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piknockout's STU Auto-x Build Sponsored by Agile Auto: 8/23 Update - WDCR #7
piknockout's STU Auto-x Build Sponsored by Agile Auto: 8/23 Update - WDCR #7
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Old 06-16-10, 06:13 PM   #121
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Default Re: piknockout's STU Auto-x Build - 2006 STi sponsored by Agile Auto (6/16 NE Div Upd

^ Ouch... What bolts were loose, the ones at the bottom of the strut...?
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Old 06-17-10, 06:33 AM   #122
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Default Re: piknockout's STU Auto-x Build - 2006 STi sponsored by Agile Auto (6/16 NE Div Upd

The ones at the top that adjust the camber (that connect to the knuckle). It's all fixed now and nice and tight.
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Old 06-17-10, 06:35 AM   #123
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Default Re: piknockout's STU Auto-x Build - 2006 STi sponsored by Agile Auto (6/16 NE Div Upd

Autocrosser’s Inc. Event #4 at Fed Ex Field on June 13, 2010

Results: http://sccaforums.com/forums/storage...10_event_4.pdf

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRRQEbHQSKY

With a fresh alignment and a working MaxQ, Shane and I were hoping to get some good data to help set the car up better and improve our driver mods. I had originally planned to be out of town for this event, but circumstances changed so that I could now attend but it would cost me the ability to go to the DC Pro. Such is life, but we intended to make the most of it. After being relegated to the B Lot at Fed Ex for the last few events, the kind people at Fed Ex allowed us the use of the E/F lot again. The good news, more space. The bad news, this is the same lot where the Black Ice Sealant event was held back in April. After two months of rain/sun helping to cure the sealant, and with some warm weather on the day, the hopes were that the slickness would be minimized. And I can report that grip is much improved from that dreadful April event, but the grip is still significantly lacking compared to the non-sealed portions. Also the grip seems to improve over the course of the day as rubber is laid down.

Sam Strano was the course designer for the day and did a great job of setting up a course that managed avoid most of the sealant for the hard turning portions of the course, except for the finish…which made it very interesting. In typical Sam fashion, the course was designed with a minimal number of cones, the ability to take several different lines, and also the ability hang yourself out to dry if you don’t read the course correctly. With the design of the course and the less grippy sealant, patience was the order of the day to do well. The event was set up for three heats with STU running in the second heat of the day. One of the things I’ve tried to do lately is pay a lot of attention to F Stock times as FS has a very similar PAX to STU (0.842 vs. 0.844 for STU) and FS in the DC Region has two FS National Champions running, which provides a great reference point of where we need to be. The top time in FS for the morning was a 50.653 by Sam, so matching/beating that would be our target.

Shane went out on his first exploratory lap to see how the car felt with a correct alignment, in addition to feeling out the (lack of) grip of the sealant portions. Not a bad lap at all with a 51.435, only 0.8s to make up after a first run, so doable. I went out on my first run and had all sorts of issues. I managed to brake too late in the mini slalom going up the hill in the sealant, causing me to go way past the turn in, then at the end of the slaloms on the top left, I went to hit the brakes and my foot slipped off! Then coming into the finish I went a little too fast and slid down the hill a bit. Not too bad, but not great. Finished that terrible run with a 51.658, so I knew there was a massive amount of time to gain out there.

Shane’s second run was an improvement, although I’m sure not as much as he would have wanted with a 51.037 and keeping the lead in class. I went out on my second run and just overdrove everything, especially the parts where you’re supposed to exercise patience. I was also a little out of whack coming down the hill and knocked over a cone, finishing with a 51.156 +1. So we both tried to make sure we had more for our next set of runs. Well, actually it was him driving that point into both of our heads, I was just repeating it back to him. It was nice to finally have my codriver help make a difference, especially after his lazy arse didn’t do anything during the morning to help get the car ready, but instead did instructor runs all of first heat…lazy cheater.

Third runs and Shane knocks a significant chunk off of his raw times with a 50.449, passing the FS bogey time that we were shooting for. I say raw times because we both thought the run was clean, I didn’t see any cones and there was no announcement of a cone. But either way, at the time we thought it was clean and it showed that the time was out there. He came back ever more adamant about being patient, slow down early and don’t try and carry speed through the corners, the car can’t do it, but it can maximize the straight lines. So I go out and hit everything just right, or at least it felt that way up until the finish. I go in too hot, turn to hard, and the car just plows down the hill on the sealant. I get completely off the gas and wait for it to go some sort of traction and crawl across the finish, just missing the outside finish cones. The result was a 51.225, my fastest clean time of the day, but not good enough. Looking at the MaxQ, I was beating or even to Shane’s 50.4 run up until that terrible finish. One more run, I can do this.

