So, unfortunately, my plan of two days of modified testing went out the window this morning when, sod's law, heavy rain arrived during the night despite it having been dry all week! Still, decided to make the most of the local indoor track, and spent a mammoth 12hours there, having run close to 25 packs through the car, got a much better understanding on what I need to do to get it to my liking. Still not quite 100%, but boy it's fast...
Anyway, started out with the setting's I had worked towards from last time, with a high front Roll centre, roll bars, and relatively soft springs and dampers. Car felt pretty good, managing to hit an 11.9 on the first run to give a good baseline to start from.
Second run, I wanted to give the asym damper option a try, as I hadn't yet had the opportunity too... anyway, felt a little calmer to drive, and improved the fastest lap to an 11.6, so suffice to say it was quicker!
Next few runs I played around with the springs and dampers again, before trying the roll-centre setup that Tom used in his GP3F setup (0/0.5 F, 0.5/0.5 R), plus most of the geometry to match.
Now, given the bumps on this track, I also kept the softer dampers and springs coupled to the softer roll bars, but matched the front and rear rates, and using the same roll bar F-R. Straight from the off there was noticeably more front end (as expected really!), with almost too good rotation middle to exit. Dropped the lap time down to an 11.3, but that was a one off, as I did find the more front end to more difficult to drive.
So again, next few runs were simply working through a range of spring and damper options, making large changes to see what worked best.. but by this time, the set of MuchMore36's I was running were starting to go off, so developing a mid-corner push. Did manage to match the 11.3's with a couple of runs, but no further improvements.
In an attempt to combat the mid-corner push, I then tried moving the cells back to the R2 (rearmost) position. This did negate the push... but also made the car rotate too much, and over-rate in the miiddle. I tried it for a couple of runs, mainly as I was forced to change the tyres over. Only suitable things I had in the box were some Sorex32's, with a Hara Grey insert. From previous testing, these aren't ideal for this track, with the insert being a bit too hard.
Still, straight off the bat, way way way more steering, so much so the rear just couldn't keep up and was sliding around too much. So cells back to R1, and a harder roll bar on the front were the next few options.
Still felt like the car was pitching too much on entry, so next on the agenda was removing a little more droop (which helped), and then started playing with the rear wheelbase. Now this proved to be quite a powerful tool to help lock the rear end in mid corner. Going from 9° of rear castor to just over 2° (lengthening the wheelbase) reduced the rotation in the middle again as expected, and just generally helped to make the car more stable.
Now, despite all this, I would still on occasion have an issue with the front being too reactive with the matching damper/spring setup, so then moved the front damping rate up a little, but keeping the springs the same... and that was right on the money. Now, I only moved the damper out 0.2mm (and didn't change the spring either), but straight away noticed the change on track. The hard breaking sections were less snappy, and I had more confidence to push the car through the high-speed chicane... result of dropping the fast lap down to an 11.1, and managed a few of them as well.
Only real issue left un-resolved was occasional willingness to flip mid-corner. Now I ran out of time (how, given 12hours, I have no idea
) to sort it, but I think it's due to slightly stiffer spring rate, and pitching over the outside of the tyres.
Overall, I'm just becoming more and more impressed with this car.. it does require a different driving style, as it is very direct and positive on the front, but even when setup right, it is still possible to drive round pretty sharpish!
Also, I'll admit, did have a few big hits today, two of which I am sure would have broken my 417... but (almost) not a scratch on the A700! Only reliability issues I had were an upper ball joint falling apart after a big hit, and the spur nut fell off leaving no drive, and that was it! Impressive for sure.
Anyway, I've attached the final setup, anyone with questions just let me know!