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Will_s Night Blue GTI daily turned track build

OldVWFan

Go Kart Champion
Location
NW Arkansas
Car(s)
17 GTI Sport
Understood, if you change your mind let me know.
 

Will_

Autocross Champion
Location
SF Bay Area
Car(s)
2017 GTI S DSG
Some more recent photos I liked.

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Will_

Autocross Champion
Location
SF Bay Area
Car(s)
2017 GTI S DSG
Last few months haven't accomplished too much. Coronavirus put a halt to a few planned Autocross/track day events. I've bought a few things to get the car ready though. Macan calipers with 345mm zimmerman blanks, Ferodo DS2500s. Just waiting on the availability of a friend to install.

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Also installed RS3 brake ducts and trimmed the heat shields to accommodate the new larger rotors. I had to trim the top of the RS3 ducts slightly in order to avoid rubbing at full lock (I sanded and cleaned them up a little after the below photo). Took them for a test drive in the rain today and there appears to be a little more aero drag, plus my wheels were quite dirty after, which suggests to me that they are working as intended.

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Having the Macan BBK installed in the next month, then hopefully my local tracks will reopen and I can put them to the test.
 

Will_

Autocross Champion
Location
SF Bay Area
Car(s)
2017 GTI S DSG
Switched out my Majesty FMIC for an ECS FMIC this weekend. The ECS kit has a much better mounting solution and fits perfectly. Can't recommend enough for the price (got it for $425 on sale).

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Also installed knockoff Racingline paddle shifters. One side fit perfect, other side just needed a few strips of Tesa tape. Great buy for $25.

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I also checked the Macan brakes clearance on my current wheels. Fits with a 5mm spacer. Need to have installed soon. I also have an Aerofabb rear spoiler coming in the mail this week as well as a fire extinguisher I plan on mounting in the passenger footwell. Quarantine has me buying tons of parts to keep my weekends interesting.
 

Will_

Autocross Champion
Location
SF Bay Area
Car(s)
2017 GTI S DSG
This last weekend I went up to Thunderhill to run Autocross with the Sacramento SCCA chapter. I had a great time and got some nice footage/photos! Car ran fantastic as well, need a little more practice to get a feel for the new brake setup, but have a track day at Thunderhill coming up 6/7 so should get good experience there.

Here are two of my runs.



And some fantastic photos courtesy of Gorilla Tornado photography.

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Will_

Autocross Champion
Location
SF Bay Area
Car(s)
2017 GTI S DSG
Track day at Thunderhill over the weekend. We ran the 5 mile double bypass configuration, so no infield on the west course and no cyclone on East. This was my first track day driving so I was in the novice group. Day went like this:

Session 1: Lead and follow practicing point-bys, Sunday cruise pace

Session 2: Lead and follow, slightly faster pace but still quite slow

Session 3: Okay real thing now. I had two options lining up in the pits: left side for fast cars, right lane for slow cars. I figured I should probably go in the slow lane being there were lots of faster cars than mine in my session. Wrong. I was stuck in traffic for the first 10 minutes. Last ten minutes were great though, had some nice intervals of open space and got my fastest laps in during this time.

Session 4: The dream. Second car out of the pits, M3 in front of me takes off, S2000 behind me falls back a bit. I have all the space in the world. Do about a half lap warmup and start my first flying lap. Halfway down the main straight I hear a pop and lose all power. Boost hose came clean off the driver side charge pipe. I limp it back to the pits frustrated as hell. This has been a recurring issue for me, despite my best checks to see that everything is tightened down properly.

I had about an hour before my next session so I started working like a madman. Broke out the tools and had the front bumper off in like 5 minutes. Mind you I didn’t bring a jack so I was just rolling around on the pavement, luckily I’m skinny so I can just about fit under the car. Found the problem, reattached and tightened the hose, and put the bumper back on with about 15 minutes to spare before my next session.

Session 5: For some reason lots of people had already left by this time of the day so track was nice and wide open. I decided to limit myself to 50% throttle for this session because of the aforementioned issues. I focused just on my lines and braking. It was actually a very relaxing ride, this track is pretty flowy so you can still lap pretty quick without huge power and carry lots of speed through the corners.

Overall I had a great day. The intercooler issue was very frustrating but I’m proud of myself for fixing it on the spot. Before the next event I will probably have a shop look at it. I’m also considering tuning the car back to stock. Having the stage 1 power is great but I figure it is better that I learn to drive the car at low power levels first and can always add power back later. I’d also really like to make this car bulletproof on the track, and have the peace of mind to just run flat out without worrying about anything breaking. I figure stock power will aid in that longevity/reliability.

As for braking/suspension, I couldn’t be happier. Brakes were perfect the whole day, never showed signs of overheating. Car rode and handled beautifully, soaking up some of the bigger bumps/curbs on the track without unsettling the car, and overall just felt very planted.

