Upcoming Divisional Style SASCA Autocross #5

The next SASCA autocross (June 7th, 2009) will be of the Divisional-in-a-Day style.  What this means is that competitors will have the opportunity to run 2 courses in one event.  Specifically, the course will be run in one direction in the morning, then re-arranged somewhat, and run in the opposite direction in the afternoon.  Each competitor will have only 4 attempts at each course variation.

These types of autocross events make for some good competitive fun.  In addition & as a bonus, this event will be a combination SASCA & SPOKES event.  It should have a grand assortment of competitive cars & people to make for a very fulfilling day.

Here’s the morning course, running counter-clockwise – click for full image:

Here’s the afternoon course, running clockwise – again, click for full image:

Here are the autocross event details from SASCA.org:

SASCA AutoX #5 for 2009 at AT&T Center
Sunday, June 7th, 2009

SASCA’s 5th points autocross of 2009 will be on Sunday June 7th at the AT&T Center. The AT&T Center is located at #1 SBC Center, San Antonio, TX, 78219.

IMPORTANT!!! All Drivers MUST have their Proof of Insurance (POI) on file BEFORE this event. If your POI is already on file, and it hasn’t expired yet, you are good to go. See this topic for full details: www.sasca.org/forum/index.php/topic,2568.0.html

Setup starts at 7:00 AM
Registration opens at 7:30 AM
Late registration begins at 8:30 AM (additional $10)
Registration CLOSES at 9:00 AM
Novice Walkthrough at 9:00 AM
Driver’s meeting at 9:30 AM
First Car out at 10:00 AM

Register online at www.axwaresystems.com/axorm
NOTE: NO MEMBER DISCOUNTS FOR WALK UP REGISTRATION!

Overview Map to the site

Map for entering the AT&T Complex

Image of the event lot

Google hybrid map

This should be a fun event – Racing Ready will see you out there!

Dan

Father/Son Vintage Camero In Autocross

There were other “vintage” cars besides Cliff’s 1976 Cosworth Vega at the SPOKES 2009 Autocross #5.  There was a father/son team co-competing in a modified 1968 Chevrolet Camero.

By both the looks & sounds, you could definitely tell this car was no longer stock.

Neither Paul was very forthcoming about the mechanical mods to this aggressive sounding beast.  The engine was a 383 (cubic inches) fuel injected motor.  Also, the front end had some coilover shocks accompanied by a 3″ drop.  That more powerful than stock engine was accompanied by an open manual 5-speed transmission.

Up to date tires & wheels were a serious combination of Hoosiers mounted on Forgeline wheels.

It was good to see 2 different generations of family enjoying the unification of their ride, a good ole Chevy Camero…

Racing Ready has already been witness to the fun competition of parent/child racing rivalry:

It would be good to see more of this family sharing – as the family that races together, stays together!

Dan

Fun Corvette Takes Hot Laps at H2R – Part 2

There was another enthusiastically driven Corvette at the SEA Track Attack at Harris Hill Road.  Bob’s been an active participant this past year that I’ve been documenting regional amateur racing.  Bob has brought his head turning Lister Replica Racer to many past autocross & HPDE (high performance driver education) events.

At this event Bob did not disappoint, bringing his 1999 FRC (Fixed Roof Coupe) Corvette C5.  There is an interesting tie-in from yesterday’s featured Corvette – Bob’s Corvette was previously owned by Jeff.  It was interesting to see them compare notes.

Unlike Jeff’s Corvette, which is relatively stock, Bob’s car has a number of significant modifications & upgrades, some completed by Bob & some by Kevin.  Here’s what’s noticeably different from stock:

  • MTI Racing Stage 1 Engine Upgrade – to allow better/freer breathing & improved throttle response (This car was dyno’d at 420HP, measured at the wheels!  Jeff did this when he was this car’s owner.)

