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Alpine and Tiger at the track

Discussion in 'Rootes Racing' started by Kristian Jonsson, Aug 9, 2021.

  1. Kristian Jonsson

    Kristian Jonsson Donation Time

    In some in-the-car videos I have noticed it is a lot of sawing the steering wheel when driving the Tiger. That is normal , was the explanation. Then I saw an in-car-video from an well-known Alpine S1 and it was no wheel-sawing: Was this just a coincidence and are a lot of wheel-sawing when driving the Alpine too?
  2. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane Gold Level Sponsor

    I can't tell you from experience driving my sunbeam (as I have yet to drive it) but I am guessing the sawing is a result of the ability to easily break the back tires free in the tiger.
  3. spmdr

    spmdr Donation Time

    The Tiger video you most likely saw was at Goodwood.
    At Goodwood, they force everyone to use very hard compound bias ply tires for very little grip, it is the ultimate equalizer!

    Same concept is used at Monterey but not in every group/car.

    Generally, the more grip you have the less you see sawing of the steering wheel.

    Also it's a function of the type of tires, bias ply tires, in general, have less grip and/or bigger slip angles. They like to be sliding to be fast!
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2021
  4. Kristian Jonsson

    Kristian Jonsson Donation Time

    This guy:
  5. GlennB

    GlennB Silver Level Sponsor

    Those don't look much like the high profile racing Dunlops we have to use in the main Historic series (HSCC and FISCAR) in the UK. Its an ongoing battle for me to try to find tyre pressures that give me the best traction. I've been gradually increasing my pressures and am now starting at 35psi cold and am beginning to need a bit of sawtoothing which actually feels good - like I'm approaching the limits. At least a sawtooth is better than a sudden break. I may even go to higher pressures next time - I read that the Le Mans cars ran super high pressures.
  6. husky drvr

    husky drvr Platinum Level Sponsor


    If you watch some of the exterior shots of the Tiger at the end of the video, you can see a time or two where the car breaks over to oversteer. I think the extra action on the steering wheel is directly related to throttle induced oversteer - something an Alpine can't easily reproduce.


    Knowing road racing and auto-crossing aren't equivalent, IIRC back in the day, we used 40-42 psi front and 35-36 rear as starting points. The best pressure is the one that most closely maintains the same temp across the tire tread (also affected by alignment specs).
  7. spmdr

    spmdr Donation Time

    Well, one could be as spectacular as you want to be, I guess...

    I have hours and hours of in car video.

    This is the only one I have put up to youtube.

    This has very little gratuitous wheel action, you just need what you need...

    I only posted it because it's fairly short and I didn't need to edit it.

    Last edited: Aug 11, 2021
    Kristian Jonsson likes this.
  8. Kristian Jonsson

    Kristian Jonsson Donation Time

    Very long turns. What track is it?
    Anyway, my question was: are the Alpine similar to the Tiger on the track?
  9. spmdr

    spmdr Donation Time

    The video is at Willow Springs, in the high desert north east of Los Angeles.

    The (main) track is 2.5 miles and 9 turns and about 200+ ft elevation change, it was recently used in the "Cobra vs Ferrari" movie.

    I have spent TIME at Willow.

    How does a Tiger compare to an Alpine on the track?

    My $.02

    1) An Alpine is MUCH closer to a Track car, in stock form, than a Tiger (within their classes).

    a-This is mainly in respect to handling and Braking, power not so much.

    2) A Tiger benefits from the continuous engine development.

    a- A state of the art VR Tiger engine STARTS with an EASY nominal 450+ HP (1.5+ HP/CID) and goes up.

    b- An Alpine needs some divine intervention (it seems) to get into the 1.5 HP/CID high rent district.

    3) A Tiger can overwhelm the Tires and brakes. An Alpine, not so much.

  10. spmdr

    spmdr Donation Time

    BTW, when looking at the picture of the video in #4 above,

    you can see the Tiger has LAT weld-on traction bars.

    And in the lean, the rear spring is in a state of severe reverse arch!

    From my Tiger experience, Both of those are an indicator of less than an ideal suspension setup.

    The point being, Tiger owners tend to Screw up the handling of their cars in an effort

    to compensate for the added power of the V8 (and/or big wheels).

