2021 VW GLI - Track Day (Open Lapping) at TMP

Joined
Dec 5, 2014
Messages
825
Location
Toronto
Hey guys,



I wanted to share my open lapping session, first time taking the GLI to track at TMP, bought brand new Sep 2021. Before we start, sorry for the camera angle - that was a teachable point for me, will try the passenger seat area next time.

Though it is the first time for the GLI, I've been tracking my cars occasionally for the last 12 years in different countries. I had to take a break for the last 3 years, so I'm definitely rusty!

This was more to get the hang of it rather than pushing the GLI to the limits, I wanted to see how the latest changes/upgrades feel. It's my daily driver but changed few things to make it more fun at the track.

Having "Golf R brakes" may sound cool and everyone brags about it, but they are just not meant for track. My OEM pads were all cracked, glazed so I had to change it with EBC blue stuff after the track, hopefully that'll solve my problem, if not I'll just upgrade it to 4-piston base Porsche Macan calipers as it's plug and play.

Aside from the brakes, my biggest complaint was the auto-upshifting DSG. It just sucks especially when you are going on 2nd gear around tight corners it upshifts to 3rd. The TCU tune just sucks overall, it doesn't matter if you track it or not, it's just horrible. I will definitely get the ECU TCU tune after the warranty.

I changed factory oil around 3000 km and have put about 6000 km so far. It runs on OEM VW 508.00 0w20, the temps were below 120c / 250f all the time, which shows 0w20 can handle pretty much everything just fine.

So here is my current mod list:
Stock engine, stock trans
Eibach lowering springs for the Golf R
ECS 25mm rear sway bar
034 Front camber ball joint
Bridgestone Potenza Sport summer tires (stock size)
RS3 brake ducts
MBRP catback
ECS wheel spacers (10mm front - 15mm rear)
Alignment specs : -2.5 camber (front), -2.0 camber (rear), 0 toe all around & 32 psi tire pressure all around
Changed e-lsd setting to "Increased Traction"

Happy to report there is no understeering, it can snap oversteer when the tires are cold. The car just wants to turn thanks to the -2.5 camber in the front. The body roll is minimal and very controllable.

My best time for the day was 1.26.5, and I was consistently doing 1.27-1.30 for the whole day, depending how busy the track was.
Planning to go again in the next two weeks to see if EBC blue stuff solves my problem (fingers crossed). My aim is to go below 1.25 with better brakes and more practice with the GLI.

293283245_883011339755959_1520888655864674262_n.jpg


Thanks for your time, let me know if you have any questions
🙂
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 30, 2017
Messages
1,182
Location
Vancouver, BC Canada
Hey guys,



I wanted to share my open lapping session, first time taking the GLI to track at TMP, bought brand new Sep 2021. Before we start, sorry for the camera angle - that was a teachable point for me, will try the passenger seat area next time.

Though it is the first time for the GLI, I've been tracking my cars occasionally for the last 12 years in different countries. I had to take a break for the last 3 years, so I'm definitely rusty!

This was more to get the hang of it rather than pushing the GLI to the limits, I wanted to see how the latest changes/upgrades feel. It's my daily driver but changed few things to make it more fun at the track.

Having "Golf R brakes" may sound cool and everyone brags about it, but they are just not meant for track. My OEM pads were all cracked, glazed so I had to change it with EBC blue stuff after the track, hopefully that'll solve my problem, if not I'll just upgrade it to 4-piston base Porsche Macan calipers as it's plug and play.

Aside from the brakes, my biggest complaint was the auto-upshifting DSG. It just sucks especially when you are going on 2nd gear around tight corners it upshifts to 3rd. The TCU tune just sucks overall, it doesn't matter if you track it or not, it's just horrible. I will definitely get the ECU TCU tune after the warranty.

I changed factory oil around 3000 km and have put about 6000 km so far. It runs on OEM VW 508.00 0w20, the temps were below 120c / 250f all the time, which shows 0w20 can handle pretty much everything just fine.

So here is my current mod list:
Stock engine, stock trans
Eibach lowering springs for the Golf R
ECS 25mm rear sway bar
034 Front camber ball joint
Bridgestone Potenza Sport summer tires (stock size)
RS3 brake ducts
MBRP catback
ECS wheel spacers (10mm front - 15mm rear)
Alignment specs : -2.5 camber (front), -2.0 camber (rear), 0 toe all around & 32 psi tire pressure all around
Changed e-lsd setting to "Increased Traction"

Happy to report there is no understeering, it can snap oversteer when the tires are cold. The car just wants to turn thanks to the -2.5 camber in the front. The body roll is minimal and very controllable.

My best time for the day was 1.26.5, and I was consistently doing 1.27-1.30 for the whole day, depending how busy the track was.
Planning to go again in the next two weeks to see if EBC blue stuff solves my problem (fingers crossed). My aim is to go below 1.25 with better brakes and more practice with the GLI.

