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congrats G!

Seeing your rear wheels lift got me :unsure:... leave the spare in?, or even putting something like a 25lb weight under the spare, bad idea?
 

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congrats G!

Seeing your rear wheels lift got me :unsure:... leave the spare in?, or even putting something like a 25lb weight under the spare, bad idea?
Adjust sway bars, spring rates and/or shock damping. Only so much you can do; adding weight is never good!
 
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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Seeing your rear wheels lift got me :unsure:... leave the spare in?, or even putting something like a 25lb weight under the spare, bad idea?
It's a balancing act, a combination of spring and swaybar rates. More front spring & substituting rear spring for rear swaybar so there's less nosedive under braking and the rear suspension has more droop is the direction to go. Adjusting shocks changes the rate of nosedive. The weight transfer happens regardless of springs & swaybars and the way to change weight tranfer is through lowering (I'm near the limit for the wheels I'm using) and lengthening the wheelbase (ain't gonna happen, LOL).

I might add a little more front spring, but probably not enough to make a change big enough to matter for rear wheel lift since I don't want to cross that line from reasonable ride quality into "OMG this sucks" since trailering the car to events is more expensive & not as fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 · (Edited)
Pepper's Totals
144 runs in STH trim, 888 runs lifetime
$5.23 per run in entry & membership fees for 2021 season
32779 miles on odometer (~2500 miles are not related to autocrosses)
23.2 mpg for the past thousand miles due to 33 runs this weekend

Bridge City Autosports (BCA) at Sanderson Field in Shelton. I appreciate BCA especially for having occasional Friday practice sessions where you can come & go without a schedule and the course is the same throughout the day. Only drawback is if you knock over cones, you have to reset them yourself, so occasionally the runs are not as frequent as you might like because grid is full and cones are getting knocked down. And yet I can easily get 10+ runs even with changing tires a couple times and taking time for a leisurely lunch.

Friday
Did 5 runs on the 265-18 RE-71R tires until I felt I couldn't do any better, swapped to the 255-17 RE-71R tires for 5 runs (beating my previous best on run 3), so swapped back to the 265s for another 3 runs and did a little better yet as the rear tires heated up. Came to the conclusion that the 255s are the way to go below about 65F because the rear tires are doing their job significantly sooner unless there is a codriver or you get 5+ runs. Made the decision to stay on the 255s for the rest of the weekend because only one session was forecast to be above 60F.

Saturday
Two courses are run on the non-points days, one in the morning and another for the afternoon, typically reversed with some minor changes. Pepper and I were sympatico on the 255s even though the afternoon session reached 70F and I would have preferred to use the 265s.

Got the opportunity to drive a stock automatic Focus SE, OEM tires and all, because a 3-event novice had been directed my way for coaching. Familiar story of the SE being the owner's first car and he wants a Focus ST, but needs to learn to drive a manual. Anyway, he managed to drop his time a bit, but was struggling with the balance between under/overdriving, so I took my last run in his car and beat his time by many seconds... god that SE is only good for basic transportation, so I was delighted to make that significant of an improvement in his times. He was delighted to see what it could do and really happy to have recorded my run on video to study.

Sunday
Happy that the morning was, at 55F, a few degrees warmer than Saturday. 255s were ideal at this temperature and, even with 8 runs, did not need spraying.


Official results

Saturday morning
1st of 1 in NS4
2nd of 47 in PAX
6th of 47 in raw time

Saturday morning
1st of 1 in NS4
2nd of 41 in PAX
8th of 41 in raw time

Sunday
1st of 1 in NS4
2nd of 34 in PAX
9th of 34 in raw time (second run group had warmer weather)
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Decisions, decisions... I'm looking at the weather forecast for Lincoln, Nebraska. That's where I'm headed tomorrow morning for 2 National Tour events (Fri-Sat and Sun-Mon). The question is which set of tires to take. It will be cold on Friday with thunderstorm/showers for the rest of the weekend, but warm enough for the 265s if STH is put in a late run group.

If I have enough warning of the course being drowned, I can switch back to the "daily" tires, Michelin Pilot Sport 4S. If I don't have enough time, the 265s have a bit more tread depth than the 255s, but I'm really leaning towards the 255s, particularly if I run in the morning on Sun-Mon regardless of precipitation.

I have no competition in class on Fri-Sat, so it's really the unsettled conditions of Sun-Mon I need to prepare for...
 

