Sunday, November 27, 2005

Turn Out the Lights . . .

Well, as you can see from the lack of new posts on this blog, I for some reason haven't found a need to keep it updated. So I'm officially shutting down here and moving all (or any) autocross talk over to the main blog, Infinity Ranch. So c'mon over.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Results - You Win Some, You Lose Some

It's been a while since the last update (sounds like I'm going to confession), mostly because I simply keep forgetting to do them. As such, two events have passed which could not have gone any differently for me. Our April event featured several long corners, including a nearly 360 degree right-hander, which I just nailed. I jumped to first on my first run and hang on for my first win of the year and the first win for the new Neon. My brother had to sit that one out, but I vanquished the red Prelude that had beaten us both in prior months. In May, however, I just couldn't get a handle on things. The bro' was back, but no Prelude this month. The course had two corners that I never got right (in five runs) and I ended up a disapointed third. Which just goes to show that the car's good enough, if the driver can keep it together.

Event: The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly Autocross - Presented by Midway Ford
Where: Riverside High School, Belle, WV
When: 17 April 2005
1st run: 57.061
2nd run: 56.519
3rd run: 56.285
4th run: 55.765

Class Finish: 1st of 11 (0.718 second margin of victory)
Overall Finish: 22nd of 65 (4.469 seconds behind)
PAX Finish: 5th of 65 (2.347 seconds behind)

Event: The May Day (Workers Unite!) Autocross - Presented by Midway Ford
Where: Riverside High School, Belle, WV
When: 15 May 2005
1st run: 53.787
2nd run: 52.967
3rd run: 52.477
4th run:
5th run: 51.488
Class Finish: 3rd of 9 (1.373 seconds behind)
Overall Finish: 28th of 44 (5.540 seconds behind)
PAX Finish: 14th of 44 (2.457 seconds behind)

Monday, April 11, 2005

Result - March Autocross

It's times like these that all the hard work and money spent on the new car really pay off - I beat my brother in a straight-up fight! Hooray for me! Unfortunately, we were both beaten pretty handily and had to fight for second place. Still, the car continues to develop and I really like the way I've sorted it out so far.
Event: March Autocross - Presented by Midway Ford
Where: Riverside High School, Belle, WV
When: 20 March 2005
1st run: 65.962+2
2nd run: 64.668
3rd run: 63.761
Class Finish: 2nd of 12 (0.894 second behind)
Overall Finish: 22nd of 79 (6.254 seconds behind)
PAX Finish: 6th of 79 (1.374 seconds behind)

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Result - (Belated) February Autocross

Autocross is a sport that relies on (relatively) empty parking lots for venues. So imagine our surprise when we showed up for our February event and found the lot half-full of AAU basketball fans! Maybe it was a blessing - the weather that day was cold and wet, but by the time we reassembled for the event two weeks later, it was a beautiful sunny pre-spring day. This was my first chance to really wring out the new Neon. It's got a lot of potential and after some development should be a real beast. My brother and I fought at the top of STS all day. I had him after three runs, but he dug deep to knock me off on our final run.

Event: February Autocross - Presented by Midway Ford
Where: Riverside High School, Belle, WV
When: 6 March 2005
1st run: 38.287
2nd run: 37.489
3rd run: 36.681
4th run: 36.578
Class Finish: 2nd of 10 (0.619 second behind)
Overall Finish: 19th of 55 (3.846 seconds behind)
PAX Finish: 6th of 55 (1.293 seconds behind)

Monday, January 17, 2005

Result - Deep Freeze Autocross 2005

We are somewhat weird as a region not based in the South (OK, WV isn't exaclty Maine, but we were on the right side during the war) for running events in January and February. The last two years our January event had to be cancelled because of weather and venue problems. When I volunteered to organize this year's January event, I dubbed it Deep Freeze, after the last January event we actually ran. Given our recent heat wave, I didn't think it would actually be freezing. How wrong I was - it was cold all day, and it started snowing around 1:30, right in the middle of our second runs. So the last half of the event was a futile exercise in traction. I'm fairly happy with how the new car feels, but it was really kind of hard to judge on the basis of one dry run.

