Archive for the ‘Vehicles’ Category

TL:DR first point of call, new tires. 3 More sessions out and we have gone from 02:14 to 02:02 and for me 02:25 to 02:09

Robs highlight reel

Our first day out resulted in 1 very clear objective. Replace the tires with something that may handle life a bit better.

After some digging for tires we found an issue. There are very few track tires that fit 15″ wheels in the format we needed. We ended up needing to go slightly fatter with some 205/50R15 86V Yokohama ADVAN NEOVA AD08R.


It turns out luck was on our side, these are popular tires and worked extremely well. Especially in the wet.

Our first session on the RPX-800 put me at 2:28.14 for the start of the day with the end coming down to a 2:25.51. Rob (my other co pilot) started with a 2:12.66 and dropped to a 2:11.83. For me I had lots of improvement (the advantage of a copilot that has been racing for many years) but the car was a slippery handful.

With the AD08R tires we went out the next month. In very wet conditions we had best laps of 2:14.57 for Rob and 2:18.30 for me (I was semi dry on that run). The only issue I had was the back stepping out on the back straight.

The next track day I got my times down to 2:13.90 and Rob got his down to 2:05.29.
We had to pull the 3rd track day short as we ran out of front pads.

The last session was in the intermediate class, the track was dry and the sun was bright. The temp was about 18 degrees, almost perfect.
The maintenance was new brakes (700kms out of the last), replaced brake fluid, and new gear box oil. The gear box oil made a huge difference to shifts. Before we just assumed the gearbox was going to break, after it was like new.

In this time Rob got a 02:02.07 and I got a 02:08.93, we feel with a bit more Rob could potentially get into the 1’s… I’m still a bit off but give it time.

Interestingly in this session we nearly finished the ceramic pads we use (60$ each) this only puts them on the 1 dry session around 170kms including the drive there and back.
We have looked into racing pads but questions the value. The Forza FR6 (recommended) are 250 a set, and we need to order a minimum of 2.
The QFM pads are around 180 for a set, but have to send in backing pads.

Braking is a concern, we max out around 0.8g, we corner at over 1g.. something is a miss.


Session 1 – Rob 02:11.83 – Choco 02:25.51 – Completely Stock, cheap street tires
Session 2 – Rob 02:14.57 – Choco 02:18.30 – Very Wet, new Yokohama ADVAN NEOVA AD08R
Session 3 – Rob 02:05.29 – Choco 02:13.90 – Semi wet. No more front pads
Session 4 – Rob 02:02.07 – Choco 02:08.93 – Dry good weather, nearly finished pads in 1 session


TL:DR I was so nervous I spent the best part between sessions running between toilet and the garage.


Ok continuing from Part 2.

Before I do though I really want to make it clear. Do not change anything race wise until you have tested the car. If it blows up, handles really poorly, or simply breaks down beyond repair then all the money would be a waste. Also if I spent 1000bucks on this adding better components then I would have been better simply getting the better car to start with (peugeot 206 GTI 180)…

So the big day has arrived. I was so nervous that I was besides myself. Time warp a few more session and I still am. Its healthy.

Since this was my first time I got to the track at 11:30, first session is at 13:00 but there is a lot to do before then. When I got there I unpacked the car, the spare, the tools and then had a chin wag with the neighbor(s) and get some food. You have free rain of the area, so I took a quick stroll around familiarize myself, and then onto the roof to check out the expert and race cars, like formula oz cars, flying around the track.

Just to be frank, going forward it is important to remember to introduce and chat with your neighbor when you first get their, if it is their first day then you can help settle them and answer the billion of questions they may have.

At 12:00 I grabbed my license headed upstairs and went to sign in, I book an instructor (they are free) for the second session. I then hung around until it was briefing time in which they give a quick run down of the track, the rules, the flags, and onto the track for 2 slow laps with the instructors explaining the dry lines.

The next step was waiting, intermediate went out. Then it is our turn. By this stage I think I had finished most of the water, coffee, supplies and had gone to the toilet about 15 times in the past 16 minutes. Nervous was an understatement.

