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Autocross and Racing Discussion (SKY/Kappa) Tips, tricks, vehicle prep and setup, etc.

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post #16 of 93 (permalink) Old 05-25-2015, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Robotech View Post
I may need to get a new helmet. They say they have some loaners so I may be okay or may be okay with the helmet I bring, we'll see.

As for swaybars, I know with my setup the Z0K front and rear feel very good but I do have to run the rear shocks about 4 clicks from firm on the rear and the fronts 8 from firm to get a nice neutral balance. Also, the SCCA Autocross rules only allow for you to change ONE swaybar. From that swaybar thread it looks like the Z0K bars are more balanced than the stock Redline bars which are setup for more understeer. That would explain why many Redline autocross folks swap out just the rear bar to the Z0K option.
Those "Loaner Helmets" can be pretty dirty and greasy. Use this for a last resort. Bring some "Baby Wipes" or something similar if you decide to go this route.

Is this an SCCA sanctioned event? I thought not, based upon the rules posted above. SCCA usually uses a lot more verbiage on each rule.

If it is an SCCA event, then those adjustable shocks MAY bump you up to Street Prepared, but I'm not sure of that and I could be wrong.

Yes, one swaybar for SCCA, AFAIK. However, I have not AXed since 2012, so again, I could be way off base.



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post #17 of 93 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Correct on all counts Yogi. This is not SCCA rules and since I changed BOTH sway bars and the shocks pretty sure I'd be in Street Prepared or above.


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post #18 of 93 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 09:03 PM
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Have fun Robotech. No reason to be nervous...do the novice walkthrough and take your first run easy. You'll have a blast! We know you'll have your car set up right. :-)

I've only done 3 autocrosses with SCCA, but I joined the club right after my second one because I knew I'd keep doing them. Took 2nd of 7 in-class as my best result so far (unfortunately not in my SKY).
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post #19 of 93 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 11:06 PM
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I ordered the ZOK bar from DDM, but it appears they are not in stock. Had wanted it for the autocross. Will check with them Monday. Robo, are you going to be able to go after today? If not you could ride out with me, and I will pay you for your entry.
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post #20 of 93 (permalink) Old 05-30-2015, 11:08 AM
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Correct on all counts Yogi. This is not SCCA rules and since I changed BOTH sway bars and the shocks pretty sure I'd be in Street Prepared or above.
Just between you and me: They never check those details, unless it is a serious National event.

Down here in Houston, they can arrange for rookies to "ride along" with a more experienced driver, which can be helpful. Even more helpful is to get an experienced driver to ride along with you. They can critique your driving and offer helpful tips.

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post #21 of 93 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 07:57 PM
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Robo is out there, having a ball. Hope I can be ready for the next one.
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post #22 of 93 (permalink) Old 06-08-2015, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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Whew...okay, three things I came away with after this weekend.
  1. I need more practice.
  2. I need something other than the $89/tire all season radial tires I ran with and
  3. ...I REALLY need to get that turbo on the car.

Saturday went okay...I wound up 9th out of 10. Had a few BRZs, an S2000, a couple of RX8s, two Focus STs, and a Lotus Elise. A couple of notes about the Lotus; The driver, whose husband had a full racecar Elise at the track, took first. We had 24 runs over the two days and over that time, she was the fastest average driver out of the 100+ entries. EVERY car above me on the list had extreme summer sports tires on their cars...hence my item number one above...and had more power than I did...hence item number two above.

The track was a simple out and back. I was told it was setup to be a very fast track and it sure seemed that way. Saturday we ran one way, Sunday we ran the opposite. Surface was VERY rough asphalt and the weather was mostly warm with Saturday morning having cooler temps and overcast skies.

Saturday was definitely a learning process and I was running 32 second and 31 second laps all day with my first lap a 34.5. (Had to be in the 29s to even get in the 7th position...fastest up until the end of the day was a 31.1.) Finally, on my last run of the day, I tweaked my line in the turn around corner and dropped more than half a second off my best time to run a 30.5. I used little brake and was almost wide open from the start line to the entry into the turn around corner. Good news was that in my 12 runs I only got one cone.