  • the suspension has been completely changed out with that of a Z06 Corvette (Bob completed this over the past winter off season)

One of the “highlights” of this event was a mid afternoon heavy rain & lightening storm.  Bob did just fine in the morning, but was not happy to venture out on the track while it was still drying.  Due to the design of the H2R track, by Bo Rivers, the track was pretty much dry within an hour.  Dedicated Hoosier racing slick tires made the damp running laps an adventure Bob did not want to participate in.  He was able to venture back out on the dry, but green, track later and had more fun.

Bob really enjoys responding to his “racing Jones” on weekends.  It’s great that he is also able to balance this fun activity with his time with family & career.  Also, believe it or not, Bob has been able to get 32MPG on the highway – sounds like you can have your cake & eat it, too!

Racing Ready is dedicated to following & documenting those responding to their racing urges.

Dan

Fun Corvette Takes Hot Laps at H2R – Part 1

Jeff is a tried & true Corvette enthusiast.  I met him & his car at the SEA Track Attack event at H2R.  I was introduced to him by fellow SASCA member, Bob, the Lister Replica owner I’ve written up here.  That red Corvette that Bob was campaigning on this day was originally owned by Jeff.

Bob so missed the power of the car that he sold to Bob, that he later purchased this 2004 C5 model Corvette that he brought with him to run hot laps at H2R.

Kevin has only upgraded a few items on his Corvette:

  • the shifter
  • higher performance aftermarket brake rotors & pads
  • but the engine & the remaining drivetrain are stock

This car is part of limited edition run, #572 out of 2025 built.  The series is – Commemorative 24 Heures Du Mans 2 GTS Wins.

Jeff enjoyed his morning laps.  Since he had Goodyear Eagle F1 tires, the wet laps were actually challenging fun, as well.

Jeff appreciates the availability of the Harris Hill Road track & its high caliber, smooth surface.

Racing Ready is there to capture your racing moments.

Dan

Highly Regarded Vintage Racer(s) at H2R

Awesome vintage cars show up at the darnedest places.  At the April 2009 The Drivers Edge event at Harris Hill Road, I saw a RHD (right hand drive) 1964 Ford GT40 Prototype.  The owner said he wasn’t quite sure if the year was correct.

Here’s the serial number for those curious & knowledgeable to research & check out.

The owner was busy & not talkative, so I just took pictures.  Therefore, I have no story at all on this beautiful racing relic of the past…sorry.  But, I just couldn’t keep these pictures of this treasure to myself.

The owner said that this classic racer was a handful to drive, compared to modern racers, but 3 times as fun. 🙂

Also of note at Harris Hill Road is vintage of another sort – the rolling chassis/body of H2R’s 24 Hours of LeMons Bo River’s Special.  This “prepared” Toyota Corolla is for sale & posted on Craig’s List.  No, the motor is not for sale as it was the best part of that rolling racebed of technology.  That motor is being preserved for some other project, I think…

There is never a question of racing equipment variety at Harris Hill Road.

Racing Ready is always on the lookout for it!

Dan

Regional Champion Enjoys SPOKES Autocross

Autocross events bring out all kinds of good talent.  I met Jeff, an enthusiastic autocrosser, an SCCA club member (is the Houston Miata Club President) & the 2008 CS Houston SCCA Region Champion.  As you can see, Jeff really believes in competition!

He brought his Titanium Grey 2004 Mazdaspeed MX-5 Miata to the SPOKES 2009 Autocross #5.  He calls his car “Kiryu” & is his second Miata.  He’s owned it since last July.

Jeff already had a great platform to start off with his 2004 Mazdaspeed MX-5 Miata.  He simply went to the next level to continue to improve its already great performance.  Here’s what he’s been able to do, to bring his car to winning form:

  • Manual Boost controller (set at 10.5 pounds)
  • Corksport 3.1 catback exhaust (allows turbo to spool faster & smoother, with more top end power)
  • Spectre cone filter cold air intake

Running on the stock Miata wheels, utilizing a sticky set of Kuhmo MX tires, you can see how Jeff really enjoys handling his car in autocross.

