Eye-Opening AutoX Switch to Corvette Torque!

At the last SASCA autocross, I had asked Eric, my Contributing Blogger Extraordinaire, if I could co-drive his 2001 Z06 Corvette, Sunshine.  He agreed!  He had already modified his car’s suspension settings to be relatively neutral in the handling department, & with worn, but still adequately usable Hoosier slicks.

Here’s what he said on FB the week prior:

I’ve ridden with you before and you seem to have decent throttle control, and the Hoosiers I’m running now are getting up there in age, so sure, why not? Register as number 24, and I’ll take Subway for lunch, LOL!

I was seriously concerned about spinning Eric’s ‘Vette.  This is a big serious step up from my autocrosser & daily driver, a 1999 Miata, Karlino. The Hoosier slicks racing compound rubber seemed to have at least 3 times as much contact surface as my street tires, that is, WAY more grip.  Even more, I was very blown away with the car’s power & TORQUE !!!

Eric carving an off camber corner, at the Blossom Athletic Center parking lot

Eric actually said I did pretty good, since I had never driven a Corvette with Hoosier slicks.  Talk about point & stick!  I will have to admit that I was overwhelmed – I didn’t know what to do with all that power & adhesion.  End result, I was 2 seconds slower than Eric’s best time, 48.3 vs. 48.6.

SASCA Event #7, 07-10-2011 - Summary Results

Here’s what Eric posted on the SASCA 2011 Event #7 Facebook page, afterwords:

Fun autox too, and kudos to Dan Scanlon for doing a good job driving my car for the first time ever.

Later, Eric provided me with this blog follow up:

This past week, I participated in SASCA’s July autocross event at Blossom with special guest co-driver, Dan of Racing Ready!  The one thing I remember most about the event was the heat, and I was exhausted before we even had the opportunity to run.

Dan, besides being our host here, was also coursemaster, coming up with a fun to drive, flowing layout that featured both high speed and tight elements.  It seemed like it would be a good matchup between us on middle-aged Hoosiers, and Ray and Robert in Ray’s grey Lotus Elise on fresh R888s.

I’ll let Dan fill in the details, but indeed it was close, with half a second separating Robert in the Elise and me.  It’s painful knowing there was more time in the car, as I kept making stupid mistakes on various different parts of the course, but at least I can blame the heat in addition to myself!  Double driving in these conditions, while fun, took its toll, and my two gallon sprayer was emptied by our third runs.  Many thanks to the Subie driver that allowed us the gracious use of his.

After the event, Dan, a rookie to both Corvettes and Hoosiers, made an interesting comment, about not being quite sure what to do with the car’s performance potential.  Guess I must either take it for granted or be used to it, having started autocrossing on slower than stock old runflats and making gradual changes to the car until now.  My next change, which I hope to have in place before the next SASCA event a week before Nationals, will be tire brand.  We’ll see how that goes.

It was a super hot day, but it was worth it.  For some reason I found myself out of breath after each run.  I’m not sure if it was my adrenalin pumping, or that I forgot to breathe – I guess I was trying so very hard to concentrate.  After 6 runs I will say I was very finished for the day!

Eric's 2001 Z06 Corvette autocross chariot, Sunshine!

Racing Ready is always looking for new racing opportunities to learn…

Dan

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