Tuner Challenge 5 Judging and Results!

Discussion in 'GT4 Tuning' started by mafia_boy, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. mafia_boy

    mafia_boy (Banned)

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    Welcome entrants to Tuner Challenge Version 5 - Battle Circuit Motegi. I thank you all first for entering your rides in all the various categories and making this one of the most successful TC's we've had. Now, this is where the judges will post the results of the various categories and to decide the battle monster of each class.

    The format is simple. We will judge and score each car in the following areas as mentioned in this post and then after the judging is done we will tally up all the points to find out our 1st and 2nd placed cars for each category. We will then run 1st against 2nd in a final showdown to find our battle monster for that class.

    ** = Cannot be scored by that judge as it is their own entry to the category.

    The Entrants

    LIGHTWEIGHT
    Vince247's Lotus Elise 111R - 71 + 78
    Jonn 79's Honda Integra Type R DC5R - 36 + 49
    VtiRoj's Amuse S2000 R1 - Lime Lighter - 72 + 76
    Rotary Junkie's Amuse S2000 R1 - Blue Lighter - 79 + 79
    Adamgp's TVR V8S - 59 + 62
    ABud's Lancia Stratos - 73
    a112's Toyota MR-2 V Edition - 62 + 75
    Balang_479's Honda Civic EG6 - 13 + 29
    Leonidae's Toyota MR-SC TRD - 76 + 78
    Kingofweasles' Opel Speedster Turbo - 90 + 62
    drifting24/7's Spoon Civic EK9 - 45 + 61
    PF's Lotus Elise Type 72 - 86 + 91
    Camryfan's Lotus Elise '00 - 51 + 62

    MIDDLEWEIGHT
    VTiRoj's Honda NSX-R Evo.II - 81 + 75
    Jonn 79's Nissan Silvia Spec R Aero (S15) - 69 + 57
    Paulie's Mercedes SLK230 - 72 + 58
    AWDA's MR-2 GT-S - 64 + 59
    mcsqueegy's Pontiac Solstice - ** + 80
    Adamgp's Shelby Series 1 Supercharged - 78 + 84
    a112's Honda NSX Type S - 84 + 73
    Abud's RUF 3400S - Boxer S - 71 + 67
    Leonidae's Toyota MR-2 G-Limited - 86 + 59
    Codename L's Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 (C1) - 77 + 83
    mazdaman's Mazda RX8 - DISQUALIFIED
    Rotary Junkie's Mazda RX7 Spirit R - White Tiger - 89 + 92
    drifting24/7's Proto Spirra - 78 + 71
    Kingofweasles' Renault Clio V6 '00 - 82 + 80
    PF's Mazda RX7 '97 - Bathurst R - 74 + 69
    Tandem's DMC DeLorean S2 - 65 + 66

    HEAVYWEIGHT
    Jonn 79's Mazda 6 MPS/Mazdaspeed 6 - 41 + 45
    Adamgp's Dodge Viper GTS - 81 + 90
    drifting24/7's Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec II Nur - 68 + 81
    Camryfan's Jaguar XK-R Sport - 57 + 76
    Rotary Junkie's Dodge Charger R/T 440 - 59 + 66
    Kingofweasles' Subaru WRX STi Spec-C - 77 + 97
    VtiRoj's BMW M3 '04 - 89 + 81
    mafia_boy's Holden Commodore SS - SuperClubby - 71 + **

    SUPERCAR
    amartya's Mitsubishi Evolution V - DISQUALIFIED
    VtiRoj's BMW M3 CSL - N3 CSL
    Jonn 79's Aston Martin DB9
    ABud's Aston Martin Vanquish
    Adamgp's Jaguar XKR-R Performance
    drifting24/7's Jaguar XKR
    Kingofweasles' Jaguar XJ220
    Camryfan's FPV GT - Falcon F427 GT
    mafia_boy's FPV F6 Typhoon - R Spec
    Rotary Junkie's Subaru WRX STi '02 - STi 511
    mcsqueegy's Nissan 350Z Gran Turismo Limited Edition

    Good luck to everyone and MAY THE BATTLE BEGIN!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2009
  2. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

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    My rambling TCV5 Preamble :dunce::)


    I wanted to start by highlighting the fact that the TCV5 is in some ways a similar contest to the TCV4, but in other ways, it is quite different.

    In the TCV4, we were asked to judge each car's abilities, which is also true of the TCV5; however, in the TCV4, these abilities were to be judged in more of a theoretical manner. We judges were driving these cars & truck and then possibly saying:

    "well, it feels great, it seems like it would be a great car to race, drive, or hot-lap, because it lets you do this and this and this".

    We were also judging how comfortable we were with each car, which makes the TCV4 a much more subjective contest than TCV5. Why?

    TCV5 is different because there is no more theorizing. It doesn't matter how comfortable we are with each car, what matters is: how does it truely compare with others in the contest? Our opinions don't matter so much--now, actual results do.

    We may not like the car we're driving (so far as its characteristics go), but it may still make great lap times. That's what matters. On the other hand, there are some cars I've driven so far which I LOVED driving, yet these sometimes were lesser machines, which couldn't make the hottest lap times when compared to others.

    And of course, we have the BATTLE MONSTER to use as a comparison tool. :scared:

    We have to make such assessments with just one track in mind: Twin Ring Motegi East Course. This makes all the difference because in TCV4, one could simply drive the vehicle and then look into its admirable (or not so admirable) personality traits, and that was that. One could choose whichever track they wanted. The main thing was: how hard can I push this car before it winds up doing something I don't like? If a car got a bit loose, a bit drifty, a bit playful (or whatever) it didn't matter to me, as long as such behavior wasn't serious hampering my ability to stay on-track, doing what I wanted. :sly:

    On the other hand, in the TCV5, each car must be pointed towards four definate targets...our infamous BATTLE MONSTERS, and on one track. No more theorizing, fooling around, no more mediocre drift-runs mixed in with my driving! :)

    Personally, Twin Ring Motegi is one of my least favorites. The scenery is bland. The curves are clinical, and seem to be based on an engineer's mathematics, rather than land formations or beauty or any sort of pleasure. In another way, Twin Ring is actually the PERFECT course for the TCV5, since in real-life, it actually IS a testing course, as well as a racing track.

    I used just one track (Grand Valley, full course) for TCV4 because it has a variety of straights and corners, hills and bumps. It's a standard track to use since GV appears in all four GTs to date. It was also convenient for my schedule to just use one track; therefore I could get my judging done quicker (and I had to rush the judging so TCV4 could be wrapped up quicker).

    But let's be honest: some of those cars may not have been tuned for GV at all. :indiff: Perhaps some of the cars I drove had tunes meant for Nurburgring. Or Apricot Hill. Or Citta d' Aria. I noticed this (during TCV4) especially with gearboxes. Some cars had extremely tall gearboxes, and others had extremely short ones. I felt this was done because the tuner had originally involved himself with tuning for a specific track or a specific type of track.

    So I tried to allow for the theoretical implications of other tracks into my scoring when it felt necessary during TCV4. But the cool thing about TCV5 is: we judges no longer have to do this. One track. Which means judging can be narrowed and focused to a greater extent.

    I've always been a proponent of using different tunes
    for different tracks since my GT1 days ...I don't believe in "one size fits all" type of tuning, which is a mistake many novices often make. These novice tuners almost invaribly show up here at GTP asking "What's the best tune for my car??? TELL ME!!!!!11" ......And then I always ask them what track they're trying to tune for? Racing? Time trials? Drifting? Going for maximum grip? etc. "Huh???" they sometimes say. "I JUST WANT THE BEST TUNE!!!!!11" Well, what do you mean by "best?" I say

    ..and so on....:dunce::ouch:

    But in this case, since there's one track...the tuning has to be fine-tuned FOR this one track.

    Anyways, the TCV4 was mainly a test of the relationship between car & driver. One could consider each car and how it could possibly stack up if put into a competitve racing scenario, but there was no actual lap time to strive for. The TCV5, on the other hand, adds some extra elements (mainly a solid lap time), as well as one track to test on.

    Let the games begin.


    MY BATTLE MONSTER LAP TIMEs

    Light: 1:28.676/ (Top Speed mph not available)

    Middle: 1:27.878/ 138.3 mph top speed


    Heavy: 1:26.917 / 140.4 mph top speed

    Supercar: 1:25.235 / 148.2 mph top speed
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2009
  3. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

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    So what I've done is judged each car, scored each car, but also I like to explain why I've judged and scored the way I do. If I were to ever enter a car into a contest, and had it scored poorly (or even praised) I would want to know why it was bashed or praised. I would want to know the thought-process behind the scenes.

    Keep in mind that I spent alot of time with each car. Anywhere from 40 minutes to over 2 hours. Rest assured that I NEVER simply get in a car for 5 minutes after tuning, drive it haphazardly, and just go "it sucks" or "it rocks". :)

    For those who may want to just skip all this and get to the score, I've made it convenient for you, since all scores shall be typed in red ink.

    A quick explanation now of how I scored. Just some notes.

    SPEED

    Obviously, I've given points towards those cars which make the best lap times and accelerate with ease. I've also listed (and factored into scoring) each entrant's Top Speed. I did this by turning the Lap Analyzer on after my Best run, and then recording that car's top speed towards the end of Motegi East's first straight. This is the very fastest area.

    Some other things I considered? Gearing. The relationship between a gearbox and the engine in front of (or beside) it affects that car's acceleration & speed, so I thought this was important. Also, traction out of Motegi's corners (the placement of limited-slip devices or lack thereof) is being considered since all of this directly affects "down-low" acceleration. Cars which easily get squirrely (and make me WORK to avoid this) might have a couple points docked.

    HANDLING

    self-explanatory

    VERSATILITY

    I scored this as per the TCV5 guidelines. As such, cars which could tackle Motegi's various curves, kinks & corners in a variety of ways while making similar lap times get better scores than those which don't.

    Car versus Battle Monster:

    As per the TCV5 instructions. Cars which make near-equal lap times (within a half-second) to the BATTLE MONSTER make 10 points. Every -.5 of a second under the BATTLE MONSTER lap time adds a point. Every +.5 of a second over the BATTLE MONSTER time minues a point.


    IMPROVEMENT OVER STOCK

    The most obvious improvement one can make is to make a car faster than its stock counterpart. That's the easy part, and to be honest, I don't feel any points should be added just for making a car faster. Everything else, however, is being considered.

    This includes, weight (lighter or heavier?), weight transferrence, various handling characteristics, braking, etc. etc.

    Most of the time, you'll find that a car (while it's stock) can keep itself contained. Its power may be lesser, but generally, most cars in this contest can handle their own power while they're still stock. After tuning, various issues become apparent here and there.


    I also wanted to add that as I was driving some of these, I got curious and changed the settings and/or parts to my own. However, THIS IS NOT REFLECTED IN LAP TIMES, HANDLING, OR SCORING. I just get curious in an attempt to "out-tune" the tuners. :) Don't take it personally.

    So without further ado....
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2009
  4. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

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    10,448
    Location:
    United States
    Car: Lotus Elise 111R

    Tuner: Vince247

    Garage: RRV Motor Works

    Best Lap: 1:27.350


    Vince's Elise was the first lightweight listed, so he gets to go first. :scared:



    Speed:

    Top Speed: 139.6 mph.


    With a stock Lotus Elise 111R, we have what is essentially a sports car ready-made for real-life amateur track driving, wheras a base Elise is more of an everyday-driver type of sports car. That's one of the differences between a 111R and the base Elise.

    As tuned by Vince, it's easy to employ power and lay down acceleration out-of-corners. Acceleration is very smooth in this one. Leaving tight corner areas was rarely something I had to worry about since traction is always guaranteed. It's also easy to modulate this car's throttle while navigating what I'll call those dreadful blind esses (turns 3, 4, and 5 as well as turns 8 and 9) and other tricky areas. No wheelspin ever in this car. :tup: Perfect amount of traction 95% of the time.

    So with this first car, one very minor complaint I have hasn't got anything to do with power or acceleration or speed; it's gearing. The gearing scheme is very busy in this one. It's a 6-speed, after all. On the plus side, Vince has managed to fit the top five gears (2nd thru 6th) perfectly at Twin Ring, which is great because you can always find the perfect gear for every turn. It's easy to keep this car within its narrow, high-revving Toyota powerband. But there's ALOT of shifting gears in this car, which gets tiring; especially when striving for a Best Lap run.

    The worst area here is when needing to downshift from 6th gear down to 2nd in Turns 1 and 6 (Turn 1=90-degree elle..Turn 6=hairpin #1 at the end of the 2nd longish straight). While braking down for these 2 turns, I found myself needing to be extremely aware of what gear I wound up in.

    If planned and/or counted right, I'd end up exactly where I'd wanted: 2nd gear. But sometimes if I wasn't paying attention, I'd wind up in 3rd gear. :indiff: To be precise and wind up in the correct gear means to literally count down:

    6th....5th...4th....3rd....2nd.
    Phew! :nervous:

    It's easy to make a mistake and wind up in 3rd, though; since while all this activity is going on, you're also trying to brake and steer-in. If you don't shift down far enough and wind up in 3rd, you'll wind up just outside this car's narrow powerband. Which means you're in trouble. :mischievous:

    ....Torque is not this Toyota engine's forte, after all. Below 5,000 rpms is therefore not recommended if you want good cornering launches. THIS is the reason it's important to make it into 2nd gear for these slower corners. 3rd means for a soggier launch, killing acceleration when it's needed most.

    I realize (therefore) that the Elise 111R requires exactly the gearbox that it has, but the fact that this gearing scheme requires some extra work makes it difficult at times. There are a several other cars in the TCV5 which don't require such demanding gear changes to get a good lap time, even some other Elises. When stacked against these, the Elise 111R is at a disadvantage.

    The limited slip's accel setting is set too strong, which isn't necessary. It garners just a tad more understeer than needed, killing mid-to-late cornering speed launches. "A tad" may not sound like much, but those tads add up. :) The advantage, of course, is that the LSD makes this playful car more stable. But after removing the limited-slip (going with an open diff), I actually improved my lap times slightly because accelerating out-of-corners can be employed in a more progressive (and slightly more aggressive) manner with less fear of understeer showing up.

    20
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Handling:

    It's a Lotus Elise...arguably one of the only true full-production sports cars left on the planet that hasn't been burdened with too much weight, unnecessary stability & traction gadgets, and so on. So of course it's gonna tackle those turns with a smile! And mostly, it does just this, but there are a few issues.

    The RRV Motor Works Elise mostly handles & manuevers just like you want it to. Point it this way, it goes this way; point it that way, and it says "Yes". As Vince notes, it is addictingly fun to drive the Type R as tuned by him, and I fully agree.

    Lift-off oversteer shows up easily (as Vince said in his description) and the longer you stay off the gas, the more the car oversteers. This happens in a progressive manner, which is just fantastic. What I mean is by "progressive" lift-off oversteer is: the longer you stay off the gas, the more it oversteers. The actual cornering angle slowly becomes greater, yet the entire time this is happening, the driver (assuming he knows what he's doing) is in total control. :tup: Want to stop oversteer? Just jump on the gas again. It's like a perfect mixture of mathematics and art, the way this one dials its rear-end out. Very predictable.

    So it's very controllable and oversteers progressively, which is beautiful. There are some issues, tho. :(


    The Elise (as modeled by PD) has really poor brakes, which is partially PD's fault. I honestly don't think they're representing the real-life Elise's brakes very well within the game. This is something I've commented on before when I reviewed the Lotus Elise for my website. I even did some independant research to confirm this by looking up some back issues of Road & Track and Car & Driver. By all accounts, the Elise's brakes are supposed to be fantastic. :odd:

    I'll even pull up this online page here, in which a 2000 Lotus Elise out-brakes a Mustang equipped with Brembos (60 to zero mph: Elise=119 feet, 'Stang=122).

    http://www.modified.com/roadtests/0...ord_mustang_cobra_r/yokohama_advan_tires.html

    This is in direct contrast to GT4 modeling. In GT4, I've always been able to make a Mustang Cobra R outbrake an Elise by far. My GT4 test has the Mustang slowing from 100 to zero mph in 3.98 seconds....while a 2000 Elise does the same in 4.53. Some may disagree with me. Fine, I'll just post more and more braking results till my point is proven.

