It's been a long few weeks for me. It all started with the St. Louis region driver's school three weekends ago and culminated today with the Walnut Ridge ProSolo. The driver's school went well, the Walnut Ridge National Tour went even better.
The Walnut Ridge ProSolo though was far from good. The event itself was great, organized and run very smoothly. The 350Z's B-Stock performance however was far from desired.
It's late, and I have a lot of things to catch up on, but in short the Z's drawbacks were most apparent this past weekend. The two drawbacks being the very flakey ABS, resulting in ice mode too many times to count this weekend, and the lack of a real LSD in the Z.
What is Ice Mode? Well, it's hard to describe, but once you hit it you know exactly what it is. Basically if the Z isn't completely level when you hit the brakes the brake peddle gets rock hard and the car doesn't want to stop. It doesn't pulse like ABS, it can be quite disconcerning, luckily for me I've only hit it once or twice on the street, but it's a frequent problem on the non-brembo 350Zs, made prior to the 2006 model year.
As for the lack of LSD, the 350Z models above the base model are equiped with an LSD, limited slip differential, which is supposed to limit the amount of wheelspin in the rear tires. The problem the Z has is that on corner exit with the throttle pressed for acceleration the car spins the inside rear tire in a nice smokey haze. A limited slip should actually transfer that force properly to keep the tire from spinning. At least, that is my understanding of how a LSD should work. It would be lovely in the Z had this feature, but it's something we must drive around.
As you can see, nothing really good to say about the weekend. Andy finished 4th, myself in 6th, the three trophy positions were all filled by Mazda RX-8s. I came home from Walnut Ridge this weekend and started looking at RX-8s on the Mazda website to see how much one would lease for..... Not likely that Andy and I will be switching, but I will be looking for an RX-8 at a local event to flog around the course and see what the competition feels like.
I'll have some video of our runs up later this week. I've now gotta pack. I'm headed to Boston Monday afternoon for Opening Day at Fenway on Tuesday!
posted from http://SCCAForums.com/blogs/christoc/