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Discussion in 'Roadster' started by Doug_G, Aug 14, 2011.
Here is a Roadster making rather more noise than usual...
What was the record for the track?
That video is from two years ago, and they do a different layout at each event. I'd really have to dig to find that information!
But I'm sure I wasn't that fast; that was one of my first events. I have rather a lot more experience now. This season I was in 4th place by points in B class. Not that I won any events or anything, but I came soooo close to getting 3rd place a couple of times. In one case I missed it by 0.001 seconds. Still lots of room to improve!
(Also I did half the last season in an S2000 instead of the Roadster, because they sometimes ran events in a different parking lot that likes to destroy Roadster mud flaps - way too bumpy. The S2000 handles the really technical layouts better than the Roadster and is truthfully a better all-around autocross car. That said the Roadster really kicks ass on those layouts where you can use its acceleration to best advantage! I can't run the S2000 any more because it's engine blew.)
I had an 2007 S2000. I loved everything about that car except the gas mileage (Although If I remember correctly it's around 20 mpg and needs premium? Not terrible relatively speaking I suppose). I've only had my Roadster 3 months and I don't go to the track, but my early impression has been that the S2000 had much better handling than the Roadster. The S2000 is very tight and very responsive. I feel a little too much give in the Roadster. By contrast, with that high redline on the S2000, you really had to drive it like you mean to get that speed. The Roadster acceleration is so much faster and effortless.
The laziness in me also misses the power convertible top in the S2000, but I think the Roadster is a better looking car. Now I just have to post pictures of those cars:
Both are beautiful!
Here's the "last run" of my S2000 - engine blew during the video. The camera mainly hears the exhaust but you can still pick up a flutter. I was hearing "clack clack clack". Oh, and this was my fastest run of the day. And the very last time I drove the S2000 except to limp it home. Sold it to another autocrosser who is a Honda tech two days later. He's rebuilding it.
Here for comparison is a more recent Roadster run:
I've never done autocross before and maybe its the fisheye camera, but .....
how do you know where to go on the course? Doesn't seem 'obvious'.
Wow. Nice straight aways in the Roadster video. You looked like you were really hauling a--
S2000 video looked like the course had a lot of tight turns. That car excels in such a situation. Were you running in 1st gear most if the time? I think I only saw you shift once. That poor engine sounded awful at the end. Did you redline it? Glad it's being rebuilt. It has a lot if life left in the proper hands.
Yes, the camera is wide angle, but that's not the problem; autocross is indeed a bit confusing and you can get a real "sea of cones" effect. I believe it is intentional to a degree; part of the challenge is to learn the course quickly! Some courses are fairly obvious; some are quite difficult. You'll probably notice that the Roadster video is more confusing that the S2000 video. That's the course, not the car or camera.
It gets a lot easier with experience, but also it's extremely helpful to do a course walk - preferably several times - before you drive it. We had one course this year that everyone was having trouble with. When I did my course walk I noticed a couple of places where I had trouble figuring it out even on foot. I made sure to memorize those spots, "okay after this cone you go left, even though it isn't obvious!" I didn't make any mistakes, but people were missing things all day. One poor guy got only one run that counted!
Yes, the Roadster tends to want full throttle, brake, full throttle, brake, etc. Only in the sweepers do you have to feather the throttle. Actually those are the corners it doesn't handle well. If you overcook it just a little the car starts to push and you can't get it back without really slowing down. The understeer is bad even with the adjustable suspension dialed all the way. The trick is to brake into the turn so you get some weight on the front wheels; really helps with the turn-in. I find the Roadster is better suited to a track than to autocross, well except for the motor getting too hot and dialing back the power.
The S2000 video is on a course that really does have a lot of tight turns. In that situation the S2000 would beat the Roadster for sure. It's such a nicely balanced car; it really taught me how to drive! Switching back to the Roadster after driving the S2000 for the first half of the season was something of a shock. It took me all day to get fast with it again.
For the S2000 video, this was taking place in parking lots #4 and #5 at the Canadian Tire Center (or was it Scotiabank Place... changed names halfway through the season!). The geometry of the two lots results in lots of twisties in lot 4 and more straights in lot 5. Unfortunately that's a limitation of the location - our usual Lot 9 is more flexible, but the Cirque du Soleil was hogging it all summer. Usually I keep the S2000 in 2nd for the whole course, but after much experimentation I found I didn't need 2nd gear in lot 4, so I kept it in 1st for maximum torque. There were a few slow sections and it made a huge difference to my times simply keeping it in 1st. The S2000 AP1 redlines at 9000 so believe it or not, I wasn't redlining! Once in lot 5 I switched to 2nd as it is faster and less twisty. That at least is one thing you don't have to worry about in the Tesla!
No high revs didn't kill the engine. The problem I had been fighting with the car all summer was misfires. My mechanic had been methodically going through each of the usual causes, but the misfires would only happen on the track at the exits of high speed corners, so that's the only way I'd find out if the fix worked or not. He told me we'd either figure it out or the motor would blow. Well guess what. Tried replacing plugs. Nope. Tried replacing all the coils. Nope. Next up was injectors, and they in the end turned out to be the problem, but the engine blew first. Post-mortem it turned out the #2 injector was the main problem. Anyway the added stress apparently blew the bottom end of #2. Last I heard he was replacing the crank, #2 injector, #2 connecting rod, #2 piston, and all of the bearings for the crank and all connecting rods. (If I had kept the car I would have just got a replacement engine, but he's a Honda tech and therefore free labor!)
I'm glad it went to a good home, and will see it at Autocross next year... it probably will beat me too. :redface: