June 28: first time driving the car after the Pro
After the Pro I put the car in the garage since I daily drive the MR2. On Saturday I drove the car to Herndon for work. I got all the way there (~45 minute drive) and then passing a bus in 3rd gear I noticed the clutch was slipping. Not surprising given its rough life. 85K miles and 439 autocross runs since January 2003 (there are a lot of schools in there), including three ProSolos.
July 3: new clutch, new belts
So my next stop was Andrewtech. Luckily the clutch wasn't gone yet so I didn't need to tow it in. They installed another OEM clutch (after the normal questions about why I wasn't installing an aftermarket one) and also re-did all the belts since I was close to 90K anyway and they were showing signs of wear.
It's very strange driving a car with a new clutch after driving a car with an abused one for so long. It was engaging instantly and my left foot's programming struggled at first. I had to break the clutch in before I could autocross it so I daily drove the car for the next week and a half.
Event 13: CDC @ Frederick
I broke out the MR2 for this one. It's a fully ES legal 91 MR2 and when I bought it, it came with a pair of front swaybars, Konis, an alignment with crash bolts and a spare set of wheels with V710's. So when the Subaru is down, or if I just feel like experimenting, it's there.
CDC doesn't run SCCA classing - just penalties for weight, R-compounds and horsepower.
Capital Driving Club
This doesn't work out well for the MR2, which gets a multiplier of 1.03. My WRX (and most cars in STU) get a multiplier of 1.01 for horsepower and that's about it. This despite the fact that ES's PAX is slower. Ah well.Tire Multiplier1
Street Tires = 1.00
R-Compounds = 1.03
Below 150 hp = 1.00
150 hp to 250 hp = 1.01
251 hp to 350 hp = 1.02
Over 350 hp = 1.04
Vehicle Weight Multiplier3
Vehicle weight < 2000 lbs = 1.02
Vehicle weight 2000 to 2500 lbs = 1.01
Vehicle weight 2501 to 3500 lbs = 1.00
Vehicle weight > 3500 lbs = 0.99
1DOT approved street tires will have a treadwear rating of 140 or greater
2As measured at the driven wheels
3Curb weight without driver or passenger(s) onboard
I had a fairly meh day in the car. The steering in the MR2 is electrohydraulic (?) - it depowers itself with speed/throttle/G-load/something so the steering you use to enter the slalom may not make sense at the end of the slalom. It's neat, but wierd. I ran a 43.0 and my codriver (as per tradition) beat me running a 42.3. FTD was a K-20 swap Civic at 38.xx.
Event 14: WDCR/SCCA @ Fedex
For this event we switched from the normal lot (E/F) to the lot on the other side of the stadium (A). I actually like this lot better and have usually done okay there. It's definitely different though, almost like the difference between convex and concave. Looking ahead is more important but also harder as you are often driving at something you can't see over the crest of a hill. The camber differences from spot to spot are also greater than they are at the other lot.
Run 1 I took a passenger and ran a 61.1. The car felt strangely loose but not too bad. My starting tire pressures of 39/36 had shot up to 41/38 during my run so I bled them down to 37/35 before starting my next run. Run 2 was a 60.6. I fixed a lot of things from my first run (mostly just pushing harder) but I didn't feel like I did the first half of the course very well. I wrote down some notes on the course map - take a different line through here, brake deeper here, etc etc. Run 3 was ugly - I pushed too hard too soon and the tires went away about halfway through the run so I was understeering everywhere. I ended up going OC trying a "momentum" line through one of the middle sections. Ah well.
Josh (who outside of the Pro has been beating me all year) had a 58.9 at this point which I knew was going to be really difficult to catch.
My last run started out pretty well. The first half was definitely better than the first half my 2nd run so I was optimistic that I could make up some of the gap. The second half did not go as well though - I got on the gas too early in a couple spots and ended up having to lift to correct it. In my zeal to get across the finish line, I got on the gas too early again and ended up taking out the left side of the finish (plus 4). Doh. The run was faster - 60.0 - would have been good for 2nd place but instead I sat on the 60.6 and ended up in 3rd. Larry Olsen in Craig's Mini had a 60.3 for 2nd place.
Monday morning quarterbacking - if you took the 2nd run and 4th run and combined their best parts, I think a 59.5 is definitely possible but catching Josh would have been a heck of a trick. Josh PAX'd 24th out of 236. I PAX'd 68th on my 60.6. If my 60.0 had been clean it would have moved me to 50th, and a 59.5 would have put me at 34th. I can't feel too bad about it really - I'm not driving as well as I can, but even if I were, Josh has been fast, consistent and mistake free pretty much all year. PAXing in the 20's at a WDCR event isn't easy.
Season standings update
In the WDCR, 1st place is 12 points, 2nd is 9 and 3rd is 7 (it goes down evenly from there).
Since STX was tornado'd away in April, only the best 4 of the 6 remaining events count for points. At this point Josh has three wins and I have two 3rd places (at the other event, I was running in ESP) so even if I somehow won the last three events Josh would need to finish no better than 3rd at all of them in order to win STX. That's pretty unlikely to happen. Josh has been on fire this year.
One big contrast between last year and this year, setup wise, is that the car really isn't tossable like it was with the tiny rear bar. Since the math doesn't look good for me I am probably going to change the ride heights a little bit (raise the front back to 13.8, raise the rear up to 14.0 and soften the rear swaybar a little) to see if I can get some of last year's mojo going again. The car isn't bad right now but anything I can do that would make it easier to drive fast would be a bonus, especially since we are going to be on the "convex" lot for the rest of the season.
Next event is Sunday the 20th.