BR Racing Blog

VW GTi – Sleeper

There are times when you buy one car, but you really wanted a set of features that are available on another model.  Like, you want all the performance and upgrades of the top of the line sporty version, but you need the utility and convenience of the four door model.  Such was the case with this VW GTi.  The customer liked the look, ease of use, of the 4-door GTi, but longed for the performance of a VW Golf R.  This car was never going to see the track, but they longed to equal or exceed the performance of the Golf R.

Well, that’s what upgrades are for.  Transform this VW GTi 4-door into the same sleeper rocket that a fully tuned Golf R is.  All the normal upgrade boxes get checked:  Suspension, Brakes, Exhaust, Wheels / Style, and of course, Engine Performance.

BRAKES

If you are going to add gobs of power and performance (and we are), then we have to make sure the brakes are up to the task.  The stock VW GTi brakes are not.  The “go to” soluiton is Brembo, and they have just what we need.  Full “big brake kit” for the GTi.  Brembo GT kit, consisting of 4-piston calipers, upgraded performance brake pads, stainless steel brake lines, and their proven Type 3 2-piece, slotted, rotors. 

There’s even a financial advantage here…the Brembo Type-3 rotors will last beyond a single set of brake pads, even more aggressive performance pads, and don’t require replacing with every brake pad change unlike stock rotors, saving money and labor. 

To equal the upgrade on the front, the rear brakes got upgraded slotted StopTech rotors, and the same performance brake pads.

Brake fluid got upgraded (we have seven different grades of brake fluid, for this project we upgraded to Motul 660 from stock) to equal the customers use case.

SUSPENSION

There are a lot of options when considering suspension upgrades, and usually, a lot of tradeoffs.  The options are normally these:  (a) sport springs, (b) sport springs and performance shocks, (c) height adjustable springs, (d) non-adjustable coil-overs, and finally, (e) adjustable coil-overs.  We tend to lead customers to the adjustable anything option, as needs are different for everyone, and needs change.  The adjustable solution allows those needs to be met over time or if requirements change as well.

Our “go to” solution to achieve the best fit is the Bilstein PSS10 / B16 dual adjustable coil-overs (both rebound and shock compression are adjustable with a single adjustment knob).  The key to this kit though is the ease by which the ride / handling can be changed.  The KW v3 offers a similar solution, but they are often NOT easy to adjust. 

We find that customers often say they want the ride to be like “X”, and then find out they really wanted it to be like “Y”.  The Bilstein kit allows this to be altered quickly and easily.

The other main advantage of the coil-over approach is the ability to adjust the ride height. We wanted to lower the car some, not a lot, as we still wanted plenty of suspension travel, and didn’t want to lose the ease of driving into driveways and over speed bumps.  The range of adjustment in the ride height of the Bilstein kit gives us just what we needed.

EXHAUST

This is always more difficult than you would think.  There is such a great variance in what one considers a good exhaust note vs another, along with what one considers to be too quiet while another considers an exhaust too loud.  For this customer, there were two objectives, release some more performance, while also bringing the exhaust volumne up.

Since we knew we were going to use the APR software to tune the performance, the good news here was they also had part of the solution in the exhaust as well.  As full set of upgraded “down pipes” to improve the flow of the exhaust coming out of the turbos, combined with an upgraded resonator less center section.

WHEELS

Besides just wanting some more stylish wheels, we needed the new wheels (18″ diameter) to ensure they could cope with the upgraded, large, Brembo brakes.  Surprisingly, not many wheels could accomplish that.  We found a great option in a set of TSW Flow Formed wheels, in an anthracite color.  Perfect fitment, clearance for the Brembo calipers and rotors, and great looking.

Starting to come together:

ENGINE PERFORMANCE

When it comes to choosing a software “tune” for VW or Audi, and now many Porsche’s, our “go to” solution is APR.  Proven, reliable, tested, easy to use, many stages and fuel options.

They may or may not be the absolute highest output, that’s not what matters to us.  We want the increase in power, but we want long term reliability.  We have never had any issue w any APR tune or upgrade on any of our customers cars.  We have installed LOTS of APR software upgrades, and they work, and produce great results.

Take a look at the dyno plot for their solution for this VW GTi.  Amazing….just what the customer wanted.

The good thing is they offer a Stage 2 level tune, and also one that supports 91 octane fuel (which is what we have here in California for “premium” fuel).

To make their solution even more flexible, they offer a “mobile” application that users can use to play, measure, gather data, and alter the tune at any time.  APR Mobile.

And there we have it.  A killer VW GTi…producing amazing power and acceleration, great handling, brakes that can stop and take any amount of abuse, and best of all…the car looks great.

Just what the customer wanted.  A four door VW GTi that out does a VW Golf R.

BRracing – producing killer results.

Why We Use MOTUL Fluids

When we started BRracing, we positioned ourselves to be a better alternative than the dealer. Better service, better experience, better or bigger scope of services, less expensive, more convenient, more accessible, more personable, and more. As part of that, we wanted our customers to feel that we took as good or better care of their car. We wanted them to have full confidence, full trust.

Therefore, one of the early choices was what fluids to we use and offer – engine oil, brake fluid, coolant, power steeering fluid, transmission fluid, differntial fluid, and more. To make the choice easy, we started with a base line of using the same fluids as the dealer or car manufacturer. If you had confidence in them, then you could have confidence w us.

When we started our Motorsport division (2011), we now needed to look farther, and needed to provide the best solution period. Reliability, longevity, lack of wear, additional performance even, those were the key requirements for the Motorsport side. That is going from the baseline, and moving beyond. Since we started our Motorsports program with customers running in “spec” series, if we could find an advantage as well, even better.

We then started to encounter a change in philosophy from the dealers. They weren’t picking the best fluids, they were partnering w fluid manufacturers, making deals, to reduce their service costs. If the longevity or reliability of the car went down, they didn’t care.

