First day this season (Video, Apex Pro and A052 review) - Alfa Romeo 4C Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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First day this season (Video, Apex Pro and A052 review)


Had my first track day of the season this past week at my home track of VIRginia International Raceway. This was my first time out using Yokohama A052 tires and my new toy of the Apex Pro Digital Driving Coach. Just some general notes for folks that might be considering either of these items:

The A052s: I had done some light street scrubbing of these (~60 miles) prior to the event, however this still didn`t seem to be enough. My first session out it took 4 or 5 hard laps before they really started to feel OK. Previously I have been running RE-71rs and happened to get a good deal on these so I thought I would give them a go. My impression so far is that they stick very well, better than the RE71rs when properly setup (see my next note), but there are some distinct differences. These seem to be very sensitive to tire pressure and you have to compensate as such for your sessions. The RE71rs I am able to dial in to my target starting value and they would get heat in them on lap 1 and be stable through the end of a session mostly independent of outside temp or session length. The A052s were much pickier in that regard. In the morning session I went out too low and took several laps to get to the range I needed to be. I compensated in my second session, but then that same setting was overcompensating for my third session an hour later which resulted in overheated tires and a spin at T10. Dialed back for my fourth and they were happy again.

These tires also have a much softer sidewall in comparison to the RE71rs. That is one area I am really not a fan. I was able to adjust to it by the end of the day, but it makes for some very vague feedback and unusual behavior in certain situations. For example, braking into T1 is a ~130-->40mph transition and I find that these tires induce a bit of a "float" effect, much more lateral movement vs the 71s. I was able to adjust, but that was pretty damn unnerving at first!

Final piece is they are significantly quieter vs the RE71rs. Combine that with the softer sidewall and you miss a fair amount of feedback. Going into my spin at T10 there was almost no sound as the tires broke free (T10 is a 80-90mph blind left hander that is also going downhill). I would expect that from a slick, not from a treaded tire.


So, long and short, lots of grip, but vague and sensitive to setup. I will continue to run them, but at this stage I don`t know that I would get another set. They were on special at Tire Rack and were actually cheaper than 71s at the time.


Apex Pro: This thing is pretty cool. Last season I was using Harry's Lap Timer (which I have a very strong hate/love relationship with) and decided I wanted to step up a bit on the data front. Thought about the typical Vbox or AIM system but this offered similar levels of resolution and data with the added benefit of realtime analysis and feedback. The realtime analysis is intuitive and useful and the app is equally matched. Both in and post session I was able to utilize the information to make adjustments and push further, which was great, Overall, I am extremely pleased with this little guy and am looking forward to using it more this season
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 08:48 PM
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First day this season (Video, Apex Pro and A052 review)

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Originally Posted by gybe! View Post
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaG5zFtqZJw

Had my first track day of the season this past week at my home track of VIRginia International Raceway. This was my first time out using Yokohama A052 tires and my new toy of the Apex Pro Digital Driving Coach. Just some general notes for folks that might be considering either of these items:

The A052s: I had done some light street scrubbing of these (~60 miles) prior to the event, however this still didn`t seem to be enough. My first session out it took 4 or 5 hard laps before they really started to feel OK. Previously I have been running RE-71rs and happened to get a good deal on these so I thought I would give them a go. My impression so far is that they stick very well, better than the RE71rs when properly setup (see my next note), but there are some distinct differences. These seem to be very sensitive to tire pressure and you have to compensate as such for your sessions. The RE71rs I am able to dial in to my target starting value and they would get heat in them on lap 1 and be stable through the end of a session mostly independent of outside temp or session length. The A052s were much pickier in that regard. In the morning session I went out too low and took several laps to get to the range I needed to be. I compensated in my second session, but then that same setting was overcompensating for my third session an hour later which resulted in overheated tires and a spin at T10. Dialed back for my fourth and they were happy again.

These tires also have a much softer sidewall in comparison to the RE71rs. That is one area I am really not a fan. I was able to adjust to it by the end of the day, but it makes for some very vague feedback and unusual behavior in certain situations. For example, braking into T1 is a ~130-->40mph transition and I find that these tires induce a bit of a "float" effect, much more lateral movement vs the 71s. I was able to adjust, but that was pretty damn unnerving at first!

