The move up from Academy to Roadsport includes a few upgrades which make the car into a far nicer package to race.
The biggest difference by far are the tyres. The Academy runs Avon CR322 which were given several affectionate names like ‘ditch finders’ or ‘van tyres’. The replacements are Avon ZZS which have a thinner sidewall and far softer compound. Having better tyres makes such a difference to the handling of the car. When the back starts to slide on the CR322 it could be very snappy and once you went past a certain point that was it. With the ZZS it’s far easier to control the slide and steer the car on the throttle 🙂
The academy car was a bit ‘wallowy’ in the corners especially the rear end this was due to not having a rear anti roll bar. Which happens to be one of the upgrades for Roadsport. Along with the option to fit a thicker front roll bar. The rear one is adjustable so depending on the track conditions you can change it. Along with the 3 options I now have for the front there is more scope to adapt the car. Having had a play around with it during winter testing it definitely makes a difference when the track is wet.
Finally we have some decent ones! In the Academy the master cylinder is known for not being great and leaks air into the system. After a couple of days on track the pedal travel gets longer and longer. The only solution to this is to bleed the system. It became a bit of a race weekend ritual of every Friday lunchtime during testing to bleed the brakes instead of having lunch. The AP Racing master cylinder puts an end to all of this. The brake pedal is rock solid all the time. Since it was fitted I’ve done five track days and four races including two endurance events and it’s still as good as the day it was fitted.
The other brake related upgrade is a brake bias valve. This little device allows you to move the strength of the braking force between the front or rear depending on the track conditions.
Collectively all these changes have transformed the car and I can’t wait for the racing to start up again. In the meantime I’ll just have to keep doing track days to keep myself entertained.