Episode 004: Part 2 of 2 – In-car coaching session with hot-shoe driver Bill Brundige, and the FRS vs. BRZ debate.

coachingIn this episode I wrap up the two part session with ace driver Bill Brundige and place some finality on the BRZ vs. FRS debate.

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • The usable differences between the FRS and BRZ
  • My findings on the Star Spec Zii vs RE-71R debate
  • A few driving technique tips from Bill
  • Details about the autocross sponsorship program



Part 1 of this 2 part series (the episode that leads into this one).

Slip Angles – Chalkboard Session

Neutral Steer – Chalkboard Session

Oversteer – Chalkboard Session

Driver Support Program / Autocross Sponsorship Program


Bill: People ask me, “Why did you buy the BRZ over the F-RS. I’d say the FRS was cheaper lighter and the dealership was color. I’d say the F-RS was cheaper lighter and the dealership was closer.”

Matt: lucky you right.

Bill: It was five miles Subaru, two mile to Scion.

Matt: That’s the best answer I’ve ever heard of that question. If I could change it and go back I would. I would buy the F-RS. I guess it doesn’t really matter now, when they thought about re-classing the BRZ.

Bill: I think that’s so asinine.

Matt: you think so?

Bill: Yes. I don’t think it’s not much of a difference.

Matt: You’re probably right because Steve Barroden just won the DC pro-solo in a BRZ. That’s proof I think. Yes, it’s helpful to me to get re-class I’m not sure if it’s necessary.

The only difference functional between the BRZ and the F-RS are the spring rates. You really don’t think that makes a difference. You have the TRD springs right?

Speaker 2: They give you a drop but my honest opinion. We had a testing tune here. It was a 40-second course and people we’re bitching about the TRD set up in my car. I hopped in the guy’s BRZ. He has the same shocks as me. He has the same tires, the same foot sway bar. I was point two floors.

Matt: Wow.

Bill: That’s noise. They give you a drop but my honest opinion. We had test and tune here. It was 40-second course. People were bitching about the TRD set-up on my car.

I hopped in the guys’ BRZ, he has the same shocks as me, the same tire, the same front sway bar just not the TRD stuff. I was 2. Floor.

Matt: That’s something.

Bill: That’s noise.

Matt: In that clip, from the very beginning you hear him say that he chose to buy the BRZ over the FRS. He misspoke when he said that he was probably thinking a few sentences ahead but he does own the FRS.

I find it extremely interesting. This guy, he’s is so fast. But he still really humbling. His extremely, extremely helpful at the same time, which is awesome.

Here we are talking about re-classing the BRZ, which I don’t feel is necessary but I still want to happen because I will be huge advantage for me. Why wouldn’t you want the advantage right?

This guy is all about driver skill. He isn’t just talk. He puts it down every single time he goes out.

When he goes out and races his F-RS against all the other C street stuff. He is usually at least one second faster. Sometimes two whole seconds faster. What he was talking about in that past audio clip, was that some of the other guys, the BRZ guys were complaining because he is so much fast from his F-RS.

Then they’re saying, “it has to be the springs, it has to be you have shorter, stiffer springs and that’s why you are so much faster than us.

“ Rather than making a big deal of it, he hopped in one of the BRZ guys’s car, he hopped in one of their BRZ’s and ran a time that was .2 seconds second slower that his time in the F-RS. That is all driver skill. There is no way you could argue with that.

They chased all around that place all day long trying to get their times to match and he just couldn’t do it. He is just a better driver. That’s really cool.

Now we have two examples. We have two proof points that the TRD springs that don’t really matter at all. It is totally blowing my mind because up to this weekend, I was sure that, that was a big deal.

Steve Barroden got his win in a BRZ at the DC Pro Solo over the F-RS and Bill Brundige was able to run within .2 seconds of his own car, which has more mods, while his driving a BRZ. I think that is a huge accomplishment and a very enlightening for us, which I think is extremely interesting.

Another thing I want to talk about how the car is actually driven. That’s a great segue too because as you have just seen it’s all about how you drive the car. Bill Brundige just gets it.

I don’t know how. I don’t get it. He doesn’t take audio. He doesn’t take any data acquisition. He doesn’t measure his tire temperatures.

