what the instructor goes over with me. So, when it comes to the multiple tracks in Europe, once I get ready for modifications I know what to attack first.



I’m going to do one more track day as is with the car, before I make the recommended track alignment changes for the Non_HP MACH1. Hopefully I’ll be able to get 10 laps on the day, if I’m ready to go at open.



Overall I am excited about the MACH1 and it’s capabilities. It is a solid design in my eyes and a perfect track weapon that is a serious competitor in the right hands of a professional driver.





These are the words of a great friend David McMahon that I listened to before my first lap;



For those “new” the the Nürburgring, this is my standard “noob” brief. It isn’t perfect, but it’s enough to get you started. Safe laps!

First-your first 10 laps are a wash.

Second-no one cares how fast you are. If your timing yourself, you’re only hurting your progress. A good time is the result of a proper line and proper driving.

Now:

The track is just over 20 kilometers long with between 150-170 turns depending on what article you read. These turns are broken down into 73 distinct areas broken even further down to 39 “sections” (or slightly more sections depending on what article you read).

Memorizing those 39 sections is helpful but more importantly, recognizing where those sections are in relation to your position on the track. Talk to 10 different people and you will get 10 different answers. Easiest way to learn is to drive the track slowly and safely and gradually add speed as you become comfortable.

During your beginning laps you should never drive full gas. Minimum of 10 laps before you should even consider opening up any car. If you don’t understand how to recognize normal tire squeal versus tires being pushed past their limits, then drive slower and learn. If you can’t recognize when the car has lost grip (understeer and oversteer), then again, drive slowly and learn. And never drive on a wet track until you have at least 100 laps and never on tires that have seen track use (meaning UHP tires that have track use on them). That is a general guideline that I say. You don’t have to follow it. And if you choose not to follow it, and you drive in the rain without incident-don’t write me and say “you don’t know what you’re talking about”-I never claimed to be an instructor anyway. I’m just trying to make sure people have a safe, fun lap. Nothing more.

Learn to brake hard and fast. The most common problem with people is learning how to step on the brake forceful with purpose and quickly. I use percentages. Several turns require 25% of force versus a few that require 50-75% depending on power and speed. Look at videos and see what speed they driving THROUGH the turn, that is your guide! As a new driver, BRAKE before the turn, OFF the brake, TURN the vehicle, ADD gas. This will turn into muscle memory the more you do it. Most importantly, there should never be a point where you’re on the brake longer than 1.5 seconds. If you cannot master this quickly, your laps may be fine, but your car won’t be. There is a lot of room for error here where you might think you’re okay. But as you add experience and speed, this somewhat insignificant thing will play a big part in your success (at mastering the track).

Always watch your mirrors for traffic, signal (to the right) and yield accordingly but always keep an eye on the track. Common problem is for people to yield to faster traffic and lose focus of what’s happening in front of them. You may be yielding but you have the right of way. When possible, yield the racing line to the faster traffic. But remember, you do not have to worry about people that want to pass you. Let them decide what they want to do. I try to tell (and teach) people to work with traffic so we all have “fast” but safe laps. For example, I always yield to taxis. Not just because they are faster, but because they have paying customers inside and they want to have a fast carefree lap (not some clown in a little ring tool in the way).

Make sure your lights are on the whole time. While not a rule, it is helpful for everyone on the track.

Yellow flags/yellow lights require that you put on your 4 way flashers (indicating to the marshals and other traffic you’ve seen the flags/lights). Slow down to 80kmh and pass any accident at 50kmh (sometimes slower than 50!!!) Once past the accident, you can resume the lap normally. In the event you’ve seen a flashing yellow light or flag and NO accident, you cannot resume your lap until you pass a marshal stand (with a marshal present and not waving a flag) OR a flashing light apparatus (that isn’t blinking). Do not let the other traffic pressure you. If they seem to pass you on what you believe is a caution, so be it. Only when you are completely sure that it is safe, should you resume your lap. Learning where the lights are, and where the Marshal stands are a BIG part of learning the track! You should be driving the track AND watching ahead for Marshall stands AND lights!

