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Chris' 2011 GTI


Go Kart Newbie
I bought my 2011 GTI in July of 2018. It is a base DSG model. It had 20,400 miles when I bought it. The couple that owned it used it as a weekend car but just didn't drive it that much.

The first thing I did to the car was replace the original tires. I installed a set of Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ in 225/40/18. I've been very happy with them. They are quiet, ride smooth, have great dry traction and decent wet traction. I have 25,000 miles on them and expect to get another 5-10k more out of them

My first mod was a Cobb stage 1 tune. It was more powerful, but wasn't very smooth. I also noticed that it didn't seem to match up with the DSG very well either. I did some research and bought an Intergrated Engineering DSG tune. That made a huge difference in the way the car drove. I decided to sell the Cobb and buy IE's stage 1 ECU tune to go with the DSG tune. I really like it. It makes good power and is pretty smooth. A couple days later I got a misfire. I swapped the plugs and installed a set of Audi red coils. I haven't had any more issues with the engine since.

In March 2019 I ordered the tools and parts needed to do a DSG service. It was pretty easy but took an hour or so.

In April 2019 I found a set of five Audi Titanium Edition wheels for $500 on craigslist. Two of them had minor curb rash. I bought touch up paint from and repaired the wheels myself.

APC-0125 - 800.JPG

In May of 2019 I signed up for a track day at Laguna Seca. My only prep was to swap the brake fluid out for Castrol SRF. The car drove well, but it understeered and the outside of the front tires were doing the bulk of the work. My best time was a 2:01.266.

I came home and immediately decided to improve the handling and braking. In July 2019 I found a really good deal on a used Brembo 330mm GT brake kit. In August 2019 I ordered a full set (front and rear positions) of SuperPro front LCA bushings, a set of RS-3 front brake air ducts to improve the front brake cooling and a set of Ground Control camber plates. The SuperPro LCA bushings added 1 degree of caster (more camber gain) and 10mm of anti lift to the front control arms. Around the same time I found a deal on an 034 subframe locking collar kit. I got everything installed over a weekend in August.

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Yes, the rotor is on the wrong side.

I got everything installed and realized that the brakes were rubbing on the wheels. :mad: I only needed 3mm but I found out that 10mm is the smallest spacer that you can find that is hub centric. I ordered a set of 10mm spacers from Deutche Auto Parts.

In August 2019 I tried AutoX for the first time. The suspension changes definitely improved the handling:

In November 2019 I bought and installed an H&R 22mm rear sway bar. I decided that it really didn't make a noticeable improvement. A week later I found a great deal on an 034 Motorsports 25.4mm rear sway bar with a set of 034 adjustable motorsport rear sway bar end links. I got the bar installed and immediately noticed a difference. I attended the SFR SCCA autoX test and tune.

I found this article about front sway bars and why they are necessary on strut based FWD cars. Basically, you need to control the roll at the front of the car to keep the tire from rolling over onto the outside shoulders. It made sense to me so in January 2019 I ordered a H&R 24mm FSB. Installing the FSB was the biggest PITA job I've done on this car. Basically, I had to drop the entire front subframe to get the old FSB out. Then when I tried to put it all back together I had to wrestle the three parts of the subframe, the steering rack, and the FSB at the same time until I could get everything lined back up and get all of the bolts started. Thankfully since I installed the subframe collar kit everything went back into alignment when I got it back together.

Around the middle of January I was looking for a set of used wheels I could use for the track. I found a guy that had two sets of wheels for sale. The first was a set of OZ Allegerrita HLT SEs with Dunlop Direzza IIs mounted on them. The second was a set of Enkei Fuijin with a set of slicks. I really wanted the Enkei with the Direzzas, but I decided to buy the OZs because it was a better deal. When I met the guy he saw the Audi Ti edition wheels on my car and flipped out. He had a Ti Edition S4 but didn't have the stock wheels. He asked if there was any way he could buy them from me. We worked out a deal where we traded wheels and he paid to have all of my wheels and tires re-mounted and balanced.


Track Day:

In late January I had the timing chain tensioner updated at 44,500 miles. While they were in there I had them install a new set of chains.

On February 13, 2019 I attended a track day at Laguna Seca with NCRC. They had a low turnout so they ran 3 groups with 7 sessions each. It was a great day. I got an instructor for my second session. I wound up running 60 laps. I started with both the H&R 26mm RSB and 034 25.4mm RSB on their stiff settings. I was getting a lot of lift throttle oversteer and the stability control was stepping in a lot. After the second session I moved the rear bar to soft (roughly equal to the H&R 24mm RSB on stiff). After that the car was balanced really well. I could adjust entry/mid corner oversteer with throttle. It still had a bit of lift throttle oversteer, but it wasn't nearly as obtrusive.

In the fourth session I was chasing this guy in a supercharged Mustang for 7-8 laps until we started hitting lapped traffic. His car had ~500 hp. He was killing me on the straights, but I had him in every corner.

This was my fastest lap. 1:53.51 in session 5.

