Here is the video of all 4 of my runs from yesterday’s event. The video was taken with my iPhone 4 (so 720p is available). I’m going to get a shorter mount hopefully, so it will be more stable. But other than the shaking from the mount, I was very pleased with the footage.
Fast forward to the last run if you want to see my fastest run.
I got 4th (out of 10) at NWR-SCCA Event #2, which was good for my first ever NWR-SCCA event trophy! It was a pretty sweet trophy too.
Finally, my 2nd 24 Hours of LeMons team and I are heading down to Williows, CA tomorrow for the race this weekend. Technical inspection is Friday and the race is Sat/Sun. We’ll be driving the super-pimp Grouppe Festiva.
The first slush event of the year, “Totally Stoked”, was today at Sanderson Field. I was able to convince my brother to come out with me as a tire warmer, his 2nd autocross ever and his first one was 3 years ago.
I rode with Robby for all 4 of his runs, coaching down his times each run (for the most part). He ended up getting 1st in his class. I ended up pulling out a great 4th run and getting 3rd in ST1, bumping myself into the trophies.
During tech, I also found out that I trophied in ST1 last year, so I was awarded a pretty cool Ogio waterproof duffle bag with a custom inscription.
In honor the occasion, I decided to spend a little time to add the WWSCC Slush series results to the alpha AXED site.
Because I’ve been planning on rearranging our car situation, I’ve been car shopping. I decided I want to get a car that’s seriously competitive in autocross and noticed, while I haven’t been driving very well, the cars I’ve picked thus far just aren’t competitive and simply aren’t used in competition. I grabbed the 2009 Solo results and tried to figure out what cars showed up, which ones won, and why.
I’m not going to provide much analysis, but below is the data for anyone else who wants it. I will say this though, for any class that offers a car with a double wishbone front suspension, you basically eliminate the cars with MacPherson struts from being competitive. Even cars with more torque and better power to weight ratios seem to be out-classed in autocross. The one exception to this seems to be the Chevrolet Cobalt in D Stock, which is touted for it’s excellent stock suspension (and one of the trophies was grabbed up by the very talented Kevin Dietz).
Currently I’m leaning towards the RX8. I like the car’s styling, suicide rear doors, and suspension. However, I’m having a lot of trouble getting behind the rotary engine, which offers a fairly awful power / MPG ratio, all while remaining pretty torqueless. All the other reasonably priced cars in A-D Stock seem be convertibles, which are definitely not my thing.
Tuesday and Wednesday I was at the Evolution Performance Driving School in Packwood, WA. I’ve been waiting a long time to take that school (almost 2 years) and it was totally worth it. I strongly recommend it for anyone interested in getting better at autocross.
The school was nothing like what I thought it would be in terms of what you learned. At autocross, you hear people talking all the time about “looking ahead”. During your runs, you’d try and “look ahead” and might not get any faster. This school totally taught me what looking ahead really means and showed me a lot of tools to make sure you’re looking ahead.
I was also nice to be able to ride with some national champions so they could show you what your car is capable of doing. My scoring results sheet showed a huge improvement after one ride with Karl Coleman driving my car through the slalom.
The 2009 WWSCC Understeer and Oversteer events were this Saturday and Sunday. Participation was low so we all got 5 runs per session. The event went very smoothly and the course was very fast. I did pretty poorly on Saturday but improved a bit on Sunday. The key to the course was to get up the courage to just stay on the gas through the back slaloms. I really love these style courses, I’m still just not very confident in the M3 yet or it’s tires.
On the bright side, I got Sean to come out to the event. He took a bunch of pictures with his 5D Mark II and I drove him around the course a couple times, which he seemed to find fun.
Well, I didn’t trophy on Sunday, but I came agonizingly close. I got nudged out on the last run by the person who was in 5th. The worst part of it was that I just messed up a little bit at the finish pushing wide just enough to cost me the faster time I’m pretty sure I had that run. So, I finished 5th out of 12 on Sunday and 3rd of 7 with a Trophy on Saturday. Overall, a good weekend with mixed weather.
Today I placed 3rd in ST2 (indexed street tire class for WWSCC events) out of 7 competitors, which qualifies me for a trophy! Hooray. The event was at Cheney Stadium. It went well and no one got shot in the face. I don’t know if I’m getting better or the fact that the pavement at Cheney is not very grippy. But it seemed that the AWD cars might have had an advantage over the FWD or RWD cars. I was getting sideways a lot, but I kept it tidy on my 5th run to pull out a mid-37 second run.
My trophy was a mini RC car. It’s a 2006 Dodge Charger ROLLIN’ PHAT ON SUM DUBZ, YO! w00t.
There’s another event tomorrow at the same place. We’ll see how that goes.
* Technically I trophied when I was a novice, but that doesn’t really count (even though I beat like 45 people)
The Sports Car Spectacular is the final WWSCC event of the season and it marks the end of my very first autocross season. I definitely improved over the course of the season. The WWSCC organization is a great one and put on some very fun events.
I was hoping to do well enough to move past Mike Perkowitz in the ST2 season standings and finish the season in 5th, but I had really bad showing at the Enduro event earlier this season and I wasn’t able to over come it, despite beating Mike by almost 4 points this event. I also ran the first 2 events in novice, which gave me a smaller pool of scores to choose my good events from. Big props to Mike for keeping consistent throughout the season.
Finally, I’d like to note that my most recent upgrades appear to have moved me closer to the Spore couple, which means they are working (those mods being the camber plates + alignment and Cobb Anti-sway bars). I’m confident with another day or two of autocross and I’ll have new oversteer figured out enough to not spin (see my 3rd run of the SCS event).
Here is the video from my latest Autocross. I placed fifth in ST2, middle of the pack. That isn’t bad considering how underprepped my car is for XSM but the ST3 guys with their coilover setups and a lot more driving experience are still a lot quicker than I am.