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Hmm, highs below 70° & lows in the low-50's° for both events. That a tough call, especially since I've never run my ST with warmed up 265's, lol. Personally, with the call for light rain, I'd take whatever sheds water better (so the 265's you said have more tread depth). However, the Michelin Pilot Sport are awesome tires (I'm about done with a set of the p/s 3+'s, and they've been the best of the bunch so far!). That's a nice 'back-up option' if it's really raining. Systems are moving pretty quick through there, so I wouldn't expect consistent conditions at all... You're welcome for my no help at all reply, but that's pretty bad-ass you're racing 4 days in a row! Super jealous! haha. :alien:
 
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Discussion Starter · #28 · (Edited)
[QUOTE="Smokin' Joe”] Systems are moving pretty quick through there, so I wouldn't expect consistent conditions at all... You're welcome for my no help at all reply, but that's pretty bad-ass you're racing 4 days in a row! Super jealous! haha. :alien:
[/QUOTE]
I’m in the first of four run groups all 4 days, so choosing the 255s looks like I was psychic rather than psychotic.

Live announcing, timing, & scoring will be available at sololive.scca.com beginning 9a Central on Friday & Sunday, 8a on Saturday & Monday. STH & GS are in the first run group. Look for Thomas Simon running a FoST in GS... Brad McCann will probably win.
 

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[QUOTE="Smokin' Joe] Systems are moving pretty quick through there, so I wouldn't expect consistent conditions at all... You're welcome for my no help at all reply, but that's pretty bad-ass you're racing 4 days in a row! Super jealous! haha. :alien:
I’m in the first of four run groups all 4 days, so choosing the 255s looks like I was psychic rather than psychotic.
[/QUOTE]

Good stuff! Thanks for the link as well. I'll try to follow along. I ended up watching some live Euro-GT racing last weekend by chance, lol. Got the fevaahh!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Lincoln Tour 1, day 1

52-54F. Windy, overcast. If you couldn’t run on Yokohama tires, then Kuhmo turned out to be the tire that worked for fwd cars. Bridgestone was better than Falken, but cold rear tires were in abundant evidence on all runs.

Tire blankets might have helped block the wind in grid. Cars with codrivers definitely fared better in these conditions.

My first run was a solid start despite the cold rear tires. Second run I ignored the signs of cold rear tires and dnfed in the first slalom (Brad McCann in GS did the same on third run); I later stopped for a downed cone, but got no rerun since I’d already dnfed. Third run, I was on track for a 1 sec improvement, but too deep into the far back corner and only managed 0.3 sec improvement.

Slightly below midpack PAX, darn it. I really miss those 0.7 sec! Ron Williams in GS, on Kumhos, raw-timed me, but not the others. And I fortunately wasn’t raw-timed by anyone in HS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Lincoln Tour 1, day 2

50-52F. Windy, overcast. Later run groups got the benefit of sunshine.

I was much too timid because the rear didn’t feel like it was sticking at all. Dropped 3 sec on run 2 and then screwed up run 3 early before eventually tagging a cone.

Crap driving, well below the middle of the pack. If I don’t buckle down, I could wind up at the bottom for tomorrow’s event.
 

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Congrats! Just remember round 2 is just like another day of autocross. Drive hard, but smart from the jump.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Lincoln Tour 2, day 1

55-57F, overcast, threatening rain. In an effort to change things up, I went ahead and put the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires on. Rain didn’t hit until an hour after my runs, so I’m a second off the pace and sitting in 4th place.

On the other hand... with wrong tires in only 245 width, I’m only a second off the pace. I also learned that the Subarus do not appear to enjoy a power advantage as they stayed in 2nd, riding the rev limiter (58-62 mph depending on tire choice) where I shifted to 3rd and hit 70 mph.

I won’t be digging out of today’s deficit, but I expect to be back on the Bridgestones tomorrow without the threat of rain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 · (Edited)
Lincoln Tour 2, day 2

55-57F, overcast, no threat of rain though a few drops were seen on windshields.

Julie Heaton had cone trouble, but I still couldn’t catch her. While my RE71R tires behaved themselves today, Solostorm data suggests I wasn’t using their full grip.

John Azevedo (former GS FoST pilot, now in GS Civic Si) paid me the compliment that I was flying very fast compared to others in the section where I shifted to third gear and hit 70 mph. Paul Brown in an FS 2012 BMW M3 was also shifting to 3rd and hitting 72 mph, so it looks like my MonsterTune is working pretty well!