I had to take one glamour shot before I left:

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Go Kart Newbie
At the track day a couple weeks ago I managed to warp one of my rotors and trash the brake pads. :oops:

I bought a set of PFC Carbon Metallic Z Rated pads from my local O'Reilly Auto Parts as a temporary fix. I also attempted to turn the rotors on my lathe at home. Unfortunately the slots in the rotors caused the tool bit to chatter. They looked OK but once I started bedding the pads I could feel that they aren't perfect anymore. After bedding the pads in I can see that there's a patch of rotor behind each slot that isn't in contact with the pads anymore. :(

I seriously thought about selling this kit and getting something bigger. I spent 30 minutes on the phone with a tech rep from Brembo this morning and I learned a few things.
1. Their recommendation was to stick with the 1 piece rotors. Even though the 2 piece rotors cool faster the the 1 piece rotors are 7.5mm thick vs. 5.5mm on the 2 piece rotors at the friction surface (~35% more iron to soak up the heat).
2. FM-1000 pads will wear at an accelerated rate once they are over their operating range but shouldn't fade until they are WAY over their operating range.

I probably made a couple mistakes.
3. The pads should have been replaced before the event as their was about 50% of the friction material left. That left less mass to soak up heat.
4. Since I came in hot and parked pretty quick the already overheated pads probably heat soaked one spot on the rotors while the rest of the rotor was able to cool down. That's likely why they warped. I should do a full cool down lap and keep rolling for a couple minutes in the pits to allow the pads to cool before they can soak the rotor.

Next, I called Porterfield and spoke to Ken about brake pads. He recommended their R4 pads. They have a wide temperature range and can be driven on the street. They are also compatible with the Z Rated PFC pads I already have. Ken also said that the Z rated pads are a great street/AutoX pad so I'll keep running those for DD.

I've also been looking at the brake cooling. There really isn't room for a full duct setup. The TT-RS colling ducts I currently have are just a paddle that sits at 90 degrees to the airflow. I can't imagine that they provide a ton of cooling in that configuration. I was looking at them over the weekend and realized that I could use a different hole in the arm to mount them canted forward about 25 degrees. That should help a bit. I also ordered a set of the GT3 ducts. They are more of a scoop design and hang down into the airflow more than the TT-RS ducts do.

This morning I ordered a new set of slotted rotors, a set of Porterfield R4 pads and a set of the GT3 brake ducts. I should have these in time for my next track day on the 14th. Unfortunately it looks like it's going to be tight to get the GT3 ducts in time.


Ready to race!
Great thread so far! (y)

What pads are you running in the rear? The reason I ask is because you've installed a front BBK with larger caliper pistons and have changed the OEM front / rear brake bias. The concern being that now you're making the front brakes do more work, putting more heat into them. You can calculate the braking torque factor for the front / rear based on piston diameter, rotor diameter, and pad height. You can make fine tuning adjustments with brake pad friction (Mu). Looking at this may help solve some of your brake system overheating issues.


Go Kart Newbie
Thanks Ronnie.

Right now I'm running the stock rears. Yes, I've added more bias to the front, but I've also added larger rotors (330x28mm vs 312x25). I'm trying to not dump a boat load of cash into this car, so I'm trying to do one small change at a time. I'll see how the brakes handle the new pads at the next event. Then I'll have a couple months to get it ready for the next one. the next upgrade will probably be moving to Porterfield R4-S pads on the rear.


Ready to race!
Thanks Ronnie.

Right now I'm running the stock rears. Yes, I've added more bias to the front, but I've also added larger rotors (330x28mm vs 312x25). I'm trying to not dump a boat load of cash into this car, so I'm trying to do one small change at a time. I'll see how the brakes handle the new pads at the next event. Then I'll have a couple months to get it ready for the next one. the next upgrade will probably be moving to Porterfield R4-S pads on the rear.
I think at a minimum I would run Stoptech Sport (309 series) pads in the rear. These are the Stoptech equivalent to the R4-S pads, which are a street / mild track pad, but they’re more affordable. Either way, they would provide more friction on track then the OEM spec pads, which have a very low Mu when up to track temps, which puts all the work on the front brakes.


Go Kart Newbie
I replaced the front pads and rotors last week. The Porterfield R4 pads were great right out of the box. I wouldn't have any problems running them on a daily basis.

It was raining almost the entire way to Laguna Seca on Saturday. The first session was damp but not fully wet. It was fun to push the car on the damp track. The track was pretty much dry after the first session. I was keeping up with a Cayman S for a handful of laps in one session, tracked down a C7 Vette in another, and tracked down and passed a Miami Blue 911 in yet another. There was a guy running a Focus ST on RE-71Rs. I was just as fast as him everywhere but the corners. I'm pretty sure it was all down to the tires. There was another guy running a Mini Cooper S on Yoko Advan A052s. He and I were neck and neck. I'm pretty sure that my Direzza IIs are at the end of their lifespan. I can probably get one more day out of them.

Anyway, I set my best time of the day on the last lap of the last session: 1:52.68


Ready to race!
They’ve cancelled most of the track events for the foreseeable future here. I read earlier that COTA laid off half their employees.