So on Shane’s final run, he goes out and just lays down an amazingly impressive time: 49.758, but with 2 cones. I haven’t analyzed the MaxQ yet to see where all the time came from, but I’m certain it was the extra speed taking out the two cones. Despite the cones, an amazingly fast run nonetheless. But I’m sure he would have driven the course a little differently had we known that the previous run was dirty. So Shane had to sit on his 2nd run of 51.037. I went out on my last run just went for it. Look ahead, be smart. That’s what I’m telling myself these days before every run. I went out a little too aggressively and went a little wide in the beginning, but managed to keep the car under control and on a decent line. I slowed down in the right spots, but I did get lucky coming down to the last right hander before the finish as I was a little out of position going through the slalom portion of it. As I came down to the finish on the sealant I slowed way down and really early as well. Turned in, got the car lined up, and just nailed the gas through the finish. The run felt good and it showed in the time: 50.051 which was good enough to win the day. The extra added benefit? I finished 4th in PAX only 0.130 PAX seconds out of the top spot. Now I’m sure running in the 2nd heat gave me an advantage against the FS guys, but I’ll take it nonetheless. This is my best PAX finish on the year and I hope to build on it.

Results: Josh finished 1st in STU and 4th in PAX. Shane finished 2nd in STU and 14th in PAX.

With the fixed alignment and our continued tweaks to the suspension settings, the car feels absolutely the best it has all year. The next event is with WDCR at Fed Ex on the 27th, then it’s off to finally battle with Winchester and Lau at the Finger Lakes Tour up in New York the weekend of July 10th. That should be a great time and I can’t wait!
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Old 06-19-10, 07:55 PM   #124
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Default Re: piknockout's STU Auto-x Build - 2006 STi sponsored by Agile Auto (6/16 NE Div Upd

Im so jealous. Nice job Josh! I see your showing Shane how to drive your car now,
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Old 06-21-10, 08:25 AM   #125
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Default Re: piknockout's STU Auto-x Build - 2006 STi sponsored by Agile Auto (6/16 NE Div Upd

Don't be jealous, come on out to an event!

I had to do something, it's no fun losing in your own car. Of course I think we'll both improve with the MaxQ. We'll see how the rest of the year goes though.
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Old 06-22-10, 09:06 AM   #126
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Default Re: piknockout's STU Auto-x Build - 2006 STi sponsored by Agile Auto (6/16 NE Div Upd

Quote:
Originally Posted by piknockout View Post
The ones at the top that adjust the camber (that connect to the knuckle). It's all fixed now and nice and tight.
Well, that's scary... Glad you got it fixed! Looks like you're doing quite well on-course.
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Old 06-22-10, 07:20 PM   #127
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Default Re: piknockout's STU Auto-x Build - 2006 STi sponsored by Agile Auto (6/16 NE Div Upd

Not really scary, just a little annoying. But things happen, no biggie. And like the great guys they are, it was taken care of and now it's all set. Car feels really good right now too.
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Old 07-19-10, 04:54 AM   #128
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Default Re: piknockout's STU Auto-x Build - 2006 STi sponsored by Agile Auto (6/16 NE Div Upd

Finger Lakes National Tour at Seneca Army Depot in Romulus, NY on July 10-11, 2010

Results: http://scca.com/documents/resultfiles/NY%20results5.pdf

Video (Shane's runs only): YouTube - Finger Lakes Tour 2010 - Shane


About two weeks prior to the FL Tour, we participated in Event #3 with WDCR. I didn't provide an update for that weekend because it was such a bad weekend. I hit cones on an early decently fast run, and then just went slower the rest of the day. Shane kicked my arse by about 1.2 seconds (0.6s in raw time...stupid cone). Chalk it up to a bad weekend, I felt a little out of it but whatever. No biggie, just one weekend...or so I thought.

Friday

We drove up to the FL Tour early Friday morning to try and get there in time for some practice runs. The drive was gorgeous, drove through Watkins Glen, and got in around noon. We set up the canopy, swapped out tires, and went over to the practice course. We weren't too worried about car setup, but really just wanted to get in that autocross mode of thinking and knock off any long drive cobwebs. The car felt great on the practice course, no worries there. I managed to get some times that were decent and in the same range as Shane, so a decent start to the weekend.