I think his exact words we’re he’s just time and experience and he uses his butt Dino. Whatever works for him you can’t argue with someone who is two seconds faster than you. 

We are going to talk for a second on how the car is driven differently. That was one thing that I was really excited about. Getting coaching from him. From his just driver technique.

I actually got a chance into drive his F-RS, which was awesome. It was my first time. Checking out the 3e 71 RS. I am eating crow all year long about those Bridge stones because I thought that the Z2 star specs but the Dunlop would be better but they are definitely not. I love those tires.

But all car parts aside, we are going to talk about driving technique now. After I drove his car, he was able to coach me a little bit better. His car just works so well.

I’m going to pull up a couple of audio clips about a driver technique. We will talk about those when the audio clip wraps up too.

Matt: I still feel like I overdrove a couple on those transitions.

Bill: You did. You went a little too hot. Like I told you, it was a whole lot of going that way and that way. You we’re still trying to go straight to get into it, analyzing it.

Matt: It seems like it would be a lot faster than it is. I don’t know if it’s just me or not.

Bill: The spot three you have to go slow but painfully slow.

Matt: Yes.

Bill: You are like, “this cannot be right.”  The slower I went the faster my time works. What’s killing you is some of the spots that you were slowing down. When I told you about painfully slower.

Matt: Like where?

Bill: There is a at the end of this main runway here. I can’t remember exactly what were coming out to get to it but your diving at it too straight. You need to go that way, so you can go through

Matt: More line.

Bill: You were taking a shorter distance and it made you slow down too much and go through slow where you should be at full throttle all the way through that slalom before you go to that six packs going on to the little taxi.

Matt: I think I know what you were talking.

Bill: That you messed up a little bit there. You did better through here, around that, round that. I think you are just like a couple feet off on where you need to go. Try to get on all the slums straight on that means you had to go that way and that way.

Matt: Got it. I’m a little more aligned. Awesome thanks a lot, appreciate it. I hoped a lot, having you drive the car once. I know you’re not that data of guy but I love this little gadget it catches everybody’s secret.

Bill: Yes, I feel pretty god about that. cool

Matt: What  you got for me?

Bill:  You need to drive by yourself.

Matt: Do you think I can put some time for it.

Bill: I think you are going to be 6 times faster, if you do it by yourself.

Matt: Okay.

Bill: The number one thing I can tell you right now. Your line is great. It has been the last couple of times. Everything about it is great. It’s too good. You are not on the edge of traction. You got the perfect line.

Matt: When I felt with you, the car was neutral stirring pretty much everywhere.

Bill: That’s the goal. We want it floating.

Matt: Okay. I will see what I can do about that.

Bill: Floating everywhere. Like I said, yours it’s perfect and it’s in control.

Matt: That’s my problem about this feels like its own rules but it’s not good.

Bill: That’s not it.

Matt: Fantastic thanks a lot.

There we go. There’s some just awesome and insightful advice from one of the fastest guys around about just straight up driver technique. The cool thing about it is you can get such good advice from people who aren’t really even that much faster than you, that much faster than you. You can’t analyze with all this stuff at speed when you are trying to drive the car at the limit.

I went back and watched the video. When I was driving, he was looking at me, seeing what I was looking, he was watching my hands and he was watching my feet and his getting me to place the car wherever I needed to go. That was extremely helpful. You just can’t process all“ the information all at the same time all by yourself.

There are a couple of things that I wanted to clarify on that. The first one is that when he is talking about, “You got to go this way and go that way.” He was talking about line placement. He was talking about setting the car up.

Say, you were off way to the right, and you go on around something. You need to set up on something that is way over the left. He is talking about going slow and coming way up to the right to go around that right hand, that right cone going to the left and just giving it up a little bit of speed so you can set yourself up better for the next obstacle or whatever it might be.

That’s what he was talking about on what he was saying to go this way, instead of that way.

The other thing that we talked about was neutral steer, which is something that he was able to do in my car that I didn’t really have at that point when we were getting there. I started to get it toward the end of the day.

The course is really interesting. It’s very dynamic, very slippery so there’s a lot to think about for sure. When we are talking about neutral steer, we are talking about getting the car to corner at all four tires.

What I mean by that is technically, the definition of neutral steer is that when the front slip angels and the rear slip angles are equal. That just means that the cars are doing equal amounts of work.

