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Focus RS First Track Experience - Driveway Austin L1

This is a discussion on Focus RS First Track Experience - Driveway Austin L1 within the Focus RS Racing forums, part of the Focus RS Garage category; Finally had the chance to take the RS to my local track - Driveway Austin. It was sort of a last-minute decision to go, so ...

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    RS Senior Member meelaud's Avatar
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    Focus RS First Track Experience - Driveway Austin L1

    Finally had the chance to take the RS to my local track - Driveway Austin.

    It was sort of a last-minute decision to go, so I didn't mess with the tire pressure (PSS 43F/40R nitrogen). But did check my oil and coolant levels. My car is 100% stock.

    Ambient temperate was in the 90's with a good amount of humidity too.

    The track I choose was their L1 - short course. Lots of turns, not a long straight.

    https://www.drivewayaustin.com/short-course--l1-

    Great track to get your basics - but it's hell on your front tires.

    I've probably logged 100+ laps on this track with my last car - a 2011 WRX (stage 2, sway bars, legacy GT front brakes, 18" federal 595 RS-R tires), but haven't been out there in over a year and a half.

    Anyways - I went out there with the RS, synced up my Harry's Lap Timer app (fantastic app btw), put the RS in Track mode and gave it my best shot.

    First impressions were good. The car felt a lot like the WRX in the way I get on the power mid corner and rely on the AWD to sort me out. Understeer was present, but for like a split second. The RDU is pretty smart at dialing in the rear when the front would push. On the straight - the RS's gearing isn't favorable as I hit the rev limiter in second maybe 10 yards before the braking zone. Also first and second gear feel lathargic in this car (that factory tune can't come soon enough). I tried shifting to third a few runs, but the lap times "felt" slower. Mind you, I didn't want to check my lap times until after my 20 minute session. The oil tempeture kept creeping up - somewhere between the halfway mark and . During the 20 minutes, no other issues.

    I gained confidence in the car after each lap, pushing it harder and harder. But they also had some guidance cones on the track as there were some other drivers out there that wanted them out for reference. For me, they were a nuissance as they ruined a few lines I'm used to taking.

    After my 20 minutes, I got out to see what my lap times were. I was a bit bummed out, as they were some 1.5 seconds slower than my barely modified WRX. 1.5 seconds on such a short course is kind of a slap on the face for me.

    Anyways, I am going back out there next week after messing with the tire pressures (front tires rolled) and asking them to remove the guidance cones on track. I'll report back with hopefully similair (if not better) times than my WRX.
    2017 Focus RS RS1 SG - 18x8, 245/40 Falken 615k+, Whiteline rear sway, Motul 660, AEM dry
    2008 Range Rover Sport - locked and lifted
    Past: 11 Subie WRX STi, 01 Nissan Xterra, 95 Mitsu Montero SR, 02 Subie WRX, 07 Honda Civic Si, 03 Evo VIII, 03 VW GTI 20th Ann, 03 Mini Cooper S, 01 Saab 9-5 Aero, 95 Land Rover Disco 5-speed

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    you have darn near a hundred runs in the subie, and like a handful in the ford and you're surprised you were slower in the ford? lol
    meelaud likes this.

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    Supporting Member seniorgeek's Avatar
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    43 and 40 was way too much tire pressure especially for a hot day. Start around 38 and 36 on a hot day with PSS.
    meelaud, Paolo, RocketRS and 1 others like this.
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    RS Expert focus pilot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seniorgeek View Post
    43 and 40 was way too much tire pressure especially for a hot day. Start around 38 and 36 on a hot day with PSS.
    Why not start with 47 front and rear? That is max cold Track pressure according to michelin

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    Supporting Member seniorgeek's Avatar
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    @focus pilot IF you start with tire pressure that high (47) buy the middle of you session the tire pressure will be way over 50, traction will be reduced because smaller contact area, you will be sliding all over plus the front will be pushing real hard.
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    RS Specialist SurfCfl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seniorgeek View Post
    43 and 40 was way too much tire pressure especially for a hot day. Start around 38 and 36 on a hot day with PSS.
    I was running 40 in the front and 38 in the rear on PSSs at Sebring a few days ago. I was getting wear on my sidewalls and one of the corner workers even commented that my fronts were rolling over. Granted Sebring is a much faster track. But I'll be adding pressure next time.

