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Re: piknockout's STU Auto-x Build Sponsored by Agile Auto: 5/17 Event Update (with vi

the 18x9.5 +38mm require an 8mm so the 18x9.5 +45mm requiring a 15mm makes sense. Enkei likes using the same face/lip on a given wheel width and just adding or removing pad height. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #202
Re: piknockout's STU Auto-x Build Sponsored by Agile Auto: 5/17 Event Update (with vi

Yeah, not that I didn't believe you, but Luke had the most information all in one post that was easy to find. Of course you're the master of RPF1 fitment, I think everyone knows that. ;)

Yeah, not worried about inboard fitment in the front especially after trying out just the wheel. There's just enough space in the rear, but possibly not with a stock suspension or one that cannot adjust camber relative to the shock. But you know better than I do. I'm actually not really worried about outboard fitment now. Apparently since my other spacers were 15mm already, I've essentially been running +27 in the front. I also previously tested some 18x9.5 et45 MT1's with 245/40/18 RE01R's and didn't have any rubbing issues while autocrossing. The Dunlops are full tread and a little wider than the the RE01R's, but still shouldn't be an issue. I hope.
 

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Discussion Starter #203
Re: piknockout's STU Auto-x Build Sponsored by Agile Auto: 5/17 Event Update (with vi

I'll just leave this here for now.

 

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Re: piknockout's STU Auto-x Build Sponsored by Agile Auto: 5/17 Event Update (with vi

the black matches your cone scars!! w00t.
 

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Discussion Starter #205
Re: piknockout's STU Auto-x Build Sponsored by Agile Auto: 5/17 Event Update (with vi

So I done did it. No hitting on the calipers and no rubbing after a 10 mile drive. But then again, I didn't drive hard. I might have a small bit of rubbing up front on the fender liner under full lock and hard cornering, but otherwise should be okay. I was also surprised at how well the Dunlop 245's fit on the 9.5" wide wheel. I wouldn't consider them stretched at all, but definitely not square.


I also checked the weight and here's how they compare to the other two setups.

Enkei RPF1 18x9.5" et45 with Dunlop Z1 Star Specs 245/40/18 at full tread - 45lbs

5Zigen FN01RC 17x9 et43 with Dunlop Z1 Star Specs 245/40/17 shaved to 6/32 - 43.5lbs

Rota DPT's 17x9 et42 with Dunlop Z1 Star Specs 245/40/17 used for half a season after starting off at full tread - 44lbs


So due to the lightness of the Enkeis, I'm not adding much weight at all, which will only decrease as the tires are used. Anyways, now for some pics. I'll try to get better ones this weekend at the NJ Pro.







 

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Discussion Starter #206
Re: piknockout's STU Auto-x Build Sponsored by Agile Auto: 5/18 Update - I can haz RP

Woot! TiC super shifter kit is being delivered today. Unfortunately I won't have time to install it before the Pro this weekend, but should have it installed by the Dover Tour in two weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #207 (Edited)
Re: piknockout's STU Auto-x Build Sponsored by Agile Auto: 5/18 Update - I can haz RP

So...4 weekends, 5 events, 9 days of autocrossing, 3 different codrivers, and roughly 3,100 miles of travel time. Working on the writeups and video, I hope to have it all finished by the end of the week.



NJ Pro Solo at New Meadowlands Stadium on May 21-22, 2011

Results: SCCA - Results

Video: accidentally deleted it all…doh


For the NJ Pro, the plan was to do the event solo since Pros tend to put a lot of extra strain on the car with 6k rpm launches, and if the car is going to break, it should be me doing the breaking. Then I get a text from Iman (bdi) at roughly 10pm on that Thursday telling me his ECU got bricked somehow when messing around with the maps. Unfortunately the only fix was to send the ECU out, but it clearly wouldn’t be ready by the next day. Being that Iman is a good friend in need of a ride, I was happy to help and make the exception. Also being in need of a co-drive for the Lincoln Pro, I was hoping karma might be nice to me. This was probably a good thing though since I had just installed the 18’s and needed to break them in and do some testing and Iman could be the first guinea pig. The tires had roughly 200 miles of street driving on them at full tread, so it was going to take a little bit to get them scrubbed/heat cycled in to attain some decent grip.

The event was being held at the New Meadowlands stadium, home of the Giants and Jets of NFL fame. The lot is effectively the paved over area of the old Meadowlands stadium and while the asphalt is new, it is full of grip that doesn’t put significant wear on tires. Someone needs to figure out what asphalt formula they used and find a way to get that mixture at more sites. The courses were pretty good, right around 30 seconds per side, with a very interesting turnaround and pretty different setups for the return back to the finish, with the left side featuring more significant offset gates and distance from the next to last cones to the finish, with the right side featuring a more open return that would see us hard on the rev limiter.

Day 1 – Morning Session

We were running in Heat 5 (or 3A, depending on how you look at it), with great weather throughout the day. Iman would be the first driver for the day on the new tires, and the lack of grip showed with the car sliding this way and that. The session finished with Iman sitting on his first run of the day on the left side at a 33.378 after coning a one second improvement on his second left run, and a 31.402 on the right side. No problem, two more sessions to bring down the times especially with better broken in tires. As the second driver in the first session, I got the warmed up and more worn in setup to start my weekend off. Didn’t go too badly, except that I kept overbraking for the turn around on both sides after not looking ahead well enough. Managed to finish with a 32.062 on the left and a 31.209 on the right to put me in the lead after the first session by 1.5s, but only 0.5s in raw time over Iman. That’s not going to hold.

Pretty happy with the initial runs on the 18’s. Seemed to not rotate as much and felt a little sluggish, but the tires still needed to wear in. Of note, we started on the same pressures that I run on the 17’s at 36/30. That may be something to tweak in the afternoon.

Day 1 - Afternoon Session

Pro Solo is a little bit different than normal Solo in that the second driver isn’t always the second driver. The deciding factor for sessions 2 and 3 is that the leading driver of the two goes first. So that meant Iman would get the benefit of better tires for this session. To try and increase rotation for the setup we decided to up the rear pressures and ended up targeting 36/34 which seemed to help. I was being more aggressive in the turnaround and looking ahead better, which is where I think I gained most of my time. Ending up dropping 0.2s on the left side and another 0.5s on the right. The car felt better, but I still wasn’t getting that turnaround down. Iman took his runs and managed to red light and then cone his two left side runs for no improvement there, but did drop about 0.2s on the right side. With Iman’s cone troubles, David Potocki codriving Daniel Kaufman’s STi managed to sneak into the 2nd spot about 1.4s back after the end of the first session. Without the coneage, Iman would be sitting in second by about 0.8s in raw time. But one thing about Iman, he really knows how to drop some time with extra looks at the course. I expect him to do some real damage in the final session.

