Autocross Competition Heating Up

Guest blogger Eric provided Racing Ready with this in-depth report of the most recent SPOKES/SASCA autocross on June 27, 2010:

This past week, I attended the SASCA/Spokes co-event at the San Antonio Raceway.  Despite the promise of hot and humid weather, 130 drivers registered for the event, as you can tell by the crowd at the driver’s meeting.

Joint SPOKES-SASCA autocross drivers meeting, June 2010

Since I worked the registration desk and Super Stock ran last, I had time to check out the course at speed in several different cars, including Chris’ STR class S2000 (the blue one half cut off in the picture below) and Nam’s new-to-him MR2.  Unfortunately, the wheels Nam got for his slicks required longer wheel studs, which he didn’t know about until the day of the event, but even saddled with street tires the car was quick and fun.

Eric's Sunshine 'Vette next to Chris’ blue STR class S2000

After a quick lunch at Subway with Wei and several other members of Spokes, it was our turn to run.  Jay, always good competition with his black Z06, is going to be MIA for the next several months, leaving Ray with his silver Lotus Elise (pictured in the background below) and me to fly the Super Stock banner in SASCA.  As a surprise, Lance, a national level driver who was taking some time off competing, showed up as well.

Eric's Sunshine 'Vette with Ray's his silver Lotus Elise behind...

Wei, being the good co-driver, got the tire warming first pass, but one thing was apparent – my car felt very loose.  I hoped it was just cold tires and I was able to hang on, until reaching the long, mid-speed sweeper in the middle of the course.  I attacked it like normal, and the car gripped – for about a second- before the rear swung around.  Scariest thing was, I didn’t feel a thing.  The right rear might as well have gone flat.  I tried braking earlier the next run with no trailbraking, and the result was a hard 270 degree spin that smacked the side of my helmet against the pillar.  Meanwhile, codriver Wei was being his usual self, hitting as many as four cones in a single run!  Adding to the frustration was a temperature in the mid-90s, with high humidity.  One unfortunate soul passed out and had to be taken from the site in an ambulance.  As you can tell by this pic I stole from Jerry, it gets hot in the car with a helmet on – make sure and stay hydrated!!!

ettin' hot in your helmet, waiting on grid to autocross at the San Antonio Raceway lot course!

I decided to dial back my rear shocks two clicks, managing to touch my face to a hot muffler in the process.   (Having to explain to my wife that the burn mark was not a punch mark was not the high point of my evening…)  I also lowered the rear tire pressure two psi, and bled out one pound less than normal from the fronts.  The changes helped Wei, who ran a clean 45.9, while I could only manage a 46.6 dirty.  With Lance in the high-43s in his Z06, we were a slight bit less than competitive, and to add to the disappointment, I went from eighth in PAX my last two events in a row, to 57th.  The only difference between last month and this month was a full tank of gas.  I was planning on driving the car more, and didn’t.  Could all that weight sloshing around in the back have made that much difference?  We’ll see next month.

Eric's Corvette, Sunshine, awaiting further autocross competition action...

Moral of the story is, don’t overdrive!  Wei at least managed a string of 46-ish second runs before finally making it down to the 45s, while I ended up fighting the car, losing a whole lot of time in the process.  Anyway, thanks to Dan for allowing me to blog about my experiences.  I look forward to his return next month.

A great group of autocross competitors, willing to spend the day in the heat to compete!

Again, another quality guest blogger post from Eric, as he chronicles his autocross exploits with his Corvette, Sunshine.  Racing Ready can’t wait to get back into the autocross action personally with Karlino again, soon.


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6 thoughts on “Autocross Competition Heating Up”

  1. Heh. that was me in the car with the helmet.
    it was cooking in there. truly painful.

    I damn near passed out there too.
    had to sit down under the shade for abit, cool off, and go home early.

  2. Buna ziua!Sunt interesata de ptapicirarea la unul din workshop-urile oferite.Va rog sa imi transmiteti detalii cu privire la perioada in care este posibil un astfel de workhop si ce implicatii presupune din punct de vedere logistic si resurse finanicare.De asemenea, reprezint o organizatie axat pe mediu si as fi interesata de posibile colaborari care sa duca intr un final la realizarea unei comunitati verde, cu putere de autosustinere din resurse naturale.Va multumesc pentru timpul acordat!La cat mai multe proiecte reusite si placute!

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