Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Moving Up in the Pack

Sorry folks, wrote this several months ago but forgot to publish it... I am now due for a season wrap up (which will contain tales of the season points race, car modifications, weather factors and lessons learned). I'll let this entertain you while I put that together :) If you want a sneak peak of that, you can of course check out my graphs...

The latest SCCA event on 7/18 was yet another high water mark. Even though I didn't beat either the Turbo Miata or the CRX, I was close enough to make it look possible this time. Everyone in the class ran well, and the stats speak for themselves. I was over the 60th percentile in the PAX standings, a full 12% higher than ever before. If one uses the Super Stock PAX that is more appropriate for the actual level of modifications to my car, I broke into the 70th percentile. As a SS car, I would have out PAXed everyone in SSM. Relative to Russ, my raw time was only 4.3% slower, and he was 15th in PAX standings overall, just shy of the 90th percentile.

The day started and ended well. The first run had me in second place in SSM with Brian only 0.7 sec faster. The next couple runs got away from me a bit (one had a spin) and predictably the other competitors moved up and passed me. In the afternoon I had one spin to start, then a run that shaved 0.3 sec off my best. This left me in position to give it my all. I just concentrated on driving it all harder and closer to the edge, and somehow didn't loose control. The result? I shaved a whopping 1.7 seconds off my time. I was still in 4th, but up with the pack instead of trailing.

The conclusion? I had plateaued again. My improvements in my ability to control the car had allowed me to get comfortable again. Need to push out of my comfort zone. I did a fair job of this in the second half of the next event too. I finished with the 24th best raw time (up from 29th after the morning runs) at the 7/31 Renegade Miata event. There were over 60 people at that event, but this is not directly comparable, of course there are about 25 miata of all levels of prep, and basically all the cars have fenders (no formula cars or carts). But there are definately lots of well prepared cars there, so the conversion is entirely unclear being in the front half of the pack is good.

Oh, and then there's the mods I just did... (next post) :)

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