SCCA Autocross Event #7, 9.28.08

Today was the final SCCA event of the year at FEDEX Field for the Washington DC Region. The course was long — almost double the usual length. With some tricky off-camber turns and off-set slaloms, it was too long to try to memorize so you tried to pick out the tricky parts and ride out the rest. The day was rainy off and on. We made it through three runs in the dry before the final run in the wet. Thinking it was going to be wet all day, I decided to run the Azenis instead of my V710s. It was probably a good choice for a drying course. I also recently switched to Hawk HP plus brake pads which really had much more grip than my old tired EBC pads.

WDCR SCCA Autocross Event #6, 8.30.08

I haven’t managed to make any of the local SCCA autocross events so far this year. I bought a season pass last winter, but as it turns out, I had to work during the first five events. I enjoy the longer courses the SCCA runs, but don’t enjoy the events as much — everyone is so much more serious than at the BMW or CDC events. Nonetheless, the SCCA events are a good way to measure your progress. At least some people in SM still don’t take it too seriously.


Volvo-nator

Today’s event was in the A lot at FEDEX Field outside of Washington DC. The course was very fast, with a couple of seriously off-camber corners that caught out many of the high horse-power cars in AS. There was also a slalom that you cold enter from either the right or the left. To enter on the left, you had to modulate your speed in the corner leading to it. This proved more challenging for the rear wheel-drive cars than the MINI. If you entered on the left, you exited at a better position for the turn following the slalom.

MINI at FEDEX

I scored mid-pack for Street Mod which is much improved over last year where I was in the bottom 10 percent. I found some more pictures posted on SMUG.

Carrousel

Mid corner

Look ahead

Three-Wheelin’ MINI

3 wheelin

Since the F-22 isn’t yet registered, I decided to run the MINI at the CDC autocross today. The morning started out quite wet, with a light drizzle falling most of the early morning. Since I was running in the third heat, I took a chance and switched to the R comps, which was the right choice. My morning runs were in the mid 42 second range, with my best run of 42.02 coming after lunch. It seemed like most of the runners were in the 44-47 range, with only the Cobras below 41. The car felt really well balanced, even if 3 runs wasn’t quite enough to get the required amount of heat into the tires. They continue to wear well. I just bought a set of spacers so hopefully they will fit on the BMW as well.

It wasn’t until I got home and saw the photos my friend took that I even realized how much I was picking up the rear inside wheel in tight turns. You would think with only three tires on the ground, that I’d notice the rear-end getting light, but I didn’t really sense it was coming around on me. I wonder what it would be like with the sway-bar on the stiffest setting…

lift

Give in to the Dark Side

Konig Feather Wheels

I mounted the new autocross wheels stepped back, and it struck me how much darker my car has become. Not that it’s a bad thing, just sort of a slow change over time. Tinted windows, blacked out grille, and now black racing wheels. Add mirror caps and a roof sticker and the change will be complete.

Side view

I wanted to see if the wheels would rub, so I carefully drove down the street, avoiding any water or ice since they are basically slicks. I was looking for a good place to check for rubbing. I found an empty church parking lot and did a couple of quick tight turns. (Am I going to hell for doing donuts in the church parking lot?)

 

CDC Autocross, 10.6.07

GeorgeCo MINI

The autocross season is winding down. Today the Capital Driving Club held their next to last scheduled event at Harry Grove Stadium in Frederick. It was an interesting course with a figure-eight and a decreasingly spaced slalom leading to a hard right turn into the finish. I did surprisingly well, especially given the fact I was hopelessly lost on my first run.

On a day when the mean time was 46.63, I turned in a blistering (for me) 44.38. Not up there with the leaders (FTD 41.6), but still a respectable 15th out of 63. It was a long day though — I was in the fourth heat again. With tech inspections at 8, “morning” runs for my heat at 1, and afternoon runs after 4, I was beat by the end of the day. Still, I managed to turn in a couple of 45s in the afternoon, even with a passenger!

I took the MINI in to Frederick Motorsports on Friday for a track-day inspection for my upcoming event at Summit Point, and to get Scott to look at my alignment. I’ve had the Texas Speedwerks springs for about six months now. They’ve settled quite nicely, but I wanted to see if I could pick up some more negative camber in the front end. Scott was able to get almost a half a degree, for -1.6 degrees in the front and -1.7 degrees in the rear.