View attachment 108655

Thanks for your time, let me know if you have any questions
🙂


Did you consider running the DSG in manual mode? I agree that the OEM trans tune is (apparently) not optimal. I can't say this with direct personal experience, but I'm told that in Normal, too high a gear is sought right away. In Sport, the opposite... That's left in Auto. I would have thought Manual is the ticket for an autoslalom?

Not to disparage a DSG, but apparently P-cars with their pdk, owners leave em in auto for best competition event results... They say the programming is that good...

You're right to consider a tune...
 

dgunay

Thread starter
Joined
Dec 5, 2014
Messages
825
Location
Toronto
Nice to see someone actually be able to use their vehicle for what it is intended. Rarely does this happen.

Thanks. GLI is not really a track toy, but it can be quite fun with the right mods. But you are right, I rarely see GLI owners take their car to track, or any kind of event. I've seen a lot of Golf R owners though, which is great.

My aim is to keep the GLI as a daily driver and will take it to track occasionally, but planning to get RWD with manual transmission (BRZ - Mustang GT- Camaro SS etc.) in the future. But that's the reason why I didn't get coil overs for the GLI. They are expensive if you have electronic suspension (about $3-4k), not worth it for a daily driver.

After upgrading brakes to Porsche Macan calipers, and ECU - TCU tune when it's out of warranty, I think I'll leave it there as I don't want to compromise daily driving
 

dgunay

Thread starter
Joined
Dec 5, 2014
Messages
825
Location
Toronto
Did you consider running the DSG in manual mode? I agree that the OEM trans tune is (apparently) not optimal. I can't say this with direct personal experience, but I'm told that in Normal, too high a gear is sought right away. In Sport, the opposite... That's left in Auto. I would have thought Manual is the ticket for an autoslalom?

Not to disparage a DSG, but apparently P-cars with their pdk, owners leave em in auto for best competition event results... They say the programming is that good...

You're right to consider a tune...

It was in manual mode for the whole time, it just auto-upshifts even in full manual mode. The new DQ381 trans is tuned for comfort rather than performance. It really feels like a traditional torque-converted automatic.

The problem is not just the upshifting, it can also be slow to downshift occasionally. It usually upshifts fast though, I have no problem with that.
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2017
Messages
1,182
Location
Vancouver, BC Canada
It was in manual mode for the whole time, it just auto-upshifts even in full manual mode. The new DQ381 trans is tuned for comfort rather than performance. It really feels like a traditional torque-converted automatic.

The problem is not just the upshifting, it can also be slow to downshift occasionally. It usually upshifts fast though, I have no problem with that.
I'll bet some folks were complaining that their DCT-type transaxle was markedly rougher than a torque converter AT as they were coming to a stop. The masses rule...
 

dgunay

Thread starter
Joined
Dec 5, 2014
Messages
825
Location
Toronto
I'll bet some folks were complaining that their DCT-type transaxle was markedly rougher than a torque converter AT as they were coming to a stop. The masses rule...

If I had a chance, I would have bought stick shift, but wife can't drive manual unfortunately.
 

dgunay

Thread starter
Joined
Dec 5, 2014
Messages
825
Location
Toronto
My buddy has a '21 GLI 6MT. Really likes it. Wish I had one, or a GTI...

GTI is nice if you are single or a couple, and it definitely feels more special than the GLI, but they (including Golf R) have limited rear legroom. That's the reason why I had to get the GLI, as I have a kid and need more rear legroom space for the child seat, but also want to take it to track whenever possible. GLI can accommodate better for this type of case. Not to mention GLI was several thousand $$ cheaper and more features than the GTI (cooled seats, memory seats, digital dash, heated rear seats etc.), and it has the same drivetrain.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 20, 2021
Messages
26
Location
Ontario, Canada
It was in manual mode for the whole time, it just auto-upshifts even in full manual mode. The new DQ381 trans is tuned for comfort rather than performance. It really feels like a traditional torque-converted automatic.

The problem is not just the upshifting, it can also be slow to downshift occasionally. It usually upshifts fast though, I have no problem with that.
DQ381 + DKFA in a GTI (probably exactly the same powertrain as in your GLI) was the first DCT I ever experienced and it was so disappointing with all the positive comments I was reading online about the earlier DQ200. It seems to be capable of changing gears extremely rapidly and "crisply" at any RPM/load, but more often opts to slip the clutches to smooth out gear changes like you said which kills the mood somewhat.

I'm curious if you've driven any similar Golfs or Jettas equipped with DQ200 or the manual transmission before, as I haven't been able to. What do you think especially about the pedals paired with the manual cars, as the arrangement seems to me like it would be hard to get used to for heel-toe.
 