Some people might think of a little bit of oversteer. That’s actually neutral steer because obviously the rear wheels don’t turn when you are stirring the car they are all straight. To get that same amount of grip from them they have to be sliding across the servers a little bit.

A little bit of over steers, what they call neutral steer and I’ll put some links into the show notes for that. There are few videos on the sight about slip angles, neutral stir and over steer and all that kind of stuff.

We are going to cover that here because you can link to those again. I’ve said this three times now howtobearacecardriver.com/podcast3. For the show notes episode, you can jump to those different topics from there.

I think what I want to do now, I think we’ll go talk about tuning a little bit because that was one thing that we talk about for a couple of weeks prior to getting the other and doing this really informal coaching thing was we talked about his car and my car and at the beginning of this podcast. I can give an overview stopped where I was with the car when I showed up to this event.

This was the first time I had the big adjustable sway bar in front of the car. He was adamant that it would work really work and it seemed to work. I was able to shed some time off my runs during the day.

I’m going to play another clip about his thoughts on some tuning and my thoughts on some tuning. We will come back and will touch on what we said in those video clips in just a second.

Bill: Are you liking the big bar?

Matt: It’s different it feels a lot different. I do.

Bill: Make the it when you need it to.

Matt: One thing I noticed a lot is the car rotates so much better under just a touch break now. It didn’t do that before.

Bill: It just amplifies that everything the car does. It just makes it better, better. Then you have more rear grip to build on the gas sooner.

Matt: I agree. One problem I had when I had before I did shocks. The rear bar was I thought was helping. It was so tight out there that the clutches and the tip would slip.

Bill: The bigger rear bar, if you un-weighted the rear tire too much, because the rear bar made your suspension less independent.

Matt: Yes, that’s what happened. I don’t know. All I can say is that the car worked good on short slow courses before the shocks went in and it just ruined everything. You obviously know what you’re talking about. You are much faster than I am. I can’t argue with you. I’m not going to.

Bill: This is physics. This seriously is physics. Would you like to take a lap in my car.

Matt: I do.

Wow. Wow.

Bill: You used the breaks too much.

Matt: What? Dude?

Bill: That is 17-inch tires. Your foot sway bar but on full stiff.

Matt: Full stiff, okay.

Bill: The tires are insane, dude. Now I got to go and spend like 800 bucks thanks a lot. These are the taller ones, which everyone told me we’re wrong but I don’t think they are wrong. But it’s like your kick in their ass, I don’t think they are wrong.

Matt: Apparently, who could argue with that?

Bill: These are 600 per set. These are cheaper than the size that everyone else runs.

Matt: Say that one more time.

Bill: These are taller of the 17s and they are a $150 cheaper a set. I bought them because I’m cheap. Because I want the gearing bump.

Matt: I’m going to probably reach you via e-mail to get that in writing somehow. What else you got for me on that last one?

Bill: Every place where  you hit the brakes, you hit too hard.

Matt: Still too much. I can’t believe this car. This is an amazing car. Wow, you obviously have it together. That’s amazing. This car is amazing.

What would you recommend that I change on my car to bring it up to where this one is? Because  everything I have about the car really the tire seems to be the—

Bill: The tires never goes to the 17s the 16s. I don’t think they are worth it. I don’t think they are worth it.

Matt: Even the factory size 17s what they have here, the factory wins.

Bill: 17s the tires, getting rid of the Bilstein and getting Konis. Bilsteins are a much shocks, they really are but the adjustability of the conies is the key.  I’ve blown three front conies. I actually own a full set of replacement because I blow them so often.

Matt: They are not as high quality but they tend to work well and are working well.

Bill: If Bilstein made adjustibles I would buy them. On my Miata, I had a set of custom built adjustable Bilsteins that cost me three thousand dollars.

Matt: Wow.

Bill: I can go spend that money any day. I can go fast with $600 dollars shocks and I’m okay.

Matt: Bill thank you so much for that experience, that was an eye opener.

Yes, there we go that was again Bill Brundige from the Northeast region and me just hanging for a day and him giving me some awesome coaching. I can’t believe that he spend that much time with me on all of my runs. That was so awesome.