With a total of 16 runs between the two of us on the 18’s, they seemed to be coming in fairly well. But the more we evaluated the courses, it didn’t really seem as if they were 18” courses. On the left side we never came close to hitting the rev limiter. On the right side we were banging it about 4 times on the more open return portion, but that was only one spot on both courses with spots where we knew we could dig out better on the 17’s. Also this would allow us to get a comparison of the two on the same course so we swapped them out that night so that we would be ready to roll in the morning.

Another quick note on the day. This was May 21st, 2011…the supposed Judgement Day that was supposed to occur at 6pm. Up until it didn’t happen, I was at least happy to know that if the world ended, I would at least be in the lead when it did. :lol:

Sitting in grid getting ready for the Day 1 afternoon session.


Day 2 – Final Morning Session

Being in the lead after Day 1, I was slated to be the first driver between the two of us. Sunday saw much lower temperatures with no sun, probably in the low 60’s compared to mid to high 70’s on Saturday. Not bad for us, the Dunlops don’t mind it unlike those temperamental Hankooks the STR guys tend to run. Silly roadsters.

First run on the left side and I immediately dropped a half second on cold tires down to a 31.289. This was the side that I felt the 17’s were best. First run on the right side and I dropped another 0.3s with a time of 30.516 for a total drop in time of 0.8s. Unfortunately I overdrove my last runs on both sides and got no faster, but not a bad drop from the prior day. Now it was time for Iman to get it done. On his first left side run, Iman got down to a 31.663 but +1 (which we thought was clean…apparently not). First run on the right and he nearly matches my time with a 30.537. Needless to say, I’m getting a little nervous. Second run on the left was looking really good, up to the point where he turned in just a hair too early coming in to the finish and clipped the last real cone on course with a raw time of 31.386, only about a tenth off. Unfortunately that meant that Iman would have to sit on his very first run of the entire event on that side, coning or red lighting the other 5 runs. Definitely a bummer since his fastest left side run would have put him only 0.118s back from me and would have been enough to get into the Super Challenge. Drats. Adding further insult to injury, David improved his times even further and held on for a solid 2nd place. WOOT!!! My very first National event win ever!

Regarding the 18’s vs. 17’s, I feel like we could have been faster in the morning with more worn in 18’s, but not sure how much faster. There’s still more testing that needs to be done to figure it all out, but definitely some encouraging results. As an additional benefit, no rubbing under autocross use, but then again the lot was fairly smooth so we’ll see what happens on a bumpier lot…say, the Dover National Tour.


Results: 1st in STU and 24th in PAX


The Super Challenge

Talk about being pumped: my first national event win and now my first Super Challenge. I was definitely looking forward to this and was hoping that I might get lucky enough to make a good run. The only benefit of Iman hitting all those cones was that it gave me the win by roughly 1.3s instead of only 0.1s, meaning that I was officially the 4th qualifier for the challenge and earning me $90. Not that I made any money on the weekend, but it was nice to be able to offset at least some of the costs.

My competitor for the first round was Jeff Jacobs in his HS Mini Cooper. Jeff had finished 3rd in a very tight HS battle, but Jeff is fast and has a Super Challenge win as part of his resume and has been around this Super Challenge rodeo quite a bit. Needless to say, I knew it was going to be tough. Our dial ins were roughly 2 seconds apart, meaning he would get a 2 second head start while I waited for my light to finally come down. I was on the right side to start which was considered the fast side. After we both came back, I was up by one second…except for one cone I hit coming into the finish, the last cone on course. So at this point Jeff had a one second lead heading over to the fast side of the course and I had to cross my fingers that he would hit a cone of his own. But unfortunately that didn’t happen and he came back 0.8s faster than I did, meaning I would have won that round had I not hit the cone. Doh.

Overall the event was fantastic. I had a great time hanging with the Philly/DC/NJ crew and got my first ever national win. Now it was time to get packed up and ready to ride out to Lincoln, NE for the Spring Nationals Pro/Tour where I would be codriving with Robert Irish in his STU STi. More on that soon.

Coming into the turnaround against Jeff Jacobs on second runs in Round 1 of the Super Challenge.
 

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Discussion Starter #208 (Edited)
Re: piknockout's STU Auto-x Build Sponsored by Agile Auto: 6/13 Update - NJ Pro Solo

Lincoln Pro Solo at Lincoln Air Park on May 27-28, 2011

Results: SCCA - Results

Video: Forgot to charge it after NJ…doh.


Since I wanted to do the Pro Finale in August, I now needed to find a second Pro Solo to do. While NJ was a nice close drive, getting to a second one wasn’t going to be easy since they were kind enough to turn Toledo into a tour. :unamused: So choices were 14 hours to Oscada, 16 hours to Blytheville, or 21 hours to Lincoln with a tour tossed in for good measure. Kind of made the decision easy, Lincoln it is! The only problem was that I didn’t want to drive the car all the way out and back on my own, nor did I want the increased cost that came with it. The key was to pick up a codrive and find a ride out to Lincoln and back. So looks like karma was with me as I was privileged to get a codrive with Robert Irish in his COBB Tuning 2006 STi. I ended up hitching a ride with Ian Baker and John V who were towing a two car trailer out there for their STS cars. I’ve found that 3 drivers is the key to a fairly easy tow to Lincoln. You just have to swap out drivers every 4-5 hours, then you have plenty of time to get some sleep while others are driving, and with a four door truck there’s tons of room to sleep in the back seat. I think I got about 4-6 hours of sleep on the way there and the way back, with us stopping just for fuel for both the truck and us. (Note to self: get Ian to bring the two car to Nats and toss my car on it this time. )

We had left Maryland around 5pm on Wednesday and rolled into Lincoln around 1pm, got some lunch and made it on sight around 2pm to give us time to do practice starts and run on the practice course. Our timing and paddock location were great as we were just across from Rob and he was just starting to get the car ready. We set the camber and swapped over to the downturn exhaust and we were set for the practice course. Since I hadn’t driven Rob’s setup, this was a good chance to feel out the car. Rob had recently swapped in 27mm sway bars front and rear to test out at Lincoln and on the practice course it was fairly pushy, especially on throttle. Very different than how mine drives, but I needed to adapt. Then after Rob completed his 4 runs and I had done 3 of my 4, he comes back and mentions that he may have forgot to change the shock settings. That could be helpful. :D Took it out on my final run and it was better, but still pushy on throttle. We decided to make some tweaks to the front compression and rebound to try and get some more grip out of the front. I guess we’ll just wait to see what happens the next day.

After the practice sessions we went over to walk the course in preparation for the next day. What we found was a course in the shape of a box, with two sides of that box being 6 cone slaloms. So effectively half each course were slaloms. A giant lack of creativity or fun, not a fan. Surely the tour course would be better, so we’ll just try to drive this fast and be done with it. More on that later.

