Autocrossing – the Basics to Get You Started

Autocrossing Basics to Get You Started, by John Kuykendall

John Kuykendall, of the Blue Ridge Miata Club, has put together a detailed & well-written reference article regarding all that you would want to know about getting started in autocross (to access, click the link above).  This article works, regardless of whether you own & drive a Miata, or some other car (even your daily driver).

Blue Ridge Miata Club logo

I am listing the article sections to appreciate that this IS a good read:

  • What is Autocross?
  • How Do I Get Started?
  • What Do I Need?
  • What Will Autocrossing Do to My Miata?
  • How Do I Prepare My Car?
  • What Can I Expect at My First Autocross Event?
  • How Do I Get Better?
  • What Other Types of Competition Are There for a Miata?
  • What Else Do I Need to Know?

John also includes a comprehensive list of references (but some may be out of date) & a good bibliography.

I’d suggest you print this out to review & study, & then review again later.  There is a bit of reading involved, but none of it is fluff.  There is very good content here to get started in (or back into, like me, blush) autocrossing.  Very well worth the read & highly recommended by Racing Ready !

Dan

BEGi Dyno Event – Small Cars & Big HP!

Over a month ago I was invited to participate in the 3rd Annual BEGi Dyno Day event.  I attended as a Miata owner & AMSOIL vendor.  Arriving early, I was able to check out the environs of Terry McCauley’s Toyota Corolla Lease business.

     Karlino early at Lone Star Dyno

Over the last couple of years, Terry’s business has grown a solid reputation.  He works with other shops nearby, besides BEGi & has other ideas to continue to grow.  Here’s Terry’s business card – please contact him for your dynamometer needs.

Lone Star Dyno, Terry McCauley's business card

Lone Star Dyno interior before the BEGi event

I arrived early to coordinate with Stephanie Turner of BEGi™ (Bell Engineering Group, Inc.)  I set up my AMSOIL vendor table & started to visit with people.  My participation in this event was two-fold:

  • to inform & educate Miata owners of the benefits & savings available by using AMSOIL synthetic oil lubrication
  • to provide AMSOIL products for sale, some at a good discount

AMSOIL display at Lone Star Dyno during BEGi Dyno Day

Before 9am, many Miatas, and some other Mazdas started showing up.

Lone Star Dyno front panorama

Grouping of Miatas at BEGi event with Lone Star Dyno

Besides talking about & selling AMSOIL products, I was able to interest many in the CG-Lock device.  This helpful item quickly makes your seatbelt “racing harness tight”.  I also explained the $5.00 discount you get when visiting Racing Ready.  To get the discount, use the code  ‘racingready‘ in the CG-Lock shopping cart.

CG-Lock Simplicity making your seatbelt 'racing harness tight'

Many owners drive their Miatas only a few thousand miles annually.  Some drive to race on weekend track events.  Others enjoy their cars on organized fun runs through the Hill Country.  Only a few Miata owner use them as their daily driver, like me & Karlino (my 1999 NB model).   Most of these less than 5 to over 20 year old Miatas are very well cared for, as well as slightly to highly modified.  To my surprise, some of these 1.8 liter vehicles dyno’d upwards of 300 horsepower!  Well, I shouldn’t have been that surprised.  Many of these owners are regular BEGi customers!  🙂

Stephanie Turner (of BEGi) & Terry McCauley working with 'CHOUKI' on the Lone Star Dyno

Terry McCauley of Lone Star Dyno, controling the Miata named CHOUKI

Lone Star Dyno, their Dyno Jet public display

AMSOIL display with dyno session in progress at Lone Star Dyno with BEGi

Later a HUGE Dodge Ram 4×4 showed up & dyno’d over 800 HP at the wheels.  See what a powerful diesel’s exhaust looks like when running on a dyno!

Big RAM 4x4 truck on the dyno - it just fits!

Phew!

Dodge RAM 4x4 pre & post acceleraton!

Traveling to these AMSOIL vendor events in a Miata can be a packing logistics challenge.  You know, I think I could have gotten another case or 2 of AMSOIL synthetic oil in there.  What you think?

Secrets of packing Karlino tightly - top up & down

Racing Ready had a good time being present at this BEGi Dyno Day, to represent AMSOIL.  For more information regarding AMSOIL synthetic oil lubricants for your vehicel, visit ReadyOil !

Dan

 

V8 Supercars to Coming to America at CoTA!

V8 SUPERCARS INVADE TEXAS
FOR THE AUSTIN 400

V8 Supercars Austin 400 - CoTA video promo

At long last we will be able to witness the racing hyjinx of Aussies in heated competition in their V8 Supercars.  This will take place here in the USA at the Circuit of The Americas (CoTA)!  This coming May 17 thru 19 are the dates of a different kind of racing in Texas.  Besides the unique driving style of V8 Supercars, CoTA will be debuting their shorter (2.3 mile) track configuration.  These guys will be running four (4) 100 lap sprints, 2 on Saturday, 2 on Sunday.

