2006 Exige S

This is where we proud owners can upload information and pictures of our pride-and-joys (their Exige that is..)
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deggles
Posts: 168
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Leeds

winthattt wrote: Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:09 pmNo stigma. Do what you need to do to feel safer.
Completely agree. Anyone taking the piss because someone else chooses to wear appropriate safety gear is not somebody I want to be on a trackday with!

At one time I felt a bit of a berk wearing a fireproof top, gloves etc. Until my car caught fire on the back straight at Croft! :cry:
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Fonzey
Posts: 929
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:17 am

CROFT UPDATE:

Once again trackday weather forecast was dire, it would be my fourth day in a row of pretty much 100% rain coverage expected during the day :evil:

Had a bit of rain on the way up the A1 but it wasn't heavy and there was a fair bit of warm breeze so I had hope that things would dry up quickly if the rain let up. (spoiler alert, it did!). On the drive up I gave myself a good talking to and committed to spending time on the wet track to really start learning the car in those conditions. I typically get really hyper sensitive to any kind of lateral movement in the car and end up driving as if I'm sat on top of the car rather than sitting in it, weird thing to explain - but it basically means I'm terrible when it gets wet.

Sighting laps were indeed wet, but after the third time around a dry line was already appearing. Despite the damp the circuit also seemed pretty grippy, especially 'off line'.

The first proper session was still quite damp, but critically the higher speed section of the 'esses' and barcroft had nice dry patches under the trees, I certainly wasn't fast in this session but I was leaning on the car in the damp bits and getting a feel for it, generally the car had loads of grip and the only time it really got unsettled was on the off-camber turn in point of Tower. Once pushing through the initial understeer on entry the car gripped up nicely and would rotate on demand, this really gave confidence that carried through the day.

I then had to stop channelling my inner Senna as by mid morning the track was completely dry :thumbup:

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Just before lunch I had a couple of good sessions, I never felt like I carried enough speed at Croft in the past - it's one of the fastest local circuits around and I would previously fall into the trap of "stop/go" driving it like I was at Blyton for example, but most of the corners are quicker than they look and I started to really enjoy it.

I had my dampers set (from hard) 10 clicks at the front and 8 clicks at the rear, and never really got the feeling I needed to mess around with it once the track dried out. The front was biting nicely (unlike at Blyton) and the car would gently understeer through a corner if getting on the gas too quickly, just enough so that the car goads you on a bit as it feels 'safe', then the back would telegraph rotation through to you well in advance if you have a slight lift at the point you need the thing to turn - really good feeling.

One of the biggest improvements to the car since my last Croft outing was the brakes, even though the RS14s went some way towards spoiling my fun at Blyton due to vibration they came alive here and made the 115-120mph braking zones feel well under control. Barcroft particularly was a bit hairy when I came last year on RS4-2s because you're tempted into taking the corner at the best part of 100mph then you've got to get straightened up and on the anchors really quickly afterwards for Sunny In. With the RS14s it felt like I had all the time in the world to get slowed down, and if anything I was overbraking for it for much of the day.

With similar gains to braking made at the end of the pit straight and on entry to Tower, my peak speeds were 5-10mph up on my previous visits which is quite something.

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Towards the end of the day I felt like the car was struggling a little bit on the faster stuff, turning in to the Jim Clark Esses started to feel a bit floaty but I think this was just tyre pressures creeping up. If anything I should have taken some time out here to play with my damper settings a bit - I could have gone much stiffer but as I was having so much fun I didn't want to waste time chasing my tail with settings. In hindsight I should have gone up to 8F/6R at least for one session to see how it felt in the faster stuff - With a few more minerals and a stiffer setup I think taking at least part of the Esses flat is within reach of my car which is pretty terrifying :mrgreen:

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By far the weakest part of the track for me was the final hairpin for the start/finish straight. Spinning the inside rear was the order of the day and it just pegged me back so far against other cars that I was sharing track with. The V6's seem to have enough traction from the chunky rear tyres to pull away from me here and I followed an LSD furnished Elise for a couple of laps which had a similar advantage. Again I probably could have mitigated this through suspension tweaks, softening up at the rear perhaps but as that may have come at the cost of stability in the faster stuff I was happy to live with it. I used the hairpin as an excuse to have a bit of fun, some nice "one tyre fire" skids through there and an almost-spin mid afternoon allowed me to turn a negative into a bit of fun. On most of my video'd laps it's really messy through here, with a bit of discipline I could do it a bit quicker by just being patient.

During the final session the track suddenly got very moody, black rolling clouds on the horizon and some very keen wind made for a quiet track and some good laps to finish with. The wind was catching the car a fair bit through the Esses which was... fun, but in all the car finished really strong and I went home grinning like an idiot.

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I've enjoyed all my visits to Croft circuit, but this was easily the best. I had that great feeling that the car was being pushed but still felt 'safe' all day long, and I've been able to identify many opportunities to go faster here next time I come. If every trackday felt like this I could probably make an attempt to justify how expensive it all is :mrgreen:

Can't wait to go back to Croft, shame it seems to be an annual event at best with Lotus on Track -but superb organisation/social distancing etc and great pricing for one of the country's best circuits!

Only got two videos uploaded so far, as a slight negative I did have gopro issues mid afternoon and lost some really good sessions - but hey ho.

