Blasphemy101's 2013-2014 AutocrossThread

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Blasphemy101's 2013-2014 AutocrossThread

Postby blasphemy101 » Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:54 pm

I decided to start this thread instead of filling up my build thread with even more walls of text. My intention is for this thread to follow my progress in autocross from Summer 2013-Summer 2014. What follows will be an account of any events I attend as a driver, worker, or spectator. It will be a fun way to keep track of the progress my friends and I make as we (hopefully) improve.
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Re: Blasphemy101's 2013-2014 AutocrossThread

Postby blasphemy101 » Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:15 pm

Florida Corvette Racing Club - September 2013

I'll start with my my first event after completing my turbo build this past September. Since driving the BMW at the begininning of the summer, I had completed the turbo setup and tightened up the suspension with Turner Motorsport's J-Stock setup. Needless to say, the car felt completely different, and even though I was running a moderate amount of boost (6-7 PSI), hammering down on the gas for the first time in these conditions was pretty surprising. Of course, I had experienced the newfound power on the street while datalogging and tuning, but things were very different in these confined circumstances.

Before I continue, I should probably point out that while most local clubs take 60 MPH as a fairly strict limit for top speeds, the Corvette club seems to treat is as a target AVERAGE. So, off I went on my first run of the day iin a car that to me, felt like an absolute rocket anywhere above 4000 RPM. It was almost expected when I found myself flying past my intended braking point, foot still planted fully on the loud pedal.

By the time I realized what had happened, it was too late. I made one vain stab at my brakes, to get some weight on to the front to try and keep it on the track. To my horror, I messed that up too. Instead of smoothly transferring weight to the front of the car and performing a Newtonian miracle, I locked up my front wheels, generating massive amounts of understeer when I let off the brakes and finally decided to turn in. So off I went, arcing off the runway like a monkey shot into space.

It was almost a relief to find myself in the grass, it gave me break from trying to tame the (240whp on a good day) monster under the hood.

I was able to convince my girlfriend to ride shotgun on my next run, which gave me a convenient excuse to take it easy and be come more accustomed to the car's explosive powerband.

Over the next couple of runs I was able to get even more accustomed to the power delivery. Unfortunately, on what would show to be my fastest run by far, disaster struck...

Image

Apparently, my motor mounts had sheared and my powersteering pulley had gotten hungry for my lower radiator hose. Since this was the end of the local autocross "season" - most local clubs take a break through the hottest months of the summer - I decided to have the car towed home (thank you AAA Gold!) and let it sit for the next month or so. While I concentrated on my other car...
Last edited by blasphemy101 on Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Blasphemy101's 2013-2014 AutocrossThread

Postby Yoshi » Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:25 pm

Grawr I'm hungry for radiator hoses! lol.
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Re: Blasphemy101's 2013-2014 AutocrossThread

Postby blasphemy101 » Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:38 pm

Yoshi wrote:Grawr I'm hungry for radiator hoses! lol.


Yeah, writing that reminded me I have a handful of pictures for the build thread. The mounts weren't doing much "mounting" at that point.

I've done like 5 events since then, but I don't think I have any video of the E30 :(
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Re: Blasphemy101's 2013-2014 AutocrossThread

Postby blasphemy101 » Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:08 pm

FAST 2014 Event #1 - September 2013

I attended my first autocross event in October of 2010. My dad was generous enough to let me take his E30 M3 out to a BMCCA event, even though I had only used a manual transmission a hhandful of times. For a multitude of reasons, #1 being the seemingly guaranteed destruction of the car's gearbox, I was extremely nervous.

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Thankfully, the car was riding on Hankook RS2s - the predecessor to the currently dominant RS3 street tire. The car handled wonderfully, and my trepidation paid off inn some ways, forcing me to listen keenly to my instructor and diligently improve my time throughout the day.

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Unfortunately, that was the last time I would drive on a decent set of tires until this month (September 2013)...

After that first event, I had only attended a couple of events a year until becoming more involved in mid-2012, where I got mybhands on a helmet cam and started to review my driving and pick out failings in my technique.

