Four legs better than two? Two wheel (drive) better than four?

You read the title, but which is it ?

When it comes to lap times, at least, the answer… depends! But that’s not much of a story, so let’s head back to the land of blue skies, country air, and fast cars : SCR.

SCR June 2018 - 5
No, we didn’t lap the Tesla (this time), but I did finally send out Blackzilla in a head-to-head grudge match with Dreidel to see who has the best chance of still being in my garage at the end of the summer. The early leader in this contest between twin-charging and twin-turbocharging, between two-wheel-drive and four-, between litheness and bullyness, between lightness and code ? Which of these would be the “Belgium” at the midway point of this automotive “World Cup” ?i Let’s fire up all ten cylinders, three turbos and a supercharger, and crunch those numbers baby!

First, Dreidel. In her second session on this sunny 22C Friday afternoon, as you can see from the plummeting lap times below, the ol’ girl was just getting more and more zoned in until *WHOOPSIE* ’round she went at Turn 1 heading onto the long straight. But that’s what I get for being a ham-footed noob who can’t heel-and-toe worth a damn and so frequently lets the revs drop too far before gunning it again! In a 2`000 lbs car with few electronic safety aids and 300++ hp, that’s bound to happen now and again. Still, 1:08.782 was nothing to sneeze at, being 2.5s a lap quicker than my competitor Adam’s best on the day. But the real mano a mano ego a ego question remained : would that time be enough to edge the 800 lbs gorilla in the room, the Rising Sun’s Chosen Son ?

SCR June 2018 - 1

Best lap breakdown:SCR June 2018 - 4

Despite running new track-focused Toyo Proxes R888R rubber against the more street-tuned and durability-focused all-season Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 rubber on the GTR, it was close but no cigar for the Lotus, who watched helplessly from the sidelines as the electronic Wunderkind muscled and hustled its way around the circuit in a fastest time of 1:08.219.

SCR June 2018 - 2

Best lap breakdown: SCR June 2018 - 3

A half-second quicker at its best,ii the GTR made devastatingly effective use of its 500 awhp and dual-clutch transmission to dance around the handling-centric Strawberry Creek Raceway before its ill-suited tires gave up the ghost at a rate of about half-a-second a lap. Still, despite its weaker power-to-weight ratio, its combination of ruthlessly effective elements was enough for the GTR to win on paper, even if the experience of pushing the gargantuan 3`800 lbs mass was highlighted almost exclusively by the satisfaction of the immense braking power, while the rest of the dance session felt more like juggle bowling pins, and sadly not even ones on fire.iii But wouldja check out that 0-100 time ?

2.5s!

Crickey mate, that’s a live one. Now we could go on analysing the data, but Ross Bentley we’re not, so on our way out the door, and in honour of the new Porsche 919 Tribute “‘Ring Record,”iv it’s well worth reminding ourselves that even back-to-back lap times are more likely than not amusing stunts even when performed by professionals, to say nothing of the lackadaisical times posted by absolute rank amateurs hobbyists who, in golfing terms, couldn’t crack 100 if their lives depended on it.

Anyways, here’s how a few other metrics and parameters stacked up between the hard-topped Elise (left) and GTR (right) on their respective fastest laps of the day. You may find the differences and similarities noteworthy, I certainly did.

SCR June 2018 - 8 SCR June 2018 - 7 SCR June 2018 - 6

The jury’s still out on the optimal-degree-of-leggedness thing, but at least we can say (with a non-zero degree of certainty) that it’s a four-wheel-drive world out there. But if you’re into speed, you knew that already. Just ask the 919 and its 5:19.55.

___ ___ ___

  1. I dunno about you but Fellaini et al. look mega-promising heading into the Round of 16. And yes, I have my money where my mouth is, and in the usual post-2017 place. Speaking of which, can you believe it’s already been four years since Brasil and all the BitBet funz ? I can hardly. []
  2. Or was it ? With an average speed of 122.5km/h, or 34m/s, the GPS is only accurate to within 16m and it’s only sampling at a rate of 1 Hz! This means that there’s comfortably +/-0.5s of measurement error around the start/stop line.

    Still, 0.782 – 0.219 > 0.500 but not by much…

    Needless to say better GPS tech is on order and will be implemented in time for our next track day in two weeks time. The Garmin Glo unit samples at 10 Hz and is supposed to be accurate to within 2-3m.  []

  3. Cajoling the Lotus around the track, by comparison, not only required substantially more physical muscle, but was always coloured by the ever-present Sword of Damocles hanging over your head. While there’s blessedly little to hit at SCR in the way of concrete or Armco, being so close to losing control and knowing all too well that the limit is awfully easy to cross if you so much as blink at an inopportune time, is joyfully part and parcel of every turn, brake, and downshift. It’s not that the car fizzes and tingles magically as if Tinkerbell had queefed all over the steering wheel, it’s that the Lotus isn’t really on your side unless you make it so. It’s your force of will that’s the arbiter of your fate, not the numbers on the page or the electrons in the 93 on-board processors. []
  4. Go Jack Go! []

One thought on “Four legs better than two? Two wheel (drive) better than four?

  1. […] Brasilia is not to be confused with Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior the architect of Brasil’s current World Cup run. Just so we’re all clear. […]

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