More racing at Calabogie!


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Sunny Florida
Words from the master in response to a question of how this big heavy four door car is passing Vipers and other faster cars on this track: "Brian - you raise some very interesting and valid points. Yes - that Viper and the 2nd Gen CTS-V and the Turbo 911 are all faster than my SRT8 - in a straight line. On a fast track, such as Mosport or VIR, a competent driver would beat my times. However, on a twisty, technical course such as Calabogie (and, I would guess - Laguna Seca), the SRT8, set up the way mine is, definitely has the advantage. Let me explain: Acceleration; Braking; Lateral Grip; Transitional Stability are the 4 vehicle factors that come into play on a road circuit. Size of vehicle and weight really don't mean all that much, in my experience. The SRT8 has nice acceleration (but won't catch a Viper or Turbo Porsche); very good braking; Lateral grip is very good - with the right tires and alignment specs. Where the SRT8 shines is in transitional stability. My car is outstanding! I have total confidence in knowing I can drive right out on the edge of the limit of adhesion. I can guarantee you that on that cold, damp day the Viper pilot was white knuckling his way around the track, as were many others. If you have ever driven a 911 on this type of track, you will know what I mean. You will notice that I caught up to the S4 and the CTS-V in Temptation - which means the SRT8 was negotiating the corner faster than those two (stability; balance and grip). My exit speed past the apex was far faster than them. In fact, I got a bit of a pull (draft) off the S4 to slingshot past the CTS-V(I was right on the bumper of the S4 - the fisheye camera lens makes the front car look smaller and further away than it was). Neither ever caught up after that. Ever since I put a pair of Michelin Pilot Super Sports on my front wheels; dialed in some negative camber and played with the dampening and rebound shock settings, my SRT8 is generating tremendous grip, with almost no understeer. The grip is so good, even on a cold damp track, that I have bruises all up and down the left side of my body from the G forces slamming me against the driver's door. Maybe time for a full 5 point harness! Two other cars that have the composure of my SRT8 on that circuit are 2 M3's . Both pilots have fiddled with suspension and tires - same as me. One is turning faster laps than me - the other is about the same."