Tom Wilson
March 2, 2012

Turning to the Race Keeper data acquisition it was possible to synchronize the street and race lap times, pick spots on the course to take a snapshot of the data and thus find the differences. The results below make a fascinating study.

The chart lists the turns as T1, T2, and so on, and it helps to know T1 is a medium banked left, T2 is an unbanked, uphill sweeper, T3 through T6 is the tighter, uphill, downhill technical section, T7 is a non-event bend in the back straight, and T8 and T9 are sweepers. The two straights are between T9-T1 and T6-T8.

What the Race Keeper data makes clear is the race car corners faster through long sweepers, but has no advantage in the slower corners. Also, the race car's better braking allows it to drive on a course that effectively has longer straights than what the street car experiences; that's part of why the race car has higher corner entry speeds.

Why is the race car faster in high-speed turns? Aero. The racer sits lower and the G-Stream vented hood and splitter kill much of the front end lift that robs streets cars of their high speed manners, while the rear wing helps plant the rear. From the driver seat this feels like a calmer, more reassuring chassis, which is a major aid to performance when bending in at 139 mph. It also means a faster exit speed out of the sweeper and onto the straight, which gives a big head start in raising the top speed, which is where you really make inroads on the lap time.

We must admit the Boss 302 was a pleasant surprise at the track. On the three-hour drive home we had plenty of time to marvel at just how fast the street car was around Willow, how much of the Boss 302 personality comes through in the race car (especially in the powertrain), how friendly and fun Paul's race car was, and just what a special car the Boss 302 is. We kept having to remind ourselves the quiet, smooth sports car whisking us home had just been chasing a race car around the big track at Willow Springs.

That all this is available in a Ford showroom for under $45,000 is incredible. The Boss 302 really is one for the ages.

Street BossBoss 302S
Front straight speed135146
Braking into T10.99 g1.05 gRace car went deeper under braking
T1 Apex speed8687
T1 Apex G1.301.46
Speed into T2111114
T2 Steady speed97102
T2 G1.091.29
T2 Exit speed99104
T3 Entrance speed111115The race car went deeper and had a top speed of 118 just past this point.
T3 Apex speed6666
T3 Corner G1.461.58From T3- the start of T6, the cars were near identical and only slightly off each other.
T4 Entrance speed7475
T4 Speed over the balcony5556
T5 Entry speed9598
T5 Apex speed6163
T5 Apex G1.271.29
T6 Speed at rise9598
T7 Speed at shift point115119
T8 Entrance speed133139
T8 Exit G going into braking1.281.55
T9 Entrace speed100104
T9 Apex speed9898
T9 Exit speed108110