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Old 02-21-2014, 10:30 PM   #1
Orange Crush 1LE

 
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Track Weekend #4: Willow Springs Big Track!

The Upgrades

Previously, my 1LE was feeling very planted and balanced at the track with the Pedders coilovers, engine mods and R compound track tires dialed in. I was to the point where I could turn decent lap times against most cars, but I couldn't touch the ones with the giant wings. I would catch them in the straight, but they would walk away in the corners. So I thought, 'If I can't beat 'em, join 'em.' So I upgraded with some aero mods- an APR carbon fiber wing and splitter, and also hood vents to relieve the lift on the front end. I added a couple extra support rods to the splitter to handle some of the faster tracks here in CA.

Safety First

My on-track speeds are now high enough that it was time to upgrade safety as well. So I added a custom roll bar, Sparco Evo seats, and a Sparco 6-point harness. This enabled me to drive with a Necksgen head and neck restraint, which I've found very comfortable and secure when tracking my other car.

Putting the Upgrades to the Test

After hearing cornerspeed describe how absolutely awesome Willow Springs Raceway is, known as the "Fastest Track in the West," I had a chance to experience the Big Track first-hand. 2.5 miles + only 9 turns = wicked-fast speeds, especially in the corners! A big bonus is that there were 9 other Camaros at the track on Saturday- BigBlock69RS, bajamoon, ddunerider, Magilla Gorilla, 90503, and a bunch of other hardcore Camaro guys. Very cool, I had a chance to meet a bunch of So Cal forum members, although I was so busy swapping tires and talking with my instructor that we didn't get much of a chance to socialize. Hopefully we'll meet up again one day soon.

Hitting the Track

Not knowing what to expect my first time driving a car with about 500 pounds of additional downforce at speed, I decided to take it slow and start on my stock Goodyears. I also hired an instructor for the first few sessions to learn the line. Surprisingly, the car felt very balanced. I was concerned that the car would push with that giant wing, but the splitter did a good job of sucking the front down in harmony with the big wing's downforce. I also found that the aero makes the car very planted and predictable in the high speed corners. By lunchtime, I was ready to slap on my track wheels with 315 Nitto NT-01 R compounds.

Having only 9 corners on a 2.5 mile track is both good and a bit scary. The good: It's easy to learn the basic line quickly with such few turns. The scary: in turn 8, some cars are hitting speeds of over 130 mph! And that corner is bumpy! Plus, you'd better know when to lift and slow for turn 9, or you'll end up off track, possibly getting close and personal with pit wall or the berm protecting it. Driving this track is as much about balls as it is skill.

Ok, let me tell you about aero on a Camaro. Damn, this car just sticks!!! The aero transformed the Camaro to the point where I never felt close to it's limits in the higher speed corners. I had to remind myself that it's grip level reduces on the slower ones. I will say this, though- the aero produces a fair amount of drag. In the past, my car was nearly as quick to accelerate in the straights as stock Z06s, but not any more. The drag of the big wing really reduces acceleration. I may have been faster in the corners, but the Z06s really gain on me in the straights. Was the trade off worth it- hell yes! I'm a permanent fan of big aero

Lap Times

After learning the track Saturday, I was ready to drive more aggressively on Sunday. The cool track temperature of Sunday's first session helped it all come together. I was able to put down a best lap of 1:33.778, and the rest of the day I turned a number of 1:34s and 1:35s. Here's a video of my second session Sunday, where I turned a 1:34.67:



Conclusion

With the engine upgrades, suspension, brake pads, safety improvements and now aero package, I am really loving this 1LE!!! Very few cars could touch it on track, most of which came in on trailers. I'm ready to put it to the test and will be competing in Speed Ventures' Pony Car Challenge at 5 events this year. This is just a small friendly time trial, but I'll get a chance to face off against Mustangs, Challengers and fellow Camaros. This will be a new experience for me, not sure what to expect, except an over-the-top adrenaline rush of a good time!
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Willow Springs Raceway, 1:33.78: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=343624
Buttonwillow Raceway, 1:57.47: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=354128
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Old 02-21-2014, 11:16 PM   #2
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Man that lap was fast!
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Old 02-21-2014, 11:18 PM   #3
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Man, you're sick. And I love it. Lunch next week? I've got to see this wing.
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Old 02-21-2014, 11:40 PM   #4
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Im impressed! Nice run man.
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Old 02-21-2014, 11:54 PM   #5
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Very nice!! Great gob!
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Old 02-21-2014, 11:59 PM   #6
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Very cool, and I'd love to know what the track time would be before the aero package?

