Thursday, August 25, 2016

More summer car spotting in Montreal

This Saab is almost exactly the same ad the one I used to have (mine was navy blue though)
I love this Ford GT...
... even if red is not the best colour for this car.
Tight parking for this 997 Turbo, with the center-lock wheel up against the curb

Loud Aventador spotted downtown
I don't know what this 6-series was... Alpina wheels, M-badge on the grill... maybe a Euro-spec M635csi?

The Ferrari 348 still looks cool to me
Super-clean 635csi I have seen before
A rare Evo 8 or 9, looks aggressive even when parked
The new Aston Martin Vainquish
How many Isuzu Impulse's are still on the road? Even more rare, the turbo AWD version!
One of BMW's best recent designs
When 8 cylinders are not enough: V12!
New Tesla Model X... it's not ugly
At the Club Civic Quebec track day... NSX x 2
4th gen Civic and 8th gen
Not a car you often see in flat black!
Maybe the best value today in a used Porsche? 996 Turbo
A rare silver BMW i8
New front end for the Tesla Model S
I see and hear this Ferrari 488 quite often in my neighbourhood 
Are new cars big compared to classics? Clearly they are!

I finally lapped St-Eustache under 1:02!

I was confident that with slightly cooler weather, I would be able to lap St-Eustache in under 1:02... I had hit 1:02.2 on many occasions. On Monday, it was only 21 degrees, and on my last run of the evening, while playing with a Scion FRS and Miata on the track, I finally did it: 1:01.86. Here is a video of that run. This is the first time I use computer-generated music for the intro and credits, and as long as you link to the music website, it's totally free:

Rob finally made it to the track in his M3. He tried to keep up with me, but my car is just better suited to a small track like St-Eustache.

I had two students with very different cars. The first was a Fox-body Mustang 5.0. These cars look and sound cool, but they really feel dated compared to Honda's or Miata's of the same year. The seats are terrible, this car had solid engine mounts that translated a ton of vibration to the chassis, and honestly, the car does not even feel that fast in a straight line.

My other student had a Golf R. That car is fast, and feels it. It also seems a bit boring and the AWD does not seem to make it any more fun than a regular Golf GTi. I don't know if it is the weight distribution or the electronics, but it just doesn't seem like a driver's car on track. I'm sure it makes an excellent daily driver, however.

Here are some of JAG's excellent photos.

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Back at the track

The weather has been cooperating and I've been spending pretty much every Monday evening at St-Eustache (thanks Alex!). It was another hot day and in my first sessions, I was having trouble trying to get me lap times into the low 1:02 range. After noticing some pretty severe chunking on my front right tire (the one that takes the most abuse at St-Eustache), I decided to flip the front tires on the wheels so that what was the outside right would become the inside left. I measured the hot pressures at 38 psi (cold at 29 R, 31 L) and after three sessions, there was no new chunking. I need these tires to last!

I was using my new Qstarz bluetooth GPS, exactly the same model as I had borrowed from Rob, and it worked exactly as well. In my first session, I enjoyed myself trying to catch a Mazda RX8 that was quite far up the road ahead of me. In my second session, I drove with the RX8 behind me for most of the session. Near the end, I let him by so I could follow him for a while, but the checkered flag came out.

As regular readers of this blog may recall, the Mazda RX8 was one of the cars I was considering before buying the Civic. I was curious to see what modifications the owner had made to the car. The owner (named Sylvain, if memory serves) was very friendly and showed me around the car. He had identical tires to mine, and a few bolt-ons and some suspension. I was impressed that such a mildly modified RX8 could keep up with my Civic, but it did. Still, to put together an RX8 with those modifications would have cost quite a bit more than what I have spent on the Civic so far. Also, as pointed out by the owner, there is not much more he can do to make it quicker without spending big money on a complex engine swap or forced induction. The Civic, on the other hand, can be made faster for quite a bit less money, with a couple of quality bolt-ons, a proper tune and a limited-slip differential.

In my third session, I tried unsuccessfully to keep up with some of the quick Hondas, and managed my best lap of the night, a 1:02.21. I have noticed that with the Hankook's, you have 3 or 4 laps to get in a good time, after which they fall off by about half a second per lap. If you take a cool down lap in the middle of the session, you can get a couple more decent laps out of them, but still not as quick as at the beginning of the session.

I think that with some cooler weather, I will be able to dip into the 1:01 range. I don't know if there is anyway to go under 1:01 without any other modifications, but I will do my best!

Here again are some great photos taken by JAG Imaging.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Civic photos

Here are a couple of cool photos of the Civic from the past couple of days:

It's not autumn yet... what's with the leaves?
Yesterday at lapping, cool cars including a Cayman GT4
A rare photo of both cars together