Stl Solo Novice School 04302023 (Evo)

Finally doing another event in the Evo. This year’s looking like it’s going to be a lot more active, so I’m back to test n tuning the car. Unfortunately, the battery for the GoPro died after a year of not using any of them, so I was unable to record any runs.

First off, I instructed two students for the region’s novice school. One drove an SW20 MR2, and the other drove an ’08 Z06. Seemed like they had a good time, and I got to take a spin in the MR2. Was really impressed with the power output and traction of the car. I only took one run in the car but there was a lot of time and grip left out there. The car turned really well, my first experience in a mid-engine (with engine behind) car. It also put down the power really well. I could modulate throttle while getting a good amount of slip angle out of the car, which was a lot of fun.

During lunch the instructors got to take out their cars, which is what I had been waiting for all day. I don’t recall all of the setup changes that were made between this event and the last one, but some include a heavier battery in the rear, street brake pads, the Infinite Evo wet sump, and a switch back down to 17×9.5 wheels with Bridgestone RE71Rs. Onto impressions.

Starting with the obvious, these are brand new tires and this is probably their scrub in. he tires felt a little on the numb side, notwithstanding that I also changed wheels. These tires are reported to not feel as direct as their predecessor or the RT660s. I didn’t feel the wheels were an enormous change on the car. I’ve heard that 18s are optimal, but I disagree for the evo, and I felt no real difference there.

I only got about 5 runs in very quick succession with the car, and the overall balance was towards understeer again, which I thought was interesting. The car is on the softest setting for the rear bar, but I didn’t want to go any stiffer there, so I could run the curbs with a little more comfort. This balance may prove ideal for the track where you want a little bit more push. I will find out on that a little later in the year. Someone else who also recently changed to the SSB uprights also commented that the overall balance moved toward understeer, albeit at a higher speed. Balance corrections are typically pretty easy, but I will hold off changing anything until I see how the car feels now that there is a roll bar in the back (more weight).

Part of the push could be due to getting used to the brakes. These brakes are not fantastic. Indeed, even after talking to AP Racing, this kit actually provides less brake torque in the front than before. I found myself standing on brakes, getting into ABS more, and generally underslowing for turns. I don’t really have the means to switch it up again, so I’ll hold onto the setup for now, before figuring something else out.

Finally, the tune has not been good on this car. This is my fault. I thought that having more pump in the E85 would result in a safer E85 tune. This is actually the other way around. You have to think of the car as burning air, not gas. Fortunately, all of that nonsense will be overwith soon… For now, it was a good test n tune and though I can’t take away any major conclusions due to upcoming changes with the car, it was good to get back out there and behind the wheel again.


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