There comes a time in the performance progression of any track car project when "completely maxed-out" is still not enough. Everyone knows that more power is better, but in this Proven article we concentrate on maximum handling. The goal was to take an already great handling track car and smartly convince it to handle even better. At the track this means reducing lap times. To do this we had to move out of the regular spectrum of street-spec aftermarket coilovers and closer to a full-blown racecar setup. KW Suspensions has bridged this gap nicely with its new Clubsport kits with fully adjustable height, compression, and rebound, just like the company's V3 street coilover kits. The combination of adjustment options allows for an individual setup according to the vehicle load, tire characteristics, different track conditions, and driver preferences. In addition, Clubsport coilover kits have been designed to utilize linear race springs with much more aggressive rates. They also provide stiffer damping, and increase overall strength to deal with the harsh race track environment. Therefore, they're ideal for enthusiasts who participate in race track lapping events or driver safety training courses.

Vehicle Data

Engine: 3.6-liter flat six, (265 whp)

Transmission:
Six-speed manual
Mileage: 52,000

Current modifications: Custom mufflers, Cup airbox, Steve Wong chip, Bilstein PSS9 coilovers, TRG sway bars, custom drop links, OMP strut brace, Walrod bushings, DasSport rollbar, 993 Turbo "Big Red" front brakes with 320mm rotors, Pagid Black brake pads, Forgeline ZX3-R competition wheels (8.5x18, 10x18), Dunlop Z1 Starspec tires (235/40, 265/35), HID lights, OMP carbon seats

Test equipment: Traqmate GPS Acquisition System, PC laptop with USB connection

Race Track: RaceCity Motorsport Park, Calgary, Canada , ~2 miles (10,200 ft), 11 turns
Test Driver: "The Bloke" (Steven Tory)

Baseline

Lap time (hot lap): 1:29.07 sec.
Maximum lateral cornering force (non spike, relative measurement): 1.30g (Turn 10)
Temperature: 73° F
Humidity: 34%

Test Notes

Same driver, same driven line, pleasant weather conditions: warm, sunny, and dry. The car felt predictable on most sections of the track, giving one the confidence to put the car where you want it. Chasing the last tenths was where the challenges really lie; when the shocks were set to full stiff, inherent issues arrived, making the ride and handling harsh. On the bumpier sections the car felt way overdamped, causing the wheels to bounce around and lose the full contact patch. When you are at the top of the shock adjustment range, and it's still not enough, it's time for an upgrade.

By Doug Neilson
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