Our main goal with Gotta Have It Street is to make it into a true street performance Mustang that can drive on the street, perform at the drag strip AND still handle great. We've been on the street and the drag strip, and this past weekend finally gave us a chance to test out how it handles. Susquehanna Region SCCA, our local Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), had an autocross event scheduled for Sunday, July 8th at the Giant Center in Hershey, PA, so Rick and Tommy both signed up to co-drive Gotta Have It Street.
To prep for the event, we installed an Eibach Adjustable Anti-Roll Kit earlier in the week. Installation was a breeze, and we knew that the decreased body roll from the Anti-Roll Kit was going to be a huge help. We had previously installed Eibach’s Pro-Street S Kit with Maximum Motorsports Caster Camber Plates and a BMR Adjustable Panhard Bar, which already made the car feel like it was glued to the road. We had our alignment set with a very street friendly 1 degree of camber. For this event, we used our street wheels and tires, Ford Racing’s GT500 Performance Pack Wheels and BF Goodrich’s KDW IIs in 255/35-19 and 285/35-19. We were classified in the STU class because of the suspension, intake, wheels and tires that are installed on Gotta Have It Street.
Rick and Tommy arrived at the Giant Center at 8 a.m. and began prepping Gotta Have It Street. They pulled out the driver’s side floor mat and any loose items from the interior and trunk, then had the car tech inspected. Next, they did a walk through of the course and were surprised to find that it was set up with a pretty open layout, without any really tight spots. It had some larger turns and slalom in the straight portions, which was going to help our big and heavy Mustang. With all of the slaloms, they knew that the sway bars were going to be a big help making the quick transitions. You can see in the video how stable and flat the suspension stays.
Rick was the first to take Gotta Have It Street through the course. He had never raced in an autocross event with an automatic before, so he started in Sport mode. He also turned off Traction Control and Advance Trak. For the first run, Rick held back a little to get used to the car and to the track layout. His first run was 51 seconds. He learned that the car would up-shift to 3rd gear when braking hard, which would cause a brief bit of hesitation while it down shifted into 2nd gear when he got back on the throttle. For the rest of the runs, both drivers would put Gotta Have It Street into Sport mode, then manually launch the car in 1st gear and manually shift into 2nd gear. They found that they could run the complete course in 2nd gear.
Tommy was up next for his first run. He really hadn't had the chance to drive Gotta Have It Street very often, and had not even driven the car yet with the Eibach Adjustable Anti-Roll Kit installed. As a result, Tommy’s first run was a modest 55 seconds. However, now that Rick and Tommy both had a lap under their belts and a lot more familiarity with the car's performance and the course, they knew it was time to attack. Rick was able to improve his time to 49.1 seconds on his second run, but Tommy bettered that with his second run of 48.7 seconds.
Rick knew that he had to find some extra speed if he was going to be able to put up a faster time than Tommy. However, coming out of the last corner of his third run, he pushed a little too hard and the rear end lost traction, which sent him into a spin and caused him to knock over cones. On Tommy’s 3rd run, he picked it up even more and dropped almost another second, running a 47.8.
Rick and Tommy each had one more run. Rick had to pick up at least 1.3 seconds if he wanted to beat Tommy. However, Rick was only able to improve by a few tenths of a second and ran a 48.9 on his last lap. Tommy wanted to make an improvement on his 47.8 run and knew where he could pick up some more time on his last run. Tommy’s last run was very smooth, and he ran a blistering fast 46.5 seconds.
Tommy’s best of run 46.5 seconds earned him 2nd place in the STU class. A Subaru STi with some sticky tires was able to beat out Gotta Have It Street for 1st.
Gotta Have It Street's performance definitely met our expectations at the autocross. We felt that the car slightly under steered, but that would easily be fixed with the Eibach Adjustable Anti-Roll Kitand by adding more camber with the Maximum Motorsports Caster Camber Plates. Even with some slight under steer, Gotta Have It Street registered 1.01Gs on a right hand turn and 0.97 Gs on a left turn during our runs.
Rick and Tommy each had a blast at the event and both desire to spend more time autocross racing with Gotta Have It Street...and they'll be getting that chance next week!
Mustang Week is July 16-22 and Rick and Tommy will be taking both Gotta Have it Street and Gotta Have It Race to many of the events, and are definitely planning to run Gotta Have It Street in the Autocross event. If you're in the Myrtle Beach, SC area and want to say hello, make sure to stop by and see Rick and Tommy at any of the Mustang Week events they will be attending! We also plan to running Gotta Have It Street in more local Susquehanna Region SCCA events, so keep an eye out!