I went to Harris Hill Road this past weekend for my first track day in the FR-S. My buddies and I arrived around Noon during one of the H2R challenge races, and we were able to start lapping at 2PM after the races. Yama who is an H2R member and our guide for the day took me out for me sighting laps to start the on-track fun. After two solo Sessions, I started to push a bit more and got down to a 1:33.8s lap. After starting in the 1:35s range, I was happy to shave two seconds off without taking too much risk of balling up my daily driver. I'm sure there was a 1:32 out there.....but with only about 9 hot laps on the track prior to my 1:33.8s lap that was only going to happen if I didn't own the car or have to drive it home! I was also able to take Yama, Stuart, and Josh out for a demo ride in the new car so we could all have some fun. To feel the car out and get comfortable sliding it around, I also did some drift practice (see video below). All in all, we got about two hours of open track time before some heavy rain started. It showed no sign of letting up and there were some big thunderstorms predicted for our drive home, so we bolted.
Despite getting cut short on track time, it was a blast. The FR-S is great on track - it was fun for the time attack laps and great for drifting out of the box. My car is only slightly modified, but from what I've read about the stock tires on track performance, I'm glad I was able to put the Goodyear tires on my car before going to H2R. It has great yaw damping and is very controllable in a slide especially in 2nd gear where you can use your right foot to steer more. Some more power would help in higher speed (3rd and 4th gear corner) drifting because it is hard to keep the drift alive on corner exit with the current engine output. For grip driving, it has one of the better stock balances of car's I've driven in it's price range. Most vehicles have strong understeer balance from the factory, but the Scion is easy and rewarding to make dance with the pedals. I was only running 3 laps stints to be easy on the engine, tires, and brakes, but I did not get any brake fade all day....which is not bad for a factory brake system. I'm glad I finally got to experience how this car is supposed to be driven.....and it didn't disappoint!
Here is in-car video with data overlay from my two fast laps:
Some drifting clips:
|Yama and I at Micky D's on the way to H2R|
|View from the H2R Pits|
|My Rear Tires after some abuse at H2R - they hold up pretty well!|
|We got hailed on by this storm on the way home....not fun|