The Exige returned to Laguna Seca on Monday, 8/27, to test a new aero setup! Trackspec removed the stock splitter, wing, and diffuser and replaced them with the Reverie 1650mm wing, Reverie front splitter, and Difflow Track diffuser.
This was a true back-to-back test with no other setup changes. The change in handling was extremely significant! Before, the aggressive alignment settings with close to neutral rear toe worked well at low speeds but resulted in rear instability at high speeds. With the new aero, hairpin turns were unaffected, but the Exige was much more planted in medium and high speed corners such as T4, T6, and T9. In fact, the car even seemed to understeer in 4th gear turns.
The added stability allowed much more entry speed and throttle use. I could not seem to get on the throttle early enough in T3; adding throttle at the apex seemed to reveal more and more grip. Due to the lack of drama, understeer, and lower top speed, I was convinced that the overall laptimes were slower, but I was very surprised to see a best time of 1:38.2 when I pulled the data. That's almost 2 seconds faster than the last outing!
The best way to convey the feeling of track aero is adding all of the additional grip and stability of a 200-pound passenger without any of the inertia.
While there are significant grip and stability benefits to track aero, there are some tangible compromises, too. First, it is necessary to drive much more carefully on the street to avoid damaging the front splitter and rear diffuser. Many driveways and speed bumps require the driver to slow down to a crawl, and many obstacles are simply impassable. Second, the top speed fell by 6mph (125mph vs. 119mph peak). Perhaps some of the loss in straight line speed can be regained with a small reduction in the angle of attack.
The Trackspec team is looking forward to additional tuning and next season's SpeedSF Challenge events!