    Anyways, my point is: the Elise's brakes are the worst part of the car, and I blame PD for this more directly than I blame Vince. On the other hand, it's strange that Vince didn't include "racing brakes" package in his parts list, so I didn't install. This is similar to the Red Devil Z car from the TCV4: brake balancer, but no DOT 5-approved racing brake hardware. :indiff: Did he forget? Or am I supposed to assume racing brakes are to be added without being asked to put them on? It doesn't really matter much, after I tried installing racing brakes (out of curiosity), the braking abilities of the Elise barely make a difference.

    Due to these poor brakes, I had a hard time out-gunning the Opera S2000 during the BATTLE MONSTER portion, because I found myself constantly needing to brake much earlier than my S2000 BATTLE MONSTER ghost. This actually bummed me out a bit. :(

    Some other issues, now...

    There is some understeer under power (caused by the limited-slip/accel setting) which limits this car's ability to leave those clinically tight Motegi corners. I mean, there wasn't much understeer, but the understeer that did show up did its small amounts of damage. It's hard when you want to press a car just that much further, but a limit like this shows up earlier than it should.

    Also, the steering is hard to point at times since the front-end is very grabby. The steering's grabby preciseness means you really gotta have your front-end action well-rehearsed. This is not a super-serious issue, but it's something which gets in the way if I wasn't careful.

    Overall, it's another case of "C" for effort, since the car's suspension settings are so near default Racing Suspension settings. The brakes also have barely been altered. It's as if there wasn't a huge amount of experimentation taking place here.

    After playing with the suspension (in an effort to make the front-end not so grabby), removing the limited-slip (doesn't need it, honestly), and vastly increasing the brake settings + adding racing brake package, my lap time lowered by an entire second and some change, but again, this is NOT reflected in the 1:27.350 lap time for the contest.


    (18)


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    Versatility
    :

    Lots of playful behavior in corners, which is both good and bad, depending what kind of driver is behind the wheel. It's good, if you're looking for a car which constantly seems as if it's seeking to surprise the driver, bad if the driver isn't very skilled, and needs something with simpler extremes. Fortunately, I happen to to be the sort who's looking for the former stuff (some surprises and stuff like that).

    This car has the ability to take a variety of racing lines successfully, making it quite versatile; helping its score here. Very controllable, this one is, but also very playful and versatile. As I drove it casually (not going into BATTLE MONSTER DEFEAT MODE yet), I was very pleased. Again, the limiting brake settings and limited-slip are the things which hurt here. One can't just throw this car into a curve without needing to brake heavily first, nor can one plant the throttle at any time without a little possible understeer showing up.

    But overall, a good score. :)

    (18)

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    Car vs. Battle Monster:

    As we can see, I could beat the BATTLE MONSTER by just a small margin: 1:27.350 versus 1:28.676. It took alot of laps (like 12 or so) to finally get here, too. Most of the time, the Opera S2000 whupped the poor Elise around Motegi. But I had faith...I knew the 111R could beat the Opera, and finally it did.

    This is due (again) mostly due to those wimpy brakes. :( It took me awhile to figure out where this one likes to be braked, and as I did so, often the BATTLE MONSTER ghost would out-gun the Elise 111R into corners. Then I would pass the MONSTER ghost on the straight. :D Next corner: it out-brakes me again. :banghead:

    So, I only beat the BATTLE MONSTER because the Lotus is faster on straights, honestly. It's got a better power-to-weight ratio. In theory, it should be better overall; in both corners and straights, but it was into those corners that I found the 111R struggling the most.

    (13)
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    Improvement over Stock
    :

    Ah..how does one improve something which is already so damn perfect? :)

    Gotta be honest: there isn't much improvement between Vince's car and a stock Elise. I don't mean this in a bad way. Like I said, it's hard to improve upon perfection...and a stock Elise is just about as perfect as a sports car can get. :indiff:

    Basically, Vince's Elise feels more stable than a stock Elise, but the tradeoff is it's also not as flexible. It corners smoother than a stock Elise, but it's not as playful. It also understeer slightly more. :ouch: Just slightly...but also just enough to hurt as we navigate Motegi. A stock Elise doesn't do this. Braking is barely improved over stock. Gearing is shorter than stock, and feels appropriate for Twin Ring Motegi East, so finally, a couple points here.

    (2)


    TOTAL SCORE: 71
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2009
  5. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

    Messages:
    10,448
    Location:
    United States
    Car: Honda Integra Type R

    Tuner: Jonn79

    Tuning Shop: The Killer Chinchilla Garage

    Lap Time: 1:32.206



    Let me just start by saying since my GT2 days, I've considered the Integra to be cream of the crop when compared to other front-drives. This means, it's just about as good as a front-drive gets. However, the front-drive layout places serious limits, when competing against other drivetrain layouts in this contest. If TCV5 involved only front-drive cars, I could score it more favorably. It might even be at the top of the game. But there's plenty of issues.



    Speed: 134.0 mph Top Speed


    I've always loved the Integra's ability to bite its way out of corners, like a pit-bull dog with lockjaw. Once you've got the front-end locked into a good racing groove, it simply WILL NOT lose traction, assuming you're in the right gear. In its own way, the Integra will then start to actually throttle-steer...grabbing down so that the steering angle sometimes actually becomes TIGHTER as we leave the corner. Front-drive throttle-steer. :dopey:

    ....But in the TCV5/lightweight, amongst a field of rear-drives, there are issues.

    First issue: 2nd gear is almost useless, even on straight portions. Give more than 3/4ths throttle, and all you get is wheelspin. Matter of fact, I found it easier to just leave this car in 3rd gear for Twin Ring's worst bends. I'm sure if the lower gears were played with a bit, we might be able to include 2nd gear into the party for marginally better lap times, but it's probably not fully necessary. Leave it in 3rd, and you can get still the full Integra "pit-bull" effect....no wheelspin/lots of traction, even while full steering is being applied out-of-corners.

    Other than this, the gearing is perfect. 6th is slightly taller than the rest, an obvious effort to make for a decent cruising gear down straights 1 and 3. So mostly, the score is being hurt by the fact that this is a front-drive against rear and all-wheel drives.

    (8)

    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Handling:

    Notice my lap time above at the top of this article. 1:32.208. Jonn managed 1:31.957.

    No matter how I tried, I simply couldn't knock off that extra +.251 of a second. :indiff: This really comes down to Jonn's settings (and comfort level with his own car) versus my settings. Once I tuned the car to my own specs, I suddenly could manage 1:31.588 with room for further improvement. ;) I'm not knocking Jonn79, I'm simply trying to illustrate that one's car is one's castle. I couldn't beat Jonn's time until I made this castle my own. ;)

    "Portly" is how Jonn describes the Integra. It's actually not that bad. Sure it understeers under power at times, but it's actually got minimal understeer for a front-drive.

    One thing I noticed is that there's alot of (what I'd consider) odd settings here in the suspension. This car is extremely STIFF. Stiff springs. Maxed shock absorbers. Maxed stabilizers. To top this off, the car has had its rigidity increased with a rollcage. Twin Ring Motegi is a mirror-smooth course, so none of this matters UNTIL you find yourself needing to drive over one of those blue & white aprons...otherwise known as "rumble strips". I noticed the Integra started bouncing as I did so. This threw off my cornering strategy. This also limited the ability to apply gas WHILE driving over these aprons. Driving over an apron, fuel needs to be dialed back IMMEDIATELY, otherwise wheelspin takes over immediately.

    .... More issues: there's loads of camber and unnecessary toe up front. Three degrees of camber limit the car's ability to put power-to-pavement, since those front wheels aren't getting as good of traction as possible. I noticed I would often need to wait a fraction of a second longer than I wanted before applying gas out-of-corners, since that inner front tire wasn't getting maximum grip. In theory, that -2 degree of toe shouldn't hurt a car's cornering, and in my opinion it doesn't. The 'hurt' comes as you're rolling down a straight, needing to brake, and needing to accelerate in a straight line. Toe limits all of this. A tire that's rolling straight has less resistance than one which is slightly turned-in, you see.

    Well, I got rid of the toe and lowered camber to 0.8. I also raised the rear end by 10 extra mm. Mimimized the limited-slip decel setting. There's no need for it in a front-drive because their main advantage is their ability to turn-in very late while (or after) braking is done. Why limit this with a decel setting of "20"?

    All of this retuning was done to make the car lock into corners more smoothly, and leave them with better efficiency, and again, this retuning is NOT being reflected for the official TCV5 results...it was just me being curious.

    OH, brakes. I almost forgot brakes. :) The Integra has GREAT brakes. No points docked for braking ability in Jonn's version, though. It's got excellent brakes, it's just too bad the rest of the car can't keep up with others.


    (12)

    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Versatility:

    Again, this car is as versatile as a front-drive gets. It turns-in while braking. It also has that "pit-bull" effect when leaving slower corners. Understeer is the worst enemy, however, especially for the esses portion of Twin Ring (turns 3, 4, and 5). Keep that power dialed back here, or you'll wind up in the grass! And if a fumble strip enters the equation, you can pretty much forget about being tricky since this one is so stiff. :indiff:

    There is some experimentation possible (especially in both hairpins) since the brakes and traction are so great, but in all other areas, the racing line must be kept solid. No playing around, lest those lap times suffer. I also felt that the stiff suspension, 3 degrees of camber, and some toe kept the Integra from being even more versatile than it already is.

    (7)
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    Lap versus Battle Monster:

    This car is actually faster than the BATTLE MONSTER down straights, but (again) its front-drive layout means it'll never beat it. I did manage to out-brake the MONSTER into Twin Ring's first couple turns, tho.

    (4)
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    Improvement over stock:

    There is definately some improvement here. :tup:

    The Killer Chinchilla Integra suffers from less understeer overall than a stock version. There is also less unnecessary body movement (and therefore, less weight transferrence issues), which makes the car easier to pilot at higher speeds and into corners. Braking and gearing are also changed, but arguably don't make that much of a diff.

    It's still not as good as it can be, however. Like I said (and not to brag) I was able to knock off nearly an extra half-a-second by getting rid of unnecessary suspension tuning, and making brakes even stronger.

    (5)

    TOTAL SCORE: 36
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2009
  6. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

    Messages:
    10,448
    Location:
    United States
    Car: Lime Lighter S2000 R1

    Tuner: VTiRoj

    Tuning Shop: RRV Motor Works

    Lap Time: 1:27.585



    At first, when I saw a couple Amuses entered into the TCV5, I thought it might be a bit unfair, since they start as a bona-fide tuners even while they're stock. Fortunately, there are some cars others have entered which are on-par with the Lime Lighter and Blue Lighter, which may or may not create quite a dramatic turnout for the Lightweight portion of the TCV5 (depending on how others vote).



    Speed

    Top speed: 132.9 mph.


    There's little to criticize here. Speed & acceleration come easy to this car. There's a lack of torqueyness, but lots of revs for this high-RPM machine to fill. As long as you keep its revs highish, the Lime Lighter therefore does its job, turning out flawless laps with little drama.

    Traction is almost always guaranteed in the Lime Lighter, meaning one can nail the gas early...sometimes even before mid-corner has been passed, assuming the racing line before the car is good. Gearing is also near-perfect. 6th could be dialed back slightly shorter, but this isn't fully necessary.

    Overall speed isn't as great as some others in the TCV5/lightweight, however; hence some docked points. Employing this car's speed & acceleration is not a problem, though.


    (18)
    -----------------------------------------------------------------


    Handling
    :

    The Lime Lighter corners with extreme efficiency, mostly because it probably starts off with fatter, track-worthy tires than a stock S2000. Unfair, perhaps, but it can also be noted that some other cars in the TCV5 equipped with wings are also given advantages which could also be called "unfair". But...I don't make the rules, I only judge by them. :idea: Tuners are okay in the TCV5, as long as they're pre-approved, and so are wing kits. :p That be the rules. :p

    There's so many good things to say about this car's cornering capabilities, like the razor-sharp way it handles curves. Understeer is just about non-existent, traction is always at a premium. The Lime Lighter is grippy as can be, and feels so balanced, it's as neutral as Switzerland. All of this comes with the territory (it's a tuner-car, after all) so I'll just focus on the few negatives that exist.

    The steering is a bit grabby. Not a super-serious issue, but something to watch for. The main thing that bothered me about this car is it's very stiff, and lowered to its minimum height. 85% of the time, this doesn't really matter at Twin Ring. 'til one is driving over an apron. The car starts bouncing then, and this hurts it occasionally. It gets difficult to aim all-a-sudden. Difficult to apply gas and brakes (if they're needed at that moment).

    Another small criticism: I didn't feel brakes were strong enough. They're rating a B+ in my book, but after making the fronts a bit stronger, I got braking distances even shorter.

    I noticed there was no limited-slip device installed, so I didn't use one. The Limelighter (no surprise) didn't need it, anyways.


    (20)

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Versatility
    :

    Here we have a car that's as versatile as can be. Miss a braking point? It's okay. Steer in too strong? The car understands. You'll never have to cry on its shoulder; :( this is a racing car, after all. The Amuse S2000 was designed to offer as many cornering options as possible. I could beat BATTLE MONSTER times without trying very hard, even while experimenting with different cornering angles. Not much else to say.

    (20)
    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    Car vs. Battle Monster
    :

    VTiRoj got it right with his description, since the Lime Lighter easily blows away the Opera BATTLE MONSTER with room to spare. The white Opera ghost was in my rearview mirror the entire time. ....Just not far enough behind to help the score immensely. :indiff:

    (12)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    Improvement over Stock
    :

    To be honest, there's hardly any area to improve over a stock Amuse S2000. The Amuse, after all, starts off as a spectacular car. It does pretty much the same things while it's stock as it does when tuned. How can one truely improve on it, other than to place its settings more to one's liking?

    The Lime Lighter felt maybe 5% more confident than a stock version. The main areas of improvement is the fact that the Lime Lighter is lighter than a regular Amuse. Gearing is also more appropriate for Twin Ring in the Lime Lighter version. But everything else (handling, traction, etc) can't really be noted as vast improvements when comparing stock versus tuned. Also, in the stock version, I had no fear as I navigated the Amuse over rumble strips with its default Sport Suspension settings.

    I would have no-doubt rated this section higher if VTiRoj had started with a regular ol' Honda S2000, instead of an actual tuner. :indiff:

    (2)

    TOTAL SCORE: 72
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009
  7. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

    Messages:
    10,448
    Location:
    United States
    Car: Blue Lighter S2000 R1

    Tuner: Rotary Junkie

    Tuning Shop: RRV Motor Works

    Lap Time: 1:26.716



    Sorry to sound negative, but I was hoping the great Rotary Junky would have provided a lightweight car with a more challenging tune, rather than something which starts off as already being a top-notch tuner automobile. Whatever though. This won't affect my judging, I promise.


    Speed:

    Top Speed: 136.0 mph


    Note. The Lime Lighter and Blue Lighter have exactly the same power & weight, but oddly I could get a better lap time in the Blue Lighter. I attribute this to the fact that the Blue Lighter has a different gearing scheme. It also has a carbon shaft (the Lime Lighter didn't list one as required). Using a lighter driveshaft makes for a very small advantage (literally hundredths of a second, or tenths of a second if you're lucky) but those small advantages add up when you're cruising out of corner after corner. :idea:

    So...gearing. We're only using gears 2 thru 5 in the Blue Lighter, and the gearing itself seems just a bit more convenient for Twin Ring Motegi. The Lime Lighter assumes gear 6 also sees action in addition to gears 2 thru 5, which (in theory) adds just a slight bit of clutch-disengagement time. Anyways, I got a better lap time in the Blue Lighter, and it felt like less work.

