Skip to main content

2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 - Back at the track!



A few weeks ago, I took my car - a 2012 Mustang Boss 302 - to the track for the first time this summer. Head to 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 - Doing what it does best! to find out what modifications I made and how I liked it last summer, stock, and how I like it so far this summer after modifications!

This time, I'm back at the track with the local BMW club - BMW Club Atlantic - for a high performance driving school (HPDS) that I attend annually. The school is arranged twice a year and each time, it runs for an entire weekend. Each day, there are 2 sessions of slaloms and accident avoidance exercises and 2 lapping sessions for a total of 8 sessions on the track. Classroom sessions that go for 15 to 30 minutes run between each track session where vehicle dynamics and track etiquette are discussed. It is a very comprehensive school and between the 1-on-1 instructor time and classroom sessions, there's a lot to be learned for those who are trying to improve. If you're looking to get into racing, it won't be enough because they don't teach the fastest lines or brake points but it is a very good place to start. As one of the senior instructors put it: "We don't teach you how to play hockey. We teach you how to skate." Yes, we are Canadian! Where else could you find a hockey analogy on a race track?

Now back to the car. I have made no additional modifications. The engine is still stock, with the exception of one reliability modification, an oil catch can. I swapped the stock clutch-based limited slip differential with a Ford Racing Torsen unit that has a torque bias ratio of 2.7 - the same one that comes stock on the Boss 302 Laguna Seca. The stock pan hard bar is gone in favour of a Fays2 Watt's link to better control rear axle movement. Rounding off the modifications are lightweight, rotary forged 18" x 9.5" TSW Nurburgring wheels wrapped in 285/35 rubber at all four corners that replace the stock 19" x 9" front wheels and 19" x 9.5" rear wheels (stock tire sizes are 255/40 front and 285/35 rear).

The improved agility is even more noticeable at the BMW club event because it includes some slalom exercises before track sessions. Many find the slalom exercises boring and some even consider it to be a waste of time. I actually like the slalom sessions because, over time, they helped me be more smooth and precise with my right foot and throttle application.



Throughout the weekend, transitions became smoother and apexes were more seldom missed. That's one of the benefits of continuing to go to a school after getting the basics. I find that progress at a track day is slower than progress at a HPDS. The presence of a second set of eyes - your instructor - accelerates the learning curve, especially considering that they're more experienced than you are and often with racing experience. One thing I have been struggling with, though, is the entry of corner 2. By the end of the front straight between, corner 11 and corner 1, you're either in 3rd or 4th gear, depending on the car. Corner 1 can be taken in 4 or 3, again depending on the car. The only constant is that corner 2 is taken in 2nd gear. I don't remember talking to anyone who takes corner 2 in 1st gear or anything higher than gear 2 (unless it's a cool down lap). I knew I didn't have the smoothest heel-and-toe downshift but I couldn't quite put my finger on the reason why. My instructor could, though.

He noticed that my downshift is done in 2 steps: step 1 is clutch pedal down and throttle blip and step 2 is moving the shifter. He said I should try making it all a 1 step event. I tried that and it helped make the downshift much smoother, helping the car be more settled going into the corner. I don't know if that will work for everyone but it certainly worked for me.

One issue came up on the track, though. A few times, steering weight changed significantly as if power steering stopped working and it felt like the steering wheel was being tugged in the opposite direction. When the issue came up, it lasted for less than a second. At first I thought that stability control may not be full defeat-able, although it should be on the Boss 302. I thought it may be trying to correct my steering angle or heavily applying the brakes on one side but whenever it happened, there was no loss of traction so stability control shouldn't even intervene. Plus, I've had stability control kick in before in different cars and it did not feel that way. I was finally assured that it was a problem when "Service AdvanceTrac" came on. I will get the car checked at the dealership as soon as I'm back.

Aside from that minor hiccup, the car held itself on the track like a champ, as usual. Loads of fun and grin-inducing attitude. Hopefully, the issue will be fixed before the next lapping day on July 1st. Check back for more updates!


Comments

  1. You’re getting off to a good start. Disappointing that your car had to encounter a problem. But in my opinion, it’s an advantage for you. Since you found out the problem immediately, you were able to fix the problem by sending it to the repair center. I hope it works well now! -- Joellen Cirilo @ YoungsCollision.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Joellen. It turned out to not be a malfunction - more about that in the post about the car.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Michelin Pilot Super Sports vs Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 - Street Review

I've been a huge fan of Michelin PSS tires and exclusively bought them for the Mustang over the last four years. So how did I end up here? This year, I was hugely interested in trying an "R-comp" tire. I had my eyes set on Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R's for two simple reasons: price and reputation. They seem like they're easily the most affordable (from a big brand) R-comp tire and combine that with a reputation for having tons of grip, it was an easy top contender. I had my concerns, though. For one, I'm told and have read that they are an autox tire, not really designed for high speed, pressure, and temps associated with open track. For another, the Mustang is a heavy car (as far as track cars are concerned) being roughly 3,800 lb. (including driver), which will amplify the unwanted open track loads. Combine that with the fact that I drive a good amount on the street during the summer, and I was very worried that they wouldn't last more than a handful of…