That showed itself first to us when Audi moved away from their standard locally to Pennzoil engine oils. I couldn’t find any test that showed Pennzoil to be better….in fact, they showed up on the lower end of the scale. When I asked them why the switch, they replied that they were now owned by Penske, and Penske is the distributor of Pennzoil, so they were now directed to use all Pennzoil products.

I didn’t find that in the best interest of the customer, nor the car. It was during this same period of time (2007 – 2011) that Audi started to demonstrate issues with their engines on oil consumption (most notably the CAEB engine). So, with this, we started to evaluate different oil options. We looked at MOTUL, Joe Gibbs Racing, Redline, Mobil1 and some others. Due to the long term commitment to us by our customers, we could also evaluate and build a database of what oils worked best for the variety of use cases. We also read up on the base materials used in most synthetics, and to determine if their was any difference really…..or were they just oils?

We set up meetings w the product managers / sales engineers of each of the products, and educated ourselves as best as we could. We reached out to our other key Motorsports partners and friends, and polled them, what data did they have to back up their decisions on fluids?

Again, as time marched on, another car manufacturer made another fluid decision. BMW had long used Castrol. There was a lot of debate about the value or worthiness of Castrol, but BMW had defined another viscosity blend for their “M” cars w the 10w60 engine oil….that won them some brownie points. Then, in 2013, BMW decided to randomly drop their relationship with Castrol, and now partnered with Shell. OK, peel the onion here a little more, and Shell is owned by Pennzoil, and Shell fluids are nothing but Pennzoil fluid rebranded.

This is the straw that “broke the camels back” in our view. Their are lots of objectives and reasons that car manufacturers pick their partners, but we didn’t find any press release for either Audi or BMW where they stated they had made the change to improve the results.

That broke our position as a shop…they were making decisions that we could not find in the best interest of our customers. With the data we had been collecting now for several years, we decided to move in a different direction….we chose MOTUL as our fluid supplier for all our customer applications (and no, we don’t have any special relationship with MOTUL in any way, no special discounts, no volume deals, no sponsorship). We had found that the MOTUL engine oils we were using for our Audi and MINI Cooper customers had resulted in less oil consumption, equal or better fuel mileage, oil sampling showed less engine wear….all wins in our view. On the Motorsport side, we found several other benefits with their MOTUL Trophy fluids…we got more power (dyno results), engine oil temps were less, wear was less, differentials and transmissions were lasting longer. All wins.

So, who is MOTUL?

MOTUL Oil | Tradition of Excellence and Quality
 
There is no better way to prolong the life of an engine than to use quality lubrication. MOTUL Oil is a brand that understands this very well. Engine oil is much more than just a liquid you pour into your car every 10,000 miles (or whatever your oil change interval is).
It is the essence of performance, carefully crafted to be tensile, slick, and durable. MOTUL is one of the few companies that are at the very edge of engine oil development. This brand has been adopted by racing teams and luxury car manufacturers alike and for a good reason.

The History of MOTUL Oil
 
Much like every successful story, that of MOTUL has humble beginnings. The company was founded in New York in 1853. Back then, performance engines were just a figment of imagination. A vision that only a select few individuals shared. MOTUL from 150 years ago was a completely different company. Their main products were whale oil and whale oil derivatives, which were used to fuel lanterns, make soap, and even margarine.
MOTUL was owned by Rockefeller Group at one point, only to change hands and become officially known as the Swan Finch Company. This was when MOTUL began expanding the lubrication side of the business. The MOTUL we know today was born in 1932 when the Zaugg family bought the company and moved the entire operation to France. From that point on, MOTUL was known as the French brand.

It was under Zaugg’s leadership that this company made some of the most important advancements in the lubrication industry. Namely, they’ve made the world’s first multigrade motor oil, the world’s first semi-synthetic, and later, the world’s first 100% synthetic oil.

Performance in a Bottle
 
After propelling the automotive industry forward with its innovative lubricants and fluids, MOTUL quickly became a synonym for performance. The company got heavily involved in the world of racing. Going over their list of partnered racing events will reveal numerous well-known names. European Le Mans Series, FIA World Endurance Championship, Super GT, Moto GP, Isle of Man TT are just some of the places where you’ll find MOTUL’s banners along the track.



MOTUL has signed a partnership deal with BMW M Motorsports in January of 2020 (a little ironic now, in hind sight from our point of view). Not long after, the BMW Team RLL won the opening round at the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in Daytona.

The fact that BMW M Motorsports has recognized MOTUL as a suitable partner for their endurance racing team speaks volumes about MOTUL’s fluids. No matter what BMW model you drive, you can rest assured that MOTUL’s oils will work great in your car. After all, if BMW M Motorsports is using MOTUL, you have nothing to worry about.

MOTUL’s oils, lubricants, and fluids are not only capable of withstanding the pressures of such high-stress races, but they were purpose-built to work under such gruesome conditions.
When every millisecond matters and speeds exceeds 200mph, there is no room for error. Proper engine lubrication is vital for both power and temperature management as nothing kills performance like excessive heat.
MOTUL fluids are perfectly capable of keeping your engine in perfect working condition even if you push your car to its limits. Each MOTUL lubricant is created to provide the most efficient and protective environment, so you won’t have to introduce more additives to improve results. They are fantastic straight out of the container.

Building Trust Through Consistency
 
The long track record of excellence has put this brand at the crosshairs of numerous racing teams and high-performance car manufacturers. After all, maintaining a high powered engine properly lubricated while it’s working at maximum load requires experience and innovation. Both of these are something MOTUL has in abundance.

Keeping up with the ever-evolving needs of modern motorsports is what drives MOTUL forward. One of their latest series of engine oils is a direct result of this close relationship the brand has with racing sports.