Laps with some fellow NYLOC member cars:


Couple of clear laps in the final session:
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Fonzey
Posts: 929
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:17 am

Some car feedback notes for my reference in future:

-10F/8R is a really good starting point for tracks, if anything it would go stiffer from here keeping the F/R balance roughly proportional to this. Rear slow speed grip is the weakpoint here, but feels very stable at high speed - I think I prefer high speed stability.

-Didn't hear any scrubbing at 120mm front rideheight, but I imagine there will have been - need to inspect this week

-HANS device was comfortable enough, forgot to attach the tethers though on a couple of sessions :oops: I did get a bit car sick though, not sure if the HANS device had this impact or what so might need to dig out my 'ferry patches' for next time.

-Kept tyre pressures at 30psi all round, don't think I need to have different pressures front to rear on the ZZRs.

-Track Torque geo is just something I'm comfortable with, should just save time/money and go back here each time now - it clearly works for me.
ade
Posts: 7374
Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:40 am
Location: Essex

Nice bit of driving and a great write up

I must admit I won't go on track without a Hans now, in the Clio I even got a proper Hans harness from schroth, and it does make them better, I only find it odd when pulling into the pit lane from the garage as it is harder turn your head to see.

I do wonder if your tyre pressures are a little high, on the R888 I used to run 24\25 screaming hot anything more would induce understeer or oversteer depending on where the pressures were to high.

Finally no amount suspension tweaking will stop the inside wheel spinning up, you need an LSD ;)
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The Hornet
Posts: 174
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:30 pm

Nice writeup with some interesting observations.... glad you enjoyed it and weather held !

Interesting to note in the second video, the V6 pulled away a bit on the straight, but actually through the bends and under braking, you were faster
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Fonzey
Posts: 929
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:17 am

Cheers Gents,
ade wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:31 am Nice bit of driving and a great write up

I must admit I won't go on track without a Hans now, in the Clio I even got a proper Hans harness from schroth, and it does make them better, I only find it odd when pulling into the pit lane from the garage as it is harder turn your head to see.

I do wonder if your tyre pressures are a little high, on the R888 I used to run 24\25 screaming hot anything more would induce understeer or oversteer depending on where the pressures were to high.

Finally no amount suspension tweaking will stop the inside wheel spinning up, you need an LSD ;)
I admit 2" belts would make the HANS pretty much invisible - it does take some effort to tighten up the 3"ers without them wandering over the lip of the HANS but once done up tight it's pretty comfortable really... hopefully I never have to test it's effectiveness.

I also ran low 20's when on R888 and A048's in a previous car, but the ZZR guidance seems to be to aim for 30 - not sure the technical reasoning for this but I've always stuck with it and been reasonably happy. I may try lowering a bit next time out if I'm feeling experimental.

Yes I think part of me just chucking it in and mashing the gas on the hairpin was to justify an LSD to myself :lol: A driver with more finesse could probably get my car through there without drama, but I did find myself longing for a diff as I started to attack it harder and harder. Soon :D
The Hornet wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:50 am Nice writeup with some interesting observations.... glad you enjoyed it and weather held !

Interesting to note in the second video, the V6 pulled away a bit on the straight, but actually through the bends and under braking, you were faster
Yeah it's hard to judge my car against V6's, mainly because driver difference is simply massive on the average LoT day - I'm probably way into the lower percentile of driver speed so probably not giving my car a fair shout, and also the V6's range in performance massively from what I've seen. A 'standard' full fat 350 feels like it's a reasonable match now to be honest, I think their straight line performance is more at the traction end of the equation rather than outright acceleration. The white one in that video (a 350 Club Racer I believe?) was particularly quick compared to others I shared the circuit with.
jxbasset
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:48 pm

Fonzey wrote: Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:15 pm
Nah not really, but I have put my hands in my pocket and bought a HANS device. This should really remove the element of compromise from the 4pt belt on track, even if I do look like a bit of a "all the gear, no idea" berk in the meantime.

I also looked at upgrading to using a HANS device for track days, but when I looked at getting a HANS to use with my 4-point Wilans silverstone harness and was told (by Wilans) that it was not compatible with a HANS. I would need to replace the 4-point with a 5 or 6-point.

Not sure what make of harness you have but have you confirmed your HANS is compatible with your harness?

Jamie
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Fonzey
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Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:17 am

jxbasset wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:55 pm
Fonzey wrote: Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:15 pm
Nah not really, but I have put my hands in my pocket and bought a HANS device. This should really remove the element of compromise from the 4pt belt on track, even if I do look like a bit of a "all the gear, no idea" berk in the meantime.

I also looked at upgrading to using a HANS device for track days, but when I looked at getting a HANS to use with my 4-point Wilans silverstone harness and was told (by Wilans) that it was not compatible with a HANS. I would need to replace the 4-point with a 5 or 6-point.

Not sure what make of harness you have but have you confirmed your HANS is compatible with your harness?

Jamie
Yes good point it's certainly worth checking, but the Schroth ASM harnesses are indeed HANS compatible: https://www.schroth.com/en/segments/rac ... i-asm.html
jxbasset
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Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:48 pm

Excellent - glad to hear it. I might have to switch to a Schroth!
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Fonzey
Posts: 929
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:17 am

The ASM belts from Schroth are a pretty good compromise in that they give you anti-submarining protection that normally would require a 5 or 6 point belt. For a road car, it's about the best all round solution from what I've read.
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