Track Testing Improves Steeda’s SCCA Championship 2015 Mustang #20 Race Car & 2018 HPDE Mustang
Sticking with the status quo doesn’t keep you at the head of the pack. The team at Steeda doesn’t just rest on our performance laurels, we head to the track and push our test cars to the limit to find where are products have room for improvement. After taking the #20 2015 Mustang Race Car and our HPDE-prepped 2108 Mustang to the track, we learned how to improve them for quicker more consistent lap times
For the 20 car this was the first outing with its new powerplant — Ford Aluminator motor — which is still mated to the stock MT-82 via a Exedy Stage 2 clutch. Thanks to the fresh engine, the lap times were a full 3.2 seconds faster then the last time the car ran at the same track in May. We were thrilled.
However, during our testing we discovered that its oil cooler, designed for the OE 5.0-liter, wasn’t up to the task of adequately providing the necessary cooling for the 10 quarts of oil circulating through the new Aluminator. As a result, we called its testing short and set out to remedy this minor issue. That is, after all, why we test. And, despite the issue, the 20 car was easily the fastest Mustang on track that day.
Fortunately, we also drove our 2018 HPDE Mustang, which featured some fresh upgrades, to the track. Thanks to our friends at Kooks, which supplied us with long-tube headers, the increased exhaust flow delivered more horsepower and torque while reducing cylinder head temps.
In addition to the headers, we also equipped this car with our prototype road race K-member shaving 16.5 pounds off the nose of our Mustang. Not only does the K-member lighten the front end, but it does so without adding any road noises or harshening the ride. This new K-member also comes equipped with our G-trac brace, which increases the stiffness and improves the feel of the S550 platform.
Finally, we added a prototype Steeda aluminum driveshaft to help reduce driveline vibration at high rpm. Thanks to the upgrades, the Steeda HPDE 2018 Mustang did not disappoint. We were able to pickup a solid 1.5 seconds per lap and inch out a few more laps per session before cylinder head temps rose high enough that we had to back off the loud pedal to let cooler heads prevail.
Just as our 20-car testing showed us that the stock Performance Pack radiator is insufficient for the 95-degree summer weather in Florida, the same issue exists with the stock 2018 Mustang unit. We will have to upgrade the radiator to resolve our cylinder head temperature problem. Even adding a new radiator, the car’s overall price will remain well below the $75,000 mark, and it can still outrun some exotic cars.
At the end of the day, our red HPDE 2018 Mustang was only outpaced by one other Mustang — the #20 Steeda 2015 Mustang that we trailered there. Of course, the faster Steeda was equipped with racing slicks that are much lighter and stickier than the Nitto NT01 street tires that the 2018 Mustang drove to the track on!
Our Steeda Q500 is equipped with…
Steeda Front and Rear Swaybars with endlinks
Steeda Front Control Arms
Steeda Pro-Action Adjustable Shocks & Struts
Steeda Dual Rate Springs
IRS Subframe Support Braces
Steeda CAI Closed Cold Air Box
Steeda 93 octane Tune
2 Piece Front and Rear Rotors
Kooks Long Tube Headers 1-7/8” x 3”
Aluminum driveshaft (prototype)
Equipped specifically just for the track day:
18×11 Forgestar CF5 Wheels
315/30/18 non-shaved Nitto NT01 tires (6 heat cycles on them before the day started.)
Hawk DTC-60 Front brake pads
Stock PP rear pads
1/16 towed in on front
1/16 towed out in in rear
-2.5 camber front
-1.7 camber rear
6.7 positive caster