Final piece is they are significantly quieter vs the RE71rs. Combine that with the softer sidewall and you miss a fair amount of feedback. Going into my spin at T10 there was almost no sound as the tires broke free (T10 is a 80-90mph blind left hander that is also going downhill). I would expect that from a slick, not from a treaded tire.


So, long and short, lots of grip, but vague and sensitive to setup. I will continue to run them, but at this stage I don`t know that I would get another set. They were on special at Tire Rack and were actually cheaper than 71s at the time.


Apex Pro: This thing is pretty cool. Last season I was using Harry's Lap Timer (which I have a very strong hate/love relationship with) and decided I wanted to step up a bit on the data front. Thought about the typical Vbox or AIM system but this offered similar levels of resolution and data with the added benefit of realtime analysis and feedback. The realtime analysis is intuitive and useful and the app is equally matched. Both in and post session I was able to utilize the information to make adjustments and push further, which was great, Overall, I am extremely pleased with this little guy and am looking forward to using it more this season

Nice driving! Very smooth!! And what a beautiful blue day. Not a lot of traffic either what a great track day.
Question have you replaced your rear bushings?

Good impressions on your tires. I use the RE71rs as my rain tires on my 4C. I also use them as my track tires for my Giulia QV. I really like them as they are fast, hold up well and if they overheat they donít chunk. For tracking I like to use Hoosier slicks on my 4C. Slicks are more expensive and not a whole lot faster but for me that feeling of the car becoming a boat on the water is just too awesome to resist.
I knew VIR was long straightaways and high speed but damn! I really want to go there.

Your track recording app into is interesting I looked on the website. Looks like you took that video and then added a second camera and added it all together in RaceRender? Or are you able to have two cameras in the tracking video with just the ApexPro?

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Last edited by Call me Al; 04-13-2019 at 09:51 PM.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Call me Al View Post
Nice driving! Very smooth!! And what a beautiful blue day. Not a lot of traffic either what a great track day.
Question have you replaced your rear bushings?

Good impressions on your tires. I use the RE71rs as my rain tires on my 4C. I also use them as my track tires for my Giulia QV. I really like them as they are fast, hold up well and if they overheat they donít chunk. For tracking I like to use Hoosier slicks on my 4C. Slicks are more expensive and not a whole lot faster but for me that feeling of the car becoming a boat on the water is just too awesome to resist.
I knew VIR was long straightaways and high speed but damn! I really want to go there.

Your track recording app into is interesting I looked on the website. Looks like you took that video and then added a second camera and added it all together in RaceRender? Or are you able to have two cameras in the tracking video with just the ApexPro?
Thanks! I have replaced the rear bushings with Galeís, I would describe the A052s to behaving a bit similarly to pre bushings under hard braking. They donít do the float effect under acceleration though, so they arenít terrifying in that regard

Traffic was medium that day, 20ish cars in my run group, but good spacing so we had decent separation after a lap or two. Depending upon weather I am expecting this weekend to be much worse. Running full course (thereís 5 different configurations) we have three solid straights, each presenting some fun challenges at the end. My friends in GT350s hit 155+ on the back straight going into the Roller Coaster. Sadly itís hard to appreciate the elevation changes in the videos. The climbing esses (section after the bridge), Turn 10, and the Rollercoaster all have ~100ft of elevation change.

