2005 GTO - A Day At The Airfield
Most car enthusiasts have raced their car or someone else's at some point in time. For many, racing is the main reason why they're involved in the hobby, while others see it as icing on the cake to owning such a great-performing car. Whatever your reasoning may be, racing is a great part of this hobby and there are many different types you can become involved in.
Drag racing is the most commonly performed segment. It's cheap, easy to get involved in, and the U.S. is littered with quarter-mile and eighth-mile tracks. Very little effort is needed to get your car out on the track to find out one of the most important elements of your Pontiac's acceleration--its e.t. in the quarter-mile. Some prefer to get a little deeper into their car's performance and choose to take their Poncho onto a road course. The problem with this form of racing has become very clear: It can be very expensive and it must be done on a closed course, such as Virginia International Raceway or Sebring International Raceway. Not too many people live 15 minutes from such a course, which makes it very hard for everyone to become active in this form of motorsport.
There is a solution, however, that's growing in popularity: autocross. This form of racing takes the argument of not having a track near you out of the equation. Any parking lot can become an eligible surface for setting up your cones and unleashing your Pontiac. There are also plenty of clubs that go out to small airfields on weekends. Many of them even use professional timing data, allowing you to compare your stats after each lap.
When we had a chance to take our '05 GTO out to the autocross at Hernando County Airport in Brooksville, Florida, we used a DriftBox from Race Logic. It provided us with extremely accurate lateral acceleration data from our Goat, along with acceleration times. This nifty tool allowed us to further delve into our lap times and find out what went wrong and where. We didn't even begin to tap into the potential of this GPS-based data acquisition system, but plan to in future trips to autocrosses, road races, and the dragstrip.
Results</strong> Lap Time Comment1 1 min 1.2 sec</strong> Missed a timing cone2</strong> 54.5 sec</strong> 3</strong> 52.1 sec</strong> Achieved the best acceleration out of the starting gate and also experienced .90g through a corner (averaged high .80s)4</strong> 53.2 sec</strong>
Car Specs
'05 Pontiac GTO six-speed
Suspension: Stock
Brakes: Stock
Engine: Corsa Sport Cat-Back
Wheels: 17-inch Factory
Tires: 245/45ZR17 BFG g-Force Sport
Peak Acceleration 0-60: 4.8
Lateral Acceleration: .90g

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