Wednesday, April 30, 2008

1st "real" autocross of the season

I went to my first autocross this year on Saturday April 27th. It was out at the Eastern Buckeye Region location, the Hartville Market. This is about an hour from my home. The course was interesting. Walking the course it seemed there was a very long distance between the gates, but when I was driving that distance was very much shorter. The course had a couple of mildly offset gates that were much trickier at speed than I expected, as was the slalom with the kink in it.

On my second set of runs, about half way through, smoke seemed to be coming from the front of my car. This PANICKED me, as there is not much in the front of my car. Once I left the line, I popped the front and rear hatch, leaving the engine running. I checked my brakes (cool), my battery (fine), my front wiring (fine), my engine for leaks (fine) and my front cooler (fine). Not finding anything wrong, and not seeing any more smoke, I got back in line and finished my two runs. I have no idea what I was seeing, and it makes me nervous.

The fast times were in the 55 second range. My fastest time of the day was 61.x seconds. Not really on the pace, compared to my competitors. But each run was faster than the last, so I was improving. I was a bit disappointed in the class numbers. There were three or four other SC's at the event, and I was interested in seeing how I stacked up. Normally I am in the P3 class with all the other SC's and the 914. EBR uses a different set of classes, so I was instead lumped in with all 6 cylinder Porsches and turbo 4 cylinders - Boxsters, 997, 914-6, 944 turbos, and so on. Stiff competition. My best time was good for about 12th place, out of 15. Clearly, I am not the driver I think I am. On the other hand, I was beating a 993 RS fairly consistently, so that was good.

Next event is this Sunday, May 3rd in Xenia Ohio, about 3 hours away. This is the first IRAC event, and I missed out on most of those last year due to various family events. I think I am going to go - but I need to track down that smoke issue.

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