MOTUL Trophy 300V | When A Few Liters of Oil Makes All the Difference
 

MOTUL’s latest 300V series of synthetic engine oils are designed to offer peak performance at extreme temperatures. These oils are used in race cars as well as high-performance bikes. Based on ESTER Core technology, 300V is all about providing that competitive edge while reducing engine wear and oxidation due to high temperature.

ESTER Core technology allows the 300V oil to adhere to cylinder walls even when the engine is cold, preventing a lot of the damage that is caused by a cold engine starts. With that said, this particular oil can be beneficial to regular car owners who want to keep their motors working flawlessly on the road every day.

300V is a perfect example of racing technologies spilling over into the commercial products segment, where everyone can benefit from the innovation such oils bring to the table.

Regular Car Owner’s Dream
 
Despite continually researching and developing racing oils and lubricants, a massive part of MOTUL’s everyday operations is focused on the consumer market. This company has had a lot of success in designing oils that have improved the overall longevity and performance of engines. Therefore, it’s no surprise that MOTUL is on the recommended engine oils for many brands.

BMW Approved, Ferrari Certified
 
Over the years, MOTUL has become the oil of choice for many car manufacturers. The complete list of European brands includes BMW/Mini, Audi/VW Group, Ferrari, Volvo, Jaguar/Land Rover, Aston Martin, Ferrari/Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, and Fiat. With that said, MOTUL also offers a complete line of lubricants for Asian car brands as well.
MOTUL 8100, MOTUL SPECIFIC and MOTUL SPORTS Range of Oils
 
Most of the brands listed above recommend MOTUL’s 8100 series of fully synthetic engine oils (this is what BRracing uses for all our BMW, Audi, MINI Cooper, and Mercedes customers, for Porsche, we will use either Mobil1 or MOTUL, per customer desire). MOTUL 8100 combines a number of quality base oils that meet and exceed OEM requirements. This is a high-quality lubricant with a proven track record of consistency and performance. With this range of oils alone, MOTUL has given the rest of the industry something to think about when it comes to consumer-grade lubricants.

8100 series of oils come in a variety of flavors X-Clean (primarily for diesels), X-Cess, X-Power, and X-Max. While all of the 8100 offers excellent baseline performance, some of these versions are optimized to cater to different performance goals. For example, MOTUL X-Clean was designed to be used in petrol and diesel engines fitted with DPF filters. On the other hand, X-Power oils, like the 10w60, are meant to reduce wear in high-performance machines such as BMW M cars. Additionally, 8100 sports a complete Eco line of oils as well.

MOTUL’s 8100 series of oils carry different designations depending on the car manufacturer. Most BMW owners are likely to recognize the LL-01 and LL-04 line of fully synthetic oils. These were also used in Mercedes-Benz, where they carry the MB-Approval 229.5 designation. Porsche is also using this oil under the C30/A40 name.

Contrary to the 8100 range that can be used in a variety of car makes, MOTUL’s SPECIFIC line of oils is all about individual car models.
BMW owners will recognize the Specific LL-01 FE synthetic oils, which are known for their fuel economy-oriented performance. There’s also the Specific LL-12 FE and Specific LL-14 FE lubricants that match specific BMW OEM requirements and offer similar performance. 8100 Specific series are used by other car brands as well. Volvo recommends the RBSO-2AE oils while Land Rover and Jaguar advise their drivers to use STJLR 03.5004 and STJLR 51.5122. Similarly, Porsche and the rest of the VW Group list the MOTUL Specific 508 00/509 00 0W20 as their recommended OEM oil.

Lastly, there is the Sport line of oils designed for use in high power performance engines, including those with forced induction. These are ester-based oils that can handle the needs of high-HP turbo or supercharged motors, all while significantly reducing engine wear.

This company also offers a complete line of brake fluids, which are currently its top-selling product. MOTUL RBF 600 and RBF660 are known for their extremely high wet and dry boiling points, which makes them a perfect choice for track use in high-performance braking systems. On the other hand, MOTUL DOT 5.1 brake fluid brings some of that high-temperature handling to standard ABS systems. (As a side note, BRracing uses or has available over 7 different brake fluid options, depending on the application, need, budget of our customer, we still believe Endless and Brembo brake fluids are better than MOTUL’s RBF660).

MOTUL’s complete catalog includes a variety of coolants and antifreeze, transmission gear fluids, and much more. Their range of products is diverse but shares one thing in common – quality you can rely on.

Cutting Edge Manufacturing Processes
 
MOTUL oils, engine fluids, and lubricants are made in facilities all over the world. The company is continuously working on refining its manufacturing process to improve efficiency as well as maintain the quality of their products. Implementing such strict quality standards has allowed car owners to know precisely when they need to change their oil.
Oil change maintenance intervals for MOTUL oils differ based on the blend being used. The 300V high-performance engine oil is meant to be used for around 3,000 miles between oil changes. However, other oils from MOTUL’s product range will last much longer as they are designed for endurance.

More Recent Developments – Porsche and MOTUL

For MOTUL, sponsoring a team in motorsports goes beyond a simple decal and marketing effort, as the brand requires each technical partner to use and test their products on the track. These partnered teams use the same 100% synthetic race lubricants that customers can buy in stores, and any improvements found on the track translate to the entire product range. With new North American partnerships in IMSA with both BMW M Motorsport and Pfaff Motorsports, MOTUL has the perfect rolling laboratories to put items like their 300V, RBF 660, and gear oils through the paces.

