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Discussion Starter #1
This weekend's selected event was a 2-day practice with limited entries (and the entry cap wasn't reached). Result was 3/4 tank of fuel burned in 33 total runs plus 100 miles travel, becoming sympatico with "Pepper", and gaining some new friends.

I've been running Pepper as she came off the showroom floor so I can compare the improvements GS mods make. As expected, definitely feel the need for toe-out and rear swaybar. Have finally found my groove launching her. The OEM Goodyear tires don't grip until second runs and become greasy around runs 5-6 with less than 8 minutes between runs, losing consistency.

And the big one for me is that I have troubles being precise and continue clipping cones with the rear of the car, one or two each run in different places. Can't even feel/hear them being hit 75% of the time. Only 10% of my runs are clean (sigh).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
the stock F1s are JUNK!
Which is why I'll be getting Enkei rims and Bridgestones for next season. There's not enough of this season remaining to be serious about it, so abusing the Goodyears is good while I'm getting used to Pepper. 2 weeks old and she's already got 36 runs and 800 miles on her.
 

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Which is why I'll be getting Enkei rims and Bridgestones for next season. There's not enough of this season remaining to be serious about it, so abusing the Goodyears is good while I'm getting used to Pepper. 2 weeks old and she's already got 36 runs and 800 miles on her.
good deal! RE71s are great rubber

also lighter wheels will help a LOT... my wheels are much lighter like nearly half and it is a eye opening difference.
 

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good deal! RE71s are great rubber

also lighter wheels will help a LOT... my wheels are much lighter like nearly half and it is a eye opening difference.
x2 on the lighter wheel experience, launching through the first couple gears is pretty dramatic. lol
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
This weekend's event was a practice day followed by a points event (season trophy was already decided for this club). 23 runs taken on 3 different courses, though they were short, like a Pro Solo.

27 days into ownership, 1100 miles, and 58 runs across 5 event days... Time for a break-in oil change! Tires were rotated after 36 runs and added toe-out has helped turn-in (a little more toe-out is still called for since highway stability is still good).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Official results posted:
20th of 68 for raw time
4th of 68 for PAX

I should feel pretty good about that except an HS Festiva ST beat me in raw time by 0.8 sec... my only excuse is I'm still on the OEM Goodyears and he isn't.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Emerald Empire Sports Car Club down in Eugene is taking some time to audit the results before posting them, so I'll just have to skip the scoring for now. Worth noting that they will no longer have Valley River Mall available as a site because the owners are going to develop that lot, possibly into a senior living facility. Rather sad to see because eescc has run there for about 30 years and my first experience with the club was their 1993 season (my first autox was in 1988 at PIR, so I was experienced by then). It was at their 1994 Icebreaker event at Valley River Mall where I showed the crowd the underside of my Subaru Justy when it bicycled mid-slalom and precipitated leasing a '94 Miata R package for 3 years. As has occasionally happened in the past, the light poles reached out and bit someone again this weekend, so in that sense I'm glad there won't be more autocrosses there.

I felt my driving was a bit off the mark, maybe 0.5-1 second behind the pace I set for myself. As a driver, I'm not slowing up soon enough when the turn radius tightens up and then I get bound up in the steering, trying to turn harder when the overworked front tires would rather understeer even while the rear might be trying to come around. Otherwise, swapping from the stock rear swaybar to the ST rear swaybar on soft has been a success. The rear is kicking out, slowly, as evidenced by hitting a few cones on the outside of turns rather than rolling over the base of cones on the inside of turns and I don't recall too much wheelspin. I'll let another couple of events go by before I decide whether I'll put the swaybar setting on hard.

[I know I'm not in top 5 PAX, but hoping to be in top 15 out of maybe 80-90 entries even with a cone on my faster runs]

62 runs on the OEM Goodyears
$3.35 per run in entry & membership fees
1552 miles on odometer (~400 miles are not related to autocrosses)
26.3 lifetime mpg
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Official results
First of 1 in GS
25th of 127 in PAX... remove cone penalty from my fast run and I'd be 10th.
69th of 127 in raw time... without cone penalty that's 53rd.