Day 1 – Morning Session

Since Rob was already signed up as 92, and of course driver position determines what order we drive in the next two sessions, I signed up as 192. Rob would be the first to try out the changes we made to the shock settings and his times seemed to agree with the changes. In that first session Rob laid down some great times, a 40.253 on the left and a 40.701 on the right along with cutting some quality lights. Of course nobody could match the queen of reaction times, Christy Carlson, who managed to do 12 runs that were all in the .500’s with no red lights. Wow. Anyways, back on topic. Apparently having a course with a lot of slaloms and a car that you’re not used to is a dangerous combination. While Rob was sitting at the top of the pack in first with four clean quality runs, I had a total of 8 cones on four runs, only one of which was clean – a right side run of a 40.793, less than a tenth off of Rob. On the left side, my second run with “only” 3 cones had a raw time about 0.4s back. Good thing we have two more sessions to go as I was mired somewhere near the bottom. No biggie.

Day 1 – Afternoon Session

In the afternoon session, Rob would again be the first driver out based on his higher position in the class. We decided to play with the fancy JRZ shocks some more and tweak compression to get some more front grip. I’m not sure that Rob was huge fan as he failed to improve on his morning runs with only one clean run of the four, with a raw time improvement of roughly 0.3s on his coned right side run. Needing a clean left side, I managed to carefully tip toe my way around the left side course for a slow 41.304, about a second slower than I should have/needed to be. But it was clean, and good enough to move me into 2nd place…about 1.1s behind Rob. On my second left side run I found the second I needed, effectively matching Rob’s time with a 40.243 that was unfortunately +1 somewhere. Crap, probably a stupid slalom cone since there’s plenty of them to hit. I drove really slowly on the right side course as well, only coming within 0.4s of my morning right side run. The good news was despite the poor driving I was in 2nd, but being 1.1s back is no fun either when you have the raw time to be within a tenth of first. That’s okay, one more session. It’s all won on Sunday anyways.

Day 2 – Final Session

Again with the lead, Rob goes first on Sunday morning with a chance to extend his lead. But despite the extra shots at the course, there was no improvement and Rob stood on the previous day’s morning runs. Door wide open, time to walk through. I decided to try and get some more front grip and had Rob drop compression a hair more in the front for my last runs. That was probably a bad idea. I was starting off on the right side which would be helpful to get that first run out of the way and have nice warm tires for my first left side run. First run on the right was 1.5s off my fast time as the rear end was feeling pretty loose in the slaloms…not good for a slalom intensive course. Going to have to drive around that, but could be colder tires. First left side run and I improve by a tenth, but dirty again. Still one run to go on each side to get it done. Second right side run and I’m less than a tenth off of my fast right side, clean but too slow. Last chance to really drop some time. And while going through the first slalom section the rear end gets just a little too lose, I lose some time, then pop a cone. Out of 6 runs on the left side I managed only one clean run, a slow one at that.

But wait a minute…grid is telling me that I have a rerun coming, and on the left hand side at that. A chance at redemption! While sitting in grid getting the car cooled down and prepping for that one final run, I look at sololive and see that I do in fact have two timed runs in the system on the day. And at that point I knew someone *cough* Wiggy *cough* had messed up and that the word would eventually be coming to me that I was not getting a rerun. And sure enough it did. My day was done.

Results: 2nd in STU and 96th in PAX (Rob was 46th for reference)

So this ended up being very interesting. Just like the week before, the codriver for the car owner cones away the chance to be a tenth off the winner and get into the Super Challenge, leaving the car owner again as the 4th qualifier. Weird. Great job to Rob who was a fantastic codriver and a blast to hang out and run with. Well deserved win by Rob.

But the weekend wasn’t over, I had a chance at redemption in the Tour.

Also of note, Patrick Lipsinic made a strong charge on Sunday morning to improve by nearly 0.8s and take over the third spot in STU, nearly clipping me in the process, only 0.043s behind. Pat’s excellent driving also won a certain bet that, despite her .500 lights, meant Christy Carlson would be wearing an interesting outfit the next day. Great job Pat!

 

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Re: piknockout's STU Auto-x Build Sponsored by Agile Auto: 6/14 Update - Lincoln Pro

Hello,

I don't know much info about rims but why did you choose to run an 18in rim instead of a 17in? Also does adding spacers hurt ur autox times.. or help it because your wheel is spaced further apart. Sorry if I may sound too general just curious. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #210
Re: piknockout's STU Auto-x Build Sponsored by Agile Auto: 6/14 Update - Lincoln Pro

The spacers serve two functions. One, they're the required spacer to fit the 18x9.5 et45 RPF1's. Secondly, by pushing the front track out a bit wider I get better front end grip which is important in a front heavy push pig.

As for 17's vs. 18's, I now have the option of doing either one since I still have the 17's. For anyone starting out or someone who doesn't have the full list of power mods, I would stick to the 17's. The only real reason I have the 18's is for the extra 2mph I get on the top end of 2nd when using them. The STi's gearing is quite short and the extra 2mph is helpful on some of the faster courses that are just a little too fast for 2nd but too slow for 3rd. I primarily bought them for Nationals as they courses there seem to be right in that speed range and when I'm banging on 2nd gear, I'm doing it at a faster speed.

That's the theory at least and it seems to be working okay so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #211 (Edited)
Re: piknockout's STU Auto-x Build Sponsored by Agile Auto: 6/14 Update - Lincoln Pro

I'm so far behind, time to catch up!

Lincoln National Tour at Lincoln Air Park on May 29-30, 2011

Results: SCCA - Results

Video:

My fastest Day 2 Run
‪Lincoln Tour 2011 Day 2‬‏ - YouTube

Rob's fastest Day 2 Run
‪Lincoln Tour 2011 Day 2 - Rob‬‏ - YouTube


After the coneage and screwup that was the Lincoln Pro, I was hoping to redeem myself in the Tour portion of the weekend. Again, I was driving Rob’s COBB Tuning STi and by this point we felt comfortable that the setup on the car was roughly where it needed to be. Still a little pushy, but better than it was. The course for the Tour was an absolute cluster…well, you know what. It was the already uncreative Pro courses linked together with a “lightbulb”, “omega”, “mushroom section. Whatever you chose to call it, the element was a welcome addition to what was essentially a slalom drill. Tweaks were made to open them up in spots, but it was still one of the least enjoyable courses I’ve driven. I understand the reasons for how things were handled (feel free to look it up on sccaforums.com if you haven’t already) and I’m certain that won’t let it happen again.