    The Blue Lighter also has suspension tuning more to my liking (more on this later). The main area where the Lime Lighter has a clear advantage is the fact that it hasn't got a limited-slip. In the Blue Lighter, I couldn't plant the throttle quite as early (especially out of hairpin areas), and had to be slightly less aggressive while doing so; lest just a bit of understeer shows up. But it's remarkable, the set of small differences between Lime and Blue. Any "Need 4 Speed" type of driver who doesn't understand what fine-tuning is all about, and doesn't find it necessary, would probably miss these subtle differences. I didn't.

    Overall, there isn't much issue with speed (and employing it) in the Blue Lighter for the same reasons as found in the previous article. But when compared to some others in this contest, it isn't quite as fast, and try as I might, I couldn't get the lowest lap times in the Blue Lighter.

    (21)
    --------------------------------------------------------------



    Handling
    :

    This part got a little interesting for me, personally.

    There are some subtle (and not so subtle) differences between the Lime Lighter and the Blue Lighter. The latter car has a limited slip, for instance. It also has some radically different suspension ideas including (and I like this) staggered ride height--lower in front/higher by 15mm in the rear. I personally almost NEVER set my ride height exactly the same front & back, so I felt completely comfortable with the way the Blue Lighter transfers weight.

    Other differences? The camber is offset further than it was in the Lime Lighter, and there's a small amount of toe up front. This eliminates some of the former car's front-end grabbyness. The Blue Lighter is also set with a softer suspension tune, and hasn't had its body super-stiffened with a rollcage. :tup:

    I definately and IMMEDIATELY could tell the differences between Lime and Blue.

    Good stuff: over cornering aprons, the Blue Lighter is barely upset, wheras the Lime Lighter sometimes gets squirrely. The Blue Lighter also feels just slightly more adept in those corners. Perhaps this is just the fact that I'm more comfortable with lower ground clearance up front (I set most of my front-engine cars this way). Lots of camber, which I thought might be bad, but honestly, it doesn't affect traction at all, and perhaps even enhances grip mid-corner, just as it should. :D

    Most of the things which give this car a high score are facts caused by the fact that the Amuse S2000 is, in fact, nearly a race car from the get-go, but one can't ignore that Rotary Junkie also has had his influence, as well. Point the Blue Lighter this way, and it goes that way. Point it that way, and you'll never have to worry. Transitioning from side to side in the esses is therefore a breeze. :tup:

    Now the bad stuff (what bad stuff there is, anyways). Mostly, it's the limited-slip. In the Lime Lighter, I could punch the gas earlier out of slower areas. In the Blue Lighter, I had to be more cautious; feeding the gas carefully, as if I was trying to feed a hungry tiger with my bare hands. Understeer shows up otherwise. Small amounts of understeer...but understeer, nonetheless. :indiff: It simply limits a further max-point. Once the front-end locks in a little better (usually mid-corner), it's then possible to plant the throttle, and the Blue Lighter starts throttle-steering just as you'd expect. :)

    Braking in both cars (Lime and Blue) is similar. Again, I'd prefer slightly stronger front brakes, and managed a slightly better time once I set the front stronger; but overall, the Blue Lighter also stops on a dime, when compared to others in this contest.

    (22)
    -------------------------------------------------------------


    Versatility
    :

    The Blue Lighter is slightly less versatile than the Lime Lighter, mostly because it's got a limited-slip installed. (edit: RJ made a big fuss about the fact that a stock version also has a limited-slip, and seemed to think I don't know this. I DO know this. What I mean by "has a limited-slip installed" is: RJ has installed a PD aftermarket LSD which is fully-tuneable. Thank you.)

    Even tho I could manage a better lap time in RJ's car, I had to be more careful while navigating those corners. But while driving for fun, sport, or Best Lap times, the Blue Lighter feels almost as versatile.

    (19)
    -----------------------------------------------------------


    Car versus Battle Monster
    :

    Again, not much to say here, as the Blue Lighter could easily eat the BATTLE MONSTER for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, while digesting its lap time with seconds to spare. Room for desert. ;)

    (14)
    -------------------------------------------------------------


    Improvement over Stock
    :

    And again, really not much improvement here. The stock Amuse S2000 can do all the things the Blue Lighter can do, just not as quickly. The Blue Lighter's main advantages (again) are that it's lighter and has gearing more appropriate for Twin Ring.

    Oh, and I added an extra point since I like the fact that the Bluelighter hasn't been chassis/body stiffened, and it DOES have an overall different flavor due to its suspension tuning (compared to stock).

    (3)

    TOTAL SCORE: 79
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
  8. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

    Messages:
    10,448
    Location:
    United States
    Car: 1991 TVR V8S

    Tuner: Adamgp

    Tuning Shop: Muscle Car Garages

    Lap Time: 1:28.800



    Okay. This car is (so far) the most problematic lightweight rear-drive in this contest. Only Jonn79's front-drive Integra posed more of a challenge as I tried to go for a Best Lap. But oddly, I really enjoyed driving the TVR when I was just driving for sport. It's more fun than any other lightweight so far. Keeps you guessing in a good way, and often surprises anyways. Makes me wish it made an appearance in the TCV4, where lap times made no difference...



    Speed
    :

    Top Speed: 138.1 mph


    With its small-block V8, the MCG TVR V8S has several advantages over the 4-bangers I've driven so far. For instance, in a couple areas of the track, I could let the tach needle drop below 4,000 rpms in 3rd gear, rather than being forced to make an extra downshift. Didn't matter. This car's got enough torque to safely pull from here. The advantage, of course, is now 2nd gear isn't always needed. It's become more like an optional choice.

    Down straight areas, the V8's torque has another advantage, as it keeps propeling the TVR with a greater ferocity. :D It's one of the fastest lightweights so far, even beating the RRV Amuse S2000 twins down Twin Ring East's fastest straight for the 5th-fastest lightweight Top Speed.

    I also liked the shifting arrangement. 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th gear come into play. If there was a 6th gear, I wonder if AdamGP would have tried to make that work too? As it is, this car doesn't need an extra gear, so I'm glad he didn't get the option of using one. An extra gear would mean not enough time spent in the thicker V8 powerband.

    The main things that limit acceleration out of slower areas was the TVR's rear-end, and also some goofy handling traits. :indiff: This is the first car so far which has been prone to serious wheelspin issues (other than the Integra), and also understeer. It's possible to avoid both these issues if you know when to strike at the right moment, but if you don't, everything is lost. I KNOW for a fact that if the car had greater traction out-of-corners, its launches would have been even better, which means even more speed could have resulted. But this car is not an absolute hot-lapping machine...it's more like a sports car with benefits.

    This is where I had alot of fun initially....sliding the MCG TVR V8S around, getting the rear-end loose. :dopey: It's unfortunate that I can't incorporate this stuff into scoring like I could have in the TCV4/comfort and Attitude categories.

    (18)

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    Handling:

    Like I said, it's important to be careful when navigating this one. Give too much gas while the front end is pointing just a degree out of place, and the car understeers massively. :ouch: And, if the TVR is pointing just a degree too far in the opposite direction (inwards) with weight transferred too far forward, the result is smoky rear-tires! :banghead: Which means lost time. :indiff: Fun stuff, but unfortunately not what we're looking for in the TCV5. :indiff:

    But get it right (getting the weight transferred near-neutral), and the TVR V8S does what it's supposed to--throttlesteering just as you'd like. It's a great reward once you nail it just right! But it takes patience and practice.

    Other issues? I noticed this car has a similar braking scheme as the Mustang Cobra R AdamGP provided for the TCV4. Very strong rear settings, with default front ones. What's he going for here? I'm not sure. While the brakes in the TVR (as tuned by him) aren't horrible, I was able to get better braking action by setting them like this: 12/9. Better braking means a better lap time. With these better brakes, wing settings, and other minor adjustments, I finally was able to firmly put the BATTLE MONSTER behind. Couldn't do it with Adamgp's settings, unfortunately.

    As mentioned, I made the wing settings stronger, simply because I really wanted to beat the BATTLE MONSTER. I was really getting obsessed after awhile, you see. But in the TCV5, we're judging as to how the car exists as tuned by the original garage. A couple points are getting docked here, even as I wish I didn't have to dock them.

    Still, the question must be raised: why set the wings at "15" when "30" helps with better high-speed downforce? (necessary in the esses portions of Twin Ring when going for BATTLE MONSTER DEFEATION). I understand that weaker wing settings can allow a car to have more natural movement as we're cornering, and I would have welcomed weaker settings (or no wing at all) in the TCV4. But in the TCV5, I simply found I needed all the help I could get as I went for GOLD.

    The rest of my issues were small ones. The V8S does well when cornering over aprons (unlike some others so far). I'd argue that the rigidity refresh is necessary, but that the rollcage isn't. The rollcage (in theory) could induce extra understeer. And the V8S does happen to get more understeery than we'd like at some points.

    I also liked the fact that the limited-slip in this car is set rather softly. I'd say it's not fully necessary to have LSD between those rear axles; but the fact is when I removed it, extra wheelspin quickly made me decide this was a bad idea. So no points docked for the Muscle Car Garages-set LSD.

    (12)
    ------------------------------------------------------------


    Versatility
    :

    This is a rather versatile car when driving for fun. It's controllable. Lets you get sideways and have a blast, and then claim it all back. Let's be honest: so far I haven't had a chance to get sideways, have fun, and explore a bit. So this helps our score here. We're allowed to have a more subjective approach when judging for Versatility. :)

    It's mostly the understeer that destroys this fun. :( Understeer makes sure you don't experiment too far in the TVR V8S. I wish it wasn't as understeery as it is. :( The car also can get too "iffy" under pressure, especially if a small mistake is made. So understeer and other issues (possible fishtailing, goofy weight transferrence, etc) get in the way of experimentation.

    There is a bit of play in hairpin areas, where we get to slow down massively, but not much. This is no Elise. But overall, I gave some points here since I personally could play around with this one to some degree sucessfully while garnering similar lap times.

    (15)
    --------------------------------------------------------------

    Car vs. Battle Monster:

    Initially, I was having lots of fun with the V8S. :D As I got more serious, I realized it's possible to make this car "work", but to do so means you're gonna need to wrestle it. My DS2 starting making ugly creaking sounds as I later got down to business, trying to beat the Opera. Then my wrists started hurting. :scared: I kept almost beating the battle monster (I really tried, honest). I could manage to out-wit the Opera into those first 6 turns, but not the entire track. :mad::ouch::banghead: Then, it was time to quit. Can't spend all day here, got others to test drive. :indiff:

    Finally (after many laps) I beat the BATTLE MONSTER, and beat my previous lap time by -.496. But it wasn't an easy victory. And I had to use my own settings to do so. But with Muscle Car Garage settings, I could only get near-equal times to the Opera. :indiff:

    (10)
    -----------------------------------------------------------


    Improvement over Stock[/u
    :

    Yes. There is improvment here, I'm happy :) to report, but also some lacks. :indiff:

    By driving cars "stock" I'm taking it to mean driving them without extra power, extra parts. Any movable settings (such as the sport suspension on an Amuse S2000) are at default. Only TCS and ASM are to be manipulated to zero. Correct? "Correct", mafs has told us.

    Assuming all this is true, unfortunately the stock TVR drives with less drama than AdamGP's version. It's not as fast while stock, of course, but I noticed that when driving the V8S stock, understeer is actually minimal, and I had to really push the rear to get throttle-driven wheelspin happening. This is bad news for poor Adam, since his version is much more prone towards this antsy behavior.

    The good news? He made the gearing shorter, so that it fits perfectly at Twin Ring. While stock, the TVR needs to be driven to redline because its gearbox is rather tall. In some areas of Twin Ring, there's some confusion as to which gear I should have taken that corner in: 2nd or 3rd? In Adam's car, I could shift early, and always had the perfect gear for every corner, yet wasn't forced to choose one lower gear over another (since there's lotso torque).

    Braking is also marginally better (despite those odd settings), although I partially attribute this to the fact that Adam's car is on S3 tires (a stock TVR has S2s), has wings equipped, and is lighter.

    (4)

    TOTAL SCORE: 59
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2009
  9. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

    Messages:
    10,448
    Location:
    United States
    Car: Fudge Stratos '73

    Tuner: ABud

    Tuning Shop: Fudge Tuners

    Best Lap: 1:26.638



    The caption ABud provided to describe the Fudge Stratos says it was "built to come in last place" or something. I personally don't think this will happen. At least not in my book.


    Speed
    :

    Top Speed: 141.2 mph


    It's been too long since I've throttled a delicious Ferrari Dino V6...since my GT2 days, matter of fact. :D With a wide power-band, it's possible to drop this one all the way down to 4,000 rpms and still manage good accelerative speed out-of-corners, all the while hearing that crisp exhaust note. :tup: One has options with the gearing in this car too. I could leave certain corners in 2nd gear. Or I could leave them in 3rd. Didn't matter...the sharp, eager V6 seemed happy no matter how I decided to accelerate. :tup:

    Surprisingly, this is the fastest lightweight so far, despite its age. I recorded a top speed of just over 140 mph down the first straight. But its speed comes at a price, for this car is also highly rambunctious and nervous. It's an old-world racing car, after all; built in the days when drivers more often died for their craft than they do nowadays. So yea, it's fast, which helps the score here, but keeping this car going in the right direction is half the battle; much harder to accomplish than it is in a modern auto.

    (21)
    -------------------------------------------------------------


    Handling:

    To place a well-used stereotype, here we have a car that is very Italian. Fiery. Impatient. Caffeine-driven. Almost angry at times. :mad: Just like an Italian mobster, it'll get the job done, if you can stay on its "good" side. :lol:

    ....For this is a car of mastery, not one that automatically works WITH you by default like the RRV Elise and Amuse/Lighter S2000s. The Fudge Tuner aftermarket work in this Lancia only accentuates its wild behavior, instead of suppressing it. This is both good and bad.

    Turn-in (while braking is off) can be grabby, quick and sharp in the Fudge Stratos...sharp enough to garner WILD, barely controllable lift-off oversteer, rather than easily and progressively-controlled, as found in Vince's Elise. Turn-in (while braking is on) is a completely different story....and now the Fudge starts to understeer more aggressively. It's a very fine line trying to control this one into corners.

    Understeer, varying from mild to bothersome, also shows up at odd moments under power; especially since it's easy to get throttle-happy out of turns in this car. Oddly, this one has a 1.5-way differential (rather than one that's fully tuneable). Personally, I prefer fixed diffs for most racing situations, but I can't help thinking that if we could fully tune the diff in this car, we could get it to behave more smoothly. The 1.5 eliminates some problems while introducing others.

    ....But then, if we got rid of it entirely, if we could make this car behave more appropriately, there would go all that fire I was digging! Fortunately, I'm well-used to fixed diffs. Good thing too. It meant I could work with the Fudge once I got the hang of it, garnering some good lap times and such.

    At odd moments, the car gets very "swivelly" while mid-corner...all four tires losing a very small amount of traction at once, while the entire car gets into a mild slide! :dopey: This even happens to a small degree in Turn 7 if you're steering just a little too aggressively. Turn seven is the barely curved right between the first hairpin and second S-turn section, far opposite the Start/Finish area.

    Anyways...mild sliding. Hmmm. Very exciting stuff, but not purely necessary, and actually dangerous to lap times. I attribute this behavior to those great camber settings on each wheel, and also the fact that this is a mid-engine car.

