Here’s just a little bit about the second car brought by the one of the members of the Harris Hill Road (H2R) crew. It had been at least a year since Eric Beverding, Operations Manager at Harris Hill Road, had autocrossed.
He brought along his dark grey 2008 Mazda MX-5 (Miata) with only 3k miles on it. I did a ride-along with him on the SPOKES 2009 Autocross #5 course. It was the first time I had experienced the NC Miata chassis. It was very tight, quiet & controlled, & even a little roomier.
Eric had a great time, followed by the H2R After Hours party…
All had a good time, as well as numerous lead & follow hot laps.
Racing Ready is hot on good laps, too
I’ve written many posts here about Harris Hill Road (H2R) in conjunction with their road course track & related events. At the SPOKES 2009 Autocross #5, Bo Rivers & his crew came to autocross with 2 very different cars.
The first car is a fun little car I consider as a sort of the automotive equivalent of a mascot of H2R, the 1974 Autobianchi A112 Abarth.
This fun little car is always the center of attention, wherever it goes. There was no exception of this at the SPOKES Autocross #5 event. This Italian thoroughbred is all stock & very clean.
The only slight modification was cutting the front coil springs a bit to lower it. Also, Bo described for me their solution to control the rear suspension travel. They were not able to source a rear anti-sway bar that would work with the transverse-mounted single rear leaf spring. Bo came up with the idea of a rear anti-sway strap, the $5.00 solution to cure the roll problem. It looks just fine & works as intended.
I did a ride-along through the SPOKES SMA autocross course with Pierce. It’s a fun handling car. One secret is that you have to continually “row” through the gears to keep within the torque band (and also deal with FWD handling issues).
At the H2R track, they have an ongoing competition with the Autobianchi. Members can compete for the Autobianchi record & bragging rights. What is done is you take the car out on the course in one direction. Then after completing 1 lap, you turn around & take the car around the track in the opposite direction. The cumulative time is posted on the wall of the H2R Club House, for all the see & admire…
Racing Ready enjoys fun vintage competition cars – tomorrow will be the 2nd car…
The next SASCA autocross (June 7th, 2009) will be of the Divisional-in-a-Day style. What this means is that competitors will have the opportunity to run 2 courses in one event. Specifically, the course will be run in one direction in the morning, then re-arranged somewhat, and run in the opposite direction in the afternoon. Each competitor will have only 4 attempts at each course variation.
These types of autocross events make for some good competitive fun. In addition & as a bonus, this event will be a combination SASCA & SPOKES event. It should have a grand assortment of competitive cars & people to make for a very fulfilling day.
Here’s the morning course, running counter-clockwise – click for full image:
Here’s the afternoon course, running clockwise – again, click for full image:
Here are the autocross event details from SASCA.org:
SASCA AutoX #5 for 2009 at AT&T Center
Sunday, June 7th, 2009
SASCA’s 5th points autocross of 2009 will be on Sunday June 7th at the AT&T Center. The AT&T Center is located at #1 SBC Center, San Antonio, TX, 78219.
IMPORTANT!!! All Drivers MUST have their Proof of Insurance (POI) on file BEFORE this event. If your POI is already on file, and it hasn’t expired yet, you are good to go. See this topic for full details: www.sasca.org/forum/index.php/topic,2568.0.html
Setup starts at 7:00 AM
Registration opens at 7:30 AM
Late registration begins at 8:30 AM (additional $10)
Registration CLOSES at 9:00 AM
Novice Walkthrough at 9:00 AM
Driver’s meeting at 9:30 AM
First Car out at 10:00 AM
Register online at www.axwaresystems.com/axorm
NOTE: NO MEMBER DISCOUNTS FOR WALK UP REGISTRATION!
Overview Map to the site
Map for entering the AT&T Complex
Image of the event lot
Google hybrid map
This should be a fun event – Racing Ready will see you out there!
There were other “vintage” cars besides Cliff’s 1976 Cosworth Vega at the SPOKES 2009 Autocross #5. There was a father/son team co-competing in a modified 1968 Chevrolet Camero.
By both the looks & sounds, you could definitely tell this car was no longer stock.
Neither Paul was very forthcoming about the mechanical mods to this aggressive sounding beast. The engine was a 383 (cubic inches) fuel injected motor. Also, the front end had some coilover shocks accompanied by a 3″ drop. That more powerful than stock engine was accompanied by an open manual 5-speed transmission.
Up to date tires & wheels were a serious combination of Hoosiers mounted on Forgeline wheels.
It was good to see 2 different generations of family enjoying the unification of their ride, a good ole Chevy Camero…
Racing Ready has already been witness to the fun competition of parent/child racing rivalry:
It would be good to see more of this family sharing – as the family that races together, stays together!
