Mach 1 vs Camaro SS 1LE

RocketGuy3

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But reviews like his serve as part of my basis for judgment as to which cars are better oriented to at least semi-hardcore cornering.

Precise lap times don't mean nearly as much to me as they do to him when he suits up for a race, but that doesn't mean that his inputs (and even magazine reviews) have no value to me. I make my own interpretations and judgments from there.

That kind of performance potential - whether or not I ever use all of it - means as much to me as I suspect tinted windows means to you. Maybe more.. We just want different things from our cars. Cornering and handling is my 'thing'.



For some people, sure. But I'm not into basking in the reflected glory of my car's presumed bragging rights. As in, not at all. It's all about what I can get out of it in the way I want to be able to use it (at least on occasion), and how that might lead to me getting more out of myself as a performance driver. Really is that simple.


Norm
I... don't think we're arguing at this point lol. I feel like we're paraphrasing the same point. When two cars are within spitting distance of each other with their track times (assuming you can isolate for all other worthwhile variables, which is super difficult), which is "faster" shouldn't matter, as seems to be the case with the Camaro vs the Stang.

BUT I agree there is certainly other valuable insight you can get from the people driving and reviewing these cars. Pobst's thoughts on the handling dynamics and feedback cars give him is great, for example. I never denied that. Car reviews can be wonderful resources for enthusiasts. Nurburgring dick-measuring contests not so much. Hell, I feel like half the time a professional driver/reviewer does a head to head with lap times, at the end of it, they say they don't care that X was slower, because they had more fun driving it.
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martinjlm

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I... don't think we're arguing at this point lol. I feel like we're paraphrasing the same point. When two cars are within spitting distance of each other with their track times (assuming you can isolate for all other worthwhile variables, which is super difficult), which is "faster" shouldn't matter, as seems to be the case with the Camaro vs the Stang.

BUT I agree there is certainly other valuable insight you can get from the people driving and reviewing these cars. Pobst's thoughts on the handling dynamics and feedback cars give him is great, for example. I never denied that. Car reviews can be wonderful resources for enthusiasts. Nurburgring dick-measuring contests not so much. Hell, I feel like half the time a professional driver/reviewer does a head to head with lap times, at the end of it, they say they don't care that X was slower, because they had more fun driving it.
I think this part gets to the point that you and I and Norm are circling around. The head-to-head reviews like Randy does are great for setting the fence posts. Some people take those as the end-all-be-all. “My favorite car finished .00002 seconds ahead of that other piece of crap on a 2.7 mile track, therefore it is superior”. But some of us take these as a good comparative measure. If a pro can run the two cars with similar results, then it‘s pretty logical to believe that my own results will be close with the two cars, so now I can start looking at comparing other aspects of the vehicles. I may be willing to trade off .04 s for availability of a HUD or PDR. Or maybe I like the styling of one over the other and I’m willing to pay extra bucks for that. It’s not uncommon to set aside raw performance numbers for more intrinsic values. Especially if the difference between the two is basically an eye blink.
 

shogun32

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It’s not uncommon to set aside raw performance numbers for more intrinsic values. Especially if the difference between the two is basically an eye blink.
but NOT where it concerns M6 vs A10. On that, the numbers is all that matters. :)
 

Idaho2018GTPremium

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The reviewers’ subjective opinion mean something to me considering the ones I follow have a lot more driving experience than me. I like to hear Thomas on Throttle House talk about dampers’ compression and rebound damping, steering feel, and general handling characteristics and controlability. I also like to hear Car and Driver’s or MotorTrend’s editors, Jason Cammisa, and Randy Pobst talk/write about that kind of stuff.

That’s what I like about Throttle House’s reviews, they usually give a good idea to the viewer of the car’s basic characteristics and feel. They also usually do a good job summarizing the interiors as well. While styling is subjective and understand that, they seem to have a good feel for interior quality and layout as well.
 

