The classes were split by engine capacities with multipliers for forced induction or any special modifications. This placed me in the 1600 – 2000 cc class with were majorly dominated by the Toyota MR-S and the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ. There were in total about 15 cars in my class and competition was strong within.
Prepping the car
Tyre pressures were set with reference from the session back at Sepang International Circuit. It was bled to 30 psi or 210 kpa on cold as the track is relatively small and the runs will be short too.
However, one of the main questions I always have unanswered is, am I running the right camber settings? One way to clear this up is to use a tyre pyrometer. This being said, I believe every setup is different at every track, hence, whatever data I accumulated this session would solely be meant for this circuit. Now, armed with my new tyre pyrometer and doing some research on how to use a pyrometer/interpreting its data, we can get to work in getting some setup data for this circuit.
After heading out for an initial lap, getting some heat in the tyres, pulled up immediately and grabbed the pyrometer and notebook. The data returned almost an even distribution of heat on the front axle tyres! This was at a negative camber of 3 degrees. Definitely a good sign in terms of contact patch. The rear showed a different situation though. The inner portion of the tyres were a tad more hotter than the outside, hence, can it be deduced that I should reduce camber at the rear? The current camber setting was at 2 degrees. I will definitely report back on the performance after doing the necessary camber adjustments and coming back down to track.
Inside = 51.2 °C, Middle = 52.1 °C, Outside = 49 °C
Inside = 49 °C, Middle = 49.9 °C, Outside = 49.9 °C
Inside = 47.5 °C, Middle = 47.8 °C, Outside = 46.7 °C
Inside = 47.5 °C, Middle = 47 °C, Outside = 44.7 °C
Race Against the clock
The entire field was split to have only 4 cars on track at any time. As the track is small and safety is of a concern, having too many cars would most probably end up with an incident. With 4 time attack sessions and the best time taken from all of them, I am grouped to be the first 4 to run on each session. After the end of each session, I would be nervously checking the time sheets as the other driver’s times trickle in.
It was my first time running the circuit in this configuration (clockwise). I would say that it is much more technical as there are a couple of blind apexes and tightening corners. Giving a feel and trying different lines on the first 2 runs, I was able to get a smooth 1:11.5 on the 3rd run. The embedded onboard video shows my personal best time in this configuration.
Fastest run of the day!
In addition, the Bridgestone Potenza RE71R continued to impress me when on track. Felt grippy at every corner and doesn’t want to let go. Definitely my to-go tyres for hot-lapping from today onwards…or maybe the upcoming Dunlop Direzza Z III?
As the time attack runs went by, and the times trickled in, I managed to hold the fastest time in the class by 0.3 seconds and the following few were not far behind! Just within a second or two. The field was amazingly close! Truly an amazing way to kick start the new year. Ultimately, I hope to hit a new personal best at Sepang International Circuit soon.