In January, Pfaff Motorsports completed the Rolex 24 at Daytona with their No. 9 Porsche 911 GT3 R. Samples of the MOTUL 300V 0W40 used during the entire race were sent to an independent lab to see how a full day of racing has impacted the oil. See the results below from CAT, which show that the critical elements to protect the engine had no issues standing up to the heat and stress:

According to Alec Wolff, MOTUL’s Technical Manager, these tests “indicates the overall health of both the engine and the oil circulating inside it.
“The first thing we’ll look for is any metals being deposited into the oil,” he explains. “This gives us a pretty good idea of what could be wearing.”
High iron readings, for example, can be a sign of premature crankshaft or cylinder liner wear. High amounts of aluminum could mean an issue with the cylinder heads. Copper usually points toward bearings, while other elements like lead and silicon can come from environmental sources like fuel or even sand ingested into the intake.

The techs also look at the oil’s viscosity throughout the test. “One of the ways we can look at the general effectiveness of the oil in an analysis is to look at the V100 number, which is a measure of viscosity,” Wolff explains. “All weights of oil have a window of viscosity they they’re supposed to hit at a given temperature. Oil that’s broken down will typically be outside that ideal viscosity range that it was when new.”

These analyses will also look at the softer elements that make up the oil itself: things like manganese, calcium, zinc, magnesium and phosphorous. These elements are often part of the oil’s additive package and help give a base oil stock its specific physical and chemical characteristics, like altering its surface tension, isolating unwanted combustion byproducts and more

These positive results aren’t a surprise to MOTUL engineers, as MOTUL uses dyno-based simulations that run a Porsche GT3-spec engine through a preprogrammed use pattern over a set period to replicate race conditions during MOTUL 300V product development.

In fact, one of the company’s go-to tests is a simulation of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. During that single test, the engine is accelerated and decelerated against a load that duplicates repeated laps of Le Mans. A fully gimballed dyno rig even tilts and leans the engine to simulate g-loads experienced during cornering, acceleration and braking.

Data is captured constantly, in real time, throughout the test cycle. During the dyno tests, MOTUL monitors data such as horsepower and oil consumption. Highly stressed oils can break down under thermal and mechanical stresses, allowing their compound chemical components to again become individual elements.

“Shear strength is a huge key with racing oil,” Wolff explains. “The key is you want to maintain a film of oil between metal surfaces, obviously. It’s easy to do that if the oil is really thick, but you have to run bigger tolerances in the engine, and you lose real power to parasitic drag moving that thick oil around.”

Tightening up those tolerances puts more demands on the oil. “So, you want to run as low viscosity an oil as you can to cut the parasitic drag,” he continues, “but also to make that layer of lubrication between surfaces very thin, so you can have more precise tolerances. When you’re running things that tight, shear strength is a huge consideration, because the oil needs to maintain its structure to keep providing that barrier between metals.”
Ester Core technology found in the MOTUL 300V race oils provide that excellent shear strength and even has other inherent chemical properties that make them a good start for a high-load oil. The actual polarity of ester molecules attracts them to negative charged metal surfaces, which serves to further enhance the stability of the microscopic layer of liquid lubrication between surfaces.

It’s this level of technology, refined through years of racing development and success at tracks around the world, that give teams and drivers at all levels the confidence to trust MOTUL.

BRracing has been using MOTUL products for about 10 years now. We have serviced over 22,000 cars in our business lifetime (13 years)….we have never had any issues, and in fact, as mentioned before, we have improved the oil consumption (lower) and fuel economy of our customers cars. There is always a reason we do the things we do…to make it better for our customers.

BRR Motorsports – 2020 Schedule

2019 was yet another development and platform expanding year for BRracing Motorsports (BRR Motorsports), as our “track customer” base continued to grow in all manners (I know, we just keep saying that), and our customers again traveled all over the scenic United States to sample all sorts of tracks, hotels, airports, restaurants, and other cultural hangouts as part of their track day or racing experience. And we thank all of our customers for such a great year…and for having such a great time together as a group.

Due to our experience base, and service offerings…we had several new customers join BRR Motorsports in 2019, and the scope and type of cars we supported expanded that needed full race or track support (this is a large sample of the type of cars we currently are supporting: Spec Boxster, Spec911, 997.1 Cup Cars, 997.2 Cup Cars, 991.1 & 991.2 Cup Cars, F458 & F488 Challenge Cars, BMW race cars, Audi TCR, Porsche 718 GT4 Clubsport).

BRracing Motorsports offers the following services for track activities: (1) Race Car or Track Car Storage, (2) Transportation, (3) Track / Crew support, (4) Setup / alignment / corner balancing (5) Full track car / race car service / maintenance / upgrades, (6) Tires – Mounting / Balancing, (7) Instruction, (8) Video analysis, (9) Complex data acquisition and analysis.

Here is our current outlook for 2020 – these being the events customers have already targeted to participate in. The schedule will change regularly, so check back often (we will also be adding in our own “private” track day events):Jan 24-26: Audi Club (Thunderhill) (Going)(DONE)
Feb 1-2: Lucky Dog Race (Buttonwillow)(DONE)
Feb 14-16: SCCA Race License School (Thunderhill)(DONE)
Feb 21-23: MVP Tracktime DE (COTA) (Optional)
Feb 28- Mar 1: PCA DE and CR (COTA) (DONE)
Mar 6: Fast Toys Track Day (DE)(Laguna)(DONE)
Mar 11: Open Testing (Sonoma)(Cancelled)
Mar 14-15: POC (Porsche Owners Club)(Buttonwillow)(DONE)
May 7-8: Private Test Event (Thunderhill)(DONE)
June 5-7: PCA DE and CR (Utah Motorsports Park) (DONE)
June 12-14: SpeedVentures DE (Laguna)(DONE)
July 17-19: Porsche Trophy Cup (Utah) (DONE)
July 17: Exclusive Track Day, DE (Laguna)(DONE)
August 14-16: SpeedVentures (Laguna Seca) (DONE, *103db limit)
August 20-23: Porsche Trophy Cup (Road America) (DONE)
August 20-23: PCA CR only #4 (Sonoma) (w/ NASA) (DONE)
September 5-6: PCA DE and CR (Laguna)(Going)(DONE)
September 3-6:  PCA DE and CR (Road America) (Not Going)
September 11-13:: Porsche Trophy Cup (Laguna) (Going)
September 25-27: PCA DE and CR #5 (Thunderhill) (Going)
October 2-4: Porsche Trophy Cup (COTA) (Going)
October 10-11:  PCA CR #6 (Sonoma) (w/ NASA) (Going)
October 16-18: Porsche Trophy Cup (Sonoma)(Going)
Nov 21-22: Exclusive Track Days DE (Laguna)(Going)

