Cheers to the random photographer on Flickr

I’ve been autocrossing for some time now. I’m pretty sure this makes year seven. My fifth full season at PITL. (Probably my fith year as A class PITL champion with a little bit of luck as well)

Turns out, the Canadian Autoslalom nationals was going to be pretty close by this year. And since it isn’t in the same place every year, a lot of my fellow local racers were going out. Encouragement to go was all over. I shrugged it off for a while, but eventually came around to the idea. Took care of some maintenance on the car, booked the time off work (it is a three day race weekend after all) and headed out.

Cheers to the random photographer on Flickr

Cheers to the random photographer on Flickr

Nationals this year was hosted by the TLMC, who run their events out of the Molsen Centre in Barrie. It was a fantastic venue for autocross. Unbroken grippy asphalt that is wide open for us to play with. Some slight elevation changes keep things interesting. A small piece of new asphalt to keep things fun. Seriously! Going from weathered grippy asphalt to not so grippy new asphalt is a lot of fun. The instant change in grip is always a neat feeling. Especially when you are already at the limit of grip for the grippy stuff.

I classed myself into E stock. My car was legal for two classes;

Race in STR (Street tire class where a lot of faster/modded cars play like new Miatas and S2000s)

Race in ES (Stock class where modifications are not allowed, but race compound tires are)

Both classes have a close PAX (or handicap) factor since the ES cars can almost go as fast as the STR cars with some really sticky race only rubber. ES generally is a pretty small class, and I since didn’t see any other ES cars on race compounds and didn’t feel like getting murdered by S2000s, so I hopped into ES. Either way I wouldn’t PAX very well as I had neither the modifications, or race tires. Meaning I wasn’t fully optimized for either class. At least with ES, I had a chance at a class win.

Cheers to the random photographer on Flickr

Cheers to the random photographer on Flickr

Day 0 was test day. A day specifically for people who haven’t been to the Molsen Centre before. Like me. It allows us to get accustomed to the way the lot works. Runs were timed and unlimited too. I think I did like 12 of them. 12 was entirely too many runs, but it is pretty rare you are allowed so many runs in quick succession. So I used that to my advantage and played around. Any seat time is good seat time. It did teach me that tire heat (even on street tires) can boost times fairly significantly. When the staging line got shorter, I was able to get back out on course with tires that still had good heat in them. Beating a personal best is much easier when your tires are hot. And boy did they get hot.


Link to video

To see all the runs I recorded that event, head over here.