After a year of consciously trying to improve, I felt I was ready to finally start comparing myself to some of the faster local drivers. I wasn't necessarily working on a competitive mindset, but I had never made an attempt to prepare my car in any way, and and most of the faster drivers were working with some kind of an advantage, typically in the form of sticky "street" tires or slicks.

So, off I went across the state to Melbourne, Florida, where I picked up a set of tweaked OEM wheels for my S2000 shod in extremely camber-worn 255-width Dunlop Direzza Star Specs. I thought these would be the key to my success, and I couldn't have been more wrong.

I went into the event completely mentally underprepared. I know now it was partially the result of the tires themselves - they later performed much better after flipping the worn edge to outside, but only so much blame can be placed on my equipment. Poor driving was the real culprit and I placed a soul-crushing 74th out of 92 drivers and 2nd-to-last in my class in a car capable of the fastest time of the day.

Needless to say, I left the event frustrated, but the worst had yet to begin...

You see, my friend drives a 1987 Camaro - but not just any 1987 Camaro. It has a slushbox...Sitting behind a 130 HP-circa-1987 V6. I think you know where this is going, but I feel the need to say it. He beat me. It doesn't matter by how much or how little; he beat me.

I left the event knowing he was going to make it painfully clear to me and everyone we know that he beat me, because the next time we would attend an event together was 2 months away...
Last edited by blasphemy101 on Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Blasphemy101's 2013-2014 AutocrossThread

Postby M20_fever » Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:57 pm

A+ would read again. I lol'd because it reminds me of my first track day. More specifically the first time I felt what's it like to become the passenger in your own car as it spins through the grass. Your a good writer.
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Re: Blasphemy101's 2013-2014 AutocrossThread

Postby blasphemy101 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:06 am

M20_fever wrote:A+ would read again. I lol'd because it reminds me of my first track day. More specifically the first time I felt what's it like to become the passenger in your own car as it spins through the grass. Your a good writer.


Thanks Tony. I've had a couple of those ride-alongs as well. It's always the same with a driver's first time off - a flailing attempt to regain control, the "are you okay?" check, and then the nervous laughter lol

I used to be a much better writer - it's one of the main reasons I became a psych major. Writing was easy, so it was an easy route to take for good grades. Unfortunately, engineering school has taken up all the time I used to spend reading and it feels like my vocabulary has gone with it :(

Oh well, I enjoyed writing those two posts, and I'm hoping this thread will motivate me to take more pictures/videos when I go out to events.

I'm writing these up as much for myself as anyone else, but if you guys are interested, I'll probably get some more posts up tomorrow. I'm going to try to get some stuff into my build thread tonight.
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Re: Blasphemy101's 2013-2014 AutocrossThread

Postby Ryki » Thu Nov 07, 2013 4:37 pm

A definite A+! Kind of makes me excited to be able to read your experiences out there, and with such a nice turbo car and such a pretty M3 to boot : )
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Re: Blasphemy101's 2013-2014 AutocrossThread

Postby Nsquared97 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:49 am

Dat M3... I'm jelly! Haha my intro to autoX started out pretty similar. Dad's 99 Miata on slicks (before I even had my liscense), same car on street tires, then my Saturn for a couple years. Slowly working my way back up haha. Definitely keep posting in this thread, maybe it will give me motivation to update my own threads lol.
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Re: Blasphemy101's 2013-2014 AutocrossThread

Postby blasphemy101 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:16 pm

Yes, I'll definitely miss the M3. It's depressing to think I probably won't drive one ever again. It really makes me think something like the Scion FRS would be the perfect car for me if they could work out the DI problems...
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Re: Blasphemy101's 2013-2014 AutocrossThread

Postby blasphemy101 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:45 am

Unfortunately, I've been slacking on keeping up with the forum lately, and the autocross events of the past few months have largely faded from my memory.

Picking up from the September FAST event...

Suncoast BMWCCA - September 2013

After suffering an embarrassing defeat at the hands of my friend and his "po-dunk Camero," I shot an email off to the autocross organizer at the local BMWCCA chapter. They were hosting an event the following, and I was able to slip in a late registration with the hope of redeeming myself.