My placing 99 out of 253 in PAX looks decent, but half the entries were weighed with Sunday’s rain more than they could make up with Monday sunshine. So my overall results look better than they are.

Tim Miller found the shock setting that enabled him to win convincingly during the test-n-tune the day before competition. It’s taken him two years to reach this state. Still a big question whether he’s now as fast as David Crusoe’s GTI, the current STH top dog in the Lincoln area who couldn’t join us due to deployment.

The Heatons’ WRX with dual drivers is prone to being too hot. When Tim Heaton had three reruns on day 1, they were hard-pressed to cool down the car for Julie’s runs 5 minutes later.
 

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Whew! That's intense man. Well done Sir =D I'm looking forward to what video(s) you pick to share, hehe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Pepper's Totals
176 runs in STH trim
$6.98 per run in entry & membership fees for 2021 season
36997 miles on odometer (~2200 miles are not related to autocrosses)
26.8 mpg

Sand & Sage Sports Car Club held a trackcross at Oregon Raceway Park. In theory, everyone expected something similar to the previous trackcrosses jointly sanctioned by Willamette Motor Club & Bridge City Autosports. Well, it didn't quite turn out that way as it was possible to go full throttle through most of the autox elements SSSCC put on the track and there were fewer elements to negotiate. Much, much closer to a one lap time trial.

Total score was best run from each day added together, like National Tours or Divisionals.

Saturday
My peak speed was 80 mph or so for the WMC/BCA trackcrosses; with SSSCC, my peak speed jumped to 91.4 mph in the clockwise direction. Corvettes & Camaros found 113-114 mph, showing that horsepower was king for this event. As the lone STH entry, my opponents were all STS cars, (a couple Miatas plus a CRX), so it was hardly a fair fight. Ended the day with a 1.4 sec advantage.


Sunday
My peak speed increased to 93.3 mph in the counter-clockwise direction. One of the STS Miata drivers found he didn't need to lift throttle for hardly anything and not only erased my 1.4 second advantage from Saturday, but turned it around to be HIS 1.4 sec advantage on the second run! He scared himself doing it, on multiple runs, so it wasn't a fluke. It was time for my own drastic measures and I managed, on the final run, to win the weekend by 0.008 seconds. Still puts me to shame on the Sunday runs to be bested by a car peaking at about 77 mph.

Though cooler on Sunday than Saturday, the 255/40-17s worked well with starting pressures of 35F/32R. Bled the fronts back to 35 psi after every run, but let the rears naturally rise until capping them to 34 psi.


Official results

Sunday
1st of 5 in NS5 superclass (STH & STS)
25 of 102 in PAX
39 of 102 in raw time
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Pepper's Totals
215 runs in STH trim, 959 runs lifetime
$6.10 per run in entry & membership fees for 2021 season
37882 miles on odometer (~2500 miles are not related to autocrosses)
26.1 mpg

Bridge City Autosports (BCA), again at Sanderson Field in Shelton, land of the third gear autox.

Friday
Testing day for me to dial in tire pressures with soft rear swaybar. Temperatures were already 68F by 10a, so no real opportunity for a cold tire test. Yes, there was a slight "moment" on the first run, easily correctable, but hard to judge whether it will be worse at lower temperatures. Especially since I forgot to turn off the nannies for 4 runs. It was a surprise that the nannies no longer feel bad; I only noticed when I got a bog coming out of the tight turnaround. My times dropped by a second, though, just from turning off the nannies.

Apart from a winged SM Porsche 944 set up for hillclimb, I had the fastest raw time that I know of. Took a run in a mildly prepped STR Miata on Michelin PS4S tires that a first year autoxer has and we got him thinking about a few setup issues (it's a little too twitchy due to the shocks). He then dropped 2 seconds on his next run even without changing shock settings.

Saturday
Two courses on Saturday, with the morning course being for season points and the afternoon for bragging rights. Was chasing a BS Porsche in the morning for top PAX, the only session this weekend that wasn't a third gear autox. Horsepower definitely affected raw time results in the afternoon.

Fun runs at the end of the day were available, but I didn't partake. Heard they kept going until about 6:30p!

Sunday
Another third gear course. Without the upshift, it was 5 seconds on the rev limiter in second gear. Low attendance, so we finished up with 8 official runs by 12:30p and then fun runs carried on until about 2:30p. I took a novice in Pepper for a fun run and he immediately dropped 5 seconds on his next fun run. I think that really hooked him on the sport.


