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First Track Day With New S2000 - Prep Evaluation

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First Track Day With New S2000 - Prep Evaluation

 
Old 02-18-2019, 07:37 PM
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Default First Track Day With New S2000 - Prep Evaluation

Hi Everyone,

I apologize for posting another thread about a newbie setup, but I was hoping to get a bit off feedback before heading out to my first HPDE day with the S2000.

Pre-text: I have raced/tracked Miatas in the past, as well as participating in autocross in various vehicles. I am not new to the track, but very new to the S2000 platform. I am hoping for feedback about reliability mods (oil starvation, overheating, etc) as well as performance readiness for the track. I am aware that the S2000 is very capable in stock form, but I'm hoping to dial it up a notch. My car serves as a weekend and track toy, dailyability is not my prime concern. However, it is a clean 58k mile AP1 that was stock before venturing down this path, so I'd like to avoid rolling fenders, stripping, roll bars that involve cutting, etc.

On to the good stuff:

My current build list consists of (uninstalled but purchased):
Ohlins DFV coilovers (pre-recent facelift models)
StopTech stainless steel brake lines
Motul 600 Brake Fluid
Carbotech Brake Pads (not ordered yet, but budgeted for, deciding between x8/10/12 etc)
Ballade bolt in oil pan baffle
Godspeed front sway bar (couldnt resist the sub-$100 price tag, happy to dump at a loss and purchase better if it is trash)
Megan strut bar and x brace (I read they are unnecessary, but the price tag had me thinking "why not")
Motul 300v Oil and OEM oil filter
Toyo R888R on AP2 wheels
Invidia q300 dual exit with stock cat (came with the car, not my taste but high flowing and lighter than stock)

I am located in the north east, running Lime Rock, NJMP, NYST, Palmer, etc

The questions:
Are there any parts on this list you would recommend against?
Are there any parts missing that you would consider essential or recommended for track use?
I have been considering an APR GTC 200 rear wing, will it be fine alone or will it require front aero to not upset the balance of the car?
Any other advice for a first time S2000 track experience?

Again, I apologize for the novice post and the "please help me" post, but after reading through these forum posts, you guys all seem to have a wealth of knowledge that I'd love to tap into. If anyone else is planning on running in the north east at SCDA or similar days, I'd love to buy you a beer after and pick your brain.

Thank you,
​​​​​​​Matt
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john d (03-21-2019)
Old 02-18-2019, 09:20 PM
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I can't understand this level of prep without a roll bar. Will your organization and tracks let you run without a roll bar?

As far as performance, you're essentially over-prepped for the car's first HPDE. Not sure why you are trying to finish the car before you start. Why would you add aero to a car that you don't even know how it drives?

As far as safety, you have zero prep except brakes. Make sure everything you did with the brakes was done right, no precariously installed lines and you got everything torqued back up. Other than that, I'm fairly shocked you have installed an oil pan baffle but no mention of safety gear at all from someone who RACED miatas? As in wheel to wheel raced? You want to add a wing before driving the car?

edit: just saw you mentioned SCDA so I pulled their convertible rules:

For safety reasons, all convertibles (Boxster, Miata, Corvette, BMW Z4, Honda S2000, Pontiac Solstice etc.) are required to have a roll bar that meets the following two criteria in order to be eligible to run during any event.
  1. The roll bar must be in the fixed position and visible at all times. This means that roll bars which are designed to automatically deploy are not acceptable unless they are in the full upright and locked position at all times.
  2. The roll bar must allow the driver to pass the “broomstick” test which means that the top of the drivers helmet must be below the line from the top of the roll bar to the top of the windshield.
There are aftermarket roll bars and/or seats which can be used to help meet these requirements. If your convertible meets these standards, then you are welcome to participate!

Do you pass the broomstick test on the factory bars? That's fairly unusual I think.


All that said, I am super happy another s2000 went to a track enthusiast. Sorry if I came off as a little incredulous that an experienced wheel to wheel racer would be going this route. There's nothing really wrong with it and if the org/track will let you run, you're fairly set as is. Aero is great but I would wait until after you know the car in anger better.

