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  1. #1
    Established Member Two Rings GreyLens's Avatar
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    May 24 2017
    AZ Member #
    399991
    Location
    San Antonio, TX

    AutoX B-Street Class Buildout for S5 SportBack (2018)

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    I've ordered a 2018 S5 Sportback which should arrive in July.

    I've daily driven a 2009 MINI JCW for the last 7 years and AutoX'd it for 3+ years and went to about 10 Track Day events. I heavily modded the MINI and did most of the work myself with the occasional help from a friend with some considerable auto maintenance expertise. During that time I documented the many mods and ultimate results on the track and AutoX course and many folks followed and contributed to the thread.

    I'm considering doing the same with my new S5 Sportback so I'm starting this thread to see if there is any interest. Audizine seems to have a good participation rate but not much interest in AutoX or Track related info. I'll do a few initial posts outlining the project and if there seems to be interest I'll continue. If not, so be it.

    The S5 Sportback will likely be an unusual player on the AutoX field. Maybe a bit too big and certainly very heavy. But, my main purpose is to hone my driving skills on this new and very different platform as compared to my VERY FUN driving MINI. IMO, AutoX is the ideal forum for building real street driving skills for safety and core handling of the car. I will also likely attend several track events as well.

    I'll begin AutoX in the B-Street class for the first year and attempt to document its performance in essentially stock configuration except for a couple of possible mods. I may move to the STU class in the second year but I'll likely only implement a small portion of the allowed modifications but I'll talk about what those are and attempt to advise anyone wanting to go full up into STX with an S5 on possible priorities for mods. Certainly, the most important mod for AutoX is improvement in driving skills. But, many folks wonder about the real value for certain mods for performance and handling and I'll attempt to provide some perspective if the interest is there.
    Last edited by GreyLens; 05-28-2017 at 07:23 AM.

  2. #2
    Established Member Two Rings GreyLens's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 24 2017
    AZ Member #
    399991
    Location
    San Antonio, TX

    AutoX is one of the best ways to improve your real driving skills. It is the cheapest driving sport, easy on the car, low risk of accident (almost none if you're at all reasonable), very high on skill building for daily street driving. You'll learn the fundamentals of what some of these axioms of driving really mean: "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast" "Late Apex" "Early Apex" and some technical terms such as "Neg camber" "Tow-in, Tow-out", etc. You'll get real practice and great coaching from some excellent drivers. Everyone is friendly and will help you drive better so when they beat you it means something. It is great fun. It usually costs about $20 a day. It will wear on the tires but little else.

    After just 5 or 6 events you will be a much safer and effective driver on the street and you might find a new hobby. In AutoX you'll likely see max speeds of around 60-70 mph which is the limits of most of your daily driving experiences but you'll learn real performance driving handling techniques for the street if you ever need them. You might also step into a few track days where you'll learn a bunch more about how those fundamentals translate at much higher speeds, of course. But your understanding of simple ideas like "Real time visibility" and "driving ahead" and "situational awareness at speed" simple can't be understood until you have some track time. I hope this thread gets some participation from those of you who have much more experience than I do and those who want to get some.

  3. #3
    Established Member Two Rings GreyLens's Avatar
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    May 24 2017
    AZ Member #
    399991
    Location
    San Antonio, TX

    Wheels and Tires

    The first investment for improving handling is much lighter weight wheels and good performance tires. My selection for both will be first supportive of the AutoX needs and second for looks.

    Tires are simple. I live down south so cold weather is not much of a problem so I will get extreme summer performance tires suitable for AutoX. SCCA rules for B-Street class requires a minimum UTQG Treadwear Grade of 200. I work with a national level SCCA AutoX driver (he usually places in top 4 or 5 in the STX class) who highly recommends the BF Goodrich g-Force Rival S 1.5 tire. in a 245x40x18. I'll provide more perspective on that later. These tires will wear much faster than others but the grip is incredible except below 40 degrees. I'll daily drive these as well.

    Wheels are much more complicated. Standard manufacturer wheels are 18X8". I'll stay there because larger wheels don't perform as well on the track or in autox. If I do anything different I may go ahead and get 18X9" wheels...that extra width makes a difference in sidewall stiffness.

    Surprisingly, the color of wheel is my biggest dilemma. I want the car to look good and I'm not sure which direction to go. I'm very open to advice in that arena. The car color is the Daytona Grey Pearl. I'm considering doing a blackout package as well. Just not sure what to do there yet.

  4. #4
    Established Member Two Rings B8Brit's Avatar
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    Sep 27 2016
    AZ Member #
    382006
    Location
    NE Ohio

    Good luck...I used to run auto-x in Virginia in a B5.5 Passat...loved everything about it. There’s absolutely zero here in NE Ohio.


    Neuspeed Power Module; Eurocode TIP; EBC slotted rotors & SS lines

  5. #5
    Active Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    Jan 02 2009
    AZ Member #
    36974
    Location
    Hainesport, NJ

    Any updates GreyLens? I would like to hear how the S5 is doing in Auto-X.

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