Finally… A week of maintenance and small changes.
If you followed our last post you’d know we had to accept a compromise with the setup of the Golf R based on time. As the Clubsport kit landed late we had much less time than originally anticipated to setup the ride height, geometry and corner weighting. Meaning at Donnington the performance wasn’t quite as great as it could have been but still more than enough to dominate, apart from the Touring Car :’).
Fast forward a couple of weeks and the Forge Action Day at Castle Combe is upon us. In the recent months, we’ve been adding parts and replacing parts which are breaking, seeking more performance and reliability. This week, we can finally make small adjustments to optimise the performance!
On the list of jobs is a fairly mundane oil and oil filter change, seeing as at Donnington oil temperatures peaked into the 140s we expected the oil to be way beyond its best. However, to our surprise, the oil left the engine as it went in… a lovely golden colour. It sure does pay dividends to use the best oils out on track.
Suspension wise on the list we had a set of caster bushes from Powerflex to try, the goal here is to reduce the static camber to reduce tyre heat on the straights and improve traction whilst having more dynamic camber for cornering. Caster helps achieve this by increasing the camber as the steering wheel is turned.
Next, up on the list is setting the ride height to our preferred settings and then set up the corner weights. If you are not familiar with corner balancing the aim here is to achieve a close split of weight between the axles, the result is consistent handling when turning left to right. If you have ever driven a car which is easier to turn left then right, or vice versa then this may be the issue. Because of this too, the car becomes much easier to drive near the limit of grip.
Fast forward to the track day, with stormy weather on the radar we were desperate to get out on track and get some laps in before the bad weather hit. We struggled to “hook up” a good lap or two due to the real mix of cars on the circuit.
Later in the afternoon, we managed to finally put together some fast laps in the R. Setting up of the ride height, corner weighting, reducing front camber and increasing castor seems to have solved some of the corner-exit understeer and improved traction too, even in the low-grip conditions. So much so that we were able to challenge a few fully stripped, aero equipped cars.
Sadly, as we head into the winter months this may be one of the last track days of the season for us!