Last edited by s2kshepard; 02-18-2019 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 02-19-2019, 04:10 AM
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Well, this is fun and exciting.

As indicated in your thread in the NYMetro section, I run a close to stock S2000 for recreational, non-competitive, Intermediate group track days. Although I run the Canton oil pan, my only modifications actually worth mentioning concern the brakes. Stainless steel lines, brake fluid and Carbotech pads. I run the XP-8, but I'm not the most aggressive driver and you might do better with the XP-10 front and XP-8 rear or XP-10's all around. You can always bump up to XP-12s if you feel the need. The Carbotech pads are easy on the rotors and I swap them in before leaving home. I understand G-Loc puts out pads that are very similar to the Carbotech pads if you find difficulty in locating the Carbotechs.

I run an OEM oil filter and Valvoline Synthetic 10W30 motor oil.

There is also an AP-1 specific modification to the valve cover / oil breathing system that you should consider to prevent burning a lot of oil in the corners. See this thread.

https://www.s2ki.com/forums/s2000-ra...ation-1133707/

Although mounting will be tricky in the S2000, a couple of pieces of equipment that you might consider are a AIM Solo or an ApexPro. These should help your performance as a driver as opposed to "improving" the performance of the car. Since my main car is the '59 MGA, I use the Aim Solo2 which does not have the connection to the OBD port. I also purchased the ApexPro over the winter as it provides instant feedback that I felt I needed for when I go to a new track. The "instant feedback" object of the ApexPro is to show "all green" in the corners. The first part of the linked video shows me running both devices (Aashish 2 glommed the Apex Pro onto my dash seconds before I left the false grid. It should be lined up flat.) ApexPro has a Facebook page that you might check out.




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Old 02-19-2019, 05:43 AM
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Ohlins DFV coilovers (pre-recent facelift models) - Nice
StopTech stainless steel brake lines - Nice
Motul 600 Brake Fluid - Nice
Carbotech Brake Pads (not ordered yet, but budgeted for, deciding between x8/10/12 etc) - Nice
Ballade bolt in oil pan baffle - SKIP
Godspeed front sway bar (couldnt resist the sub-$100 price tag, happy to dump at a loss and purchase better if it is trash) - SKIP
Megan strut bar and x brace (I read they are unnecessary, but the price tag had me thinking "why not") - SKIP
Motul 300v Oil and OEM oil filter - Nice
Toyo R888R on AP2 wheels - SKIP, start on regular tires
Invidia q300 dual exit with stock cat (came with the car, not my taste but high flowing and lighter than stock) - SKIP

Are there any parts on this list you would recommend against?
Are there any parts missing that you would consider essential or recommended for track use? ROLL BAR
I have been considering an APR GTC 200 rear wing, will it be fine alone or will it require front aero to not upset the balance of the car? SKIP
Any other advice for a first time S2000 track experience? Focus on you, not on car
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Old 02-19-2019, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by s2kshepard View Post
I can't understand this level of prep without a roll bar. Will your organization and tracks let you run without a roll bar?

As far as performance, you're essentially over-prepped for the car's first HPDE. Not sure why you are trying to finish the car before you start. Why would you add aero to a car that you don't even know how it drives?

As far as safety, you have zero prep except brakes. Make sure everything you did with the brakes was done right, no precariously installed lines and you got everything torqued back up. Other than that, I'm fairly shocked you have installed an oil pan baffle but no mention of safety gear at all from someone who RACED miatas? As in wheel to wheel raced? You want to add a wing before driving the car?

edit: just saw you mentioned SCDA so I pulled their convertible rules:

For safety reasons, all convertibles (Boxster, Miata, Corvette, BMW Z4, Honda S2000, Pontiac Solstice etc.) are required to have a roll bar that meets the following two criteria in order to be eligible to run during any event.
  1. The roll bar must be in the fixed position and visible at all times. This means that roll bars which are designed to automatically deploy are not acceptable unless they are in the full upright and locked position at all times.
  2. The roll bar must allow the driver to pass the “broomstick” test which means that the top of the drivers helmet must be below the line from the top of the roll bar to the top of the windshield.
There are aftermarket roll bars and/or seats which can be used to help meet these requirements. If your convertible meets these standards, then you are welcome to participate!

