Tag Archives: autocross

Hot Running Mazdaspeed MX-5

Jake brought his 2004 Mazdaspeed MX-5 to the SPOKES 2009 Autocross #4.  It’s easy to understand why I use the term “hot running”.  Take a look at his car’s gearshift knob – that’s a hot water faucet handle…!

This performance version of the Miata model has only 30,350 miles!  His other car, a daily driver, is a 1992 Lexus SC 400 – also sweet!

Jake made it a special point to show & explain the installation of his Boss Frog Double Hoop Max roll bar.  These are 2 separate roll bar hoops solidly connected to the car’s floorpan & also attached at the center, between the seats – very solid!

The turbo charged engine is stock, with the addition of a Flyin’ Miata coupler Mazdaspeed kit, cold air intake, turbo back exhaust.  Jake is saving up for a special, upgraded management system he’ll be able to control from a laptop, to resolve the lean under boost situation he’s concerned about.

Jake’s car has been rated at 180HP measured at the wheel; this means that the under the hood power is probably closer to over 200HP.

Racing Ready documents these interesting modifications to share with this blog’s readership – I know you want more!

Dan

Never Quit – This Serious Competitor’s Motto

Brianne & her brother Kevin came to competitively autocross at the SPOKES 2009 Autocross #4.  Kevin came to get reacquainted with autocrossing – he’s been away from it for a couple of years.  On the other hand, anyone who knows a little bit about Brianne knows she was here to seriously compete!

Over the past year I have witnessed her in multiple venues: either in person, in Grassroots Motorsports Magazine or documented online.  Brianne has competed seriously in the 2009 Houston National Solo II Tour (see the video above – a nice run), she has autocrossed a 125cc shifter kart (see the video below)…

… and almost achieved membership in the 200MPH club.  Brianne tackled the Texas Mile on a high performance motorcycle (another video below)!

Earlier this year I witnessed Brianne autocrossing her previous white Subaru.  She had cleverly “written” her car’s class & number on the rocker panel mud overspray.

Before I knew that Brianne, Kevin & her car were at this event, I met her Dad.  Not knowing who he was, I started a general conversation with him.  As he started to proudly describe his daughter, I knew he was talking about Brianne.

At this event, Brianne was learning about the handling characteristics of her recently purchased 2005 Subaru WRX STi.  She was not at all happy with the manner in which the rear suspension maneuvered.  She even (at first) loosened, then later entirely removed her car’s rear anti-sway bar.

Brianne has no problem getting into working through a challenge.  She is a very serious competitor, but also has the time to talk with you, if you can get through to her while she is tweaking & adjusting…

From what I could tell, she’s going back to the drawing board as to what she needs to do with her Subaru, to get it to handle more cooperatively.

Racing Ready respects those individuals, like Brianne, who are serious competitors.  They drive and inspire the rest of us to try harder…

Dan

VW R32 – A Very Prepared Competitor

Upon arriving at the SPOKES 2009 Autocross #4, right away I noticed Shawn’s 2004 Volkswagen R32.  What drew my instant attention was the sound.  I heard this large bore, V8 mean muscle sound coming from the course.  As I looked across the arranged orange traffic cones, I incredulously focused on Shawn’s bright red car.  My first thought was, “Is all that powerful sound coming from that little VW hatchback?”

Later, I got to talking with Shawn about his beast of a little car…  Here’s a relatively un-detailed list of the modifications & upgrades Shawn has completed to make this a monster of a VW R32.  It pretty much looks stock under that hood – hmmm…

  • Trick cams
  • Cold air intake
  • Super Sprint headers
  • PS9 coilovers
  • 21mm rear anti-sway bar
  • EIP exhaust

  • It has been corner balanced
  • Tuned by Soul Speed
  • ECU tuning by AWE

  • All wheel drive controller
  • 17 x 8 SSR wheels with 235 tires

Also, the interior doesn’t really give away any hints.  This is a sleeper of a car until Shawn opens up the throttle!

This write up wouldn’t be complete without an on course shot of Shawn at speed…

Racing Ready wants a vehicle with this kind of head turning performance!

Dan

Nissan 350Z Racer Quest Continues

Yesterday, I started the description of Steve’s 350Z Touring edition Nissan sports car.  Little did I know he & his car were at the first event I attended & blogged about – small world.

Steve provided me plenty of information.  Let me logically present it to you here…

Steve’s racing bug bit when he started bracket racing in the 1/4 drag in Ennis, TX – at age 16.  He was on a team called Relentless Racing.  He says straight line racing is fun, but the real driver’s skill is in the curves.  I can’t agree more; I’d like to add that the curves need to go in both the left & right directions!

