Challenger Hellcat & Roadcourse Racing

Discussion in 'SRT Hellcat Racing Forum' started by DGatzby, Sep 26, 2015.

  1. DGatzby

    DGatzby Gold Member Hellcat Car Club HCC Charter Member Midwest Regional Pres.

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    I was very pleased early this week with the fun I was able to have with the car, STOCK. Put the OEM wheels with new rubber on it and took it up to Brainerd International Raceway. I attended a private event and received the equal of participation in their Performance Driving School's 3 day SCCA Regoinal License qualifying school, day one novice training.

    Gotta love the place as the TF Dragsters and Funnycars both set their ET and Speed records there last month. They use the huge drag strip, its runout and the unbelievable gentle corner (corner #1) to create nearly a 3.5 mile road course that favors a car like ours. The course basically has four mini drag strips with the straights coming out of the corners. The one thing other than stock is the Porterfield racing pads all around that did not complain or fade a bit all day. I need to work on my braking and get into "race" mode and attempt to forget my street manners that really don't use brakes much at all.

    Sorry about the 20 min length. I would suggest to get thru my pre-race babble and on the track. This was my first session alone on the track. I received three good instructor sessions in car earlier. I have over 40 years of rear drive experience, extensive VR racing experience, which I believe helps discovering and understanding the fundamentals. As you will see the car behaves really well, it got into one little skid, I quickly let off. I had it in Track Mode, let it shift in auto all day, TC remained untouched. So what you have here is an example of this amazing transmission, up shifting at its 160 ms, and downshifting with amazing precise and perfect gears! Me and everyone loved the sound of this amazing machine all day, especially rounding the entry of the straight (the drag strip) at about 60, and hammering it to about 150, before backing off. That is after you get off the preceding straight where I was hitting 120 with no problem. As you can see a couple of others had their choice Mopars out at the event for late lapping practice also. We had one exciting moment in the morning session, another novice was driving a Viper ACR in front of us. Btw the difference in drivers and given the HC's HP we were able to basically do a 60-130 run up the drag strip as me and my instructor took the inside right lane, when they came out of turn 10 a little slow. It was fun that they also stayed on the throttle for a while and we were able to see and feel what our few extra ponies will do...legally! Enjoy the video and I hope this puts some of the conversation to rest that these cars don't handle very well. Anyone can put a stopwatch to this but the best lap was about 2:02.6 with a few consistent 2:03's. If you know the course, for a first timer and 4600 lbs, they say this is real good and I should come back for more.

    Here are also snaps of the records the car retained for the day:
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  2. bushwhacker

    bushwhacker Hellcat Member

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    That was absolutely breathtaking, stunning and awesome. I used to go to BIR every year until 2005 for the AMA superbike races, have walked onto the track in dawnting turn 1 when that's the measure of your will to take it wide open through there. I've always wondered what it would be like in my Hellcat, now I know and don't think I could go any faster. I feel that by the time I'd give it too much throttle in the corner, the back would be around before I could stop it. You had great throttle control, the Cat sounded like a racecar too, especially liked the echo from under the bridge by the bus stop. Wonder what qualification I'd need to take my Cat out. (OH, almost forgot) when Troy Corser took the rental car out with his crew and rolled it in turn 3. I think he had to pay all the damages. Think I better not if I want too save her. Big high five to you The Great Gatsby.
     
  3. DGatzby

    DGatzby Gold Member Hellcat Car Club HCC Charter Member Midwest Regional Pres.

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    Hey, bushwhacker..got to say my mind would be in a different place on a motorbike instead of the Hellcat on turn one! We are going to step up about 5 mph a try next time. You can see it is real stable thru there, never felt bad hitting it and approaching 2 at 120. I really was not sensitive to the reported oversteer. The back never felt light at the hi-speed corners, maybe it was benefitting from some aerodynamic benefits. However on a couple of those back corners as you saw once it broke loose. You had to over power it to make hat happen, period. With so much throttle available, this thing is a dream to operate. But, it was so easy to recover, this car is a pleasure. I did a few laps strapped in with one of the Viper guys who has like 28 track records. Oh my, they have better brakes and with track tires those are a blast. He was rounding 2 at 120-130. That is what I watched in my mirror when I cut it and let him by on that second lap I think.

    Your question about driving, call the Performance Driving School up there. They will set you up for either driving your own car or their race cars. Next spring, my cheapest way is their three day certification, and of course, just use the Hellcat and have a blast!

    The group of drag racing friends and me have been Zoo residents every August up there for over 30 years! I have taken my previous 300SRT8 up there for test and tune and will do this one once I get the drive shaft. But, what a hoot to nail it down the strip AND not lift at the lights....huh?
     
