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2013 Kia Optima
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Welcome back to my adventures!

See my post back from 14 July 2021 Track Day.

Here is my 2013 Kia Optima SXL build.

Hit the track again and this time the day was around 55-65F for most of the day. I was not the only Kia this time! Someone brought a Kia Stinger (non-GT2) with a few mods, including meth injection. They stated they're around 600hp. I am unsure of those claims, but it did move. Maybe bhp, not whp?

Prior to this track day, all I did was add an Injen Throttle Response Controller (TRC). Everything else was untouched. I can state that the TRC absolutely changes the street driving of the vehicle. I was riding around on the street with 5/9 SPORT setting. The response is much quicker and the turbo lag was drastically lowered.

My main issues in July on the track were Traction Control and Turbo Lag holding back the real potential of the car and my driving.

I'm happy to say those have been alleviated and we've discovered the true limitations of the car now and it's just working on my capabilities and experience from here on out. The TRC was 6/9 SPORT and it was too much on first few laps. We actually had to adjust it to 1/9 SPORT. You don't want that much push coming out of an Apex, but way more than stock gave. The reaction times on 1/9 SPORT with the TRC are exactly what we need for track driving. Turning off Traction Control was something we did on my 2nd time on the track and it made all the difference in some major turns. Instead of coming out of the Apex with power and pushing across the racing line only half way, I was able to meet where the racing line is. Never lost control of the vehicle and I PUSHED this vehicle. You would not believe what I push this vehicle too and I'm very surprised I did not break traction on my all seasons and with the suspension. I put full confidence and even what I considered TOO MUCH confidence and this platform was having zero issues.

Slope Font Map Parallel Diagram


In turn 5 of this track, you can really hit it as you hit the point where you dive into the apex. I fully engaged turbo there and pushed my car to probably the most body roll possible. I come out of the racing line there to the edge of the track and barely touching grass blades. I was coming into the apex at 70mph there and hitting 110mph coming into turn 6 and braking immediately for an 80mph turn 6.

Turn 7 is considered the hardest corner on this track and it's actually my most perfect corner. Even my instructor says I nail it perfect any time and I owe that heavily to the car. I know exactly how to brake, apex, power through that corner so I am setup perfectly on that half mile straightaway to haul ass at turn 1.

I cannot explain to how well this car handles with the right modifications. It is phenomenal. I even drove around in a Porsche 911 and that car handles and hauls ass. I cannot match that car, but I literally can't tell you how close it is. You'd expect a much wider gap and that is not the case. This is not a car you would often see tracking, but I'm so happy I built it to do so. It gets many compliments as much of the crowd loves the unique vehicles and not just another Corvette or Porsche. I got many compliments on the look, handling, sound, and power.

Only one issue came up while coming into turn 6 at one point and really pushing some limits, the car threw up a low tire pressure warning. I pitted and ended my stint. I checked and nothing was of concern, probably was just really pushing it. I did modify my PSI in the rears to 35psi and the fronts to 32psi. All four tires were floating 31-33 when I did that. Fixing that led to no issues and I went hard after that adjustment. So, all good.

Last notes...I got promoted from Novice to Intermediate following this track day. That essentially means I run with a more experienced class and I no longer need an instructor in the vehicle with me. Instructor said he saw great improvement throughout the day and that I got it down. Even saw him clap one time coming out of the car and to another instructor.

I'm done for the season and will be back at it next May. I plan to replace brake pads, rotors, brake fluid, oil, coolant, coilovers, toe-control arms by then. I'm considering special wheel/tires just for track too.

On my way to Advanced level!


Here are some pics and a video showing me coming into Turn 1. The video does not do me justice. I'm coming in at 90mph and hitting apex at 60mph and I'm at around 70mph coming out of it. My main focus will be getting a good video of me coming out of Turn 7 next time. That will show things very well since it's a 90* turn.


After 5x (1.5 hours) on the track, the front right wheel:
Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Automotive tire



Car Plant Land vehicle Tire Wheel




Plant Vehicle Car Motor vehicle Wheel


Tire Wheel Land vehicle Vehicle Car

Plant Sky Vehicle Tree Tire


Wheel Plant Tire Cloud Sky


Cloud Sky Plant Car Tire


Plant Sky Wheel Car Tire
 
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