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SPOKES 2/26/12 San Antonio

DNF'd two times :banghead::banghead::banghead: its ok. it was fun and im exided about the next...

 

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Autocross season has begun in the Washington DC area. We started last weekend with NCCBMWCCA, instructing newbies at their school. Before they wrapped up for the day they let us instructors have a few more runs in our cars and this was my best:

 

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And today was the first points event for NCCBMWCCA. After a downpour in the morning, the afternoon was nonstop drizzle. I was driving a very good STR 2006 MX5 instead of my regular STS Miata and the power difference is pretty significant. I had a couple spins during the day but my clean runs were pretty decent. The car's owner beat me by half a second or so, which wasn't as bad as I expected, so that's encouraging.

We're back in action tomorrow for the season opener for Autocrossers Inc. at the same lot. I put what's left of last year's R1Rs on so I'm hoping for less rain or we're going to be done for.

 

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Today I was back in my familiar STS ride for the season opener of Autocrossers Inc here in southern Maryland. Drizzle/mist in the morning meant another wet day, though I opted for my nearly bald R1Rs leftover from last year. Sam Strano designed the course and it was a good one, though I didn't get a shot at it in the (mostly) dry till fun runs late in the day. My best time was good enough for 7th out of 20 in the PAXed "pro" class.


WDCR SCCA kicks off next Sunday with a non-points practice event at FedEx Field.
 

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Could be faster but I placed very well for my first time.
Crdered a contour plus and a roll bar so I should have some better video next time.
 

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2nd event in the car. Steering is HARD.

This is something of a 'what not to do' video:
-holding myself in the seat with the steering wheel
-hand position is all over the place
-not looking ahead
-pretty far off the cones

Still managed 36 of 125 in PAX. Somehow. I am tempted to throw shocks and a sway bar at the car. It's really fun muscling the thing around, and having some power to work with for once. My poor Miata is going to feel neglected.

Top video has nice sound, bottom one just has wind noise, turn it down.

 

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No official events held this weekend, but we took advantage of the Evolution Performance Driving school holding a Phase I school at our hometown ballpark on Saturday. Don't know why we haven't done an Evo school before this point but now that it's done I'm glad we did. I started out pretty quick and over the course of the day I only picked up about 1.5 seconds over a 35ish second course, but I doubt I would have made anything near that kind of progress trying to do it on my own. It's money well spent.

Slaloms have been kicking my butt quite a bit going back to the West course at Nationals last year, and I think I got a lot better at getting into slaloms and keeping neat and tidy in them today.


Next weekend I do my first Pro Solo. It should be interesting.
 

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Next weekend I do my first Pro Solo. It should be interesting.
See you there. We'll be running RTR in a '97 prepped for ES (but no lsd) so you STS Miata guys are our target/benchmark :p
 

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I was kind of all over the place. Spun it thru the finish on the right course. Drifted the left course off camber sweeper, spun there on another run. 0.490 redlit my good Sunday right side run. :banghead: Tons of fun though!

Finished 7th in class. Decided running RT at a Pro is probably futile with a 2wd vehicle. We managed 2.4 second 60ft times, comparable to the top of ES and STS yet were still down by 0.7 seconds at the 60-ft mark to the rally cars in RT. Even more by the end of the acceleration zone, and with only 30 seconds on course we couldn't make up the time in the corners.

I didn't drive all that well, was 2 pax seconds behind Marshall in the MINI. Every time I watch the video below I cringe at what I did wrong. But it's slightly reassuring that to win RoadTire in a Miata the top ES drivers would have had to throw on street tires and go back out and run the same times. Or DiSimo & Brown in STS could take all the suspension mods off their car and go back out and run the same times. Holy. Cow. I want a WRX.

 

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NWOR SCCA 1st Event

First event of the Northwestern Ohio Regional SCCA autocross at the Chrysler Toledo Machining Plant. Driving a stock 2007 Mazdaspeed 3, only mods are a Corksport rear sway bar and Hawk HPS pads, and new rotors. Ran in the RTF class under D stock, finished 3rd out of 4, but not by much. This is only the start of my second season, so please enjoy, or then again, criticize!






Oh yeah, managed to finish 41 of 106 by PAX index, so not too bad IMO...
 

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I instructed at another NCCBMWCCA autocross school today, and it's still fun. Instructors got to play at the end of the day and this is one of those runs.


Tomorrow is the first points-paying WDCR SCCA autocross at FedEx Field.
 

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I'm pretty happy after Sunday. Eight drivers in STS for the Washington DC season opener. I had a .7-second lead over my primary rival ("Slava") entering last runs. He ran just before me and picked up eight tenths, but he only got to enjoy being on top for about 20 seconds as I found three tenths on my last run to retake the lead and score the class win. The wife got fourth so we're starting the local SCCA season on a good note.

I was 52nd in PAX (top 23%) on a horsepower course driving a car with none, so I'm OK with that. Hoping to be top 20% this year but we're going to need tighter courses and/or better driving for that.

 
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