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tl;dr: I won my class by 1.9 seconds - Equiraptor's Journal
tl;dr: I won my class by 1.9 seconds
So, those "more details" about the autocross...

I drove up to Fort Worth Friday. I managed to arrive in time to get the car tech inspected and get a few "test and tune" runs in. I didn't really properly tune the car on the test and tune runs - that's still an area where I have a great deal to learn - but I still appreciated the chance to drive on the surface and get at least a bit of a feel for the lot. By the time I was heading off for the tech inspection, my codriver (greengalnblack) had arrived. She introduced me to some of her friends, we checked in with registration, etc., etc. Friday evening was Friday evening, hanging out with the Spokes group. As the sun set, greengalnblack and I realized we were going to have to head out if we expected to go to bed at a decent hour, and since we ran first heat, we wanted to go to bed at a decent hour. She brought me to my grandmother's and headed off to her place to stay.

In the morning, greengalnblack was running late. Me being me, however, I had planned in some extra time for "just in case," so this wasn't a huge negative. We made it to the site and found everything pretty much as we left it, which left us plenty of time. We walked the course one final time, checked grid spots, and brought the car around to grid. I actually managed to put the car in the wrong place, but the grid workers preferred where I put the car, so we left it there. It was cold - the temps weren't all that low, but the constant strong breeze meant any heat was blown away. greengalnblack made her first run and came back with tires only barely warm. It wasn't long before I was out for my first run. Though things were slick, the car was well behaved, and I instantly vaulted myself into the lead. I had a second over Iain Peebles in Chris's MX-5. But, as far as I knew, that was Iain's first drive in that car, ever, so there was potential for him to gain a lot of time through the three runs. Iain essentially matched the time of my first run in his second, but I knocked .8 off for my second run, putting myself back into the lead. On Iain's third run, a cone got in the way, so I found myself going into my third run already in the lead. With the pressure off and my third run just a "widen the gap for tomorrow" run, I knocked another .8 seconds off, and gave myself a 1.67 second lead going into day two.

Through all of this, greengalnblack, Iain, and I traded teasing and good-natured insults. We gathered for lunch with a few of their friends, and then made our way back to the site to work third heat. I spent third heat in the sun, having forgotten to apply sunblock, and got myself a bit of a burn on my face. The rest of the day went well enough, with event-provided BBQ for dinner, and chances to walk the course after.

greengalnblack had me drive her S2000 on the way to my grandmother's this evening. That car is a blast. It definitely needs to rev to find its power, but once you reach around 6500rpm, it's a kick in the pants. As an S2000, it revs up to 9000rpm, so there's still plenty of room to play. It handled well, and it was easy to control that power through corners, even on the bumpy streets leading up to my grandmother's. That car definitely needs to find its way into an autocross, even if it'll be stuck in a class where it's not competitive.

Sunday morning, remembering the chills of Saturday morning, I put on every clean shirt I had left. That meant three fairly small shirts and a sweatshirt. The breeze, however, was gone, so it didn't feel nearly as cold. I ended up shedding layers quickly and early, shedding one or two before any cars even started running! My performance this morning was... Less than stellar. On my first run, my brain just hadn't engaged yet and I wasn't looking ahead. I got lost on course TWICE! I didn't hit any cones or DNF, but I did end up with some rather boneheaded slam-on-the-brakes moments. Iain's raw time on his first run this morning was faster than mine by a second, but he hit a cone. My second run would have made up just over two seconds (not getting lost is GOOD!), but I had hit an early cone, adding two seconds to the run! Iain had hit a cone on his second run, as well, though so I was still in the lead. But on Iain's third run, he ran clean. That time left him with a 107.mumble over the two days, which matched the 107.mumble that I'd had. Neither of us were sure what our .mumbles were, so I went into my third run not sure if I was winning or not. I knew "a clean run" would win it for me, though, even if it was fairly slow, so I took a nice little Sunday drive around the course. "Don't hit anything and don't get lost" were my goals, and I managed that. The raw time was about a third of a second slower than my coned run, but since a cone adds two seconds, it was a great improvement in my standing. I ended up winning my class by over 1.9 seconds.

After everyone else got to run that day, awards were presented. Spokes had done rather well, so many of us ended up walking up to get trophies. I tore out of there quickly after the presentation was over, eager to get home, unload the trailer, and find a few minutes to relax.

Overall, it was a great weekend spent with fun people, driving a wonderful car. I'm eager for the H2R autocross this weekend, and I need to get my tires and contingency money!
9 comments | Leave a comment
greengalnblack From: greengalnblack Date: May 8th, 2008 04:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was an awesome weekend, and you drove really well, even for getting "lost"! Thanks for the love on the S2000; I think it will be even more fun and handle even better once I can get that Comptech front sway underneath it and some Hoosiers (given yesterday's $700k contract, those are the things I'll be spending my commission on first!).

And hey, yeah I was a little late on Sat., but I was EARLY and came bearing coffee on Sunday, which is friggin amazing considering that we had to get started an hour earlier that day! :D

Fun fun fun... I can't wait until Sunday either!
davebs14 From: davebs14 Date: May 8th, 2008 04:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
got shocks already?
greengalnblack From: greengalnblack Date: May 8th, 2008 04:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeppers, got those last fall :)
davebs14 From: davebs14 Date: May 8th, 2008 05:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Can i drive it as SASCA later this month? :D hee hee hee......
From: kwinterrowdster Date: May 10th, 2008 08:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Congrats! Are you going out to H2R this Sunday? I was talking to Sherman about it so I may come out and hang with everyone for awhile.
equiraptor From: equiraptor Date: May 10th, 2008 01:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am... Have you been out to H2R yet? If you do come out, watch out for the freeway closing. :/

You should come for a ride with me. I pale in comparison to Dan or Lance, but with the slicks on, the car will still manage things it just can't do on the street. ;)
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 13th, 2008 11:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Could not make it out last Sunday but may be in San Antonio this Sunday and will stop by if I am. Will you be at that one?
From: kwinterrowdster Date: May 13th, 2008 11:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
That last comment from (Anonymous)was me. I didn't realize I had logged out when I replied.
equiraptor From: equiraptor Date: May 14th, 2008 12:18 am (UTC) (Link)
*nod* I'm planning to be there. I'm a little less "must be there" about this one than the Tour and the H2R, but I should be there.
9 comments | Leave a comment