|Photos: Racing Management|
Loud exhaust? Ok, I hear you.
Big Brake Kit? On so many cars it just announces to the world you brake too much.
Truth is, you cannot be a serious tracktard until you've had explain to someone how you dropped 6 to 10 grand on a set of shock absorbers.
What? Wait , a set of Bilsteins for my Miata cost $120 a piece, you say? Well, there is so much about shocks you need to learn then.
Shocks (or dampers if you are British) are the vital component keeping wheels in contact with the the ground and, a car can only steer and move forward is there is a contact patch.
With shock absorber, maybe more than any other performance part, you get what you pay for: adjustability, range of adjustment, build, travel and ability to be serviced. For a club racing track car, a good set of shocks might be in the $4K to $6K range but for a WRC car? You can do the math.
Why you'd need the best available shock technology is well illustrated in this video of Robert Kubica testing his LOTOS Ford Fiests RS WRC ahead of the Montecarlo rally.
That particular stretch of road was clearly chosen to work on shock settings and you can see why as Kubica rips at ridiculous speed over bumps and troughs that would sent an ordinary car flying into the woods.
The Fiesta bottoms out and bounces off the ground but Kubica is able not to lift, in part because of his huge balls, in part because he knows he can count on his wheel having maximum contact with the tarmac.