Tesla 3 – Track Ready

We’re in the midst of a major shift / change in the automotive world. For the last 100 years or so, we have been marching down the path of the internal combustion engine (ICE), and refining it along the way. Now, due to the changes in technology, battery development, we are seeing the shift to Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV). The leader in this shift, for the most part, has been Tesla. As Tesla has refined their electric car model line, batteries, and charging network, it’s only natural that we would see the advent of customers taking their electric cars to the track.

They offer some real advantages….great acceleration, re-gen braking, lower center of gravity. However, they were not meant to be track ready. Even with the advent of Tesla’s Model 3 Performance variant, they are still not track ready (and, we have tested both a Model S (too heavy, poor battery life, too long to recharge)), the prior Model 3 (non Performance version), and now the Model 3 Performance model). The Model 3 Performance version gives us a platform that we believe can be made track suitable.

We aren’t doing anything to the batteries, the electronic motors, or the charging network. But, the other standard areas of track suitable upgrades lies in wait. Brakes, suspension, tires, safety. After testing and driving the various Tesla models on the track, we know indeed that it could benefit from these upgrades. Stay tuned here, as this will be a long term project, and will have more features / upgrades added in the future.

SUSPENSION

Just about everything here needs to be upgraded, made adjustable. The shocks, the springs, the mounts, the bushings, the adjust-ability in the alignment (toe links, camber arms).

For shocks, we needed better dampening (better valving), and the ability to adjust or tune the suspension to create the handling characteristics we need to fix. We needed to be able to lower the ride height. We needed stiffer springs. All that spells a set of dual adjustable coil-overs.

Aftermarket suspension is something that can make or break the enjoyment of a vehicle. Unfortunately for Model 3 owners, the car is very high from the factory and runs into the bump stops over just about any bump – and they are always engaged once a car has been lowered on springs (we have tried this, this was the first easy suspension change, and while it did provide some benefits, there were too many downsides. Therefore, we needed a more complete solution). This means that the shock absorbers must be changed when lowering the car to allow for a compliant chassis over bumps, and to avoid damaging the vehicle when driving aggressively – as the bump rubber can only compress so much before effectively becoming a rock / solid. Repeated extreme impacts can damage the top mounts and put unnecessary shock through the entire vehicle, and upset the platform when driving at the limit.

Enter a set of KW v3, dual adjustable shocks and upgraded springs. This set is custom designed for the Tesla 3. The upside here to the custom development, is that the actual shock travel has been increased from stock. Many times, when you install sport springs or coil-overs, you will actually get a shorter shock travel, which can allow the shock to bottom out, the ride to become very rough, harsh.

For most suspension systems, when you lower the car, the alignment is going to get altered significantly. Normally, as the car is lowered, you gain in negative camber. However, that does not mean you got camber where you wanted it. Therefore, as part of the solution, we need some means to adjust the camber and toe, most likely, beyond what the stock suspension allows. Track conditions can also induce additional forces on the suspension arms, so, in upgrading the suspension adjustment, if we can gain some strength there too, that would be desired.

Here then are the first pieces in the suspension upgrades: KW V3 dual adjustable shocks (front and rear), new custom front strut mounts, KW V3 sport springs, adjustable rear camber arms, and adjustable rear toe links.

Pay close attention to the adjustable camber arms and toe links. Generally, in the aftermarket world, many of the product manufacturers take the easy road, but not necessarily the proper road. An example, is that many aftermarket adjustable control arms / toe links use “jam” nuts. This makes for easy adjustment, and easy manufacture. But, “jam” nuts don’t stand up to use and stress. Pinch bolts do. These Tesla 3 camber and toe links use “Pinch” type bolts. But, they went one step farther. Instead of just making a reverse thread adjustment link, they made a fine and course adjustment link. This makes for dialing in the precise alignment targets possible.

Obviously, once we had all the suspension pieces installed, the ride height set, we implemented a full proper, track oriented alignment. The results of the suspension upgrades are quite stunning. The car actually rides better even for normal daily driving, but now is completely composed on the track. It lets you drive deep, drive hard, confidence inspiring.

TRACTION CONTROL / TRACK MODE

One of the advantages of the electric car is that the power of the electric motor can be used in many ways, more than just powering the car or moving it forward or backwards. As noted in the braking section below, the engine can also be used for slowing the car. Take that a step farther, and the electric motor can be used in “torque vectoring” mode, or to make the car rotate in one direction or another, and to do that at a very quick rate.

Understanding this, Tesla in late 2018 introduced “track mode” as a software upgrade (obviously, done over the air). Here is what they introduced with “track mode”.

