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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a fairly avid Autocross and Track day attendee and normally do these things in my pretty prepped 1992 300ZX Slicktop (extensive suspension work, mild, bolt on engine modifications) racing in regional and divisional events and actually am fairly competitively in ESP. For regionals, I race Street Tire with many of my car buddies because it's fun. Because it's a PAX index class that goes off your car's "handicap" (taking the car differences out for those of you who don't autocross) we get the luxury of using virtually anything and still being able to make points toward the regional competition.

This weekend, I decided that I would go ahead and compete in the CR-Z in H-Stock Street-Tire. Now, the car hasn't been classed yet by the SCCA, but we're all pretty sure that's where they are going to put it. If you were crazy enough to race a Prius, Insight or something like a Fit or Yaris that's where they would go. I think it's a safe assumption that when they do decide where the CR-Z fits it'll go into H-Stock at best, it'll be a G-Stock car.

First off, a couple pictures of the CR-Z in "race trim".








The course map. Since Sunday was "talk like a Pirate" day, they decided to have a little pirate theme going on. Points were awarded for driver accuracy. Pretty fun little side thing, actually.


A few photos of my CR-Z next to my little brother's ASP NSX. The difference in the cars is completely hilarious if you ask me. Hard to believe these two came from the same company. :)








Not going to lie, I sort of drove like sh*t. I was up until about 3am the night before helping a buddy of mine sort his M3 out for the morning. I showed up late as hell for the event, basically paid, blew threw tech in about 30 seconds, pulled into the paddock, threw my magnets on the car, checked tire pressures and had roughly another 30 seconds to get ready and go out. I barely had enough time to take a breath before I was at the start line.

I actually DNF'd (Did not finish) my first run because I didn't walk course, look at the map or anything so I took the turn-around backwards as you'll see in the video. Once I got my bearings, it was business as usual. Traction control off, Sport mode of course, I actually set a time the second run. Because turnout was pretty light for this event (first one after nationals always is) we got 5 runs total. The 5th run being my best. Good enough for 2nd place (behind my brother's NSX by 0.2 seconds) after the first heat.

The car is small and very easy to toss around, with the new alignment (see this thread in the suspension forum) and the car actually tends to over-steer under medium speed cornering and in sweepers, exactly what I like. During slow corners and switch backs, whoah understeer. Easily remedied by lifting to induce oversteer, but still upsetting right out of the box.

I absolutely blame many of the inadequacies on these crappy OE fitted Dunlops that are on the car from the show room. I could actually feel the sidewalls buckling under hard cornering. They were absolutely terrible. I had hoped to get into my new wheel/tire setup before this autocross, but it was just not in the cards. Perhaps the next one.

All in all, the chassis is good. I was a little concerned about the shorter wheel base and especially the rear suspension, but the car handles strangely similar to a non-turbo Mini Cooper (also in H-Stock). I will say that the absolute best thing about the car is having a little more torque at corner exit. I've driven many a Honda at Autocross and they've all been momentum cars; if you scrub too much speed in the first corner, you've trashed the next three. The CR-Z doesn't really suffer from this; the torque down low makes it easier to exit at corner when your low revs might hurt you in a non-IMA assisted car. It was refreshing.

(I had hoped the videos would be uploaded by now, but alas, it is not. I will post them just as soon as I get them online.)
 

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I ran in H Stock for a weekend. Didn't do well against the rest of HS in the dry since they were on r-comps and I was on street tires, but the next day in the rain, I was doing well. Went home at lunch and ultimately got beat due to less runs, but had a good time in the rain.
 

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^Removing the rear seat back will take you out of Stock class. You don't want to run in the modified classes.
:yeahthat: An otherwise stock CR-Z couldn't wish to keep up in the modified classes, unfortunately.
 

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Yea..... I got beat by a Saturn Astra on Star Specs and I also got beaten by a Cobalt LS on Star Specs also.

A helpful hint: When you are parked in grid in between runs you will want to charge your battery. You simply put it in neutral and rev around 3,000-3,500 RPMS. One run will drain the hell out of the battery. This is one and only flaw I really hate about this car besides the LED headlights.:angry:
 

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Yea..... I got beat by a Saturn Astra on Star Specs and I also got beaten by a Cobalt LS on Star Specs also.

A helpful hint: When you are parked in grid in between runs you will want to charge your battery. You simply put it in neutral and rev around 3,000-3,500 RPMS. One run will drain the hell out of the battery. This is one and only flaw I really hate about this car besides the LED headlights.:angry:
Rapid discharging the charging could put the batteries in a over heated mode and the computer might limit the amount of current that can be used, I'm not sure about this but think it might be happening.
 

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Yea..... I got beat by a Saturn Astra on Star Specs and I also got beaten by a Cobalt LS on Star Specs also.

A helpful hint: When you are parked in grid in between runs you will want to charge your battery. You simply put it in neutral and rev around 3,000-3,500 RPMS. One run will drain the hell out of the battery. This is one and only flaw I really hate about this car besides the LED headlights.:angry:
Interesting
 

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I absolutely blame many of the inadequacies on these crappy OE fitted Dunlops that are on the car from the show room. I could actually feel the sidewalls buckling under hard cornering. They were absolutely terrible. I had hoped to get into my new wheel/tire setup before this autocross, but it was just not in the cards. Perhaps the next one.
What was your tire pressure?

I'm definitely going to check out some autocross events next year, sounds fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
What was your tire pressure?

I'm definitely going to check out some autocross events next year, sounds fun.
I toyed with it a little over the test and tune and then the two events. Starting at 35psi and working my way up to 42psi made little to no difference, they roll over at any pressure. These things have absolutely no sidewall, I could've broken the bead on those things with a toothpick. The mechanical grip is there, the tires are the weak point. It's a damn shame when snow tires perform better.
 

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A helpful hint: When you are parked in grid in between runs you will want to charge your battery. You simply put it in neutral and rev around 3,000-3,500 RPMS. One run will drain the hell out of the battery. This is one and only flaw I really hate about this car besides the LED headlights.:angry:
Thanks for the tip! My first two runs I left with seven bars and was down to two by the finish -- then I remembered your tip. I held it at 3500 rpm between runs and actually saw EIGHT bars for the first time ever. And it makes a big difference -- you're able to launch way more aggressively and finish the run with full assist.

Too bad you can't get out of the darned car between runs!

I was competing for time only but would have paxed ninth overall, even on street tires. (The only other HS car there was a well set-up Focus SVT on Hoosiers driven by last year's National Tour winner; I was 1.3 seconds behind him on a 50-second course). Results here. Ignore the Time Only AM results -- I was warming tires in a Corvette and didn't change my registration.

The car is on 215/45/16 Falken 615s, which were cheap and pretty sticky to boot. Pressures worked best at 39 front, 30 rear. Lots of oversteer!

I only brought the Z out because my S2000 was laid up, but now I gotta wonder what some shocks and a front bar could do ...
 

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I was competing for time only but would have paxed ninth overall, even on street tires. (The only other HS car there was a well set-up Focus SVT on Hoosiers driven by last year's National Tour winner; I was 1.3 seconds behind him on a 50-second course). Results here.
Pretty good, you beat a bunch of Miatas and Minis and they are always good Solo II cars. Isn't Annie Bauer a former national champ?
 
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