So about 0.9 seconds off the pace I should have been with the OEM tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
For what it's worth, my Borla cat-back exhaust was recorded at 88.5 dBA at 50 ft during this last event.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Updating My 2018 Schedule

September 14-15 was removed from the schedule by the organizing club, so I will travel 5 hours to Bend next weekend to attend the first two days of a 3-day event. Traveling 5.5 hours to Medford for a 3-day special event instead of spending a half day at the Oregon State Fairgrounds seemed like a good idea once a friend confirmed I can crash at his place.

attendedJul 22Oregon State FairgroundsWillamette Motor Club (WMC, Salem)
attendedJul 28-29Astoria AirportNorthwest Autosports Association (NWAA, Portland)
attendedAug 11-12Evergreen Aviation & Space MuseumBridge City Autosports (BCA, Portland)
attended one dayAug 25-26Eugene Valley River CenterEmerald Empire Sports Car Club (EESCC, Eugene)
Sep 7-9Bachelor Ski ResortAutocross Club of Central Oregon (ACCO, Bend)
maybeSep 15-16Packwood, WASCCA, Oregon Region (SCCA-OR, Portland)
Sep 22Shelton Sanderson Field (2 events same day here!)Western Washington Sports Car Club, Torque Steerers (WWSCC, Puget Sound)
Sep 23Bremerton RacewayBremerton Sports Car Club (BSCC, Bremerton)
Sep 30PIRBridge City Autosports (BCA, Portland)
Oct 5-7Fall Enduro at Jackson County Sports ParkSiskiyou Sports Car Club (SSCC, Medford)
Oct 13-14PIRBridge City Autosports (BCA, Portland)
Oct 21Shelton Sanderson FieldWestern Washington Sports Car Club, University of Washington FSAE (WWSCC, Puget Sound)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Before I post about the good results at Mt. Bachelor, some words on what I'm discovering about myself as an aging driver who knows his best years are behind him (I'll be 56 next month and 2006 was the last time I autocrossed).

First is losing ground in the mental game, little lapses in memory such that one forgets there's a kink in the course on the first run and not noticing until one goes sailing by the gate. Right, so I need to get in 4 course walks these days rather than the 3 I was used to. Which also requires being in slightly better physical condition than I currently am so the extra course walk doesn't tire me so much I can't drive sharply.

Second is how slow I am to adapt new thoughts during competition. Little things, like whether to downshift to first gear. Or going flat out vs. braking/chicken-lifting. I get set in my ways too much, to the point where it takes me 6+ runs to consider a new option instead of switching after the 2nd run. So I need to be more flexible, more willing to allow that what I originally decide is not necessarily the right answer, keep an open mind.

Otherwise, there's merely the usual aging complaints: aching joints, tired muscles, and not wanting to do any cone-shagging because I'm 20 lbs heavier and out of the habit of sprinting, LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
[Official results have not yet been published and I'm tired of waiting. Will update this post when they're published.]

Pepper's Totals
90 runs on the OEM 240 treadwear Goodyear Eagle F1s, wear is currently even between f/r tires, slightly higher wear on innermost tread block
$2.92 per run in entry & membership fees
2193 miles on odometer (~400 miles are not related to autocrosses)
27.3 lifetime mpg (amazing how much a good long highway trip can help)

Mt. Bachelor Event Results
Won the Mountain Master trophy on Friday
1st of 2 in GS on Saturday
2nd of 59 in Pax on Saturday (missed PAX trophy by 0.062 seconds)
11th of 59 in raw time on Saturday (fastest Street, faster than any Street Touring)

Friday
The rather short Friday practice course consisted of a start slalom into a spin cone, short sprint to a second spin cone, long acceleration to a third(!) spin cone, and then a finish slalom. I don't know about y'all, but it's been over 20 years since I've seen spin cones used in course design and never more than two of 'em! At least the spin cones forced me to consider using first gear and confirmed that I've got wheelspin under control now.
The Mountain Master course was basically the same as the practice course except the spin cone entry gates were tightened (with the first one also shifted left to change the entry) and the finish slalom was adjusted in some way I don't recall. The changes were announced, but we weren't allowed to walk the course before competition. Competitors were randomly paired off and had one run to beat the other driver's PAX time in order to advance to the next round. If you lost the round, you were out!

