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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
I'm excited about the Packwood Championship Tour because there are 7 STH entries (6 open class & 1 Ladies class). Technically that makes Packwood tied with Fontana for 2nd most STH entries behind Chicago, but Fontana was augmented with 3 GS entries, so I consider Packwood the winner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Successfully registered for the 2021 Nationals in Lincoln, Nebraska. As the lone FoST, I kind of feel like the guy in the Cobalt SS, something of an outcast, LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
After first day of Packwood Tour, I’m leading STH with my codriver in second. Still about a second off the pace I should have, but that’s a driver problem.
 

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After first day of Packwood Tour, I’m leading STH with my codriver in second. Still about a second off the pace I should have, but that’s a driver problem.
You seem to be doing pretty well sir! There's always time left unfortunately, but its how you seize the moment, which so far you have judging by your lead amongst the pack. Keep the same momentum tomorrow. No slow starts. I always tell my self "3 runs is all you have, so make each one count".
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Codriver matched my time on the second day of the Packwood tour, so my cushion from the first day enabled the STH win. We ended up 1-2 out of the 6 entries. 93rd in PAX of 233, so my best Tour finish so far in STH. Codriver was 102 in PAX.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Pepper's Totals
264 runs in STH trim, 1008 runs lifetime
$6.13 per run in entry & membership fees for 2021 season
39786 miles on odometer (~2500 miles are not related to autocrosses)
24.7 mpg for the weekend

Two days, two clubs, two venues, and two of us driving on too old tires. Saturday at Sanderson Field in Shelton with Western Washington Sports Car Council (WWSCC) hosted by Boeing Employees Auto Club (BEAC). Sunday at Bremerton Motorsports Park with NW Region SCCA. Attendance for both events was on the light side because many were at a Packwood autox held by the Porsche Club and another handful of regular entrants were doing Time Trials / Global Time Attack at The Ridge.

Saturday
The old tires worked reasonably well at Sanderson Field. Codriver Thomas roughly matched my best time, but was dirty. With the very light attendance, we barely had time to switch drivers between runs and not enough time to open the hood to help cool the engine.

Sunday
We both struggled to improve our times and miss the cones. We both coned our best runs and had to stand on second runs. GS driver Charlie Spirka raw-timed me by 0.5 sec (sigh), a further indication that the front pair of tires probably died today. At 138 runs on this set of tires, I'll rotate the rears to the front to finish off the remaining tread on this set.


Official results

Saturday
1st of 3 in PRO2 (indexed non-stock cars)
3rd of 22 in PAX
5th of 22 in raw time

Sunday
4th of 10 in NSPAX (indexed non-stock cars)
20th of 63 in PAX
24th of 63 in raw time
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Pepper's Totals
269 runs in STH trim, 1013 runs lifetime
$6.12 per run in entry & membership fees for 2021 season
40294 miles on odometer (~2500 miles are not related to autocrosses)
26.8 mpg for the weekend

It is a 4 hour drive to Willamette Pass ski area, where Emerald Empire Sports Car Club held autox on Sat & Sun. Since they split the run groups into morning & afternoon sessions, I attended the Sunday afternoon session, so didn't have to camp or get up at oh-so-dark hours. Glad I made it to one EESCC event this season and renew friendships.

Sunday
Hey, there's actually STH entries here! 3 more than myself. Brain fade resulted in forgetting to turn off the nannies for the first 3 runs, so I was glad there were a total of 5 runs.

The tires are fresh Kumho V730 mounted on my 17x8" G Street rims and they proved fairly insensitive to pressure changes, though I was surprised that they wanted to roll over more in the rear than the front, so maybe more rear camber would be desireable. Eventually they'll find their way onto the 17x9" rims which should offer more sidewall support. The tires work and even though they're forgiving, it's very easy to fall off the edge of optimum grip without warning.


Official results

Sunday
1st of 4 in STH
4th of 83 in PAX
17th of 83 in raw time

Here's a course map I've annotated with speeds from Solostorm. Like most Oregon parking lot autocrosses, it requires laps/loops to get times in the 50 second range. Being at a ski resort, the thing is on a slope, where the top of the map is uphill.


394665
 

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Wow! What a great post man!!

I think I appreciate the map to go along with it a little too much, haha.

Crushed it! Congrats =-D
 
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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Pepper's Totals
280 runs in STH trim, 1024 runs lifetime
$6.13 per run in entry & membership fees for 2021 season
40764 miles on odometer (~2500 miles are not related to autocrosses)

Oregon SCCA at Packwood. Cool weather, possible showers. Running again on the Kuhmos. The cast of fast drivers was fairly thick with Northwest Region taking advantage of another weekend at Packwood and augmenting Oregon Region's fast drivers.