Do you pass the broomstick test on the factory bars? That's fairly unusual I think.


All that said, I am super happy another s2000 went to a track enthusiast. Sorry if I came off as a little incredulous that an experienced wheel to wheel racer would be going this route. There's nothing really wrong with it and if the org/track will let you run, you're fairly set as is. Aero is great but I would wait until after you know the car in anger better.
Thank you for your reply! Your concerns are completely valid regarding safety. Every other car I’ve taken on track has either been fully caged or had some sort of rollover protection and harnesses. I just feel so bad cutting up the interior on such a low mileage car, though with the modification path I’m already headed down I suppose my concerns are less valid. I’ll do some research and try to find a bar that preserves as much of the factory interior as possible.

As for finishing the car before I start, I work in an industry where 12+ hour days are the norm, and I had the mentality of “do it once and get it right” when ordering these parts. I’d like to have the car in “finished” form so I can spend this season learning the car in that form, and spending the very limited free time I have enjoying a car that I’m accustomed to, instead of relearning it as I add parts. I figured that I’m still starting from a baseline, just a different baseline than stock.

As for aero, the wing is an afterthought that I was more curious about than intent on buying. It would take a lot for me to want to drill holes in my trunk; if someone said it was life changing on track I’d consider it. Judging from your feedback, I’ll go push the car a bit and see if it really is necessary for my relatively casual needs.

As for SCDA, I emailed back and forth with the organizers, and with my hard top and passing the broomstick test (I’m not very tall), they said I’m good to go. I was as surprised as you!

I really appreciate your feedback, especially your willingness to call out the shortcomings of my plan. I’d rather that than someone saying “it’s perfect have fun!”, when it’s not. I’ll work the roll bar into my plans one way or another. If you’re ever in the NY metro area, first round is on me!


Originally Posted by blueosprey90 View Post
Well, this is fun and exciting.

As indicated in your thread in the NYMetro section, I run a close to stock S2000 for recreational, non-competitive, Intermediate group track days. Although I run the Canton oil pan, my only modifications actually worth mentioning concern the brakes. Stainless steel lines, brake fluid and Carbotech pads. I run the XP-8, but I'm not the most aggressive driver and you might do better with the XP-10 front and XP-8 rear or XP-10's all around. You can always bump up to XP-12s if you feel the need. The Carbotech pads are easy on the rotors and I swap them in before leaving home. I understand G-Loc puts out pads that are very similar to the Carbotech pads if you find difficulty in locating the Carbotechs.

I run an OEM oil filter and Valvoline Synthetic 10W30 motor oil.

There is also an AP-1 specific modification to the valve cover / oil breathing system that you should consider to prevent burning a lot of oil in the corners. See this thread.

https://www.s2ki.com/forums/s2000-ra...ation-1133707/

Although mounting will be tricky in the S2000, a couple of pieces of equipment that you might consider are a AIM Solo or an ApexPro. These should help your performance as a driver as opposed to "improving" the performance of the car. Since my main car is the '59 MGA, I use the Aim Solo2 which does not have the connection to the OBD port. I also purchased the ApexPro over the winter as it provides instant feedback that I felt I needed for when I go to a new track. The "instant feedback" object of the ApexPro is to show "all green" in the corners. The first part of the linked video shows me running both devices (Aashish 2 glommed the Apex Pro onto my dash seconds before I left the false grid. It should be lined up flat.) ApexPro has a Facebook page that you might check out.

https://youtu.be/nIgnx0IzTQg



.
Hello again! Thanks for the continuous feedback. I’m glad to hear you’re happy with the Carbotechs, especially as you’ve used them on the same tracks I’ll be seeing this season.

I was not aware of that valve cover mod until now, thank you! I’ll make sure to take care of that before getting out there.

As for the Apex and Solo, I’m planning on using Harry’s Lap Timer on my first day out, and seeing if I’m happy with the data collection. While it doesn’t display real time grip levels, there is accelerometer data collection that displays your grip levels over the track map after your sessions. It’s not as sophisticated, and definitely doesn’t involve machine learning, but at $19.99, I figured I’d give it a shot. If I’m disappointed, next step is the Apex! I watched some of the YouTube demonstrations on their site and it looks fantastic.