The New Shelby GT500 Is Coming in Two Weeks

If you've been paying attention in 2018, you probably already know that a brand new S550 Mustang Shelby GT500 is coming this year. And there is good reason to believe that the 2019 North American Auto Show (often referred to as the Detroit Auto Show) in less than two weeks will host the debut of the GT500. Why the 2019 Detroit Auto Show? It's one of the biggest auto shows for Ford. Ford decided to reveal its Ford GT at the same show three years ago in 2015, and also threw in the current Shelby GT350R and the current F-150 Raptor for good measure.

The Shelby GT500 has already been confirmed by Ford and teased in a couple of pictures and videos. Why is the GT500 significant? The first Shelby GT500 was a 1967 model and it was developed with help from the legend himself, Carroll Shelby. Because of Shelby's personal involvement in racing at the time, the original Shelby GT500 was actually meant to be a track monster, not only a straight line car. It used a a modified version o…

Michelin PSS vs Firestone Indy 500 - Track Review

A couple of weeks ago, I posted my first impressions of Michelin's PSS vs Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 tires. I've run PSS's for several years on the Boss, but I'm trying the Indy 500's for the first time. In short, I was worried about the narrower tires (I was running 285/35/18 PSS but could only find the Indy 500 in 275/35/18) and tread squirm, but I was happy with them up to that point just driving on the street. I had the chance to drive on them for three track days now. So what were they like? After my first session, they made an impression that basically persisted for the rest of track sessions on them. Phenomenal, unmatched value. Now, if value is something that stands out above all else, it typically means the compromise between qualities you want and those you don't is less than ideal, but the value is attractive. This is no different. I'll start with the bad, which really boil down to two: ultimate grip and grip longevity.

Grip is noticeably lowe…

The S209 is a big turbo wide-body WRX STI

A Subaru WRX STI is a very familiar car by now. Partially because it's very successful and capable, but partially because its engine and hp has been more or less unchanged for about 15 years in North America. It came out in 2004 with a 4 cylinder 2.5 litre turbocharged boxer engine making 300 hp. Today, the standard issue WRX STI is still powered by a version of that same engine making all of 305 hp, a measly 5 hp increase in two redesigns over 15 years. People have been complaining and, it turns out, Subaru has been listening.


Enter the S209. It is based on the Japanese market only S208 developed with Subaru Tecnica International (STI). It still uses the same North American EJ25 2.5 litre engine, but it's all grown up now with forged rods and pistons, and a bigger turbo (bigger turbos make everything better). In this case, it seems like the housing is the same, but HKS increases the compressor wheel by 5 mm to 65 mm and turbine by 3 mm to 56 mm. That has allowed Subaru to tu…

Can Telemetry Explain Schumacher's Talent?

With Michael Schumacher's recent fantastic news that he is no longer bedridden, I figured it would be a great opportunity to share one of my absolute favourite videos about him. I stumbled across this video last year and immediately bookmarked it. It includes bits from interviews with various F1 drivers, including Schumacher himself and team mate Johnny Herbert. But my favourite part of the video is when they compare telemetry between Schumacher and Herbert.

The telemetry clearly explains where Schumacher is saving (lap) time and how exactly his talent and skills translate to better (and ultimately faster) driving. His talent is even more impressive when you consider the lack of active throttle mapping in modern F1 cars and the myriad of improvements made to driveability. Watch below to see for yourself.


What I love about this video is that I found Jonathan's Palmer analysis of Schumacher's telemetry to be absolutely true when applied to my driving on track.

SPOILER ALERT…

Rejoice: The 2020 Shelby GT500 Could Get A manual!

I posted about the new Shelby GT500 on here, DriveTribe, my Facebook, and my Instagram (you can read about all the tech and capabilities that Ford stuffed into the GT500 in my GT500 reveal post here). Perhaps the biggest surprise (and only disappointment) was that the car wouldn't be offered with a manual. Instead, it would come with a 7-speed dual-clutch auto made by Tremec.

If there is one common theme across all platforms where I posted, though, it's that people want a manual and it looks like Ford is going to be listening very closely. Prior to the reveal, I
predicted that this was going to be the first GT500 to offer an automatic, but I figured it would be the 10-speed automatic available on the Mustang GT and I never expected Ford to drop the manual as an option.

According to a report by Road & Track, the reason why Ford went for this transmission instead of the torque-converter automatic was because it offered quicker shifts on track, suggesting that the 10-speed a…

Contact Me

Name

Email *

Message *