TiGeo

$50 site donor 2022
Joined
Nov 5, 2009
Messages
3,729
Location
Richmond, VA area
Nice...love the GLIs as they are less common that's GTIs. I occasionally track my Sportwagen. The Golf R/GTI PP 340mm brakes are adequate size for track use...it's all about pads and fluid is all. Also driver braking technique plays in as well but any street pad just won't hold up for track use. I have the 6 spd DQ250 DSG and my car is tuned so that issue you are having isn't an issue. Yes...even in manual mode the stock TCU logic will auto up and downshift in certain conditions. My Unitronic DDG tune will auto upshift at redline and eliminates the kick down which is great for manual mode driving. Some tunes eliminate the auto upshift as well but I have no need to bounce off the rev limiter. I actually drive my DSG in Sport mode on the track. Gets it right most of the time and can hit the paddles when it doesn't. The DSG is a fantastic auto but does require an understanding of how it works/logic to optimize it.






FB_IMG_1636720644547.jpg
 
Last edited:

dgunay

Thread starter
Joined
Dec 5, 2014
Messages
825
Location
Toronto
DQ381 + DKFA in a GTI (probably exactly the same powertrain as in your GLI) was the first DCT I ever experienced and it was so disappointing with all the positive comments I was reading online about the earlier DQ200. It seems to be capable of changing gears extremely rapidly and "crisply" at any RPM/load, but more often opts to slip the clutches to smooth out gear changes like you said which kills the mood somewhat.

I'm curious if you've driven any similar Golfs or Jettas equipped with DQ200 or the manual transmission before, as I haven't been able to. What do you think especially about the pedals paired with the manual cars, as the arrangement seems to me like it would be hard to get used to for heel-toe.

I totally agree, I heard most of it can be fixed with an aftermarket tune, so I'm really hoping that's the case, but still have to wait another 4 years.

I haven't driven any older Golfs or Jettas unfortunately, this is my first VW. However, I tracked stick shift cars in the past, here is one of them:

 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 21, 2002
Messages
6,552
Location
KY
Great video! I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by how well the ZF 8HP in my M235i performed on the track. I put the both the car and the transmission in Sport mode and 99% of the time the transmission did exactly what I wanted it to do. All of my prior track rats have been manuals but I thought the 8HP was outstanding.
 

TiGeo

$50 site donor 2022
Joined
Nov 5, 2009
Messages
3,729
Location
Richmond, VA area
I totally agree, I heard most of it can be fixed with an aftermarket tune, so I'm really hoping that's the case, but still have to wait another 4 years.

I haven't driven any older Golfs or Jettas unfortunately, this is my first VW. However, I tracked stick shift cars in the past, here is one of them:


The warranty concern...so many tuned cars without an issue. Tough to have to wait 4 years when the most reliable point on your car's life for tuning is now.
 

dgunay

Thread starter
Joined
Dec 5, 2014
Messages
825
Location
Toronto
Great video! I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by how well the ZF 8HP in my M235i performed on the track. I put the both the car and the transmission in Sport mode and 99% of the time the transmission did exactly what I wanted it to do. All of my prior track rats have been manuals but I thought the 8HP was outstanding.

ZF 8-Speed is still one of the best out there. I do car reviews as a side hustle, and it is one of my favorite transmissions.

The warranty concern...so many tuned cars without an issue. Tough to have to wait 4 years when the most reliable point on your car's life for tuning is now.

I'll probably run out of patience at some point and will get the car tuned. Also looking for a mild tune (Stage 1) anyways, FWD car with over 300 hp becomes a tire shredding machine, therefore I want to keep it below 300.
 
Last edited:

TiGeo

$50 site donor 2022
Joined
Nov 5, 2009
Messages
3,729
Location
Richmond, VA area
ZF 8-Speed is still one of the best out there. I do car reviews as a side hustle, and it is one of my favorite transmissions out there.



I'll probably run out of patience at some point and will get the car tuned. Also looking for a mild tune (Stage 1) anyways, FWD car with over 300 hp becomes a tire shredding machine, therefore I want to keep it below 300.
That's really it, the odds are so low of having something catostrophic with a simple stage 1 file. I agree - the guys making 450 wheel on GTIs...I don't get it. Unitronic is a great tune (I have) and is known to be a bit more mellow on the fwd cars.
 
Joined
Jul 21, 2002
Messages
6,552
Location
KY
That's really it, the odds are so low of having something catostrophic with a simple stage 1 file. I agree - the guys making 450 wheel on GTIs...I don't get it. Unitronic is a great tune (I have) and is known to be a bit more mellow on the fwd cars.
14 years ago I was tracking a 2007 Mazdaspeed 3; the motor was pretty reliable on a Stage 1 tune, but push the envelope on the stock motor and Zoom-Zoom-Boom! was the likely result.
 

dgunay

Thread starter
Joined
Dec 5, 2014
Messages
825
Location
Toronto
14 years ago I was tracking a 2007 Mazdaspeed 3; the motor was pretty reliable on a Stage 1 tune, but push the envelope on the stock motor and Zoom-Zoom-Boom! was the likely result.

Aftermarket support for VW especially for EA888 engine is much better than Mazda, not trying to say it wouldn't happen, there is always a chance.

Also there are lots of people pushing 400+ hp with a bigger turbo and stock internals, EA888 can handle a lot of power.
 
Last edited:
Top