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It probably would have been a fair fight, that is if Randy knew David was going to post this. Maybe he would have stayed out a few more laps or asked for an extra session. The fact is that whenever there’s a timer involved you can be sure Randy was giving it, so whether he was aware or not. This was on….

Whether you are looking to take your stock daily driver to the track, or you just purchased a dedicated track car, here is a list of the first three upgrades that can give you the most bang for your buck.

Before we get into it, a good starting point would be an extensive vehicle inspection to ensure everything is in order and functioning as it should (fresh fluids, no seized caliper sliders, loose hardware, hair-line cracks etc.). Having a safe, properly functioning vehicle is a must before doing any mods whatsoever.

1. Brakes – There are a few things you can do to improve your braking system:

a. Brake Fluid – The VERY FIRST THING you should do on your brake system is replace your brake fluid with a high-quality racing fluid (such as Motul RBF-660 for example). Tracking your car exerts significant heat on the entire braking system. The stock brake fluid was designed for road use, not repeated extreme braking applications, and therefore has a much lower operating temperature range. By utilizing a track-focused fluid, you will be increasing this optimal range to be consistent with on-track usage and get increased performance from your braking system.

b. Brake Pads – Depending on how you are tracking your car, whether it be a few hot laps, a 45-minute sprint or even a lengthier endurance stint, you will want to opt for a pad designed for your type of use. It will ensure you get the right balance of performance and pad life.

c. Cooling – One of the most overlooked items is cooling. You will want to see what options exist for cooling down your brakes – primarily the fronts since they capture the most kinetic energy. Some cars have stock venting in place in the lower bumper, which you can improve upon with larger inlets and direct-ducting. Others have no venting whatsoever, so the introduction of such vents in the lower bumper can go a long way in cooling the brakes and improving performance.

2. Tires – These 4 contact patches are what connects your car to the ground, so as you can imagine, this is rarely the area you want to skimp on. A strictly-summer Ultra High Performance (UHP) tire, such as a Michelin Pilot Sport 4S, or comparable is a good starting point. Once you continue to improve your driver skill and find you drive past the limit of your tires, you can look into “Competition” rubber with a treadwear rating 200 or lower such as Michelin Cup2R or Pirelli Trofeo R.

3. Seat and Harness – While it may not be ideal to keep removing and reinstalling a fixed-bucket seat and harness, you may be able to significantly improve your lap times by just replacing these 2 pieces of hardware in your car. In your stock setup (with stock seatbelt), you will find that you spend a lot of your time (and energy) trying to brace yourself in your seat (using your left leg on dead pedal, thigh against bolsters, etc.) so that you can focus on driving. By having a proper seat and harness, you will stay planted and able to truly focus on maneuvering the car around the track. In my opinion, it was the best upgrade I did on my car as it allows me to focus on my driving.

There you have it, the first three things you should do to any stock car to get excellent gains on the track. Are there any others that you can think of that should be done as part of the first three things?

 

Written By:

Kaizer

This month we ago over ALL the ways to add power. There’s a lot to discuss from turbo’s to different supercharger types. Dyno graphs and differences between them. What the shape may mean for the feeling in your soul to the seat of your pants. This is a good one.

 

Listen to the Podcast here:

With warm weather, car shows, track events and road trips on your mind, are you prepared to make each trip just a bit more bearable? We don’t often think about it until it’s too late, and of course saving weight is precious speed and fuel mileage. There may be a hint of sarcasm there, but there is some truth to not just throwing a mess of items in your trunk for giggles. Trunk space can be a premium and one of the key things is to make sure it’s not just banging around with stuff, potentially causing havoc every time you throw your car around an on ramp! Let’s talk about some key essentials that will be useful in any event.

 

A folding chair, I cannot stress this one enough. The number of times you will head somewhere and there won’t be seating. A show or track event for certain, maybe even a timmies meet. Any folding chair is better than none, but you need to make a decision on the size of chair you want to lug around. Make some decisions on what’s important to you – maybe space in your trunk? Maybe something easy folding and lighter to carry? Maybe something cheap and easy just to get you by? Either way, throw it in the trunk and keep your peach happy the next time you’re parked up some place with some time to burn. The world is your oyster between online shopping and brick and mortar local stores. $15 is generally the price of entry for a cheapo version.

 

A reusable grocery bag. I’d be surprised if you didn’t have this in the trunk already. Aside from it’s obvious use these bags are generally more durable and large. The point is not just to have one at the ready but to stuff it with the rest of the stuff we’re going to chat about.

 

A blanket. Similar to the chair this can double as an ANYWHERE seat. You can’t deny the romance potential for an ad hoc picnic staring at your spouse or your whip, either way it’s a good time. Plus come cold weather it’s handy to keep warm. Shove that bad boy into the aforementioned bag and now you’ve also got a boundary layer for the smaller items left on the list.