The 5 minute call came out. I hopped in, started my lap timer and the gopro. buckled my helmet and started the car. After a few cars had lined up I snuck my nose out and joined the queue on pit lane. 1 by 1 the cars were told to go, until it was my turn. With a thumbs up I started powering out of the lane and onto the track.

What happened next, and for the next 4 hours is not 100% known. All I know is i had the time of my life and went to the toilet about 50 odd times.

By the time the last session was flagged I was exhausted, the car had done swimmingly and so had all the stock setup. This car was purely stock and held up well.

Time to take the feedback and start altering the car (slowly) the first to go was the street tires, they were awful, BUT they had one big plus. They slipped very obviously, which meant that you could never really put yourself into any trouble.

TL:DR Booking in at Sydney MotorPark is easy, cost 420 bucks and all you need is a car in road worthy condition and a drivers license.


Right continuing from Part 1 we now had a car. Next step is a track.

This part is easy, in Sydney there is Sydney Motorpark, a quick search and we found a beginner track day for 375$. Starts at 13:00 and goes to 17:00. You go on with 25 other people for 20 minutes, and then cool down for 20 minutes while the intermediate group goes (actually they go first). This continues all day. Pay online and tell your boss you need a day off.

There is also wakefield park but for now Sydney park is suffice, its also another hour and a bit away wakefield park from my location.

Right the next part is easy. You need to prep your car.
In our case we had street tires that looked to be in good condition, they’ll do for day 1.
We then replaced the oils and the brake fluid (very important). Do your brake fluid after you have done your pads, even if they look fine replace them. For me I got the front pads from the local guy, cost 60$ for fronts, and 50$ for backs.
Oil from super cheap, semi synth correct weight (they’ll tell you). I got cheap as I will replace this oil in 1000kms (flush) and even cheap oil holds up with that few km’s.

Set your tire pressures to street settings, we used 32 front and back. Fill you wiper fluids, check and flush your coolant (if required), clean your windscreens, remove anything that moves out of the car… That means all JUNK. If you roll you don’t want something hitting you in the head. Plus you will probably drive with a window down so candy wrapper will go flying.

Take the spare tire, jack, spanners, etc, and move them into your boot. When you get to the track you’ll want to take these out of the car and undoing the spare and finding all the parts can be time consuming. An additional stress you don’t want.

Next take it for a drive (remember to pump your brakes before leaving the garage) and come back and check for leaks. Fill with 98 RON (cheap insurance).

Do this at least a week or 2 before track day.

The night before heading to your track, pack at least 2 liters of water (you will piss a lot), take some snacks, bananas, bars, boiled eggs, biscuits, what ever, cold coffee drink (especially if you drink coffee normally). 20minutes isn’t a lot of time between runs so you wont have time to get fuel for you or the car. There is hot food and some snack their for the first 2 hours.
Pack a box with basic tools, including a hydraulic lift if you have one, some oil, duct tape, and if you have a V8 a fuel can full of extra fuel.

Now is a good time to sit back and relax, go to google maps and check out the how to get to the track.

Eastern creek is easy, come in the same entrance as the drag cars, and take a left at the end. Stop and tell the guy you’re here for track day. Then drive in all the way to the end where the start line and pavilions are. Enter (yes seriously) the pit area, but drive SLOWLY. The first garage is the instructors, you are looking for any free garage after this to drive into. I usually go around 30 to 40 as the cafe, toilets, and pit exit are good distance.

Right all good. Congrats. Try sleep. Enjoy the morning and head to the track.

By the way, since this is a cheap track car. It was important not to change anything until after we had trailed it. No point sinking money into a pig if it has no potential.

TL:DR Needed cheap track car got the 206GTI 2001 Peugeot


After settling back into Sydney it was time to start looking at motor sports again.

The goal is simple, a cheap track day car that is 1) fun, 2) keep up with intermediates 3) doesn’t cost the earth to buy and maintain, ideally should come in under 3000 AUD….. WTF IS THAT POSSIBLE I hear you say. Well lets find out

Problem with rule 3)
This rules out a lot of competitive cars right off the bat. Using to get the power to weight calculations (please add this as a search in the future) and the topgear fast lap circuit times as a base line ( we had a list of cars to look at. After lot of price matching we were able to narrow down the field to french cars and that was about it.