RocketGuy3

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I think this part gets to the point that you and I and Norm are circling around. The head-to-head reviews like Randy does are great for setting the fence posts. Some people take those as the end-all-be-all. “My favorite car finished .00002 seconds ahead of that other piece of crap on a 2.7 mile track, therefore it is superior”. But some of us take these as a good comparative measure. If a pro can run the two cars with similar results, then it‘s pretty logical to believe that my own results will be close with the two cars, so now I can start looking at comparing other aspects of the vehicles. I may be willing to trade off .04 s for availability of a HUD or PDR. Or maybe I like the styling of one over the other and I’m willing to pay extra bucks for that. It’s not uncommon to set aside raw performance numbers for more intrinsic values. Especially if the difference between the two is basically an eye blink.
Well my whole point is that, unless you're driving/racing competitively, NO amount of time is worth paying for unless you can directly correlate that time with driving enjoyment.

For example, you bring up how if a pro can get comparable times, so can you, but that's not always true. A pro driver is going to have a lot easier time taming a beast of a car like a Viper or a GT3 RS (or maybe even a modern Mustang or Camaro) than any of us will. Most of us would be terrified of the limits of most modern ultra performance cars on a road course until we became highly skilled, so why do we care so much what it's capable of in a race car driver's hands?

For this reason, there are plenty of people who have more fun in Miatas than in Corvettes at a race track, but we all know which one is "faster"... But speaking of speed, there are just as many of those Miata drivers any given HPDE weekend who can beat the pants off of half the Corvettes at the track, too. I've passed Corvettes, Vipers, and Mustangs in my old 2007 IS350 at the track. Similarly, I've been passed by Miatas, Corvettes, and 335is in my GT4. In various run groups. And even if I wasn't passing/being passed, who cares? Am I having fun?

The point I'm trying to make is that these magazine laptimes are one small step away from completely worthless when choosing the car you want, and often do more harm than good. It's one of the most poisonous topics of discussion that seems to be prevalent in car enthusiast debates. There is no amount of time on yours OR Randy Pobst's laps that should be worth trading for things you want, unless you are racing competitively.

* The caveat here is that obviously, going fast is fun. So going faster, in theory, is more fun. But I'm just saying it is certainly not always a direct correlation, nor is it that simple. I understand why we care about laptimes, but any difference between two cars this similar is not even worth spending a blink thinking about.
 
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shogun32

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There is no amount of time on yours OR Randy Pobst's laps that should be worth trading for things you want, unless you are racing competitively.
and if you are, your choice of car was made for you by your sponsors and by extension you have the requisite skills to wrangle whatever evil car they give you that from a 'normal's point of view is god-like. A few people here on M6G are responsible for big $$$ professional racing efforts and may well find Mustang and Camaros in stock'ish trim as serious track cars to be a "cute" and largely pointless exercise in futility.
 

Norm Peterson

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I... don't think we're arguing at this point lol. I feel like we're paraphrasing the same point. When two cars are within spitting distance of each other with their track times (assuming you can isolate for all other worthwhile variables, which is super difficult), which is "faster" shouldn't matter, as seems to be the case with the Camaro vs the Stang.

BUT I agree there is certainly other valuable insight you can get from the people driving and reviewing these cars. Pobst's thoughts on the handling dynamics and feedback cars give him is great, for example. I never denied that. Car reviews can be wonderful resources for enthusiasts. Nurburgring dick-measuring contests not so much. Hell, I feel like half the time a professional driver/reviewer does a head to head with lap times, at the end of it, they say they don't care that X was slower, because they had more fun driving it.
Sounds about right . . . it's just that I know I tend to think along slightly different lines than many people. Part of that whole "knowing yourself" thing.


Norm
 

Norm Peterson

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For example, you bring up how if a pro can get comparable times, so can you, but that's not always true. A pro driver is going to have a lot easier time taming a beast of a car like a Viper or a GT3 RS (or maybe even a modern Mustang or Camaro) than any of us will. Most of us would be terrified of the limits of most modern ultra performance cars on a road course until we became highly skilled, so why do we care so much what it's capable of in a race car driver's hands?
Of course, somebody like RP is going to be better at stepping between cars of significantly trickier behavior.

But I'd still expect general trends to hold, at least in match-ups between cars having generally similar performance potential and handling characteristics. Given some seat time in each, anyway.