    But let's talk about that camber for a sec. 4.5 degrees in the front, matched with 3.0 in the rear!?! Is ABud nuts?????????? :lol:

    I figured this would introduce some wild wheelspin while leaving corners, but surprisingly, the rear of this car is the one thing that always feels as though it's got lots of traction, as long as you're not doing something way-stoopid. Wheelspin is virtually non-existent, so long as you're not driving too aggressively over one of Motegi's blue & white rumble strips. Also, the ground clearance is staggered--the rear is higher than the front. Personally, I often set mid-engine cars so that the rear is lower (since it'll often try to swing around, anyways).

    All of this sounds like a recipe for disaster. Right? :nervous: Well once I got the hang of...good lord did I start to have some fun in the Fudge Stratos.

    Small amounts of trail-braking can be used on the entry to induce some barely-controllable (which means controllable) swiveling while mid-corner. This means the entire car (all four tires) has lost just a bit of traction, and is only following the curve via pure weight transferrence & sideways sliding motion. Basically, the greater weight in the rear is now swinging the entire car around the corner like a giant pendulum. It's pure magic, almost feels like you're off-road, once you get it right. And the best part? I beat all the other lightweight's previous times so far, partially due to the fact that I was able to "let go" of this car. This is rare. I could get a better lap time by occasionally losing control in the Fudge just a tiny bit.

    But some negatives, please. The car is quite unnecessarily stiff. Maxed stabilizers (why why why?) and strong damper settings keep those tires bouncing every time I need to navigate over a rumble strip, sometimes ruining an otherwise perfect lap run. All-a-sudden, you really start to notice how lightweight and unstable the Fudge really is. Minor (and I mean MINOR) slips into the grass can also often cause major moments of disaster, spins, and whatnot.

    Again, the brakes in this one are weaker than they should be, but I can't really judge this negatively. I didn't have as serious issue with braking in the Fudge Stratos as I did with other cars I've driven so far, mostly because I fear that stronger brakes could induce more drastic understeer into turns. We don't want that.

    As usual, I retuned the car to my own specs (just for fun) in an effort to make the Stratos more controllable. And yea, I beat the Fudge lap time. But I'll be honest....I wasn't having as much fun! For once, I'm actually admitting I like someone else's tune more than mine! Enjoy the moment while it lasts.

    (15)
    --------------------------------------------------------------


    Versatility:


    Near-perfect score here, folks. Experimentation is the Fudge Stratos' forte to a tee.

    Granted, there were those times in which I lost it all, but this happened as I was striving for an absolute Best Lap time, not when I was warming up, driving for sport. The Fudge Stratos doesn't provide much leeway between its best behavior and its worst once you're really pushing it. If I weren't as experienced with Gran Turismo as I am, this might have bothered me.

    But dial the speed back just a tad, and this car is hugely versatile. A lesser driver would be tripping over his shoelaces in this one; not I. :tup: I was even able to beat the BATTLE MONSTER while experimenting. :)

    (18)
    --------------------------------------------------------------



    Car versus Battle Monster:


    I could reliably beat the MONSTER lap after lap once I got the hang of the Fudge Stratos, and after a few more laps, I also whupped one of the Amuse/Lighter twins, which surprised the hell out of me. Eventually, I managed to beat the Blue Lighter S2000, although this win didn't come nearly as easy as beating the MONSTER and the Lime Lighter. But the fact that I did manage to consistently beat the MONSTER time itself time after time simply can't be ignored.

    (14)
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Improvement over Stock:

    There are mostly improvements here, but it's hard to tell, because some of them are buried underneath a bunch of nervous, fiery activity. :mischievous:

    The Fudge Stratos (like all others in the contest) has a more appropriate, shorter gearbox for Twin Ring Motegi East. Triple-plate clutch + racing flywheel means shifts happen much more quickly. That's the easy part. The Fudge also corners with more preciseness once you get the hang of it. This preciseness is due mostly to the fact that the Fudge is lighter than its stock cousin, although (again) is buried underneath a veneer of macho behavior. Both cars have the ability to lock into a groove, so there isn't a true advantage here.

    But the stock version is easier to control--easier to get out of a slide, for instance; which isn't as likely to happen in the first place since there's way less power involved. Braking is improved in the Fudge. Weight transferrence is also easier to deal with. The fact that the Fudge Stratos is lighter with a stiffer suspension means it hasn't got as much body movement, although this gets offset once we're really going for speed and the Fudge starts slinging itself around. Now the bad stuff.


    Since the stock version hasn't got a limited-slip, it also feels more comfortable with more extreme cornering angles. Sometimes, it seems the fixed limited-slip in the Fudge might be part of the problem, especially at those moments when understeer starts stepping in. The stock version only suffers entry-corner understeer, which only shows up if you forget to brake earlier.

    Finally, the stock '73 Lancia Stratos handles those rumble-strip moments far better than the Fudge. The Fudge often starts dancing around inappropriately like a hip hop crew once it makes contact with one.

    (5)

    TOTAL SCORE: 73
     
  10. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

    Messages:
    10,448
    Location:
    United States
    Car: ZZW30 Toyota MR2 V edition '02

    Tuner: a112

    Garage: Forza Barbieri Motorsport

    Best Lap: 1:28.128


    There are a couple MR2-based vehicles in the lightweight division, so let's look at the first one entered.



    Speed
    :

    Top Speed: 139.1 mph


    This one is similar to some other lightweights in that it's faster than the Opera S2000 BATTLE MONSTER down straights, but has some problems with corners. Anyways, the MR2's 4 cylinder is similar to the one found in Vince 247's Elise Type R (which also happens to have a Toyota engine). Narrow powerband, not much torque to rely on. The main difference is that this MR2's engine has a lower redline.

    Oddly, a112 didn't bother to give us a fully-modifyable tranny, which wouldn't bother me so long as it still got the job done. :confused: Instead, he's opted for a close-ratio one, which happens to be problematic at Twin Ring. If I could, I'd give him a point for not making me set all those gears, since it means I don't have to sit there flipping between the internet and my PS2 screens as I fine-tune his transmission! :lol: My short term memory sucks, you see. But I can't do this! So no bonus points for the fixed tranny/less tuning idea! :p

    Unfortunately, it's this tranny that's the most problematic item to deal with as we're accelerating 'round Twin Ring. :(

    Down the first straight, the Forza Barbieri MR2 actually redlines in 6th gear! This initially scared the hell out of me...for I wasn't anywhere near the braking area yet. :scared: Would the engine meet its limit? Fortunately, it didn't--only because the car's got engine balancing + a stage 3 NA kit, which means its redline area is extended. But still, the fact that the engine is pushing past redline in 6th means it's not getting the best speed it can absolutely get. After all, if the tach needle passes redline, it's now also way past its 6,400 rpm prime power area.

    During other portions of Twin Ring, I had to make awkward choices between 3rd and 4th gear. The car pushes (understeers) too much in 4th, but in 3rd, it's dangerously redlining. What to do? :confused:

    Like in Vince's Elise, shifting is very busy in the MR2 V Edition. But at least in the Elise, I always felt like I had the perfect gear for every scenario. This is not so in the MR2 V Edition.

    Well, a112 is honest and admits he used this car for Tsukuba Wet racing; hence its gearbox may be perfect there. Too bad he didn't spend a little extra time gearing for Twin Ring East.

    (16)
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------



    Handling:


    The MR2 V edition is unusual for a lightweight mid-engine car because it's not as flexible as others I've driven so far. So far, this has been the least playful of the bunch. This isn't a criticism in and of itself, it's merely a fact...it's what we have to work with. I'm not docking points merely for this (in the TCV4, I would have, though, since we had those "Cornering Attitude" and "Cornering Comfort" categories).

    ...Still, I found myself a little shocked that I couldn't do some of the things in the V Edition MR2 that I could do in the Fudge Stratos and Vince's Elise.

    Let's start with the front-end. It's not truely a understeery front-end, but it only let's you get so far. That isn't to say it never understeers...certainly it does at times, once you're really pushing for speed. Understeer shows up under power, for instance, at some points; especially in the esses portions of the track (turns 3, 4, and 5, as well as turns 8 and 9). Mild understeer also showed up as I was trying to leave hairpin #1 (turn 6), and the super-difficult turn #10 (which I like to call the backwards-bend). All of these understeer-moments (small as they are) can be avoided with preperation. That's the good news. But there's more issues to discuss.

    Unlike Vince 247's Elise, the MR2 V Edition wouldn't let me trail-brake into corners much. Not true understeer per se...this behavior is actually more of a simple limit. "NO! You can't DO THAT!" the V Edition screams. Only if you brake later than you should does the front-end become very difficult--so that now understeer suddenly turns massive. This is avoidable, but I couldn't help thinking that the Elise I drove earlier would be more forgiving under the same circumstances.

    Unlike both the Elise and the Fudge Stratos, the V Edition doesn't grab into corners very strongly once you're mid-corner, and the brakes are off. Not as much lift-off oversteer in the MR2 V Edition as in those others. There's none of the gymnastic, progressive ability of the Elise, or unpredictably sideways, oversteery ride of the Stratos. Instead, (again) the MR2 V Edition only doles its rear-end out so far...and that's it. I attribute this partially to settings (lot of camber up front + lots of toe) and partially the chassis stiffening.

    So it's not as playful, and feels safer than the Stratos. What's the big deal? The big deal shows up once we're really pushing this car for speed, and we start to realize how many limits the FBM MR2 has in place.

    This is arguably the safest mid-engine lightweight so far. A noobish driver would have a better chance of piloting it than he or she would in others of this contest so far. An example is: one can crank the steering very hard into turns with less fear of a spin or extraneous movement occuring as a result. It's not nearly as nervous as some other MR machines. But in my opinion, this car could be better if it WAS a little more nervous...if the toe was minimized, camber dialed back, and if it didn't have its chassis stiffened. MR2s are supposed to be flexible cars; being flexible is one of their main advantages. This one feels about as flexible as PVC pipe half the time.

    But there are some good things. :D The brakes are acceptable. :tup: If the chassis was more cooperative, I would have had more success braking into corners. Anyways, the brakes in this car are better than the Elise's by far, and just as good (and easier to employ) than the Fudge's.

    Also, the rear-end does throttle-steer with great ability if you get the weight transferred correctly mid-corner, which is what eventually helped me beat the BATTLE MONSTER. If you DON'T get the car balanced right, the only thing that shows up is understeer, unfortunately. But at least there's an option here. It's not all understeer, all-the-time.

    We've got a 1-way differential back there, after all. This is like having a giant ON/OFF switch in the rear; not entirely smooth. :indiff: Which hurts in those esses sections as you're trying to build speed, but feels perfect out of hairpin and L-turn areas, assuming you get the car balanced right before throttle-launching.

    If you kick V Edition MR2 out of slower turns in 2nd gear, it kicks back with controllable throttlesteer, which is about as playful as things get in this machine. Again, I attribute this behavior to what helped me finally kill the BATTLE MONSTER, and eventually beat a112's lap time just slightly.

    (16)
    ------------------------------------------------------------


    Versatility
    :

    Not as versatile a car as it should be, unless you're just driving rather casually. There's options if you do so. But when pushing it just a little further, this car's stiffness, poor trail-braking ability, and its difficult settings & some parts get in the way of proper driving experimentation. Lap times start getting inconsistent. The short-throw gearbox and narrow powerband also limits our options as we're zooming into and out of various curves and corners.

    But...there is some playing around here when just lazily cruizing 'round the 'Ring (Twin Ring, that is...), which helps the score.

    (15)
    -----------------------------------------------------------


    Car vs. Battle Monster
    :

    It took a few laps, gritted teeth, and sore wrists before I beat the BATTLE MONSTER S2000. But, I did eventually beat it. This car makes you work to get there, however.

    (11)
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Improvement over Stock
    :

    There's lots of trade-offs, making it hard to discern any clear improvments. Here goes.

    The main issue is the Forza Barbieri Motorsport MR2 V Edition has lost most of its flexibility when compared to a stock MR2 Spyder, but the Spyder isn't as "safe". Instead, any safeness we can attribute towards the Spyder is due to the fact that it's an underpowered car.

    Gearing. I'd prefer the Spyder's stock gearbox over the close-ratio one by far if I had a choice for a racing scenario, but the stock gearing (let's be honest) IS too tall for Twin Ring. The V Edition's close-ratio 6-speed is shorter, fires into place faster, but I felt it was also more problematic than stock (for Twin Ring, anyways...perhaps close gearing would be a more perfect match at Autumn Ring or Tsukuba.

    The V Edition is obviously lighter, stouter, and has better straight-line brakes. But the Spyder would let me trail-brake into corners with more success. The Spyder is more darty than the V Edition, and leans into turns just a bit more. I would prefer that the V Editon kept some of this dartiness, but I don't miss the greater weight transferrence that the Spyder exhibits.

    Both cars seem to get confused mid-corner, but I could pilot the Spyder outwards with less chance of understeer; more chance of throttlesteer.

    (4)

    TOTAL SCORE: 62
     
  11. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

    Messages:
    10,448
    Location:
    United States
    Car: Honda Civic EG6 333 Balang Project NA Version

    Tuner
    : Balang 479

    Garage: BALANG PROJECT

    Best Lap: 1:36.757




    Well this is interesting. Balang admits he hasn't got his GT4 disc anymore, which means he's not sure if this car's gearbox is even competitive at this track! Let's see if it (and the rest of the car) is.

    Quick side note here. The good thing about this one is I actually own several Civics, one of them has most of the exact parts needed for Balang's requirements, even the stage 3 weight reduction. This is the first car so far in which I didn't need to buy a slew of stuff...all I needed to get was the rollcage, the 1.5 diff, and the wing.

    Balang didn't list an oil change for the list of items to get, so I didn't get one. I'm also not sure what "racing clutch" is supposed to mean. I just assumed it was the triple-plate.



    Speed
    :

    Top Speed: 134.2 mph


    This one is so far the least competitive automobile of the TCV5, but that doesn't mean I'm not glad it's part of the competition. We should be having some fun here after all. The fact that so many of us are dedicated to tuning fantasy cars (to escape our jobs, school, and occasionally girlfriends ;)) and in such a variety of ways makes me smile. :) This is a contest, tho. And the Honda Civic EG6 333 Balang Project NA Version (phew, what a long name) really has lots and lots of issues.

    First the good news. The gearbox fits at Twin Ring. It just fits, matter of fact. As we're rolling down the first straight, it's starts redlining and ALMOST maxes out, but doesn't quite get there. During the rest of the track, I discovered I could find an appropriate gear (in theory) for each corner.

    Now the bad news (mostly bad).

    Second gear is useless. It's better to stay in third, matter of fact. Problem is, if you keep throttle maxed, third starts garnering just a slight bit of wheelspin as we near peak power area (just before 7,000 rpms). This means just a bit of lost speed. :( Gears third thru 6th get progressively shorter, which is a nice touch. But overall, this gearbox scheme is too short for Twin Ring. That's obvious.

    But the main thing is: I know with a bit of tuning (less camber, as well as an actual full-custom diff) this car's front-end would bite pavement out-of-corners just a little bit better. I spent a little time getting fussy with my own settings here, just for fun.

    But overall, this car just doesn't stack up speed-wise. It doesn't even compare to Jonn's Integra, which wound up a couple seconds faster around Twin Ring than the Civic. The only thing helping here is the fact that this car did make a faster Top Speed than some other Lightweights. :)

    (4)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    Handling:

    The best part of this one are its brakes. It's a front-drive. Front-drive cars (in the fantasy world of Gran Turismo/somewhat in the real-world, too) usually have good braking ability.

    But again, lots and lots of issues. The car's way too stiff, for instance. Again, we have chassis stiffening in this one. A roll cage. I'm really starting to wonder what's the point? Why does everybody seem to think stiffening is necessary? Doesn't the parts decription at the tuning shop tell us "this may ADD understeer" before we buy it? Why stiffen an understeery car, then? :confused: But it's not just the rollcage, it's also some of the settings as well. Stiff dampers up front and stiff springs all around hurt the car more than they help. Too much camber up front means the car has problems gripping in a straight line out-of-corners and kinks.

