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Audi presence at TWS

This last weekend was the second driver's school hosted by Rick Swchuallenburg
and Co. (aka Precision Auto Sports) at Texas World Speedway.  The weather was
perfect and it even rained a little.  I was hoping to explore the quattro in the
wet track, but it was very undramatic because the Porsches kept driving at 45mph
like if the yellow flag was out ;(

Quite a few more Audis showed up this time - mostly new A4's.  Everything from
stock 1.8tq's to 2.8's with sport suspensions, to chipped turbos with R1's and
modified suspensions (Jason Palmer) could be seen in the "Audi Pits".  There was
only one 4kq (mine), an 80q (Neil's), a 90q20V (Bill's), a CoupeGT (Eric
Fluhr's).  There was also a 4ktq conversion in the pits, but wasn't running on
the track.  As a welcomed change, some VW's made it this time including GTI's
and Jetta GLX's.  The most impressive Audi by all measures was, again,  Oscar's

I'm pleased to report that my trusty old '87 4kq defended the quattro honor
admirably.  The mildly modified car was lapping at an average speed of 68mph on
the blue intermediate group - faster I think than any other audi with the
exception of Jason Palmer's chipped A4 (and of course Oscar's S4).  Neil was
very fast in his 80q as well.

A few Porsches were greatly surprised to se the little quattro run up to their
rear bumpers following unorthodox lines in the carrousel and the esses after
being left behind on the straights.  Some refused to let me by, so I finally
painted the letters "MOVE OVER" backwards in the tape on my headlamps to see if
they got the hint.  I think Jason took pictures and may be setting them up in
his web page.

I heard a few instructors comment about how forgiving and easy to drive the A4's
were.  Something that was very obvious is that the stock A4 suspension is simply
too soft for spirited driving.  A few of the first timers that at first were
hesitant to take their cars to the track were taking about upgrading this and
that and how to go faster and faster by the end of the weekend ;)

All in all, it was great fun and a great learning experience.  I found that I
got faster as I got smoother and stopped overdriving the tires.  I was
considering going to 15x7" wheels, but after trying a set with Yokohama AVS
intermediates back-to-back against my 195/55-14 SP8000's, I now believe that I
first need to further improve the suspension with better sway bars to reduce the
body roll (I already have H&R springs and Boge TurboGas shocks).  The Dunlop's
actually handled the track abuse quite well and even after 150 hard track miles
and locking the brakes once (due to trying to stop too hard with tires that were
not fully warmed up), the were still vibration free on the way home.  I got
about 12mpg while on the track!  At the beginning the car was running a little
hot, so I backed off the timing from 15deg to 12deg BTDC (running 93 octane) and
noticed it ran a little cooler and faster.  It also became very obvious that the
oil pan on these cars doesn't have any baffling at all.  I had to make sure the
engine was overfilled with 1/2 quart of oil to prevent oil starvation on the
long left-hand sweepers (accompanied by awful lifter noise) - so beware those
who want to race their 4kq's.  A4's were not immune either.  Some of them
returned from their sessions with some of the tic-tic-tic noise.

So that's my report of a fun and entertaining weekend.  I'm sure the others will
post their own experiences very soon.  Stay tuned.

-Luis Marques
 '87 4kcsq (REVO EVOM)