 

A tire pressure gauge and/or pump. Just like the chairs there are lots of options for pumps out there. Sometimes a tire may need just a bit of air. Sometimes it could be that bit of air that gets you home. Plus, the ability to monitor air with a gauge can be very useful. Tire wear comes MOSTLY from improper pressure where you are prematurely wearing your tires. Might as well just prevent that problem by having a gauge with you. Throw it under the blanket in the bag and it won’t go many places.

 

Sunscreen/Sunblock. Sorry to be a parent but come on, this is self explanatory. Make sure it has a good cap so it doesn’t open up randomly, that’s important. But having it in the bag as well, proves endlessly ready and handy for those days that you’re staring melanoma in the face. Do your due diligence on which one you choose but for this article just get one that won’t damage your interior leather or plastics and has a good cap! Sunscreen can be VERY difficult to clean.

 

Snacks/Drinks. This one can be touch and go because they may expire or get too hot for use. But throwing a snack or drink in the bag is also a good plan. Take care of your body like you take care of your ride.

 

Microfibers. Need I explain this one? Cleaning, drying or wiping. Maybe you just need to polish a shoe or get bird dirt off a windshield. Pack a few of these in there.

 

Tie the bag loops together to keep everything inside and you’ve got your basic comfort kit ready for the road.

 

Last thing…if you have taken these items to the track be sure to empty them out of the trunk. Guess what, since you have a chair, you’ve got a spot to put it all while you’re on the track!

 

 

Happy Trails

David Balazic

@milk4coffee

The absolutely all encompassing conversation about wheels. From construction to materials, fitment and everything in between. This episode is all about educating and informing our contribution to the grand world of ultimate rim and tire combos!

Listen to the Podcast here:

 

Dramatic, that’s the only way to describe the used car market right now and I’m certain it will only get more so. Just this past week I was sent an ad on Kijiji that listed a used, albeit fresh off the lot, Camaro listed for $20k over the MSRP. The best part was that the lister was honest in the description saying that due to limited production numbers they were asking more than what they bought it for.

This is just a sign of the problems to come. Have you tried looking for any enthusiast used car that could be defined as clean lately? An E36 M3 or 328IS used to be affordable but due to the limited numbers and increased demand they are starting to rocket in price. Not by hundreds, but by thousands. Sounds like the housing market boom from only a year ago; a simple case of supply and demand.

The 2019 pandemic has lasted longer than anyone expected, but caused a change of perspective for many people. The desire to spend discretionary income didn’t change, it simply shifted from the intangible experiences such as sports games, concerts and vacations to the tangible goods. There’s a reason we see online retailers delivering on Sundays! Now compound that problem with supply chain issues. 

That brings me to the point of this all. The dominos of the “chip shortage” are all falling together. Let’s start with the easy one, we bought more and squeezed production. Then factor in the struggle among nations and the sanctions against China; furthering the manufacturing squeeze. On top of it all Japanese manufacturer Renesis Electronics, who accounts for 30% of the global market for microcontroller units used in vehicles, whose building caught fire causing catastrophic damage directly to their production lines has led to the massive supply shortage. 

So with manufacturers scaling back their production to ensure profitability, coupled with people having more discretionary income to spend on tech toys (including cars and powered equipment) it’s leading to delays in production which is causing the value of used cars to go up.

It’s a real mess, and there’s no clear answer in sight as to when these increases will change. Cars that are desirable and out of production do simply not increase in supply. Then there is the overall shift to electric vehicles and cross overs. Convenience and luxury over drivability and feel. That car you may have had your eye on, won’t last long and there’s no guarantee it will come around again. Welcome to a crash course in supply and demand, sorry about your luck maybe look for a bicycle. Oh wait, you can’t buy those either.

 

David Balazic

@milk4coffee

This could possibly be the most excited you’ll see Randy (to date). Talking about the experience of door to door endurance racing is an amazing feeling that he can’t help himself but get worked up talking about! In this episode we cover off the ‘arrive and drive’ program at 11Tenths Racecraft which includes their racing experience in the Lucky Dog and Champ car racing series’.

Listen to the Podcast here:

I still remember when an old friend, who moved to Hollywood, messaged me out of the blue so proud that she had attended her first car meet, and finally understood what I was on about them being a good time. Oh, how I rolled my eyes. I rolled them so far back I could analyze the back of my head without the barber holding up a mirror. Why? The problem was that the meet she attended was a “takeover”.