My first 3 rounds were easily won despite wobbling a cone on the first run and finding neutral instead of 2nd gear in the second round. Round 4 was a tough competitor, but I put down my best time which PAXed better than his and advanced to the final round. Round 5 saw me post a slightly slower time, but 0.5 seconds below my CS competitor's best scratch time in all his rounds, so PAX wasn't even an issue in the final result.

Took 20 runs for the day, 15 runs in afternoon practice and 5 runs in the challenge.

Saturday
All the Street classes plus CAMC and STH ran in the morning and worked in the afternoon. I rated this course as the most enjoyable I've seen so far this year despite having one spin cone and a stop box. [Primarily due to site restrictions, none of the local Oregon clubs adhere to SCCA course design principles of a rollout start or avoiding stop box finishes or lining the course. The most casual club doesn't even box their cones, just a dab of paint for the cone's center!]

First run humbled me when I went 20' wide of a gate, missing it entirely because I'd forgotten the course jogged over to the left. Similar thing happened two weeks ago in Eugene, hence my introspection in the previous post. Gradual improvements followed. I was hovering around 3rd or 4th in PAX until my fifth & final run, when I finally kept my foot down in the fast section and dropped 0.6 seconds.

Course was altered at the end of competition (pavement broke up at a seam and final slalom adjusted to slow drivers a touch) and fun runs ensued. Had 5 competition runs and 3 fun runs for the day.

Sunday
Would have been nice to try again for top PAX on Sunday, but I was due back at home because my niece was coming to visit with her latest husband. Naturally I didn't get word her husband was unexpectedly called back to work and they wouldn't be visiting until 2 hours after the Sunday registration had closed.

Pepper - 2018 ACCO Mountain Master trophy.png
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Pepper's Totals
104 runs... 93 runs on the OEM 240 treadwear Goodyear Eagle F1s and 11 runs on used Bridgestone RE-71Rs
$3.59 per run in entry & membership fees
2672 miles on odometer (~400 miles are not related to autocrosses)
27.5 lifetime mpg (amazing how much a good long highway trip can help)


Saturday Event 1
Low turnout for Shelton, likely due to the weather. Gosh it was good, though, to run on a national-quality course that even had a brief moment in 3rd gear. It was also a good opportunity to experiment with approaches to the wet conditions and with 2 events on Saturday, I could try back-to-back tests with the tires. Took first 2 runs without disabling any computer controls because brain fade, so tried third run with everything disabled. Found myself in a spin/slide on a well lubricated surface at the fastest point and ended up going agricultural. Unfortunately 4 wheels in the grass got me disqualified for the event (that's a new experience!) and prematurely ended my runs. Thus disabling stability control in the wet is a bad idea.

Saturday Event 2
Same site, mostly the same course, but reverse direction. Swapped to the Bridgestones during lunch. Track was dry for lunch, but the showers returned just as the cars were pulled back into grid. I tried a run in Sport Mode and didn't like the lack of traction, so returned to full computer control and dropped my time by 2 seconds. I hate to rely on the computer for wet conditions, but I can't argue with the results. Was 6th of 8 in the PAX class and 19th of 31 (ugh) in raw time; a cone on the fast run kept me from being 10th of 31 in raw time, but it would only have moved me up one spot in PAX.

Sunday Event 3
Bremerton was another national-quality course with lots of national-quality drivers. That combination has always made trips to the Puget Sound area worthwhile. Saturday's showers were banished from the region and I had a good opportunity to learn what the Bridgestones like. 10th of 14 in the PAX class (pretty similar to Saturday) and 44th of 113 in raw time.



Here's an amusing look at how cars have grown...
Pepper and pal at Bremerton.png
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Pepper's Totals
110 runs... 93 runs on the OEM 240 treadwear Goodyear Eagle F1s and 17 runs on used Bridgestone RE-71Rs
$3.67 per run in entry & membership fees
2851 miles on odometer (~400 miles are not related to autocrosses)
27.5 lifetime mpg


