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DerHase's 2019 GTI Rabbit Edition: HPDE shenanigans

DerHase

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Hampton Roads, VA
Car(s)
2019 GTI Rabbit
So I figured I'd start a "build thread" to document stuff I've done with the car before it gets too out of hand.

The car: 2019 VW GTI Rabbit Edition - DSG.

21-11-06 Just purchased.jpg


Why I needed a car: I was in a wreck at Mid Ohio in my Mazda2 back in August of 2021. I wasn't 100% sure if I would be "able" to come back to driving on track. I had a concussion that lasted a good week or so, constant feeling of my head being heavier on my right side than my left, poor balance, hard to focus, etc. These symptoms got better/tolerable over the course of about a month, but I still wasn't sure how I'd be when I *actually* get back on track. I also have a 2005 Sequoia which I use daily for work so wasn't in a rush to buy anything. I had been driving the Mazda2 since 2013... it had 186k when it hit the wall, and had been autocrossed from the week I bought it and tracked regularly since 2016.

A few months went by and I started feeling more capable of doing track things again so decided I wanted to get *something*. Things that I took into consideration:
- Something I like to drive in general. If I got on track and realized I couldn't do it (have had friends that experienced this after a concussion), I didn't want to have to sell the car because it was otherwise worthless to me. Obviously this also rules out a dedicated track car.
- Enthusiast base. I've been tracking a car with very little aftermarket (and most that does exist was because parts interchanged with the Fiesta). VIR is my home track at 3.5hr away... I wanted something with somewhat decent power vs the 97whp I had before. Anything under 2:20 at VIR is at least respectable IMO, and this car (with someone else driving) should be able to do that without any real changes aside from tires and proper brakes.
- Safety. I wanted to be picky about the car chosen because a lot of Japanese stuff is notoriously bad about wheels intruding into the footwell area. A hard front end hit commonly results in the wheel going into the firewall mangling your legs/feet. Without a cage being a reasonable option in a streetable car, the GTI is one of the few cars I was looking at that is actually really damn good overall:
https://www.iihs.org/ratings/vehicle/volkswagen/gti-4-door-hatchback/2017

Compare the photos/video of the above to the Frisbee twins:
https://www.iihs.org/ratings/vehicle/subaru/brz-2-door-hatchback/2020

And BMW 3 series (M3 was what I was looking at):
https://www.iihs.org/ratings/vehicle/bmw/3-series-4-door-sedan/2015

With those ruled out, the other runner up was the Honda Civic Si which is actually also pretty decent overall:
https://www.iihs.org/ratings/vehicle/honda/civic-4-door-sedan/2021

And for some background, I do mobile ADAS calibrations on all makes and models, and spend a lot of time in body shops... so with seeing a LOT of wrecked cars... I had a pretty good idea that I could trust the safety cell of the VW to be my best bet. Between it and the Civic, the main things that pushed me over are the fact that Honda software is absolutely terrible to work with, and no matter what it's just not as nice on the interior as the VW. The GTI has a far better entertainment system and phone interface as well.

Plus I have some friends who are VW techs that I track with who've been pushing me to get into a MK7 for a LONG time now. So I started seeing targeted marketing via FB and saw a white Rabbit Edition for sale at a nearby dealership. I liked it, my wife likes it, so win-win.

I'll just leave a more up to date pic right here, may be updated occasionally...

1671498827689.png

From The TSCC December to VIRmember HPDE 12/10-12/11 2022.
 

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DerHase

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Hampton Roads, VA
Car(s)
2019 GTI Rabbit
As you can see above, the car was totaled. See the gap in the door/fender on driver side? That side didn't touch a thing. The whole front end shifted over about 6in. The LF fender stuck out beyond the mirror. I was going for a flyer lap going through T1 which is blind under the bridge, as I come out someone two cars ahead of me dipped a few wheels off and made a huge dust cloud. This was my second day at the track, and with the speed I was carrying (90mph at apex of T1) I guess I kind of froze and had to hold on and hope for the best... I tried to judge where the track limits were and either guessed wrong and dipped two off, or dipped two off with a bit of steering input and when I came back on the pavement it hooked and spun across the track to the inside tire wall. This is a video from the car behind me who saw it all.

Tony Mid-Ohio crash
 
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DerHase

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Hampton Roads, VA
Car(s)
2019 GTI Rabbit
I did a bit of prep work prior to the first track event scheduled with the Tidewater Sports Car Club at VIR this past February.

1/8/2022​
34151​
Engine oil/filterLiqui-Moly 5w40 + Mann filter
DSG fluid/filterOEM VW fluid/filter used
VAQ diff serviceOEM VW haldex fluid used
Engine air filter replacedMann air filter used
Cabin air filter replacedMann cabin air filter used
Spark plugs replacedNGK 94833 plugs used
1/22/2022​
34424​
Front brake pads and rotorsFerodo DS2500 and Zimmerman blanks
Rear brake pds and rotorsFerodo DS2500 and Zimmerman blanks
Brake fluid flushMotul RBF600


The event went great. I wasn't super happy with the pads. They felt inconsistent from one corner to the next. Temps were in the 50s so I figured maybe they were cooling off a bit too much over the long straights? Pedal would be soft on some applications. I hate not being able to trust the brakes every time. The factory all seasons suck but still had fun.