Saturday
It was the best of times. Not so much in terms of placing during competition, but relative to the top PAX drivers, this is the closest I've come to them in the dry all year. Too bad it was on the bonus runs and I clipped a cone on the best competition run.

Sunday
It was the worst of times. Dramatic spin early in the first run when I ran wide into the gravel. The pieces of a fast run were there on subsequent runs, but I couldn't put them together in a single run.


Official results

Saturday
3rd of 16 in NS4 superclass (all ST plus SSC)
18th of 87 in PAX
24th of 87 in raw time

Sunday
4th of 15 in NS4 superclass (all ST plus SSC)
25th of 79 in PAX
27th of 79 in raw time
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
Pepper's Totals
306 runs in STH trim, 1050 runs lifetime
$5.90 per run in entry & membership fees for 2021 season
41094 miles on odometer (~2500 miles are not related to autocrosses)

Bridge City Autosports (BCA) running at Packwood. I tested Yokohamas against Kumhos on Friday, codrove a friend's lightly modified FiST on Saturday so he could learn more, and was back in Pepper for Sunday's competition.

Friday
Figured out how to adjust the Yokohamas more to my liking and alter my driving to match. I prefer the Kumhos, but the 255 width just doesn't have quite the grip. Also took a run in a friend's B Street Porsche Cayman... really felt heavy and I didn't mesh well with it. Mid-engine rwd wasn't a problem, but it wasn't what I expected.

Saturday
Devoted to coaching. The FiST is closer to STH in prep than the SMF class the owner runs in. He's the one I browbeat into driving it in STH at the Packwood Championship Tour. I beat his time by about 1 second as I recall and beat the other FiST (actually running in STH this weekend) by about 0.1 seconds.

In addition to coaching the owner of the car I codrove, I also coached two newbies as my work assignment. One drove a FoST and the other drove a WRX STI. Both did well at ridding themselves of bad habits. The FoST is mostly stock except for BOV making noise, so I asked the owner if he minded if I took a run with it... he discovered he has about 6 seconds more to lose after dropping 21 seconds from his first run. The STI is built as a drag machine and he's on about his third autox, so now looking to redo some of the configuration after this weekend. His times were comparable to the FoST's until the last run, where he dropped another two seconds by executing on the coaching I'd been giving him (different people, different problems, so different coaching).

Sunday
I wasn't yet certain how high I could push the rear tire pressure for the first run. 39 psi was definitely too much, LOL, because it resulted in a lurid spin and cooked a cone that lodged under the exhaust. So I still don't know what rear pressure to start with, but 38 psi is likely safe. Everything hooked up well by the time I was halfway through the course. Starting with 37F/39R on second run was perfect. I had FTOD for the first session and was only passed by a CAMC Mustang in the second session. Cone trouble and car breakages helped suppress the usual FTOD suspects.


Official results

Sunday
1st of 7 in NS4 superclass (STH, STS, & STR)
3rd of 45 in PAX
2nd of 45 in raw time
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 · (Edited)
Solo Nationals in Lincoln, day 1

First run was solidly midpack (11th of 22). Overbraking led to a slower second run, so my position slipped to 16th. Improved first run time a half second, but hit cone 200 in the slalom so had to stand on first run time in 17th.

Slowest corner was 25 mph, second slowest corner was 30 mph, and everything else was above 38 mph with a 63 mph finish for myself.

Head Human body Slope Organism Schematic
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 · (Edited)
Solo Nationals in Lincoln, day 2

Slightly cooler morning. First run seemed midpack apart from just barely tipping over cone 445. A clean second run with a miniscule improvement secured 16th place. Went slower on third run. 621 of 1118 in PAX.

Slowest corner was 30 mph, second slowest corner was 38 mph, and everything else was above 40 mph with a 63 mph finish for myself that wasn't quite full throttle through "In the Spaghetti". Devin Taylor is said to have hit 73 mph at the finish, so it suggests he could hold full throttle where I couldn't. I suspect if I'd tossed the car at turn-in or made a set-up change, I would be closer to Devin's speed through there.

The Yokohamas are wearing well. On the other hand, I'm probably not using them to their full potential. Pretty certain I can expect at least 90 runs from them.

The right CV boot dumped its grease on the way out to Lincoln. I didn't notice it until changing tires to come home. Service is scheduled, but I couldn't get a date before Sep 29. Considering the left front parted way a year ago, I'm going to begin stocking both of them as spares.

