Project FR-S: Interim Progress Report

Project FR-S: Interim Progress Report

by Mike Kojima

If you have been following the build up of our our Project FR-S and the Ticket to Ride FR-S you might have noticed that Project FR-S was lurking in the background in some of the photos of our Ticket to Ride Showdown story.  We got a lot of letters asking about this and a lot of people were curious if we tested Project FR-S at this event.  Well the answer is yes, we did put our car through its paces but perhaps not as carefully as we did the other cars in the shootout.

The focus of the Shootout was to thoroughly test the Ticket to Ride cars and we only had Irwindale Speedway until early afternoon which only gave us a short amount of time to test our car. Fortunately we did get enough time in Project FR-S to get a rough idea how it would perform.  To have as little disruption as possible to the Ticket to Ride test we had 2011 Formula D and MPTCC Champion Daijrio Yoshihara do the driving duties for our car so our other testers, Mike Essa and Tyler McQaurrie would not be distracted.

Since we were pressed for time, Dai didn’t get any practice in our car for the measured tests.  Mike Essa and Tyler McQuarrie got a lot of practice runs and around 3 actual measured runs each in the other cars, overall they probity had at least 9-15 runs in each car for each segment.  Dai only had three cracks at each stage in Project FR-S, a recon pass and two measured passes for all segments of the test, having the least seat time by far out of our drivers.

We felt that this would mostly make a big difference in the road course because Mike and Tyler probably had 40 or more laps around it and Dai would only get 3.  We did not have time to try to coax the very best numbers out of our car nor did Dai get any additional practice.

For a recap of the Ticket to Ride Shootout check this out.

First let me take a selfie.  The guys were screwing around before the start of our testing….
Dai Yoshihara drove Project FR-S in our testing.  However Dai had no practice and just drove it.  This was probably a significant disadvantage for our car.
We did not set our car up for the event, we just took a best guess at the alignment, tire pressure and shock settings and went for it.  Here Chris Marion from KW Suspension sets the tire pressure.  Our guessing usually proves to be pretty good out of the box.  Will it this time? Let’s see.
The stock FR-S had a pretty good amount of nose dive but we felt it was not excessive. We felt brake fade after about 5 hard stops, but the brakes recovered  fairly quickly.  The stock FR-S pulled it down in a respectable 114 feet.

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