Track Day Muscle Part 2: Exterior

01-full-race-2015-mustang-semaIn the first iteration of the Motorz Track Day Muscle series, we discussed making your interior as high performance as the V8 nestled under the hood. With the cockpit now ready for the track, it’s time to move outside. Wheels, tires and aero components all play a key role in transforming big block performance, improving both straight line and street course times. Have your Craftsman tools at the ready, because it’s time for Track Day Muscle: Part 2.

Cliches in automotive journalism come in a variety of flavors. Of all the phrases that actually earn overuse, the classic “power is nothing without control,” takes the top spot. Regardless of horsepower figures, without the right rubber meeting the road, a surprising number of ponies are lost in translation. For track time, some beginners run straight to competition tires. While the intention is good, throwing on ultra-sticky tires is incredibly dangerous for novice or casual track day drivers.

With any car you plan to push hard, especially one with muscle car power, you need to be able to sense when traction is approaching the limit. This gives you time to react before the situation is out of hand. In essence, the car can teach you. With competition tires, performance becomes knife edge. You’ll have seemingly endless grip, right up until it’s gone. Not only will you have far less time to react, but you’ll also be traveling at substantially higher speeds. The result isn’t pretty.

pilot_super_sport_PerspInstead, upgrade your factory tires but only to a happy medium. In essence, a faster street tire, ready for the track but still well within amateur limits. We highly recommend Michelin Pilot Super Sports, which can fit a huge variety of Mustangs and other muscle cars, including brand new 2015 models. The Super Sport delivers an outstanding combination of performance and durability for extended lapping. Plus, you’ll also save significantly over motorsport rubber.

After spec’ing new tires, it makes sense to fit new metal at the same time. If you’re a racing fan, the legendary wheel maker BBS needs no introduction. Arguably the most respected performance wheel manufacturer in the world, you genuinely can’t go wrong. We recommend taking a look at the BBS RS 916 H. Put simply, it’s a nearly indestructible wheel that weights 19.9 pounds. That’s a phenomenally light weight, which in turn reduces unsprung mass, improving handling dramatically. Better yet, with the BBS name, you’ll never need to worry about cracking, fatigue, etc.

01-full-race-2015-mustang-semaWith traction up and weight down, both straight line and cornering speeds will inevitably increase. For a long list of muscle cars, quicker pace can further exacerbate front end lift. By fitting a wind tunnel tested, high quality front splitter, this relatively small modification can have a big impact. APR Performance has a habit of making exactly such a performance oriented front lip. Featuring carbon fiber reinforcement and a fully functional undertray, APR designed the 2015 Ford Mustang splitter to better direct area around and under the car. Important to note, this specific splitter will only work with the factory performance package, but don’t worry if you have a different spec. APR makes plenty of other Mustang aero pieces.

With Track Day Muscle: Part 2 complete, you have a track ready interior with tires, wheels and aero components more than ready for the task. We’re already halfway home to your fully track-prepped muscle car. Stay tuned, Track Day Muscle: Part 3 is just around the corner.

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