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Discussion Starter #1
Just wanted to get others impressions on how their cars have performed at the track. I went out to Summit Point Raceway in West Virginia a few weeks ago (a dealer event). My first time on any track so I have no reference point, but I gotta tell ya, I highly recomend getting your cars out and letting them do what they were designed to do. The rest of the field, about 60 cars were mostly Ferrari's, I was one of only 3 Maserati's on the track. Unfortunately my girlfriend was using a film camera and I haven't had time to scan them in so I can't post pics yet.

I'm most insterested in seeing if anyone has experience with both Maserati's and other makes/models and could fill everyone in on the differences in the context of a race track. For example, handeling characteristics of Maserati vs Porsche, etc? How much of an advantage is the cambio vs the GT gearbox given the same driver/experience? I'd think cambio would have an advantage. Two things I took away 1) my Tubi sounded ~sweet~ compared to the other Ms there that obviously had the stock exhaust. 2) Don't expect to win a race against a Lamborghini Gallardo, you will get smoked :)
 

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03 Cambio at the track

I've taken my car to the track three times now. The first two times, at Sears Point and Laguna Seca, I left the anti-slip on. The most recent time at Laguna Seca, I had enough courage to turn it off.
The overall experience is amazing. I tended to get passed by 2/3 of the cars, more because I am still learning. Like your experience it was mostly Ferrari's (you know, those guys with the red cars, who show up with red driving suits with all sorts of patches, and red driving booties, and so forth!!!).
One thing to learn is how to blip the throttle on down shifts, using a traditional heel/toe technique. It actually works. The Cambio computer does the blip itself when you are cruising and not braking, but when doing hard braking, if you downshift without blipping the throttle, it grabs too hard. Believe me, the blip really works. We spent an hour or so practicing the technique.
The second thing is that the car is a lot more responsive with the anti-slip turned off. With it on, when you hit the accelerator coming out of a turn there is a small delay as the computer decides when all the wheels are behaving properly before it lets power happen. With the anti-slip off, power is instanteous. Of course, you can spin out a lot easier with the anti-slip turned off....
Anyway, I really recommend getting on the track. It's a blast!!
Of course, you probably put at least 2000 miles or something like that on your tires/brakes/clutch in less than a 100 miles or so of hard driving!! Anyone know what the typical mulitplier is for squealing around a track with lots of hard braking and drifting through turns?
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #3
hehe, I know what you mean about all the dudes with pretty Nomex suits, gloves and shoes. That was cracking me up... but to their credit, they will cook much slower than I will if their car catches fire. If I went to the track a lot, I'd get a real seat with 5-point harness and maybe even a HANS device. Those pretty fire proof suits won't keep me from breaking my neck in a roll over or hard wall hit.

Thanks for the advice on blip-braking. I had always thought my lack of blip when braking was something screwy with my ECU/program. Now that you say that is normal behavior, I'm thinking they don't blip on braking for safety reasons. Believe it or not, coming to a quick stop at a light with quick down shifts has actually caused me to stall on more than 1 occasion. Easily remedied by timing the downshifts but now I think I'll explore giving it a little tap on the gas. I see you have straight pipes... have you ever have stall issues due to lack of back pressure? Next time I'm at the track, I'll try it without the anti-slip.
 

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Muffler modification

Actually, to be accurate (I think), here is what was done.
My dealer removed the rear mufflers/resonators (the ones closest to the visible tailpipes that stick out the rear). The tips on the tailpipes are now slightly larger in diameter and a bit longer than stock after the mod.
The front 'muffler', which is between the engine and the catalytic converter, and the catalytic converter itself, are still in the car.
I think when you put in a Tubi, it replaces these same rear mufflers, and is installed 'downstream' of the catalytic converter.
In any case, my car sounds awesome, and I've never had any issues with the modification. In fact the mod was done by my dealer, Ferrari/Maserati of San Francisco, and was part of the package they used to sell me on the car. When slowing down under compression, especially after downshifting at high revs, the car makes a cool gurgling sound, but doesn't backfire, which I have been told, is one symptom of insufficient back pressure.
But, in full disclosure, I am not an expert on this stuff. I just like the sound, and after driving the car for a couple of months with stock exhaust before the mod was done, I wasn't able to detect any change one way or the other in the power.
Mike
P.S. And, my wife thinks it is too loud, so it must be right!!
 

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Mike,

I would love to see your car in person. The next time you do a track day at Infineon let me know and I'll see if I can't get a few more owners to join us.
 

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Andrew
I'd like to compare our cars. I finally met Luke (v12gte) on Wed. Next time there is a track day, or a lunch meeting, or whatever, I'll let you know. Or, we could just arrange a lunch meeting or drive somewhere using the forum. That is how Luke does it on the Ferrarichat forum. We could meet somewhere about half way between where you live/work and where I live (Los Gatos).
Mike
 

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thash, how did the brakes do on your longer runs, did they hold up pretty well? Mushy? Fading?

How long were your longer runs?

Do we know by track experience how efficient brake component and brake fluid cooling is in our cars?

Sounds like you had a great time!
 

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MikeA,

What do you mean by traditional heel/toe technique? There's only two pedals in the CC. Left foot brake, right foot gas. I always thought heel/toe was for cars with clutches and unless you're racing at the limit, not really needed in modern sports cars.

Marc
 

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Heel/Toe

The heel/toe technique is still used with the right foot spanning the brake/accelerator pedals. The left foot does nothing.
I suppose you could brake with the left and use the right on the accelerator, and I guess a lot of people drive that way today since they never used a clutch in their lives, but I still drive the 'old fashioned' way. I also believe that a lot of people ride the brake with their left foot, which is an argument against the two foot/two pedal technique. I am sure you've seen these folks driving down the freeway at 70mpg with their brake lights on!
Mike
 

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I wasn't referring to clueless people who ride the brake with their left foot cause they never learned to use a manual. I've always driven sports cars with clutches and the heel/toe technique is necessary in order to downshift and brake smoothly. However, I've found that it's a lot easier to use both feet in the CC or automatic (or when karting). You gotta admit, the foot position when heel/toeing is a bit unnatural.

With left foot braking you can stay on the brakes until the last possible second, then hit the gas right at the apex. So even if you're not trying to match revs I think it makes a smoother, faster transition. I feel I have more control this way. With a manual tranny, this is of course a moot point. Either way it's up to the driver.

Marc
 

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Good points!!!

Good points!!! Sorry for sounding so snobbish (and old!!!) with my 'left foot is for the clutch' bias. I am sure that an accomplished, modern driver can do great stuff with left foot on the brake, right foot on the accelerator. I just never learned that way....
Still true, however, that the lazy, vs the accomplished, driver can run through their brake pads/linings pretty fast with the left foot on the brake approach if they ride the brake like many do. An unintended benefit of the old three pedal technique was that it just wasn't a likely behavior.
Happy performance driving!!
Mike
 

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We (not me yet!) will get pissed on my anything better than a F360. Who cares? You don't buy a 'Rati for name, you buy it for excellence and value. A Cambio convertible also costs....80K? less than an F430 conv.
 
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