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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Virginia International Raceway:
I spent two very full days at VIR with advanced drivers, instructors and professionals. It was run through ACNA and the Potomac Chapter. This is a must attend event if you fit one of the three aforementioned skill levels. There are no run sessions, the track is either open or closed, and it is run with open passing protocol with a signal. It was a great way to spend lots of time getting to know the R8's behavior near and at the limit. I took the car in stock configuration, other than 11mm spacers on all four corners and a Pedal Box + for throttle management, so I could assess the character and make informed decisions about changes. I was running the 20" 10-spoke Anthracite Audi wheels with Cup 2's mounted, dynamic Drive Select and one notch off on ESP.

Observations:
Tire pressures: Sorting out proper HOT tire pressures is a key ingredient to success on the track and this was the first time I've used Cup 2's. It was pretty cold in the morning so I started with relatively hi COLD pressures of 35F/R. This seemed fine for a cold track, cold brain and cold tires but way too high when things heated up. The Cup 2's are happiest with HOT pressures in the mid 30's. I ultimately settled on 35F and 34R hot. Every track and driver is different when it comes to tire pressures and starting psi when cold. At VIR and with my driving style, this had me starting with cold pressures of 30.5F/R. This is just an initial data point to guide a first session out and hot pressures should always be set AFTER operating temps are reached. If HOT pressures get into the 40's be ready for a lot of chassis movement at turn in and track out. While I was sorting out my pressures, I had a similar incident of what Randy Pobst discovered about this car at the limit...corner entry oversteer.
This was resolved with better tire pressure management but also demonstrated how beautifully balanced the car is and how easily it is controlled in a slide.

Throttle modulation and S Tronic: The Pedal Box + came in really handy and allows for minute throttle adjustments on the fly. The sweet spot for me was surprising. I went purely by feel and settled on a relatively conservative setting of Green minus 3. I've been tracking a TTRS for years so throttle modulation on the NA V10 was a new thing for me. I started with the Pedal Box on Orange plus 1 but found it too aggressive on "track out", leading to unexpected downshifts (auto S mode) on longer corners that led to "power on" oversteer situations. In general, I was not a fan of the shift logic in auto S mode. It aggressively seeks the lowest possible gear and causes unsettled behavior mid corner because of it. This is my first dual clutch in a sports car so I decided to let the car shift itself while my brain was processing all the other new data coming at me. I've since taken shifting matters into my own hands and it's much better.

Wind buffeting: In general, tracks require windows down and wind buffeting is frequently an issue at speed. I was surprised how bad this was on the R8 and that there was no mention of it from other trackers. It hits hard at about 120 but is evident even at highway speeds. I solved this with something the TTRS gang called the "buffet buster" (a section of wiper blade with an airfoil affixed to the base of the A pillar) because we had buffeting at speed in that car too. I anticipated this might occur and brought some TTRS prototypes I had laying around with me. It was a good move! I'm happy to report the "buffet buster" works perfectly on the R8 too and there is no more wind buffeting with the windows down at any speed.

Brakes: The front OE brake pads gave up the ghost after the first day! The rear pads have about half left after two full days. I brought Carbotech XP10's for the front and XP8's for the rear in anticipation of this occurring. I swapped the fronts but left the rears OE in place and they did fine. The XP10's were a marked improvement over the OE pad and inspired a lot of confidence to push harder. The OE fluid held up well and I never felt any fade even with long sessions on track. I'm going to switch to Castrol SRF anyway because I have a long positive history with that brake fluid.

Cooling capacity: The Gen 2 R8 really shines in this category. Even under the extreme conditions I put it through at VIR it stayed cool as a cucumber. Oil temps never went above 235 and trans temps stayed around 220. Both would cool down to normal operating temps rapidly during the cool down lap and I simply pulled into the paddock, opened the rear deck and turned the car off. Oil temps would be 204 by the time I hit my paddock location. This is a marked difference versus the TTRS that could see oil temps in the 280's and need to run for 5 minutes in the paddock just for oil temps to drop below 220.

Steering wheel: The steering wheel buttons are too close to the grip area and I found myself accidentally hitting the outermost button with my palm in tight turns. This is problematic and changes the display, causing an unwanted distraction. I have a new wheel on order with a thicker rim and more contoured grip area that I hope solves this issue. More to come on this.

General Summary: The R8 is different level versus my beloved (and now ruined!) stage 2 TTRS. My best time at VIR with the TTRS was 2:13. The R8 shattered this with a 2:07 and I'm still learning it and fine tuning my driving style to match its behavior. I'll be back at VIR in Nov after more track events to hone my skills with the mid-engine layout and have no doubt that 2:07 will be eclipsed.

New Jersey Motorsports Park (Thunderbolt):
A week after VIR, ACNA NEQ Chapter held a rainy and freezing cold two day event at NJMP. I left the car alone other than swapping out the rear OE pads for the XP8's and installing a custom made "buffet buster".

