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Ask Andrie Hartanto Something!
[Image: fronta.jpg]

We are privilaged to have Andrie Hartanto come aboard the SRO Forums and try to answer your questions about competition racing. Andrie is a seasoned HPDE instructor and a Honda Challenge winner. He is also running the USTCC and doing very well. You can visit his website at or his gallery on SRO at

Please think before you post. Any negative posts will result in users being banned. Andrie is very busy so we are privilaged to have him here.
What are you future goals in racing?What type of racing or which
series would you like to do?
What made you decide to use a FWD car for racing?
My immediate goal is to win as many races as I can. My long term goal is to become a professional driver and make a living doing it.

I like any type of auto racing. From open wheel to tin top road racing to NASCAR. My favourite at the moment is Speed World Challenge. I hope I can run a full season in Speed World Challenge in immediate future.

The choice of car has a lot to do with budget and sponsors. I have no preference on RWD or FWD. When they are setup to the limit, they drive the same to experienced racers. The choice of Honda, though, because they produce great cars. They are serious in motorsports and have long list of pedigree and reputation in racing world.
oh really. ive always heard that FWD has alot of understeer
yes, that is the common misconception. If setup right, the FWD will drive very similar to RWD. I used to race BMW before moving to Honda and had the same misconception then.
You have to keep in mind that your car is setup totally different than most street cars right? Your running like 1000 pound springs etc, right? when I saw you guys at SJGP coming around the turn you guys were drifting hardcore, I was surpised that all the FWD's where pushing like that. I wish I had it on camera.
Hey Andrie from a professional's point of view, which is more fun to drive, fwd or rwd. When i saw fwd i don't mean the precisely set up cars you drive, I mean general fwd cars. Also, for most major competitions, which drivetrain is more used?
Race car is totally setup different than street car. Not only the spring rate, but shocks as well. All the shocks that are available to public are street shocks, includes Tein, etc.

When you said pushing, at first I thought you meant understeer. We use the term push to describe understeer.

More fun to drive, is really depends on the car setup. Combination of the chassis and engine and gearing. Rarely is the wheel drive. The common racing car use RWD. Only until few years ago FWD started to be accepted. FWD require different setup, but once setup right it drives similar to RWD.

Some of the funnest street that I've driven before: Miata, S2K, RSX type S, NSX, Mini, BMW 3 series.
Is the biggest challenge you find in competitive racing budget? If so how do you overcome this?
2001 Dakota - sold
1998 Honda CBR 600 - stock
North American Engine & Transmission
Fund is always number one. I have yet to overcome this or I will be racing full time and quit my day job Wink

We are fortunate enough that we are able to secure some sponsors, like RedZone Performance, Rota Wheels, Comptech, HASPORT, Wicked Tuning, DB Autobody, and SRO Magazine. However, we are still a small team with very limited budget. We constantly looking for new sponsors and negotiate better deal for all party involved.
Are there weight breaks or other advantages given to the front wheel drive cars in your series?
I run in a few different series. Honda Challenge, USTCC and Speed World Challenge. Each one of them has their own sets of rules. I'll try to give small example.

Honda Challenge,
They are essentially 5 classes, but only 2 classes are popular, H1, and H4. H1 which is I'm classed at, is "hybrid" class where engine swap are allowed. They have different weight requirements for different engine. B16 is 2100 lbs, B18 is 2200 lbs, K20 is 2350 lbs.

the weight are calculated by the formula of (HP+torque)/2 * 13.5
Using manufacturer published number. Adjustments are then made to allow competition modification to certain engine package to make them in line with the rest of the competitors. Currently K20 motor has to run in stock form.

Speed World Challenge,
this has the most complicated rule. Allowable modifications are strictly to VTS (Vehicle Technical Specification) issued by SCCA pro.

As far as I know of, none of the series has provision to allow weight breaks for FWD cars. For USTCC for instance, we don't get weight break to compete with BMW that are RWD.

You have to realize, I'm just mentioning a small part of the rules. TO understand the series in whole, one must read the rule book in its entirity. Which consist more than a few pages.
Most people believe that if your car has a really stiff suspension, then it's pretty good. I remember you were telling me about some race cars that feel like their stock, very smooth etc. What would someone want to have an ideal HPDE and street car that's comfortable.

