Chrysler 300C & SRT8 Forums banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,399 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I just spent the entire day racing out at Willow Springs Street course in Rosamond CA. I'm a bit tired and have to get motivated for a costume party, but I figured I'd share a photo I thought came out pretty damn well.

I'll report back tommorrow with full details on how a big ole sedan with 22"s can hang on a road course. You guys should have seen everyones faces as I slid through turn 3 at 60mph with smoke blaring off the tires. :p I only managed 5 or so laps before giving the brakes and tires a well deserved break and going back to the real race cars.
 

Attachments

·
Administrator
Joined
·
7,117 Posts
Very cool, wish I would have known, I'd have loved to come watch. Can't wait to hear the details. Beautiful pic, but I really, really wanna see video, hope you took some!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,944 Posts
Great pix Rogue, details details, how do your 22s ride and brake with all that rotational mass? Any thoughts on a big brake (BAER) upgrade to go with all the extra space from the +4 wheel upgrade?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
251 Posts
First time I remember having seen those wheels. Those are the best looking 22's I have seen. They really compliment the silver C.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
I cant wait!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,399 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Call me lazy. Sorry its taken so long to update this thread. I've been busy fighting off a cold and dealing with my mother in town.

Heres the skinny:

I was invited up to a private track day up at Willow Springs by a friend whom has a client that ships out about 10 corvettes from Ohio every year and has free reign over the track for the day. I was honored to attend, as I am finding I feel at home on the race track at speeds over 120mph. I LOVE racing. If it weren't such an exclusive sport and expensive, I would quit my dayjob in a heartbeat. :p

The Streets of Willow Springs:



When we arrived, I was astonished to find an entire fleet of Corvette's from the ZR-1 all the way to the Z06. A few had racing slicks and were dialed in for track days. There was a Mini Cooper S among the vettes and also a few BMWs.


As usual, the 300c attracted the majority of the people there whom wanted to take a closer look. I'm finding that while this car has been on the streets for a while, there simply aren't many on the road still, and its reputation is starting to reach a cult like status to some. If I could capture the responses I would; some people fall in love immediately, while others look with a glare and fear this $36k Chrysler might eat their $50k BMW for breakfast.

There were a few questionable stares at my wheels and tires, and the car had yet to pass tech inspection. I was under the assumption that due to the large wheel diameter and low profile 35 series tire, that the car wouldn't pass, but the crew member doing the inspection was happy to give the car a chance, as long as he got to do the first few "test laps" with me to see how it holds up through the turns.

We removed all loose items from the vehicle and strapped our helmets on. To be honest, I was a bit concerned about my wheels and tires myself. I had no interest in having a blowout on a racetrack 100 miles from home on a $800 wheel. I also realize the wear racing puts on a set of tires after one day, and took this into consideration for the first few laps.

Lap one, I took it easy exploring the tracks lines as the crew member explained the apexes and various lines of the track. There were a few bumps in the large "bowl turn" at the top of the track. These bumps gave me reason to be cautious through that turn. The suspension does not handle 22" wheels very well during bumps. Coming out of the bowl turn, I dropped the pedal to the floor and felt the ESP kick in full force, dropping my RPMS and keeping me from accellerating. The ESP wass going to have to go if I really want to enjoy experience. The Crew member noticed that the 300c exhibits minimal body roll for such a tall large sedan, and was rather astonished at the grip my tires were providing. Minimal tire squeal compared to the vettes and the mini cooper. We did about 3 more laps before I started feeling slight brake fade and decided to give the brakes and tires a rest for a bit. Upon pulling into the pits, I noticed the tire wear was as expected, nothing major, but not too much sidewall roll. This was a great thing to see. Wheel damage is my enemy.

I parked the 300c and enjoyed the next few hours ripping around the track in the ZR-1 and the Mini Cooper S. I really started getting into the rythm of the track in the ZR-1 and pushing it to its limits. I noticed the ASR light(corvettes version of ESP) coming on repeatedly out of turns where I should have had full throttle response. Once again, traction control and computers were holding me back. :mad: I pulled the car into the pits and talked to the crew a bit about the traction control. They decided to yank the fuse for it the rest of the day.

