last minute racing tips - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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Old 02-02-2007, 01:14 AM
enri's Avatar
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last minute racing tips

hi everyone, this is really basic stuff,

im going to get my alfasud on the racetrack for the first time next weekend and am looking for some last minute advice as there is just no time to experiment - 1977 alfasud ti 1186cc , 5x 15min sessions

1- tyre pressure, should i run it at higher or lower end of the recomended range?

2- brakes, should i keep my old hard (and squealy when cold) front brake pads or put new ones in . i have been told hard pads perform better under heavy load . i have a new set of "bendix advance" on standby.

3- spark plugs and gap. i am going to change from my everyday ngk bp6es to bosch w5dc which i belive is 1 number colder for the day. and should i gap them at .6, .7 or .8mm (ngk lower number is hotter and bosch higher number is hotter)

4- emulsion tubes and jets. i have a duel barrel single carb weber d.a.t.r.a and 2 different sets of emulsion tubes. one set (f30) has fairly evenly spaced holes along their length compared to the other which has more holes towards the top (f43). the performance is currently a little flat under acceleration in the mid range of the primary circuit. i am using the f30 tubes and main fuel jet is 115. i have also available main fuel jets 130 which i was thinking of fitting for the day. available air corrector jets are 200, 205 and 210 any sugestions please as all my recent time has been taken up by a grief causing automatic choke

5- group, the historic mob who is hosting the day tell me my car has no racing history and doesnt really belong in any group

6- i want to make sure i get on so what spares/tools are "dont forget" and is a harley style open face helmet acceptable?
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Old 02-02-2007, 01:23 AM
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No racing history?? They obviously dont know much about Alfas then, what about the Trofeo series in Europe?? And the Rally cars?? No racing history my butt hole.

As for tuning issues, stick in anything that is going to make it run rich for the track!! It'll love it!

As for tools, take 10mm, 13mm, 17mm and a 19mm spanners (maybe the same in sockets) you can pretty much dismantle these cars with that list!

oh and ofcourse a selection of screw drivers...you never know what you may need to adjust or tighten up...

Have fun.
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Old 02-02-2007, 02:09 AM
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Hi there,

A few comments for your first time out;

Tyre pressures - Suggest a few pounds higher, you are likely to be cornering much harder than on the road, and the tyres will need a few extra pounds. I used to run 37PSI front & 35 PSI rear in my Alfa 33 when running it as a standard car in races on 185/60 x 14 tyres. (Dunlop FM901) You will probably need to adjust them as you see fit when you get used to the track environment.

Brakes - Inboard brakes do get hot, very hot, and are pad hungry. Standard road pads are likely to get overheated and may start to fade after anywhere from 2-4 laps, depending on the circuit layout and your driving style/aggression. I'd suggest getting the best/hardest you can and be aware that there might be degradation with heat after a few laps.

Make sure you have good brake fluid in the car. Brake fluid absorbs water and under extreme heat that water can vaporise giving sudden brake failure. A brake bleed is a good idea - use best available high boiling point fluid.

Going a plug range cooler probably wouldn't hurt. Use manufacturers suggested gap settings.

If its tuned right and running well, I'd leave the jets etc alone unless you really know what you are doing.

Some don't forget things

- Tyre pump
- Good accurate tyre gauge
- Plenty of water for a hot sweaty driver to replace fluids during the day.
- Wear cotton or other natural fibres. NO SYNTHETICS If there's ever a fire, you don't want your clothing (or underclothing etc) melting .......

We put a Getting started guide together for new competitors here in New Zealand. Have a look at

http://www.trofeo.org.nz/TrofeoSeriesGettingStarted.pdf

There will be differences to the Aussie way of doing things, but there should be a few things in there that are helpful.

As for your helmet, I'd ask another competitor or a club scrutineer what standards are permitted to be used in the event you are going into. There are very clear requirements for helmets to comply with in NZ, and I'm sure it's the same in Aussie.

And as for the stuck up ignoramus that reckons that Alfasuds don't have a racing history, he merely displays his ignorance !! They are a wonderful little car, and punch well above their weight in competition.

