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Old 27th April 2011, 06:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Track review of the 2011 GT-R @ Spa and the Nordschleife April 2011

I would like to start off this review with some trip facts:

Distance covered (door to door) 2397 miles inc trip to Stuttgart
Average Fuel Economy for trip: 12.7mpg
Distance covered at Spa (1 day minus 2.5 hours): 222 miles, Peak ambient temp 22c
Distance covered at the Nordschleife (1.5 days): 440 Miles, Peak ambient temp 25c
Max Temps on circuits: Engine oil 117c, Transmission oil 129c, Coolant 92c
Max hot tyres pressures with 29psi cold starting point: 42psi
Suspension settings: Front: -1'55" Camber, 0.04inch Toe in, Rear: -1'55" Camber 0.02inch Toe in
Brake pads at Spa: Project Mu MAX900i front and rear on OEM discs, Fronts pads at the Nordschleife replaced with Ferodo DS2500

Suspension / Steering / Tyres:
Much improvement under heavy braking from high speed, no more feeling of the rear end breaking away. Subtle damper improvements with reduced "white line" effect. Faster more precise turn in, less effort to maintain constant radius turns. Less pronounced understeer is evident, can't quite decide is the roll rates of the front and rear ARBs has been changed but it feels like a stiffer rear or slightly softer front! Camber setting were fine for the rear at Spa but not enough for the front, front tyres (see pic) were baddy worn on the outer edge with the slip angle triangles being worn some half way down, at May's visit to Spa I will be using 2.5 degrees, perhaps more if I can dial it in, based on my last adjustment session there is more to be had from the eccentric adjusters, I will keep the rear values the same. I would like to thank Middlehurst (Gary and Dave) for the speedy supply of my new front tyres after a text message I sent them last week, much appreciated!





Rear tyre Creep:



Engine /Power:
Extra BHP compared to 2010 car not really seen on circuit with max 155MPH (2 up) on back straight at Spa, 178MPH (2 up) on Nordschleife straight. Increased midrange torque was felt as this improved the uphill pull on Eau Rouge and allowed a taller gear to be selected when near the red line on corners, I feel the engine is still a little tight and it will be interesting to see how the car performers at Spa in May with a load more miles on her. I managed a new PB of 2:50 at Spa with the 2011 car compared to a best time of 2:55 with the 2010 car and a freer engine. The much higher ambient temp this time at Spa must have played a part in the reduced top end, last time out with my 2010 the ambient was a maximum of 8 degrees C.

Seats:
Much improvement with the Recaros with lateral support being particularly good, no more "sweaty" than the 2010 model despite my fears to the contrary.

Brakes:
The OEM brake discs lasted and performed much better than expected, I did swap the pads out before leaving on the trip with PMU's and they worked great with no fade issue despite 8+ back to back laps at Spa, the discs are showing signs of surface cracking (like the AP discs do after heavy use) but only very small cracks appearing around some of the drilled holes, not bad for the abuse I put them though. I had to cut the Spa day short by 2.5 hours because of the inner front pads being down to less that 2mm! I got Alex to replace them with Ferodo DS2500 which worked pretty well at the Nordschleife and there are still some left in the front even now, rears pads are now toast. The DS2500s have left a strange pattern on the discs (see pic) but operated just fine, I put this down to the pad material left over from my PMU pads still being present. I will be re-fitting my Alcon Big Brake Kit (with new front discs) with Pagid RS29 pads for next month's trip to Spa.





Whats left of the PMU front inner pad:



Wheels:
Improved brake cool is partly down to the new wheel design, the running temps of the wheels was lower than the 2010 car (based on touch test), I believe the increased number of spokes that are thinner are responsible. Tyre creep on the front was 0 with around 2.5 inch slippage on the rears, so much for the improved knurling! Grip levels on a par (in the dry, no wet testing done yet) with original pre 2011 Dunlops, wear rate seems a little higher, they worked very well until they got too hot (no temps taken but TP were 42psi) and at that point the performance dropped off a cliff unlike the Bridgestones which have a lower grip level but taper off when hot in a much more progressive and controlled fashion, 4 wheel drifts were the order of the day when the Dunlops when off the boil, the wear rates on the BS based on my last time at Spa was also much better. I have just replaced the 2 fronts with a pair of Sport Maxx Dunlops again to get the wear out of the rears. It would have been interesting to see if lowering the TPs when hot would have improved the grip / wear rate, I did not drop the pressures because of lack of access to Nitrogen, I may well try this next month and top off with compressed air afterwards.

