So how did things go @ VIR?
Oops, Results.......and remember, weather conditions make huge differences in results.
also FWIW: Nov 2015 I ran a 2:09.8 with the FR500 knock-offs in PERFECT conditions but had never been able to duplicate it...or even really get that close. March 2017 I managed a best of 2:10.8 in a race and 2:10.0 in morning practice, again with FR500 knock-offs.
So at the May event I'm on these new 9.5 wheels but it's fairly hot for Friday and Saturday......and I'm stuck in the 2:13's with a car that is overheating! Not enough for fastest laps but still end up winning the Sat race due to other drivers errors. Sunday race the weather is much cooler and I may have solved my overheating problem. I immediately get out to a big lead and several laps later, out of boredom, I decide to see just how fast a lap I can lay down. However, since I'm well out in front I repeatedly "throw-away" corners allowing other class racers to get by me clean so I don't screw up their race....but the car is staying nice and cool!
20 min into a 45 min race I end up laying down a 2:09.8. Same thing I ran in 2015. Was it the wheels, weather, or bigger balls I really don't know. The car didn't feel any different on track. I was pumped though because my old 2:09 was during a club day and this 2:09 is an official race.....so it counts as a track record!!!!
Since it's been over a month, we also raced at Summit Point 2 weeks ago. It was somewhat hot, my overheating problem came back and while I won, I was 2+ seconds off my personal bests. The cooling system is in the middle of getting a complete flush, inspection/replace before our next event which isn't til August!
My opinion: If I buy another set of wheels it will be these heavier 17 x 9.5's. I like the way they look better than the FR500's.......but that seems to be the only difference on track using them