    And why the 1.5 differential? If you're gonna go with a fixed diff, why not put a 1-way up there? The ".5" part of the diff means it applies resistance as we're braking in. This is great for some cars that are too swivelly during braking, but hurts the Honda Civic EG6 333 Balang Project NA Version's main advantage, for it should brake into turns better than it does. NOTHING should get in the way of this car's superior brakes.

    I would also recommend staggering the ground clearance so that the front-end sits lower than the rear, with somewhat weaker front dampers and springs. This allows the front to dive more as we brake.

    I made the entire gearbox taller via pushing the Final Drive settings down, so that 2nd could be used as an engine brake (and carefully used with less wheelspin out of some corners), and 3rd no longer offered ANY wheelspin. Removing the racing flywheel for a stock one also helped a bit here. None of this is reflected in the final Lap Time or Top Speed, of course.

    Finally, I also installed a FC limited-slip with these settings: 5/35/5. This allowed greater traction out-of-corners (where it's desperately needed most) and also stopped the diff's interfering qualities while braking.

    I managed to chop nearly an entire second off my lap time with all these changes. I say this not to brag, but to teach, perhaps. ;)

    (5)

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Versatility
    :

    Understeer. Too-short gearing. Too much wheelspin. There's so many issues hurting this car's versatility. Even the brakes are having a tough go of making things work. (2) :(

    (2)
    ----------------------------------------------------------0------


    Car vs. Battle Monster
    :

    Obviously, since this is the slowest of the slow, it couldn't touch the BATTLE MONSTER at all. In the Integra, I could at least beat the Opera into the first couple corners (better brakes) and near the MONSTER's overall time. But the poor BALANG Civic couldn't even do this. The MONSTER conquers all here. (0)

    (0)
    --------------------------------------------------------------

    Improvement over Stock
    :

    The Balang Project Civic is lighter than a stock SiR-II. That's about the only advantage here. The Balang Civic has better brakes, but the 1.5 limited-slip, as well as some awkward suspension settings, limits our ability to use them.

    Sure, it's got more power. But arguably, a stock Civic uses its power better, putting more of it to pavement with better success. Wheelspin happens occasionally in the stock version, but it's 90% more controllable. Just because it's slower doesn't mean the SiR-II is not more adept at handling itself. There isn't as much of an effort to avoid Civic FF negatives in the Balang version. :(

    The Honda Civic EG6 333 Balang Project NA Version, on the other hand, is a pure pocket rocket: emphasis on the "rocket" part. Way too powerful for its own good, and with settings that aren't as appropriate for the tasks at hand.

    (2)

    TOTAL SCORE: 13
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2009
  12. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

    Messages:
    10,448
    Location:
    United States
    Car: Toyota MR-SC TRD'02

    Tuner: Leonidae

    Garage: Mad Finn Tuners (MFT)

    Best Lap 1:28.345



    Leonidae strikes again with the 2nd MR2 Spyder tune of the TCV5. :tup:


    Speed
    :

    Top Speed: 135.5 mph


    Here we have another rehashed Toyota MR Spyder, which makes it easy for me to compare it to the V Edition a112 provided earlier, since both tuners start from the same vehicle. I happen to love it when two tuners enter the same vehicle, or even similar ones from the same manufacturer--as we had all those Z-cars and RX8s in the TCV4. It's like two potters have each been given a lump of clay. What will they wind up with? Another reformed lump of clay? :indiff: Or a work of art? :D OR something in between?

    Compared to others so far, the Toyota MR-SC TRD rates middle-groundish so far as power, acceleration, and speed are concerned. The good news is that this car's got a fantastically-tuned chassis, which really makes it easy to drive...easy to navigate....very predictable. Easy to extract what speed there is to offer. I expected nothing less from the elder half of the Mad Finns.

    Making a car easy to drive means it's also easy to squeeze the most out of it while cornering. Another Toyota 1.8 liter mice-cage is what we have to work with so far as a powerplant. Acceleration in this car is smooth, but not exactly a kick in the pants at any point. This means lots of revs, but not so much torque. So the fact that the rest of the car is so willling to work with us means we get to really use this engine for all it's got. Leonidae makes sure this happens as best it can.

    Gearing. In the V Edition MR2 I tested earlier (which has a close-ratio gearbox; too confining for Twin Ring East) we had plenty of limits. Leonidae's version has a fully-tuned gearbox which does a much better job. 2nd gear sees action out of turns 1, 6, 10, and 11. 3rd gear fits just perfectly for the esses portions (3, 4, 5, 8, and 9). 4th, 5th, and 6th are mostly cruising gears. Simple. Easy to use....no tricks, no awkward gearing moments that create tension rather than ease. ;) In Vince's Elise, there's always the right gear for every situation, and the same is true with the TRD MR-SC. :)

    The main bitch I had was that (again) shifting in the TRD MR-SC is also very busy, especially when needing to downshift from 6th to 2nd gear. Again, I found I really had to pay attention to where my feet landed; lest I wound up in the wrong gear. Not much torque to rely on if you do. Such a gearing scenario is fully necessary to stay in this car's narrow power-band, of course. But, this is the one area (so far as speed is concerned) where the car really makes us work for results.

    The MFT MR-SC simply hasn't got the go-power to keep up with the likes of the Fudge Stratos and Amuse Lighter twins, which is a shame. Beating the BATTLE MONSTER can be done if you get a near-perfect lap, but if this car had more power, it could be done more consistently. I was surprised this didn't have more power; the MR-SC is nowhere near legal limits of this contest. My opinion is: it could and should be.

    Let's not get all bummed out, though. There's more to discuss, most of it positive..

    (15)
    --------------------------------------------------------------


    Handling
    :

    I was really impressed with Mr. Black's handling prowess. If you're not familiar, Mr. Black was Leonidae's MR2 makeover for the TCV4/rear-drive competition. It was like he took an MR2 (with all its tricky handling traits) and managed to make it into something which felt like a cross between an NSX and an Elise. :tup:

    When I looked at the Toyota MR-SC's settings sheet, I started drooling. :drool: Right away, I saw some things which curiously had me intrigued, and I wasn't disappointed.

    First off, those coils. Not too strong. Notice he's only given us 3.0 kg/mm up front matched with 5.0 in the rear. This is in contrast to most other tunes so far, which have been set with up to 16.5 kg/mm. :ouch: The stabilizers in the MR-SC are also set very softly. :tup: This car (as a lightweight) really doesn't need more.

    Now notice the rigidity increase. Normally, I'd be complaining about this. But in the TRD MR-SC, there's a balance, since the suspension itself is softly set, and the MR Spyder has an open-top which means it's a rather flexy car to start with...perhaps a little too flexy. The Roll Cage might not wind up hurting.

    So how does all this pan? As it turns out, the MR-SC always feels planted, always feels safe, always feels firm, yet it NEVER gets squirelly over Twin Ring's rumble strips. This may not sound very important, but it is. It never bounces to excess, which means you can easily include wider racing lines as you navigate over these areas. Go ahead and drive it yourself, you'll see what I mean. :)

    In my opinion, it's counter-productive to always need super-stiffness, even at a smooth track like Twin Ring. Some people seem not to notice the fact that it takes just one rumble strip's bouncing to ruin an otherwise perfect lap. Despite the rollcage/rigidity increase, the MR-SC therefore still has plenty of MR Spyder flexibility. Good job, Mad Finner. :tup:

    Braking (despite what looks like weak brake settings) happens to be excellent in the MR-SC, mostly because this car lets you trail-brake successfully, without getting too grabby like an MR2 normally would. Understeer (while braking) only happens if you brake too late. The car isn't so forgiving at these moments, but this isn't a point-docker in my opinion. Just brake when you're supposed to--the MR-SC will work with you the rest of the way.

    Again, (as with Mr. Black) I'm really having a hard time finding issues with this car, so far as handling goes, but there are a few.

    The MR-SC is not quite as flexible and/or fun as an MR Spyder usually feels. The "fun" part doesn't matter here (in the TCV4 it would, though), but the "flexible" part does. I also noticed some mild moments of understeer which showed up under power as I was trying to leave hairpin areas, and the dreaded backwards-bend (turn 10). It's easy to avoid this pushing, however, if you follow these instructions to a tee.

    1> Brake in,

    2> let the car coast (DON'T hit the gas early),

    3> and when appropriate, start applying fuel.


    It's such a simple formula, and it works, as long as you follow it. Start messing with this formula, and unfortunately you WILL get mid-corner understeer. :ouch: This seems to be caused by the limited-slip in this car, which is mildly set, but places a small set of limits. The good news is, this particular behavior (brake-in...coast....gas) is so predictable and easy to employ, only those who ignore the rules will find themselves having problems.


    I removed the limited-slip just out of curiosity to see if the MR-SC could get just a tad more flexible, and it did, but not by much. This car's LSD is set very mild, you see. Lift-off oversteer isn't progressive, like it is in Vince's Elise, but neither does it keep you wildly guessing, like in the Fudge Stratos. The front end isn't grabby; instead, the entire car feels very balanced at all times. That seems to be what Leonidae has strived for here...balance in a mid-engine car.

    Overall, good words to describe the MR-SC would be safe, easy to work with, and as predictable as taxes, death, and being born completely naked.

    (23)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------


    Versatility
    :

    Again, this car isn't quite as flexible as it could be. But it rates highly here because it is so mechanically predictable and sound, which lets us experiment to a good degree while getting laps done with consistent times.

    (18)
    -------------------------------------------------------------


    Car vs. Battle Monster
    :

    Here's where it all falls apart. Again, it's not so much the car or the way it's been set-up, it's the fact that there isn't enough power (nowhere near the legal Lightweight limit). Because of this, it took me awhile to beat the BATTLE MONSTER. I had to work this car as hard as I could to do so, as well. :grumpy: But I did it. :D

    (11)
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Improvement over Stock
    :

    The gearbox is the biggest improvement of all. The minused weight, too. The brakes, to a smaller degree. I also noticed that a stock MR Spyder's front-end gets too grabby at times while steering into corners. If the Spyder had 50 more horsepower to start with, this might become a serious problem. And it's noticable that the MFT Toyota MR-SC TRD, which of course HAS this extra power, feels more balanced; and doesn't suffer from any grabbing at all. Just aim, then shoot.

    Both cars (stock and tuned) have plenty of rear-end traction, so no improvement there, but also no point docked. If there's an area where the MR-SC loses, it's the fact that understeer does show up just a little more easily than it should. It's just as easy to avoid it, but I couldn't help noticing that the stock version doesn't exhibit this at all, and you can therefore nail its accelerator a little earlier.

    But overall? Another fine job from the elder half of the Mad Finner team. Now, if we can just convince Greycap to enter the TCV6.... ;)

    (9)

    TOTAL SCORE: 76
     
  13. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

    Messages:
    10,448
    Location:
    United States
    Car: 2000 Opel Speedster Turbo

    Tuner: king of weasels

    Garage: Bellomo Motorsports SPA

    Best Lap: 1:26.322



    Oohhh. The first Krautmobile makes its entrance to combat the JDMs, Italy, and the Brits...



    Speed
    :

    Top Speed: 139.7 mph


    Lots of similarities between this car and the one I just drove (Leonidae's MR-SC). The main difference is: the King of Weasels has given us the extra power I was craving for in Leonidae's machine, but couldn't have. :dopey::indiff:

    The Bellomo Motorsports Speedster is not the fastest lightweight down a straight (this honor still goes to the Fudge Stratos), but KoW's Opel Speedster Turbo is the one fastest around the track so far. I was able to get the lowest lap time in the Speedster so far. It might have made "lowest" had PF not shown up.

    Again, there's a noticeable lack of torquey "ooph", since the Speedster's got a 2.0 liter 4 cylinder. Another simlilarity between Leonidae's car and the King of Weasel's? Both cars work with you as much as they can with this limited torque. Speed isn't as great as it is in the TVR or Stratos, but the King of Weasels' Speedster happens to make sure we get to employ as much of it as we can as we're cornering and leaving corners.

    The Speedster has a 5-speed, rather than a 6-speed as found in the Elise, MR-SC, and others. I had a slightly easier time navigating Twin Ring in this car, therefore, since nearing hairpins and other tight areas required only three downshifts, rather than a possible four.

    The engine's torque band is very wide, rather than spiky (peak torque starting way down at 1,850 rpms) which makes the Speedster Turbo experience a very smooth one. There isn't much fire as we stew this pot, but neither is it difficult to work with. :tup: This is the biggest difference between the Fudge Stratos and Bellomo Motorsports Speedster, of course. Both cars could get similar lap times, but in the Speedster, I rarely had to worry about the possibility of grassy off-track expeditions or spins as I drove it around at breakneck speeds.

    (23)
    ------------------------------------------------------------


    Handling
    :

    Again, a softly-set suspension, rather than one that's super-stiff. :tup: No rollcage in the Bellomo Speedster. :tup: I could work with this car in many of the same ways that I could work with Leonidae's MR-SC. I'm not going into super detail here...it's amazing how both cars offer pretty much the same character traits. Rolling over rumble strips doesn't cause any drastic behavior. :tup:

    The KoW Speedster Turbo has a stronger accel rating in its limited-slip, which I thought might make it more difficult. Yes, this does add some understeer at odd points...I definately noticed. But it's not as bad as I feared it would be. The front-end of the Bellomo Speedster is lowered, camber is weakly set, and there's no wacky toe settings...all of which helpes the front-end lock into a groove right-away as I navigated in and out of corners. Like I said, there was some understeer here and there, but it was easy to avoid if you forget where the throttle is for just a sec or 2.

    Now the good part is the other settings (initial and decel) of the limited-slip are very weakly set. :tup: This means the Speedster keeps alot of its native flexibility as we're coasting and braking. The front-end grabs into corners just a tad while braking, and some lift-off oversteer (but not too much) shows up as we keep steering cranked but lose the brakes.

    So lots of good stuff here, making the Speedster tie with a couple others for a high Handling score.

    (24)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    Versatility
    :

    Another high score. :tup: I even noticed as I was pushing for a Best Lap in the Bellomo Speedster, that I was able to do make good lap times, even though I kept searching for alternative lines, even though I sometimes was making small cornering mistakes.

    I'd wind up too far away from the apex in one corner, yet still find myself beating the Best Lap ghost as I performed damage control. I'd brake too late in the next corner, yet have enough flexibility to keep the front-end out of understeer-land.

    (20)
    -----------------------------------------------------------

    Car vs. Battle Monster
    :

    Like Leonidae's car, this one is very easy to navigate. Unlike his car, I beat the BATTLE MONSTER on my very first lap, since the Bellomo Speedster has the power to do so. Even with major mistakes (slips into the grass and such), the Bellomo Speedster often had enough tricks left up its sleeve so that I beat BATTLE MONSTER times even if I screwed up somewhere.

    (15)
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Improvement over Stock
    :

    There's the usual improvements. Stock gearing is too tall for Twin Ring..5th gear is useless. The King of Weasel's version includes 5th for an overall shorter gearbox. Braking (oddly) feels much improved, even tho at 6/6, these brakes aren't set super-strong. The car is lighter, bla bla bla...