Official results

Saturday morning (Points course)
1st of 5 in NS4
1st of 47 in PAX
2nd of 47 in raw time

Saturday afternoon
1st of 5 in NS4
2nd of 47 in PAX
7th of 47 in raw time

Sunday
1st of 5 in NS4
1st of 30 in PAX
4th of 30 in raw time
 

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Dude! So much progress in just a few days. That sounds like a really good weekend =D

Please clarify "turning off the nannies" is holding down the Sport mode button to get full ESC functions off (to whatever limit it allows, there are still some active even in that mode unless you pull ABS fuse and such drastic measures, ROFL).
I found that Sport mode was a good compromise for both tarmac and dirt/gravel. The cleaner your line is the less they ever activate anyways, so it sounds like you're 'becoming one with your machine' more and more.

Good stuff. I need to get on track soon... Still too much to do for the proper balance I need, and I just haven't had time or spare energy to dick around with stuff I already did, ya know :p (Lesson learned about trying to 'settle for less' was really just a reminder from past experiences... Man in the mirror problems, lol).
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Please clarify "turning off the nannies" is holding down the Sport mode button to get full ESC functions off
Correct. First screen is Traction Control and, when not turned off, feels like an engine bog coming out of tight turns. Second screen, when you release the button, is Stability Control (aka ESC) and, when not turned off, is evidenced by an unwillingness to slalom. ESC lets you take the first turn, but turning again hard in the opposite direction, ESC says "no, you're going to spin" and applies the brakes to make you go straight.

ESC in the wet or loose is probably okay, but on dry pavement is a nuisance when slaloms are involved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 · (Edited)
Pepper's Totals
232 runs in STH trim, 976 runs lifetime
$6.08 per run in entry & membership fees for 2021 season
38826 miles on odometer (~2500 miles are not related to autocrosses)
26.2 mpg

Hot, hot, hot in the Pacific Northwest this weekend. Oregon Region SCCA ran at Packwood, where we had a high temperature of 102F on Saturday and 104F on Sunday. Portland shattered the all-time record with 112F on Sunday. To sleep more comfortably, I commuted to Packwood both days rather than sleeping on site... 3 hrs one-way, so I'm recovering today from too much driving.

This was also the weekend where Pepper's exposure became more public. Swapped cars with a local fwd expert, Garrett Cogburn, for our last run on Saturday, which gave me a chance to see what a better driver can do along with an opportunity to experience a Civic Type R. Garrett in his first run matched my first run to the thousandth of a second. He reported Pepper did everything he asked of it and that the Type R has more acceleration (yup, it does!). I let the Solo co-director, Bernadette Kuehn, codrive on Sunday. To prep her for that, we ran the test & tune late Saturday. She got Pepper sideways with an ill-timed abrupt throttle lift on her second run, then was fully acclimated. Managed to overheat Pepper and feel MAJOR loss of power by the 7th run in 30 minutes.

Observing others drive Pepper, yes, she looks absolutely composed, so the current suspension strategy is a solid one.


Saturday
About 20 registered entries didn't bother attending the weekend because of the heat forecast. Morning run group for me, so temps were not "high" at a mere 82-84F. And then there was my driving...

Raw time on first run would have left me in 3rd place for the day, but I coned it somewhere. Second run was on track to be a half second quicker, but I slid into a two cone element and bagged the run. Third run was slower by a couple tenths and again coned it somewhere. Really disappointed with the cones because it was obvious that Pepper had the speed to win on Saturday.


Sunday
After the hot Saturday, more people dropped out, not bothering to run on Sunday.

Afternoon run group with a codriver and the temps were 102-104F. Not good for power! We were spraying the intercooler & radiator & intake with ice water every run and the front tires starting with the second run when normally the tires are an option for third runs with dual drivers.

Despite small improvements each run, I was third after first runs, fourth after second runs, and fifth after final run. At least they were clean runs. Hard to say how much we were down on power due to the heat, but it was obvious there would be no point to taking one more run even though Bernadette had a rerun coming after the finish light blew over in a strong gust of wind on her third run.


Official results

Saturday
8th of 16 in NS4 superclass (SSC plus all ST classes)
34 of 72 in PAX
41 of 72 in raw time

Sunday
5th of 15 in NS4 superclass (SSC plus all ST classes)
20th of 52 in PAX
19th of 52 in raw time
 
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