Day 1

Since I was driving Rob’s car, I would be the tirewarmer for this event and test out the car/course and provide feedback. The course was pretty familiar in spots after driving the Pro, so not too many surprises there. First runs were what you would expect, testing out the course and figuring out where you could go faster in subsequent runs. My first run of a 71.760 was fairly safe and put me in 3rd, with Rob testing the waters with a 71.924. Mark Hill was sitting in the lead with a 71.374, but both of us knew we had overdriven a few spots and had plenty of time to drop.
Second run went much better, dropping about 6 tenths and taking the lead with a 71.181 that would hold after second runs when Rob got a little squirrely in the slaloms and went significantly slower. On to final runs and Mark continued to hold on to his first run, while I got squirrely in the slaloms myself and stayed put on that second run 71.1 and Sean Grubb jumping into the 3rd spot with a 71.531. Last to run on the day was Rob, who came through in the clutch with a 70.916 to take the STU lead for the day, leaving me only 0.265s behind. That was a gap I could live with and it would leave me in the hunt on Day 2.

Day 2

Time to try and lay it down and redeem myself. I was in the hunt and hoping to compete for the top spot. Finished the first run with a 72.603 while getting a little sloppy in the slaloms in addition to underdriving them. While Mark bested my time by about a tenth, I was still able to hold onto 2nd. Unfortunately, the gap to first was extended by a good bit as Rob finished his first run with a 71.700 to put him on top by about 1.1s. Ouch. That’s okay though, I have a ton of time to gain. My second run was a little faster, but I still kept giving it too much steering input and getting the rear end loose towards the end of the slaloms in a couple of spots. I needed to calm down and be a little smoother there. I dropped a little over a tenth with a 72.476, but with Mark running a 71.749 to put him in 2nd and Sean running a 72.088 to put him in 3rd, I was now relegated down to the 4th position. Rob managed to drop another 0.4s, but did it with 2 cones that he managed to destroy. Or shall I say, that destroyed him. Due to the excessive wind that day (35-45mph), all cones were doubled up to keep them from moving and the double cones destroyed a fender liner. Oops. But he was still holding on to the top spot over Mark by about a half second.

So on to final runs and I knew it was now or never. I get a quarter of the way through the run and it was feeling good. I was hitting my marks, being smooth and patient, and everything felt good. Then as I was banging the limiter in 2nd nearing the end of the slalom before the lightbulb, the car lurched on me right at the point I was lifting to get on the brakes in the braking zone. You can see it in the data on the video too, the car jumps 3mph right at the worst time. I push wide and it feels like an eternity to get back on the line. At the time I thought my run was toast and I was just pissed and now it was in my head. Watching the video afterwards, it didn’t look as bad as it felt. But it was too late now as I had started to panic a bit. I get around the lightbulb and go to set up for the right hander starting back into the slaloms, except that I don’t set it up. After getting all flustered I had forgotten to set up to the left to get a clean/smooth entry making the right, meaning I had to REALLY slow down to keep from pushing out further and possibly hitting the outside cone. Yep, now the run was done. Feeling angry and defeated, I finished the run and had many expletives that I’m sure anyone near the finish was likely to hear. Surprisingly, I actually managed to knock off 0.2s on that run. I’m sure there was 0.5-1.0s in those two mistakes. That was “the run” and I screwed it up. Sean had improved by about 0.02s on his last run, but thanks to my Day 1 lead and being able to drop a couple of tenths, I had moved up into the 3rd position for the weekend. Mark and Rob went no faster, leaving me 0.335s behind Mark and 0.842 behind Rob. Without those two stupid mistakes I might have had a chance. Oh well, lesson learned: if you make a mistake, just keep driving. Don’t dwell on it. Note to self.

Results: 3rd in STU out of 12 and 54th out of 320 in PAX – thanks to some wet weather for some of the morning groups.

Amazingly, I managed to hit no cones during the Tour after my massive coneage during the Pro. I must not have been trying hard enough. :p

This pretty much sums up my feelings on that last run.

 

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Discussion Starter #212
Re: piknockout's STU Auto-x Build Sponsored by Agile Auto: 6/14 Update - Lincoln Pro

Delaware National Tour at the Monster Mile on June 4-5, 2011

Results: http://www.scca.com/documents/resultfiles/Dover Results4.pdf

Video:

‪Dover National Tour 2011 - Day 1‬‏ - YouTube

‪Dover National Tour 2011 - Day 2‬‏ - YouTube

What a busy time. NJ Pro, then leave a few days later for the Lincoln Pro/Tour, then only a few days after get back was the Delaware National Tour. Luckily, this was essentially a local event for me only a little over an hour away. Making it even better, my wife was on a special assignment in Dover which gave her a hotel stay next to the speedway…FTW. Add to that a fantastic course set up by Lee Piccione which was a welcome relief after the Lincoln course debacle, and it was looking like a good, fun weekend ahead. STU wasn’t quite as full as some other classes, but I was looking forward to some good competition between myself, Shane, and Iman. The Dover lot is fairly bumpy and also fairly dirty, so being in the first heat on this surface isn’t really the ideal situation. But of course we had no choice, so first heat it was for us.

Day 1

We had brought both the 17’s and the 18’s so that we had the choice of which one to run based on how fast the course was. After walking the course, it seemed that perhaps the safe thing to do was to start on the 17’s, a known quantity. Iman and I had run the 18’s in NJ, but those weren’t the best courses for testing and it didn’t help that the tires were still quite new. This course looked like it had the potential for running the 18’s though.

Shane went out on his first run and got a little loose with the gravely surface in spots, finishing with a 66.467, and came back reporting that he was all over the limiter going through the long slalom and the finish. I figured I would go out and see for myself what it was like on the 17’s. He was right, big time. I was banging on the limiter before I even reached the first slalom cone and was foot to the floor for the entire thing. I ended up shifting to 3rd in the finish, completing the run with a 65.467 but +2. No biggie, two more runs. It was evident that we needed the 18’s though, so we busted our butts over to paddock and brought the wheels/tires/jack/etc. over to grid so that we could get them swapped over.

Unfortunately we couldn’t do it in time for Shane’s 2nd run, which he completed with a 65.743 +2. A nice drop in raw time, but no help with the cones. Iman was sitting in first with his first run 65.844 with no help for him on his 2nd. After Shane’s second run, we quickly started swapping out the wheels to get onto the 18’s before it was my turn to run. Being afraid that we wouldn’t have them swapped in time, I confirmed with grid that I could take a 5 minute mechanical if necessary. The ruling I got was that it’s not allowed during wet/drying conditions as it represents an unfair advantage (swapping wets to dry tire, more time to dry, etc.), but since it was a nice dry day there weren’t any issues. Good to know.

Time for my second run and it’s going well. The 18’s feel good and I’m noticeably faster in the long slalom and able to stay on the limiter for the entire slalom…meaning that I was going 2mph faster for that entire section. The only problem is that on the 180 after the slalom, I cut it a little too shallow and got on the gas just a touch too soon and pushed out wide, hitting the outside cone and ruining what was an otherwise solid run of a 64.724, but plus one. About a one second improvement over Shane’s second run, so looked like the 18’s were being helpful. There was a slight problem though: they had me marked as hitting two cones. Really? No way. So I checked the log sheets and two different stations had called in a cone in the same section, but one called the inside cone and the other called the outside cone…in the same gate. I knew there was no way I could have hit the inside cone and was sure that there was confusion between the two stations. But if I run clean on my last run, it won’t matter anyways. I’ll take care of it later if I have to.

