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1993 90CS at the Glen: the toys work! (long)
So, off I drove to the Glen in my '93 90CS with new toys to
see if I could break them... The results were well worth the
time and the money. No questions asked.
First off, the trackmasters event itself was excellent. All
of the instructors are top-notch, and the class sizes small
(only about 20 cars on the track at once), so there's a lot
of room to concentrate on your own driving. They try to match
instructors with cars by experience, and since my 90 is FWD,
I got a guy who'd spent a lot of time racing Saabs. This experience
really pays off, as he showed me some great lines that make
FWD cars do amazing things: the car stuck like epoxy when I had
my foot into it all of the way. Much better than a BMW event,
for example, where most instructors are showing you a RWD line
that doesn't work well at all for FWD or quattro...
The car also impressed the hell out of me with all the new toys.
Despite still being street tires, the D40M2s were phenominal.
Very precise and easy to correct without drama. To my surprise,
they showed *almost no wear* after two days of hard, hard driving.
I was worried they'd be totally shot because of their soft compound,
but they held up infinitely better than the Yoko U+4s I used last
year, which chunked and shed rubber like a cat does hair... I think
the larger wheels also helped improved high-speed stability
tremendously-- the car didn't feel nervous and twitchy during
high-speed transitions like it did before.
The brakes were equally impressive. The Rofren pads only got better
as they heated up and showed signed of fade only towards the very
end of the 30-min sessions. Effort was very linear and I could easily
modulate braking force at the limits approaching corners. I credit
the removal of the spash shields and the open design of the Imola
wheels with part of the improvement, as there was significantly more
After several sessions, I think the rotors started to glaze a bit,
as pedal effort increased dramatically when the brakes were cold.
A little frightening, even. But once hot, they worked as good as ever.
I'm thoroughly impressed with these pads, however, as with 300 miles
of street driving following the event, the glazing is gone and
the brakes are working even better than before I went to the Glen.
Pedal feel is sooo linear. And the rotors didn't even warp! Not the
slightest hint of distortion! Pad wear was excellent, too. After
two days of lapping, they looked like they'd lost only about 1/8"
of material, so it looks like I'll be able to get maybe another 20k miles
out of these... Impressive.