Afterwards we teched the car and were getting ready to go try walking the course when we heard from others (thanks to those with phones much cooler than mine) that there was a massive line of strong thunderstorms coming our way. The radar was all yellow and red, with a little green outline. Not normally a big deal since we brought rain gear, but we were camping across the street at Sampson State Park, along with probably a third of the people at the event. So while it was dry we decided it might be a smart idea to get our tent set up first. This ended up being the single smartest decision we could have made that weekend. About 15 minutes after getting back to the event site, the heavens opened up with torrential rain that lasted for hours. We got one dry course walk in, sat under the giant event tent that the region had setup for about an hour and a half, then decided to do a couple of more course walks in the relatively lighter rain.

Once we finished course walks it was time for the moment of truth: would we have a dry tent to sleep in or would we be testing the comfort of some Sparco Evos. Luckily thanks to sitting it under a large tree at our site, the inside of the tent was perfectly dry! We did dodge a bullet as we heard stories that others tents had been flooded by mini rivers. Others didn't set up before the rain and slept in their vehicles. The rain put a damper on the usual campsite beer and bbq parties too, so we just hung around outside our tent with our campsite roomate and drank a few beers in the wet anyways. Time to attempt to sleep and get ready for competition.

Saturday

Shane and I got up early to get some breakfast and some dry course walks after the previous night's deluge. The course was definitely a lot different than the mini road courses of Fed Ex Field. The Seneca Army Depot is an old air strip with the course utilizing a section that looks like a backwards "P". There were a lot of tight gates, tight transitions, and lots of offsets. I wasn't really a fan of the Day 1 course, but we all have to drive it, right? It was a long course too, with most cars in the mid 70's to 80 seconds. There were 8 of us in STU, with the biggest competition expected to come from John Winchester (espEVO) and Justin Lau (Viking Moose) in Justin's STi along with Yury in his 2007 STi who has been driving well this year. Little did I know at the time, but I would end up being my own worst enemy.

On first runs, I watched is the first drivers came through: Yury 79.5, John 79.2 +2, then Shane with a 77.5? Oh, he went off course, so that explains it...I think. I go out for my first run and for some reason I'm driving like a giant wuss: hitting the brakes everywhere, being super extra careful to not hit cones, etc. And I realize it's happening while I'm out there, but don't do anything about it. Finished the run with an 80.049 clean, but REALLY slow. I think Shane and John were completely perplexed at what I was doing as they watched. Justin came in behind me with the class leading time of 78.4, a fantastic first run. Unfortunately for Justin though, he would go no faster the rest of the day...but at least he knocked it out on his first run. Usually I tend to be quick on my first run as well, but it looks as if I've again crumbled under the pressure of running at a big event. I'll go on my rant later about how mental this sport is...but anyways.

Second runs: Yury drops another 0.5s to a 79.0, John cleans it up with a 78.9, and Shane follows closely behind him...with a 77.5? Did he go off course again? Oh no...he was just that frickin' fast. Damn. Nearly a second faster than Justin's first run. Well, I know the car can do it, I just need to pull my head out of my arse. To try and get the slowness out of my system, and the fact that I was just pissed at this point, I went out and went aggressive on everything and didn't care if I hit cones or whatever...I just needed to get that feel back. And in the process I managed to hit 3 cones and then in the slalom before the finish the car got a little loose and I had to give it up and straight line the last two slalom cones. The time was a 77.3 DNF, but I didn't push it hard at the end in that straight line so I know I can get there. Time to get it done.

Final runs of Saturday saw no improvement from Yury, but John finished with a flying 78.0 run to put him in fighting distance of Shane. I heard a "Yes!" come out of the car, and then Shane came through right behind him...with an announced time of 76.5 on his final run. All of the wind just got knocked out of John's sails. Shane now had a 1.4s lead over Winchester with Justin about 0.4s back from him in 3rd.

Now that I got all of the slowness out of my head, it was time to try and do something decent. Unfortunately I went a little too fast after the tight mini slalom early in the run and lost some time, but after I got through that the car and course felt great. I was hitting everything pretty well, I came around the 180 at the end of the runway and got a little behind in the offsets. Knowing I needed to be fast, I didn't brake for the last offset and turned in doing a nice four wheel drift in the right hander just before the left going on to the straight away. I definitely lost some time in this section. Fly up through the straight and into the tight kink...and klunk, hit that cone. Finish through the final slalom with a time of 77.9 which would have been good enough for 2nd place (even if it was 1.3s behind Shane), but I hit that cone in the kink and another cone somewhere on course, so I would be sitting in 5th after Day 1 about 1.2s out of the 3rd trophy spot and 3.5s away from Shane in 1st. Ouch, that hurts.