On to the results:

Event: Deep Freeze Autocross 2005 - Presented by Midway Ford
Where: Riverside High School, Belle, WV
When: 16 January 2005
1st run: 1:42.763
2nd run: 1:48.427
3rd run: 1:49.254
Class Finish: 3rd of 9 (6.26 seconds behind)
Overall Finish: 9th of 48 (6.828 seconds behind)
PAX Finish: 7th of 48 (6.153 seconds behind)
Note: My brother co-drove my car before he had to head out of town on business. After our first runs, I was ahead by about 3 tenths of a second. His second run was dry, mine was in the snow. He beat me.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Pix of the LER Neon

A shot of the driver's side Posted by Hello

A menacing front end if ever I've seen one. Posted by Hello

As it might look next year, in (semi) full livery. Posted by Hello

Yeah, that's a Budget Rent-a-Car sticker - what of it? Posted by Hello

Out With the Old . . .

I autocrossed my Sentra for more than two years. First in H/Stock, and then in G/Stock, where I won a championship in 2003. Over the off season last winter, I prepped the car to move into STS. That allowed me to move into a deeper, more competitive class and, as an added bonus, compete head-to-head against my brother. To be blunt, I mostly got my ass whupped in STS.

In September, the SWVR ran its second even of the year in the northern part of the state in Clarksburg. It was a smaller event that normal (the weather sucked - hurricane remnants hit the day before), leaving STS to be contested just between my brother and I. He did, by about a second and a half. I took one fun run in his Neon and immediately chopped 7/10ths of a second off my best time. This meant something. Was my lack of results this year due to my driving or my car?

For our October event, I co-drove my brother's Neon to try and help answer that question. At the end of the day, it was answered emphatically. After a season of being in the second division of STS, I finished second in class (out of 13), ahead of my brother, and just 1/10th of a second off the lead. So I decided that the time was right to retire the Sentra from competition. It's a great car (I highly recommend one, either the 2000 or 2001 SE version), but it's a little portly for a class dominated 0n a national level by featherweight Civics and in my region by much lighter (not Civic light, but still) 1st-gen Neons. So the search began for a new toy.

That search didn't take long, thankfully. I had a long list of potential cars (old Civics, Sentras, Integras, etc.), among which was a 1st-gen Neon. It just so happens that one of my fellow SWVR board members was looking to sell his second Neon, a 95 Sport Coupe, as he was readying his ACR version to go road racing. In the process, he was willing to unload several STS upgrades he could no longer use. We agreed on the deal last weekend, and after some wrenching this weekend, I took delivery.

The new Legal Eagle Racing Neon (pixs above): 95 Sport Coupe with Mopar Extra High Rate springs, Ractive front strut tower brace, Chikara (nee Hedman) header, Enkei 15x6 wheels, custom intake, Unorthodox Racing underdrive pulley, ACR-spec front and rear sway bars (polyurethane bushings in front), air conditioning removed. All I need are some Konis and a fresh set of Ecsta MXs and I'll be set for '05.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Results - Last Chance 04

This weekend was our annual Last Chance Autocross, the traditional end to the SWVR season. For the second month in a row I borrowed my brother's Neon, but this month I ran in D/Street Prepared so I wouldn't mess up his STS championship chances. Didn't matter, in the end, as he won the event and the championship. I had one little off course excursion (damned non-ABS brakes!) on my third run, but did pretty well, other than that. I was just over a half-second behind the D/SP winner, who was the event organizer and long-time autocrosser (and whose Neon had sticky DOT-R tires). Overall, a positive end to the season.
Event: Last Chance Autocross 04
Where: Riverside High School, Belle, WV
When: 21 November 2004
1st run: 1:06.574
2nd run: 1:05.836
3rd run: 1:19.606
4th run: 1:04.223
Class finish: 2nd of 10 (0.671 sec behind)
Overall finish: 15th of 55 (5.186 secs behind)
Overall PAX finish: 12th of 55 (3.799 secs behind)
Note: If I ran in STS, I would have finished 3rd in class (out of 9) and 6th overall on PAX.