What tire combo are you running? Indoor/Outdoor? Carpet/Asphalt?
Prism Lilac Fronts and Yellow Rears on a medium/low bite indoor carpet track have been working at my track quite well.
My first thought would be to:
Dial out some dual rate. My guess is that you're throwing the steering over to full lock on entry and that's where all the speed is getting dumped.
If it feels like you have just enough steering, you probably don't have enough.
If you're driving hard, you're probably overdriving. (I'm quite guilty of this and find my best laps to be when I'm relaxed.)
Make sure ride height is level and that body is not mounted with a rake.
Move the batteries forward to the middle of the battery slots.
Try out a high downforce body.
Try the next lighter front spring.
Check for the front tires coning and increase negative camber by .25 degrees until it's corrected.
All of these changes should improve steering incrementally.
Then reset everything to original and repeat with the next softer front tire.
Then reset everything to original and repeat with the servo mounted flat.
As far as grunt, the car has no problem at all getting the power to the ground. You may want to drop a couple of teeth from the pinion to give up top end but to gain punch and control until you get the setup sorted out. Once that's done, gear it to the moon.
I've been working through 12th scale noob status as well, and these changes are what I've done. I've picked up nearly 3 laps overall just through consistency and increasing corner speed.
Experts please chime in if I'm giving improper guidance!
Hope this helps,