Gearbox:
Although there are not many changes on the 2011 gearbox one that was most apparent was the lack of a "kangaroo" take off in 1st gear when hot, anyone what has tracked a pre 2011 car will know what I mean! On the 2011 car this did not happen full stop, a most welcome improvement as it could make you look like you could not drive correctly not to mention the stress this causes to 1st gear and the clutches! R mode shift are as you would expect from the 2011 car and pretty much on a par with the 2010 car.

Traction Control:
The programming for R mode on the TC seems to have been improved as well. Normally I don't use TC but decided to test the effect of it on and off, it added a maximum of 2 seconds a lap based on a number of averages taken by my trusty track side time keeper.

Save Mode:
This works! I tried it out on the long stretches of road that linked up the circuits and achieved around a 2mpg improvement over normal consumption, the first 300 miles I did based on travelling "around" the speed limit returned 24.5mpg. It seems to cap the top speed to around 155mph and the acceleration pace was drastically reduced, be very careful on A/B roads when brisk overtaking is required as you will find it slow compared to normal operations no matter how hard you mash the pedal!

Conclusions:
Is the 2011 GT-R worth £70k, I would have to say yes all day long, anyone who has not owned a R35 before would be over the moon with what this machine can do, however IMHO it is not worth the cost to change from a 2009/2010 UK Nav car unless you have money burning a hole in your pocket. I intend to fit Bridgestone tyres after this current set is toasted and I will report back on my finding then WRT road holding etc.

Short "Fly By" video taken by Chris at the 'ring:
YouTube - Destination Nurburgring - Trip 014.MOV

A few shots from Spa:




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Last edited by Arcam; 27th April 2011 at 07:15 PM.. Reason: Added and corrected pictures
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Old 27th April 2011, 06:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Great write up, thanks for sharing
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Old 27th April 2011, 07:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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have you reached 129 C on the TM?
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Old 27th April 2011, 07:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Great write up Arcam.....very detailed and found it really interesting...out of curiosity how do you think the DS2500's would work on the road?
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Old 27th April 2011, 07:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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great write up Arcam. car seems to have been significantly improved by all acounts.
surprised about the F DS2500`s i did not rate them at all !
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Old 27th April 2011, 07:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Good write up Eddie.

Shame the discs still crack round the holes... I take it you won't be buying another set! I was getting just over 150 down Kemmel so similar performance.
Does depend on how much balls you have going into Eau rouge though.
Quite surprised your fronts wore out quicker than the rears.

I used DS2500 pads at the ring on my old Z and got significant brake judder when only doing 1 lap and a half hour cool down.

Are you fitting the existing Bridgestones?

I'm guessing your max temps were at Spa.
My trans temps were over 110 in under 5 laps with a 22 degree ambient.
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Old 27th April 2011, 10:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Great write up, thanks for sharing
You are welcome alloy Glad you liked it.
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Old 27th April 2011, 10:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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have you reached 129 C on the TM?
"Max Temps on circuits: Engine oil 117c, Transmission oil 129c, Coolant 92c"

Yep
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Old 27th April 2011, 10:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Great write up Arcam.....very detailed and found it really interesting...out of curiosity how do you think the DS2500's would work on the road?
Thanks!

They would work just fine on the road, nice and quite and about the same stopping power at OEM. Ferodo list them as "Performance Pads", I would not use them at Spa but for the lighter braking duties at the 'ring they were fine.

I did not have a lot of choice as I did not take my spare pads with me but I was lucky that EvolutionVI had a new set in stock and they worked fine with my PMUs in the rear.
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Old 27th April 2011, 10:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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great write up Arcam. car seems to have been significantly improved by all acounts.
surprised about the F DS2500`s i did not rate them at all !
Cheers Nick, see my comments to Stevie WRT the DS2500s.
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Old 27th April 2011, 10:45 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Good write up Eddie.

Shame the discs still crack round the holes... I take it you won't be buying another set! I was getting just over 150 down Kemmel so similar performance.
Does depend on how much balls you have going into Eau rouge though.
Quite surprised your fronts wore out quicker than the rears.

I used DS2500 pads at the ring on my old Z and got significant brake judder when only doing 1 lap and a half hour cool down.

Are you fitting the existing Bridgestones?

I'm guessing your max temps were at Spa.
My trans temps were over 110 in under 5 laps with a 22 degree ambient.
TBH Paul the cracking around the holes are pretty minor considering I ran hard pads against them, to give you some idea of the heat in the brakes my caliper dust seals are shot already!

Agreed on Eau Rouge, normally flat in 4th and into 5th just before the bottom dip and then flat in 5th on the start of the climb, you need to carry as much speed as poss onto the back straight. I reckon that another 5 secs can come off that time when I get some more negative camber dialled in at the front and the engine loosens off some more.

