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Autocrossing an '89 200tq...
I had planned to drive my friend's killer Pinto at the local SCCA autocross
event today but ended up driving my 200tq when his car started running very
poorly (it was later diagnosed as a loose choke in one of the Weber carbs).
It was an interesting experience, to say the least. Although I won my class
-- no big deal at a local event -- I found the car to be a real handful with
its Bridgestone HP-41 M+S tires. In some corners, it understeered; in other
corners, it oversteered, and in long sweeping corners, it did BOTH ... there
was NO way I could predict how it would behave at any given point on course.
If I assumed it would understeer and set up the corner accordingly, it would
oversteer instead; if I assumed it would oversteer, it would go straight and
practically refuse to turn into the corner.
In short, it never behaved like an AWD car, with all four wheels sharing the
workload. At times, it was FWD; at others, RWD; but it never seemed to AWD.
Needless to say, the car is exactly as I purchased it, with no setup work at
all. I'm sure that some fine-tuning will produce significant results but it
almost seemed to be having an identity crisis ... strange.
How does one adapt their driving style to get the most out of these cars? I
sense great potential in the car but at the moment, I haven't got a clue how
to go about realizing it. Does this schizophrenic behavior have anything to
do with the Torsen center diff on my car as compared to the open diff on the
earlier ones? Thinking about it on the way home, I could see how this might
be the case (with junk tires and no grip, the diff was forever attempting to
redistribute the more-than-ample torque between the front & rear wheels thus
continually altering the balance of the car) but I don't have any experience
with an open-diff car to verify this theory. PDQSHIP? STEADIRIC? GRAYDON?
Oh, well ... enough rambling. Despite everything, it was a lot of fun and I
sure was impressed by how hard the car would launch: 5k, sidestep the clutch
and -- whoosh! -- I was off with nary a spinning wheel. It sure did raise a
few eyebrows among the spectators present!
/ l l o l \ l o AudiDudi@delphi.com
/__l l l / l l l l l l / l l Jeffrey Goggin
/ l l_l \_l l l__/ l_l \_l l Scottsdale, Arizona