I was running a 7.8 gear ratio
No I didn't pit, not even once, but I dumped right near the end, I think it was the start of my last lap or just before then I can't remember properly. I spun out and went face into the wall once (on the turn after the first S turn) but was lucky and got going quickly without having to press(T), other then that my run was pretty smooth.
I've found with the Xtacy that if the car is a little looser that you Will get around the track alot faster, as long as you can handle the looseness that you feel driving, try and really smoothen out your steering inputs to compensate but don't give up the fastest lines. I ran my best witch is posted then I did some more tunning and got it a bit more stable with out the tail kicking(I soffen'd up the rear)
I found that when I ran it again'st my best I was alot slower. If your running a car that is completely planted loosen it up and I garentee that if you can handle it then you will be faster(both Ron's that might be part of it for both of you). Also I have my steering duel rates set at 75% not 100% and if you get a chance to cut a corner, DO IT it slices away the seconds big time.
C'mon I know you guys can hit 18 laps. Keep on it.
Another thing is after the S turn there is another then the U turn to go down the back strait. I've found that the turn after the S turn and before the U turn is rather slippery if you get off line and that if you stay on line and on power (dosn't have to be full but keep some power on) then there should be no problems. Hope this helps because it's a real pain in the butt(If you've DL'd my recording then you'll see exactly what I mean)