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2018 Volkswagen GTI TCR Lime Rock Park

On Friday, May 11, the FCP Euro motorsports crew was at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, CT for a test day. We'll be competing there during Memorial Day weekend 2018, one of the most important and exciting race weekends of the year—here's how we prepared ourselves for it. 

2018 Volkswagen GTI TCR Lime Rock Park 2

What Is A Test Day And Why Is It Important?

Test days are important for a few reasons. Primarily, a test day allows for setups to be tested on any specific car, and it gives the opportunity for drivers to get accustomed to the track, car, and aforementioned setup changes, should they happen. Test days are also relatively low-pressure and laid-back, providing the drivers and crew the best opportunity to actually get accustomed to the track, since race weekends are simply too busy to do so otherwise. 

During this particular test day, we ran a few cars with different setups. One setup was completely extreme and experimental while the other car had a more neutral setup. The point of trying different setups and taking the feedback from the drivers is to come up with a plan for the race weekend to make the most of what the cars can deliver for that specific track. In total, we ran four sessions with breaks in-between to check the cars over and make any changes needed for the next session.

Here's a quick recap video we made of the day, hosted on our YouTube page. Click here to subscribe



Earlier in the morning we were getting black-flagged for excessive exhaust noise (this is an issue at Lime Rock due to a 1959 Court Injunction from surrounding neighbors). Out of respect for Lime Rock and it's neighbors, we modified the exhaust system so we can adhere to the 86dB limit. We simply removed the rear of the exhaust and put a downturn underneath the GTI's. This seemed to fix the issue and we didn't have problems for the rest of the day.

MK7 Volkswagen Golf GTI

We did not use fresh Pirelli slicks on this test day. Instead, we ran worn tires from our VIR race weekend. Even with the worn tires, the TCRs ran pretty impressive lap times. I can't disclose exact lap times but I can say they are similar to GTS lap times set last year at Lime Rock (which you can find on Pirelli World Challenges website if you'd like to see for yourself). I imagine several tenths of a second will come off the lap times with fresh tires.

Why Is This Specific Test Day Important To Us?

Simply put, the Grand Prix of Lime Rock  is going to be the biggest event in our company's history. This will be our first official home race as a full-fledged team. Also, FCP Euro's company picnic will be taking place on Saturday on the hill overlooking "Lefthander" (turn 3) and "Righthander" (turn 4). This will be the first time many of our employees and their families will see the TCRs on track, not to mention some of our key vendors and partners' first times as well. We also expect to run into and talk to a lot of our existing customers and friends. Needless to say, we want to put on a good show.

Porsche Cayman S-2

Overall, the test day was a success. Nate and Michael ran several hours on the track getting accustomed to the awesome performance the TCRs can provide when driver and machine synchronize. It's going to be a crazy week leading up to the the race weekend, but it's certainly going to be one for the books once it's finally here. 

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Written by :
Gareth Foley

Gareth is the BMW Catalog Manager for FCP Euro and has been with the company since 2012. Gareth's BMW obsession started with a hand me down E39 528i when he was 17. From this car he learned how to do his own repair work while also learning more about BMW. When Gareth was at CCSU studying Marketing he had the opportunity to go to SEMA with the college car club. This is where he developed his love of the automotive industry. Since joining FCP in 2012 Gareth has sought out to develop one of the broadest and most accurate BMW replacement parts catalog. he can be reached at gareth1@fcpeuro.com

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