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550 track day preparation

Discussion in '456/550/575' started by BlueMaranello, Mar 27, 2005.

  1. BlueMaranello

    BlueMaranello Karting

    May 29, 2004
    70
    London, England
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    Steve
    My 550 is soon to have it's first track day - it's coming up to 7 years old and recently had a full belts service. Any useful advice welcome - Are the advertised preps worthwhile? Tyre pressures? My website search hasn't thrown up anything.
    Thanks

    Steve
     
  2. Ricambi America

    Ricambi America F1 World Champ
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    Dec 7, 2003
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    Daniel
  3. stephens

    stephens F1 Rookie
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    Upgrade brake pads and change to Motul, Castrol SRF or similar brake fluid. Tyre pressures should run around 40PSI hot, so 34-35psi cold is a good starting point. Have fun!
     
  4. Ricambi America

    Ricambi America F1 World Champ
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    Good brake pads and fresh fluid should be a must. As a total newbie (like me!!) you'll be slamming those brakes a whole lot. It's obviously not the best technique, but it's how you learn...

    For the love of God, if you upgrade your brake pads, please consider some alternatives to the OEM Ferrari/Brembo pads which run about $1000 set. There are some extremely good non-Brembo pads that'll save you a bundle. It'd be a real shame to smoke through 1K worth of pads on your first track outing! You can probably find some pads locally in the $300-$400 range.

    Oh yeah... a helmet is a good idea too. ;-)

    Daniel
     
  5. ferrarifixer

    ferrarifixer F1 Veteran
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    Jul 22, 2003
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    Get an experienced (with 550) wheel alignment shop to at least check the car (all 4 wheels) is aligned to std specs, and if you want to protect your tyres, have at least 1.5 deg negative camber put on the front, maintaining std everything else as a start.

    Make sure the windows are clean inside... nothing worse than a bit of glare combined with a flat race circuit and 250+km/h

    Have a good look under the seats for loose stuff that could fly out and go under the pedals.
     
  6. BlueMaranello

    BlueMaranello Karting

    May 29, 2004
    70
    London, England
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    Steve
     
  7. ferrarifixer

    ferrarifixer F1 Veteran
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    The negative camber improves grip and turn in, and response and feel, and lap time and confidence.

    If you drive very slowly on the road, and always in straight lines, you will wear your inside edges prematurely, but if you push it around you'll roll the tyres around enough to wear them evenly.

    You could go to 2 or more degrees if you wanted, but road use would suffer.

    On the road, you may find it tends to wander around on uneven surfaces...called tramlining, but as long as you keep 1-1.5mm toe in it'll be ok.
     
  8. BlueMaranello

    BlueMaranello Karting

    May 29, 2004
    70
    London, England
    Full Name:
    Steve
     
  9. stephens

    stephens F1 Rookie
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    Feb 13, 2004
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    Steve a lot of neg camber causes very uneven tyre wear for street usage, with a figure of around 1 degree being recommended for "sports" cars. For track day usage, as much as 2.5 degrees is not unusual. My car was running 1.3 degrees and really killed the outside of the tyre on the track. Phil is better placed to give advice on this one, but I will be running two or three track days a month and intend to run 2 degrees neg camber, but wouldn't go past this for a street driven car as this will already cause significantly reduced tyre life.
     
  10. ferrarifixer

    ferrarifixer F1 Veteran
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    They come from the factory with extra understeer built in, as it is safer in most instances.... You have to slow down to reduce understeer, plus, cars are designed to have frontal crashes... not rearward.

    Also, it "feels" nicer to the average driver and it genuinely "does" improve braking to have your wheels upright.

    The 550 is quite rare in that it is adjusted with eccentric bolts that just require turning, whereas most of the other Ferrari models need to have shims removed or added. They do shift if treated roughly though, so get it checked every year or after rough treatment.

    If you are keen, your 550 will handle infinitely better with wheel spacers (or wider more offset wheels) and lowered and stiffer springs, also "R" spec tyres will reduce lap times significantly.

    But for 550, front pads and fluid is a MUST, Hoses a good thing, but really big discs and calipers if you want to get really serious....

    But until you can do 3 safe consecutive timed laps to within 0.2 per 60 of each other, just keep practicing and drive to the limits of yourself and the car you have.
     
  11. maranelloman

    maranelloman Guest

    I have just seen this thread.

    All the suggestions so far are very good.

    I would advise not upping front negative camber until you have a lot more track experience in the car. The cost will be increased outside front tire wear to delay, but it will help you avoid the much bigger cost of spinning & wrecking the car on oversteer. You need to learn the car as-is with lots of understeer, an dlearn to control it & balance out the understeer with a sensitive throttle foot, before increasing front grip.

    I agree 100% on better brake pads & fluids. I use Castrol SRF fluid & Ferodo DS2500 pads all the time --street & track. The SRF has never, ever boiled, and the DS2500's work fine in my climate on the street, are VERY easy on rotors, VERY low dust, last forever, and are excellent on track (for use with street tires). Plus, if you buy them right, they are very cleap (hint: the fronts are a very common Brembo size...avoid shopping for pads at the dealer).

    I am considering adding some wheel spacers to get a little more tire bite without using more than the approx. -1.7 front & -1.5 rear cambers I use.

    Lowering the car & using stiffer springs & sways is just not a modoifocation I want to invest in right now, although it would really change the dynamic of the car for the better on track...and I would definitely use R-compounds with that set-up (p[robably Toyo RA1's---the BEST).
     
  12. ferrarifixer

    ferrarifixer F1 Veteran
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    Jul 22, 2003
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    I agree to some extent about waiting for the camber... but really, if you DO push quite hard, and destroy the outer edge of the front tyres that would otherwise last much longer, it's not only potentially dangerous and incriminating on the drive home, it's just plain frustrating..........
     

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