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Old 02-14-2011, 02:22 AM   #1
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Default Low boost setting for track novice?

I'm setting up a low/high boost setting for the car. The main reason for doing this, is that I am a novice at track days.

I've been autocrossing for years, and while I'm far from thinking I am amazing, I've gotten accustomed to playing with the traction limits of slicks and 200whp at least enough that I feel I can drive my car to its limits (in an autocross setting).
So, it took me a bit of mental work to backpedal a bit and recognize that when going to the track, I need to re-enter novice mode. I want to enjoy my transition to big tracks, and I don't want to hinder my learning nor do I want to get in over my head too soon. I'll be running UHP street tires, nothing grippier.

The one track day I've done so far was on old azenis and was with my current 200 whp. I had an amazing time, and tons of fun, but I recognize that all the point-bys I got was because I had a car that simply had more ability than those around me (D group), it was not due to driver skill. I want to reverse that, work on my driving, and leave the power for when I've established a solid base of skills.

So... I always get long winded about things I've been thinking a lot about, but basically I am wondering what you guys, who have experience tracking things from stock miatas to all out built turbos, feel is a good power level to work with as a beginner, and what would you recommend I go with?

Also to take into account, I am wondering if there is a certain pressure range that my turbo is 'happiest' within - I have a compressor map for my TDO4 if that helps - but I'm curious if running low, under that sweet spot, generates more heat and wear on the turbo the same as running it higher, or if that is not the case.

I also don't want to be totally frustrated by lack of grunt on every straight when I'm used to way more power... but I can get over that for the sake of doing things the right way I was thinking something like 7 psi - which should put me in the 150-160 whp range?

Anyways, discuss!
-Ryan
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Old 02-14-2011, 02:53 AM   #2
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Turn it down as low as it goes if you really want to learn quickly. Power allows you to mask your mistakes. I still learn new things when I get out of the 350whp car and get into the 120whp car.
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:08 AM   #3
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Thanks Sav, in terms of the turbo, is there anything to consider when asking it to only produce like 4 psi? Or is it just going to be happy spinning along at low rpms?
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:11 AM   #4
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what improves skills the most is competition. come out and run Miata Challenge. Everyone is extreme helpful. There are at least 5-7 MC drivers that are instructors and will help with anything you got.
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
what improves skills the most is competition. come out and run Miata Challenge. Everyone is extreme helpful. There are at least 5-7 MC drivers that are instructors and will help with anything you got.
I would be interested in this. One issue that occurs to me is that after adding up the points that my car would accumulate based on modifications, I've got 15 points, so I'm on the ragged upper edge of Modified. The truth though is while maybe my car can be fast I don't assume I can be. I would be worried about being the slowest guy out there and holding up others in much faster cars - especially if 5 of those points are for having forced induction yet I am turning the boost down to 2 psi haha.
What are your thoughts?
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:31 AM   #6
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Nothing to really consider, no. Low boost is easier on intake temps, easier on turbine inlet pressure, just easier on everything overall.

+1 on running with MC. Competition is an awesome way to get better. No way I'd be as fast as I am today without competition.
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:59 AM   #7
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People get so concerned about running on the track, I don't get it. Strap in and go, get scared, have fun. You're only making 200whp, leave the boost controller where it is, you're still going to be bored on the straights.
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Old 02-14-2011, 04:35 PM   #8
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I'm not concerned about running at a track day - that I've done, and I want to do much more of it. I was just under the impression that MC was quite a bit more competetive, with more lenient rules about passing etc. and therefore required you already have the base track skills developed and not so much a venue for those who are just getting their feet wet. I would like some input on this from MC guys, because some of the events this year are really good prices and are within a few hours of me.
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Old 02-14-2011, 05:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePass View Post
I'm not concerned about running at a track day - that I've done, and I want to do much more of it. I was just under the impression that MC was quite a bit more competetive, with more lenient rules about passing etc. and therefore required you already have the base track skills developed and not so much a venue for those who are just getting their feet wet. I would like some input on this from MC guys, because some of the events this year are really good prices and are within a few hours of me.
Everyone running in open-passing events here in Texas wants to keep their car's body straight, and go fast. We run hard, but we also know that putting 4-off or spinning means you lose your times for that session. You only have to pass where you're comfortable, and if you're not comfy with someone passing you in a particular corner, you run the defense line (if you're a dick), let them go around you on the straight before you hit the corner, or give them space. Remember that everyone wants space on a clear track, rather than battling for position, and after a few events you'll know who to trust and who to run 2-wide with in the safe corners.
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Old 02-14-2011, 06:09 PM   #10
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Op. Don't overthink it. If u are a beginner. We have a beginner group. If u are an intermediate. We have that also. If u think u are Schumacher. We have savington also. If you want contacts. We have Burrgoon (inside jokes).

Passing rules are different for each running group. All MC competitors runs their own time. So u are not really "racing" anybody but urself.
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Old 02-14-2011, 06:11 PM   #11
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Yup, your first MC event might be scary and your going to get smoked by lesser miata's. Thats the point, if you were the best driver there it might get boring. Go out there with all the miata guys and get tips from a different fast guy for each corner and drop 5-10 seconds that day. MC is the only way to go...
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Old 02-14-2011, 06:39 PM   #12
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I'm convinced. I've been wondering which track org to start doing some track time with, and your guys' comments sealed the deal. Thanks for the info. I'm going to look at the calendar and figure out which event to shoot for making it to for my first one.
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePass View Post
I'm convinced. I've been wondering which track org to start doing some track time with, and your guys' comments sealed the deal. Thanks for the info. I'm going to look at the calendar and figure out which event to shoot for making it to for my first one.
SV is BY FAR the fastest HPDE group in California.
you will learn fastest with SV.
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:47 PM   #14
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Ideal hp for beginners? 90ish. When I had my 440's cleaned I was using 1.8 injectors with the wastegate disconnected. I was surprised to still see 3-4psi towards redline, as well as how much rattle I could hear. Definitely wire it open if you go this route. It's also nice to forget about your system's reliability issues and focus on driving.
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Old 02-14-2011, 10:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
Ideal hp for beginners? 90ish. When I had my 440's cleaned I was using 1.8 injectors with the wastegate disconnected. I was surprised to still see 3-4psi towards redline, as well as how much rattle I could hear. Definitely wire it open if you go this route. It's also nice to forget about your system's reliability issues and focus on driving.
This is another plus side I see to pulling boost when I start tracking more.. along with all the other benefits, it's a lot less force on the motor
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:42 PM   #16
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OK, two questions regarding registering for upcoming MC:

1) Speedventures site says that beginners should only do Saturday - obviously, MC is on Sunday, so I assume as long as I sign up for Blue group for Sunday I am still ok?

2) In registering for hte event, there is an option to pay for instruction. should I do this ($50 for one session of instructor time)
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