FEOA Forums banner

1 - 20 of 43 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,188 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I drove 2/3rds of the way across the state this weekend to get some seat time in a friend´s BMW at an autocross in Sanford, NC. My friend decided to race the car himself (and didn´t want to double up drivers on his daily driver), so I went with the old addage: "Race what you brung".

...and with that, my ´93 LX Wagon got it´s first track experience.

Since I´ve already mounted my 16x7" Rota Slipstreams w/ Sumitomo HTRZ II tires, my car wasn´t eligible for the H Stock class.. so I was pitted against the F Street Prepared class. FSP allows for full suspension mods (on factory mounts/subframes), intake, exhaust and ignition ***oops, I had said transmission before***. My escort, being stock except for the aformentioned wheels & tires, was only sporting cross drilled rotors and a B&M shifter. Needless to say, she was quaking in her 88hp boots, but I told her I wasn´t expecting her to win anything.. just for her to run her best. I realized the quaking was due to her engine´s idle vibration so I shut her off and quit talking to my car like some hopped up crackhead. :-]

Since I was running street tires (as opposed to DOT race rubber) I entered into the ´Tire´ subclass. This means I got listed with the other Street Tire folks, but I got a PAX number (0.81 I believe) multiplied against my best time to give me a corrected time.. a handicap of sorts.

Well, I drove the hell out of her and made a nice showing.. I didn´t place, or come anywhere near (since I was set up so badly for my class), but I got several people approach me just to tell me what a great job I did with a wagon. One fellow, who was sitting amongst a group of spectators as I finished my 3rd run, came up and told me noone could believe I was getting such good times in an escort wagon. :-o

She handled wonderfully.. I got her completely sideways once, but was able to recover before spinning (unlike 90% of the FWD drivers there). That was during a fun run at the end though.

To give eveyone an idea.. the H Stock folks were working really hard to beat 50 seconds.. my best time was a 46.9 (46.7 on a fun run) I can give a lot of credit to the tires and the escort´s suprisingly good handling traits... the rest of the credit goes to me.. for all my years of bahnstorming on the twisty roads in the mountains of NC. :cool:

My friend, Jody, the winner in FSP, got a 42 second run with about 20 more hp at the wheels, ground-control coilovers, bilstein sports, spherical bearing top mounts with adjustable camber plates, full exhaust and cold air intake on his ´83 320i. The best time of the day (in a turboed miata) was just over 39 seconds.

(Subject line in response to 2EGTS´s thread: 1ST PLACE!)

Beaverboy

[ This message was edited by: Beaverboy on 28-04-2003 12:24 ]

[ This message was edited by: Beaverboy on 29-04-2003 10:00 ]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,204 Posts
sounds like you did a damn good job. if you have your old rims next time I would use them. Run in H-stock and you will kick major ass. keep up the good work and keep us posted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,188 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, the whole reason I bought the 16s was because I´m leaving snows on my stock steel wheels for the winter months.

I´ve got coil-overs, tokicos, control arm bushings and strut braces waiting to be installed.. but I´m going to need to talk to my friend to see if I can still use his 320i to finish the NCAC (North Carolina Autocross Championship) events.

If not I´ll bite the bullet.. buy some good 205/60/13 tires and mount them on my steelies. :-]

I want to win that series.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,709 Posts
Yep, next car I´m getting is a turbocharged, race-spec miata. I know it´s a barbie car, and I´m a flaming ******, but turbo that bitch, throw on some nice suspension, and you´ve got one hell of an autocrosser. I´ll be saving up for it over the next 4 years or so.

My GT gets to be the beater :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,188 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Who cares about style when you´re a blurry yellow ball of fury (the Miata-T)? He´s an excellent driver though.. to turn such a fast time balancing a turbo around a tight course. He bought it from some guy who´d spent $20k in upgrades and then couldn´t get it to run with the turbo.

BTW, I was wearing my ESCORT (Every Second Counts On the Race Track) shirt all day. I got a few props for that too.

Beaverboy

[ This message was edited by: Beaverboy on 28-04-2003 16:42 ]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,927 Posts
sw33t run! fortunatly (and unfortunatly) for me, my local autoX club with very limited members just runs everyone in the same league, quite low key and un-official. just not enough interest from around here to make it worth going full regulation. but dang it´s a blast! pitting my poor lil´ LX against IROCs, Sunbeam Tigers, RX-7´s (which i´ve actually amanged to beat), and a freakin mess of stang GT´s...it doesn´t get any better! my Scort gets so much respect! and everyone´s agging me to sw4p in a 2.0 or get some sw33t treads and suspension...too bad my financial situation is a bit low to go through with all the mods i´d like. stock will just have to do! just gotta stay on top of those rx-7´s...
gl with the wagon! methinks it takes more skill to handle one of them than a h/b!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,188 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, I was wrong about my times :-( They´re posted now over at THSCC´s website (´Speed Thrills´). I did better than I thought, but damn I didn´t realize I took out a cone my 3rd run.. the 4th run I remember hearing the "THWAP" as I sent it flying.

