Gearing up for Autocross weekend Sept 17-18
So the next round of Autocross is coming up in just about three weeks and the preparation begins now. Last month I focused on the move, next month...and for many months thereafter...I'll be focusing on helping my gf recover from her back surgery...so from now until that weekend, it's all about the autocross.
First up, I think the softer factory sway bar up front really helped my turn it. Hard to say since I was also on my RE-71Rs for the first time last time out in June but the car definitely dug into the turns more. Going off that experience, the 7K BC springs that come with the kit are coming off and the 5K springs are going on. This should give more turn in grip to the front tires which will be a big help if they go with another tight circuit like last time.
But if they don't, I should have my power issues sorted. The exhaust has a minor leak in it now and a stock cat. The cat is being replaced with a high flow and that should also allow me to address the leak issue. I have no idea how this leak has been affecting trying to tune the car but considering it's about 18" from the O2 sensors I can't help but think it's having an affect. In addition, I'll be adding a center feed fuel rail and upgraded fuel pump. This may address the really random and otherwise undetectable P0301 random misfire code in cylinder one issue I started having after the initial turbo build day. Finally, my new hot side pipe is done and will be installed as well as a new 3" cold side charge pipe to replace the 2.5" cold side pipe I have now. The larger cold side pipe is more inline with the size of the factory intake pipe. This is important since the MAF was used in the intake and now is in the cold side pipe. All this should allow me to put a better tune on the car and get it closer to dialed it.
With the car sorted, I'm already focusing on the mental aspect of the event too. Last time out, the first day I had forgotten everything I learned my first season last year. By Sunday I was back on track and turning better times. This time out, I'm going with the simple strategy of don't hit cones and run as tight of a line to the cones as possible. I think had I followed this latter point on my last run of the day for the June event, I would have beet the Viper.
Normally my goal is to do better than I did last time. Since the course changes, it's hard to compare one event to another going just off your time. So instead I'm looking to improve my position in the standings. Last year, I was middle of the pack just to the slow side of absolute middle. That was in compact class. The June event saw me running in the much faster Sports Car Class where I was still mid pack but now on the faster side of absolute middle. Also, my times would have put me 3 seconds ahead of the winner in Compact Class...a car who last season would have me by about .25 of a second. This time out, I want to be in the top 5 of whatever class they put me in. If they put me back down in Compact (possible since last time they stated we really didn't belong in Sports Car OR Compact so who knows) I will not be happy with anything other than a podium finish depending on what cars they put down there with us.
Anyone local interested in Autocross, tickets are still available. It is the Hotchkis Cup Autocross event at the NMCA West Event hosted at Autoclub Speedway in Fontana, CA. If you just want to come watch, I think spectator tickets are like $20 a day. To race it's $100 for one day or $150 for two days which includes a guest pass for both days. It is a great event and hope to see some of you out there.