And yes, I am currently putting things together in racerender. Output data from Apex Pro and Harryís (I use Harryís to collect obdii info, but I find that app to be horribly unreliable, proven here by not recording that session so I donít have throttle data), I have a GoPro outside the car with an external mic setup (missing from this video as I clipped the wire closing the trunk ) and an akaso 4K in cabin. Honestly, that whole setup is a bit cumbersome but Iím just playing with it. Never appreciated the difference between 59.97 and 60.00 frames per second until earlier this morning
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 10:48 PM
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Thanks! I have replaced the rear bushings with Galeís, I would describe the A052s to behaving a bit similarly to pre bushings under hard braking. They donít do the float effect under acceleration though, so they arenít terrifying in that regard



Traffic was medium that day, 20ish cars in my run group, but good spacing so we had decent separation after a lap or two. Depending upon weather I am expecting this weekend to be much worse. Running full course (thereís 5 different configurations) we have three solid straights, each presenting some fun challenges at the end. My friends in GT350s hit 155+ on the back straight going into the Roller Coaster. Sadly itís hard to appreciate the elevation changes in the videos. The climbing esses (section after the bridge), Turn 10, and the Rollercoaster all have ~100ft of elevation change.



And yes, I am currently putting things together in racerender. Output data from Apex Pro and Harryís (I use Harryís to collect obdii info, but I find that app to be horribly unreliable, proven here by not recording that session so I donít have throttle data), I have a GoPro outside the car with an external mic setup (missing from this video as I clipped the wire closing the trunk ) and an akaso 4K in cabin. Honestly, that whole setup is a bit cumbersome but Iím just playing with it. Never appreciated the difference between 59.97 and 60.00 frames per second until earlier this morning

Yes I was quite sure you replaced your rear bushings itís funny watching a video I can notice if they have been replaced right away. Such an important mod for people who track.

VIR is an excellent track I hope I can get over there sometime. Elevation changes really do add a lot to the tracking experience. If you ever get a chance walk the track it will make you appreciate it even more.

Most tracks donít let even the very fastest cars to go over 150mph. Iím sure itís because of liability. Older tracks like VIR and my local track SCR have some pretty good straightaways. But the Roval configuration at Fontana is the Mac Daddy. Wouldnít be surprised if some cars get up to 200mph.
Even my old track (see photo) used to be longer and people got up to 180mph and that was back in the 1980s! Today we had a track team event and I got up to 148mph in my Giulia QV on a slightly wet pavement. Then later on when it was quite wet we were going quite a bit slower but still 137mph on the wet is a rush! (See photo).Later in the day there was some standing puddles and that was it for me. I slowed down, practiced some drifting and then applied myself to learning the apexes. I really like rain days I learn a lot and have fun too.

You should try TrackAddict Pro instead of Harryís itís made by the same company that does RaceRender. Maybe that will work better for you?

Great video and driving. Keep them coming!

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 08:14 AM
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@gybe! - Nicely done sir! I was wondering about the A052 as I saw them in the TireRack when I was hunting for my next set of tires. I very much dislike the mushy feeling in the corners, so I will definitely not get them.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 11:41 AM
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Great video! Thanks for sharing. Makes me anxious to get back out (but our local is nowhere as scenic or challenging as VIR).

Thinking I’d like to do those esses downhill - would be like slalom skiing.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 03:00 PM
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Nice driving and VIR is a great looking track. Are you in manual or Auto?

Last edited by Budget1; 04-14-2019 at 03:08 PM.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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Great video! Thanks for sharing. Makes me anxious to get back out (but our local is nowhere as scenic or challenging as VIR).

Thinking Iíd like to do those esses downhill - would be like slalom skiing.
Very much a slalom. Takes a fair amount of comfort to take them flat out as is, canít imagine with the benefit of gravity to propel you!

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Nice driving and VIR is a great looking track. Are you in manual or Auto?
Always Race/Manual.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Wanted to share this as well, one of the features I am enjoying with Apex Pro is the very intuitive way that you can compare laps. I am certainly used to being able to look at line plots (which you can still do with Apex in the app or via data export), but I really like the way you can overlay different laps and look at comparisons. You have the capability to ďplayĒ a lap and watch pieces of data, or look closely at the differences in position, Apex score, speed, Gs, etc in this kind of view. Really makes viewing and analyzing your adjustments intuitive. I am very data driven and have found myself fully consumed playing in this app

One really nice way I have been using this is to pick a point (a corner exit for example) and then select different laps to compare speeds vs line allowing you to make really clear between session adjustments.

Shown below are two laps overlaid focusing on turns 3 and 4:

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