Final runs and Shane drops down to a 65.190 with Iman close behind with a 65.454 on his final run. I had the raw times, just needed to clean it up. Could I finally come through in the clutch? Of course not, you knew what was coming. I hit a cone early in the run and just said f it. I’m pretty sure the corner workers hated me too, as I continued to knock down an additional 6 cones for a total of 7 on that run (which was beaten by Ian Bakers 9 on a run on Day 2 :D ). Not only was it excessively dirty, but it was slow too. If I wanted to have any shot at all the next day though, I needed to get that +2 reduced to a +1 on that second run. Never protested before, but Karen K was a huge help and got me in contact with the right people. They ended up interviewing the corner workers who confirmed that there hadn’t been anyone all day who had hit both of those cones, and just as I had suspected, two corner stations sharing part of the same section had labeled the same cone with two different cone numbers. So now I was only 1.5s back instead of 3.5s behind. Still pretty sucky and reason enough to start drinking after our runs were done. The beauty of running first heat and working Tech the day before. I’ll just drink away the day and forget about it. :D

Day 2

For Day 2 we were going to run the 18’s again as the course was mostly the same, just backwards. Being in the first heat, we didn’t have a ton of time to get ready to run after walking the course with the early start to the day. We put the air tank and water sprayer in the back, then ran down the road real quick to get gas. That made it a little hectic when I got back and we prepped the car for Shane’s first run. When he gets back after a dirty 64.162, he’s laughing quite a bit. Apparently we had left the air tank and water sprayer in the trunk for his run, so he just heard loud bangs every time he turned the wheel. Opened up the trunk and the air tank had put quite a few gashes and dents into the trunk floor, along with banging up the gauge on the tank. Yeah, don’t I feel stupid. Iman was dirty on his first run as well, so Shane was still holding on to the top spot.

My first run was a little interesting as well. It was going pretty well for the most part, and then I got to the finish and flicked the car a little too hard, sliding sideways through the finish on full throttle, braking just a little past the finish and going between the finish cones and a cone after the finish that you were supposed to go to the left of. I amazingly thought quickly enough to toss it in reverse real quick, not hit the finish lights, and go correctly to the left of the cone to effectively stay on course. Came in afterwards with quite a few laughs and even a comment from the lovely lady who had helped me with the cone situation the day before. Her comment was along the lines of, “While I can’t condone those shenanagins…that was awesome.” :D The run was a CLEAN 63.804 and good enough to technically be in 1st after first runs.

Second runs saw Iman knocking down 5 cones for no improvement and Shane got called for an imaginary DNF. There was a gate near the timing writer that you were required to go through after the finish. We thought perhaps he might have gone to the right of that gate after flying through the finish. Not good, as his run was a 62.9xx I believe. Solid clean run, but we were pretty certain that he hadn’t gone off course (later proven on the video). I dropped a half second on my 2nd run with a 63.347, but I was still 0.4s off of Shane’s raw time. At this point, I’m still technically in first with Iman and Shane both running dirty.

Final runs. Shane comes through in the clutch (unlike his codriver) and shakes off the +1 and DNF runs with a faster 62.863 to retake the lead by 2.018s. Then Iman comes through on his final run, needing a solid clean run to retake 2nd or possibly first with a really good run. But it appears as if he worked a little too hard to stay clean and ran a 64.620. That left me in the 2nd place position by 0.003s over Iman. Just barely, somehow. So being stuck in 2nd with no shot at first, I went all out and overdrove a few spots and slowing down by 0.3s on my final run…but clean. So three dirty runs on Day 1 and three clean runs on Day 2. Without the cone, Shane and I would have only been 0.018s apart. Must. Stay. Clean.

Results: 2nd in STU and 68th of 214 in PAX (Shane was 35th)

That’s it for national events until the Pro Finale/Nationals in late August. In the mean time there’s four WDCR events and the National Street Tire Challenge to work on improving before the big show.

A little note on the 18's. They feel good, but you can tell that turn in/transistions seem just a tad slower. Also, we're getting some rubbing on the sidewalls in the rear. They're digging in a little bit, but it's not the end of the world. On the bumpy Dover lot, the fronts must have caught the edge of the front fenders when the wheels were turned and pulled the lip down just a touch. I borrowed a fender roller, just need to get time to roll them. I can get away without it, but probably better to do it just in case.




Additional Videos:

From Shane's GoPro

‪Josh at Dover National Tour 2011‬‏ - YouTube

My creative finish to avoid a DNF on Day 2.

‪Dover Creative Finish.wmv‬‏ - YouTube
 

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Discussion Starter #213
Re: piknockout's STU Auto-x Build Sponsored by Agile Auto: 6/14 Update - Lincoln Pro

WDCR Event #3 at Fed Ex Field on June 12, 2011

Results: Championship Event #3 Results

Video:

Contour with speed data

‪WDCR Event #3 2011 - Contour GPS‬‏ - YouTube


Go Pro

‪WDCR Event #3 at Fed Ex on 6/12/11‬‏ - YouTube


Unfortunately, I don’t really remember a lot of the details from this event. I guess that’s what happens when you wait over a month to write this up. :lol: What I do remember however is that after running three consecutive weekends of national events, this event being the fourth event in a row, I left the 18’s on the car from Dover. Normally I would want to run them anyways, but the course that was set up for this event was actually quite tight and on the slower side. We only tapped the limiter in one spot near the beginning, with everywhere else being a patience/don’t overdrive or it will kill you worse than usual course. As such, the 17’s would have been a better option. I guess that’s what I get for not checking out the course map the night before. I hated the course when I walked it, but luckily it drove better than it walked. Even though the 17’s would have been the better choice, the 18’s drove pretty well even on the tight course.

Shane ended up putting down his fastest run on the first try with a 50.276. Good and bad of course: good to be fast early, but frustrating to not improve throughout the day. Unfortunately it took me 4 runs to get my fastest, getting down to a 50.459 on my last run to finish in 2nd (again) by only 0.183s. I had the opportunity to get it on that last run as well if I had slowed down a little sooner at the end of the first slalom. Got a little greedy and pushed a little too far, slowing me down for the next section.

Results: 2nd in STU and 9th in PAX.

Interestingly, if you exclude Julian Garfield and his soft FJA PAX, the top 10 were separated by less than 0.4s in PAX. Pretty close competition.

With the wasted opportunity from Event #2 where I coned away an easy win, Shane now has a commanding lead on the season points chase. With only 7 events on the WDCR calendar, with Shane now sitting on 3 wins, I need to win the final 4 remaining events to have a shot. Otherwise, game over and Shane takes the season. So close this weekend and throwing it away the previous event. Very frustrating. Just have to do better in the future.

