Yes I know, if you subscribe on youtube then you will already know about this! Ooops I’m late updating my blog and vlog. Well here is it (below), me taking the Soarer on track.
The video details the day and the club I went with (LincsDriver.com) so I’ll let the video explain all of that. However what I’m sure you’d like to know about is what a Soarer is like on a track day?
So far in 4.5 years of Soarer ownership I’ve had two track experiences now, one in the v8 at Silverstone and now Blyton in my Twin Turbo. Firstly you simply cannot compare the two – a stock v8 with air suspension on track is an ‘interesting’ composition while the TT is quite modified so far more suited to a great reliable day on the black stuff.
Let’s start with the v8. During out 20minutes on track at Japfest last year within the first two laps we nicknamed the car ‘Boaty McBoatface’ because of the air sus. On the road the air suspension did a great job of calming the ride of my big 19s and keeping the car smooth. On track however in lumbered in the corners really badly with so much body roll the inside wheels began to loose traction. On exiting a bend or a sweeping bend you simply couldn’t get on the power early enough. As a result we were over taken… a LOT! On the straights the v8 power was fantastic with such pull in every gear we sailed past people but as soon as a bend arrived a swarm of civics and mx5’s slipped past. Standard v8 brakes are known to be a bit small too. On dot 4 fluid within 3 laps we began to loose breaking – using the gearbox popping it into second to keep the brake temps down helped a lot but sure enough warping judder arrived pretty quickly. They still stopped us and they straightened up once cooled but the fade came thick and fast on factory stoppers.
Fast forward a year and I’m sat at the start gates at Blyton. We took a really steady approach to the day. My car means so much to me that you won’t find me risking it to wind up a clio cup on the bends. On completion of the sighting lap I pulled straight back into the que to get on track and this was a great move as it made me first out to a totally clear track to get myself into the track mindset. Initially I was clearly nervous but once I got the hang of braking points and where I could feather the throttle out of bends to push on a bit more I really felt at home in the car. What a difference to the v8. You still need to remember my car is a pretty heavy beast – it’s not stripped or track focussed – hell I still had a 15kg sub and amp in the boot! SO with that in mind sections like the chicanes and S bends can upset the car if you really throw it in left to right. I didn’t edit anything on the day leaving my road setup of dampers and tyre pressures. Stupid probably but at least I felt comfortable in the drive.
To conclude? I think a Soarer could be a great track car if designed to be one. You need to loose as much weight as possible. I’d tell you what to remove but I’m sure you can have fun working that out. I’d probably uprate the anti roll bars too. Big brakes are a must – with my setup of LS400 callipers, stock rears, EBC red stuff pads all round, braided lines all round, 5.1 fluid – it held up well. In a session I’d do about 6 laps then come in to allow the car to cool down and then repeat. Blyton as a track is a lot of straights and tight bends so it’s heavy on brakes anyway so I dare say on a different track my brakes would be more suited/get more laps in. But what made me so proud on the day was people’s responses to me taking it out. Track organisers were so praise worthy of the car and lots of folk coming for a look at it in the pits when there were really track focussed beasts to look at. I did giggle a little too when ‘track cars’ showed up and spent most of their time solving problems in the pits, while I repeated session after session all day!
So… you should do it. I learnt a lot about the car. Will I do it again? Well let’s see what my next updates bring. M3 box. 19s (oops there goes the neighbourhood). Stem seals. Engine out. Cam belt. Water pump. Paint bay. Then once all that is done? ECU. 550s and a remap to 1.2 bar. Bring on the madness.
Thanks for reading.