For the following week, I tried to prepare myself mentally. Driving, riding my bike, and even walking around campus at school, I hunted down apexes wherever I went. I wanted to be sure I was in the right state of mind this time around. I also managed to get those damn Star Specs flipped around, so I actually had some tread on the inside edge...

Whether it was my mental preparation or the reconfigured tires, something had clicked over the week. I managed to take first in my class, something I had never previously accomplished. Now, I'll be the first to admit that the class is stacked in my car's favor - the chapter lumps all non-BMW/Porsche/Minis into generic classes based on aspiration or cylinder count. There aren't many 4-cylinder cars that can keep up with an S2000 around an autocross course. That said, I did manage to beat out some of the competitors from the previous event, including another S2000 driver who usually demolishes me.
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Re: Blasphemy101's 2013-2014 AutocrossThread

Postby blasphemy101 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:54 am

FAST Event #2 - November 2014

In November, I finally got a chance to "settle the score" with my friend and his lump of a Camaro... Back in the right state of mind, staying ahead of him wasn't much of an issue. I did not do as well as I had hoped - if I remember correctly, I placed 4th out of 10 or so in my class and 3rd among 8 S2000 drivers. Not too bad, and certainly much better than the last time I had driven with FAST...

To give you an idea of the kinds of courses they run, here is a botched run my friend made in his Camaro. I have footage of myself somewhere...

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Re: Blasphemy101's 2013-2014 AutocrossThread

Postby blasphemy101 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:12 am

Suncoast BMWCCA - November 2013

This was an event I'm sure the Suncoast chapter would like everyone to just forget about, as demonstrated by their failure to post any results online.

I originally wrote a much longer post, but I saw it turning into a rant about issues specific to the club an organizers - nothing too interesting. The course was very halting and frustrating to drive. It wasn't confusing, as many courses are, but it was very easy to overdrive. I will also say that safety was set aside in an attempt to keep the cars running, something I don't feel is ever acceptable.

Happily, I placed first in my class again, but not through any spectacular driving. I had a pretty significant advantage over many of the other cars in my class.

Last edited by blasphemy101 on Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Blasphemy101's 2013-2014 AutocrossThread

Postby blasphemy101 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:24 am

Suncoast BMWCCA - October 2013

I was hoping this event would be a return to form for the Suncoast chapter. In many ways it was, but again I felt the eschewed safety in an attempt to keep cars moving through the course. At times, there were 3 cars on course. In some cases, it was fine, but there seemed to be very little attention paid to the difference in speeds among the cars on course at any given time. Repeatedly, some drivers were almost able to catch up to others on-course.

The course was laid out nicely, and I had some solid competition from a handful of other S2000s in my class. I posted here before the event, asking about the significant shoulder wear on my Star Specs. Because of my uncertainty regarding their condition, I opted to run the event on my street tires, which put me in a tougher spot than usual with other cars in my class running Dunlop ZIIs and Hankook RS3s.

I had an epic back-and-forth battle with a friend in his S2000, but I was able to dig deep and pull an extra second out in my last two runs. Unfortunately, it was only good for second in the class, and I was ~.6 seconds behind a very strong driver in another S2000 (on ZIIs). I'd like to think I would have given him a serious run, if I had driven on my Star Specs.

This is one of my faster runs. The initial 1st-2nd gear shift kept forcing me to be late on my turn into the first slalom.


And here are some clips of my friend in his GTI...

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Re: Blasphemy101's 2013-2014 AutocrossThread

Postby blasphemy101 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:39 am

This isn't totally autocross-related, but it does have to do with motorsports - I took the E30 drag racing!

http://flic.kr/p/hPUBWk

I went to a local German car show called FixxFest. Lots of VW/Audis on bags. Hellaflush. Camber. That sort of thing.

I only managed to get 3 passes in - my best was a 14.1 sec at 102.7 MPH running 5-6 PSI. With a solid launch (I was taking off at 2500-3000 rpm), I'm sure 13s are there. I still feel that road racing or even autocross takes more skill, but I had way more fun than I expected. Winning a flat-out drag race by less than .1 sec is an awesome feeling. I can't wait to try it again.

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