We had a helicopter! It parked at the Walmart!

Getting back to autocross is way easier when your 5 minutes from the event. Cheers to the fellow competitors who let me sleep on the pull out couch in their hotel.

The day went much like the last. I did overhear some people talking about what was and was not legal for certain classes and that a car may not be legal his/her class. Not long after hearing these discussions it was announced that at the end of our last run, we were to drive our cars straight from the course to impound where our class competitors would check each others cars for legality. I’m glad I bolted a mis-colored mirror to my car to make it 100% ES legal.

Ready and waiting. Happy marshal.

Ready and waiting. Happy marshal.

It was rumored that the day 2 course would be a reverse of day one. Far from it! It shared some elements of the test day, but felt largely different. Very flowing. Much faster too. It was hard to keep the front of my car from understeering in the fast sweepers. Keeping my car neutral (where it is neither understeering or oversteering) can be hard. Knowing how deep to trail brake, how much to trail brake, and when to get that throttle on isn’t easy. Without mega power, throttling on at the wrong time can cause you to just lift weight off the front tires increasing understeer. Get the brake and throttle timing just right and you can ride the slip angle through the corner maximizing your speed. Nailing a corner like that feels fantastic. And it’s always neat to see the car rotate it’s way around the corner without actually steering into the corner very much.

We had a helicopter! It parked at the Walmart!

We had a helicopter! It parked at the Walmart!

On the last run, I was nailing every turn. Getting the slip angles just right, until the last tight section, when I lost my line a bit due to oversteer, and jabbed the brake mid corner. This lifted my rear wheel up enough to cause my Torsen LSD to stop being an LSD. (Which happens when one wheel has zero traction) The wheel spun up, touched down and threw the car sideways. I’m not quite sure why, but I decided to keep the drift going into the next turn, go for broke, keep it floored, and powerside it all the way to the finish line. I sacrificed some time, but got a good rise out of the crowd. If it wasn’t for that powerside I most definitely would have gone faster. The powerslide run was only .1 second slower.

Do you like sliding? I like sliding!

Do you like sliding? I like sliding!

It seems my car wasn’t expecting the lary finish. It had been overfilled by the dealer during the last oil change. Extra oil isn’t always bad, but it seemed that there was a bit too much this time. Enough that when I threw it down the off camber corner, the rather large amount of right side body roll coupled with the downhill camber to the right, and the fact that the oil breather is on the right side of the engine, meant that my engine ended up ingesting some oil and blowing a good cloud of white/blue smoke out of the tail pipe. Enough to freak me the heck out and cause a bunch of fellow competitors to see me in the paddock to express concern.

All was well though. My little machine survived 3 pretty gnarly days of travel and competition. Didn’t complain one bit. It even won me a trophy.

Trophy!

Trophy!

National Champion! Result!


Link to video

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