    And in the #4 video, you can Hear what sounds like tire rub on the body, in the turns.

    I would call that a FAIL as far as big wheel/tire installation.

    Last edited: Aug 11, 2021
  11. spmdr

    spmdr Donation Time

    Here is another video from Steve Myers as above.

    It demonstrates poor rear suspension function/low traction/spinning a rear wheel.

    Just think of how much better he could/would have done with getting ALL the power he had

    to the ground!

    ...a LOT of the time, it just makes the car HARDER to drive!

    BUT, when you DO get it ALL right, WHAT A RIDE!!!

    Last edited: Sep 24, 2021
  12. RootesRooter

    RootesRooter Platinum Level Sponsor

    Steve seemed to muscle it thru the course without too much problem. Run #3 was really nice. Meanwhile, that red Tiger getting a push start at the beginning of the video definitely had the right set-up. David Boyd just cleaned up, taking TTD by close to 3 seconds.
  13. spmdr

    spmdr Donation Time

    Just a note, a few days before Suni, I stopped by Tom Duncan and noticed his Drag Race slicks.

    I gave one the uncalibrated Durometer test with my finger nail and marveled at how soft it was.

    ...I did the same test to Boyd's tires, his were Softer!

    At Tigers United events, cars HAVE to use the same tires at the Auto-X as they run the rally with, to be in true competition.

    ...and have a DOT rating....?
  14. Jay Laifman

    Jay Laifman Donation Time

    FWIW, I also note in Dan's video at Willow, there were times when his steering wheel was rock still, and yet you can hear he was steering with the throttle.

    I think his #3 comment was probably the #2 reason for the differences: A Tiger can overwhelm the Tires and brakes. An Alpine, not so much.

    The #1 reason is driver - which goes back to my first comment about Dan's throttle steering. Knowing and executing the right line, right turn in braking, right apex, right roll on to acceleration has more to do with steering wheel sawing than anything else. And just because someone has a GoPro and a car with a loud go fast pedal doesn't mean they have a clue. But differences exist between drivers even at the highest end. Look at how little inputs Max Verstappen gives compared to his fellow racers. It's like he is a machine.
  15. spmdr

    spmdr Donation Time

    Just a note, Willow has some BUMPS! It's real tough to hold the wheel from moving when the whole car is bounced about.

    And as far as tires and brakes, one of the early practice sessions Pro Driver John Morton did in Buck Trippel's VR Tiger proved

    you CAN use up 3 of 4 tires and ALL of the Brakes in just ONE 20 minute session with a Tiger!

  16. Warren

    Warren Bronze Level Sponsor

    Then there's the oops spun into the heavy gravel on the shoulder and the rocks ate the tire bead. Not quite the sport of kings but spares and spare $$$$. Ever look at a track day insurance rate and deductible ?
    After knowing a certain Alpine owner for over 10 years I remember when he stood up at an event and said I race alpines cuz I rolled two Tiger's.
  17. spmdr

    spmdr Donation Time

    Yup, funny thing how putting a BIG multiplier on the power makes for a challenging car to drive...

    ...But FUN also!
  18. spmdr

    spmdr Donation Time

    I was looking thru some old Youtube stuff and found this.

    Seeing Fontana is on the endangered list, soon to be an OLD track...

    SVRA at Fontana 5-2016. In car with Craig Skeels Mustang.

    I come into view with my B&Y Tiger at about 15 min in, in the mirror.

    Then we have a little fun for a few laps.

    This was an interesting event. The weather was sketchy with a wet track Sat morning.

    Because of the weather, I set fast time in Sat morning qualifying (with a best time of 1:56.177 on a moist track)

    and started on the Pole in the afternoon.

    My lead was about as long as it took for the flag to come all the way down,

    as the AP cars got their stride.

    My best time that race was a 1:53.849, my best time in the Tiger at Fontana.

    In this Sunday Flag race video, I finished 5th OA, 2 nd in BP class to Craig.

    In that race, I ran a best lap of 1:55.580 and Craig's best was 1:56.337

    BTW, I'm geared for 148 MPH @ 7400 , and that happens just a bit past start/Finish.

    Tom's Tiger is usually geared taller and will do 160 MPH @7400 going into turn one.


    Last edited: Feb 22, 2022

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