Thank you again! I look forward to seeing you out there.


Originally Posted by roel03 View Post
Ohlins DFV coilovers (pre-recent facelift models) - Nice
StopTech stainless steel brake lines - Nice
Motul 600 Brake Fluid - Nice
Carbotech Brake Pads (not ordered yet, but budgeted for, deciding between x8/10/12 etc) - Nice
Ballade bolt in oil pan baffle - SKIP
Godspeed front sway bar (couldnt resist the sub-$100 price tag, happy to dump at a loss and purchase better if it is trash) - SKIP
Megan strut bar and x brace (I read they are unnecessary, but the price tag had me thinking "why not") - SKIP
Motul 300v Oil and OEM oil filter - Nice
Toyo R888R on AP2 wheels - SKIP, start on regular tires
Invidia q300 dual exit with stock cat (came with the car, not my taste but high flowing and lighter than stock) - SKIP

Are there any parts on this list you would recommend against?
Are there any parts missing that you would consider essential or recommended for track use? ROLL BAR
I have been considering an APR GTC 200 rear wing, will it be fine alone or will it require front aero to not upset the balance of the car? SKIP
Any other advice for a first time S2000 track experience? Focus on you, not on car
Thank you for your feedback!

Do you mind me asking for some more feedback on the parts you labeled skip? For instance, do you have an aversion to baffled oil pans or simply the model I chose? Same with the sway bar, is it low quality or do you prefer the OEM sway bar? The strut bar and x brace I understand many think does nothing, but I don’t mind the extra few lbs for a bit of stiffening and a place to lean on in the engine bay. I’m only
competing against myself.

As for the tires, in an ideal world I would start on a nice street compound, but I’d rather not spend double on tires after getting accustomed to the car in a short period of time. I understand R compounds can often mask driver error, and as a result, slow driver development, but the cost-to-reward scales are tipped here, especially as I’ve had experience in FR lightweight platforms on sticky tires.

As for focus on the driver not the car, couldn’t agree more! Once I have this setup dialed in, the car won’t change for quite some time. I’ll be chasing tenths through learning, not through part upgrades. I believe Justin Osserman, who has the fastest S2000 lap time at Lime Rock on the Lap Times sticky, is an instructor with SCDA, so I’m hoping to get some first hand coaching with him.


Thank you everybody for your responses! While I’m new to the S2KI community, I’ve had nothing but great experiences and I truly appreciate you taking the time to help a new guy.
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Old 02-19-2019, 07:09 AM
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You're on a fine track. It'll be up to you to decide on the safety prep, while it's technically possible to put your interior back together with roll bar, it's a tough job most don't do. You'll just have to decide how much of the cars time will be on track. IMO a track day s2k needs a roll bar, a seat, and a harness + Hans/nexgen, but if you're only doing 1/2 days a year I'd compromise on safety and keep your interior. I started thinking I'd do 8-10 days a year and keep my interior, but that lasted like a month and now I have 2 track s2ks of differing levels of prep and planning more like 30-35 days per year.

On the sway bar, I have an eibach bar that looks very similar to yours on one car, and another with a fancy karcepts bar. Now I have to go buy another karcepts bar. Sway bars are a crucial tuning component of the car and those little red ones aren't enough of a difference from stock to really do anything. Note the description of your is "stiffer" then compare to the lb/in stiffness options of the 3 levels of karceors bars and between session adjustability. The most important thing for a track s2k is tuning the entry/mid/exit handling characteristics. I've got seconds of laptime difference in 2 cars with identical tires, coilovers, and springs. One is twitchy oversteering in sustained corners, the other I'm on the power. Sway bars and more camber seem to be the difference.

I wouldn't tell someone to worry about that before their first track day, but in the spirit of having the car pre-sorted might be worth considering.
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Old 02-19-2019, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by s2kshepard View Post
You're on a fine track. It'll be up to you to decide on the safety prep, while it's technically possible to put your interior back together with roll bar, it's a tough job most don't do. You'll just have to decide how much of the cars time will be on track. IMO a track day s2k needs a roll bar, a seat, and a harness + Hans/nexgen, but if you're only doing 1/2 days a year I'd compromise on safety and keep your interior. I started thinking I'd do 8-10 days a year and keep my interior, but that lasted like a month and now I have 2 track s2ks of differing levels of prep and planning more like 30-35 days per year.

