Monday, May 26, 2008

3rd Autocross

I attended my 3rd autocross of the season Sunday May 25th. This event was a NORPCA event at Lakeland Community College. John Hulick set up the course, with some help from another person. The course started with a long fast sweeping curve to the left on the tarmac where we usually establish the starting grid. The course then took a little jog across to the area where the course is typically laid out. There was a series of offset gates, followed by a very narrow gate into the optional slalom. At the end of the slalom was a 360 / 720 curve. You entered at 3 o'clock and followed around counter clockwise through 12, 9, 6, 3, 12 and 9 again. Out into a series of very fast straight gates, with a wicked offset gate and a Chicago box at the end of the straight. You then had a short straight and a tight left turn into the exit. 

This made for a 6 tenths of a mile course, with times running from 54 seconds out to 70 seconds, depending on the car and the driver. Fast drivers were John (of course), Doug Bradley, Dan, and Gino. Gino had the fastest time in the 4 cylinder Porsche class and John had the fastest time in the 6 cylinder Porsches and had the fastest time of the day. 

The  fastest time in the X class was a Camero with a new suspension set up. He initially had trouble with the first gate after the 360, but corrected in the afternoon and had some good runs after that. 

As for me, my times were progressively better. NORPCA gives out time slips so I have my times.

1st run 65.6 +1 cone
2nd run 63.0
3rd run 61.4 +1 cone
4th run 62.6
5th run 61.2

My group then worked the course, we took a lunch break, and then had our afternoon runs.

6th run 61.2
7th run 60.4
8th run 59.9
9th run 59.2

So over the day I took 6 seconds off my time. I was progressively faster, driving the car better each run. John gave me a compliment at the end of my last run, saying it looked really good. I was really pleased with the last run, and the run before it. Typically, when I have a good run, I end up over driving the next run and lose the progress I had made. This time I was able to keep my cool and control the car. 

I was watching Les's times as he had brought his 914-6 and his car is one of the ones I know is in my class. We ran fairly close to each other in times, and knowing where he was helped me push harder on my car.

Overall a very fun day.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

AutoCross Video

A few people have looked askance when I mentioned autocross to them. This video from the Porsche Parade in 2007 should help explain what an autocross is - Part 1

Monday, May 19, 2008

2nd Autocross

I ended up skipping the first IRAC event. I missed on being in the running for a trophy last year by one event, so I hope I don't regret it. The event was 5 hours away, and a 4 am wake up call on Sunday just did not work for me.

My 2nd event was down in Akron again, this Sunday May 18th. There was on again, off again rain all day. This made the course very interesting. Plus Walt set up a very fast course, with two long straight parts connected by a wide curve. I had a blast with the course. On my fastest run my rear end was wagging back and forth in the fast curve something fierce. My time went from a 68 second to a 60 second time, out of the running for prizes, but higher in the pack than last time.

I think I will never be in the top three, as I am always going to be easier on the car and watching to insure nothing goes awry. Getting pear shaped in the back corner was fun on the last run, but I am not sure it is something I want to do every time. Too much chance of damaging the car.