23rd place out of 26 in Street Tire Class with a 38.491 second run under the PAX correction index.

My runs and number of cones taken out (2 seconds added onto the raw time for each cone, so I had a 46.497 my 3rd run... and I thought it was clean :-()
49.717
47.228
48.497(1)
49.207(1)

<TABLE BORDER=0 ALIGN=CENTER WIDTH=85%>[TR][TD]Quote:

[/TD][/TR][TR][TD]
29-04-2003 at 00:50, Juggernaut wrote:
gl with the wagon! methinks it takes more skill to handle one of them than a h/b!
[/TD][/TR][TR][TD]

[/TD][/TR][/TABLE]

Thanks, but nahhh, it´s probably easier to handle. The weight balance is a little better for a more neutral mid corner attitude, and with the ´heavy´ hatch at the very back the yaw rate is reduced a bit.. makes it a little easier to catch, I would imagine. I´ll always have that extra weight penalty, and I can tweak the suspension just as well as you h/b fellas can, but I´ll never be able to flick it through a turn quite as quickly.. damn near close though. :-]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,188 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Damn, I just calculated my time had I not hit that cone.. it would have bumped me up to 20th place... oh well. There´s always room for improvement, right? ;-)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,204 Posts
I still think you did damn good. Even the pros hit cones. The best thing you can do is get as meny runs as you can. experiance really pays off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,188 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, w/ 4 timed runs, 1 gimme run due to a timer error (one reason my 3rd run was so good, I got a re-do), and 2 fun runs, I got plenty of seat time for an autocross. Good times. Thanks for the props everybody! :-]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,188 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, the next NCAC race is this Saturday. I don't have an H-Stock car to race. I had a falling out with that friend (actually, that last race in Sanford was the last time I talked to him), so his BMW is out of the question. My escort now has a lowered suspension and urethane bushings, so HS is definitely out of the picture now. Oh well, I think the state championship is out of my grasp anyway, considering the skills posessed by the 1st place finisher at the first race.

I went last night to a night series race with my local club (2 hour drive away) and got 3 laps in. I did poorly. I'm not happy with my driving at all. At least now I know what happens when you go to a race without enough sleep, and absent-mindedly walk the course. I didn't go off-course at any point, but I just couldn't get my lines planned out right. I can blame some of my bad performance on my crappy brakes. They weren't a problem at that last race because it was mostly sweepers and sloloms (sp?). This course was all long straights into 90, 180 (and even one 270) degree turns. There was a sweeper, but it was uphill and to the finish, right after the 270 degree turn, so high power cars had a field day with it.

Still, I beat times posted my many of the stock vehicles, including a few 2nd gen miatas. 8O I imagine they must have been driving just as poorly as I did. There was a large stock FWD Olds sedan there (or was it a buick?) with an amazing driver behind the wheel. He trounced my best time.. 8O 8O if I ever need a get-away driver, I think he's my first pick.

As usual, I got some mad props for bringing a wagon. Everybody noticed my rear strut brace and commented on it. Someone made the suggestion that I should put some grocery bags in the back, for extra style points (that's speed +2, don't ya know :wink: ). I'm thinking that I should get a cling-on graphic made up for the outside of the rear window that looks like grocery bags full of groceries

One thing is for sure.. I need a racing harness. The stock auto belts will never cut it. I was so splayed out trying to stay somewhat within the seat (even after looping the belts around the frame of the seat and snugging them down), that I'm sure I looked like a monkey in a washing machine.

I'm still trying to decide if I should drive to Sanford this weekend for the NCAC race, just to do it (there are going to be 200+ folks there) and see some of my autocross buddies, or if I should spend this weekend cleaning and prepping my car for the following weekend, another race being held in downtown Asheville (on the street) during the Bele Chere festival. I think I'll do the latter, and have my car ready.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Boy, as I mentioned in another post somewhere, I dont' know much about Autocross racing or anything, but you guys are definitely getting me interested in it. How expensive is it to get the licenses and get started participating in this? I would love to get my EGT on any kind of a track to see what it and I can do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,927 Posts
well fortunatly for me, there aren't any major events held here, just a small local car club which hosts the events. no licence required, and everyone is race what u brung. of course a few ppl do a lotta tuning (like the orange horizon i've mentioned before with 30psi turbo...), but it's all pretty casual. usually twice a month at $15usd per event, 3 runs per event (or more) and it's all set. provided you have or borrow a helmut, and the car's in fine mech. condition... it may not be as competitive as some of the other provincial leagues, and certainly not like the US leagues, it's still the same kind of experience. just no prizes though :) check around locally first, see if there's anything happening around you. clubs always have displays at local car shows and the like, that's how i found out about ours
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Interesting...that might be something for me to look for since it is more casual.

