Sep. 3rd, 2006 08:08 pm
volksdragon: (Autocross)
So, yeah. Not so much with the winning today. Darnit.
volksdragon: (Default)
I know, I've been remiss. Here, here's almost an entire page, courtesy of TeamWTF?!, of me racing. Everything in the Blue BMW on this page is me, #199. (I LOOK a lot better than I actually WAS)

volksdragon: (Autocross)
This past Sunday (the hottest day of the year) was New England Region's 5th points event of the year. I've driven every points event so far, as I'm hotly in contention for the STS class championship. Along with my Co-Driver, we've ended up usually first or second, and always top-3, with me coming out on top. We're driving a well-prepared 1993 Honda Civic SI, one of the best in STS in the country. The car's owner is one of the fastest ST class drivers (and CM drivers this year) that I've ever seen, definitely top-5 fastest in our region, and Nationally competitive. I'm sure it's killed him to see his car driven so below its normal level this year. I've been having some issues coming to grip with this car. It's DAMN fast, corners like no other Auto-X car I've driven (I'm sure the Viper pulled more G on the skidpad, but it might be close, the Datalogger on this thing recorded 1.13G already, and I know it'll do more), accelerates great thanks to the modified intake and massaged head, and stops FAST thanks to nice new Hawk brake pads. The Konis are amazing, and this is all being done on Falken ST-615s, no Kumho or Hoosiers here.

Solo2 talk under here )
volksdragon: (Autocross)
RAINED all day, 11 hours straight of regular rain to downpour rain, and I'm not exaggerating.
I drove not up to my regular rain skill. Spun the car twice. Got pissed. Got calmed down. Pulled out an 8th place time for the first day on my last run.

Pleased I set a time, not pleased overall how I drove. Oh well. There's tomorrow to beat everyone by 1 second.
volksdragon: (Autocross)
Scored 2nd in class. Continue to beat my co-driver (we both got beat out for 1st place by a very fast guy in an STS Celica GT-S. Very Hot day. My brain is poached. Hannah and Jenn came up to Chang's house Maynard for a post-race BBQ, which was nice. Drove truck back to Millis, drove car back to house, am now very tired. Going to watch the F1 race, and probably fall asleep doing so.
volksdragon: (Cars)
I'm sure this ride felt like 8 YEARS. Scroll down about 20% of the page and enjoy!

volksdragon: (ME)
(apologies to [livejournal.com profile] nrubenstein, he's already seen this!)

I had a rather odd experience yesterday. Someone recognized me as being a "driver" in a race setting. I went to Race-a-Rama yesterday, and we hung out for a while, looking stuff over. As we were walking out, I was behind some guy I didn't recognize at all, but he turned to look at me, and said "Hi." Being friendly, I said HI back, and he said, "Are you a driver?"
"uh, yeah, I drive in the NER Auto-X group in SCCA. "Yeah, I've seen you before. Nice to meet you."

Heh. Either it was an amazing spin-out I had, or, I dunno... Strange. Not bad, but not what I'm used to. :)
volksdragon: (Default)
Tonight was the night for myself, the car owner and the other co-driver to all meet and discuss details about co-driving the owner's car for this Autocross season. I was offered a chance to get in on this deal a few weeks ago, as I'm still out a racing car, and THIS is really my year to save up the $$$ for it.

We did it just like businessmen do, at Golf courses, except we did it at the indoor Go-Kart track. We raced three races (I'm still getting faster!) and then sat down to hammer out details.

A lot of the details (prices for the rental) had been mostly decided over email, this was just to nail that down, as well as prices for damage accrued, when the car would be available, what kind of tires were going to be purchased, and things like that. We all came to agreement over the terms, and starting in April, I'll be racing the car that placed 10th at Nationals last year in STS Class, a 1992 Honda Civic SI prepped to within an inch of its life (and the class rules). The car owner says (and has results to back up) that it's probably top-3 if not THE best STS class car in at LEAST the region, if not the east coast, and is capable of winning 1st place at Nationals with the right driver. That's probably not me first year, but it's nice to know the slow thing will be me, and not the car, so I know what to work on. :)

So, yeah, excited.

This isn't THE car, but it looks pretty much like this one. Same year, same color, different wheels (and this one's slower)
Car pic under here )
volksdragon: (Workout)
I did the Boston Zoom-Zoom Live event this morning, and MAN was it empty at 9am. :) There were no lines for anything until 10am, which was great, as we got to do all the events multiple times. My buddy's wife set the closest time for the Gymkhana for 9-10am, which was pretty cool for her. I had the most fun doing that event in the Mazda5, it moves pretty good for a minivan-like vehicle!

The Jinba Ittai was pretty cool. I did a mid-47 time with no balls lost the first run, and knew I could go faster, but slipped up in the FIRST turn, and lost 2 of 3 balls, but still ended up within 1 second of the reference time, so that was pretty cool.