Say for instance your Civic. Most people think they'll get some Tein coilovers and call it a day. Is that good enough, or do you think a custom setup such as ground control with a specified spring rate and some H&R shocks is better?

Also, wheel size. Some people say get 15's, some people say get 17's. I guess 15's with a 50 series would be more comfortable than a 17 with a 40 series, but is it going to make more of a difference running one size or the other?
good shock is the key. Stiff spring is a must, but a good shock to dampen the spring properly is even more important.

For racing purposes, the Tein coilover is far from adequate. Tein is very bouncy and the shock didn't dampen well.

I would go with Ground Contol with specified spring rate and Koni yellow for the street will be better than most of the japanese bling available out there.

For racing purposes, for those in a busget, Koni offer race valving for their off the shelf yellow (twin tube) or go with one of their race shocks like Koni 3011 or 2812 (monotube). The Monotube will be faster acting shocks compare to twin tube. And their race shocks are smooth, comfortable and confidence aspiring. If you have the budget, you should look into Moton or JRZ.

For wheels, either one have their advantageous and disadvantageous. If you have a really good race shock, you will want to have the stiffest sidewall as you can find. Typically going to bigger size wheels will give you this. Stiffer sidewall give you better turn in and easier to dial the suspension than soft sidewall tires.
since you drive FWD, tire wear is a big issue you have to deal with, right? if so, how do you combat your front tires from wearing out too quickly?
Tire wear issue is more of a function of the car weight. Naturally FWD will wear out the front tire more, and RWD will wear the rear tire more. They both has to deal with the same issue, only at different end of the car.
Thanks for the info Andrie. If you don't mind I'm going to give the readers a little 411 on your background that I know of.... so they know how well rounded you are.

Had a 93 Camaro
Had a BMW 2002 (not the year but the car)
Had a M3 (like mid 90's)
Had the nsx which you raced a lot (not professionally)
had the 88 M3 (race car)
had the 92 Civic (race car)
have the civic.

So you guys can see he's raced all types of different cars.
BMW 2002? I didnt really like the body style on that one, but how do they perform?
oldstormowner Wrote:compaired to something like a z300 nissan , a skyline or mazda rx9
and i know skylines are heavy bitches too but there awd makes up for it
It was a 73 2002 tii. Pretty good. The engine was strong and the handling is pretty good.
Let me add to Andrie's background-

I went with him to Thunderhill once when Ryan had some other things that warranted his attention. During this time, I was driving my Neon ACR and I thought i was doing pretty good out there until I came in and went for a ride with Andrie in his street drivein NSX on street tires (he forgot his R-rated tires that day).

I remeber the first thing that went through my mind when we got on the track was "This should be fun. Andrie seems like a pretty good driver."

"Pretty good" turned into "Great holy jesus. This fucking guy can drive!"

We were out on the track for probably 6 laps and during that time, Andrie layed waste to several C5 corvettes, several 300zxs and a 400rwhp Porsche 911 that, and Andrie put it "just won't get out of the damn way." The scary part was that Andrie wasn't even pushing or or driving at 10/10ths due to his NSX running on street tires. Oh, and he was smiling the enitre time, just like in his avatar.

I still remeber that drive to this day and I credit Andrie with giving me my first real hit from the "Go-Fast Crack Pipe". None of my cars or my checkbook have ever been the same since.

Oh yeah, nice work at the SJGP. I had the entire section cheering for your car.

"Racing makes heroin addiction seem like a vague longing for something salty" - Peter Egan
Andrie, my friend has a 2001 BMW M3. He wants me to get him some Brembo's or AP racing brakes. I figured I'd run it by you to see what's better. He's racing over seas doing a lot of HPDE's etc.
(08-11-2005, 11:58 AM)Andrie Wrote: Tire wear issue is more of a function of the car weight.  Naturally FWD will wear out the front tire more, and RWD will wear the rear tire more.  They both has to deal with the same issue, only at different end of the car.

Still racing these days?  Smile

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