On the sway bar, I have an eibach bar that looks very similar to yours on one car, and another with a fancy karcepts bar. Now I have to go buy another karcepts bar. Sway bars are a crucial tuning component of the car and those little red ones aren't enough of a difference from stock to really do anything. Note the description of your is "stiffer" then compare to the lb/in stiffness options of the 3 levels of karceors bars and between session adjustability. The most important thing for a track s2k is tuning the entry/mid/exit handling characteristics. I've got seconds of laptime difference in 2 cars with identical tires, coilovers, and springs. One is twitchy oversteering in sustained corners, the other I'm on the power. Sway bars and more camber seem to be the difference.

I wouldn't tell someone to worry about that before their first track day, but in the spirit of having the car pre-sorted might be worth considering.
I do have a nexgen, a few legal harnesses and a new corbeau that matches my interior sitting in my garage... you’re tempting the devil on my shoulder! If I do go with the roll bar I might as well go all the way.

I agree about the sway bars, I just couldn’t justify spending that amount of money on a fancy one when I hadn’t yet been to the track and feel where it needs more improvement. I think that may be a next winter upgrade. Do you mind me asking your alignment specs? I currently have mine aligned for the street, -1 deg camber in the front, -2 deg in the rear, .23 toe each side on the rear with none in the front, 6 deg caster each side in the front. I will definitely change it before the track.
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Old 02-19-2019, 08:49 AM
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A lot of people on the east coast use the Hard Dog roll bar. Make sure you add the harness bar if you go that route. I would choose the double diagonal bar. Jake (jsenclosure) on the Upstate boards has a lot of experience installing the Hard Dog. He's in the Albany area. He has a sidekick named Semir that can also install it. I would probably use him / them if I was going to install one. I think Billman also can install it for you. He's out on the Island.
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Old 02-19-2019, 09:33 AM
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Others have it well covered however not mentioned is I don't think the Carbotech 8/10 is near enough pad with those tires especially considering you're an experienced driver. I'm an "experienced intermediated" HPDE guy and was overheating those pads. Switched to ST-43 and while they handle the heat now I crack rotors more frequently.

I have installed the cheap red sway on my '06 and felt a difference but my year has the softest of all sways I do believe. I also have a Karcepts bar sitting around uninstalled that will go on if/when I go to square setup.

I do recommend tracking it stock and introducing change one by one, it's very competent out of the box. With all the parts you're throwing at it you'll never know what cause which character, however everything you learned from the Miata world translates directly to the S2K so if you're comfortable in chassis tuning then it should be fine.
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Old 02-19-2019, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by lookstoomuch View Post
Others have it well covered however not mentioned is I don't think the Carbotech 8/10 is near enough pad with those tires especially considering you're an experienced driver. I'm an "experienced intermediated" HPDE guy and was overheating those pads. Switched to ST-43 and while they handle the heat now I crack rotors more frequently.

I have installed the cheap red sway on my '06 and felt a difference but my year has the softest of all sways I do believe. I also have a Karcepts bar sitting around uninstalled that will go on if/when I go to square setup.

I do recommend tracking it stock and introducing change one by one, it's very competent out of the box. With all the parts you're throwing at it you'll never know what cause which character, however everything you learned from the Miata world translates directly to the S2K so if you're comfortable in chassis tuning then it should be fine.
+1; definitely not enough for a fast driver. You might do alright with something more like 12/10 or even higher, but you're still going to be changing front pads pretty often; you'll have much more consistent braking and lower operating costs by upgrading to a BBK. Not that I'd recommend doing that before even trying the car on the track.

Also + to everyone who said to get a roll bar. You can always buy duplicates of the interior parts that need to be cut. (Or just leave it stripped!) You will have to make small cuts in the body for the mounting points / backing plates, but those can always be repaired if you go back to stock.
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