Once again, Eric (contributing Blogger Extraordinaire) came through with flying colors. He provides us with pictures, video & a great, on the spot description of this SCCA Divisional event, along with all the trials he had to endure. He covered for me while Racing Ready was pursuing future Formula 1 business in Austin…
This past weekend, I participated in the SCCA Southwest Divisional event #2 at Retama Park. After my experience at the National Tour, I decided it was time to make the car as competitive as possible and brought Sunshine, my 2001 Z06, down to 911 Motors.
Federico (owner of the SSM Boxster previously pictured here at Racing Ready) and crew put my car on their lift, and scales, before aligning it the old school method with camber plates and strings. And while the car wasn’t horrible before, after some tweaking of the Corvette’s built-in weight jacking screws they managed to get the cross weight at 50.1. Negative camber was also maxed out at -2.25 degrees front and -1.5 degrees rear, with zero toe up front and +2mm toe out back.
At the same time, I decided to try a larger front sway bar from the C6 ZR1. This proved to be too much, as the car pushed quite a bit during SASCA event #5. However, it was much easier to drive and my runs were very consistent, as I had four runs within a couple tenths of each other. It would’ve been five, if it wasn’t for a spin to not win during run four that sent me backwards through the finish lights.
Determined to tighten up my line and with the stock front sway bar back in place, I made a few practice runs on Friday afternoon. That evening, I managed to snap a shot of yellow Corvette row, which included Hubert’s A-Stock C5, and my E46 as sweep car.
Most of us at SASCA were a little disappointed by the turnout, with 83 cars taking to the course. As you can see from the pics below, the pits were far from full and there was no big crowd at the driver’s meeting.
It was reflected in the unusually small Super Stock field, with just Troy in his beautiful Porsche 911 GT3 and me competing.
At last, after doing my duties as “Co-Chief of Registration and anything else that needed doing,” it was our turn to run. The car was solid and easy to drive, and it felt better with the smaller sway bar in place. However, she was still a little pushy, and a sloppy line left me 1.2 seconds behind Troy after day 1. Day 2 was worse, as evident in the video of my best run below, and this is a good example of how what you think you’re driving may not be what you’re actually driving.
I never knew that I was that far off the cones at :17, and I didn’t realize I’d left so much empty track from :27-:31. There was a little speed left around the finish corner as well, and the results of this painful to watch run was falling behind yet another 1.2 seconds. Boy am I glad I had the video to realize all this!
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All in all, it was a great event that showed me just how much further I have to go. Troy was great to run against and a nice guy to talk to between runs. Though I’m starting to wonder if we’re missing out in San Antonio, because while the grip available at Retama is much higher than what’s available from Blossom’s resealed asphalt, the Super Stock winner complained to me about the relative lack of grip at Retama. Though the dust, as evidenced in the picture I stole from Jerry, may have had something to do with it.
Well, not much left to do now but try to improve as much as I can before Jay, Sunshine and I make the trek to Lincoln, NE, and the SCCA Solo National Championships!
As usual, Racing Ready gives sincere kudos to Eric’s submission here – they are always welcome! I trust his future initiative continues.
Federico, 911 Motors shop owner, is an Independent AMSOIL Dealer. This is Federico’s AMSOIL lubricated, highly focused & modified Porsche Boxter!
Of interest, I had no idea the average Porsche boxer engine takes anywhere from 12 to 16 quarts of oil – WOW!