When you get out on the track, don't over-drive and try to break the lap record on your second lap. Ask questions of the knowledgeable, learn the circuit, and concentrate on smooth clean driving.

Enjoy the weekend !!

David Frith
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Last edited by dave33; 02-02-2007 at 02:15 AM.
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Old 02-02-2007, 02:09 AM
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what about the ALFA ROMEO TIPO 33 than.................
That was a racing car...is obvious they don't know enything about alfas, so recommand the guys in there to keep watch their a.. since there is an ALFA ROMEO racing in there.

Have fun...
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Old 02-02-2007, 03:23 AM
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Hi,

DO NOT OVER-INFLATE your tires! due to sustained track use your tires run hotter than on the sreet. If starting from 2bar cold pressure, after a few laps the pressures rises and with 3bar it is undriveable.
Increasing pressure is useful when learning, because it causes the tires to loose grip at lower speed. But for efficient track use, begin with stock pressure and de-inflate the tire when hot until you reach stock pressure again.
Don't forget a pump for your drive back home, you might have removed enough air to get a very low pressure when tires have cooled down.

All the best,
zp
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Old 02-02-2007, 04:14 AM
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thanks for the trofeo link. the starting grid part made me nervous!

i dont expect to win anything but im sure there are slower cars than mine out there!

ill stick to 2 bar x 14.5 = 29psi tyre pressure. should heat up into the 30's. i have a good gauge but no pump! my tyres are 175 70 13 h rated on 13x5 magnesium momo's (just kidding about the magnesium ,but they feel super light compared to the steel rims)
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Old 02-02-2007, 10:09 AM
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Hi again Enri

With the tyre pressures, they need to suit your particular car and driving style, and you'll soon find what works for you.

We went higher because the tyres were deforming under hard cornering and starting to roll over onto the sidewall. In particular horrible understeer on one very slow hairpin. Your driving, the car and the other variables of tyre type, and cambers etc will all affect your choice.

Which track are you going out on ?

If its a track day format, rather than a race, you probably wouldn't be sent off in a massed grid start, I wouldn't get too worried about that, they usually want the field spread around. But do be very aware of what's around you.

You'll probably get something like this at drivers briefing but...

Try and drive smoothly and predictably. If you get faster traffic behind you, hold your line, don't try and swerve suddenly out of the way.
Its the responsibility of the overtaking driver to do so safely, but you need to be driving safely and predictably, so keep a good eye on the mirrors.

Along with the flags and everything else on your first outing it seems a lot, but I'm sure you'll have a geat day.

If you'd like a look at one of our races try this;



<object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/NiJRc9Nw8LI"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/NiJRc9Nw8LI" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object>

Regards
David
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Last edited by dave33; 02-02-2007 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 02-02-2007, 06:01 PM
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that video is very exiting
saturday is like a track day format and if the car holds together i will enter in the race on sunday

there will be another alfa there at Wakefield park on the weekend - the fellow who invited me.
the idea is that i get to have a drive of his car on saturday - sort of a "try before you buy" arrangement
check out pics, what do you all think?
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Old 02-02-2007, 09:00 PM
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Looks like a nice car - all set up for rallying. I had a look at a website over here www.groundsky.co.nz and there are pictures of it in the 2003 Targa New Zealand (5 day Tarmac Rally)

From their home page, select event list and go to the Targa 2003.
Then go to view CD online...

It clearly has a bit if history to it.

Frrom your pictures it looks like they have gone to outboard brakes as per the Alfa 33. That'll make your brake work easier & cheaper.

Very best of luck, let me know how you go.
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Old 02-08-2007, 09:36 AM
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Glad you enjoyed it, it was like having the best possible grandstand seat watching Ken & Simon swap places all race.

Doing the preparation right, particularly on the safety stuff is so important.
Brakes are always an issue if you are doing more than say a 3 lap sprint event. Standard pads in Sud/33 seem to get well overheated by then, and you just can't drive hard till they cool !