The interior cockpit area is very clean & stock – actually, like the car, it’s stealthy (except for the distinctive red stitching…)!

Jeff has put together a nice website chronicling the ownership & modification upgrades of his 2 (!) Miatas. Check it out at: www.jeffgoji.org

Winning comes from not only from orchestrating quality parts to improve your car’s performance, but also from your ability to perform at your best, to take advantage of all that improved performance.  Jeff already knows that.  He learned the hard way by over-improving his 1991 Miata, a few years back.  He actually had to bring that Miata back to near stock configuration to learn to drive & compete better.  Jeff’s learning took place by participating in many local autocrosses he called practice events.

Racing Ready believes in the balanced approach to competition preparation; that is, prepare yourself (first) as well as your car.

In other words,

Improve the nut behind the wheel before you ever turn a wrench on the car…

Dan

Our Military At Risk, At Home On Our Roads!

On this Memorial Day, we remember our military who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.  Sadly, military troops who have recently returned home from overseas deployment have the highest mortality rate in car & motorcycle-related incidents.

The VA & Richard Petty are doing an awareness campaign to to help save lives.

Veterans Affairs Secretary James B. Peake teamed up with the Defense and Transportation departments and NASCAR legend Richard Petty to announce the creation of the “Home Safe, Drive Safe, Stay Safe” initiative, which he told reporters is designed with one objective: to save the lives of veterans on the highways.

“We’ve all come together to address something that is a recurring problem,” Peake said. “Young men and women in our armed forces return home safely from combat operations, yet they face a life-threatening risk at home on our highways.”

VA and Transportation Department research on Vietnam and Gulf War veterans shows the risk of death from a motor-vehicle accident was much higher during the first five years after redeployment, regardless of gender. For present-day Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, the risk is 75 percent greater than the general U.S. population, Peake said.

Regardless of the conflict, gender or age, “there’s an elevated risk to our returning heroes of dying on our roadways from traffic accidents,” he added.

“Today, nearly 2 million men and women have served in combat zones since 2003, and there are more that will serve in the current conflicts,” Peake said. “And as important, future generations will undoubtedly be called upon to serve the cause of freedom abroad, and we must do our part now to ensure that they will drive safe and stay safe when they return home.”

They published this informative brochure at www.safedriving.va.gov.

Another article stated some possible reasons.  Without the restricted stress of combat theater discipline, the soldiers feels free to enjoy stateside freedom.  That, in combination with special duty pay, fuels the desire & ability to purchase high performance cars & motorcycles.  This results in a deadly formula of mortality.

The Racing Ready Solution – AUTOCROSS !

In addition to the “Home Safe, Drive Safe, Stay Safe” initiative, I have a simple, fun & inexpensive solution – participate in autocrossing! An autocross is a safe, controlled, at times high speed, challenging driving environment.  It takes place on a large enclosed parking lot, with a course defined by orange traffic cones.  The car’s times are accurately measured by computer controlled timing lights & software.  It is lots of fun & very competitive! Here, in South/Central Texas there are 2 very active autocross clubs:

  • SASCA (San Antonio Sports Car Association), based in San Antonio, Texas

  • SPOKES (Texas Spokes Sports Car Club), based in Austin, Texas

The next 2 autocross events will be co-events between the 2 clubs.  They will take place in in San Antonio, on Sunday, June 7 & Sunday June 28th, 2009.  The event’s location is at the AT&T Center, just 1 mile south of Fort Sam Houston.  Go here for all the details, map, registration, etc.

You may want to come by the first one to observe & ask questions.  All sorts of people & cars participate – you’ll be sure to find something of interest!  Besides being fun, autocrossing helps you to learn car control at handling extremes not normally found on the street.

Racing Ready knows that autocross helps us all with our daily driving stress.  If it can also save a life, we would be SO thankful!

Dan