    One area where the Bellomo Speedster loses is flexibility. The stock version locks into a groove much more easily, despite the lack of a wing or other upgrades...understeer is even more non-existent, too. But the Bellomo version isn't too far off the mark so in regards to all of this. One can make the argument that....yes: it's not as flexible, but that it happens to be smoother in corners. A bit safer. But I'd still prefer just a bit more flexibiltiy from the tuned car. (8)

    (8)

    TOTAL SCORE: 90
     
  14. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

    Messages:
    10,448
    Location:
    United States
    Car: Spoon Civic Type R

    Tuner: Drifting 24/7

    Garage: Red Zone Autoworks

    Best Lap: 1:33.963



    When I first "met" Drifting 24/7 in the GT2 forum long ago, I started a rather aggressive conversation..not flaming...actually more like macho BSing. He came here with a rather interesting comparison thread, and I was trying to draw attention from other people in the forums (which didn't happen since GT2 was dead at that point). Later I was worried he'd be one of those fellows who would never return to GTP. So I'm glad he's still with us. :)

    Anyways, I'm very curious about this one. It's the infamous Red Zone Spoon Civic Type R. I read about it in a race report if I'm not mistaken. Its reputation precedes it.



    Speed
    :

    Top Speed: 132.4 mph top speed


    Unfortunately, the Spoon is underpowered, as per this contest. Even when compared to Jonn79's Integra, which I could get better lap times with since it's got more power; not because it's tuned any better. I have a feeling D24/7 didn't boost its power any further because he was trying to make it "work" at this track. It's too bad. :(

    That being said, it's remarkable how much traction this car has. Wheelspin simply never occurs, even out of tight areas in 2nd gear. When pushed, I was able to get a bit of wheelspin here and there, but it was of the playful variety, rather than the type that has you pulling your hair out. Basically, it's easy to avoid smokey front tires in the Red Zone Spoon Civic, and this means most of the engine's power gets to have its say without being censored in a cloud of smoke. :cool:

    This is partially due to settings, and partially due to the engine's massive range of revs. A stocker Civic has a more confining area (and spikier power/torque curves) to get its power down to pavement; hence it'll lose traction easier. With over 10,000 rpms in the Spoon, this doesn't happen unless you really MAKE it happen. Simple as pie.

    What about gearing? I felt those lower gears were fantastic. 4th and 5th are a bit tall, though. I could leave this car in 4th gear (rather than switching up to 5th) in both of Twin Ring's longer straights. Since this car has a low-torque engine, wouldn't it make more sense to use a shorter 4th and 5th gear for just a tad better high-speed acceleration? I'm not sure, nor did I do a retest with my own settings. Got others to drive today. :indiff:

    The bottom line is: I feel the Spoon is the best front-drive so far. It's able to use what speed & acceleration it has, and it manages to use ALL of it. Can't ignore this, and some points get added here. But it hasn't got enough "go", which places a few limits so far as pure speed is concerned, as compared to others.

    (8)
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Handling
    :

    This is one of those cars which starts off with some fantastic handling traits while it's stock. It's a tuner, after all.

    Braking in most any front-drive Honda product is typically exceptional, and this is true in the Red Zone Spoon, but I couldn't help noticing that (again) the brakes aren't set very strong. In fact, the front brakes are actually a step lower than default! I'm assuming D24/7 did this to keep his car as flexible as can be while under braking, but (again) I'd prefer this car have stronger stopping power. It wouldn't hurt at all if it's done right.

    I even did a seperate test with stronger brakes, got better results, and all that. Not to brag or criticize, but I'm at a loss as to why so many tuners don't opt for better brakes.

    Okay, enough of brakes. :lol: The Red Zone Spoon Civic still has good ones, despite lowish settings. It tackles corners as best as a FWD can. If it had more power, who knows...maybe I could beat the BATTLE MONSTER by out-braking it.

    Despite a strong limited-slip accel setting and 2.4 degrees of flared front camber, it also has great traction. Understeer is its worst enemy, but it's also easy to avoid such plowing. I was amazed at this one's front-drive traction, which also has that "bull dog" effect I was talking about earlier.

    Over curbs, the Red Zone Spoon gets a little bouncy, and gets ever so slightly squirrely, too; yet never gives up its traction under power. That's a good thing.

    (19)
    -----------------------------------------------------------

    Versatility
    :

    A good mark here mostly because the Spoon does allow for some experimentation while garnering similar lap times. I could even use the E-brake with minimal consequences if I needed to tighten up my cornering angle rather late.

    Some limits show up unfortunately. Understeer and such. But this is certainly the most versatile front-drive entered into the TCV5 thus far.

    (16)
    -----------------------------------------------------------

    Car vs. Battle Monster
    :

    Again, not enough power. The Spoon simply cannot keep up with my BATTLE MONSTER time at all. I could out-brake it into turns 1 and 2 if I tried very hard, but from there on, the battle was lost.

    (0)
    ----------------------------------------------------------

    Improvement over Stock
    :

    I noticed D24/7 added ballast to his tuned version; an effort to make it weigh more so it can enter the lightweights with a proper P2W ratio, I assume. So that's the main disadvantage when compared to stock, obviously, because the stock version happens to be lighter than the tuned one. Weight is usually an enemy, rarely a friend, when it comes to hot-lapping. :indiff:

    The transmission, on the other hand, is our most obvious advantage. I could travel around the entire track (in the stock Spoon) in just 2nd and 3rd gear! The Red Zone version incorporates 4th as well. It should have also incorporated 5th, perhaps, but beggars can't be choosers I supposed. :indiff:

    So far as handling, traction, and braking go, there aren't really many true advantages, which is the problem when starting with a tuner car. Hate to say it, but the stock Spoon can do anything the tuned one can do in these regards, it just has different flavors while doing so. It's like comparing a plain steak to one with salt on it. The difference is the consumer's tastes.

    Turn-in? Braking? Leaving corners with less drama? There ain't much difference. The Red Zone Spoon is a little more taut & reactive, but anything I could do in it, I could also do in the stock version.

    If the stock version had power similar to the tuned, this would be a different story, of course. But it doesn't. (2)

    (2)

    TOTAL SCORE: 45
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2009
  15. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

    Messages:
    10,448
    Location:
    United States
    Car: 2001 Lotus Elise Type 72

    Tuners: PF and Dr. James

    Garage: none (independant)

    Best Lap: 1:25.430



    ....and here's Elise #2....


    Speed
    :

    Top Speed: 140.1 mph


    So far, this is the fastest lightweight, not in terms of pure speed, but fastest around the entire track. So kudos to PF (and Dr. Jame) for this. With its massive amount of ballast towards the rear, these guys have managed to make an Elise drive and feel more like a Porsche 911. I had mixed feelings about this at first, but I can't deny the fact that this is the fastest so far. Results speak, know what I mean? In fact, the PF/James Elise 72 rivals the Fudge Stratos in speed, yet feels a lot easier to drive. :tup:

    This Elise has got a lower-RPM Rover 1.8 liter 4-cylinder, unlike the Toyota-equipped Type R Vince247 entered. I must say I prefer this Rover engine. Its torque curve feels more compact and easier to dial into. There's less chance of bogging down into some "dead" revs. Plus, the 5-speed in this car means there's less work to do than if the Type 72 had a 6-speed. Despite the lack of an extra gear, the Type 72's gearing scenario also feels perfect for most every corner, so far as selecting the right speed goes. :tup:

    So there's not much torque in this one, but the Type 72 manages to use it all for our pleasure.

    (24)
    --------------------------------------------------------------

    Handling
    :

    There's some goofy-looking settings here, especially the 45 kilograms of ballast, located 40% towards the rear. Yikes! :ouch::scared::nervous: What will this do for our handling? There's also some rear toe, weak brake settings, and (again) the suspension looks as if it'll be too taut. All of this translates to some criticisms from me, but (surprisingly) plenty of praise. :dopey:

    Like I said, this one handles like how I'd imagine a Porsche 911 (not a RUF Yellowbird, but an ordinary 911) would handle if it made an appearance in GT4. So therefore, I made sure to take up the infamous rear-engine/911 driver's maxim: slow in/fast out. And it works.

    There's so many odd moments of behavior when driving this one. Understeer shows up here and there into and out of corners. It's minor, but it's something to watch for. And that rear-end weight definately plays a huge factor; swinging the car around at times mid-corner. Surprisingly, I could work with this; it actually helps at times. I never had any fear of spins, back-end sliding, or other assorted nonsense like I expected.

    The car still has plenty of Elise-style grip. It's got Elise-style flexibility too, although this has been muted, probably has even been muted out of necessity. The front-end doesn't grab in far enough, in my opinion. But then again, I'd be afraid to see what happens if it did with all that weight to swing around.

    My main criticisms were with the brakes, and the fact that the car can't handle rumble strips very well. Those brakes could be stronger. Yea, that's my mantra. Surprisingly, these brakes were nowhere near as bad as in the Type R Vince entered. Perhaps this is PD's fault. Perhaps, the extra weight of PF's Elise caused it to have better stopping-power than Vince's? Not sure.

    But I really got annoyed with how this car almost loses it all over rumble strips. :mad: It's like I've got that perfect lap...really going for it....the previous Best Lap Ghost is in my mirror and all that. I pile into Turn 8 (the start of the second esses) braking nice and early.

    ...and the Type 72's inner tires rake across that rumble strip. :scared: Suddenly, I've lost it all! :mad: The car has bounced unnecessarily! :banghead: I'm out of that perfect orbit, the ghost gets a half-second ahead! URRRRGH!!!! :banghead::banghead::banghead:

    *ahem* Uh...otherwise, a fine effort. :D Good marks here. An interesting re-tune, for sure.

    (20)
    --------------------------------------------------------------

    Versatility
    :

    Almost a perfect score here. :D

    The Type 72 lets you do just about anything, despite its goofy weight settings. There are some moments of oddness (understeer which shows up out of nowhere) and the rumble-strip business which ruin the perfect score.

    (18)
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Car vs. Battle Monster
    :

    The poor Spoon just doesn't have a chance here. :lol: Hasta la vista, Spoony.

    (17)
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Improvement over Stock
    :

    A more appropriate transmission, as usual. PF (or Mr. James? Or both???? :confused:) even had us perform an actual "Tranny Trick" to get this one as tight as it could be. Gears slip into place in a very intuitive manner as I cruised Twin Ring; there was a lack of the feeling of torquelessness found in the stock version, even though the tuned version isn't really a torquey car.

    The tuned version also tracks a bit more finely than the stock one. What I mean is, it has had some limits which have been set to keep this car in a narrower range of cornering possibilities. Is this hurtful? Or is it helpful? You tell me. So far, I was able to perform alot of magic in this one.

    It isn't as playful, of course, but being playful isn't helping any score here (like it would have in the TCV4). I felt the fact that the PF/James version feels honestly more track-ready, despite some occasional goofy behavior. That's what counts.

    What DOES hurt the score here is the fact that our stock 72 tracks into corners much more readily. You don't need to "prepare" as much as you steer-in...the 72 feels like it's just as ready to tackle any sort of Twin Ring curve as you are. Then again, if the tuned version had this ability, this might make its front-end a bit too grabby...a bad thing to have at higher speeds.

    The brakes also don't feel as improved as they could have been. The tuned version is heavier, too; although the wing (and perhaps some other odd settings) seem to cancel this for the higher speeds the tuned version travels at.

    (7)

    TOTAL SCORE: 86
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2009
  16. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

    Messages:
    10,448
    Location:
    United States
    Car: '00 Lotus Elise

    Tuner: Camry Fan

    Garage: N-Tune Performance

    Best Lap: 1:28.551


    First thing I noticed was that Camry Fan claims his car should make 271 horsepower. Apparently this comes from garage specs, since he also lists a torque rating. Garage specs happen to be lower than track specs.

    This doesn't make sense, because when I loaded his car with the required parts, I was only making 262 bhp (track specs), instead of more than 271. I think Camry Fan meant to add engine balancing to his parts/services list, but forgot? Can't speculate now...we judges aren't supposed to change what tuners have posted now that the deadline has been called. :indiff::ouch:


    Speed
    :

    Top Speed: 139.4 mph


    This is one of those cars that has the speediness, but makes you work to keep it. And it's a shame....it's not just due to that part which has possibly been forgotten. Ah, well.

    Like the Elise just prior to this one, I enjoyed the gearbox in the N-Tune version. It's really the only part of the car that I feel has been well-thought, to be honest. Never had to fish awkwardly for the right gear, nor did I find the N-tune Elise needing to redline excessively as I approached any turns, unless I made it do so. I could keep this car in 4th gear as I approached the final turn, for instance, or use 5th. My choice. :tup:

    5th is needed in the three longest straights of Motegi East, which is fine. Down straight #1 (towards Turn #1), the 1.8 liter starts redlining, yet I felt comfortable with this. Never over-cooked it. :tup:

    Other than the lack of additional power, there's little to criticize. This Elise hasn't got a very torquey engine, but at least it has been geared appropriately. There's plenty of MR traction to be had, and that 139+ top speed looks pretty nice, falling slightly above average when compared to other lightweights.

    (20)
    --------------------------------------------------------------


    Handling
    :

    It's really interesting comparing the three Elises to one another. Each really has its own style, for sure. :)

    Unfortunately, here (in the Handling department) is where everything starts to fall apart for the N-tune Elise. Great gearing, great traction (helping with acceleration up above), as well as an acceptable speediness. But there are some really wacky ideas in the N-tune version, so far as the rest of the car is concerned. There are some wacky ideas in PF's Type 72, as well. The difference is, PF's version works. I could battle the BATTLE MONSTER with it. I could battle lap times of other cars in it. Not so in the N-tune. :(

    Let's start with the brakes. Again, insufficient tuning here. There is better hardware (Racing Brake package is installed), but no brake balancer. :confused: And again, I had some awkward braking moments, needing to use longer distances than usual, just as I had in Vince's Elise. The N-Tune version has better stopping abilty only because of the extra front weight it carries, but it's still not as good as it could be.

    And now, the second issue. :facepalm: That ballast, which has been placed up in the trunk area. 95 kg of ballast, which Camry Fan assures us is "very important".

    It's really interesting, noting the various differences between the three Elises. The RRV version, which hasn't had ballast shifted or weight added at all, feels the most natural while cornering...the most flexible and gymnastic. PF's Type 72, on the other hand, is useful for driving, but doesn't feel like an Elise, anymore; not with that anchor in its rear!

    But the N-Tune Performance version feels almost like a front-engine car at times. Some behaviors I wouldn't expect from an Elise (but would expect from a FR auto) showed up as I piloted the N-Tune around. Entry-corner understeer, for example. It's avoidable if you really slow down and employ lots of prep-time into corners, but this defeats the purpose of driving a car that's supposed to be flexible. I noticed mid-corner, there were also times which I needed to make an extra brake-tap just to kill moments of extra understeer that showed up. Rather frustrating and unexpected while needing to go for a Best Lap. Just being honest.

    The front-end just doesn't feel as nimble as it should. It feels inappropriately "weighted". I'm at a loss as to what was supposed to happen here. Perhaps this weight was placed up front in an effort to make the car's front tires lock in better? To some degree, they still do, just not as effectively. Problem is, they also lock in with Vince's Elise, which hasn't had weight shifted at all.

    So there's understeer on entry unless you're going way-slow. Once you let off the brakes, the N-tune lifts-off a bit like you'd expect, but it feels limited while doing so. The car throttle steers, as well, yet all this doesn't feel as natural as it does in Vince's Elise, even tho the N-tune lacks a limited-slip. :indiff: There are some toe settings which may or may not be complicating all of this; I didn't do an independent test, but I KNOW what Elises are and aren't supposed to behave like. This don't feel like an Elise at all, anymore. It feels like nothing I've ever driven, ever. The car isn't totally destroyed. It still has some nimble moments. Trying to destroy an Elise's natural positives (flexibility, nimbleness, etc.) is like trying to kill a cockroach with old bug spray from the '50s which cockroaches are now almost immune to...it's not going to happen easily. Still, this one has really had a go of it.

    It's more like an exercise in possible GT tricks, but not entirely useful, and actually damaging to lap times.

    (11)
    -------------------------------------------------------------

    Versatility
    :

    Versatility? There's some left, but not what I would have expected, which hurts when trying to experiment. It's all been explained above.

