2009 WWSCC Understeer and Oversteer

Me in the M3.  Photo by Sean FortierThe 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.

Overdue Lemons Update

Last month, we decided it was probably best to start getting the car ready to match our theme (Bottom Gear, our take on the diesel BMW endurance race episode of Top Gear).

Nick Being Pro Nick and I drove down to Robby’s place we didn’t there until about 6pm if I recall because we got a super late start. However, before we left, we had to drive all around the Renton/Kent/Auburn area collecting paint and supplies to do the job. While we were doing that, Nick thought it would be important to smash our front lip into a parking curb. While only annoying at first, it turned out to be quite an incident later on while we were driving down the freeway and the lip started to come apart.

Lemons Car Front Prepared We paint-prepared the car Saturday night. I use the term paint-prepared lightly as it is really hard to prep a car in that bad of shape for paint in 4-ish hours. Then we got up super early on Sunday to paint it. The results aren’t half bad and barring some paint sprayer malfunctions we did a good job.

After Paint Front After Paint Rear
After Paint Side

Cheney Stadium Weekend Summary

STI rounding the hairpinWell, 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.

My First Trophy*

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)

License Plate Frames

Sample License PlateIn my continuing effort to improve traffic flow without spending any tax payer money I have devised the following informational license plate frame. It is available through my old Xtreme Tek store via Cafe Press.

Apparently, people don’t know this is a law, which baffles me. I mean, it should have been in your driver’s education course and there are signs on the freeway that say it.

On Course Shot

I’ve been pretty busy the last couple weekends with Autocross. Because we lost the Everett site, they’ve all been in Bremerton and it takes up a considerable portion of my day to compete there. Anyway, for those of you actually paying attention to this blog, I thought you might enjoy this picture of me rounding a higher-speed sharp corner.

I Would Wash My Car…

I would wash my car today, but I can’t afford the Fukken Wax.

Actually though, I might still wash my car. 😀

Brake, Suspension, and Tire Work All Done

Well, after the last track event I evaluated my car’s consumable situation. I checked my brake pads, rotors, and tires and, well, everything was dead.

My tires were the worst offender, they were shot. So I ordered up some wider tires and from a different manufacturer, Dunlop Direzza Z1 star specs. I wanted to return to a stiffer sidewall than the RE-01R offered, more width, and more grip. The Z1’s offered all that, so I picked them up. Since the tires were coming off, I took the opportunity to get minor curb rash repaired on my wheels as well. So, far, the tires feel great but I only have limited amount of miles on them and they were over inflated at the time.

My front rotors were also toast and my rears weren’t in the best shape ever either. So, I got lighter 2-piece rotors up front (Gyrodics). My front EBC reds had 30% life left in them, but I was unhappy with the performance. So I spent the $5 to upgrade to the package deal from AMS Performance and get the PFC 97 series compound front pads. My EBC Reds in the rear are still OK, so I’m reusing them in the rear. In the rear, I went with some Powerslot rotors, they were cheap and the rears don’t see a ton of heat. I think they will be adequate. My only concern is that the slotting in the rears goes all the way to the edge of rotor, which could induce cracking. Hopefully the lack of real heat in the rear will keep that from happening.

Also, my new Tarmac 2 coilover suspension came right before all this stuff arrived too. I got those put on just before my new tires got here. Now all I have left to do is get the car aligned. I’m pretty excited to see how these, coupled with the new Dunlop’s work at autocross. Buuuuuuuuuuuut, now I’m broke. 🙁

Bremerton Club Trials

I went to the SCCA club trials on Saturday. As usual, it was tons of fun. This time around I got someone to sit with me (thanks Steve) for the final session and give me some instruction (the first I’ve received thus far in my racing career, haha).

The only difference between this event and the last even was the V-limited replica lip I added to the car and I put on some EBC Yellow Stuff Racing brake pads so I didn’t have to worry about brake pad fires again this year.

Last year my best lap time was 1:03.864 which achieved on the 2nd day of the 2 day event. This year my best lap time was 1:02.396 with a instructor in the car (~180 lbs) and it was a one day event. That’s almost a second and a half, which is an eternity in racing. So, I’m pretty pleased with the performance and the help I got.

Here’s some video from outside of the car (taken by Jessica) of the last session:
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Replica V-Limited Lip Looks OK!

So, I wanted to get a real V-Limited lip for a long time. Mostly for the aerodynamic benefits, but I really think the lip completes the look of the car’s front end. Also, since my car is already dropped about an inch (actually a bit more than that in the front because of all my additional camber from my camber plates), I don’t have a lot of clearance. I figured it would be a waste of a nice $450 V-Limited lip if I got one for the streets.

In order to save some money and frustration, I got a polyurethane lip for $175. They look like crap out of the mold, so I went to Home Depot and grabbed some 600 grit sand paper and then to Schuck’s to grab some Duplicolor plastic adhesion promoter and then some flat black bumper paint.

I then wet sanded down the lip with the sandpaper, wiped it clean and then looked for imperfections. There were a lot of cracks and scratches in the lip so I gave them a college try but couldn’t get most of them out; none of them are too serious though. I cleaned the lip again and then sprayed on about 3-coats of the adhesion promoter. I let that dry about 10 minutes. Finally, I applied about 6 coats of bumper paint. Lighter, faster arm-movement coats and then the later coats were slower and thicker. I think it turned out really well.

V-limited Passenger Side

V-limited Driver Side