What we quickly found out is
a) Don’t bother going with the preferred cars of Australian, cars like the commodore or ford xr6/xr 8 is way to expensive as far as bang for buck goes
b) audi s4 and bmw are awesome cars, and if our budget had been slightly higher you’d be crazy not to get a 130i bmw for around 8000aud. This car also has a LOT of following so you can get a cage easily and its easy to slowly add in M3 parts for cheap.
c) porsche and other racing brands are too expensive
d) the dissapointing one is the MX5, these things are well over priced
e) french!! For the exact reason you stay away from the ford/holden the Australians love/hate (mostly hate) affair of french cars makes their depreciation huge
f) hot hatches, excluding subaru’s and mini (they make crap power)

What this translates to
a) Ford Focus ST 2003 can be had for around 5000, Power to weight is 107.7 (W/kg) seems to be a decent value for money, kind of pricy
b) Golf GTI 2001, 5000aud power to weight is a crappy 87.6 (W/kg)
c) Mazda 3 about 4000 AUD for a 2004 Maxx Sport (86.6 (W/kg)) or 5000 for the SP23 which is also only 91.9 (W/kg)
d) Peugeot GTI 2.0 2002 for 2000AUD 96.5 (W/kg) now we are talking
e) Peugeot GTI 2.0 180 2004 for 3000 AUD (WTF!!!!) 126.1 (W/kg) Seriously this is good bang for your buck

So in keeping with theme (we still needed tyres, brakes, and oils) we opted for a Peugeot 206 GTI 2.0 2001 model for less than 2000AUD.

Next Time Track testing

Peugeot 206 cutting out

Posted: 2017-11-09 in Cars, Vehicles

I search the net for this one and most answers were misleading.

For me the car would either die when i put the clutch in, or the idle would sometimes not settle. Either way the car was stalling.

The test fix is easy, take of the Idle control valve and clean it with carb cleaner. Clean the air passages also.

When you next start the car it will idle high, very high. let it warm up then take it for a short but careful drive. It will fight you but don’t stress. Then simply turn off the car, wait about 15 seconds and start it again. Repeat this process a few times. Its just the computer relearning the Idle Control valve settings.

This is a temporary fix. You will need to buy a new Idle control valve but this should last you long enough till it arrives. All in all this fix should cost about 25 bucks for the idle control valve (i got mine from german ebay sent to oz) and about 6 bucks for the can of carb cleaner.

Is very easy getting off the ICV you just need a torq screw, and a 8mm (i think) socket to take off the hose clamps. The only weird clamp is the one about 3 inches in which joins the efi intake to the boot.

Let me know if you need pictures. I only wrote this cause most of the internet was wrong with this fix.


How to change the oil in a Vw Polo 6n Gearbox

Before you start, wash the underside of your car, in particular the drain plug area as it will be a mess around there.

Bike Usage

I got the bike on a very cold day in March, and since done a further 6500 km’s on the clock which now points to 15500km in total.
The bike is ridden 1/3rd’s of the time on back roads and street, and the rest of the time its on the track. Before me the bike was mostly mountain roads, the owner upgraded to the 990.


I am a worn bike owner. I do all my own maintenance (except tire changes), like MX, enduro riding and love motarding at the local medium sized track.   


Maintenance is like any bike maintenance, it needs to be done or it cost a little more each ride.
So I check most fuids after each ride as well as oil the chain.
I change oil every 2000 kms (only a quick engine oil change), I do a proper oil change and service every 4000 km’s as per the manual and so far I have only adjsuted the valves twice, the second was totally unnessasry but I had the top off.

Probably my biggest issue is the tuning, occasionally the bike will complain, so far it has eaten 3 plugs, each one died with little warning and took a lot to nurse the bike home.

General Feelings and Comments

The gear box is a little noisy, but only in neutral. When compared to two other KTM 660 it seems normal.

The stock exhaust is quiet decent but should have the little metal disc removed: drill around the spot welds and then pull like crazy with pliers you’ll break the welds.
I do have an complete aftermarket exhaust system, this required re-jetting when dynoed the back wheel said 70hp, but due to the local track restrictions it is deemed to noisy.