Skidpad fun:


Upon yanking that pesky ASR and ABS fuse, the ZR-1 corvette really opened up and I got to drive to the car's full potential. I was brake drifting into the turns and coming out of the turn full throttle with minimal braking. The car was on racing slicks, which provided maximum traction and the ability to test my driving abilities. I kept pushing that car and it kept going. Coming into turns way to fast and coming out drifting 45 degrees sideways really had my adrenaline going. My passenger was screaming her head off the entire time, out of fear, but also the adrenaline. She never once questioned my driving no matter how hard I pushed the car, and considering she had never been a passenger with me on a track, it really boosted my confidence. I really gained massive amounts of respect for the Corvettes from the driving experiences all day. I found the newer Corvettes to handle better, but the ZR-1 was track prepped and had more horsepower. I preferred the feedback from the track much more than the comfort of the newer ones. I must admit, the Z06 is one baaaaaaad automobile though, and track prepped, a force to be reckoned with.

After getting comfortable pushing my limits in a real sports car, it was time to go back to the 300c and have a bit of fun at my tires expense. I went alone this time, and made sure to turn off ESP the moment I got in. WOW. What a difference. The car exhibited behavior on the track that no one expected. The rolling mass of the 22" wheels causes excessive strain on the measly factory brakes. That much is evident after a hard lap or two. The factory brakes cannot take such abuse 18" wheels or not. The 300c is in need of a aftermarket brake upgrade kit soon. Nevertheless, lets talk about what makes the 300c so lovable. TORQUE.

Without question, the torque of the 300c is comparable to the z06. Who would have thought 22" tires would make so much smoke coming out of a turn? :D Once those tires got warmed up and spinning in a hard turn, I had to let off the throttle in order to get the car tracking straight again. My friend said that people were clapping as I came through the final turn in front of the skidpad and pits in a slide. I was quite pissed that the camera was in MY pocket instead of her hands.

Ready for the best part?

On my 3rd lap without ESP I noticed a BMW 540 that had arrived late in the day and was merging onto the track half a lap ahead of me. The 540 has an advantage on the turns, but the Hemi makes up for the handling on the straight aways. I caught the 540 and rode its ass on the straighaways for a full lap before being given the courtesy pass arm out the window. I left the track on top, and knowing that the 300c can hang with a "Driving Machine" even on a track.
Tire wear is my enemy:

My brakes were smoking, and my tires had more wear than I care to mention, but it was all worth it when that BMW 540 merged onto the track.

I parked the C and called it a day. Those tires are just too damn expensive.


I plan on throwing the stock tires on next time I hit the track for some serious tire smokin drifting action. Then I can have free roam of the track without hurting my wallet so damn much.

Was it worth it? HELL YES. :D

I suggest you all take your 300c to the track to explore the limits of your car. You'd be surprised what you find. Tommy Kendall was onto something real big when he placed his order for a 300c, and only now am I starting to realize why.

This car could be a contender if dialed in right. I don't doubt it for a second. Brembo, please call me, I want a kit ASAP.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
WOW! Great writeup.......I almost feel as if I were in the car with you! I know what you are talking about when you mentioned thew torque being comparable to the z06. I have a friend that has an 02 vette and I tell you my C can " hang " with his in certain situations. Thanks again for putting the time into the pictures and the content! Those are the best looking wheels for the C ........I just wanted one that would clean up easily and look good> :) Going to the track ASAP................!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
7,117 Posts
To quote a Lucinda Williams song, "Too cool to be forgotten"

Be that as it may, as a nurse, I must correct you on your self-diagnosis. It is not a cold with which you suffer, you sir, have Track Fever. This is a highly contagious disease with a swift onset and no known cure. The only treatment is to take 2 laps and call someone in the morning. But be aware that, due to tolerance buildup, this treatment is not especially effective and you will likely need to repeat often and as needed, increasing the dose proportionately. I hope you never recover... :D

Thanks for sharing your experience with us!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,564 Posts
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top