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    RS Senior Member meelaud's Avatar
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    Made it out there for a second go with the RS. Weather today was even hotter than my last visit. Dropped my tire pressure to 40F, 38R (cold) - and had them remove the guidance cones. Left the shocks in stiff too. I was able to drop my best time to a 38.23 versus 39.12 from last week. For reference, the WRX ran a 37.67. I was braking later, turning quicker and getting on the power sooner too. I think chasing (and eventually passing) a 996 Porsche GT3 helped motivate me too

    Interestingly my average speed on the track now is a whopping 55mph versus 46mph on the WRX. The WRX just had better gearing for the straight - my top speed with the WRX would be 68mph versus 62mph on the RS. There were some dudes in new Z06's that were hitting 75 on that straight. My best laps in the RS were done 3-4 laps in - once the PSS tires got greasy, I was losing time and squeeling like a pig. I'm still a bit shocked that the cheapo Federal RS-R tires on my WRX handled repeated track duty without getting greasy until ~15 laps in. The tires didn't roll which is nice, but they're getting rough on certain areas.

    Anyways, I am happy to see improvements. Now i'm either waiting for the PSS's to wear out to throw on some Federal RS-RR's - or get a dedicated set of track wheels with the Federal RS-RR's. A tune would also be benficial as I would by able to shift to third way before the straight ends. I really wanted to keep the RS stock dammit!
    RocketRS likes this.
    2017 Focus RS RS1 SG - 18x8, 245/40 Falken 615k+, Whiteline rear sway, Motul 660, AEM dry
    2008 Range Rover Sport - locked and lifted
    Past: 11 Subie WRX STi, 01 Nissan Xterra, 95 Mitsu Montero SR, 02 Subie WRX, 07 Honda Civic Si, 03 Evo VIII, 03 VW GTI 20th Ann, 03 Mini Cooper S, 01 Saab 9-5 Aero, 95 Land Rover Disco 5-speed

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    How much does it cost to run out there and are there prerequisites?

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    RS Senior Member meelaud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathansvt View Post
    How much does it cost to run out there and are there prerequisites?
    https://www.drivewayaustin.com/found...of-road-racing

    This is the class you take to be able to run the L1 course. It's a fun little course, great instructors too - it was modeled after Ferrari's Fiorano test track.

    For each 20 minute minute session to run out there after you get the L1 license- they charge $25

    It's by far the cheapest track experience i've seen. For reference - if I go to COTA, i'm at $700-1000 each time i go out.

    Their L2/L3 course is a good one too, has some high speed straights and a mini corkscrew.
    2017 Focus RS RS1 SG - 18x8, 245/40 Falken 615k+, Whiteline rear sway, Motul 660, AEM dry
    2008 Range Rover Sport - locked and lifted
    Past: 11 Subie WRX STi, 01 Nissan Xterra, 95 Mitsu Montero SR, 02 Subie WRX, 07 Honda Civic Si, 03 Evo VIII, 03 VW GTI 20th Ann, 03 Mini Cooper S, 01 Saab 9-5 Aero, 95 Land Rover Disco 5-speed

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    Quote Originally Posted by meelaud View Post
    I really wanted to keep the RS stock dammit!
    Ah, famous last words.


    Nice improvement. Considering the issue with 2nd gear and that straight, I'd say you're already right in there with the WRX. Good on the RDU with those temps on a tight track. Looking forward to your updates. And jelly as hell about the $25 sessions.
    meelaud likes this.

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