For this reason, there are plenty of people who have more fun in Miatas than in Corvettes at a race track, but we all know which one is "faster"... But speaking of speed, there are just as many of those Miata drivers any given HPDE weekend who can beat the pants off of half the Corvettes at the track, too. I've passed Corvettes, Vipers, and Mustangs in my old 2007 IS350 at the track. Similarly, I've been passed by Miatas, Corvettes, and 335is in my GT4. In various run groups. And even if I wasn't passing/being passed, who cares? Am I having fun?
Exactly. Let the faster folks by, pass the slower folks responsibly, and go back to driving my own drive. Keep in mind that my toy is only a 4.6L S197.


The point I'm trying to make is that these magazine laptimes are one small step away from completely worthless when choosing the car you want, and often do more harm than good. It's one of the most poisonous topics of discussion that seems to be prevalent in car enthusiast debates. There is no amount of time on yours OR Randy Pobst's laps that should be worth trading for things you want, unless you are racing competitively.
Other than being toward the top of its category in terms of cornering and handling, my wants here are few. It's a shorter list than just about anybody else's, yours included. Truth is, I don't want for much past seating that's comfortable and reasonably supportive, HVAC, and a basic FM/CD player. I'm a simple guy with simple tastes who's not particularly interested in luxury features or impressed by gee-whiz high technology.


* The caveat here is that obviously, going fast is fun. So going faster, in theory, is more fun.
Going faster, like driving in general, is partly about the car and partly about its driver. I've always looked at the whole here, not just the car side. These days, it's more about the driver's part in it for me.


Norm
 

martinjlm

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Well my whole point is that, unless you're driving/racing competitively, NO amount of time is worth paying for unless you can directly correlate that time with driving enjoyment.

For example, you bring up how if a pro can get comparable times, so can you, but that's not always true. A pro driver is going to have a lot easier time taming a beast of a car like a Viper or a GT3 RS (or maybe even a modern Mustang or Camaro) than any of us will. Most of us would be terrified of the limits of most modern ultra performance cars on a road course until we became highly skilled, so why do we care so much what it's capable of in a race car driver's hands?

For this reason, there are plenty of people who have more fun in Miatas than in Corvettes at a race track, but we all know which one is "faster"... But speaking of speed, there are just as many of those Miata drivers any given HPDE weekend who can beat the pants off of half the Corvettes at the track, too. I've passed Corvettes, Vipers, and Mustangs in my old 2007 IS350 at the track. Similarly, I've been passed by Miatas, Corvettes, and 335is in my GT4. In various run groups. And even if I wasn't passing/being passed, who cares? Am I having fun?

The point I'm trying to make is that these magazine laptimes are one small step away from completely worthless when choosing the car you want, and often do more harm than good. It's one of the most poisonous topics of discussion that seems to be prevalent in car enthusiast debates. There is no amount of time on yours OR Randy Pobst's laps that should be worth trading for things you want, unless you are racing competitively.

* The caveat here is that obviously, going fast is fun. So going faster, in theory, is more fun. But I'm just saying it is certainly not always a direct correlation, nor is it that simple. I understand why we care about laptimes, but any difference between two cars this similar is not even worth spending a blink thinking about.
I think you are misunderstanding my point here. I am by no means saying that I can get close to Randy Pobst numbers driving anything and I agree that a skilled HDPE driver in a Miata could probably trounce me even if I’m driving a Z06. What I am saying is the if a 1LE and a Mach I in Randy’s hands, same track same day deliver similar numbers, I can expect that MY numbers in a 1LE will be similar to MY numbers in a Mach I. At that point I can start looking at other differentiating factors for making my purchase choice.
 

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I think you are misunderstanding my point here. I am by no means saying that I can get close to Randy Pobst numbers driving anything and I agree that a skilled HDPE driver in a Miata could probably trounce me even if I’m driving a Z06. What I am saying is the if a 1LE and a Mach I in Randy’s hands, same track same day deliver similar numbers, I can expect that MY numbers in a 1LE will be similar to MY numbers in a Mach I. At that point I can start looking at other differentiating factors for making my purchase choice.
Precisely.


