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Thread: Preliminary report on new wings....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Venice, CA
    United States

    Preliminary report on new wings....

    Hey guys, I took the car out yesterday for the first time with my new wings (Blackbird Fabworx DF1000X) and here's my preliminary report.

    I was testing them out at Buttonwillow Raceway, a track I know very well running their CW13 config (2.68 miles and 19 turns.) It was a hot day peaking at ~95F from a low of 70F at sunrise, I normally would not even bother going out on a hot day like that but I had to try the wings out as soon as I could!

    Initial thoughts:
    First of all the car feels completely different. I am not exaggerating at all; it's like it's a different car entirely. Even just after a few seconds into driving it at track entry at a fairly relaxed speed I could feel the car has tons more traction than before.

    Notable differences:
    I used to be traction limited around their large fast sweeper but now I'm full throttle the entire way and power limited. Tires come up to temp far quicker now too and braking is far more positive (and violent) than before.

    Other anecdotal observations:
    You can go tearing into a corner at a speed where your mind is telling you it won't make it but it sticks. I can tell this is going to take some time to get used to. Also the effort required to get the car to maintain a turn at it's limits is significant, the only thing that I have to worry about now is if I can withstand the G forces at the exit. I will have to start lifting weights now so I don't get tired, seriously, I thought it would be hard but it actually hurts around the long corners! I feel like I need to adjust my driving style to a more smooth style too, I used to really throw the car around into corners especially and now I don't need to do that to get great turn in.

    There's something wrong with my trusty Honda engine. Hesitation at 6500RPM in all gears was killing all my exits and my straight line pulls. I over-revved the engine a couple of runs ago and it's been doing this ever since. I'm about to do the K20/K24 hybrid though so I'm not too worried about that. My tires were old and heat cycled out, I was even running a mix of A7 and R7 due to Americas Tires not shipping my new Hoosiers in time. On new rubber I'm scared to think how much this will stick if I want it to. I ran 4 sessions, I only adjusted the wing one time, taking ~7.5 degs off the secondary element, but it was still far more wing than I think I need for that track configuration and it definitely limited my top speed in a couple of long sections more so than I gained in the faster corners there and I ended up being power limited in more corners versus traction limited.

    Did you go faster? Well yes and no. I'm cornering at speeds far exceeding previous limits and obviously I can go even faster than I did yesterday. I didn't see a faster overall lap time than my pb there (-1.0s); engine, tires, air temp and then running too much wing are all to blame there. In the right conditions I think I can take 2 seconds of my pb easily.

    What about handling? Turn in is so much more positive, the car feels planted and balanced and far less twitchy in fast transitions. No understeer, the limit of traction when I did find it a few times felt fine and controllable as before. The car sticks nicely over large bumps now which previously would upset the car so I can cut a couple of corners far more aggressively now.

    What about the cheaper DF500 wing config? I didn't run it. I'll try it one day and let everyone know what I find. At an even faster track like AutoClub Speedway where I max out the car for long periods less wing is definitely going to be the better option, whereas at say Sonoma and Streets of Willow (2 of my 4 other goto places) having the additional downforce of the DF1000X is going to help.

    What about the increased drag? I think with an SRA with only 230HP this is a real problem to contend with. The Atom is already an aerodynamic dog, we all know that. My SRA previously maxed out at ~126mph in 5th, I don't yet know what the wings effect is on top speed but I'm guessing I'm down to 120mph with a lot of wing on, maybe even less I don't have any experience to guess better than that. Below 100mph things felt about the same but over 100mph I could definitely feel the car struggling to accelerate (engine issues aside.) For a 300HP Atom this should be less of a concern I would think (hope.)

    Should I buy these for the Street? Dude, thats up to you. I wouldn't but then I don't drive on my Atom on the street nor would I. The front wing is pretty low making some of the streets in LA impossible to navigate.

    Is it worth the money? If you want to add downforce to your track Atom then I would say given the choices out there this is the best one and the best tends to be worth the money.

    How does it look? You tell me, I think it looks badass.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    United States
    My first reaction when I saw the spoiler & the wing was the same what you mentioned above on the test:
    "definitely limited my top speed in a couple of long sections more so than I gained in the faster corners there and I ended up being power limited in more corners versus traction limited."

    Should I buy these for the Street?
    Two different chassis - tested in Sra (stiffer chassis) than the street version (might have a positive/negative side effect on the other). Functional for street version? I don't know.

    For the look, I certainly will not put an oversized jumbo jet wing/spoiler in mine. The atom is a cop and state police magnet as of now.
    Others might have different view.

    Thank you for the effort -- nice test

  3. #3
    Fermion Blackbird Fabworx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    United States
    Thanks for the write up, Richard!
    It was rewarding to watch you climb out of the car after every session with a huge grin on your face

    It was a good start in your road to re-learn the car with aero.
    To think that you're merely 1 sec behind your PB around BRP on a day that your engine was not working right at every corner exit, with brutally hot ambient temp, on old heat cycled tires and in a car that you have essentially never driven before, that's a spectacular achievement in my book!
    A little more familiarity driving with aero and just resetting the car back to normal would have easily reset your PB, but with the new engine build I suspect you'll be rewriting a whole new chapter very soon.
    FWIW, I was about 3.5 seconds off my PB due to temps and older tires as well, just to give you an idea.

    Also note that leaving the secondary element alone for the first few sessions was really just to give you an idea of how far this can go.
    You've never driven with aero before, so starting off at a high point and backing it down until you lose performance is the way to go, though obviously between the engine trouble and high temps this was not meant to happen last sunday...

    I'm excited to see how far you can take it and will be happy to assist you with fine tuning the package to optimal performance

    BTW, Adam snapped a couple shots of your car -

    Last edited by Blackbird Fabworx; September 29, 2015 at 07:49 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Texas USA
    United States
    Very Nice

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