Sunday was a bit better with a slightly longer track and times now 30 seconds and up for the most part (though there were some 29s and the crazy Lotus racecar pulling 26s. He ran 24s on Saturday. He was a good two seconds faster than anyone else both days). I started with a 36.4 and got down into the 35s but just couldn't seem to break 35.1. I road along with a GTA Trans Am with an experienced autocrosser to try and cut down my times. She tended to hug the inside cones...almost squaring off corners...so I tried that line next time out to see where I came. 36.6. So knowing that didn't work, I went back to my old line but kept it closer to the inside cones and changed up my line on the switch back turn. Now my times dropped and I ran a 34.5 and a 34.6. Next session out the first pass was a 35.5 on cold tires followed by another 34.5 and 34.4 pair. Last session out on Sunday I tried to push her hard and wound up blowing a corner taking out a cone. Then the tires back end started to feel light and I just couldn't improve on my times. On getting back to the pit I saw my gas tank was very low (had more than half a tank on Saturday and started with a little over an 1/8th of a tank on Sunday) and wondered if the weight difference may have played a factor.

I don't know where I fell on Sunday but we had more than 10 cars. There were a lot more cars below me though. I know I was running faster times than the two Miatas and Ford Fiesta that were out there but I didn't crack the top 10 I don't believe. I did hit more cones on Sunday (at least 3 maybe 4) so I was definitely posting slower times after penalties were assessed though I believe one of my 34.4 runs were clean. Most were running 31 and 32 second laps.

I've been told that putting on a good set of tires over the POS tires I was running could make a big difference. I've been told it could be as much as 4 seconds but I don't know how true that is. Would be nice though! LOL Definitely know it would help and I felt good on the track...felt fast...but I want to get some more rides with other people and maybe have them ride with me to give me some pointers. Seems like a good group and made some friends. Hope to see them in September when I go again.

Car felt good but I may find a Redline front swaybar and see how that feels on the track. I did the chalk thing on the tires to see how much they were rolling over. At 40 psi I still had chalk on the TOP of the tire tread so I lowered the pressure down to 34 front 36 rear with my rear shocks on full firm and the front 5 from firm. Felt pretty good that way with on power under steer and a bit loose off power.


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post #23 of 93 (permalink) Old 06-08-2015, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yogi View Post
Just between you and me: They never check those details, unless it is a serious National event.

Down here in Houston, they can arrange for rookies to "ride along" with a more experienced driver, which can be helpful. Even more helpful is to get an experienced driver to ride along with you. They can critique your driving and offer helpful tips.

Yogi
Good to note about the bars and shocks. Will keep that in mind though, when I go Turbo, that's another story.

I definitely learned a lot by riding with other drivers. Doing that caused me to change my style both days and netted me an improvement in my best lap time both days...a .6 improvement Saturday and a .7 improvement Sunday. I hope to have someone ride with me next time out and see what tips they may be able to give me. I really want to have the tires by then.


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post #24 of 93 (permalink) Old 06-08-2015, 05:38 PM
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Glad that you had a good time and made (some) progress.

Quote:
Had a few BRZs, an S2000, a couple of RX8s, two Focus STs, and a Lotus Elise.
What class did they put you in? I know that the S2000's can be pretty fast. I would expect the RX8's to also be fast. A Lotus Elise? In the same class as a Sky? I don't understand.

I wouldn't worry too much about new tires at this point. The main thing you need is practice!

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post #25 of 93 (permalink) Old 06-08-2015, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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They basically had five classes.

Classic Muscle - 1960s and 1970s era muscle cars and pickups. Remember this event was put on Hotchkis suspensions.

Modern Muscle - Modern day muscle cars...lots of Mustangs, Cameros and Vettes in this one.

Compact - Everything else that didn't fit in the above classes.

Unlimited class - If you were running slicks or a full blown racecar, you were here.

Exhibition - This was for drivers not competing in the Hotchkins cup over the weekend and/or generally were event sponsors or event staff.

So that's how a NA Sky got lumped in with a Lotus. I was okay though. I know practice comes first, but having the right tires on the car wouldn't hurt. My times weren't that far off and of all the cars that had stock tires (or at least no 200 wearrating tires) I was probably the fastest in Compact Class. I was a second faster than an SS Camero on stock tires who was pitting next to me too. I'm not TOTALLY new to this racing stuff. Just have to figure out what it looks like from INSIDE the car. LOL

Some pictures:



Getting ready to run on Sunday. Drove 60 miles to get there so wanted to get some of the heat out of the engine bay. Using my RC Race Track canopy made it easy to find my pit space. Bright orange stands out. Every car in that picture was competing.



One of the Focus STs in my group. I think he may have done this before.



While not in my class, this car was in my group. One fast Old School Vette in the Classic Muscle class. The Camero next to it wasn't a slouch either.



