Project Mustang 5.0: Part 1 – Establishing a Performance Baseline

Project Mustang 5.0: Part 1 – Establishing a Performance Baseline

by Clint Boisdeau

Mustangs in general are misunderstood when they show up to a road course.  It seems like a significant amount of prejudice starts to manifest itself from owners of more popular platforms for road course duty, especially here in SoCal where the scene is dominated by S2000s, turbo AWDs, FWD Hondas, and Miatas.  The notion that the big horse should stay on the drag strip because it is “slow in the corners, and fast in the straights” give this thoroughbred a bad rap.  In recent years Ford has put forth the effort to change this stigma, as the current 5.0 liter powered ponies are no longer something to be scoffed at.

The retro look of the mustang that started with the 2005 S197 chassis model introduction has evolved over the years getting better every time.  The body oozes first gen mustang shapes while still being extremely modern.  The styling seems to be “love it or hate it”, I myself fall in the “love it” crowd.

 

MotoIQ now has a hold of a 2013 Mustang GT with all the Sport package goodies and 6 speed manual gear box.  But first thing's first.  It was time to get out to the track to establish a performance baseline allowing us to sort out the strengths and weaknesses of the car's stock setup.  The venue was “Streets of Willow” at Willow Springs International Raceway in Rosamond CA where our good friends at K.R.O.P.S, “Keep Racing Off Public Streets”, were hosting a Friday event which made for less traffic and several clean laps.

I was given the privilege to drive the pony car for the road course laps to get a feel for the many different behaviors at and over the limits to truly decipher where the GT can be improved.  I could not turn down track time in such a fun car either.
 
Owner of Project 5.0 Mustang Christina Lee helps me get situated before taking her new Mustang out for its maiden voyage on track.  Seating position even for someone as small as myself was easy to adjust to an acceptable position for performance driving.  Here you can also see me setting up the Qstarz LT-Q6000 GPS lap timer before the session which we reviewed a couple of weeks ago.
 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*
*