Here's another video clip from another series car, Brent's 16 valve 33, showing two laps of the Taupo "intermediate" circuit. This is the new portion of the track. (The A1GP used this and the original part of the circuit together

Cheers
David F


<object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/yUjrA3S-wsY"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/yUjrA3S-wsY" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object>
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Old 02-08-2007, 05:54 PM
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was up til 1 am last night preparing the car. lucky some peugeot (how do you spell it!) mates came around and helped me. much easier bleeding the brakes with help. and we found rumbling rear wheel bearings not to mention replacing a worn watts linkage bar and 2 lower shock rubbers. i had just wasted 3 nights trying to recover my steering wheel because the foam in it had suddenly deteriorated and my spare (original ) steering wheel clashes with the blinker and wiper storks
tonight im going to fill up with premium fuel, decided on 32psi for tyres and try and get an early night because tomorrow morning 5am a little convoy of alfas leave for the track!
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Old 02-08-2007, 06:12 PM
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re

have fun Enri.

Ive seen ppl go out and give it 110% of their ability on their first lap just coz its a racetrack - dont overcook it on your first day out.

Over the years ive slashed 40 seconds off my best time at one track (and that was as fast as I could go) - not saying that Im good or anything, just that Im learning to drive (still am)


Treat it like a road - drive fast but dont think that jsut coz you are on a racetrack that you hafta go flat out - speed will come to you eventually!
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Old 02-08-2007, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enri View Post
was up til 1 am last night preparing the car. lucky some peugeot (how do you spell it!) mates came around and helped me. much easier bleeding the brakes with help. and we found rumbling rear wheel bearings not to mention replacing a worn watts linkage bar and 2 lower shock rubbers. i had just wasted 3 nights trying to recover my steering wheel because the foam in it had suddenly deteriorated and my spare (original ) steering wheel clashes with the blinker and wiper storks
tonight im going to fill up with premium fuel, decided on 32psi for tyres and try and get an early night because tomorrow morning 5am a little convoy of alfas leave for the track!
Get some sleep.

The comment regarding not increasing your tyre pressures needs to be, as others have said, taken in consideration with what tyres you are running. If you are running road tyres you will have to increase your tyre pressures because they will not be designed to handle the increased side loads, they will be designed more for a comfortable ride. Thus the increased sidewall flex will cause the tyres to overheat. Increasing the pressures stops this and improves their 'accuracy'. Now with race tyres you will have to find out what pressures they need to be run at to get the required correct rubber temperature.

With a Sud you need to make sure you have plenty of gearbox oil, and engine oil (some slightly over fill on purpose).

You also need to learn NOT to lift off the throttle during a corner ... unless you want to come out backwards. They are very tricky at 11/10'ths , but great fun at 8/10'ths.

You will need performance pads in the front and get somebody to show you how to bed them in ... otherwise with new pads you will have a brake failure ... been there are done that as a newbie. The glues/oils bleed out of the pads when first hot, and you do not want that to be in a race. Also bleed brakes and replace fuel filter.

Lastly relax and take it easy on your car. Abusing a car never makes it faster just more expensive to fix.
Pete
BTW: Alfa Suds did rarely race against other cars ... the Trofeo series was a Sud only race series so does not count as 'race history'. I do believe Suds raced in Bathurst though, but might be wrong.
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Last edited by PSk; 02-08-2007 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 02-08-2007, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALFA33boxer View Post
what about the ALFA ROMEO TIPO 33 than.................
That was a racing car...is obvious they don't know enything about alfas, so recommand the guys in there to keep watch their a.. since there is an ALFA ROMEO racing in there.

Have fun...
They were just talking about a Sud specifically, not Alfa Romeo.

Pete
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Old 02-09-2007, 01:24 AM
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minor dramas
when i got to the servo i smelt oil burning and found i forgot to put the dip stick back in. never done that before. very messsy. easy fixed with a can of degreaser

splattered in oil is not the best way to bed in a new set of brake pads either.

i put 35psi in the tyres and the car felt slippery on the way home .(mabey oil sprayed onto the F.R. tyre.) but i can deflate them to suit on the day
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