My quickest lap from the event:
 

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DerHase

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Hampton Roads, VA
Car(s)
2019 GTI Rabbit
A couple weekends ago I attended the PCA First Settlers Region HPDE at VIR. I signed up as intermediate instructed as at the prior event I could tell I wasn't as sharp as I felt like I should be and decided to just suck it up and get some right seat instruction.

Just before the event I did a bit of maintenance as well:
4/23/2022​
38498​
Engine oil/filterLiqui-Moly 5w40 + Hengst filter
Brake fluid flushMotul RBF600
Wheel alignmentThought had uneven camber - later found out that Casey VW alignment rack is messed up. See below.
4/26/2022​
38542​
Wheel alignmentFirestone "lifetime alignment" performed. -0.8 deg front camber, 7.3/7.7 front caster, -2.0 deg rear camber, 0 toe front and rear

Went through a minor fiasco with the local VW dealer's alignment rack being screwed up. Initially I thought the front end was messed up, but looking at the specs closer... it's pretty unlikely to have camber almost exactly the same amount "off" both front and rear... so I got it rechecked at Firestone. Sure enough it confirmed my suspicions.

3ECDED08-CC32-4303-A0B0-24E4385BA20B.jpeg 163669EE-2420-43A7-9102-A39C9DA214A2.jpeg

I also got some 17x9 SM10s and 245/40R17 RT660s for proper track tires mounted up a few days before the event:

0B4BFF84-66E5-4749-9F2B-6BA2C9F524EA.jpeg 22-04-27 Stock wheel vs Apex wheel.jpg 22-04-28 Driveway front tires poke.jpg 22-04-28 Driveway rear view.jpg


Of course I had a few minor issues with fitment, even at stock ride height... the tires rubbed the filler neck out back with -2.0 rear camber(just BARELY), and also contacted the front fender liner screw under hard compression (was able to duplicate on an offramp with a bump). I finagled the filler neck by loosening it at the fuel filler door area, and shoving it as far inward as possible, while also pulling the fender liner and making a new hole to pull it tighter to the inside...

22-04-27 Fender liner adjusted for tire clearance.jpg 22-04-27 Filler neck rubbing new wheels.jpg

No pics of the front, was done mostly in the dark while cursing.

Anyway all went well and I made it to VIR on 4/29 after work.

22-04-29 Gas fillup at Sheetz near VIR.jpg 22-04-29 Packed for VIR.jpg

..........
 
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DerHase

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Hampton Roads, VA
Car(s)
2019 GTI Rabbit

DerHase

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Hampton Roads, VA
Car(s)
2019 GTI Rabbit
Anyway I had a great time at VIR... unfortunately the photos that were taken at the event were not the greatest and I'm not paying for them... so all I've got are a few paddock shots. And one of a buddy driving my car (his Corvette was broken) out onto grid.

22-04-30 VIR paddock front quarter view.jpg 22-04-30 VIR paddock rear quarter view.jpg 22-04-30 VIR getting on track.jpg

During my first session on Saturday at one point my pedal went near the floor braking into T1... might have pooped a little bit.

22-04-30 VIR brake fluid boiled - in process of bleeding.jpg

Ended up getting some air out of the right rear. I suspect it was trapped inside the ABS module and was released into the rest of the main system upon hard braking/ABS engagement. The pads were fading partway through every session. The DS2500s are woefully inadequate for repeated lapping IMO (up front at least, I doubt the rears will ever become an issue). Even with the now added RS3 brake deflectors. I was holding out a small bit of hope they'd make it acceptable.

My friends Alex and Amanda were codriving a blue Golf R with the same brakes with the same problems, but probably worse since that thing is APR stage 1 + heavier with the same brake setup (DS2500 F/R). On the plus side I did get a cool pic of their car while filling up.


22-05-01 VIR Alex Golf R fuel fillup.jpg

There were a bunch of MK7s there which was really cool... even 3 different white GTIs so I couldn't miss the opportunity to make this:

22-04-30 VIR 3 white GTIs spiderman meme.jpg



While I was hoping to go a LITTLE bit faster than I did... I did do a new PB of 2:22.95 which I'm happy enough with given the lack of confidence in the brakes and lack of camber up front. Definitely had a couple more seconds easily as-is. Lots of time left in Oak Tree and Hog Pen.

 

DerHase

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Hampton Roads, VA
Car(s)
2019 GTI Rabbit
Plans for the future are in the works:

Ordered some front DS3.12s from Essex Parts last night.

Some 034 Camber plates just showed up. (Appear to be very nicely made) - hope to install and realign soon. I also got all the one-time-use OEM hardware needed from the local dealer.

Waiting on some results from Jeff the My Golf Mk7 guy regarding intercooler flow data THROUGH the core before I make a purchase, as I suspect that’s relevant for people doing open lapping since these things are so picky cooling-wise.