  • Motor Torque for Rotation – Tesla’s Vehicle Dynamics Controller constantly monitors the state of the vehicle and all of the inputs from the driver to determine the driver’s intention and affect the rotation of the car in a matter of milliseconds. Track Mode relies heavily on the front and rear motors to control the car’s rotation, and they have the ability to command a 100% torque bias. When cornering, if rotation is insufficient to the driver’s request, the system commands a rear biased torque. Conversely, when rotation is excessive, they command a front biased torque.
  • Increased Regenerative Braking – Heavy regenerative braking may not be comfortable for day-to-day driving, but on a track, it has several key advantages. It gives the driver more authority with a single pedal, improves the endurance of the braking system, and sends more energy back into the battery, maximizing the battery’s ability to deliver large amounts of power. It also gives the Vehicle Dynamics Controller more authority to create or arrest rotation with the motors when the drivers foot is lifted off of the accelerator pedal.
  • Track Focused Powertrain Cooling – The high output power required for track driving generates a lot of heat, so endurance on the track requires more aggressive cooling of the powertrain. They proactively drop the temperatures of the battery and the drive units in preparation for the track and continue to cool them down in between drive sessions. They can also allow operation of the powertrain beyond typical thermal limits and increase their refrigerant system capacity by overclocking the AC compressor into higher speed ranges.
  • Enhanced Cornering Power – We typically think of using brakes to slow down a car, but you can actually use them to make the car faster out of a corner. All Model 3s are equipped with open differentials, which send an equal amount of torque from the motors to both the left and right wheels. When cornering, the wheels on the inside of the corner have less load on them, which means they can provide less tractive force than the outside wheels. To prevent excess slip on this inside tire, they have to limit the torque for both wheels, leaving power on the table. In Track Mode, they simultaneously apply brake and motor torque to produce a net increase in tractive force while cornering. This is similar to how an electronic limited slip differential works, except when using the brakes, the differential can be optimized for various driving conditions.

BRAKES

One of the great advantages of the BEV electric cars is they can take advantage of “re-gen” braking. Or, use reverse polarity of the electric motor, which then acts like a brake (and which can be finely tuned), while also then producing voltage output that can charge the batteries. But, they still have mechanical / friction brakes for aggressive, panic braking on the street.

Therefore, the BEV cars brakes are not designed to take repeated abuse, nor be able to achieve the braking output that is needed when driving on the track. Some Tesla’s brakes are lasting over 300k miles on the street….because the friction brakes never get used. However, the experience on the track is quite different, and the Tesla will even produce warnings letting you know that the brakes are being abused and are over heating.

Therefore, we need to address the normal brake upgrade elements: stainless steel brake lines, brake fluid, better rotors, and pads.

Here is a pic of the stock, front brake setup.

What is a little surprising about the stock performance brakes is the weight. Normally, BEV cars try to eliminate as much weight as possible, less rotational mass. Hence, your electric car is more efficient. These are the Tesla Model 3 performance brakes, and they are certainly bigger…but not optimized. The stock performance rotors are heavy, and poor at cooling. Enter a set of GiroDisc true 2-piece floating rotors, front and rear. We know about the success we have had on just about every other car brand there is w GiroDisc, and the fact that we can get them, and have them weigh less (about 2# less per rotor) is just gravy. You can go beyond this too…as Brembo now makes a traditional “Big Brake Kit” for the Tesla…but we have not found this a necessary upgrade if you have the Tesla Performance brakes installed.

Next piece up…the brake lines. Not meant to take repeated track abuse, upgrading the brake lines is both a safety issue as well as a feel and consistency element.

TIRES

The stock tires on the Tesla 3 Performance are: 235/35/20.

There are a lot of options to choose from and you can go much larger in width as well. However, going much above the 235 width will exceed what the stock wheel can support. There are aftermarket wheels for the Tesla, and the standard tire once you upgrade your wheels seems to be the 265/35/20. Of those, as most of our readers will recognize, the preferred tire for track use is the Bridgestone RE-71R.

At a recent track day, there was another Tesla 3 running 300 width, full slick, Michelin’s. So, you can go bigger, no question.

If you really wanted to get carried away, then weight optimization would be a good step. Surprisingly, the Tesla has a heavy, stock, normal battery in the front trunk area. There are light weight battery options out there already…but, we have not taken that step…..yet.

But, wait…there’s more. We are on the early edge of development for electric cars, and this project will continue to be updated and evolve. Stay tuned, more to come.

BRracing – leading the development for driver joy


Tech Talk – 2020

PCA-GGR 2020 Tech Talks
Hosted by : BRracing
BRracing – Campbell Shop Location
2875 S. Winchester Blvd. in Campbell, CA

These are events open to the public. Not limited to PCA members, just car fanatics. No reservations needed. Come for the morning session, come for the afternoon session, come for both (Lunch provided by BRracing)

Event Schedule 2019 /2020

Saturday, Dec 14, 2020 (COMPLETE)
9:30 – 11:30 – Everything EV (Electric Cars)
Lunch (FREE, provided by BRracing)
12:30 – 2:30 TIRES
Choosing tires/compounds for track use.Managing tire pressures at the track.Q & A.

Saturday, Jan 11, 2020
9:30 – 11:30 – DATA, Video
From the basics to the most advanced, data acquisition, systems, sensors, video, video integration, analysis
Lunch (FREE, provided by BRracing)
12:30 – 2:30 – Brakes
Choosing pads/rotors/fluid for track use. Aftermarket brake kits & brake lines. Bleeding brakes at the track.Q & A.

Saturday, Feb 8, 2020
9:30 – 11:30 – Nannies
(PSM, PASM, TC, etc)
Lunch (FREE, provided by BRracing)
12:30 – 2:30 Suspension
Choosing suspension components for track use. Sport springs, coilovers, bushings, control arms, swaybars, PASM controllers.Q & A.

Monterey Car Week – 2019

Monterey Car Week 2019 was one of the best we have ever seen…and we have been to all of them since 2005. There were more individual events, more special events, more auctions, more race cars, more parties…in a nut, more of everything.

