Hey LK, the day was awesome, you should have been there ... the weather was overcast, and even drizzling on the way up, but by 11am we had sunshine and perfectly dry track ... told you ;-) There were about 40 cars all up, so we all had an incredible amount of track-time. In one of the sessions I managed to get 14 laps in a row!! ... that's almost race-distance
There were a lot of nice cars like 993 RS, e36 M3 and e36 M3-R, Boxster S, S2000s, lost of Intergas and even an STi amd Alfa GTV 3.0L. Passangers were allowed in every session, so I had a passanger at all times while on the track ... usually one weighting 100kgk or so. The event was un-timed but that does not mean you can't bring a stop watch, which I of course did. I tied to time the cars on 'clear' laps, but did not always suceed, and also I only timed a small selection of laps for the cars listed, so they all could very well could have gone faster on different laps. Anyway here are the best times that I got on the day:
- 993 RS (R-spec tyres) = 1:42.17
- 350Z Track (R-spec tyres) = 1:42.34
- e36 M3 (R-spec tyres) = 1:45.51
- Civic (Race prepped, R-spec tyres) = 1:45.59
- Boxster S (stock) = 1:45.72
- e36 M3-R (trailored in and gutted, R-spec tyres) = 1:46.21
- red S2000 (R-spec tyres) = 1:48.21
- STi (not sure about mods) = 1:48.68
- Interga Type S (stock) = 1:49.43
- Astra Turbo (stock) = 1:51.30
- white S2000 (R-spec tyres) = 1:53.18
- RX8 (stock) = 1:55.46
- Silver Prelude = 2:02.41
- Alfa GTV 3.0L (stock) = 2:13.99
Becasue I had the stop watch most of the time, I got timed by my passanger only on one lap ... though, he got a lot of video footage so we'll see what speed laps I was doing from there. I'll post whatever I can when I have it. My car held up well to the abuse, did not miss a beat and was certainly one of the quickest cars there. The 993 RS was certainly quicker, as I went for a ride in it and that car was absolutely awesome. The balance, grip, traction and braking were unbelievable. You'd never belive how well a car with an engine in the back handles and how much front grip it has. Oh, and the power ... I could see just over 180kph on the speedo, while I was in the passanger seat. To put that into perspective, I normaly see around 175kph on my speedo when alone, and 172kph at most with the 100kg pasanger. In an S2000 I could see about 164kph alone, and 162kph with a pasanger (60kg).
My guess is that the 993-RS with R-spec tyres (same as mine) can do 1:38s at Winton ... and maybe even better. Though, the quickst car there was the e36 M3-R which was trailored in, gutted with roll-cage and modified for the track. I could not get it timed on a lap where it did not slow down, but I heard someone else clocked it at 1:38 and the driver was saying that he's managed 1:36s there before. He was in the 1st session weith me, and even thoguh I was feeling my way around, this M3 was noticably quicker than me everywhere (including the straight).
Back to the 350Z - the car did not skip a beat, and I came home with everything working perfectly so I'm happy. The brakes never gave in (even in the 14 lap session) even though I was pushing for most of them. I came back with a feeling that it's almost impossible to spin the Zed, I was pushing it through all the corners, into them as well as out of them and my back rarely stepped out more than a foot. I got it once to step out maybe 1/2meter when I took a corner especialy fast, did not back of, held the line and used all the power. The car is just incredibly stable and even though I'm making minor driver corrections all the times, they seem to come very intuitively and therefore the car is doing a very good job of communicating with me.
I was certainly not suffering from understeer, even though around the really tight corners it was relatively easy to push the noce wide by getting on the power way too early, or just entering too hot. So I'm pretty happy with the suspension/handling. It still does not have the front-grip of something like an S2000, but I don't think it ever will as that's just an inherent characteristic of the car ... and so is tons of rear-grip.
Though the VDC bugged me, even though it was switche off all the time. At Winton you notice it interfering a fair bit. In particular trying to trail-brake into the corners (which you need to do here to be quick) ... the VDC is doing is doing its thing so you have to drive around it. You ingore it and just try harder to do what you're doing. I'd be certainly much happier without it, but ideally, I'd love to switch it off totally at will. I can't belive they put always-active VDC in to the 'Track' model?!
Over the course of the day I discovered something interesting about weight in the car and top speed (and in turn acceleration). Because I was lapping most of the time with passangers, I could pay attention to the speed I was reaching on the main straight. When I was at Winton last time all by myself, I could see 177kph on the speedo. Yesterday I could not reach more than 173kph with a 100kg passanger. When I took a ligher (ie. 60kg) passanger, I could see 175kph on the speedo. I had each one of them in the car on more than one occasion, and the 'phenomenom' repeated. Also, when I had the 100kg pasanger in the car, and we run with the windows all the way down, then we saw only 171kph on the speedo at best.
It's quiete incredible to see the effect of the weight and aerodynamics in the Zed even though the main straight sees you accelerating for only a reasonably short period of time (ie. from ~85 to ~175kph). I do remember the effect of roof up/down in the S2000 being quite incredible, but I did not not think that you'd see the windows up/down differnce like this.
Oh, and my fuel consumption on the track was 30.3L/100km. In other words, 1L per lap.
There were a few spins on the day (none for me still in the Zed), but they were all harmless. Worst thing that happend is that someone backded into a pole in the car-park.