That video should motivate everyone to get these cars to a track where they belong. If that doesn't make you want to race your Camaro then you need to check if you have a pulse.
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:33 AM   #7
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schluney View Post
Man that lap was fast!
Quote:
Originally Posted by RazorLED View Post
Im impressed! Nice run man.
Quote:
Originally Posted by VR Baron View Post
Very nice!! Great gob!
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Originally Posted by ddunerider View Post
Thanks fellas, it was a blast! The SoCal guys are lucky, great tracks in that end of the state.
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Pedders Supercar Coilovers, 32mm rear sway bar,bushings; APR wing and splitter
Cam, Longtubes, CAI. 496 RWHP, 473 RW Ft-Lb
Willow Springs Raceway, 1:33.78: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=343624
Buttonwillow Raceway, 1:57.47: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=354128

Last edited by Orange Crush 1LE; 02-22-2014 at 01:22 AM.
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:17 AM   #9
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Man, you're sick. And I love it. Lunch next week? I've got to see this wing.
LOL, thanks, I think

I just put the Camaro back in the shop, front brake pads were down to nothing as were the Nittos. They're going to improve the stiffness of the wing and splitter mounting, they deflect a bit at speed.

Week after next, lunch would be cool Brian.
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Willow Springs Raceway, 1:33.78: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=343624
Buttonwillow Raceway, 1:57.47: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=354128
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:20 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Todd in Vancouver View Post
Very cool, and I'd love to know what the track time would be before the aero package?

That video should motivate everyone to get these cars to a track where they belong. If that doesn't make you want to race your Camaro then you need to check if you have a pulse.
I totally hear you on tracking. I'm pretty much addicted, I had no idea how fun it would be. It's hard to find anything as an adult that can give you the adrenaline rush we had when we were kids, ripping down hills on skateboards and big wheels.

People have told me their cars are anywhere from 2 to 5 seconds faster per lap with aero, depending on the car and the track. I wish I had a baseline, but this was my first time at Willow Springs. I'll be returning to Buttonwillow in April, it will be interesting to see how much faster I run.
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Willow Springs Raceway, 1:33.78: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=343624
Buttonwillow Raceway, 1:57.47: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=354128
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:44 PM   #11
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:58 AM   #12
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Great post! I would love to see some pics of your roll bar/seat/harness set up.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:21 AM   #13
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Very cool, love the set up. U got pics of cage and interior?
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:59 AM   #14
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Very Cool!....

What did you end up doing with the SRS system with the seats removed? Disable or trick with resistors?
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:23 AM   #15
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Pretty amazing! what software did you use to get the gauge overlays and track on the video?
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:33 AM   #16
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:10 AM   #17
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Great post! I would love to see some pics of your roll bar/seat/harness set up.
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Very cool, love the set up. U got pics of cage and interior?
Thanks guys. I picked up the car the night before my track event and it's back in the shop getting a brake job and reinforcements of the aero. I haven't had time to snap any interior pics. The install was extremely clean, very happy with the way it came out. I'll have it back in a week or two.

I'll do a full write up on it with pics when I get a chance.
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Willow Springs Raceway, 1:33.78: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=343624
Buttonwillow Raceway, 1:57.47: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=354128
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:17 AM   #18
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That's a bigass wing! You're not messing around!
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:27 AM   #19
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Very Cool!....