Let me start right off by saying that these “takeover meets” are the most opposite mentality to the average car person. Not all but most. And here is why…

Car meets have always been fraught with negative attention. I remember my first car meet over 15 years ago with the Toronto Mazda 3 car club (don’t judge it was my first car). We used to hang out at La Paloma in Woodbridge grab ice cream and shoot the proverbial turd or we’d go to a Tim’s for coffee. Some of the hardcore nuts would continue to meet throughout the winter for the same warm drink and maybe a couple of rounds of cards here and there. But even then, I felt the judgement from certain establishments. Even though we brought anywhere from 5 – 20 people and their business pretty much every week, the loitering that went along with it was not appreciated. We weren’t disruptive or anything and at that point two-step was only heard of on rally stages. We literally looked at each others’ cars and talked shop about anything car related or not!

That judgement never goes away. Fellow motorists, other business owners and most importantly POLICE! The idea of brining negative attention means that there is less opportunity to enjoy gathering in groups without being disturbed. More importantly the negative attention now brings more attention to any enthusiast who dares to look at the accelerator pedal or apex while just cruising along!

Some cars get more heat than others, but anything modified from lawn mower to hummer drags more attention than usual. The book get’s thrown at modified owners already. Emissions, camber, ride height, tint percentage etc. all of it is on the table when you hit the street. That’s just while your parked! How about noise and speeding tickets?!

So, these new and trendy “takeover” meets take the negative attention to a whole other level. The best way to summarize is that it’s literally disturbing the peace. Massive groups that are enough to make an influence. Half the time they are shutting down streets and doing illegal things blatantly! This could be burnouts and donuts or noise making competitions (call them as they are). I understand the appeal of a big car meet, and enthusiasts getting together. I also understand that it can be expensive to go to the track. Although I personally feel that in most cases these cars or drivers don’t have the skills to actually head to the track. Thus, hit the streets to show off in the easiest and cheapest way. But let’s remember in most cases it is classified as stunt or reckless driving and highly illegal!  The ticket is definitely worth more than a couple of trips to the track.

Like I said, I get the draw of holding a massive meet with lots of cars and lots of people. But respecting the laws and business owners is also key. There’s no reason to dial up the negative attention when there is already plenty floating around. Nobody needs to be cruising and enjoying their day only to be side eyed and harassed for potentially no reason. Why would I want to risk enjoying the drive.

 

David @milk4coffee

You want to go fast. We want to go fast. How do you do it? For that matter, where and how much and how competitive?! So many questions but we answer them here. There are lot’s of different way to get out and drive as FAST as possible. Check this episode of the podcast out to get an idea of what works best for you or how to get to the next level!

Listen to the Podcast below:

 

 

  1. Tires

It’s that time again and everyone is getting excited to flash their rollers. Warm weather here we go! BUT WAIT how about that temperature though? It’s recommended that summer tires go on when the average temperature is over 7 degrees celsius, so as anxious as you might be, it would be worth waiting for safety and performance sake. Then there is the salt, which inevitably need a few good spring showers before it gets washed away. Not that it’s a big deal, but worth consideration when it comes to the finish and corrosion of your hoops!

Tires also need to be checked before storage. Make sure that if you are storing your winter tires don’t put them directly on concrete or stack them directly on top of each other. Neither is good for the side wall. While this is debated and there are all sorts of ‘preventive’ things such as increasing tire pressure, the most common practices are foam mats, old yoga mats or dedicated flat spot preventing storage blocks under all 4 tires.

  1. Oil and Fluids

 New season, new fluids. Some cars may not have seen the light of day over the past few months and others may not have seen a dry garage or shop! Consider that all lubricants and fluids have a life span that depends on time as well as wear. Brake fluid absorbs moisture, and oils have reduced lubrication properties. Oil breaks down two ways. By using it and making it dirty or through time by breaking down is lubrication and detergent properties. Maybe a post it note in the cup holder wouldn’t be a bad idea.  Maximize your efficiency, performance and longevity of your car by checking and replacing fluids where necessary.

  1. Filters and Blades

 The winter is NASTY and even if you stored your car, you should take the time to check the breathability of your ride. Check air filters and cabin filters for debris along with dirt. It could be time for a change. That goes two-fold for your poor windshield wipers. Dealing with ice and grime, sticky bumpy windshields or just drying up while they sat there unused. Have a look and see if they’re good to go for that first rain storm.

  1. The Inspection

If you couldn’t tell it’s now the time to make sure that your car is running optimally for the warmer weather. Maximize the performance and efficiency!!! Beyond the items listed previously, do a visual inspection of the car. Lights, brakes, belts, seals and everything else we’ve already mentioned. Be prepared to drive your car. Taking an interest in it now will go a long way down the road. If you need help, make the time to bring it in to 11Tenths. Prepare yourself to minimize surprises and make your summer more enjoyable.

 

-David

@milk4coffee