Autocross events bring out all kinds of good talent. I met Jeff, an enthusiastic autocrosser, an SCCA club member (is the Houston Miata Club President) & the 2008 CS Houston SCCA Region Champion. As you can see, Jeff really believes in competition!
He brought his Titanium Grey 2004 Mazdaspeed MX-5 Miata to the SPOKES 2009 Autocross #5. He calls his car “Kiryu” & is his second Miata. He’s owned it since last July.
Jeff already had a great platform to start off with his 2004 Mazdaspeed MX-5 Miata. He simply went to the next level to continue to improve its already great performance. Here’s what he’s been able to do, to bring his car to winning form:
- Manual Boost controller (set at 10.5 pounds)
- Corksport 3.1 catback exhaust (allows turbo to spool faster & smoother, with more top end power)
- Spectre cone filter cold air intake
Running on the stock Miata wheels, utilizing a sticky set of Kuhmo MX tires, you can see how Jeff really enjoys handling his car in autocross.
The interior cockpit area is very clean & stock – actually, like the car, it’s stealthy (except for the distinctive red stitching…)!
Jeff has put together a nice website chronicling the ownership & modification upgrades of his 2 (!) Miatas. Check it out at: www.jeffgoji.org
Winning comes from not only from orchestrating quality parts to improve your car’s performance, but also from your ability to perform at your best, to take advantage of all that improved performance. Jeff already knows that. He learned the hard way by over-improving his 1991 Miata, a few years back. He actually had to bring that Miata back to near stock configuration to learn to drive & compete better. Jeff’s learning took place by participating in many local autocrosses he called practice events.
Racing Ready believes in the balanced approach to competition preparation; that is, prepare yourself (first) as well as your car.
In other words,
Improve the nut behind the wheel before you ever turn a wrench on the car…
At this past Sunday’s SPOKES 2009 Autocross #5, there was a classic hot car from the 70’s – a 1976 Chevy Cosworth Vega. Cliff, the owner, said he’s had this car new since he has in college. Now that’s true car ownership dedication!
My brother had a standard issue Vega that he took cross-country, back in 1984. It was an adequate, well-rusted (from the Northeast US) although unexciting little car form the 70’s. But Cliff’s car model added excitement to the compact Chevrolet line at the time.
Cliff has done very few modifications in the car’s lifetime – it’s relatively stock. The 4 cylinder engine is 122 cubic inches, AKA, 2 liters. Most changes were to improve an issue that declining performance necessitated. Here’s what few items are no longer stock or updated:
- Dual Weber Carbs kit (instead of fuel injection) with 45mm venturis
- A milled head
- MSD ignition module
- A more supportive, up-to-date driver’s seat
I never did find out how many miles have been clocked by Cliff. It’s in relatively good original condition for its age. These original wheels still look good & functional (tire size is 205/60 R13’s – much more aggressive rubber than existed in 1976!).
Cliff had a great time autocrossing his 33 year old ride – it’ll be good to see him back at future autocross events…
Racing Ready wonders how different life would be today with the possession of a car like this sweet little Vega, during college days. Hmmm…hindsight is SO 20-20!
Yesterday, the fifth SPOKES autocross of the year took place at the San Marcos Municipal Airport (SMA). It was noteworthy! There were 138 entries – they ran 4 heats with 5 runs in each heat. There were also 25 novices. To top it off, there was a “web reporter” from the Austin-American Statesman newspaper. And sadly, this was the last SMA -based event, for now.
It had been some time since I’d attended an autocross. It was good to talk to familiar faces & see familiar competitive vehicles & note some changes since the last time. I was able to visit with a number of the novices & document info & pictures of their rides for upcoming blog posts.
Here’s what Rick, SPOKES club president wrote about yesterday’s events – I can’t put it any better:
Wow. All I can say is wow. What a perfect “last” event at San Marcos Airport. Where should I start? How about the absolutely perfect mid-70 degree autocross weather? Or the 138 entries? Or the great course set out by Dan and Dani? Or the excellent burgers that were consumed all day (all 150 of them!) Or the awesome hospitality shown by the Harris Hill Road crew after the event. I can honestly say this was the best single-day Spokes event that I’ve ever been a part of!
Thanks out to Dan and Dani (and helpers) for hustling on the course in the morning, thanks to our BOD for flawless execution, thanks out to those that were up for the challenge of learning the computer at a very important event, thanks to the cleanup crew for staying late and going the extra mile for the airport by sweeping up rocks and debris after the event, and extra thanks to Eric, Bo, Cameron, and everyone out at H2R for putting on a great after-party, that was one for the record books. Good competition, good friends, good food…this is what Spokes is all about!
For those that are interested, here are the event results, online:
Racing Ready is humbled to be a part of such great autocross camaraderie!