What did you end up doing with the SRS system with the seats removed? Disable or trick with resistors?
I pulled the airbag fuse after talking with a guy in a C5 Camaro that had his airbags go off while tracking. He just hit a bump and pow, didn't even go off track. His passenger and student was wearing a tank top and she was burned by the seatbelt tensioner. I get an airbag trouble light when I start the car and hit the menu button to clear the warning message. Not a biggie.

The stock seat belts remain in place, with the lap belts remounted to the Sparco seat brackets. The seat belt sensor connectors are disconnected. Surprisingly, no seatbelt warning light or tone with the stock seats removed and seat belt sensors unplugged. The seat belt sensor plugged into the stock seats and with the stock power seat connectors disconnected there is no seat belt warning. No resistor or jumper. There's a chance the shop tricked it somehow, I'll ask them.
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Willow Springs Raceway, 1:33.78: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=343624
Buttonwillow Raceway, 1:57.47: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=354128
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:40 AM   #20
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That's a bigass wing! You're not messing around!
LOL, it puts down some serious downforce. At the 10 degree angle of attack I had it set to:

131 pounds at 80 mph
301 pounds at 120 mph
470 pounds at 150 mph

I backed down the angle a bit (6 or 7 degrees?) and turned identical lap times. It was interesting. Car was less planted in the high speed corners and faster in the straights, as you would expect. The car is more confidence inspiring and stable with the wing at 10 degrees so I will run it like that next time. My next track is a slightly slower flatter track so high downforce will be preferred.
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Willow Springs Raceway, 1:33.78: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=343624
Buttonwillow Raceway, 1:57.47: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=354128
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:51 AM   #21
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I would take it to 10 degrees and then back it off a degree at a time if the wing can be adjusted that way. You will find the sweet spot which is probably right around 8 degrees.
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:56 AM   #22
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Pretty amazing! what software did you use to get the gauge overlays and track on the video?
After trying another, I settled on Harry's Lap Timer, Grand Prix Edition on my iPhone using the phone's video. I also use a GoPoint BT1 OBD Bluetooth interface which automatically syncs the car's throttle, speed, rpm and gear selection to Harry's. And for high accuracy timing, I use an XGPS160 Bluetooth GPS antenna. All devices are wireless and work automatically together. Harry's does the overlay with the click of a button. Awesome set up.
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Willow Springs Raceway, 1:33.78: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=343624
Buttonwillow Raceway, 1:57.47: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=354128
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:03 AM   #23
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I would take it to 10 degrees and then back it off a degree at a time if the wing can be adjusted that way. You will find the sweet spot which is probably right around 8 degrees.
Thanks, I'm just learning about how to adjust aero. The wing is very efficient at up to 10 degrees but starts dropping fast at higher angles. I will be going to Thunderhill's new 5 mile course, which should be faster than Willow Springs. I hit around 150mph in a Viper on their shorter course, I think the longer track will be faster. So less drag and less wing angle may be desirable there.
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Pedders Supercar Coilovers, 32mm rear sway bar,bushings; APR wing and splitter
Cam, Longtubes, CAI. 496 RWHP, 473 RW Ft-Lb
Willow Springs Raceway, 1:33.78: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=343624
Buttonwillow Raceway, 1:57.47: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=354128
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:49 AM   #24
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Looks incredible! And that lap was killer. Got a question for you on the splitter. Where did you mount the inner support rods at the top? Hard to tell in the pictures where they mount to..
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:10 PM   #25
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Looks incredible! And that lap was killer. Got a question for you on the splitter. Where did you mount the inner support rods at the top? Hard to tell in the pictures where they mount to..
Thanks bro. Funny that you ask, that's one area that I've asked the shop to redo. They are currently mounted to a flimsy bracket attached to the steel bumper structure. It was deflecting too much so they're going to beef it up. It should be easy to rigidly attach it with a stiffer bracket to structure. I will get the car back in a week or two and can take pics then if you like. I've also asked them to add structure to support the wing under the deck lid.
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Willow Springs Raceway, 1:33.78: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=343624
Buttonwillow Raceway, 1:57.47: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=354128
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