Norm
 

RocketGuy3

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I think you are misunderstanding my point here. I am by no means saying that I can get close to Randy Pobst numbers driving anything and I agree that a skilled HDPE driver in a Miata could probably trounce me even if I’m driving a Z06. What I am saying is the if a 1LE and a Mach I in Randy’s hands, same track same day deliver similar numbers, I can expect that MY numbers in a 1LE will be similar to MY numbers in a Mach I. At that point I can start looking at other differentiating factors for making my purchase choice.
Lol, I think you misunderstood me. I wasn't suggesting you thought you were as good a drive as Randy (or anyone in particular). I was just saying that a pro driver might have a very different time with two cars side by side than you would with those same two cars. Like a Viper might be way faster than a Mustang, Miata, Corvette, etc at its limits, so Randy's times might be WAY better in a Viper ACR than in any of those cars when he drives them. But for you and I? We might be way faster in the Miata because it's just easier, less intimidating (and dare I say, more fun) for us to drive in many situations, especially when learning.

So I'm saying even if you're accounting for the fact that you're slower than Randy, you may not be accounting for the fact that some cars feel and drive very differently in the hands of a professional relative to other cars than they would for an Average Joe HPDE driver.

Ultimately the point is just that the things that make a car faster don't necessarily make it more fun. The whole point of going fast (again, unless you're racing professionally/competitively) is that it's fun to feel like you're going fast. ACTUALLY going faster is often not as fun as going slower. A few easy examples:

  1. The best example of this that most of us here can identify with is manual vs auto/DCT. We all know that automatics are "faster" than manuals (by a wide margin these days), but we also know that automatics can't even lick a good stick shift's balls when it comes to fun factor on the track. That feeling of connectedness and involvement adds so much sense of speed and fun.
  2. Some people prefer racing in "regular" max performance summer tires rather than slicks because sliding around a lil and safely learning the limits of a car is more fun.
  3. I'm sure we've all heard the "slow car fast >>> fast car slow" mantra. Most of us just want faster cars because we think we'll enjoy them more than we actually can unless you LIVE at the track...
 

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Lol, I think you misunderstood me. I wasn't suggesting you thought you were as good a drive as Randy (or anyone in particular). I was just saying that a pro driver might have a very different time with two cars side by side than you would with those same two cars. Like a Viper might be way faster than a Mustang, Miata, Corvette, etc at its limits, so Randy's times might be WAY better in a Viper ACR than in any of those cars when he drives them. But for you and I? We might be way faster in the Miata because it's just easier, less intimidating (and dare I say, more fun) for us to drive in many situations, especially when learning.

So I'm saying even if you're accounting for the fact that you're slower than Randy, you may not be accounting for the fact that some cars feel and drive very differently in the hands of a professional relative to other cars than they would for an Average Joe HPDE driver.

Ultimately the point is just that the things that make a car faster don't necessarily make it more fun. The whole point of going fast (again, unless you're racing professionally/competitively) is that it's fun to feel like you're going fast. ACTUALLY going faster is often not as fun as going slower. A few easy examples:

  1. The best example of this that most of us here can identify with is manual vs auto/DCT. We all know that automatics are "faster" than manuals (by a wide margin these days), but we also know that automatics can't even lick a good stick shift's balls when it comes to fun factor on the track. That feeling of connectedness and involvement adds so much sense of speed and fun.
  2. Some people prefer racing in "regular" max performance summer tires rather than slicks because sliding around a lil and safely learning the limits of a car is more fun.
  3. I'm sure we've all heard the "slow car fast >>> fast car slow" mantra. Most of us just want faster cars because we think we'll enjoy them more than we actually can unless you LIVE at the track...
Got it. And for the most part I tend to agree. Thing is, with vehicles in the same classes of vehicle I expect my ability to push two makes to the same level is very much in my wheelhouse.

