Track days - rollover risk

summersc
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Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2021 5:16 pm
Your Car's Year / Make / Model: 2015 500 Abarth

Track days - rollover risk

Post by summersc » Mon Mar 07, 2022 12:59 pm

Hello everyone.

The interwebs can be amazing but it can also be very misleading. I have read about and watched videos of a few 500s rolling over. I know no car is immune to this, but I am curious what our track day experts think about it... and what they have done (if anything) to address it.

1. What tires do folks run? I have a set of 205/50 AO52s for my track days, on 15x7 ET35 Storm S1s. I always hear the word "slicks" as a contributor to these roll overs. My tires are pretty "slicky".

2. Do folks run wheel spacers? I plan to run 10 or 15mm spacers in front and back (depending on fender clearance).

3. What suspension setups do folks run? I lowered my car (cut stock springs) and run adjustable Konis. I was able to corner balance my car as well. I will run stock ARBs for my first day.

4. What safety upgrades have folks done? I installed a 7pt belt, will be using a hans device, all with stock seats. I have also ordered a roll bar, but will not have it installed before my first track day. I need to spend time making sure my back seats are still usable.

I am very curious if others have setup their cars for specifically for this, or if they don't worry about it (beyond just normal track day concerns). I am not sure how much to worry special about this. I have plenty of worry otherwise.

Thanks,
Summer
2015 500 Abarth

sportfan
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Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:33 pm
Location: Ponca City, Ok.
Your Car's Year / Make / Model: 2013 Fiat 500 Sport

Re: Track days - rollover risk

Post by sportfan » Mon Mar 21, 2022 6:43 pm

My car has everything to make it handle better including a Quaife LSD. I have a roll bar and Seatbelt Planet custom 5-point harness. Cypher racing seats and Michelin AS Pilot tires. I've done Twisted Sisters four times and the Dragon once. I would get murdered at AutoX because my mods would put me in a class full of high hp cars and I'm dynoing only 129 crank hp. I've never done any track events.

summersc
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2021 5:16 pm
Your Car's Year / Make / Model: 2015 500 Abarth

Re: Track days - rollover risk

Post by summersc » Mon Mar 28, 2022 6:27 pm

Well, just to wrap this up... I had my first track day with the Abarth last saturday at Oregon Racway Park. First off, that track is nuts. It has tons of elevation changes, and I mean TONS. The videos and pics dont do it justice. I ran it CCW. We walked part of the track before the day began, and it reminded me of some of the blue ski runs at my local mountain. Not only that, but many of the corners contain elevation changes... some good, and some bad. Several corners were off camber AND downhill. I figured if my little car survives this, with slicks, then the roll over risk is not particularly higher than any other car.

The day was a success and the car was very poised on these corners with the big pucker factor. I would say the scariest bit was braking hard, on a downhill. The rear end got awfully squirrely.

Next up is a HDPE event in May at Portland International Raceway. This little car was a hit with the crowd.
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MadFiat
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Re: Track days - rollover risk

Post by MadFiat » Sat Apr 02, 2022 5:45 pm

As long as you're aware of what the car is doing, it's not bad. The risk is there, but only really if you're pushing 10/10ths and have a bad situation like a divot in the pavement while turning at 10/10ths off balance. It CAN happen but it's not as overblown as some make it out to be.
2015 Rosso Abarth 5MT - MAD FIAT - EC Phase 2 + Supporting Mods
2015 Granito Lucente 500T 6AT - Projecto Estupido
2017 Fiat 124 Spider 6MT - Another one???

sportfan
Posts: 257
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:33 pm
Location: Ponca City, Ok.
Your Car's Year / Make / Model: 2013 Fiat 500 Sport

Re: Track days - rollover risk

Post by sportfan » Mon Apr 18, 2022 6:39 pm

Summer do you have a rear sway bar ? If not ,from what I've read many times that it take away the weird moves the Abarth makes on hard braking.

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texanbrit
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Re: Track days - rollover risk

Post by texanbrit » Tue Apr 19, 2022 8:57 am

The Abarth has a rear sway bar as standard. It still gets a bit edgy under really heavy breaking, that's just part of the 67/33 weight distribution and downhill makes that worse. The only real cure is to drive backwards.
2013 Abarth 500c (NGen Turbo'd) - Isabella
2012 500 Pop (broken, engine rebuild pending) - Popabella
2014 500L (Daily workhorse) - The Hulk

summersc
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2021 5:16 pm
Your Car's Year / Make / Model: 2015 500 Abarth

Re: Track days - rollover risk

Post by summersc » Wed Apr 20, 2022 3:32 pm

I ran the stock rear anti-roll bar for my first track day. I do have the larger diameter bar that NGEN sells sitting in my garage, and I might install for my PIR track day in may. Turn 10 at PIR is a high speed left hander that really stresses me out, and it would be the reason I wouldnt install the larger bar until I get some laps under my belt. I do not want to oversteer in that turn.

In other news, the rear seats are so easy to remove, I decided to take them out for all track days. The seat backs are surprisingly heavy. I had to make a harness bar as a result, which doubles as an awesome tire rack.
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texanbrit
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Re: Track days - rollover risk

Post by texanbrit » Fri Apr 22, 2022 8:33 am

Love the bar!. Looks great.
2013 Abarth 500c (NGen Turbo'd) - Isabella
2012 500 Pop (broken, engine rebuild pending) - Popabella
2014 500L (Daily workhorse) - The Hulk

sportfan
Posts: 257
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:33 pm
Location: Ponca City, Ok.
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Re: Track days - rollover risk

Post by sportfan » Sat Apr 23, 2022 11:21 pm

I guess I should have been clearer on my question about the sway bar. I knew the Abarths had one but, I had heard that an upgraded aftermarket one really helped on hard braking at high speeds.

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texanbrit
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Re: Track days - rollover risk

Post by texanbrit » Mon Apr 25, 2022 9:10 am

Not my experience. The stiffened rear end makes the car try to rotate more if anything. The best mod is better tires (with correct air pressures). Obviously a lower center of gravity can help too. More rear weight in theory but what I find is that is just more weight that tries to pass you under breaking. Whatever you can do to progressively add the braking force helps too, helps the car not just get totally out of whack.
2013 Abarth 500c (NGen Turbo'd) - Isabella
2012 500 Pop (broken, engine rebuild pending) - Popabella
2014 500L (Daily workhorse) - The Hulk

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