Cup 2's: These tires DO NOT like a wet and cold track. I ran higher pressures in the rain but it really didn't matter. This was a great chance to learn the sliding character of the car though. There wasn't even a hint of understeer at VIR but I could induce it in the wet on track out. I had to be careful though because I noticed it would transition gradually to oversteer as the fronts found grip. You need to keep your hands light and active in this situation and continually hunt for grip and make small, frequent adjustments. One notch off on ESP lets you do a decent amount of slip angle before intervening. Most of the time, it let me control the car and didn't need to intervene.

Throttle steering: This is a particularly rewarding aspect of the R8. It is so well balanced that the rear will step out quite easily and gradually with right foot inputs. The octopus on Thunderbolt is a perfect place for throttle steering the R8 as you tuck the nose into the innermost part of the turn and manage throttle inputs to keep it there without washing out wide on exit. The carousel at The Glen will be epic for this!

Buffet buster: I made a set of custom fit BB's between VIR and NJMP and they did the trick.

I highly recommend this to everyone. Buy any high quality wiper with an airfoil on it. A single 24" blade is more than enough for both sides. Take the wiper apart by forcibly removing the end caps and sliding the airfoil section out. Measure the length to fit the A-pillar section just above the black triangular window trim piece...it's about 10" but you'll want to cut the angles to match the trim so it blends with the car's lines. Affix it to the A-pillar trim with 3M strong trim tape. Very simple, cheap and effective!

Paddle shifting: As I learned at VIR, I don't like the shift logic of auto S mode. Shifting with the paddles (manual sport mode) is still a work in progress but far superior to letting the car decide the gearing.

Summary from 2 track event:
Cup 2's are great in dry and dicey in wet. They are happiest with HOT pressures in the mid-30's.

Shifting with the paddles is far superior to auto S mode.

OE brake pads can't take track abuse and the Carbotech XP10F and XP8R seem to pair well on the R8.

Wind buffeting is easily solved with "buffet buster" and highly recommended for everyone with a coupe.

One notch off ESP allows a good bit of chassis movement without intervening. I doubt I'd ever want more of a slip angle than I was getting with this setting.

Overall, I am blown away by the composure of this car at the limit and its straight line speed is more than should be experienced without a cage and harnesses. I hit a GPS measured 161 mph and vowed to keep things in the 150's after that. 140's is still too much with stock restraints but that is reached with ease. Have fun with your car and stay safe out there, I hope this little review helps other new owners.
 

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Great write up with many useful tips!

I haven't driven my Gen 2 yet (hopefully will do on Friday or latest next week) but I always drive with the driver side window down (to hear as much as possible of the engine and intake noise!) when the weather allows and buffeting is not nice... So this might come very much in handy for me!

Very much looking forward to experiencing the neutral balance and some oversteer :)
 

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I want more info on this "buffet buster." I want to use it for street usage. Where can you buy one?

Glad to see someone actually tracking the car!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You make it! Seriously, buy a good wiper blade with an airfoil on it and just make it. I never take it off, there is no reason to. This isn't just a track thing, it's for everyday use. I've had mine on the TTRS for years. It's a must have item.
 

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You make it! Seriously, buy a good wiper blade with an airfoil on it and just make it. I never take it off, there is no reason to. This isn't just a track thing, it's for everyday use. I've had mine on the TTRS for years. It's a must have item.
Care to point me in the right direction? How do you "make it"? Are you using 3M tape to hold it on? I will make one tomorrow on my off day.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Care to point me in the right direction? How do you "make it"? Are you using 3M tape to hold it on? I will make one tomorrow on my off day.
I’ll do a detailed description for you tonight. I’ve done probably 20k track miles and 78k total miles with my RS and it’s never come off. Yes, double sided 3M strong trim tape.


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Fantastic post!
I agree with everything fully. 36 psi hot is the magic number to work from.
I’ve only driven VIR in the rain in a VW Cabriolet - can only imagine what our cars are like on that track.

The buffet buster is a perfect solution. They did the same sort of setup on the 87 and up Vette and it made a huge difference; have been wondering how the concept would work on the Gen 2, as (you’ve stated) it’s a problem above 60 and wicked above 110. I’ll be grabbing a wiper.

Thanks for a killer post.
 

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I’ll do a detailed description for you tonight. I’ve done probably 20k track miles and 78k total miles with my RS and it’s never come off. Yes, double sided 3M strong trim tape.


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can we have a pic too of the BB
 

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thanks for this excellent post, really appreciate your insights - Cheers.
 

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Care to point me in the right direction? How do you "make it"? Are you using 3M tape to hold it on? I will make one tomorrow on my off day.
I’ll do a detailed description for you tonight. I’ve done probably 20k track miles and 78k total miles with my RS and it’s never come off. Yes, double sided 3M strong trim tape.


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Besides upgrading to aftermarket brake pads,wonder how the stock iron brake discs will last at the track?

Do you feel the need to upgrade to coil-over and more downforce? Such as Audi Sport performance parts?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Besides upgrading to aftermarket brake pads,wonder how the stock iron brake discs will last at the track?

Do you feel the need to upgrade to coil-over and more downforce? Such as Audi Sport performance parts?
The Magride dampers seemed fine to me. The chassis is very solid at the limit but I think a stiffer spring rate would help manage the massive weight shifts in quick switch back situations. The car never felt light in the front or rear at speed but more downforce in the rear might keep it planted firmer in high speed sweepers like the one I slid in above.