    (10)
    -----------------------------------------------------------

    Car vs. Battle Monster
    :

    It took me about 10 laps to defeat the Opera S2000 while I got used to figuring out where the N-Tune car likes to be braked, how it likes to turn-in, etc. Once I started zeroing in on the BATTLE MONSTER, I noticed this Elise wasn't exactly helping me do so; instead, it felt like I had to wrestle the Elise much more than I should have been. This shouldn't have been a fact at all. This Elise (like many others) is actually faster than the BATTLE MONSTER down Motegi's straights...it's those corners in which I had problems. Say WHAT? An Elise having problems in corners? Yikes. :ouch:

    Beat the BATTLE MONSTER into turns 1 and 2. A couple more laps, and I could beat it all the way till Turn 6 (first hairpin), but needed to brake early so that the S2000 got ahead once again. A couple more laps, and I finally figured how to beat the S2000 all the way to the 2nd esses area. A couple more laps, and I finally nailed the MONSTER around the entire track. Phew.

    So I did it. Killed the MONSTER. But as you can see, this was alot of work; more than should have been necessary.

    (10)
    -------------------------------------------------------------


    Improvement over Stock:


    Other than gearing, there are no improvements. :(:(:(:(

    Weight has been added. There's more understeer. There's no improvement in braking ability (to be more accurate, there is technically a small improvement {racing brakes}, but the stock version trail-brakes way more effectively than the tuned one). :( The front-end doesn't transition the sweepers as easily as the stock version. I could even get the stock Elise going at a higher speed in these sweepers (esses) since it navigates more directly, despite the fact that it's got way less power. :eek:

    Traction is about the same, but the N-tune version gets a little more squirrely over rumblies. All in all, more question marks get raised, with fewer anwers.

    (1)

    TOTAL SCORE: 51
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009
  17. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

    Messages:
    10,448
    Location:
    United States
    There you have it...my Lightweight results. :cheers: Cheers to everyone.

    Post comments: I screwed up the BATTLE MONSTER score for both the Lime and Blue Lighters, but those have been adjusted properly now. I also want to a re-test of the Lime Lighter, so far as its Top Speed is concerned. 132.9 mph just seems a bit low. If it turns out it can make a higher Top Speed, then VTiRoj's total score will wind up going up a point or 2.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009
  18. mcsqueegy

    mcsqueegy Premium

    Messages:
    1,855
    Before I start...

    Just remember that this is MY opinion on the cars, and my driving style may differ to yours. If I've said that a car is too slow, or unstable, that may be because of my driving. All I'm trying to say is: don't take my opinion too seriously. I'm only one judge, not four! :p

    Now, onto the results!
     
  19. mcsqueegy

    mcsqueegy Premium

    Messages:
    1,855
    Adamgp's Shelby Series 1 '03

    Laptime: 1'20.975
    Benchmark: 1'26.949

    Speed: 22
    Nearly a perfect score here, because it's just too fast to be allowed! My T1 time was amazing, and the car's acceleration overall is astounding. The gearing was set up well in the high gears, but I felt it was really awful in the low gears. I had to experiment with the right gear for the corner. The car hits over 240km/h on the main straight, which is the fastest so far. The car is a bit slower in the T2-T3 section than some cars, due to the odd gears, but that's more than made up for with it's performance on straights. Again, the gearing could've been improved for a better laptime.

    Handling: 16
    There were a few things I didn't get with this car. The first thing was the LSD of 5/5/5. With a setting like that, the car usually feels somewhat lacking in corners. I felt a little oversteer, which can be fixed with some gear work. With some corners, I was lagging a little bit, no doubt due to the LSD. With the turn-in for corners, the car tended to slide a little under braking, but not only was this helpful, it was easily controllable. The brake balance is very unusual, but it worked much better than some other entries. The cornering speeds are the best I've seen from a middleweight, and I could notice this especially in the first sector, with a T1 of 30.028! It can do 29.8, but I screwed up that lap (spectacularly!). The car feels very manoevrable, but unstable at the same time. I can manage this, but other drivers (who have their own styles) would be hating this car's dartiness. I also would encounter wheelspin a bit... in 3rd gear! This happened on the tight corners, when I would hug the inside rumble strip. I recommend adjusting the LSD again, but there isn't much else to fix up.

    Versatility: 14
    There was a problem with taking different lines, and it was all because of the gearing. If I was to take any corner slower, but brake later, the car would lag a little, losing a lot of time in the process. However, there were certainly times when I could take a corner differently. Some corners I could actually choose which gear to use, without losing any noticeable time. I could also take a smooth, proper racing line without losing much time. But harsh is the way to go with this beast! :sly:

    Laptime: 20
    The fastest lap yet! :D. A 5.976 second gap, which is very impressive. I could improve, but I shouldn't be favouring a single car. With some adjustments to the gears and LSD I managed a 1'20.7, but my driving style requires a different setup. If it works for you, then I can't complain.

    Improvement over stock: 6
    The stock version of this car can do 1'24's, but that's irrelevant when you look at the handling. There is less turn-in, there is a little bit of understeer AND oversteer, and the corner speeds, while still decent, are reduced significantly. There is a little more power out or corners, thanks to the gears. However, the gears are also quite wide in the higher regions, and it's a little slower in the esses. Aside from that, there wasn't much wrong with it in the first place. Adamgp's made this car good, but you can't get a high score unless the car was awful to begin with!

    Total: 78
     
  20. mcsqueegy

    mcsqueegy Premium

    Messages:
    1,855
    Codename L's Chevy Corvette C1 '54

    Laptime: 1'21.125
    Benchmark: 1'26.949

    Speed: 19
    Don't be fooled by the laptime- I'll explain it later. The car's actual pace, while it only has 5 gears, is very good for a 50s Chevy, but not as amazing as the laptime suggests. The acceleration, thanks to the NA tune, is very hard to lag. The powerband suits a 5-speed gearbox, and the way the gears have been set up are neat. All that torque means you'll shoot out of corners as well :) For once I'm not completely missing a gear, and 5th gear tops out at a speed the car can actually achieve. The 5th gear isn't perfect, but would be useful at somewhere like Suzuka. An interesting fact with this car was that it wasn't that fast with certain track points. With the first sector, you'd expect it to dominate T1 but it gets times similar to the NSX's. With the 3 cars, the T1 time was around 30.5. It's only on the part after that that the car can show its potential. And that is a LOT.

    Handling: 17
    The best thing with this car was its braking. On the main straight, this car could brake at least 15 metres later than the other middleweights. On the back straight it's also 15 metres. On the straight before the last corner... guess what? 15 metres! And that's what's giving this car such amazing laps. Go to a track like Nurburgring, and you'd be talking ten second margins per lap! Anyway, onto the cornering. The turn-in for corners is easy, but you have to turn extremely quickly to make each corner. With most corners, you can floor the throttle as soon as you finish braking. The car is not designed for beginners, it requires your undivided attention the whole time. There is also a lot of torque with the car, so pushing it too much will cause loss of time and/or wheelspin in corners. Since I have a habit of driving very harsh, I didn't exactly become friends with this car. But, it certainly had its quirks.

    Versatility: 13
    Let's say for example you take a corner from the inside. You brake at the same time, but you need to turn quicker to make the corner. On the slower corners, the car couldn't stand this, and I'd either wheelspin or oversteer. What I'm saying is that you can use all the different lines, but the car's almost guaranteed to punish you for it. If I was to overtake another car, I'd do it with those amazing brakes. The car doesn't get those laps with cornering, you know!

    Laptime: 20
    No surprises here, the car was 5.824 seconds faster than the benchmark car, and the fastest middleweight so far.

    Improvement over stock: 7
    Codename L's done a lot to improve the car's awfulness. All the body roll meant I had to use delicate steering, which disgusts me :p. The car would snap under braking, and although I could control this, it was just too extreme. Also, the gearing. Stock, the car has TWO gears. Useless! I also occasionally encountered wheelspin. Considering it had less than half the power, I was surprised. I just couldn't relate to the stock version of it.

    Total: 76
     
  21. mcsqueegy

    mcsqueegy Premium

    Messages:
    1,855
    Paulie's Mercedes SLK 230 '98

    Laptime: 1'25.510
    Benchmark: 1'26.949

    Speed: 17
    If this wasn't fully tuned, I would've taken more marks off. Sadly, 344bhp is the highest this car will go. Adding to the fact that it only has 5 gears, the car is undeniably slow. I was only using gears 2-5, and they were a little bit inconvenient for some corners. Obviously Paulie doesn't play GT4 anymore, (:p) so that's understandable. The car only hits 228km/h on the main straight, which is slower than some lightweights. The acceleration out of corners is awesome, it makes the car feel like a pocket rocket :). This car has a similar power output to Leo's MR2, and better brakes, but a significantly worse laptime. I blame this on gears.

    Handling: 19
    There were some excellent traits with the car, but a few negative ones too. The turn-in was the best part of it, but there was slightly less of it under braking. I couldn't spin out with this car, luckily. Because there isn't too much power, the car won't understeer on the corner exits. In other words, I can get back on the throttle really early. This was good, because the brakes were also pretty decent. Having to downshift only 3 gears, braking was extremely easy. The straight-line stability was slightly off, no doubt because of the toe angles. This wasn't a problem though, and it really helped the overall cornering. This car would be perfect on a smoothly flowing track like Suzuka or Infineon.

    Versatility: 17
    Here we have an extremely versatile car. I was experimenting with a few different 'angles of entry', and I found that the car can survive quite a few different ways or cornering. Braking late, I can make it. Braking early, I just get on the throttle early and sometimes do better! Although not necessarily good at cornering, I found the car was easy to obey my command, no matter how severe. There's room for improvement, but not much.

    Laptime: 12
    My best lap was 1.439 seconds faster than the benchmark car, so 12 points are given. I could do better, but one point won't matter too much.

    Improvement over stock: 7
    The stock version of this car was ugly. I had to push the car to make my way along the track, instead of previously flowing down it. There was no turn-in due to the massive weight transfer, and the corner exits were just boring. The acceleration was awful, and the gears were set up so badly for the track, that I ended up staying a gear higher so I wouldn't be struck by odd shifting points. Paulie has made this car a pleasure to drive. Apart from a few little things, this car defies the Mercedes way. Definitely doesn't feel like a Mercedes, and that's no bad thing.

    Total: 72
     
  22. mcsqueegy

    mcsqueegy Premium

    Messages:
    1,855
    VTiRoj's Honda NSX-R '02

    Laptime: 1'22.359
    Benchmark: 1'26.949

    Speed: 22
    The car was fast, simple as that. The gears were set up well, as I was using gears 2-5, I could always find the perfect gear for the corner. The fastest I was going @ Motegi was around 236km/h on the main straight. The acceleration out of corners was very good, but I had to use a later apex than some other cars. The issue with fast cars is their consistency... none of my laps were remotely close to eachother, but I still managed a decent time. If you want consistency, don't drive this car. Otherwise, I had no issues with all this V6 power! An interesting point to note, though, is that when I was using X and square to drive, I did faster laps than my usual using both analog sticks. Breaking tradition works with this car.

    Handling: 19
    I'm going to start with the cornering. The car's turn in capabilities are superb, considering the -2 front toe setting. The corner exits are lovely too, but with all that power the car seems to understeer slightly. That might be because of how much I can push the car. The way the car tackles corners is very neutral, which doesn't suit me at all. I like to feel weight transfer, and even the braking is very neutral. However, I had trouble finding any under/oversteer when I was just cruising. When you push the car it starts to rear its head, and I liked that. Not recommended for newbies.

    Versatility: 16
    Some lines worked better than others. I actually tried a family cup race with this car, and I could overtake cars from anywhere, although the inside was difficult. I could out-brake and outmanoevre the opposition, which would be a relief if I were to race with this car. If the brakes were strengthened somewhat, I could easily destroy the competition even more. I also gave the car a few laps at other tracks, and while I haven't changed any points for this, I will say that the ride height doesn't suit all tracks. Especially if I wanted to overtake another car on a track like Infineon or Laguna Seca.

    Laptime: 19
    My best laptime was 4.59 seconds faster than the benchmark, so this car gets 19 points. Fast car :D

    Improvement over stock: 5
    The stock version of this car... was a P.O.S in my opinion. The turn-in was awful, the car would understeer in unlikely places, the braking was slow and mediocre, and the car had no character. I only gave this car 5 laps before shaking my head in disgust. The car still had amazing cornering, in fact, I had to re-check that I had the downforce at 0. While it's still got pace, VTiRoj has given this car a personality. While it doesn't suit me, I can see that some different drivers would love it.

    Total: 81
     
  23. mcsqueegy

    mcsqueegy Premium

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    Drifting24/7's ProtoMotors Spirra V8

    Laptime: 1'24.389
    Benchmark: 1'26.949

    Speed: 17
    Yes, believe it or not, the Spirra surprised me with its lack of pace. This might be due to all the ballast, but I still think a 1'24 lap is nowhere near what the car is capable of. The gearing seems fine, although 6th gear isn't used at all. With slightly lacking performance, I think 6th gear needs to be put into use. Acceleration out of corners is good enough to have early apexes, and I can get back on the throttle really early in some cases. However, it's a little hard to judge exactly when I should get on the throttle. The car does occasionally spin out if I floor it too harsh.

    Handling: 22
    To start off, I'll say that the turn in was enough to create smoke. I was able to take corners at very consistent speeds, close to the MR2, but not quite. The positioning of the ballast seems to be a gamble, but it adds a lot of extra balance! It reduced the corner speed of the car though, which I didn't like much. I didn't lose control under braking, or pushing too hard through a corner. I particularly liked that because I've heard nasty comments about the Spirra's behaviour. I couldn't find any of the things the car originally had wrong with it, so I think the car's been expertly handled. There is never any understeer or oversteer, but I wasn't really expecting any from a car like this! A small issue I had was the braking itself though, I felt it wasunbalanced. The ballast could be causing that though. And I have to say, this car is absolutely gorgeous to look at in blue!

    Versatility: 17
    The car can take several methods of cornering, but that doesn't mean you'll succeed. I remember a quote from a review of the Lotus Exige: The question is not whether the car can take it, the question is can YOU?? So it all depended on my driving. The neutral balance allowed me to use all different techniques with it, but sometimes the car would bite my head off if I changed my mind mid-corner.


    Laptime: 15
    A 2.560 second gap, so 15 points here. Again, I was slightly disappointed with the lap. It's a Spirra, after all.

    Improvement over stock: 7
    The stock version of this car isn't too bad. I had to pay attention to it every second, or it would bite my head off. Under braking was an adventure, but I'd spin out if I got one wheel on grass... but the gearing isn't actually that bad considering. It fits perfectly! Since the stock version still has a lot of power, the gearing was perfect for the track. But I will say drifting24/7's done a great job making the car more user-friendly.

    Interesting fact: the stock version of this car equalled the benchmark time (literally to the thousandth).

    Total: 78
     
  24. mcsqueegy

    mcsqueegy Premium

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    1,855
    Jonn79's Nissan Silvia Spec R Aero

    Laptime: 1'24.444
    Benchmark: 1'26.949

    Speed: 16
    Take 374bhp, 1191kg, and full downforce together, and you'd get a lap in the 1'22's. Not in this car though. I have no idea why (but I have a feeling the lack of chassis refresh could contribute) the car has a lack of pace, but it was much slower than I first expected. The performance out of corners seems good, again, I had a choice of which gear I could use most of the time. I like this because the answer will vary with the driver and how well you've gone into the corner. Another good thing about the car was that it never felt laggy, even in the slower corners, which is making me even more confused. The car should be a lot faster than it is...

    Handling: 17
    There were a lot of interesting things about this car... it never felt like it was going to bite my head off, which was a good start. There was a lot of turn-in, and I was able to brake very late with the car... but oddly, braking earlier seemed to help the car more with laptimes. There was a nice floaty feel with the car, but I was unable to tell how much the car could've been pushed. If I was pushing the car too much with a few corners (especially the esses), the car would slide a little, which was fun, but produced much worse laps. The key was to take it smooth, but fast at the same time. That being said, the car was much funner to drive when it was sliding around on its limit.

