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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2022's going to be a wild ride, as our local SCCA region is having 2 separate series happening over the summer. In addition to the regular weekend points events, we'll also be having a completely separate weekday night race series. The "PAX Challenge", as they are calling it, starts on May 11th, so time is running out to prepare. Since the XS Cougar is still in progress, the Bullitt will be the night series competitor this year. And since I hadn't driven in in anger for a number of years, I shook it down this past weekend at the pre-season text & tune day at Fortress Obetz.

The Bullitt is a real crowd-pleaser. It gets nothing but love, all the time, from anyone and everyone. It's a super-fun car to drive anywhere, even if it isn't fast. It looks the business and makes all the right noises - and that's half the battle, innit?

Wheel Tire Sky Car Vehicle



That's a Roush 427R parked right next to me (which finished 3.56 seconds behind me, BTW), and Matt Schnelle's unbelievable M3 - built, supercharged, caged, the works - in front (which finished 1.5 seconds ahead of me - albeit in a different class).

ANYWAYS, so since I have lowered the Bullitt, I can't compete in Street class anymore. I could enter Street Touring or CAM - and the PAX index is way nicer for CAM class, so that's where we are. CAM is a really wild class full of really fast cars, so it's tough. I'm competing directly with all the new S550 Mustangs, with their 150-horsepower advantage and their independent suspension, and many on sticky race tires, so it's a given that I'm not going to be winning any trophies here without ruining the car for street duty - but I've made my peace with that. I'm just out here to have fun with it.

4 runs today. After watching the first heat, my brain goes to where I should be running if I were in the Cougar. And my brain tells me the Cougar would probably be running mid-to-high 35-second passes. In the Bullitt, I was shooting for something in the 36's.

First run was TERRIFYING - the Michelins Pilot Sport 4S don't have a lot of miles on them, but they are 4 years old, and they really needed this to get the crust off them. The car was sliding and pushing all over the place, and the brakes were also very unhappy being cold. By the end of the first run the grip started coming in, and the brakes started to bite well, so I figured I'd pick up time throughout the day. 38.559 to start; I would need 1.5 seconds or more to not embarrass myself.

Second run was indeed better, as they are. 37.616 - almost a second better.

Third run I tried something different - the first hairpin comes up quick, so I tried holding first gear through there, and shifting after getting out of the turn. I did come out of the turn with a lot more grunt, but kind of biffed the shift, losing a couple of tenths. 37.838 - it was all going to come down to the last run.

Final run was indeed my best of the afternoon, and apart from a pretty lurid understeer moment in the final hairpin, everything seemed to work. 36.911 - mission accomplished.

18 entries in the CAM class, and I finished exactly in the middle - 9th place. The 96 Mustang PAX'd me even though I was marginally faster around the course. Final standings are here - it says 22 entries, but there were 4 no-shows. Also not sure why there is a CP Boss 302 in the list, but I was faster than him anyway, so whatevs -

Font Number Screenshot Pattern



OVERALL RESULTS -
28th overall raw time out of 92 drivers
29th overall PAX time. Not too shabby!

If I really wanted to compete for top spot in CAM, I would certainly need a MUCH more aggressive suspension package, and probably a 295 square setup with A LOT lower treadwear numbers than the Michelins. But I'm just here to have fun, make noise, and share the Bullitt love with the crowd. I'd rather keep the car a lot more Bullitt-appropriate and street-friendly than chase trophies in such an underdog.

Relevant mods: Steeda underdrive pulleys, Roush shifter with Blowfish bracket, Steeda chromoly LCAs, Steeda rear sway bar, Ford Racing dampers and K-springs, Michelin Pilot Sport 4S in 255/45R-18, and a pair of FR500S axle-backs. Everything else is either strictly cosmetic or 2008-stock.

Video if the final run of the day -


Next event will be the May 11 PAX Challenge race #1! Hope to place a little higher as I get a feel for how this car reacts, compared to the XS Cougar.
 

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Awesome run in your video. Great work in that field of cars, and of course those FR500s mufflers sound glorious. I'm sure the sway bar helped alot but another thing that may help some with body control could be an adjustable/stiffer panhard. I know coming out of tight turns I could feel the body move compared to the axle with the stock bar flexing. Upgrading that bar helped alot I could only imagine you'd really feel it in autox as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Awesome run in your video. Great work in that field of cars, and of course those FR500s mufflers sound glorious. I'm sure the sway bar helped alot but another thing that may help some with body control could be an adjustable/stiffer panhard. I know coming out of tight turns I could feel the body move compared to the axle with the stock bar flexing. Upgrading that bar helped alot I could only imagine you'd really feel it in autox as well.
Hey, thanks for the recommendation - I've been meaning to do a panhard upgrade since installing the K springs, as I'm sure the axle is a little off-center anyway. I'll fast-track an adjustable unit for the next mod session and see how that goes.

The main thing that was holding me back at this time was probably the tires. The Michelins are great street tires, but I'm used to competing on 200-treadwear Bridgestones on the Cougar that one can lean on with impunity. So I was petrified of getting into the throttle at anything less than straight-ahead for fear of swapping ends - which was pretty clear in the audio. They are definitely better with a good amount of heat in them, but they can't hold up under the kind of torque the 4.6 puts down.
 

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Awesome!!!
 
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