Shane not only finished Day 1 first in STU, but his time was good enough to raw time several classes and finished 2nd in PAX on the day...only bested by a good FJA driver with a soft PAX. He had an absolutely fantastic drive and many of us were in awe. At least I know the car's fast.

Sunday

Sunday's course was essentially Saturday's course backwards, with a few changes to the beginning and ending sections. The first portion of the Day 2 course was essentially a 10 cone slalom, with the middle portion of that being a smaller solid 6 cone slalom. This was definitely the longest slalom I've run at an event, just crazy.

On first runs Yury set a 78.5, which would be his fastest run of the day and good enough for the 3rd and final trophy spot in STU. Nice work Yury! Unfortunately it would come at the cost of Justin, who couldn't back up his Day 1 times and ran a 79.4 which would be his fastest time of the day as well and good for 4th place, just 0.2s behind Yury. John finished his first run with a very solid 77.7 run to put him in 1st place overall after Shane finished behind him with a 77.2 +3.

For my first run, I ended up getting really late towards the end of the big slalom which really slowed me down, on top of being a little too tentative everywhere else, and finished with a 79.0...a better start than Day 1, but still not good. I at least made up some time on Justin though. I still have a chance to get him, and possibly Yury with a good run.

Second runs and John drops his time further to a 77.3, his fastest time of the day and good enough for first place, followed by Shane who coned a 78.1 and was sitting on that run with the cone to be in 2nd place. I managed to pull my head slightly out of my arse and finished with a 78.3, but I made two crucial mistakes that I knew I could correct and get down to the times that John and Shane were setting. One more run.

On the final runs, John wasn't able to improve and Shane finally came in with a clean 77.6 to pull out the win by 1.2s over John and finished 9th overall in PAX. Very impressive performance out of Shane on the weekend. I'm thinking Shane could be this year's Jake Namer, but I guess we'll have to see.

My final run started off great, I was flying through the initial section, flew into the slalom, and then near the end I got a little late, cut the wheel too hard, and the car got loose and I spun...into the grass. It is a rally car, right? It wasn't bad though, while I got all four wheels into the grass, they were only in a few feet. So what started off as a good run, ended in disaster. I guess I could take some sort of solace with the 3rd fastest time on Day 2, but it was still a second behind John. I finished the event in 5th, way behind where I should have been.

As I've said before, this sport is so mental. I end up putting all this pressure on myself, and then I crack. I start thinking way too much about it and it screws up how I drive the course. I need to find a better way to not think and just do. As my wife has said, I'm not a thinker.

Well, three more events to go until Nationals. Weird to think that it's almost here. We've got a few more things to do to the car which we should be able to test in the next few weeks, scrub in some new shaved Dunlops, and then we'll hopefully be ready for Nationals...assuming I can get this whole mental thing down.

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Old 07-20-10, 07:03 PM   #129
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Default Re: piknockout's STU Auto-x Build - 2006 STi sponsored by Agile Auto: 7/19 FL Tour Up

So I finally got around to doing some things to the car the other day. Now that I have the Sparco Evo's, the 3pt harness is no longer used nor needed, so I took that out. That's at least a few pounds of weight loss.

Speaking of weight loss, the car weighed in at 3,110lbs at the FL Tour with a little over 1/4 tank of gas. I can easily get it below 3,100lbs. For reference, I weighed it at 3,150lbs last year before Nats.

I had planned to cut my own spacers for the front of the car, I have the design and aluminum sitting at my buddy's shop, but unfortunately they've been too busy to cut them for me. Luckily I was able to pick up a set of 10mm H&R spacers that were made for a WRX with 5x100 holes for about $20. The plan was to elongate the holes out to 5x114 with the drill press, but unfortunately it wasn't going smoothly. We couldn't use the HAAS machine because it was set up for another project. So instead we decided to use the band saw and cut out the ends. So now they're 5xInfinity. The two engineers with me (my buddy and his wife) agreed that it would be fine and I only plan to use for autocross anyways. But I did test them on the way home, no vibrations at 90mph. I didn't have any rubbing either, but I wasn't really pushing the car at all. I'll know more at the autocross this weekend. There does seem to be a massive increase in front end grip though.

Before:




After: Hellaflush yo!






While I was there, I went ahead and powdercoated the custom intake box that Hill at Agile made. I like the way it looks, but it makes the rest of the engine look dirty. I think a cleaning may be in order.


Before:






After:



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Old 07-20-10, 07:06 PM   #130
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Default Re: piknockout's STU Auto-x Build - 2006 STi sponsored by Agile Auto: 7/19 FL Tour Up

^ That looks good in black!

*sigh* I haven't AXed since April...
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