    Versatility: 17
    Being a very manoevrable car, it gets a good score here. I was able to brake at a few different places, and I was able to experiment with when I could get back on the throttle. I was able to hurl the car around, and I could even brake with one wheel on the grass. This was a challenge, though! Overall, this car's easy to experiment with, if that's your fancy.

    Laptime: 15
    My best lap, while not particularly fast, was 2.505 seconds faster than the benchmark, so 15 points are awarded here. No doubt I could do better, but there wouldn't be any extra points for doing so.

    Improvement over stock: 4
    There is some improvement, but not much. The car's body roll was noticeable in the stock version a lot more than the tuned one. The more it rolled, the more speed was lost, I noticed. The stock version was very stable under braking, and it was much easier to take slow corners in. Becsuse of all the body roll, the acceleration out of corners was slow... therefore it was easy to make corners in. The gears are somewhat lacking too, but the tuned gears still need a bit of work.

    Total: 69
     
  25. mcsqueegy

    mcsqueegy Premium

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    Abud's RUF 3400S '00

    Laptime: 1'23.726
    Benchmark: 1'26.949

    Speed: 18
    The car actually has a lot of pace on the track, it really feels like it's going fast down those straights. Again, Abud has set up the gearing really tight, so the fastest it was going was 236km/h, in sixth gear @6900rpm. I didn't go below third gear for my laps, but I could've done so without losing time. The acceleration out of corners was pretty spot-on, again thanks to the tight gears, I was able to take any corner without the slightest lag. The issue with the performance was its acceleration through the second S section. While only slightly annoying, I couldn't decide which gear to use for it. Eventually I chose 4th, but it still didn't feel right.

    Handling: 19
    Due to the lack of downforce, the car really needs to be pushed to get good laptimes. Thankfully, nothing unexpected occured when the car was at its limit. The turn-in is nice and smooth, it doesn't suddenly go ninety degrees in one direction! The car won't understeer on corner exits, but since there's no downforce, it might feel like that initially. I did have to watch my corner speed a few times, because if I went slightly too fast, the car would lock up and aim for the gravel. There's also a bit of lift-throttle-oversteer: a good feature to have handy when things go awry. The 'feel' of the car is a little mixed: at times, it can be really smooth, and it can also be a heavy stubborn P.O.S. It doesn't like getting dirty, so don't go beyond those rumbles, or the car will spin out. Because of my driving, that happened to me a lot :lol:.

    Versatility: 15
    Again, the actual cornering is getting in the way. The best way to take a different line was by braking earlier or later. Don't go wide, or the car will never forgive you. If you can take the inside, it'll work, but don't get those wheels on the grass, for heaven's sake :eek:. There were times the car wouldn't mind, but there were those rare occasions the car had a mind of its own. Most of the time though, I could enjoy the easiness of driving this car.

    Laptime: 16
    A 3.225 second improvement, so I've awarded 16 points. It's faster than Leo's MR2, even without a wing! This track certainly seems to favour power, judging the laptimes so far.

    Improvement over stock: 5
    Time to see what it can do stock. Oh wait, I've left the driving aids on! :dunce: So, to the track. The stock version only has a little less power, so I was still setting good laps. But, the gearing is completely different. The first 3 gears are waaayy too wide, but 4th and 5th, if used at all, are set up well. The car seemed to understeer some more, and there was no more lift-throttle-oversteer on corners. I think this was because of the gears, but aside from that, the car feels exactly the same. There's more body roll, but that doesn't affect any aspects of the car's behaviour.

    Total: 71
     
  26. mcsqueegy

    mcsqueegy Premium

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    Leonidae's MR-2 G-Limited (10.0km version)

    Laptime: 1'23.847
    Benchmark: 1'26.949

    Speed: 21
    It's a shame this car isn't too powerful considering it's nearly fully tuned. However, the gearing was set up perfectly... not specifically for the track, but for the powerband. With a supercharger attached, Leo could afford to have lengthy first and second gears. They worked well, and I could always find the perfect gear for the corner. The acceleration, again due to the supercharger, is pretty constant, it never drops down or lags as far as I can tell. The speed I could reach on the track was about 235km/h. That was in fifth gear, and it wasn't even redlining at that point. I don't see much use for sixth gear, though, because I only managed to reach the car's maximum speed (306km/h) on Test Course. Drafting.

    Handling: 24
    Almost a perfect score here, but I have to dock a point. The best thing about this car was the nice manoevrability on corner exits. A lot of the time I was underestimating the car's abilities, so the best lap above might be worse than it seems. You can feel the car pushing on corner exits, which means that sometimes you may think you're not going to make the corner, but the car does this pivot movement, and you're saved. The issue I had with cornering was the initial turn-in part. The car doesn't seem to like trail-braking, which in my opinion is faster :). But trail-braking will cause the car to drift off, like the front of the car has locked up.

    Versatility: 17
    There were times when different lines worked... and times it didn't. Take for example the first corner. Let's say on my first lap I brake early, turning in as I go. Then on the apex I floor it, and off I go. Now, let's say on the second lap I brake really late, but in a straight line. I slow down much quicker, but then I have to turn a lot more for the actual corner. Flooring it slightly after the apex, I'd probably be close to my ghost if I was consistent :indiff:. What I'm trying to say is this: it depends on your driving. I like to hurl cars around, and this car is fun at its limits. But, I couldn't make a single mistake like braking late, or braking in a straight line.

    Laptime: 16
    My best lap was 3.102 seconds faster than the benchmark, therefore Leo gets an extra six points. However, I was on my way to a 1'23.5xx lap, only to screw up the last corner. Since the points would've remained the same, I didn't try too hard to replicate that lap.

    Improvement over stock: 8
    The first thing I noticed was when I trail-braked, the car would slide and slow down unnecessarily. This really slowed me down in the first few corners. The gearing was a little suitable considering the car had less power, but it felt worse overall. The braking was actually better, but this was because of the extra body roll that occurred during the laps. Or perhaps I assumed that because the car was going slower throughout the laps. If I went full throttle on the apex of a corner, it wouldn't accelerate very quickly, especially if I was turning full lock. It'd even slow down! Again, due to the body roll. Leo's done a great job with it.

    Total: 86
     
  27. mcsqueegy

    mcsqueegy Premium

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    a112's Honda NSX-S '02

    Laptime: 1'22.449
    Benchmark: 1'26.949

    Speed: 21
    Being another NSX, it's a quite fast car that makes good use of its power. The gearbox is set to use gears 3-6. While this was effective, I felt that 3rd gear was slightly laggy in corners. Most corners were taken a gear higher than other cars, but the high gears were perfect for the track. As a result, the car was hitting around 237km/h kn the main straight. I didn't have to shift gears too often, but I think that 2nd gear should've come into use somehow. Although a112 said this car shouldn't be redlined, I found that it was necessary in some cases, like the end of the back straight. Aside from that, it's virtually the same as its lighter type R cousin. All its got is more power and downforce.

    Handling: 22
    In many ways, the setup feels the same as Roj's NSX. The nice thing about a112's tune, however, is that I could push the car as much as I wanted without the car biting my head off. The braking was, again, virtually the same for both NSX's. The car was stable under braking, but I was still able to turn-in quite a bit. I found that if I trail-braked enough, the car would drift slightly. It was a nice surprise that added enjoyability. I tried and tried, but I couldn't find any traces of understeer OR oversteer. It was a very neutral handler overall, and although I couldn't do consistent laps with it, it was very easy to go fast in this car. The car seems to bounce a bit on some corner exits; while this seems odd, it doesn't affect the performance. The way the car takes the corners of Motegi suggests it was tuned specifically for Motegi. Corner speeds are the fastest I've seen so far, right on par with Leonidae's MR2.

    Versatility: 17
    I found that I was able to get a wheel on the grass, and still be in control while braking. So the car is somewhat forgiving, at least. I went to take the inside line of a corner, and because of all the acceleration, I would hit the outside of the corner. I could brake late, but again, I'd have to take the outside of a corner. Doing so, however, was still giving reasonable laps in comparison to other cars. Passing other cars wasn't too hard, whether it was on the inside line or the outside line. The AI brake so early I didn't need to brake late, and this allowed me to gain some time.

    Laptime: 19
    My best lap was a 1'22.449, which is exactly 4.5 seconds faster than the benchmark, therefore 19 points are given. An interesting thing I noted was that Roj's NSX was faster overall, but a112's NSX was faster in the first two sectors.

    Improvement over stock: 5
    It's hard to improve an already impressive car. The stock version had quite a balanced feel, but there was some lift-throttle oversteer which I didn't like. The gearing was wider, but too wide for the track. There was also less turn-in, especially under braking. While a112's done a great job with the car, I feel it could be perfected :)

    Total: 84
     
  28. mcsqueegy

    mcsqueegy Premium

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    Tandem's DMC Delorean S2 '04

    Laptime: 1'24.256
    Benchmark: 1'26.949

    Speed: 17
    The car feels slow, but actually looking at the speedo, I noticed it was going quite fast down those straights. The acceleration out of corners is fast, the second gear is set up well there. The other gears are alright, but I feel that they're a little too wide. Making use of 6th gear better might've helped, but at least 5th gear was set up well, redlining down the main straight at 237km/h, or choosing to use 6th gear, which had the same speed. The powerband is awkward at high rpm's, so I found that shifting slightly before the red would help the car. It says the maximum power is at 5750rpm, so to shift at 6000-6500rpm was the best strategy.

    Handling: 16
    There were issues with this car. Being a rear-engine, rear-wheel drive, the car doesn't want to turn as much as it should. Unfortunately there is still a huge amount of understeer with this car. The turn-in was so lacking that I had to resort to dirt-drops, or dive-bombing a corner. The car needs to be pushed in order to make corners. There was so much understeer on corner exits, that the actual corner speeds had to be reduced in order to make the corner. Braking behaviour is fine, with a balance like that you'd expect a little snap-oversteer. Being a RR, there are exceptions, and the brakes work well for it. I just couldn't get the hang of this car.

    Versatility: 13
    Thanks to all the understeer, I didn't even consider taking a different line. When I did so, however, I found that the car didn't like it. I could brake later, but I'd have to get back on the throttle later to compensate. Due to the late apexes, I couldn't take many different approaches with this car. That being said, it's alright at overtaking the other cars, but it has to be done on the approach to corners, otherwise it's going to be rather difficult to pass them on corner exits. Secure your position, then hit the throttle late.

    Laptime: 15
    My best lap, though it can be improved significantly, was 2.693 seconds faster than the benchmark, so 15 points are awarded here. I'm guessing a 1'23.7 is possible if I had a bit more time with the car.

    Improvement over stock: 4
    It's easy to say a car's improved by adding some power. To be honest, the stock version wasn't much different to Tandem's version. The only thing that was a problem with the stock version was its gearing. Too wide, and too inconvenient for not only the track, but the powerband as well. There was the same amount of both understeer and oversteer, but there was a large amount of body roll to accompany it. Braking was slightly better (or I might be imagining that... less power=shorter braking distances). Otherwise I couldn't find much difference.

    Total: 65
     
  29. mcsqueegy

    mcsqueegy Premium

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    AWDA's Toyota MR2 GT-S

    Laptime: 1'26.956 (I actually equalled the BM lap, but it turned out to be slightly dirty)
    Benchmark: 1'26.949

    Speed: 16
    I've noticed that AWDA doesn't have any weight reductions on the car. I like this because the car is already at a decent weight- 1270kg I think. However, this affects the overall performance significantly, as you can tell from my laptime. The power level isn't too high, either... I expected a better laptime, but since the car doesn't have a wing, either, the overall laptime is poor. Performance out of corners is good with some corners.. but I was using 3rd gear and above. The only reason this worked was because of the car's powerband, which has peak torque from 2500rpm to 6000rpm. With the power, it drops severely after 6000rpm, so I could never redline the car. Though it seemed necessary on a few occasions, like the curving straight. Taking the esses in fourth gear seemed slow, but I found out it was faster than gear 3. Not by much, mind you.

    Handling: 18
    To be perfectly blunt, it's not much different to a stock MR2. The turn-in is awful, but it seems that MR2's suffer from this more than usual. The braking is the slowest I've seen so far, and the brakes seem to lock up on occasion. The car still feels very balanced, but sometimes the car would have too much body roll, and I'd either oversteer or spin out. It's good when you're pushing the car, because the driver can tell how much the car can be pushed. This is especially noticeable in the first sector, where I've lost a lot of time compared to some other cars. The overall 'feel' of the car was a lot like Leo's MR2, except that it felt really heavy and needed a bit more playfulness. I couldn't 'play' with this car, it'd bite my head off.

    Versatility: 16
    For the versatility of this car, it was almost identical to Leo's MR2. Sorry for comparing, but it makes it easier to judge. Taking different lines depended where you were facing at the time. I became really frustrated with the car's behaviour coming into corners. Do it right, and it rewards you, but if you're one degree off, the car will make you regret it. That being said, the car does have some degree of versatility.

    Laptime: 10
    Pretty much dead-on with the benchmark time, but I didn't really feel close to the car's limit. It just felt slow in my hands :(. I was initially doing low 1'27's, but I put the benchmark's ghost on and was able to hang with it through the course.

    Improvement over stock: 4
    There is improvement, but not as much as I expected. The car has a lot more body roll, too much oversteer on corner entries, which is made to compensate for the awful brakes. The gearing has 5 gears, and none of them are used properly in my opinion... due to the powerband looking like an upside-down V. It just felt really lacking in its stock form, but it still feels somewhat lacking. Not very fun to drive, no offense.

    Total: 64
     
  30. mcsqueegy

    mcsqueegy Premium

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    PF/CamryFan's Mazda RX7 Bathurst R (10.0km version)

    Laptime: 1'23.405
    Benchmark: 1'26.949

    Speed: 19
    The car doesn't feel as fast as it could be... mostly due to the gears. Here was another car that gave me a choice as to which gear I could use for some corners. But with the slower corners, I could either: use second gear, and wheelspin a bit, or: use third gear, lagging until I hit a certain speed. Because of this, the performance out of corners was a little lacking... increasing the LSD acceleration might've helped this. However, the car is very fast on straights, hitting about 236km/h on the main one. That's no doubt due to having the maximum possible power for the entry :p

    Handling: 18
    The car has its quirks. Like RJ's RX7, the car's very stiff, which allows me to drive it smoothly. Unlike RJ's RX7, however, I couldn't find the limit of this car. There was a little bit of understeer on corner exits, but drivers could avoid this by using the higher gear. The turn in was decent, probably the best I've seen for a car without a wing. The car feels well-balanced, but it can also be a little scary on the edge! The car will bite your head off if you mistreat it, but that's only under extremely harsh driving. So driving the car in a smooth, balanced fashion will work the best. The car has a nice amount of body roll, which helps the turn-in and the overall cornering ability.

    Versatility: 15
    It all depends on driving skill. Because I gather my best laps by using a proper line, the car won't appreciate taking a different route. The car will do it, but it'll take a bit of effort, and you'll lose time. Overtaking other cars is pretty easy, but since the car's brakes aren't that strong, the passing has to be done on the outside of corners.

    Laptime: 17
    The best lap I managed was 3.544 seconds faster than the benchmark car, so I award 17 points. Considering the car has no downforce, it's a very decent time.

    Improvement over stock: 5
    While the actual 'feel' of the car is similar, the stock version is different in a few ways. Braking hard causes the car to lock up, and I had no turn-in with the car. The gearing was alright, but somewhat lacking for a car with over 300bhp. The body roll was so detrimental that turning too much would cause a loss of speed! PF's gearing for the car is better, but it can still be improved.

    Total: 74
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2009