Accidents-TF is just like driving on the autobahn. So if you witness an accident, you are required by law to stop. That being said, not everyone can and should stop. As a general rule, if you witness an accident and it is minor (meaning more than likely the occupants appear safe) then you should continue your lap. If they do not appear okay, then go past the accident and park as close to the barrier as you car (preferably opposite the racing line). When you exit your car to render medical aid, you should first go behind the barrier and always watch for traffic and move towards the accident. Don’t forget every time you exit the car on the track, you need to be wearing your warning vest. While not a enforced rule, it is imperative to your safety. Please remember your warning vest. It should be the first thing you grab when exiting the car.

Important point: unless you’re physically helping someone, you need to be OVER the barrier. Never walk the track towards anyone. This is for your safety as well as those you might be helping. You wrecked or they wrecked-let it go and protect yourself and those around you.

If you have an accident, and it’s possible, get your car to the barrier immediately. Immediately exit your vehicle and get over the barrier and wait for help. Warning vest!

NEVER brake in the compressions, on the crests of hills and during your turning movements. ALL braking should be done in a relatively straight direction before you need to enter a section. If you’re braking during a turn, you’re wrong. Don’t worry about what the professionals do, learn the track and update your line after you’ve got some laps completed. Obviously based on experience level, car condition and capability, you could argue this is wrong but I give the same briefing to everyone (basically a beginner with no track or no Green Hell experience).

NEVER hit the curbs. When you get to 25 laps, maybe, but all the experts agree that normal cars driving TF should never utilize the few curbs “available”. It’s not healthy for the car nor does it generally make you faster.

Almost ALL the turns are late apexes. Your cue should be the black marks on the curbstones but generally you should only use those as reference marks and not the “rule”. Just keep in mind almost all the turns (apexes) are late. I say that because if you use the black marks as reference points versus learning the line, you will be screwed when the track decides to repaint the curbs (which they do often).

All turns represent the same characteristics. That means there is a braking area, apex and acceleration zone. Being quick means braking later, quicker to the apex and faster on the gas. However, at the Green Hell, how you enter one turn may be different simply because of the following turns. This can range from “over braking” in order to be faster as you exit the set of turns in front of you.

You must absolutely know where Schwedenkruez, Adenauer Forst and Brünnchen are. Schwedenkruez is incredibly dangerous when done improperly. It gives many a false sense of “easiness”. Adenauer section is a common mistake (straight instead of turning) and Brünnchen is a common “look at me and let me show off” point. Imperative you know where these are and don’t fall into those bad habits.

Also, use the entire track. It may be possible to steer the car where you want but if the car wants to push out after a hard corner, let it. No need to over stress your car when you have plenty of track to work with.

Incidentally, I tell everyone to get on the track when it opens. After reading all of this, you should understand this isn’t “easy” (but not hard to learn). However, as traffic picks up, your ability to retain what you’ve learned and absorb everything around you will get exponentially complicated. Get on the track at opening and you should have a good few hours before your “perfect line” is interrupted by 200 cars on the track. *this is my favorite part - lol

Lastly-it is absolutely possible to be fast (time) and have a crappy line. I’ve seen videos of plenty under 9 and 8 minutes and it is possible. What isn’t possible is that your luck last long enough to save you when a crappy line unsettles the car.

Bottom line-1) don’t wreck the f’n car 2) drive home with a smile 3) repeat
 
209
178
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Colorado Springs
Happy holiday's TMO. I hope everyone is doing well. Had time to jump onto the forum and blog in my journal, but one question kept coming up in my mind. When you don't have consistency going to the track, does that frustrate you in learning? I mean I've been watching the first four videos of me being back on "The Ring" and listening to the instructor, watching the mirrors, listening to others and riding how to drive the line. I believe that's too much for an amateur. Thank Gawd I have no deployments in "24", so I should see some improvement. Thought's/ advice?
 
"Practice makes perfect" is a phrase that comes to mind. The more seat time you have, the more your confidence will build both in your driving skills AND your car's ability to handle your improvements .Patience is also a virtue, since mistakes and mishaps will always be around. It sounds like '24 will be a good year in your learning curve.....;)
 
209
178
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Colorado Springs
Being humble in this sport is so essential and knowing I'm not consistent makes it even harder. As I post the next three videos my confidence starts to improve. The first session with my instructor getting me familiar with the track, was so essential that I was paying more attention to him than what was before me. My speed was inadequate, however it came to light in the other sessions. I realized more and more...it's not the car...it's the driver.
 

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