WIN Garage Mitsubishi Legnum EC5W Build Part 3

After just having a fresh service by the boys at JAK Motorworks and a tune by Chasers Motorworks I decided it was time to enter the Legnum on a track day. Searched the forums and found the closest track day was the Winton Fun Day on the 7th of September 2012. Not competitive but more for fun and to just see how the Legnum held up on a track. Made the long drive up north with my wife, my brother and my 1 year old son. After 3 hours we finally made it for a 7:00 am entry.

7am queing up to enter the track.

7am queing up to enter the track.

Funnily enough the Legnum actually failed scrutineering twice. Firstly the pod filter bracket was not secure enough to pass so had to cable tie the intake pipe and pod to anything else I could find rigid in the engine bay.

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After securing the pod filter then the battery bracket was deemed not secure enough so had to remove it, reposition the battery and re-secure. Eventually the car passed and we were allowed out on the track.

The car performed generally well for the entire event. The TEIN monoflex coilovers were set up by Centreline Suspension and the car handled really well and had just enough punch down the short straights at Winton to be competitive against similar cars. The biggest issue on the day was the slow gear changes through the Auto gearbox. I drove the car in Triptronic mode the entire day but the delay between up shifts and down shifts was ridiculous. After a few laps the shift changes became slower and slower. At one stage I down shifted during braking into turn 1 and the car rolled through the entire turn 1 and 2 in neutral still thinking about whether it wanted to give me another gear or not. Something I definitely need to improve if I ever wanted to do another track day.

We ended up running the car on the street Nexen 6000 tyres already fitted and set tyre pressures around 34 to start off with and monitored throughout the day. We found tyre pressures creeping up around 40psi after a few laps which is where we were told to try keep it under hot conditions. Did find a loss of turn in grip after excessive minutes out on the track and when we came in and checked tyre pressures found the front left tyre was creeping up to 44psi while the other 3 tyres were still around 40-41psi. Spoke to a Subaru Liberty Wagon owner at the track who mentioned he ran the front left 2 psi lower than the others to compensate so we did the same and it seemed to maintain a better equilibrium under warmed conditions.

Here is a short sequence video taken on a crappy phone, but at least its something. Need to also invest in a go pro camera and in car mount for future.

Also there was actually one major accident on the day. If you look through the gallery pictures above you’ll see a white the Mk1 escort leading the pack in one pictures. Later in the day it actually clipped the ripple strips on turn 1 a bit hard and rolled onto its roof. Luckily the driver walked away unhurt as this car looked like it was a tarmac rally vehicle with full cage, harness and safety gear to keep the driver relatively safe. Shame to see such an iconic car damaged in such a way. Before it rolled the noise from this thing was absolute audio porn.

Overall the day was well run with a vast variety of cars from cheap beginner Hyundai’s through to exotic Porches and Ferraris. At times the track did became heavily over crowded, but if you were patient slowed down and created a gap for yourself you were able to create your own space. I managed to have some intense laps with a silver Evo 9 and a Ferrari 360 Modena. Both eventually passed me on the straight leading to turn 1 but through the corners it felt like the Legnum was on par with them even once I was overtaken the Legnum stayed on their tail all the way through to turn 9 where the longer straights allowed them to pull away.

I always purchased the Legnum to be purely a daily driver, but after today I’ve learnt that with a few simple improvements the car can be a decent every now and again track car.


 Things on the improvement list after today:

– Investigate options to improve auto gear changes and effectiveness of the aftermarket transmission cooler installed already.

– Should take out a bit more weight for future track days.

– Need a little more power!!! You can never have too much.

– The ride height needs to be raised a little to improve the suspension travel and bump steer.

– Invest in go pro camera.

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