The Lotus twins. The black car the driver built himself. He's an engineer. His front splitter was made of...get this...plywood. Now, while the rest of the car was Carbon Fiber he told me the plywood was light and since the car sat so low the splitter would break regularly. The wood was relatively light and cheap to replace if broken. Hey, he was EASILY the fastest car on the track so who am I to argue? His wife drove the yellow Lotus and was the fastest car, on average, for the whole weekend. Apparently these two can drive. LOL



As you can see I was fairly consistent. My first lap was a 34 as it was my first time on the track. Then I got in the 32s for 3 laps and then pretty much stayed in the 31s. The 33 second lap late is after I was assessed a 2 second penalty for hitting a cone so that was a 31 second lap too minus the penalty. The 32 second lap there late in the day was with my son in the car with me and cold tires. Then I rip off the 31.4 by attacking the legs of the track a little harder. Then my son, who had rode with a couple drivers during the day, mentioned how they took a different line through the switch back corner. I try their line on my last lap and boom...30.5. What's worse is after he told me the line I thought about the corner setup and realized that had this been an RC track, I would have taken the corner like he mentioned.

Like I said, I do need practice, but it's more taking what I know to be a fast line in one form of racing and applying it here. Very different feel to things.


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2007 2.4 Base
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Max (#1547)
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Last edited by Robotech; 06-08-2015 at 07:30 PM.
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post #26 of 93 (permalink) Old 06-08-2015, 06:23 PM
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Glad you had a good time, Robo.

According to the instructor that rode with me at my last autocross, the Focus ST is ruling Street G class these days.
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post #27 of 93 (permalink) Old 06-08-2015, 06:32 PM
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WOW! Only 5 classes! That's really stripping it down to the bare minimum!

You ought to try SCCA Solo. MANY more classes there. You'd be a LOT more competitive in a class with comparable cars.

Are those wheels a non-stock size? If so, I'm pretty sure they would bust you out of SCCA Stock class, up into Street Prepared. Prolly B/SP.

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post #28 of 93 (permalink) Old 06-08-2015, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Glad you had a good time, Robo.

According to the instructor that rode with me at my last autocross, the Focus ST is ruling Street G class these days.
I can believe it. Those suckers were quick!

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WOW! Only 5 classes! That's really stripping it down to the bare minimum!

You ought to try SCCA Solo. MANY more classes there. You'd be a LOT more competitive in a class with comparable cars.

Are those wheels a non-stock size? If so, I'm pretty sure they would bust you out of SCCA Stock class, up into Street Prepared. Prolly B/SP.

Yogi
Yea, I have looked into SCCA and figured I'd be in a more competitive class. LOL I may go try it down in San Diego. Heard that was a good group.

The tires and rubber I have on my car are stock size. 245/45R18s. I believe I can go to a 245/40R18 and still be legal, yes? I was looking at these:

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....tnum=44WR8Z2SS

This is what I currently have:
http://www.discounttirezone.com/DELI...XL_p_8445.html

I think the ZII might perform a BIT better...


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2007 2.4 Base
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Max (#1547)
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Last edited by Robotech; 06-08-2015 at 07:24 PM.
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post #29 of 93 (permalink) Old 06-09-2015, 11:27 AM
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I can believe it. Those suckers were quick!



Yea, I have looked into SCCA and figured I'd be in a more competitive class. LOL I may go try it down in San Diego. Heard that was a good group.

The tires and rubber I have on my car are stock size. 245/45R18s. I believe I can go to a 245/40R18 and still be legal, yes? I was looking at these:

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....tnum=44WR8Z2SS

This is what I currently have:
DELINTE DH2 : 245/45ZR18 100W XL

I think the ZII might perform a BIT better...
When I was AXing, the Star specs were highly recommended by the ppl at the SCCA SOLO tracks here in Houston. I bought a set from a local dealer. They are very good tires. Unfortunately, my problem was the nut behind the steering wheel, not the tires.

The ZII looks like a newer version. Mine were "Direzza Star Spec" without the "ZII". Same tread pattern. Maybe I had "Z1"?

I was wondering why you wanted the 245 40 R18 instead of 245 45 R18? Apparently Dunlop doesn't make the 45's anymore. I guess that the 40's would be OK. I've never seen anybody go down in Aspect Ratio unless they were also going UP in dia.

The tires that you currently have are a cheap Chinese tire. I would replace them as soon as finances permit.

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post #30 of 93 (permalink) Old 06-09-2015, 11:53 AM
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Sounds like you had a great time.

The biggest improvement in times comes just from running awhile. I've seen people thrashing around burning rubber up and making lots of noise while lower powered cars making no sound get faster times. I'd run what you have for tires for a bit before getting good rubber - the alternative is using up half your tires while learning.

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