Tires (Yokohama Advan Apex V601) I set at 35psi cold and they peaked at about 41-42psi. I was happy with how they performed although I cant say I have much data/experience to compare with. I will say these Yokohama’s have much stiffer sidewalls than my previous Continental Extreme Contact Sports, but i prefer that for AutoX/track. Didn’t have any chunking/uneven wear issues from the looks of things. I think I need to get better at monitoring tires though to really offer constructive feedback.

Here is a clip from my third session where I got some open space and was able to push flat out.

 
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Will_

Autocross Champion
Location
SF Bay Area
Car(s)
2017 GTI S DSG
Camber plates and deadset kit done last week. Running Laguna Seca on 8/22 then Thunderhill East on 9/5. Got some new MK7.5 R style headlights coming in this week. Also removed rear mud flaps today. Bonus photo from last track day.

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ZijinLi

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
Toronto
Car(s)
GTI Mk7.5
Hi, do you run SuperPro camber plates with stock strut bearing? If it's aftermarket strut bearing, can you please share the brand and spec?
 

Will_

Autocross Champion
Location
SF Bay Area
Car(s)
2017 GTI S DSG
Track day at Laguna Seca yesterday. First time ever racing there so was in the beginner group. We had 5 20 minute sessions but first two were lead/follow at 50-60% speed so won't bother covering those. Car ran great all day. Brakes were good, oil temp never eclipsed 260, no weird noises or issues. Really happy with how it went overall. Below is some more thoughts.

Session 1: Lead-follow session, quite relaxed but exciting to see track in person for the first time (I've done about 1000 laps in Gran Turismo)

Session 2: More of the same. Some guy in my group with a hybrid Camry. Caused issues all day (more on that later)

Session 3: First real session. You can self grid on right or left side of hot pit for faster/slower. Of course like 15 cars go in the fast lane and only 3 in the slow. I line up with slow group. Mistake but my session was already pretty much finished at this point. Spent the whole time sitting in traffic and waiting for point by. Got 1 or 2 good laps in, hand timed at 1:57 from pits. Guy in Veloster N went off course at like 30mph in a turn you can take at 70. IDK what he was doing. More on him later too...

Session 4: Get there earlier and line up with faster group. Fun session. Chased a nice E36 328i for a few laps. He was a bit quicker in the turns but I had him on the straights. Didn't push for a point by as I wanted to see if I could keep up in the corners. Stuck in a more traffic towards the end.

Session 5: Behind a turbo miata at the start. We're pretty evenly matched. Good 2 laps chasing him. I point by another Miata that was behind me and two more cars to try and create some space to get a hot lap in. Back off for half a lap, fortunately lots of room behind me. Start my hot lap and who else but Mr Veloster comes out of the pits right in front of me. Not sure if I would've made too big of a difference as it looked like there might've been traffic ahead anyway but still frustrating. Should've pushed for a point by from the miata at the beginning instead of trying to drop back behind slower cars to create space. Mistake on my part. Best part of this session was learning how to rotate the car using a little lift off oversteer. Found some more speed there.

Some thoughts on the track:

Turn 1 - staying flat through here is honestly pretty scary. It's totally blind. Got the hang of it in my final session. I was only doing about 100-105, not sure how guys keep in flat at 130+
Turn 2/2a (Andretti Hairpin) - saw people taking lots of different lines through here. Instructed told us to go quite wide and apex second corner late which is what you'll see me doing. See a lot of people double apex this one though. Will try new lines next time. Think there is a lot of time to be gained here.
Turn 3 - really felt like I got the hang of this one towards the end of the day, seems to be a slightly later apex than what you'd initially think. Lifting slightly mid corner to rotate the car really helped.
Turn 4 - Similar to T3, lifting slightly mid corner to help rotate the car really seemed to help. Fun corner
Turn 5 - Another slightly late apex, critical to get good exit speed going up the hill.
Turn 6 - probably my favorite turn - very deeply banked at the apex so you can take quite a lot of speed in. Car can get really loose if you lift. Better to stay on power after turn in and unwind the wheel slowly.
Turn 7 - corkscrew - blind as hell but really not too bad, just got to line up correctly and floor it.
Turn 8 - wasn't sure whether to run out further, which would allow me to carry more speed but come in slower to T8, or to swing back to right side immediately after. Seen people do both.
Turn 9 - hard to maximize speed here, there more room to run wide than I initially thought. Could've shaved time here for sure.
Turn 10 - very fun with how banked it is. Can carry good speed if you get it right but a lot of people go wide and off track here.
Turn 11 - 110 degree left hander - can actually apex this fairly early as there is a ton of room to run out. Tried to get on power earlier and earlier here.

Finally, here some GoPro highlights/lowlights from sessions 4 and 5. I broke my helmet mount on accident right before session 3 so didn't get any of that.

 
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