  4. sinister707

    sinister707 Silver Member

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    Nice job on the road course. I wonder if you would have had the HC set to Custom mode and left the Traction on street how much harder you could have attacked the turns? But I am sure track mode was amazing. BTW KW's will be installed soon and following your lead on the BWoody's (or at least i think it was you who mentioned them to me).
     
  5. DGatzby

    DGatzby Gold Member Hellcat Car Club HCC Charter Member Midwest Regional Pres.

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    Thanks Sinister. I did not ever feel any loss of power or unruly application of any of the brakes by the computer. I am going to use Track Mode, it just seemed like it was at its best. I did not mind knowing all computer gremlins were active and in the background at the end of that straight and getting the courage to hit the floor again heading into #2! In the back twisters it was always responsive. One time we got a skid, so it allowed that, and it was clearly over app of the rt foot on my part. It did feel like it would drift like a dream, as they were showing in those videos last year, but I never tried.

    I am going to do a front strut brace as a first no brainer mod. But, seems like we need to think about tires next. It will corner better but we need track tires. 18 or 19" wheels may be needed to accommodate the diameters we need. So I am doing some research on that. Anyone, I will take suggestions. I think I have seen a red one with 18's.

    Also while standing still anyway my car looked like a SUV against the Corvettes and Vipers there. So after getting wheels/tires figured out I am interested in getting the height down a little. It also has to agree with my street tire set-up, but I think this car has it in it. I did mount the stock tires/wheels after driving with a 315/35 out back for about 4000 miles now, as some know from the wheel threads. I will tell everyone the stock tire is more fun to use to throw the car around. Way more fun and yes, it breaks the smaller tire loose much easier. We got a second gear demonstration today that was amazing. Better get the big set back on tomorrow, before I get in trouble.
     
  6. carcass

    carcass SRT Hellcat Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    Damn fine laps Sir.
    Thank you for posting this. By far the best track footage from inside the car I've seen.
    When you said in your original post that you put on the OEM wheels with new rubber, what tires were those and size?
     
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  7. carcass

    carcass SRT Hellcat Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    I've seen plenty of burnouts and drag footage, good to know theres guys out there running on corners too.
     
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  8. DGatzby

    DGatzby Gold Member Hellcat Car Club HCC Charter Member Midwest Regional Pres.

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    I put on the good old black OEM wheels with basically new 275/40 P-Zeros, just as she was delivered. Smooth, predictable, and now that I have watched the video, improvement can be had for the cost of track time and gas. I purchased a set of Triumph Performance Wheels for the street.
     
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  9. DGatzby

    DGatzby Gold Member Hellcat Car Club HCC Charter Member Midwest Regional Pres.

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    What is fun here is that I did not lift until it hit 150 mph on every lap. You can go fast and keep going faster, and safely/legally.
     
  10. goingsolo2

    goingsolo2 Beast will be back bigger and better than ever! Hellcat Car Club Gold Supporting Member Hellcat Supporting Vendor

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    Since I am setting my Hellcat up for some road racing as well, do you think different tires would help or hurt? I have the OEM All-Seasons on there now, but I am guessing they would not hold well in corners.
     
  11. bolivarshagnasty

    bolivarshagnasty Gold Member

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    Looks like great fun!
     
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  12. DGatzby

    DGatzby Gold Member Hellcat Car Club HCC Charter Member Midwest Regional Pres.

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    I am no expert ok. The all seasons are going to work. I would say go do it and talk to others. You are going to burn them up one way or another, unless you drive like a Saint. If you want to corner better and be more competitive either a street/track or if you can afford it, another set of track rubber is really desirable. As you can see the car is decent, with superior ability coming out and on the straights. Improve the cornering and have a decent level of driving skill and this car is providing a plenty good time. Well, well worth the money.

    Also, can't speak for the OEM pads, but I have a set of Porterfield R4-S pads on our monster brakes and they felt good as new all day. I for one need to brake lots later and harder, so that is against my street technique so, so bad, that I need to re-program myself before I race again.
     
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  13. White Trash

    White Trash BMF Hellcat Car Club HCC Charter Member HCC National Vice Pres.

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    DG great post. Glad to read about some good track runs.

    WT
     
  14. DGatzby

    DGatzby Gold Member Hellcat Car Club HCC Charter Member Midwest Regional Pres.

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    Thanks, WT, I am afraid it will cost me. I like it too much, and, one of my very best/oldest friends is also hooked now. We could find worse interests, can't take it with us.
     
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  15. Hellcat624

    Hellcat624 Rookie

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    DG, Great vid and driving, i can't wait to get my cat..
     

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