And we can not remember where Monterey Car Week was used to introduce so many new cars (like the Drako GTE, the Pagani, first showing of the new Porsche 718 GT4, new Mercedes AMG, etc). So, if you want to see all that we saw, click here to go to our gallery to see all the pics we have saved (over 200 images).

http://www.brrperformance.com/gallery3.php

Then…select EVENTS, then MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2019.

Enjoy…..we sure did.

Internet Sales – CA Sales Tax

In the past, an online seller (Internet Sale) who sold to customers located in a particular state had to have some physical presence in that state before the state could require the seller to collect and pay state sales tax. Think of online car parts retailers like Amazon, ECStuning, Turner Motorsports, Tire Rack, Pelican Parts, etc. However, the requirement for physical presence was overturned in the Supreme Court’s decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc. in 2018. Like many other states, California has updated its laws for Internet sellers in the wake of Wayfair. California calls sales taxes collected by out-of-state sellers “use taxes,” but they are the same as sales taxes.

New Rules on Collecting Sales Tax for Remote Sellers
Effective April 1, 2019, retailers located outside of California (remote sellers, Internet Sales) are required to register with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) and collect California sales tax if they sell more than $500,000 in tangible personal property for delivery in California. The registration requirement applies if you sold more than $500,000 in property during the prior calendar year. It also comes into effect any time you sell more than $500,000 during the current year. For example, if they had more than $500,000 in California sales during 2018, they must register and collect sales taxes.
These rules apply to all remote sellers located outside of California that sell tangible goods for delivery into California through the Internet, mail-order catalogs, telephone, or by any other means. The $500,000 sales threshold includes sales made by the retailer itself and people related to the retailer. This includes family members and any person or entity that owns 50% or more of the retailer’s business.

These new rules supersede all of California’s prior tax collection requirements for all retailers.

If they make their California sales though an online marketplace such as Amazon, they must still register with the CDTFA. However, the online marketplace may collect and pay the sales taxes on your behalf. If they make sales directly from their own website, they must collect and pay these taxes.

Retailers with a Physical Presence in California
Even if they don’t meet the $500,000 sales threshold, they’ll still need to register with the CDTFA if their business has a physical presence in California. Examples of a physical presence in the state include, but are not limited to:

  • maintaining inventory or office locations in California
  • having representatives in California to take orders, make sales or deliveries, or install or assemble tangible personal property; and
  • leasing equipment, including computer servers, in California.
    Think of CA retailers like GMG, BBi, TRG, Tarett, APEX Wheels.

Online versus Local Shop
Up to this point, there was an advantage in buying parts online, versus buying the same part from a local retailer or shop. As the online retailer did not have to charge CA sales tax, but the local shop did. However, that will no longer be the case. Whether you buy online, or from a local shop, California will now require sales tax to be collected on the sale.

When Driving – Your Car “Hums” – Could It Be Your Tires?

The short answer is yes, bad tires can cause a humming sound. But normally customers think there is some other major root cause…like a wheel bearing, or a drive axle, or a CV joint going bad. These indeed are causes that can create a humming noise…but, more often than not, it is the tires.
Can Bad Tires Cause a Humming Sound?
If the humming sound is constant and never seems to change, then it is indeed likely one of the other items. Some unscrupulous tire companies have even be known to intentionally set the tire pressure wrong or make the tires out of balance in order for you to need tires faster.
But wheels do need to be rebalanced from time to time as a normal maintenance, depending on how rough your roads are and if the condition of your shocks and alignment are poor.
Uneven tire wear is the most common cause of humming noise from the tires, especially on our customers cars like the BMWs, MINIs and Audis. Weak rear shocks (especially on front wheel drive cars like the MINI and Audi models), wheel alignment issues, improper tire pressure and other problems can cause wear that creates a humming sound when you drive. If the tires have worn oddly with weird patterns (humming most often comes from the rear tires “cupping”, a high and low pattern in the rubber that causes a change in the surface area that touches the road. This wear will most often occur on the inner edge…a place that is often hard to see or detect, and a casual review of your tire wear may not make this issue jump out at you, but it is likely there. Take a very close look at the inner area of the tire (the 1 -1 1/2” inner tread area), and feel the surface as you rub your hand around the perimeter of the tire tread. The tire may also look smoother in this area than the other areas of the tread. Another diagnostic test is to move the rear tires to the front and the front tires to the rear (if you have symmetric tires sizes front and rear (meaning the same size)), you can diagnose the likely cause of the wear by looking at the tread.

If you detect this uneven wear pattern, you have a couple of decisions to make. First, to eliminate the noise, and if you want to maximize your tread life, moving the rear tires to the front and vice versa should eliminate the noise for a while. However, sooner than later, you will need to now replace all four tires with a new set of tires. If you’re not sure, you can always have us check it out…a quick visual exam is usually all it takes.
If it is not the tires, then the exam and road test should point out what other issue is present. A bad wheel bearing is also the cause of a noise that will sound as if it’s coming from the tires. But it is less of a humming noise and more of a high-pitched squeak or grinding noise. This issue needs to be fixed right away. If not fixed, it could allow the wheel bearing to get so hot from internal friction that it could seize.
Get It Checked Out
Don’t let concern anxiety drive you nuts…just stop by and ave one of our techs at BRracing perform a quick exam – your tires and check some things like wheel bearings, wheel rims, brakes, the tire wear patterns and balancing. We’ll figure out the cause quickly. Drive safe.

BRracing – expertise whenever you need it.

BMW M2 “Race” Introduced


BMW, along with many other car manufacturers (Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Ford, GM, Nissan) is continuing to invest /develop in its customer racing program, and another new race car is on the way. Since the M235i Racing (M235iR) became available back in 2017, the popularity for BMW’s entry-level race car has soared, and racing grids across the U.S. and Europe have become home to stronger BMW representation ever since. Following up on the success of the M235i Racing, BMW released the M240i Racing (M240iR) last year, and the updated B58-powered model has since become quite popular, and proven itself a worthy competitor on the circuit and in many series as well. This is not to take away from club racers that have developed the E36 M3, the E46 M3, even the E92 M3, but there is a significant step forward with a factory race car.

