Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Double Clutch : The Initial Impression

So, I just had the Competition Clutch flywheel and clutch kit installed today at IAG Performance, then got to drive home through moderate rush hour traffic in the Baltimore area for the initial break in.

First off, the flywheel is their lightweight steel flywheel, and the clutch kit is their Street Series 2100 stage 2 package with a carbon kevlar clutch disk. I should have some pictures of the install later.

My very first impression upon getting in the car and starting it was, "Wow. This is going to be so much better in traffic." The clutch pedal is definitely softer now with this setup, though nowhere near the wet sponge of a stock clutch. It was so very different from what I'd been used to that it took almost all 35+ miles home to get used to the feel. The engagement point is close to the floor (which I, personally, like), and not nearly as abrupt, though that is likely at least partially due to the softer clutch pedal. The clutch had been very "on/off," to the point where even I regularly stalled it when I wasn't paying 100% attention to starting off from a stop (ask the MAIC guys at the last Howard County meet! I stalled it when we went to leave our initial meet point to head over to Fuddruckers!).

So, right now, my impression is this : the Competition Clutch is more streetable, especially in any kind of stop-and-go/rush hour traffic. It is less grabby, and therefore easier to engage without stalling the car at low (read : "non-ProSolo start") RPM.

There will be a more thorough review after the first competition with the car. 

Clutch Performance

In between playing in the women's rec hockey league at Kettler Capitals Iceplex and trying to find a new teaching position, I am still playing with the cars, at least on occasion. After another control arm failure at the first Washington DC SCCA event (the practice event), and a rush job to finish the fix, I did finish first in L1 at the DC ProSolo back in April, and third in the Ladies Challenge.

best set of runs at the DC Pro

I've acquired a new codriver in Heyward Wagner (yes, that Heyward Wagner) and while the initial plan was to both drive ESP, I switched to L1 at the last minute because of the fear the WRX would break again. We figured we had a better chance of both of us getting competitive rides (if necessary) if we were not both in ESP open. So, I had Adam George's ESP Mustang (formerly Sam Strano's Mustang), and Heyward had Pat Griffith's ESP Camaro ("Barney") as backups. Fortunately, we didn't need them, and the WRX also was used by ESP winner Sam Krauss to go three rounds deep in the Super Challenge.

Sam loses to eventual Challenge winner, Michael Fineberg

Heyward's best set of runs

So, today, I'm using a day of my summer vacation to wait in the IAG Performance showroom while I have a new Competition Clutch flywheel and clutch installed. This is a new product that is supposed to be comparable to the ACT Streetlite series that is currently in the car. I will be posting up impressions and reviews as I break it in and drive it across the country and at the Packwood ProSolo at the beginning of July. Greg McCance will be codriving with me there, so he will hopefully be able to give additional feedback. He also has an ACT set in his ESP WRX, so it will be a good comparison.