What’s the oil change interval on a sequential SADEV gearbox? How do you figure out what tire pressures to run during a qualifying lap? And what exactly are the settings for camber and caster to optimize your vehicle’s contact patch during a hot lap?
All of that and more will be in our latest series, Motorsport Mondays.
By now, you know about FCP Euro’s motorsports documentary series, The Paddock. It provided a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of our motorsports program, from securing sponsorships, traveling to races, and even some of the hardships we faced throughout each weekend at the track. But this year, we’re going to do things a little differently.
This year, our program is coming in-house. What’s that mean? Rather than using a logistics partner for the transport, prep, and race support, we’re going to do it all ourselves. That includes working on the cars in the off-season, transporting them to the race, working on them at the track during a race, optimizing them for winning the event itself and, more importantly, running it all out of the same facility that you pick up your parts. It’s a massive undertaking.
If I had to summarize Motorsport Mondays in one sentence, it’d be: translating how working on two professional championship-winning race cars can help you work on your European car. Our Volkswagen GTI TCRs are just cars, after all, and there’s plenty of things we have under our belts that could help you in your endeavors, whether it’s in your driveway doing routine maintenance or at a track going after your own fastest lap.
Last week on episode one of our new Motorsport Mondays series, we began the teardown and inspection of the #71 & #72. This was to go through and give them a thorough inspection before they headed to the dyno. In this week's episode, we get the cars loaded up and off to the dyno at United Motorsport shop right here in Milford, CT.
Back-to-back dyno tests proved what we felt in the latter half of the 2019 TC America season—that the #72 TCR was noticeably down on power compared to #71. For the tests, components that could be swapped from one car to the other to limit the factors at play were. This includes both the fuel pump and even the ECU.
One thing you didn't get to see in the video that I personally found interesting was what happened with the tires on the dyno. We brought both cars on takeoff rain tires, and from the stresses of the dyno, the tread blocks began to bubble and tear themselves apart. This is a perfect example of why these tires aren't run in race conditions other than substantial rain or when there's standing water on track. Without the water, there isn't sufficient cooling to keep the rubber compound from overheating.
After we had our power figures in hand, we set off back to the shop to figure the cause of the noticeable lack of power. Based solely on the dyno graphs, Gareth's first suspect was the turbocharger. To confirm this though, the engines will have to come out of the cars—which is what we'll be doing in next week's episode of Motorsport Mondays.
So, you're probably wondering how much power the GTI TCRs actually make after running a full two seasons on untouched engines?
- #71 - 307 horsepower / 322 lb-ft torque
- #72 - 298 horsepower / 298 lb-ft torque
Like the series? Want to see something specific related to our race cars? Have questions about working on your race car? Please leave it in the comments below.
Writer/Editor at FCP Euro and owner of a daily R53 MINI Cooper, a track-built R53 MINI, and a 1997 Dakar Yellow E36 M3 Sedan. ••• Instagram: @evan.madore