I led GM’s Powertrain Competitor Intel team for many years before I retired. Drove a lot of “similar” classes of vehicles of all brands back-to-back-to-back on Black Lake at GM’s Milford Proving Grounds. I agree with your point (and Norm’s) that Car A can feel better to the driver than Car B, even though Car B is faster. Been there, done that. A lot. It’s how I’ve developed my preference for driving dynamics over balls-out speed.

As Idaho has pointed out, I can get a lot of the nuance of driving Car A vs Car B from the commentary of skilled drivers like Randy and like Thomas of Throttle House. I can relate their descriptions to things I’ve experienced in my own comparative driving and lend them a level of credibility to take their comments at face value.

As an example, I drove Bullitt and GT350 press cars, each for a few days, one week apart. The seating position differences, the transmission shifter feel and clutch engagement feel were so different between the two that it was obvious to me which car I would choose, regardless of which was faster. The differences I noted align with the drive quality assessments that I’ve heard from Randy, Thomas, and Jason Camissa in their reviews of GT350 and Mustang GT PP. It just confirms for me that I can get value from their reviews.
 

Mikepol2

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The reviewers’ subjective opinion mean something to me considering the ones I follow have a lot more driving experience than me. I like to hear Thomas on Throttle House talk about dampers’ compression and rebound damping, steering feel, and general handling characteristics and controlability. I also like to hear Car and Driver’s or MotorTrend’s editors, Jason Cammisa, and Randy Pobst talk/write about that kind of stuff.

That’s what I like about Throttle House’s reviews, they usually give a good idea to the viewer of the car’s basic characteristics and feel. They also usually do a good job summarizing the interiors as well. While styling is subjective and understand that, they seem to have a good feel for interior quality and layout as well.
Interesting that you mention this point… In the Throttle House track test of the PP2 vs the 1LE, at the end of the video, Thomas reported that he achieved about a 1 sec faster lap time in the 1LE, but if that he was given a chance to take another lap, he’d do it in the Mustang. I like those guys too. In fact their review of a Challenger Scat Pack manual is what helped me decide to not bother even test driving one.
 

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Of course, somebody like RP is going to be better at stepping between cars of significantly trickier behavior.

But I'd still expect general trends to hold, at least in match-ups between cars having generally similar performance potential and handling characteristics. Given some seat time in each, anyway.
What I am saying is the if a 1LE and a Mach I in Randy’s hands, same track same day deliver similar numbers, I can expect that MY numbers in a 1LE will be similar to MY numbers in a Mach I. At that point I can start looking at other differentiating factors for making my purchase choice.
As a total newbie I am perfectly aware of the danger of "time measuring". There is basically the great gap between what I can do with the car and what the pro driver can. Now, I can relate to statements as "car feels more planted", or "it under/over steers" to some extent, but I cannot put it into a comparative relation, e.g. does ti behave more like Porsche, or rather Audi, for the lack of experience.

What you both @martinjlm and @Norm Peterson state here (and might not realise) is already a certain level of proficiency, which I believe does not apply to an average Joe (e.g. me). For me comparing lap times for different cars is totally irrelevant as I know, I won't be able to drive the different cars to the same level, nor push them to their limits.

I might be faster in Golf R than in Ferrari, simply because I will not be able to handle the latter, be it because of missing experience, or skills, or both.

So I'm saying even if you're accounting for the fact that you're slower than Randy, you may not be accounting for the fact that some cars feel and drive very differently in the hands of a professional relative to other cars than they would for an Average Joe HPDE driver.
I am seeing this as an analogy to the sailing. Not that I am a pro sailor, I am rather rookie as well, but had an opportunity to sail with and against some good ones. Their ability to "read the boat" and immediately apply any found advantage to the trim and push the boat to the limits is amazing. When they sail two competing boats head to head we can then judge the boats based on that. How that applies to when I sail them is however a completely different story.
 

13GetThere

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Think I'll through some darkness into the light.
I once got into a pursuit with a new Datsun 260Z. I was in a new Ford E350; our district paddy wagon. Chase lasted a couple of miles through crooked, hilly neighborhood streets, and a 4 lane surface road before I caught him, then a foot pursuit for a half block before I finally caught him.
Does this mean that everybody should go out and trade their pony/sports cars for 1 ton vans for track use?
 
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