I bought one of DSC Sport’s new shock controllers in hopes that it would improve my autocross times. Everything I had read in the Forum said people loved it. But everything was based on Track data (or just basic driving impressions). So what about autocross? I ran this test, because I wanted to know if my $1,300 had made me any faster at autocross.
I thought my results would be of general interest to other Z06 owners, so here they are:
Here’s the bottom line. I conducted my test on Saturday, April 29, at Marina Airport in CA. I’m showing the best time out of each session. I think this was a well-controlled test, minimizing the variables. If you want more detail, I have lots — just ask.
1st session – with DSC controller: 41.882 sec or 41.9
2nd session – with OEM controller: 42.312 sec or 42.3
3rd session – with DSC controller: 41.496 sec or 41.5
I think a valid measure of improvement with the DSC controller is the improvement from the 2nd to 3rd sessions — 42.3 to 41.5 sec. That’s 0.8 sec faster, on a 42.3 baseline, or 1.9% improvement. Call it 2%.
I spent most of the first session learning the course well. Accordingly, I think the times achieved in the 2nd and 3rd sessions are more meaningful and comparable.
Is that significant? I’d say yes. Other folks have talked about improving 2 sec on a 2-minute road course. That’s 1.7% improvement.
For context, note that my “official” time, 41.882, was 4th fastest Corvette. Fastest Corvette was 41.620, so we had a fairly tight competition. All runs after the first session are considered “unofficial.”
When I put the OEM controller back in for my 2nd session, I was struggling. Trying as hard as I could, I could not get back down into the 41’s. I felt like I was getting all there was — they were solid runs. And this was after driving the course 5 times.
During fun runs, the car felt much better again. I acknowledge that the fun runs came after 10 shots at the course, but this was still meaningful. On my 4th fun run, I turned 41.5 sec. Note that this was the fastest time set by any car all day. Achieving the TTOD, even though unofficial, said a lot for me. I think this controller works.
I have a 2015 Z06, 7-speed manual, with the Z07 option package. I’m running Hoosier A7’s (315’s and 345’s) on some very nice Finspeed wheels (18 x 11, 18 x 13). I’m running a moderate autocross alignment (approx. 2 deg neg camber front and rear). The car has also been corner-balanced. Other than the race tires and the alignment, the car is stock. (Turning TTOD in a “stock” Corvette on race tires is awfully impressive. GM did a hell of a job with the C7.)
I ran consistent tire pressures – setting it to 32 F / 30 R prior to each run. Which means I was letting out air after nearly every run. I picked out the line I wanted to run, and I consistently ran that line throughout the test – no experimenting with alternate lines. There was a fair amount of shifting going on – 1st gear corners and 2nd gear straights, but I kept that consistent throughout the day. If a tire got too hot (above 160), I would spray water on it after the run. As it turned out, this was only necessary for the right-front tire, due to the layout of the course and the mild temps.
I’m a very experienced autocrosser – I’ve been at it for about 30 years. I started out autocrossing with an S2000, then got into Corvettes – a base C6 Z51 car, then a C6 Z06, then a C7 Z06.
I ran at an autocross hosted by Santa Clara Corvettes, in the San Francisco Bay Area. We ran at the Marina Airport, on a nice, concrete tarmac, 400 x 800 ft. This is a favorite venue among autocrossers in this area. While there were mostly Corvettes there, we do allow, and invite, all cars to come join us. The stats this day were 61 total cars – 46 Corvettes, and 15 non-Corvettes. (We were competing with an SCCA National Tour event over at Crows Landing airfield – about 90 miles away. Depressed our numbers.)
While we don’t get the really serious autocrossers that you’d see at an SCCA event, the competition for Top Time of Day at our events is pretty seriously contested. On this day, the main competitors were a couple of C5 Z06’s (one highly modified), a C3 race car, a GTR, a C6 Z06, and myself. These cars were all on Hoosier autocross tires.
The course was fairly fast for an autocross, but with enough technical parts to keep it interesting.
Jordan Edwards of DSC Sport helped me very much with some initial problems I had. He got me straightened out on my installation issues, and then he also consulted on how to run the comparison test I wanted to do. His advice was to do an A-B-A test if possible, all on one day, with conditions not changing much during the day. Because of only 4 run groups and required work assignments, I didn’t think I’d be able to do the test as recommended.
As it turned out, I could. I ran in Run Group 2 with the DSC controller, removed it over lunch, and ran in Run Group 3 without it. Because we finished fairly early, there were fun runs as well. I signed up for 4 more runs ($10), and quickly put the DSC controller back in. I took these four runs around 4 PM.
The weather was very consistent all day – sunny, about 65 – 70 degrees, mild breeze. These conditions are actually unusual for Marina. Being two miles from the ocean, you can get heavy fog or a cold wind, just as likely as nice weather. (If you come here in the summer, bring a warm coat.)