Sunday
2nd of 6 in combined class of DS, GS, & HS (PAXed). 9th of 86 overall in PAX. 30th of 86 overall in raw time. Back to collecting cones on all runs but one, which was a second slower than the fastest raw which still wouldn't have helped my class position. Between last event and this event, discovering how hard it is to get heat into the 255 Bridgestones when temps are below 60F, so seriously considering some 235-wide Bridgestones as backup set. PIR paddock (aka PIR south) is annoyingly bumpy, car is porpoising on the stock shocks.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Pepper's Totals
135 runs... 118 runs on the OEM 240 treadwear Goodyear Eagle F1s and 17 runs on used Bridgestone RE-71Rs
$3.55 per run in entry & membership fees
3691 miles on odometer (~400 miles are not related to autocrosses)
27.6 lifetime mpg

This weekend I devoted to the Siskiyou Sports Car Club annual Fall Enduro held in White City, Oregon (near Medford). The event consists of 5 laps around the Jackson County Sports Park kart track outermost loop. All the laps are added together and you only get one shot. There are practice sessions on Friday and Saturday. Because it is a fixed course, class records are kept. The records were wiped clean for 2015, presumably because of the SCCA class changes and maybe because of track repairs (?).

Because entries are capped at 75 drivers, there are usually not many drivers to directly compete against in class (though some classes had as many as 6 drivers registered). Rather the competition is usually whether you can break the existing record. Thus my goal was to break the GS record of 4:28.177 set last year by John Bennette in a 2016 VW GTI.

I began planning at the beginning of September to beat the record, especially considering it as a fairly soft record when records are sorted by PAX. At the time, it seemed like registering for the 2nd (of 6) run groups would be useful for making extra power because it would be cooler than the later run groups to help with power. While I was right about that, I unfortunately had not considered how cool it would be and what that might do for tire grip. So as I have learned more about the lack of tire grip and inability to get heat into the tires, I ended up not bothering to take the Bridgestones and ran on the Goodyears.

kart track.PNG

Friday
Rain, ugh. It doesn't usually rain in Medford until the end of October. 50F degrees, double ugh. On the 6 hour drive down, I vacillated about even bothering to show up at the track. In the end, I made use of the open practice that began at 4:30p to dusk, about 6:30p, to make sure I could find my way around the track. Left traction control on and despite all the negative conditions, I was setting some of the faster laps of the few cars there which was encouraging. It was during this session that I discovered I was hitting 70 mph before braking (yes, even in the rain!).

Saturday
I was registered for the morning practice session. The track was wet with dew but drying in 51F degree weather. Left the TC on and was waiting on the launch pad when a guy spun his new 650hp Corvette on the damp straight taking out the timing light, slewing through the mud and into the interior tire barrier inside the banked curve, setting off the airbag, and the car calling OnStar! Took about 20 minutes to clear that up and amazingly the damage was mostly cosmetic (but expensive).

During my laps, the low fuel warning came on saying I had only 20 miles of fuel and the gauge read empty. This was definitely false info because I knew there was 5 gallons in the tank when I started the laps! Came off track and stopped/restarted Pepper to see if it would clear up. Nope, gauge still said empty. Jacked up Pepper and the bottom of the fuel tank still looked normal, didn't show any leaks. Decided best bet was to drive to the gas station and fill the tank to see if it had collapsed... a full 8+ gallons went in and the gauge went back to reading full (3 laps was eating more than a gallon, so this jived). Came back to the track and ran again without trouble. Now I had an extra 50 lbs of fuel in the tank before tomorrow's main event, sigh. Could have, should have, taken one more practice run, but instead went for a drive and washed the car now that the rain had stopped.

Sunday
Between Saturday's drive and another in the foggy Sunday morning, I burned off 25 lbs of the extra fuel. Adding up my best practice times on Saturday, it looked like I would match the GS record... not as encouraging news as one would like. Fortunately the track was drier and the sky was sunnier even if the temp was only 43F when I made my competition run.

Came off track and it was announced that I set a new GS record of 4:26.429. Mission accomplished! Still, that is a somewhat soft time for the class by and there were at least 2 seconds left on the table because my laps got slower rather than faster. Wrong plaques ended up on the trophies, so they are being redone.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
40th of 63 in raw time
13th of 63 in PAX

Besides my record in GS, there were new records set for DP, SSM, STS, AS, & HS. SSM was a fantastic run to watch as Robert Rosseau drove the 2007 Corvette Z06 flawlessly and so fast he was also top PAX!
 
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