 

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Discussion Starter #214
Re: piknockout's STU Auto-x Build Sponsored by Agile Auto: 6/14 Update - Lincoln Pro

WDCR Event #4 at Fed Ex Field on July 10, 2011

Results: http://www.wdcr-scca.org/SoloAutocross/EventsAX/SoloChampionship4/ChampionshipEvent4Results/tabid/1665/Default.aspx

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnltuOW6Zc0&feature=related


The course for this event was fantastic, designed by the Chicken (Danny Kao) and the Squirrel (Ian Baker), with appropriate names for nearly every corner. Absolutely a blast, great job by those guys, although I think that it might have been more Squirrel influenced than Chicken. :D In an attempt to try and save the good tires for Nationals, we reverted to the Rotas with the old tires on them. These tires are nearly corded and have very little to no tread left…but they’re still pretty grippy. I <3 Dunlops. The course was probably a better fit with the 18’s, but saving tires is more important. With the 17’s there was quite a bit of time banging the limiter, but no real good place to shift and not a lot of time to stay in 3rd, so 2nd gear it was.

I ended up being a little aggressive on my first run of the day (as usual) and got a little too quick at the end of the slalom after the showcase. With this section of the coursed being on the sealed portion of the lot, the rear end slid around as I lifted to head up the hill. As is the norm in these situations, I immediately countersteered with full throttle. I look out the passenger window to see a pole that I’m edging closer towards…that’s not good. I hold it as long as I can until the rear just comes all the way around and I put both feet in and slide to the left of the pole about 15ft. away. Not THAT close, but still closer than I would like to be. Needless to say, that run was useless.

The second run was much better, kind of fast and clean with a 53.709 and was good enough to lead the class over Shane by about a tenth. Then of course on Shane’s third run, he knocks off roughly 6+ tenths and gets down to a 53.172 on his third run. I managed to drop a tenth on my third run, but it would be useless with a cone attached to it. Shane was at least nice enough to leave the door open with no improvement on his last run, so I had a chance. That chance was pointless though as I failed to improve. I had the great Julian Garfield with me on my last run, who had also ridden with Shane on his last run, and his feedback was essentially that I was overbraking for the showcase and the upper left turnarounds. Seems like that’s where he was getting me and it was enough for the half second win for him. Yes, I do take tips from 13 year olds, big deal. :p

Results: 2nd in STU and 6th in PAX.

This win by Shane mathematically gives him the STU season win with WDCR. Congrats Shane! Not sure what it is, but I’ve failed to beat him at Fed Ex in about two years. I beat him at other locations, but I fail to do it there. Perhaps it’s the surface, I don’t know, but he’s got my number. Shane’s run was also good enough to put him 2nd in PAX, only 0.023s out of first. Oh so close.

 

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Discussion Starter #215
Re: piknockout's STU Auto-x Build Sponsored by Agile Auto: 6/14 Update - Lincoln Pro

National Street Tire Challenge at Fed Ex Field on July 16, 2011

Results: http://www.wdcr-scca.org/SoloAutocross/CurrentResultsAX/NSTCResults/tabid/1705/Default.aspx

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


Rather than write up my own version of what the NSTC is, I’ll post the info from them below with more details that can be found on the website.

www.nationalstreettirechallenge.com
The National Street Tire Challenge (NSTC) concept developed within a small group of SCCA Milwaukee Region Solo members as an event to appeal to Solo competitors that typically do not attend the SCCA Solo National Championships. It was inspired by the growing number of entrants in street tire classes. The Milwaukee Region group created the NSTC to accommodate the demand for street tire Solo competition on a national level. With the help of Milwaukee Region Solo Chairman Jason Frank and Bridgestone, funding was secured for the first NSTC.
The classes are split up into FWD, RWD, AWD, Muscle Car, and Street Touring Shootout. Each of these classes run on that particular car’s PAX index. There are also quite a lot of prizes given out thanks to Bridgestone, Tire Rack, and other sponsors. The prizes also differ between the ST classes and the other classes. The ST Shootout has a max price of $500 from Tire Rack, but cannot be considered for the overall PAX challenge to win a set of Bridgestone Tires. Each non-ST* class has a max prize of $250 from Bridgestone, but has a shot at the tires. That’s the simplest version of it.

Shane and I decided to split up and maximize our chances at winning the most prize money. I chose to run on the STU index for the ST Shootout in hopes of getting the $500 from Tire Rack, while Shane ran in the AWD Class based on the BSP index to get a shot at the free set of tires. And since Shane is always faster than I am at Fed Ex, he had the best shot at the tires. This event would have a little bit more serious tone to it with money on the line and we treated it very much like a national event and brought both good sets of tires (17’s and 18’s) and would decide what to run based on the course layout. After walking the well designed Greg Olsen course, it was clear that the 18’s would be the choice for the day. Since Shane was running on the BSP index, he could technically run the street map with the increased boost and power levels. Unfortunately we were placed in the same heat and it was too much of a pain to swap maps after every run, so we both ran the STU map. We figured that we could up the boost in the afternoon session if he thought he needed it. The plan for the day was to have everyone run in two heats with 3 runs in the morning. Then everyone would get an additional 3 runs in the afternoon session after lunch for a total of 6 runs.

After Shane’s first run, it was evident that the 18’s were the correct choice since he was on the limiter in a number of places. For comparison, Iman running on 17’s had to shift to 3rd. We probably should have shifted to 3rd, but it seemed more consistent to just leave it in 2nd gear. Shane was apparently out of it in the morning session, but still managed to lead AWD for the morning based on his 2nd run 59.356. I think he just needed some food and a couple of Red Bulls to get going. For myself, I was fighting a nice battle with Ian Baker for the ST Shootout. Every time he finished his run to put him in first, I came right behind him to snatch the lead. He would come in to lead by a tenth or two, then I would get him by a tenth or two. I was sitting in first by about a tenth and a half on a 58.563 when the morning session was over. All three runs clean and fast. I need to learn how to do that more often. Now if only it would rain in the afternoon. :p With someone like Ian, you can’t give him too many chances. He would have three more in the afternoon.

After some lunch and few slaps to the face, Shane found his way back to fast. He dropped down to a 58.521 on his 5th run to extend his lead in the AWD Class, only 0.048s in PAX behind Lance Keeley in his GS Genesis Coupe that he had brought down from Wisconsin. I mentioned to Shane that was only behind by half a tenth and just needed to eek out a bit more to take the tires. I watch him out on his run and I can immediately tell that he’s being very generous with the right pedal. That must be what I look like most of the time…definitely not the normally smooth Shane. He finished his run with a slower raw time with a cone added to spite us. When I spoke with him afterwards, he thought he needed half a second to take it and went all out, when in reality he only needed to improve slightly. Doh! So frickin’ close. But all was not entirely lost as he won the AWD Class and took home $250 from Bridgestone. But man those tires would have been nice.