It is awesome rally talking to him and tuning him as well. This guy obviously has found a way to maximize the F-RS’ potential. I mean like we talk earlier it is basically the same as the BRZ if you know how to drive. I’m completely convinced with that now. 

I’m always saying it’s all over the website. It’s not the car it’s the driver. If you drive a BRZ, you need to just stop talking about the TRD springs, stop complaining.

I know I’m going to. I’ve done that in the past. I’m guilty of it.

But I think it’s very clear that Bill Brundige, this guy is such a great driver. It doesn’t matter which one eh is driving they are both going to be ridiculously fast. I know we talk about sway bars and all other stuff.  I’m still adamant. He doesn’t agree that I’m still adamant that if you have a BRZ and you have put shocks on it yet. I’m pretty sure that putting a big rear bar on it is going to help you.

You don’t need to go bigger than 18mm because that’s from my sweet spot was. I went up to the 22 and it was too much. But man if you really want to put shocks on the car you definitely want to go with the front sway.

Let me just touch back real quick on the sponsorship program. No, I really got to say a wholehearted thank you with Bill Brundige if he’s going to listen to this. If he’s listening, Bill thank you so much for doing that for me. Huge eye opener.

You’ve even heard in the last clip there. I was able to drive his car and I got to feel for the bridge stones. Those are awesome tires. I’m just really excited about those. That was really awesome of him to let me drive his car and see what it was all about.

He also drove my car, which was awesome.  I always try to get fast guys to drive my car. It’s really, really huge, huge advantage to know what’s it really capable of in the hands of someone, who is just so much better than you. 

He put down a really fast time in mind. I was ecstatic because I was able to beat his time in my car while driving my car, which isn’t too much. He only had one run with it.

It’s just hyper fast right out of the box. I think another important thing that happened the other day. I finally get to drive the F-RS. We know it’s a winning car. It’s 2 seconds faster than everyone else just because of the driver. It was a good car.

I was able to beat my time in the F-RS with my BRZ that was really an eye opening experience too. A little bit of personal validity in to the credibility of the BRZ and its factory springs I’m really excited about that.

The sponsorship program is going to open up this august 1st You might see some ads on it. I’m not sure if you’ll see some Facebook ads or not but if you’re listening to this. It’s going to be open in a couple of weeks, howtobecomearacedriver.com/driversupport.

I am paying out money for the 2017 season. I know it’s only August 2016 but the application process took so long last year. I didn’t get done as quickly as I wanted to.  We are already into the 2016 season before I had decided who  I wanted to sponsor and we got the payouts out there.

It’s going to be little different this year. Last year, I paid all the money upfront. It didn’t go well as I was hoping. This year, is going to be a little different.

Who ever I decide to sponsor, I’m going to give $50 upfront at the beginning of the season. There will be couple of stipulations to get the rest of the money at the end of the year. I think that’s fair, free money.

You don’t have to jump through hoops but you got to do a couple of things to get the rest of the money. All you have to do a attend the races and do the things that you’re normally doing anyway. Really all you have to do is attend the races and do your thing that you normally do anyway. Whomever I sponsor will get the money.  I will send them the Vinyls to on their car.

Last year they were really cool. I don’t know I think it was like 18 inch of vinyl  that went over and I was adamant about my stuff on the real quarter panels of the car.

Please check that out I want to help. I love Grassroots racing. I want to give you money for doing stuff that you love. I want to help you get through the ranks. There are a couple of people that I really want to apply. I hope you know you are.

If you are talking to me, you had a good relationship with me. Please apply.

That’s all the sponsorship is. I can do another whole podcast about sponsorship. In fact, I will at some point in the future because people just don’t understand what sponsors are looking for. It’s not that complicated.

If I had to sum it up in one sentence, I would just say that me personally as a sponsor I am more interested in great relationships with the people that I’m sponsoring as opposed to sponsoring who is just going to go out and win all the time that’s not all I care about.

Please go check out that out. If you listen to all these podcast so far, thank you so much for staying with us. If you are racing this weekend best of luck with you.

Again, I’m Matt Covert. From howtobecomearacecar.com and I will talk to you all soon again. Have a good week. 

Speaker 1: Thanks for listening to howtobecomearacecardriver.com’s podcast. For more free information about improving your driving technique, understanding vehicle dynamics and the winning motorsport lifestyle visit howtobecomearacecardriver.com.


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