Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Season Under Way

All the pent up heat from cold weather this spring apparently got unleashed on us in one blast last Saturday. The second Renegade Miata event was the polar opposite of the first. The first was 50 degrees and windy, This one was 95 degrees and sweltering. Someone apparently determined that the pavement was 130 degrees in the sun. Tires were being sprayed BEFORE the first run. It was HOT. However, my car is generally a good car to have in hot weather with it's monster tires and light weight. Cold weather is a challenge, so as uncomfortable as the heat was, it was in some ways a very welcome change. I very much was interested to see how my car performed in such heat. The result was I managed to get a nice full day of runs where the only thing I needed to worry about was spraying the tires enough and driving. Mostly the tires were ok, though the 4th run of the morning they seemed to overheat, and gave out on me in a fast section. (my liberal application of throttle was also possibly to blame, but it worked the run before more or less). But overall, it was possible to manage the heat with spray water. I had fun, and by the end of the day I began to really feel like I understood the car again and was beginning to push it. My best time of the day got me something like the 5th raw time and while still rough in spots again, looked something like real autocross...

The very next day was the 3rd SCCA event, and the weather had evidently expended all of it's pent up heat, and was now 60 degrees and cloudy all day. Still better than anything mentioned in the last post, but not exactly warm either. The day went fairly well and I feel like I made some further progress getting comfortable with the car, finishing on 2 fast clean runs. Bob, my Co driver also seems to be settling in and learning the car. Here are our fastest two runs:

The data isn't showing as high of a G forces as I had hoped I would get with the new wheels, so soon I'll be looking to suspension setup to try to find more grip. On this particular day I turned out to be the fastest driver. Comparison of our two best runs shows he was faster in some parts early, but i was even faster in the final half of the run.

Finally a comparison of my best two runs...

Sector times seem to indicate I could easily have had another 0.75 sec, and perhaps even a full second without doing anything particularly new. So my coulda-woulda-shoulda time is something like 61.3 or so, which would have been 22ish in pax, and made my car the 3rd fastest vehicle (with doors) at the event. That's the type of result I want to become "ok" for me by the end of this year, with "good" being well into the top 20. Around here "well into the top 20" means putting at least a few nationally competitive folks behind me on their off days. That's the goal at least :)... it's a tough crowd and we've been gaining young talent in the last couple years.  But really, that's normal, so I just have to drive it!