CoTA short track configuration - 2.3 miles for V8 Supercars

To give you an idea of the variety of seating arrangements & availability, here is a CoTA track layout image from a different perspective.

CoTA short track seating & viewing availability for V8 Supercars

CoTA recenty released this V8 Supercars series teaser video:

Last year Mark “Frosty” Winterbottom’s previous visit to CoTA, before it’s pavement completion, gave him an idea of what to look forward to this May.  Here’s a recent interview article of Mark.

Mark 'Frosty' Winterbottom giving CoTA his thumbs up!

Other changes made this year with the V8 Supercars series to make it EVEN more interesting:

This year’s iteration of what the paper awesomely calls “Australian Rules NASCAR” will be especially interesting because it’s not just a contest between Holden and Ford anymore:  now, we’ll see a Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG and what is probably the meanest, fastest car ever to wear a Nissan Altima badge running in it as well.

Now this is FUN!  Let me share last year’s Darrel Waltrip V8 Supercars experience at Bathhurst:

Waltrip’s Ride of a Lifetime!

Here’s a recently released, eye-opening video from CoTA; NASCAR and V8 Supercar champions in a historic driver swap:

Kurt Busch & James Courtney swap cars
at Circuit of The Americas

NASCAR & V8 Superscars drivers (Kurt Busch & James Courtney) swap their rides

To help you plan, here’s a tentative schedule for the V8 Supercars weekend at CoTA (click to enlarge).

V8 Supercars tentative weekend schudule at CoTA - 2013 May

This event should be the start & continuation of increased fan interest in V8 Supercars.  I know that Racing Ready likes this & will be watching.  Australian Rules NASCAR, indeed!

Dan

RUSH (Lauda VS. Hunt Formula 1 Rivalry) Movie Trailers Released!

RUSH, the Formula 1 Lauda-Hunt Story - by Ron Howard, The Poster

RUSH , Ron Howard’s soon to be acclaimed vintage Formula 1 epic has recently released 3 movie trailers.

The first & shorter one is kinda/sorta okay…

The second one is just a bit longer, but is much better edited.  It seems more authentic & more true to the gritty, historical story line (& it gives you better goose bumps!).

This will definitely be in my racing movie collection, once it is released for purchase after the September 20, 2013 premier!

RUSH, the Formula 1 Lauda-Hunt Story - by Ron Howard, another Poster

For some accurate & interesting background about the actual Niki Lauda vs. James Hunt story, here’s a British documentary account (from the Historic Clash of the Titans series).  Although it runs almost 45 minutes long, this will give you good insight about their rivalry & great background information.  It is well-sorted.  I’d suggest this as required viewing homework for Formula 1 history fans.


[If this link is down, try this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c19DqS127Ac]

Racing Ready honors those that bring the world of Formula 1 & other racing series revealed to the general public.  Thank you, Ron Howard.  We can’t wait until this coming September 20th!

Dan

P.S. – Here’s another, 3rd trailer – Rush – A Look Inside . . .

Watch this more insightful trailer, further interspersed with focused comments from Ron Howard (film director), about this extremely competitive will to win between rivals James Hunt & Niki Lauda, during the 1976 Formula 1 season!

The closer you are to death, the more alive you feel.  It’s a wonderful way to live – it’s the only way to drive.

James Hunt

The Official Car of SCCA: Mazda

Mazda Now Official Car of SCCA

Mazda, Official Car of SCCA

Many of us involved in grassroots, amateur racing have already known the commitment the Mazda brand has had for racing.  Now, the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) has made it official!  See the AutoWeek announcement below.

 

For Mazda, grassroots racing partnership seems natural

Sports Car Club of America vice president of marketing Eric Prill used to race a Lotus Seven, until Lotus stopped supporting it. Now, he races the venerable Mazda Miata — and if Mazda already seemed to be the de facto car of the SCCA, now it officially is.

At a media day in its Irvine, Calif., headquarters, Prill announced a multiyear partnership with Mazda as the official car of SCCA, an agreement that will last until 2015. What will this mean for the upcoming SCCA season? It means that a Mazda will be the pace car at SCCA events such as the National Championship Runoffs, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year at Road America. It also means that next year’s SCCA Convention and Hall of Fame Banquet will be “presented by Mazda.” And expect a lot more Mazda banners and vehicles on display.

“In the minds of many, Mazda and the SCCA were already partners,” said John Doonan, the director of motorsports for Mazda. “We love that our small organization is more popular on the racetrack than the combined efforts of many of our much larger competitors.”

According to Mazda, more of its cars are raced on a given weekend than any other brand out there, a mantra oft-repeated by Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development. The Spec Miata class is currently 2,500 cars strong, with other models competing in numerous SCCA classes. The Pro Mazda Championship replaces last year’s Star Mazda series but still uses the Renesis rotary engine. Mazda MZR engines supply the Cooper Tires US F2000 Championship, a series that sets young drivers on the path to IndyCar. Last year’s champion Matt Brabham — and grandson of, yes, that Brabham — put 15,000 racing miles on his F2000 car without any major tune-ups, said Doonan.