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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Buffet Buster install guide!

Here is what you want:

You can source this wiper at Advanced Autoparts. Buy this length and you’ll have plenty of wiper for both sides. If you can’t find this wiper, any good wiper with an airfoil will do. You’ll just find that some are not solid rubber like this one and are molded in an arc to form the airfoil, like this:

Just build up a couple layers with the tape to fill the void and don’t cut the slots off. The rest of this guide still applies.

Start by removing the end caps with needle nose pliers.

Then slide the airfoil out.

You’ll see there are slots on each side of the airfoil. Carefully cut them off to create a good flat surface for the tape to adhere to. I like this wiper because the width is identical to the width of the tape.


Go ahead and apply the tape, leaving the outside still covered.

Now you can head to the car to make some pencil marks that will determine the angles to cut. Open the hood for this. You’ll see that there is a natural line on the bottom of the A pillar trim. Use that as a guide and mark the airfoil.


Using the utility knife, cut the end to match the marks.

Now do the same with the top part. Make sure you have the bottom lined up and then mark the top. I like to follow the line created by the window triangle trim piece. Cut it and test fit to ensure your angles are spot on.


Carefully peel the protective layer off using the utility knife. Don’t pry the very top. Pry the lower portion of the angle to maintain a better adherence in that tiny top corner.

Head back to the car and wipe the trim so you have a clean surface for the tape. Carefully affix it to the trim.

Close the hood and see if you need to trim anything. I needed to cut a small little section for a perfect fit.



You’re done! Repeat on the other side and enjoy buffet free driving!



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dude you're awesome thank you so much. I'm going to have a fun little project. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
dude you're awesome thank you so much. I'm going to have a fun little project. :)
Haha, thanks and you’re welcome!


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Haha, thanks and you’re welcome!


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Hey from what I can see it looks like you mounted it on the actual paint above that black triangle. Isn't that going to be an issue if opt to remove regarding the integrity of the paint?

You have a black car so it blends better. I'm Ara Blue Crystal it doesn't look right with black air foil then blue paint. Can I get the same wind buffeting controlled by just installing it on that black triangle itself or no? This way it'll blend better with the car.

EDIT: Basically installing it a bit lower where I put the arrows on the photo would that work effectively in eliminating the wind buffeting?
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Hey from what I can see it looks like you mounted it on the actual paint above that black triangle. Isn't that going to be an issue if opt to remove regarding the integrity of the paint?

You have a black car so it blends better. I'm Ara Blue Crystal it doesn't look right with black air foil then blue paint. Can I get the same wind buffeting controlled by just installing it on that black triangle itself or no? This way it'll blend better with the car.

EDIT: Basically installing it a bit lower where I put the arrows on the photo would that work effectively in eliminating the wind buffeting?
It’s actually installed on the trim piece not the actual paint. It removes residue free with no trouble. I didn’t realize the narrow trim piece was body color. I assumed it was black on all cars. I haven’t tried that mounting point but I bet it achieves the same thing. There is a similar Porsche solution that mounts there with the airfoil in the vertical position on the triangular trim piece. If the angle doesn’t work, try straight up and down.


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It’s actually installed on the trim piece not the actual paint. It removes residue free with no trouble. I didn’t realize the narrow trim piece was body color. I assumed it was black on all cars. I haven’t tried that mounting point but I bet it achieves the same thing. There is a similar Porsche solution that mounts there with the airfoil in the vertical position on the triangular trim piece. If the angle doesn’t work, try straight up and down.


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That "door trim" is factory color paint. See my photos below. I attached three photos with the three possible points of attachment. Where you have it is one of the three and I won't install it there it looks bad on a blue car with a black piece.

I made the two air foils with the 3M tape on so I suppose it's good to just let the adhesive stick for >24hrs in the house before I mount on the car anyways at this point.

The photo without my face blocked out is where I think it would look best. I'm just wondering if it'll be functional enough. The second (middle) photo would be installing it on the black triangle. The third shot is where you have it. On a car with color it just doesn't blend good. :(

I like the vertical option best. Do you think that'll work? If I cut for that the foil is too short to make the spot where you have it so it's pick one and stick with it lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
That "door trim" is factory color paint. See my photos below. I attached three photos with the three possible points of attachment. Where you have it is one of the three and I won't install it there it looks bad on a blue car with a black piece.

I made the two air foils with the 3M tape on so I suppose it's good to just let the adhesive stick for >24hrs in the house before I mount on the car anyways at this point.

The photo without my face blocked out is where I think it would look best. I'm just wondering if it'll be functional enough. The second (middle) photo would be installing it on the black triangle. The third shot is where you have it. On a car with color it just doesn't blend good.

I like the vertical option best. Do you think that'll work? If I cut for that the foil is too short to make the spot where you have it so it's pick one and stick with it lol.
I’d try the angle version first (on the triangle piece). Take it for a spin and see if it works. If not, try the vertical position. Too bad about the car color trim but I agree with you, lucky me I guess!


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