The "School" event, with the RX-8s was a LOT of fun. They had a decent 25-30 second course set up, and professional racer-instructors to ride along. It was strictly a 2nd gear affair, and while they specified "no burn-outs", they didn't specify "no red-lining" so I drove it up to just a bit over 8k before shifting into second, which was probably 3/4 of the way up to the first corner. I don't have a of RWD-competition experience, but my theory's pretty decent on it (thanks Gran Turismo!) Aside from a little throttle-oversteer on the first corner, I was pretty good about keeping the under-steer and over-steer under control, braking and accelerating firmly, and transitioning through corners smoothly. I felt in control (but much faster than I'm used to our civic going!) throughout the whole course, and the instructor pretty much just pointed out a few apexes as I went into corners, and I used the information he gave me to approach the corners with an eye towards maximum exit speed. At the end, he congratulated me on a good drive, and said I was one of the smoothest rides he'd had.

The Competition event was, of course, where everyone wanted to be. I was psyched to be driving the Miatas instead of the Mazda3's this year, and manuals instead of automatics. We waited 10-15 minutes for our turn to drive, watching the other drivers. The best time I saw go through when we were standing there the first time was a 38.013, and the reference time was 38 seconds. When it was my turn, I got myself strapped in tight using the "sliding-locking seatbelt" trick, and then motored up to the start area. When he sent me off, I made a decent 2.5-3k launch with no wheelspin, and then promptly almost understeered off the course for the first tight left-hander of the course. "Oh yeah, this is RWD, gotta give it some gas! Duh!" After remembering I wasn't driving FWD, I stepped it up for the rest of the course, getting a little tail-happy in a few corners (just a little, it's pretty easy to get oversteer in the MX-5) and then blasted through the finish for a 37.5. !!! Wow, OK, these little cars are FAST. *big grin* That was good enough for 4th place. Hmm. I know I messed up two corners, I can go faster..... Sooo, back in line I went. Well, they were running two lines in the queue, one for manuals and one for automatics. The automatic transmission line was about 1/4 as long as the manual line, and I was feeling cocky, so I jumped over into the automatic line. If I didn't go faster, I had an excuse, and if I DID go faster, I could really brag. :) This line was only about a 10 minute wait, so I was back in the car pretty quickly, a nice dark-grey model, with the automatic paddle-shifters. Woo, this looks like fun. :) The guy gridding us had pointed out that the course didn't actually start until halfway through the first left-hand corner, so blasting full-speed into that corner didn't get us anything, except a lot of slide, so I figured I'd do it a little differently this run. On take-off, I eased out at a moderate speed, until I was wide-right about 20 feet before the left-hander, and then turned in and floored it. The back end kicked out nicely and then I made the right-hand transition and was off to the races, paddling it into 2nd. I gotta say, the automatic drove VERY similarly to the manual. The little extra weight didn't seem to hinder me at all, and I was very careful to tighten up all my lines from the previous runs I'd botched or under-steered on. It's EASY to get oversteer in these little cars, and just as easy to bring it back inline with a little lift, which made it great to drive. There were a few bigger sweepers I didn't even brake into, just tapped the brakes at the end where they tightened up into a chicane or slalom, and even the slaloms were big enough you only needed a little flick to traverse safely and at a pretty good clip. You could almost straight-line the ending slalom/chicane, if you trusted your ability to brake quickly while making a relatively hard right-hand turn to not take out the ending-area cones, and more than one person tried that and looped it. I, however, did not loop it, and pulled into the finish area. I felt it was a pretty good run. Of course, as I'm driving over to the timing guy, the entire gallery starts clapping. WT... The guy says to me, "Yeah, pretty good time, "36.1." DUDE, 36.1?! "Wow, thanks!" I took a little bow to the crowd as I stepped out. :)

So, that time was good enough by about 1/2 second to the next closest time, by a kid named Boris, to take the fastest time for that hour. I'm HOPEFUL it's good enough for the day's best time. The next closest times aside from Boris were 37.2 or so.

So, yeah, a good time. I made it out of there with a first-place hat, a t-shirt, and some pretty nice Bose tri-port headphones. I felt this event was just as well run, but more fun, than the Rev-It-Up event from last year, and catered more to amateur racer/street drivers than the cut-throat competition for the Mazda last year. I hope that, if they bring Rev-it-up back, they either run this event as well, or make RIU more like this!
volksdragon: (ME)
So, I'm driving to work, from the Dentist's office (through Alewife up Route 2, for all you Boston folks), and at the intersection to get to Route 2, there are two consecutive traffic lights you must sit to. As I pull up to the first one, I see they both have panhandlers working, one at each light.

As I reach the first light, I'm pretty far back in the line of cars. The guy starts walking towards me. He holds up his sign, and his sign says, "Homeless Vet. Need Money Please. God Bless." I debate giving him some change, applying my totally non-scientific appraisal methods to his pitch, but the light changes, so I have to drive anyway.

I reach the second traffic light, and stop. This guy starts walking down the line of cars, and holds up HIS sign: SPARE CHANGE FOR LSD AND GUNS.

I was laughing so incredibly hard, I could hardly reach my wallet to get out a dollar to give to this guy. He walked up next to my window as I was handing out the dollar, and I said, "Dude, that's the best sign ever." He smiled, and said, "God Bless you!" and I drove away, still laughing.

It took me probably 2 or 3 miles to stop laughing.


volksdragon: (Default)

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