I realize that there are no magic recipes for tuning the car, making it faster or driving better - it's really all about getting educated, trial and error, making mistakes and keeping the things that work.
Everyone's opinion has value and everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. There is a lot to learn and every piece of information I gather helps me get smarter to make better decisions. You guys have way more
experience at this than I do and way more
opportunity to tune your car than I do, so I can accelerate things quite a bit by taking your knowledge and applying it to my car - especially since we all have the same chassis.
I need to shave quite a number of seconds off of my lap times. I'm about 6 seconds behind the leaders - which is a lot to me. I know that if I stop letting go the throttle at every turn, I can save a 1/10th of a second at each turn, which will quickly add up to 1.6 seconds. I also need to learn to accelerate out of a turn much, much earlier than I'm doing now and learn to let the car drift a little. I understand the racing line extreme well, which I can follow at moderate speed while practicing, but I'm not skilled enough to follow it from the driver's stand while I'm racing.
Mechanically there is still a lot to do - engine mid and top end, setting the clutch and getting the 2-speed to kick in earlier in the straightaway than the halfway point. The 2-speed is easy enough to adjust; I just haven't had time to do it. I pretty much got the clutch thing figured out, but the engine is still going to take some tinkering.
The whole ball bearing thing came about, because I asked Ishitani what hop-ups they add to the standard MTX-4 kit and he said the bearings and the belts. Which begs the question, "Can ceramic ball bearings really make the car run that much faster?" Or rather in my case, "Given your tuning and driving skills, do you really think that ceramic bearings are going to improve your lap times?"
When I initally asked the question, I think I was expecting everyone to just provide some part numbers - not dissuade me from getting them and start a debate. But you know what, I'm learning a lot about ball bearings - including the fact that I need to maintain them!
So no matter what anyone says, "It's all good."