As for my battle with Ian, we both wasted our first runs in the afternoon with me hitting a couple of stupid cones on a faster 58.354 +2 and him getting a DNF. That’s a rare occurrence. What wasn’t unusual though was the 59.314 he ran in his STS CRX Si, dropping a half second from his previous fast run and taking the top spot in the ST Shootout. I went on to cone a slower run on my 5th run, then got a clean one on my last chance at the course that was a half second slower. I could sworn it was a faster run…perhaps the tires finally overheated. Either way, Ian had taken the win in the ST Shootout by a couple of tenths in a great and entertaining battle. At least I made him work for it. And in classic Shane form, he beats me again on clean runs, only by about half a tenth though. And I at least had the fastest raw time. It’s the little things that I have to hold on to. All in all a great day though and 2nd place in the ST Shootout was good for $250 from Tire Rack. That will come in handy for next year’s tires. :D


Results: 2nd in Street Touring Shootout and 2nd in PAX (although the ST* classes had a distinct advantage :D ).



 

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Discussion Starter #216
Re: piknockout's STU Auto-x Build Sponsored by Agile Auto: 6/14 Update - Lincoln Pro

WDCR Event #5 at Fed Ex Field on July 17, 2011

Results: http://www.wdcr-scca.org/SoloAutocross/EventsAX/SoloChampionship5/ChampionshipEvent5Results/tabid/1669/Default.aspx

Video:

Helmet Cam with the Contour
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crCkf8rD4fk

Go Pro
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSFIZIc3i8M



This event was effectively a fun event to mess around and goof off. The prior day’s NSTC was on the more serious side with money up for grabs, and since Shane had already won the season for WDCR, I tried to focus on having a good time. Since this event was nothing serious, we were back on the old Dunlops to save the good stuff…even though (again) this was a perfect course for 18’s. We ended up shifting into 3rd three times on this course. I think I might have to get two sets of 18’s, although convincing the wifey that I really do NEED 5 sets of wheels/tires will be pretty tough. :lol: The course for today was effectively the NSTC course run backwards, with some tweaks at the start/finish in addition to a few other cones here and there. The NSTC course was fantastic and this one was enjoyable as well. Three straight events with great courses, I hope the trend continues. Today’s event had a couple of additional competitors in STU with Iman (bdi) in his STi, sticking around to run after the NSTC the prior day, and Greg Olsen co-driving “The Traitor” ButtDyno’s Evo 9. John has been doing a great job of improving the car over the course of the season, although it’s easy to improve on a broken car. :p

I failed to take this event seriously from the beginning and it showed. It probably didn’t help that I had passengers on both of my first two runs as well, probably showing off a little too much. Ended up overshooting a braking zone on my first run for a DNF, then hitting some cones with John V in the car. John continues to be surprised/impressed that an STi can actually turn. Apparently my car is an anomaly…which is a good thing. After second runs, Iman was leading the way with a 57.794 with Greg close behind on a 58.203 while Shane and myself were mired near the bottom with dirty runs that weren’t as fast as those guys. Time to take this a little more seriously and try to get some good runs. The problem with that theory is I’ve now limited myself to two runs. Great plan.

On my first serious attempt I had a pretty decent run going, although I overshot the right hander going down into the slalom before the showcase. In my attempt to fight back on the next slalom cone, I turned in too early and hit it with the side of the car due to the bad angle. Decent raw time though, a 57.605 +1. Raw time would have been good enough to take the lead since Shane coned away a 57.294 +1. So there we both sat, with only one run remaining to get a clean one down. Iman knocked off about ¾ of a tenth and Greg coned away a great 57.405 +2. Looks like the Evo has some good time in it if he can keep it clean. [excuse] Of course with the speed of the course, it was pretty much perfectly geared for the Evo. [/excuse]

On final runs, Shane takes the lead with a 57.505 clean. Not as fast as his third run, but good enough for the top spot. Iman was slower and dirty, so he would sit on his third run only a couple of tenths back and sitting in 2nd. Greg puts down another good raw time with a 57.859 but +4 for no improvement, but showing that the car has plenty of speed despite its limited prep. So now it’s my turn to hopefully get at least a clean run in the books. And it was clear that this run was all about being clean and not about being fast. I drove the car timidly and turned in late on a number of cones to ensure that I didn’t turn in and hit them. I managed to put down a 57.758 that was clean, but only good enough for 3rd and well off the pace that we should have had in the car. A little frustrating, but that’s what I get for goofing off early on.

Results: 3rd in STU and 13th in PAX.

There are two more WDCR events left in the year, both of them before Nationals. The plan is to run the old tires for these events, but I’ve decided that I’m going to take these very seriously and try to find some ways to improve what I’m doing before we get to Lincoln…which is only a month away. Crazy, I know! I can’t wait though, it’s always an absolute blast.
 

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Discussion Starter #217
Re: piknockout's STU Auto-x Build Sponsored by Agile Auto: 6/14 Update - Lincoln Pro

And with that post, I'm FINALLY up to date on all my events. Can't get that far behind again, it's too much work to do all at one time.
 

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Discussion Starter #218
Re: piknockout's STU Auto-x Build Sponsored by Agile Auto: 7/25 All Updates with Vide

WDCR Event #6 at Fed Ex Field on August 7, 2011

Results: Championship Event #6 Results

Video of spinnage: WDCR Event #6 Run 4 Spin - YouTube

With the need to take down a set of wheels and a bike to get taken out to Nats for me, I was forced to drive the DD down to the event. John W (ButtDyno) was kind enough to let me drive the Evo for the day and offer my thoughts on the car/setup. Shane ending up getting a ride with Jerry in his 2006 STi. The car is underprepped for the class, but the softer setup could be useful with potential rain. It ended up being a warm, sunny day that stayed that way for the large majority of the time. We were in the final heat of the day, watching the radar as storms continued to approach. If we were lucky, we might get some dry runs in. The original plan was for me to take first runs on the day, but with the potential for rain I mentioned John should probably go first. Note to self: keep mouth shut. :lol:

Starting out on first runs, John got a little overzealous coming across the top portion of the lot and got on the brakes late on the slick sealant, sliding past the entry to come down the hill. As a result, he ended up with a DNF. Shane was having a little too much fun on his run, sliding the car around quite a bit, and came in with a 51.542 +2. Looking like we may only get one dry run, I had to make sure to put down something decent…and hopefully clean. About halfway through I turn in just a bit too early and *smack*…there’s a cone. Doh. Finished the run with a 50.320 +1. Then later in the heat, about half the STU class got reruns due to timing errors. Normally that’s a good thing, but shortly afterwards it began to rain. No dry runs for those guys.

On second runs it had just started sprinkling a bit and Shane got a dryish run on his second attempt, finishing with a 52.618. That put him a tenth behind me after the first run (including the cone). John needed to get a clean one in, despite the rain, and finished with a 55.763. By the time I got my second run, it was raining even harder to come in with a 56.719. It’s a good thing I only hit one cone on that first run!