BMW Motorsport offers more potent race cars, like the M4 GT4, M6 GT3, and the M8 GTLM, all of which also enjoy a strong presence in their respective classes. But the high cost to run, service, maintain, and other barriers to entry to such a high level of competition still mean the market for such vehicles is rather limited. With the previous 2 Series M Performance Racing models, BMW has provided an avenue into motorsport that is attracting more individuals to the sport, and an excellent stepping stone for those looking to move beyond spec and club racing (and vice versa, the prior 2 series models are now making their way into Club Racing and DE events). It had been reported BMW was going to announce development of a M2 Competition-based vehicle that is built specifically for the customer racing program last month. In the time since, BMW has released camouflaged press photos of the car, and this past month, brought it out to the VLN Endurance Championship at the Nürburgring, where it completed 28 laps for the sole purpose of gathering real-world data in a real-world race environment. What could be referred to as the M2 Racing has also already completed testing procedures at other tracks, like Portimão and BMW’s own facility in Miramas, France. After running at the Nürburgring, BMW Motorsport Junior drivers reported positive results and a great experience, adding that driving the new car was a lot of fun—as we might expect.

The M2 Racing brings a number of improvements to the table over its 2 series predecessors. While the M235i racing used the respected N55 engine, and the M240i the slightly more robust B58, the M2 Competition, the model upon which the M2 customer race car will be based, uses a true BMW Motorsport engine, the S55. Couple this with improved suspension and running gear from the M3 and M4, which was also present on the original M2, and the M2 Racing starts to take shape as a serious upgrade. Technical details aside though, BMW also has a few years of providing a form of factory support to customer racing in the form of the M235i and M240i Racing models under its belt now, and the lessons learned here are undoubtedly being directly applied to M2 Racing development (parts, support, software development, ABS settings, traction control settings, tire wear, etc).
The first deliveries of the new M2 Competition-based customer race car are scheduled to begin during the second quarter of next year (2020). It will be offered in two versions; a conventional Racing trim, and a better-equipped Clubsport setup.

BRracing Motorsports 2019 Track Schedule

2018 was yet another development and platform expanding year for BRracing Motorsports (BRR Motorsports), as our “track customer” base continued to grow in all manners (I know, we just keep saying that), and our customers again traveled all over the scenic United States to sample all sorts of tracks, hotels, airports, restaurants, and other cultural hangouts as part of their track day or racing experience. And we thank all of our customers for such a great year…and for having such a great time together as a group.

Due to our experience base, and service offerings…we had several new customers join BRR Motorsports in 2018, and the scope and type of cars we supported expanded that needed full race or track support (this is a large sample of the type of cars we currently are supporting: Spec Boxster, Spec911, 997.1 Cup Cars, 997.2 Cup Cars, 991.1 & 991.2 Cup Cars, F458 & F488 Challenge Cars, BMW race cars, Audi TCR, Porsche 718 GT4 Clubsport)….extending BRracing beyond just sports cars, we also had a customer acquire the brand new Le Mans Prototype 3 class Ligier LMP3).

BRracing Motorsports offers the following services for track activities: (1) Race Car or Car Storage, (2) Transportation, (3) Track / Crew support, (4) Setup / alignment / corner balancing (5) Full track car / race car service / maintenance / upgrades, (6) Tires / Mounting / Balancing, (7) Instruction, (8) Video analysis, (9) Complex data acquisition and analysis.

Here is our current outlook for 2019 – these being the events customers have already targeted to participate in. The schedule will change regularly, so check back often:

February 9, 2019 – Thunderhill (Sat / Sun), HOD  (DONE)
February 16, 2019 – Thunderhill (Sat / Sun), PCA DE (DONE)
March 22-24, 2019 – Thunderhill, PCA – PCA Club Race, DE (DONE)
March 28-31, 2019 – COTA (Circuit of the Americas) – PCA Club Race / DE (DONE)
March 28-31, 2019 – Fontana, PCA Club Race / DE (DONE)
April 17, 2019 – Thunderhill – BRR Private Day (DONE)
April 17, 2019 – Thunderhill – Private Test Day (DONE)
April 27 – 28, 2019 – Thunderhill (5 mile), PCA DE (DONE)
May 1, 2019 – Thunderhill, Droids Day (DONE)
May 7, 2019 – Thunderhill – Private Test Day (DONE)
May 17-19, 2019 -Buttonwillow – PCA Club Race, DE (DONE)
May 27, 2019 – Thunderhill – Private Test Day (DONE)
Jun 19-20, 2019 – Thunderhill – Private Test Days (DONE)
Jun 28-30, 2019 – Laguna – SpeedVentures DE (DONE)
July 16, 2018 – Laguna – Private Test Day (105db)(DONE)
July 18-21, 2019 – Laguna – PCA Club Race / DE (103db)(DONE)
Aug 9, 2019 – Thunderhill, Private Test Day (DONE)
Aug 20-21, 2019 – Thunderhill – BRR Private Day
Aug 31, Sept 1, 2019 – Laguna- POC (92db)
Sept 6, 2019 – Thunderhill (5 mile), PCA DE (Diablo)
Sept 7-8, 2019 – Thunderhill – PCA Club Race, DE
Sept 13-15, 2019 – Laguna – Pirelli Cup
Sept 20, 2018 – Thunderhill – Private Test Day (DROIDS)
Oct 18-20, 2019 – Laguna – PCA DE (92db)
Oct 25-27, 2019 – Sonoma, PCA Club Race
Nov 1-3, 2019 – Buttonwillow, PCA Club Race, DE