The left front wheel rim has developed a rub on the inside which I need to investigate. It makes an orange peeling that you'd expect to be body paint, but might possibly be the braided steel brake line.

Pepper's Totals
312 runs in STH trim, 1056 runs lifetime
$6.41 per run in entry & membership fees for 2021 season
44713 miles on odometer (~2500 miles are not related to autocrosses)
Map Slope Font Parallel Auto part
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 · (Edited)
Driving Analysis

Putting down a successful flyer run can't be stressed enough. Not doing so cost Buckley (Audi TT), Fiore (GTI), & Taylor (Civic Si) the STH championship. Doing so on day 2 moved Sienkiewicz (GTI) from 5th to 1st. Miller (WRX) doesn't quite have the speed yet, but he's close.

And there I am with a raw speed 2.5%-3.0% slower than the top drivers because I overbrake and continue taking safe runs. Based on my driving, I can't really say if the FoST is competitive at the National level in STH. I know it's capable of mid-pack if I can put together a good run, so it should be capable of trophying with a flyer run, but I'm getting older and slower. I need to get out of my comfort zone!

Edit: When the competition is a 2-day combined total, like Nationals or Championship Tours, doing well on the longer course is more important. For 2021 Nationals, that was day 2 for STH, which is why Sienkiewicz's flyer enabled him to win the championship.
 

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That's a good comparison. Although, I'm a little bit off with my terminology... What do you mean by a 'flyer run'?

I bet that was a pretty intense couple of days though! I really like the pictures of your car up on 3 wheels, haha. [email protected]$$!
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
What do you mean by a 'flyer run'?
A flyer run is one that "comes out of nowhere", generally not repeatable, usually super close to out-of-control. Some drivers try to do that every run with varying levels of success; some drivers can consistently pull one flyer out of 3 runs (Alex Piehl). Let's look at the first 5 trophy positions from Nationals...

Sienkiewicz put down a flyer on his first run of day 2. He couldn't back it up on subsequent runs.
Buckley also laid down a flyer on his first run of day 2, but clipped cones. His next best run was 0.6 seconds slower.
Fiore put down a flyer on day 1 that he built up to, dropping 1.6 seconds from his first run.
Taylor's final run was the flyer on day 2, but clipped cones. He was trying super hard as evidenced by the preceding DNF.
Miller finished with a flyer on his last run, but clipped cones. He's usually conservative compared to the others, but you can also see he had a 2nd run flyer on day 1.


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Perfect explaination, thank you! I guess I started more like Mr. Piehl in my days with the WRX, but after some more seat time and excellent lessons from some amazing and seasoned drivers; things 'tried' to calm down a bit and become more consistent...

It's funny sometimes when I look at timing during an event and go "how the **** did they turn a lap that fast?!". Next thing you know you're getting more and more aggressive, but with learned skills that can sometimes impede 'the fastest time'.

Like you said, braking too early or too hard is one of those super critical areas... How fast can you get the car to sit in the perfect line to the apex without breaking traction/upsetting the line at max attack?? Yeah, I'm had my trips into 'the daisies', haha. Definitely a different approach to tarmac vs all-surfaces
 
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Discussion Starter · #57 · (Edited)
Where Was I Slow at Nationals?

Videos with speed overlays are useful for comparison. Of the STH drivers who have posted videos, only David Crusoe had an overlay. Since several GS drivers were faster than myself and their cars go into STH when upgraded, they're also a good choice for comparison. Refer to the maps below for the corner numbers where I selected speeds.

West Course Narrative
Corner 3 - I'm not slaloming very well.
Corner 5 - Terminal speed was low because I'm lifting too much going through the offsets trying to stay on line. This seems to be a weakness of the Yokohamas when you want to accelerate, so my setup needs a minor improvement.
Corners 6-7 - Tentative in 6 leads to slow terminal speed at 7.
Corner 9 - Overbraking, partially due to picking poor line.
Corners 11-12 - Braking too early and overbraking.

East Course Narrative
Corner 6-7 - Overbraking, too tentative
Corner 12-14 - Overbraking at entry and lifting too much going through the offsets trying to stay on line. Again, I think a setup change will lead to an improvement, though the driver might change habits, too.

Overall, I'm not taking full advantage of the available grip as Pepper should be able to consistently outcorner GS Civics by about 1-2 mph. Clues that I wasn't using all the grip were lack of singing tire, the low tire heat generated, and little brake heat because the e-diff rarely kicked in.

One also realizes both courses, if driven correctly, would need a shift to third gear in Pepper. Those DSG Volkswagen/Audis are really impressive in that regard.

Rectangle Line Font Screenshot Parallel


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Map Slope Font Parallel Pattern
 
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