And lastly, Mazda has renewed its naming rights with Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca until 2016, ensuring more years of stern looks from fiery PR executives whenever a journalist slips up and debases it as merely “Laguna Seca.”

As a proud owner of Karlino, my 1999 (NB) Mazda Miata, I can attest to this car’s continued willingness to satisfy my racing itch!  Racing Ready thoroughly endorses the Mazda brand!

Dan

Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas – MotoGP Coming to Texas!

Within 10 days MotoGP, the pinnacle of international motorcycle racing, will have a new track debut at Circuit of The Americas (CoTA – the first purpose-built Formula 1 racing facility in the USA).  This will be Round 2 of the 2013 MotoGP season. The title of this event is: Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas.

Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas - promo

The MotoGP racers will run the same course as the Formula 1 racers.  Here’s the CoTA course layout:

MotoGP Track Course at Circuit of The Americas

I will admit I’m not well versed in motorcycle racing.  I’m not even a rider (but did learn to do so during college).  But seeing the “stunt” style of racing these guys do in MotoGP has convinced me to pay attention!  In addition, MotoGP is contracted with the CoTA for 10 years!  Here’s a technical lap with US MotoGP racer & Texan Colin Edwards (aka, the Texas Tornado).

Next is an intriguing video of Italian MotoGP racer Andrea Dovizioso of the Repsol Honda Team discussing key elements of racing via 1,000 frames per second video & if there is, in his opinion, such a thing as a perfect lap.  This is sure to get your blood moving!

Andrea Dovizioso: The Perfect Lap, in MotoGP

Here’s another informative perspective:

Casey Stoner breaks down the technique needed to race a MotoGP bike, including taking a high-speed corner nearly horizontal. Red Bull Moments captures athletes doing amazing feats at 1,000 frames per second.

Hold on & watch Casey Stoner describe the MotoGP experience at speed!

Lastly, we take a hot lap with MotoGP racer Blake Young getting ready for The Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas.  These are different points of view that you may not have seen before.

Racing Ready will leave 2-wheeled racing to the dedicated pros.  There’s not enough body amour or belief in alternative physics to change my mind.

Dan

Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas logo

3rd Annual BEGi Dyno Day – May 4, 2013!

Racing Ready is anticipating the 3rd Annual BEGi Dyno Day, Saturday, May 4, 2013.

BEGI Dyno Day 2013

For those of you not familiar with BEGi™ (Bell Engineering Group, Inc.), for the last 35 years they have been on the leading edge of the engineering and manufacturing of high performance products.  BEGi™ is the oldest Turbo Kit maker in the USA.  That is SO cool & they’re LOCAL!  From their line of rising rate fuel pressure regulators to their industry standard turbocharger & supercharger systems, BEGi™ can give you the performance you’re looking for with the engineering expertise you demand. They are the Miata Turbocharging and Supercharging experts!

Here’s the description of this anticipated annual event, directly from their website:

The price is $60 for 3 dyno runs. Each run will receive a print out of horsepower, torque, air fuel ratio, and boost (if applicable).  The fun starts at 9:00 am and goes until the last car has been run.  Cars go in a first come, first run basis.  While we expect mostly Miatas, all makes and models are welcome to join us.  The DynoJet Chassis Dyno is capable of 200mph and 2000hp.  And the ramps are nice and long for those cars with low ground clearance.

Lone Star Dyno doing a Miata dyno pull - 1

The dyno is located just a few miles from the BEGi office at Lone Star Dyno’s new location.  Come join us to learn all about turbo charging and tuning from Corky Bell and Stephanie Turner.  See some project cars we’ve got and previous turbo installs.  If time allows, we will tune a car for demonstration.  Complimentary lunch and drinks!

Lone Star Dyno doing a Miata dyno pull - 2

Dyno day will go on rain or shine!  Bring your own chair, we will have plenty of tables and tents.

We will have drawings for Free dyno time, T-Shirts, and Performance Parts.  Participation in dyno runs not required to enter the drawings.  We will also give out prizes for the Miata with the most horsepower (forced induction and naturally aspirated) and any car with the cleanest engine bay!

Address of the event:
Lone Star Dyno
7160 US Hwy 281 N. Suite 17
Spring Branch, Texas 78070

This should be a fun event.  Besides the entertainment of watching performance oriented cars pulling dynamometer runs, there should be some great performance related information from the Bell Engineering Group (Stephanie & Corky).

In addition, Racing Ready plans to be there with a a table display of AMSOIL products.  I’ll be there to answer your AMSOIL synthetic oil & other related lubrication questions, to offer advice & explain opportunities available to purchase AMSOIL products at wholesale pricing (about 25% off of retail).  Who knows, there may be some AMSOIL door prizes to register for, too!

We’ll see you there at the BEGi Dyno Day, on Saturday, May 4, 2013.

Dan