This has been Steve’s first full year doing autocrossing with both the SPOKES & SASCA clubs.  I’ll quote Steve some more:

My first event was a crash course to how to class your car properly. My second autocross for spokes I got first in Novice. My 3rd event I got first in Novice at SASCA. Then I won first a second time for SPOKES and another for SASCA, so I was kicked out of the Novice class for both groups.

Ludicrous Speed Racing is a team of guys that have given me valuable insights on how to drive. Ed (a newer Nissan 350Z), Wei (2000 Honda Prelude SH) , Shane (2000 Subaru 2.5RSC Impreza), and Jay (2003 Corvette Z06) are helping me through my first year. Those guys are great!

In the 2009 racing season Steven will be racing in B Stock for a company in Austin called Flocasts.  This company will be offering a website for autocrossers and car enthusiast a place to post their videos (sounds like a great future cross promotional opportunity!).  He will be traveling across America to promote grassroots motorsports and hopefully give local racers a place to gain national recognition.

Steven started at Harris Hill Road as a part-time corner worker last summer.  Once the business gained some traction, the management recognized his spirit & passion, and he was moved up to the track coordinator position.  Steven also does billing paperwork during the week.  In addition, he currently attends Texas State University in San Marcos, TX, as a management major with an entrepreneurial focus (a future business racer).

He says H2R has been a great place to work (boy, am I jealous!). Steven continues saying that Bo Rivers and Eric Beverding are the coolest bosses you could imagine to work for.  The laid back environment and positive attitudes make for a fun place to spend his days.

Autocross is where Steven plans to get his start.  Eventually he wants to move up to Pro Solo and Solo2 Nationals in the SCCA.  He also plans to compete in NASA time trials and super lap battles.  Steve finishes by saying:

After that, who knows! All I want to do is race, and race I do!

Here are some more details of Steven’s ride.  He’s added a Sparco Harness Bar that’s given him the added benefit of increasing the car’s chassis stiffness – he was both surprised & impressed.

In the “go” department he’s installed a K&N cold air intake FilterCharger, and a Cobb Tuning system.

One thing I enjoyed about Steven’s car was the throaty roar of its exhaust.  He’s put in an Invidia exhaust system.  It had the unique sound of a big angry cat, purring with a vengeance!  Very unique – it made you turn your head to see what was coming…

As to other improvements under the car, this past spring Steven went though a series of progressive modifications: D-Spec Tokico Adjustable Shocks (helps to better control the factory induced oversteer), Ground Control coilover springs & Eibach springs, upgraded swaybar, Cryo Rotors, Hawk Performance Plus brake pads & more.  Unfortunately, he warped the rear rotors at this autocross on 11/23/2008.

Steven adds:

Thanks for the site.  I appreciate the opportunity for exposure, I need all I can get (me too!).  It gives me something to do in class, and a heads up on the competition!

Racing Ready really appreciates Steven’s enthusiasm.  It would be great to partner up with him to help promote his cross-country racing experiences with Flocasts next racing season.

Dan

P.S. – Here’s the subsequest meeting information with Truong.

Nissan 350Z Owner On A Racer Quest

Steven is an upcoming racer with a plan.  I met him at the CBR PCA event at H2R back on 11/8/2008.  We talked briefly about his working at Harris Hill Road, being a student at Texas State and his autocrossing & track driving his 2003 Nissan 350Z Touring edition.

Quoting from the team website of Ludicrous Speed Racing that he’s a part of:

This is my 2003 Nissan 350z touring edition.  The touring model just means that I get all the luxury features, but no cool Brembos or STM.  This is my first year in autocross, but I plan to continue in TBS for the 09 season.  This car sees a lot of track time not only in autocross, but at Harris Hill Road and SAR.  The car handles great thanks to the Tokico D-spec 16 way adjustable shocks.  I also have a Nismo intake and Tanabe GF springs but I can’t use them just yet.  It ran a 13.6 at San Antonio Raceway.  My best lap time so far at Harris Hill clockwise is 1:38.6.  Future mods are Cobb tuning front swaybar, Tanabe exhaust and eventually some nice tires and rims.

These images were taken at Harris Hill Road in the winter & spring of this year:

I have a significant quantity of more pictures & information about Steven’s ride & his future goals in racing.  I will continue the next post with all this about Steven & more about his 350Z.  Stay tuned for more about Steven’s quest…

Racing Ready thanks you for your patience.  So tomorrow, for the rest of the story.

Dan