Max temps were at Spa and yes I was planning on using the "old" Bridgestones.
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Old 28th April 2011, 07:13 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Nice write up Eddie. It was a pleasure to meet you again and to have some more pax laps with you.

I've pax'd with Eddie at a few places, Anglesey, Silverstone...and now on the Nordschleife.

For what it's worth, I think the 2011 car is utterly astonishing. Phenominal grip and power. 3 laps to 78ltrs though? Jeeeeeez!

As I said on the day, mate - once you know the NS properly and have the braking and turn-in points in your head, you'll be very quick indeed around there. I think I was only genuinly scared once. lol

See you in July hopefully.

p.s. Still prefer a Skyline.
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Old 28th April 2011, 07:14 AM   #13 (permalink)
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tell me more about turn in and less understeer

what is that like?

one feature of my car I don't like at all

thanks for taking the time to write up
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Old 28th April 2011, 07:24 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Nice write up Eddie. It was a pleasure to meet you again and to have some more pax laps with you.

I've pax'd with Eddie at a few places, Anglesey, Silverstone...and now on the Nordschleife.

For what it's worth, I think the 2011 car is utterly astonishing. Phenominal grip and power. 3 laps to 78ltrs though? Jeeeeeez!

As I said on the day, mate - once you know the NS properly and have the braking and turn-in points in your head, you'll be very quick indeed around there. I think I was only genuinly scared once. lol

See you in July hopefully.

p.s. Still prefer a Skyline.
Cheers Ian

ROFL! So you were only scared once, looks like I was not trying hard enough I meant to try the harder shock setting as they worked well for you when you took me out, your smoothness on the Nordschleife was something to behold and I would be very happy to get close to your knowledge of the track.

Hope to see you and Robbie in July as well
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Old 28th April 2011, 07:43 AM   #15 (permalink)
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"Max Temps on circuits: Engine oil 117c, Transmission oil 129c, Coolant 92c"

Yep
Engine oil and TM is way too hot.

Have you changed the TM and engine oil after track use.
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Old 28th April 2011, 07:44 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Brilliant mate - eloquent and objective as always. Interesting you say not worth cost to change from MY09/10 - very honest of you. Need to chat brakes next time we hook up - when you back in blighty?
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Old 28th April 2011, 07:46 AM   #17 (permalink)
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tell me more about turn in and less understeer

what is that like?

one feature of my car I don't like at all

thanks for taking the time to write up
You could dial a lot of that out on your car Ed by fitting a stiffer ARB in the rear and run some more negative camber on the front.

I used fairly aggressive alignment setting on the 2011 which helped the turn in, but as the 2011 also has more castor than the pre 2011 cars then that also helps increase dynamic camber, which again helps the front end turn in quickly.

The trick with these big heavy but well balanced cars it to complete all your braking before the corner and be smooth with the steering inputs using constant throttle until around the apex and then squeezing the power in as the lock comes off, this will remove the tendency to understeer.

Remember once the front tyres slip angle is exceeded and they start to slide (understeer) most people pile on more lock which makes matters worse, lifting off mid corner will transfer weight but will also unsettle the car so should be avoided, a quick left foot brake to transfer weight to the front can help but is something that needs to be practiced in a controller environment.

I am uncertain if the 2011 car has a stiffer rear or softer front ARB as the diameter of the bar looks the same ... but it could be a stiffer material which will help the understeer, sorry I can't be more specific.
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Old 28th April 2011, 07:47 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Brilliant mate - eloquent and objective as always. Interesting you say not worth cost to change from MY09/10 - very honest of you. Need to chat brakes next time we hook up - when you back in blighty?
Cheers Rog, I am back now just changing out the fluids on my machine today but around all weekend if you want to chat.
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Old 28th April 2011, 07:50 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Engine oil and TM is way too hot.

Have you changed the TM and engine oil after track use.
I am doing it today enshiu.
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Old 28th April 2011, 10:02 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Thought I might add my twopenneth on this debate!

I raced my 2011MY at the Goodwood Spring Spring last weekend. I was 1 1/2 sec a lap faster than last year in my 2010 car at 88.12 sec. Car feels quite similar to old one but launch control is better but it does spin all 4 wheels off the line and through 2nd which is not ideal!

It won the over 2ltr production car class by 2 1/2 secs apparently setting a production car lap record. The only car there which was quicker was a Porsche 997cup car on slicks which posted 85.7 sec which was a tad slower than he did last year as a comparison.

So to conclude, I'd say it is empirically quicker than last years model by 2%
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