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New Guy in Sonoma, GTS3 Audi S4


Paul A

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Hi GTS guys. I'm just starting my build of a 2001 Audi S4 for GTS3. I live in Sonoma County and am planning on attending the Sonoma races September 26th and 27th. I was hoping to connect with anyone running GTS. My goal is to get a feel for how the series works and get tips on car prep, priorities etc. Basically, I'm looking for guidance on who to talk to about the whole ridiculous concept.

 

I will be there running HPDE with my not yet molested S4. I do not have a NASA comp license, but hope to fix that in October. My existing experience is limited to building and racing a Miata in ChumpCar for four years. Along with 4 to 8 misc. track events per year, mostly in the Miata, but also in my urquattro.

 

I'm hoping GTS will be pretty much the opposite of Spec Miata. I would like to bring a basic car to the party in the spring of 2016, and improve from there over time.

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I will be there running HPDE with my not yet molested S4. I do not have a NASA comp license, but hope to fix that in October. My existing experience is limited to building and racing a Miata in ChumpCar for four years. Along with 4 to 8 misc. track events per year, mostly in the Miata, but also in my urquattro.

 

I saw that you're signed up for HPDE-3 for the Sept event. How quickly do you think that you could get signed off for your provisional license? Just wondering if you need to go thru a weekend in HPDE-4, or maybe even Time Trials, or if you could get signed off for your license directly from HPDE-4, but I'd be surprised if they sign you off for a provisional license from HPDE-3. From my experience, HPDE-3 is pretty controlled especially with the additional passing zones that they allow during the weekend (it used to be full open passing anywhere on track), while HPDE-4 is more of a 'free for all' and more hectic, so it is nice to spend at least a weekend in HPDE-4.

 

I don't race in GTS, but instead, started driving on track in a 2001 S4 - AWE stage 3 (K04's) with Brembo 355mm front brakes and Ohlins, but eventually bought a Honda Civic hatch as it was much cheaper for consumables plus if any work was needed on the engine or trans etc. and am running it in Time Trials or Honda Challenge. Are you planning on staying with the K03 turbos or going to K04s or ?? If you definitely want to stay with the B5 S4, then you might be able to pickup basically a full race car with roll cage etc. already installed - just make sure that the roll cage was really well done including the welds, or it could get expensive. To be competitive in GTS3, I think you'll need wide fenders or flares for really wide tires, front splitter etc., large rear wing, and cooling ducts for the brakes (at least for the front brakes) plus a good amount of weight reduction.

 

Nasa Norcal has been listing the entry list in the event webpage, so you can keep an eye on it and sort by class to see who is signed up for GTS. If you don't get a lot on replies on this forum, then just check the paddock map and talk directly to the GTS3 drivers plus checkout their cars. Bottom line, is that those cars (like the GTS3 E36 or E46 M3's) are really fast, and probably pretty expensive.

 

I saw in this forum, that the GTS rules are listed at http://www.nasagts.com/ at Rules/Forms and that has the rules plus a calculator for weight. I'm not sure if I read the rules correctly, but I didn't spot a penalty for AWD, as I think they have in at least some of the other series. - Jim

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Thanks for your comments Calif-Kid. You may well be right about HPDE3 being the wrong place to be. I have run HPDE4 and raced wheel to wheel in ChumpCar and LeMons. I signed p for HPDE3 because I'm showing up with an unfamiliar and unmodified car. I'll talk to Scott and Barry and see what they recommend. Anyway, I'm not set on a firm time frame. If I need to run time trials for a while, that's fine. I don't have a huge budget, and am doing the work myself (except for the cage), so its going to take time to get the car really ready for GTS anyway.

 

All the car mods that you list are on the agenda, but won't all appear at once. My goal is to start with a decent base and continuously improve it. That goes for both the car and the nut behind the wheel.

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Paul - OK, that makes sense especially with an unfamiliar car. I've never driven in LeMons or Chumpcar, so I wasn't sure how hectic/busy they would be on track vs the race groups with Nasa, but if you've also spent some time in HPDE-4, then it sounds like you've got a good amount of experience. As far as Time Trials in concerned, if you're good enough with your car control, flag awareness, predictability, and calmness with a lot of other fast cars in close proximity to you on track, then you might be able to get signed off for your provisional license directly from HPDE-4 and not run Time Trials.

 

PS - I'll PM you on a few cars I saw, that might possibly be of some interest.

- Jim

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The "real" club racing community has not really gotten the concept of Crapcan racing, but it should, for some of us it's the gateway drug. The barriers to partipation in NASA and SCCA are much higher than they should be. I know safety, safety, safety is at least partially,liability, liability, liability. But hey, why does it cost $10k to even think about club racing. My total investment in car, safety gear, entry fees and gas money when I took my first green flag in LeMons was less than $1500. And, that was for over four hours of wheel to wheel racing, and that's just my seat time, and does not include what I have learned by being a part of a team.

 

For me personally, LeMons turned out to be racing meets high school drama club. ChumpCar is more about racecraft on the cheap, although the rules are strange and convoluted. The key is how do we get people on track having fun.

 

I know that racing on the cheap is not what GTS is all about. I'm interested in the series because of its flexibility. I want to be able to work on aero, brakes, suspension etc, to make the car what I want it to be. Sure, I want to be fast, sure I want to win, but if I don't, life goes on. I'm doing the Audi not because it's the fastest, easiest proven package, but because it's what I want to do, and I'm not going to spend anywhere even close to $150k doing it. I don't think that $150k cars are what club racing should be about. I'm hoping NASA GTS will be the place for me. If not, there are other options.

 

I would still like to get some names for people I could talk to at Sonoma the 26th and 27th...

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  • Members

No penalties for AWD or any other configuration in GTS - Weight to Average HP under the curve / tires / Gearbox.

Make sure to get the table of raw values export in addition to the Dyno graph.

 

Michael Gershanok,

GTS Nat. Dir.

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Speaking of Dyno results, I'm finding it hard to believe that there is only one Dynojet AWD Dyno in all of NorCal. I see a place in West Sacramento, but that's it. Does anyone know if there is another one somewhere in the North Bay Area? Or can Mustang results be adjusted? I have a Subaru tuner nearby with a dyno.

 

I was hoping to get a baseline hp calculation before I start messing with stuff. Mainly looking to see what the difference is between factory flywheel hp and actual awhp. Wondering if I could get down to GTS2 levels for a start. Somehow seems a shame to detune down rather than tune up...

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  • 2 months later...
Speaking of Dyno results, I'm finding it hard to believe that there is only one Dynojet AWD Dyno in all of NorCal. I see a place in West Sacramento, but that's it. Does anyone know if there is another one somewhere in the North Bay Area? Or can Mustang results be adjusted? I have a Subaru tuner nearby with a dyno.

 

I was hoping to get a baseline hp calculation before I start messing with stuff. Mainly looking to see what the difference is between factory flywheel hp and actual awhp. Wondering if I could get down to GTS2 levels for a start. Somehow seems a shame to detune down rather than tune up...

 

If I recall, WORKS at Sonoma Raceway has an AWD dynapack. They mostly deal with Evo's, so it would make sense.

 

http://www.worksevo.com/service.php

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