Seen just before going into...
Seen just before going into the street car, the Race Keeper datalogger is a crafty use of existing technologies. It plugs into the OBD-II port and besides all that information, it records additional input from its own three-axis accelerometer, three-axis gyrometer, and GPS, plus up to four video feeds to produce highly detailed track maps, on-board videos and digital displays of car performance. Paul has the same system permanently wired into his racer, but it can easily be transferred vehicle-to-vehicle if you don’t mind a couple of loose wires in the cockpit.
Turning to the Race Keeper data acquisition it was possible to synchronize the street and race lap times, pick spots on the course to take a snapshot of the data and thus find the differences. The results below make a fascinating study.
The chart lists the turns as T1, T2, and so on, and it helps to know T1 is a medium banked left, T2 is an unbanked, uphill sweeper, T3 through T6 is the tighter, uphill, downhill technical section, T7 is a non-event bend in the back straight, and T8 and T9 are sweepers. The two straights are between T9-T1 and T6-T8.
What the Race Keeper data makes clear is the race car corners faster through long sweepers, but has no advantage in the slower corners. Also, the race car's better braking allows it to drive on a course that effectively has longer straights than what the street car experiences; that's part of why the race car has higher corner entry speeds.
Why is the race car faster in high-speed turns? Aero. The racer sits lower and the G-Stream vented hood and splitter kill much of the front end lift that robs streets cars of their high speed manners, while the rear wing helps plant the rear. From the driver seat this feels like a calmer, more reassuring chassis, which is a major aid to performance when bending in at 139 mph. It also means a faster exit speed out of the sweeper and onto the straight, which gives a big head start in raising the top speed, which is where you really make inroads on the lap time.
We must admit the Boss 302 was a pleasant surprise at the track. On the three-hour drive home we had plenty of time to marvel at just how fast the street car was around Willow, how much of the Boss 302 personality comes through in the race car (especially in the powertrain), how friendly and fun Paul's race car was, and just what a special car the Boss 302 is. We kept having to remind ourselves the quiet, smooth sports car whisking us home had just been chasing a race car around the big track at Willow Springs.
That all this is available in a Ford showroom for under $45,000 is incredible. The Boss 302 really is one for the ages.
|Street Boss||Boss 302S|
|Front straight speed||135||146|
|Braking into T1||0.99 g||1.05 g||Race car went deeper under braking |
|T1 Apex speed||86||87|
|T1 Apex G||1.30||1.46|
|Speed into T2||111||114|
|T2 Steady speed||97||102|
|T2 Exit speed||99||104|
|T3 Entrance speed||111||115||The race car went deeper and had a top speed of 118 just past this point.|
|T3 Apex speed||66||66|
|T3 Corner G||1.46||1.58||From T3- the start of T6, the cars were near identical and only slightly off each other.|
|T4 Entrance speed||74||75|
|T4 Speed over the balcony||55||56|
|T5 Entry speed||95||98|
|T5 Apex speed||61||63|
|T5 Apex G||1.27||1.29|
|T6 Speed at rise||95||98|
|T7 Speed at shift point||115||119|
|T8 Entrance speed||133||139|
|T8 Exit G going into braking||1.28||1.55|
|T9 Entrace speed||100||104|
|T9 Apex speed||98||98|
|T9 Exit speed||108||110|