FYI (for anyone who cares): The phrase is "Run what you brung" since it KIND of rhymes and flows off the tongue a little easier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,188 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
There are 4 decent sized SCCA regional clubs in North Carolina. You can search on the web for regional SCCA clubs.

NASA (National Auto Sport Association, not Aero Space Admin) is growing quickly right now. They have their own classing system and run their own Solo II races. I've heard good things about NASA.

SCCA Solo II only requires that you have a valid drivers license, and if you're under 18, you have to have proof of your parent's permission. You can even race with a learners permit, as long as you follow the laws and a parent rides with you (or whatever stipulations your state has regarding permits). There are usually younger kids there racing in the kart class... some future formula drivers, for sure (and I'm talking about fast little racing karts).

SCCA Solo I requires a racing license for most, if not all, events.

Solo simply means that it's time trials, and not wheel to wheel racing.

In Solo II you generally race around a course marked with cones in a parking lot, on an airstrip, or sometimes on a real racetrack.

Solo I usually means higher speeds on more open courses. Most hill climbs fall under the Solo I category, for example.

I paid $35 to race last night.. but $20 of that was for my (one time annual) club membership fee. Now that I'm a club member, my races will cost a few dollars less, so why not. It's definately the cheapest form of racing that I know of (other than street racing, which is dull by comparison, IMHO). I got three (55 second) laps, so you can say it's $5/lap (or it was last night, sometimes you get more than 3, and the price isn't always $15). That may sound expensive, in those terms, but you could pay $15 just to watch the action without racing and still be satasfied (spectating is free).

Check out the autocross section under the Articles page, for a good write-up on how to get started.

edit
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,188 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well, Saturday I raced in the Bele Chere Autocross. I spent all day at the track and didn't even bother checking out the rest of Bele Chere :lol:

My buddy with the 320i was there with his wife (also driving the car) and his dad (a great family) and my other two standard FSP rivals were there, so there was some decent competion. My parents came to see what all this autocross stuff was all about, and I got to take my stepdad for a ride. This turned out to be a good plan, because when my parents got bored with the racing they walked downtown and enjoyed the festival. Funny thing is, they seemed very interested in just watching all the racing action 8O

My stepdad was a good sport to hop in the car for my first run. He's the one who bought the car new, and drove it for 17x,xxx miles at or below the speedlimit, only ever losing grip when it was extremely icy, and never getting less than 35mpg. I took off from the line and hit the first two cones, yelling obsenities each time. He was frozen with shock that the escort was moving towards turns so quickly and didn't even realize I'd whacked the cones, so he didn't know why I was yelling so much. On the way back through the slolom where I'd hit the cones (they were reset by some dilligent track workers) I went to dive in for my 2nd turn and realized that it was a decreasing slolom in that direction (cones get closer together as you go along), but too late, and ended up drifting right by the last two cones sideways, quickly recovering and surging towards the finish (with a DNF for missing the end of the slolom), with a nice loud obsenity shouted again. He told me he had to check his shorts after he got out.. thought he'd messed them.

Still, he's coming to the next night series race tomorrow night... I doubt he'll go for a ride for the rest of the season though.

I got videos of 3 of the 4 runs I took (including the one I just described).. 3 of my 4 runs were DNFs because of the same decreasing slolom at the end :x I couldn't seem to get on the brakes early enough to enter at a reasonable speed, and the wagon's extra rear weight showed itself as I tried to slow during a slolom (she did recover like a champ though). I'll try to post one of them as soon as I get it converted (it's in a quicktime movie format right now :? ) into a better compression. In one video you can hear a guy behind my mom say, "He's doing pretty well considering what he's driving." :lol: I got a huge kick out of it.. especially since I was driving so poorly.

I came in last (I think, I haven't seen the final times yet), but if I'd just slowed enough for the slolom each time (ie: not hit any cones) I might have made 2nd place, beating out folks with race rubber and race quality coil-overs.

I need to relearn how to handle the car at the limit.. she's very stable and easy to recover now that I have the giant rear swaybar installed, but I need to learn to be more gentle with my steering inputs. When I first raced her I had to throw the steering in quickly to get the rear to drift so that I could get through a turn with a neutral balance. I'm still using that driving technique and it's resulting in me driving sideways through turns as the front end dives inward and the rear steps out just a bit (still in a state of steady slip though :D ). It looks great, but it's slow.

This is my 3rd run, as I demolished a cone because I was thinking too hard about which side of the cone to enter the slolom on.


Maverick: You don't have time to think up there. If you think, you're dead.
I ended up trying to dodge left of the cone, but after one too many synapses had fired in my head, I ended up bringing that cone in to the finish line and DNFing the run. Lesson learned.. brain too slow.. drive fastest when not think... you Jane.

PS: And I made a new sig out of a pic from Saturday's race! What do you think?
 
1 - 20 of 43 Posts
Top