Tadpole Jumping to Froggy at AutoX, by Eric: Part 2

Continuing from Eric’s previous post, here in Part 2 of his ongoing Froggy exploits, we are introduced to a variation of  HPDE (high performance driver education) at Harris Hill Road (H2R).  As Eric describes, there is more than autocrossing that you can do with your daily driver or weekend racer.  As a bonus, this is all less than an hour from San Antonio, Texas!

Taking a break from autocross, new SASCA president Chris, who’s also a member of Harris Hill Road, organized an impromptu track day on doomsday, 12/21/12.  Because I want to save my A6s for autocross, I ran the Mustang on the OEM Pirelli P Zeros.  Surprisingly, I didn’t hate them, and a video from one of my sessions is below.  They did start getting greasy towards the end, hence I backed off once I caught Chris’ Miata, since we were already five laps in at the beginning of the video.

Jay also debuted my former E36 track day car, and since he’d never driven H2R before, I was in the driver’s seat of “LittleE’s” first ever track laps showing him the line.  The car ran great until the right front corner light popped out!  Nothing that some painter’s tape couldn’t fix though.

Between the two of us, we also got some on-track shots:

Eric's former E36 track day car

Eric's Mustang exiting the H2R Mustang turn

Chris' Miata going into the H2R front straight

Eric & his Mustang setting up for a H2R hairpin turn

And in true apocalyptic fashion, my odometer hit 666 miles!

Apocalyptic odometer hits 666 miles

Which brings us to the first SASCA event of 2013.  Despite the fact we close registration at 9:30, there were so many people in line we didn’t finish processing everyone until 9:45, when we ended up with 132 registered drivers.  You could tell it was a big event by the size of the driver’s meeting.

SASCA crowded drivers meeting

First time course designer Jason set up a fast layout, and since Jay is to co-drive my car at the SCCA Championship Tour in College Station next month, we decided to put him in the car to make sure he was comfortable.  Once again, F-stock was in the course cleanup first heat.  Jay improved every run until his fourth, a 33.11.  Unfortunately, I forgot to hit record before that run, so here’s his third, a 33.31 +2.

Meanwhile, I started with a 33.45 and would have my best clean time on the second run, a 32.94.  Again, I forgot to hit record before my second run, so here’s my fifth, a slightly faster, but dirty, 32.84 +1.

As an experiment, I tried running ¼ tank of gas at this event, having run previous events at ½.  This proved to make the car a little on the loose side, and having two drivers in the car with little downtime between runs made her looser still.  Adjusting rear tire pressures lower helped, but despite spraying with water, the tires would still get greasy towards the end of the run, as you can see when I come out of the bus stop in the above video.  The fact that I had to stop for a corner worker on course and took a rerun without any downtime didn’t help either.

Eric poised to start an autocross run... wonder if that's the Stig

In any case, with the new SASCA mandate of not showing double driver results in the final event listings, I finished 14th in raw time and seventh in pax, with Jay 17th in raw and 11th in pax, a pretty good outing for his first time in the car.  This time, both Nathan and Camaro driver Mike captured some external shots.  Check out the dust trail from Froggy’s right front wheel in the pic below!

Note the dust trail from Froggy’s right front wheel...

In the meantime, a lot of newcomers have been showing up with various iterations of the new 5.0 Mustang, including the Boss.  Some people would be very surprised by how good these latest S197s are.

Boss 302 Mustang in school bus yellow

Pair of Mustangs - a dark grey 5.0 & a white Boss 302

Another Mustang, a black 5.0, ready to autocross

And some not so new-comers, as the 2012 GT below is owned by Brian, a Nationals trophy winner in ESP.  This car is gonna be quick once he gets his new Hoosiers mounted!

Brian's 2012 GT, a Nationals trophy winner in ESP

We have a few more local events before Froggy makes her SCCA debut.  By then, the Koni sport shocks I ordered from Matthew at WLTS Auto Sports should be installed, and lighter Forgestar wheels will replace the 31lb Ford Racing bricks currently wearing the Hoosiers.  With the positive results we’ve had so far, I’m really looking forward to this coming season!

Eric's Froggy anticipating further upgrades for autocross improvement

We at Racing Ready continue to enjoy sharing Eric’s refreshing point of view of his autocross exploits.  He also gave us a peak into the world of amateur HPDE (high performance driving eduction) with his visit to Harris Hill Road.

This coming summer I look forward to fixing Karlino‘s catalytic converter issue & getting back into some autocross action – it has been more than 1 year.  I am more than overdue!

Dan