Considering running the PCA Zone 2/TSCC HPDE at VIR in June. Problem is it’s RIGHT after I get back from a cruise. Not sure that I’ll be able to make it worthwhile.
 

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gboticus

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Vancouver, BC
Car(s)
2019 R DSG
Plans for the future are in the works:

Ordered some front DS3.12s from Essex Parts last night.

Some 034 Camber plates just showed up. (Appear to be very nicely made) - hope to install and realign soon. I also got all the one-time-use OEM hardware needed from the local dealer.

Waiting on some results from Jeff the My Golf Mk7 guy regarding intercooler flow data THROUGH the core before I make a purchase, as I suspect that’s relevant for people doing open lapping since these things are so picky cooling-wise.

Considering running the PCA Zone 2/TSCC HPDE at VIR in June. Problem is it’s RIGHT after I get back from a cruise. Not sure that I’ll be able to make it worthwhile.

I kicked my DS2500 to the curb this year for DS1.11, which were actually oodles better so far with only one track day so far. 3.12 are pretty aggressive even compared to the 1.11 and curious to hear your thoughts once you get some laps with them.
 

DerHase

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Hampton Roads, VA
Car(s)
2019 GTI Rabbit
I kicked my DS2500 to the curb this year for DS1.11, which were actually oodles better so far with only one track day so far. 3.12 are pretty aggressive even compared to the 1.11 and curious to hear your thoughts once you get some laps with them.
Essex said it should be fine, though may tax the front brakes harder without swapping to DS3000 rears. So assuming it works reasonably well that will be my next step.

DS1.11 don’t seem to be available for the front PP brakes? That was what I originally wanted but could not find (emailed Essex and they recommended the 3.12s).

If not then straight to AP Racing BBK. I hate screwing with brakes/not having confidence in them.
 

gboticus

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Vancouver, BC
Car(s)
2019 R DSG
Essex said it should be fine, though may tax the front brakes harder without swapping to DS3000 rears. So assuming it works reasonably well that will be my next step.

DS1.11 don’t seem to be available for the front PP brakes? That was what I originally wanted but could not find (emailed Essex and they recommended the 3.12s).

If not then straight to AP Racing BBK. I hate screwing with brakes/not having confidence in them.
Ah, good point. I don't have OEM brakes on any corner of my car anymore. I have a Baer front BBK which use C5 Corvette shaped pads which luckily are supported by every brake pad company these days.

I still use DS2500 for the rears as they don't get worked anywhere near as hard, sure it moves the brake bias forward as a result but it didn't appear to negatively impact my track day so far but will refine thought a bit as the season goes on.
 

DerHase

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Hampton Roads, VA
Car(s)
2019 GTI Rabbit
Ah, good point. I don't have OEM brakes on any corner of my car anymore. I have a Baer front BBK which use C5 Corvette shaped pads which luckily are supported by every brake pad company these days.

I still use DS2500 for the rears as they don't get worked anywhere near as hard, sure it moves the brake bias forward as a result but it didn't appear to negatively impact my track day so far but will refine thought a bit as the season goes on.
Yeah on my 2 I ran G Loc R12s up front with OEM brake shoes and drums out back. Never changed them up until 184k or so (and that was just because... Not because they needed it). For front heavy FWD cars, I suspect the rear brakes are far less important than many think.

I'll have to get some temp indicating paint to see just how hot the rears actually get.
 

DerHase

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Hampton Roads, VA
Car(s)
2019 GTI Rabbit
Decided I wanted to squeeze one more VIR trip in before summer really hits and didn't want to rush to get there right after vacation... So I'm going to rush to go Memorial Day weekend :D I'll be going with Track Advantage.

My DS3.12s showed up today - they smell like they should stop better.

I got my quick jacks bled so I'll be wrenching on the car this week and weekend to get it ready with the pads and camber plates.

I also picked up an OBDII dongle so I can log IATs and ECT with the stock intercooler on track. For science!!

I also signed up for Fastivus at Summit Point Shenandoah on 10/1. Such a fun track.
 

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gboticus

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Vancouver, BC
Car(s)
2019 R DSG
Decided I wanted to squeeze one more VIR trip in before summer really hits and didn't want to rush to get there right after vacation... So I'm going to rush to go Memorial Day weekend :D I'll be going with Track Advantage.

My DS3.12s showed up today - they smell like they should stop better.

I got my quick jacks bled so I'll be wrenching on the car this week and weekend to get it ready with the pads and camber plates.

I also picked up an OBDII dongle so I can log IATs and ECT with the stock intercooler on track. For science!!

I also signed up for Fastivus at Summit Point Shenandoah on 10/1. Such a fun track.
The DS1.11 sang to me beautifully when applied at race speed. I wonder if the 3.12 will do the same for you.
 

DerHase

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Hampton Roads, VA
Car(s)
2019 GTI Rabbit
Time to get cracking the next few days. Got the iOS compatible device so I can log some basic stuff easily in the background while on track.... I'll be curious to see just how the stock IC does for a base reference.
 

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