Autocross Takes Victims

SPOKES Autocross #8 sticker

At today’s SPOKES autocross, 2 firsts occurred for me (at least a first time in 15 years):

  • I attended an autocross from start to finish (like a competitor, from 8am to 4:30pm)
  • I actually got to drive the course once through (thanks Wei for donating me one of your runs!!!)

Here are pictures of Wei’s 2000 Honda Prelude from last week’s SASCA event.

Wei\'s 2000 Prelude at SASCA event, from the front

Wei\'s 2000 Prelude at SASCA event, from the rear

I was over 8.5 seconds slower than Wei’s best run; 66.043 vs. 57.480.  Disappointing (yeah, I sucked!), but I was WAS stepping into a car I had never driven before.  The whole point was, it was fun!

The harness is the only autocross hint

Wei’s Prelude is pretty much stock, with over 125,000 miles on it.  People comment that he always seems to be on 3 wheels around the corners.  And the driver’s seat harness sure helps.  Anyway, after that run I had plowed my way through (which would have been Wei’s fourth), I noticed some fluid leaking over his front left bumper.  I ran my finger across it – it was oil. 

Leaking oil on Prelude bumper

I asked him about it.  Wei popped his hood.  His oil cap was gone!!!  Unfortunately, that was the end of his day of competition.

Missing oil cap results

Today’s course was very challenging for most all of the competitors.  There were many cone “fatalities”.  The course was modeled after the challenging style of a Nationals event.  Lots of cones, set up in a grand variety of directions.  Many people DNF’d (did not finish) by missing a gate or going around a cone incorrectly.  I know I DNF’d & also hit at least 1 cone.  The best times ranged from the low 50 second range.  Here’s the aftermath of one of many eaten cones, as an example:

Cone extraction procedure

It wasn’t pretty and it happened many times.  But, many felt it was worth the pursuit of the “gold”…

The SPOKES trophy cluster

Racing Ready is finally working towards that goal, as well!

Dan

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