Needless to say, the rest of the heat was a waste. Lightning caused a 15 minute break, at which point it started drying out. But that was short lived once another downpour soaked the pavement. The one highlight was coming down the hill in the final section of the course, trying to brake early since it was all wet and on slick pavement, but locking them up while having the car loaded to one side just meant instant and unexpected spin (video above). That part was at least fun after we realized I didn’t need to use the force to keep from hitting any jersey barriers (see Josh drives John’s WRX in 2008 and nearly destroys it).

So let’s see, get there at 9am, sit around all day in the heat, then get one dry run with varying wet conditions during the heat. Yep, that was pointless.

Results: 1st in STU and 77th in PAX with the cone.

I was hoping to get some dry runs to help John with the car, so that was a bit frustrating. I did find that the car is a bit pushy initially and not was much oversteer on throttle. I’m sure as he figures out the power issue and rebuilds the diff it will be an entirely different story. Looking forward to driving it then.


 

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Discussion Starter #219
Re: piknockout's STU Auto-x Build Sponsored by Agile Auto: 7/25 All Updates with Vide

WDCR Event #7 at Fed Ex Field on August 14, 2011

Results: Championship Event #7 Results

Videos:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=FH2CLndrv3s

www.youtube.com/watch?v=X70subqTc04

Last event of the season and what do you know…more rain. Rain on the way down in the morning and rain when I got there. Great. We were set to run in the 2nd heat, so I was preparing for wetness. I was bringing down another set of tires to put in Ian’s trailer for Nats, but wasn’t planning on using them. I was on the stock wheels with some Yokohama S.Drives but figured it didn’t matter since it was going to be wet. No real chance to get wet practice anyways since the sealant is like ice and nothing like wet Lincoln concrete. Whatever, I had paid, I was here, might as well. John V was driving my car in the first heat and absolutely hated it. He reported it was excessively understeery and it was one of the worst driving experiences he has had. Throughout the first heat, it stopped raining and slowly began to dry. But unfortunately for John, he was on the crap tires and the car was just bad on those tires. Sorry John, it was supposed to stay wet! I was tempted to leave the tires on, but after hearing how bad it was on the S.Drives, Shane convinced me to swap the good 17’s on real quick. Needless to say, John V was unamused with our good tires and dry conditions. Oh well, such is life.

At least we had a chance for some legitimate practice before Nationals. This was good since I had tweaked a couple of things on the car in preparation for Nationals. I did an alignment check and found that the front was all messed up. I now had camber of -2.5L/-3.5R instead of -3.2 on both sides. Fixed. Then we decided to up the rev limit on the STU tune up to 7500. Should be good for a little more mph on the top end. I didn’t get a chance to really validate any speed benefits though since the Contour GPS ran out of juice. Oops.

Okay, onto the driving portion of our program. Shane went first and spotted a downed cone in the showcase and managed to get a rerun. He always gets reruns!!! So with a free look at the course on his part, I went out for my first attempt, bringing a passenger along to feel the power of the STi. And as usual, I tend to unintentionally show off a bit when I have someone new ride along. I decided to try 3rd gear on one portion of the course, and in the process forgot to look ahead and went in too fast leading into a slalom section…so I just straightlined it. Then went too fast into the next section and straightlined it again. That was useless, but at least my passenger had fun! I also realized that this course would be just fine leaving it in 2nd gear.

Since this was the last event of the season, Shane and I decided to ride along with each other on 2nd runs. I must have distracted him a bit as he nailed two cones along the way. I did notice one section that he was taking a little tighter and also noticed that he was a little too timid going up the hill before the pin turn. He finished with a 52.434 +2. Afterwards he rode along with me and pointed out that I was being too tight on the showcase, but everything else looked good. That’s an easy enough fix. Finished the run with a clean 52.645, so we were in the same ballpark. Of course, he had 3 more runs to my two. Doh.

Shane dropped quite a bit of time on his third (technically 2nd) run, but also continued to be dirty, with a 51.673 +1. Apparently he got a little too aggressive where I had told him he was wussing out and he pushed out a little too much into a cone. Still a great raw time. I dropped time as well, getting down to a 51.842 clean. Two clean runs in a row, not bad. I still had more time to gain though as I was too hot making the right hander down the hill towards the finish. Okay, I can fix that. Everything else felt great.

Shane goes out for his fourth run and looked really good out there on course. I could tell it was going to be a great time, but alas we will never know. A timing error meant that he was going to get another rerun. That’s good on your first run, but not so good when you’re on your third/fourth, don’t have a clean one yet, and know that you put down a good run. Doh. Now on to my final run. Just fix one spot, that’s doable. And watching the video, it looks like I nailed that section coming down the hill just right. The problem with the run was that I messed up the one section I was getting right all day: coming up the hill before the pin turn. Got a little late and to slow down a bit. Dang it. Still dropped time down to a 51.549 clean, which was encouraging because rarely (it seems) do I get three consecutive clean runs that also continue to drop time. But I know I left a few tenths out there that I would love to have.

On Shane’s first rerun, he again looked really good out there. He nailed the section going up the hill and I knew he was likely to kill it. And sure enough he did, with a 51.332 and clean. At this point he had me beat by about 2 tenths and there was no need to eat up the tires anymore, so we called it a day. Shane’s run was good enough to put him in the 4th PAX position. Alas, Shane gets me again at Fed Ex. I can’t count the prior weekend’s hollow “victory”, which means I failed to beat him at Fed Ex all year.

*shakes head in shame*

Results: 2nd in STU and 5th in PAX

Only a couple of weeks before heading out to Lincoln for the Pro Finale and Nationals and only have a few prep items to complete before the trip out. Needless to say, I can’t wait!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #220
Re: piknockout's STU Auto-x Build Sponsored by Agile Auto: 7/25 All Updates with Vide

Nationals Prep

I’m planning to head out tomorrow night with John V and Greg O. John V bought a DSP BMW that he will be picking up in Lincoln, so he has no car on his trailer. So the plan is to toss my car on there for the drive out and have three drivers for the trip. That’s what we call a win-win. Shane isn’t coming for the Pro and will be out there later, but he’ll be in the car to help me drive it back. Driving back 22 hours in race seats won’t be fun, but at least the drive out will be pretty cake and will keep some miles off the car.

I recently fixed the alignment and increased the rev limit to 7500 at Agile the other day, but also used their vinyl cutter to make some numbers/letters/logos! Decided to be a little more fun this year and tossed in some green. I’ve got an idea for a setup for next season, just need to get it done before the season starts next year.



I also went out and got some necessities for the trip: Nerf football, Frisbee, some marker cones, and beer. Upon further discussion with others, I may be a little underprepared. I think I’ll stop by the store and get another pack…just in case. Gotta have beer to barter with the other regions!

 
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