Hotchkis Cup Autocross Report June 18-19 - Saturn Sky Forums: Saturn Sky Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-18-2016, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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Hotchkis Cup Autocross Report June 18-19

So just got back from the Hotchkis Autocross Saturday session. jgasser and I went and had a blast.

It was not, 101 by the time we left at 4. Some big fun.

The new tires and turbo made a difference. Last year I was mid pack in Compact Class. This year, I was 3 seconds ahead of the first car in Compact Class...

...problem is I was no longer in Compact Class. They did a reshuffling and came up with a new class...sports car. This where jgasser and I were placed. This class included a supercharged FRS driven by one of the guys from Hotchkis, a procharged 350Z from a brake company sponsor, a WRX, a Porsche 911 Carrerra S, a couple BMWs and every single Corvette in attendance. 20 cars total.

So while I was doing well against my old classmates, I was mid pack, again, in Sportscar. The three best runs I had resulted in pushing through a turn and having to come to a complete stop just before the finish line (Ran a 41 second lap on that one, my best was a 37 and this run was quicker than those), a spin, and on the one where I completed the course running a 36.X and good enough to probably break the top 10 in my class, I clipped 2 cones.

The lap where I spun it was a session where we had 4 laps rather than 3 and my power steering fluid got so hot my power steering pump was wining when I left the track. I had softened my front shocks to their softest setting, dropped the front pressure 3 psi, and tightened up the rear shocks to their stiffest setting. Before dropping the air pressure and stiffening the rear shocks, the car wanted to push. With the new tires it was very easy to tell that I definitely have too stiff a front spring rate. I think the combination of air pressure, temp, and shock setting was just too much and I could feel the car loosen up with each pass of the last session.

I got too concerned about it and lifted a bit too much through a slalom section (there was no straight on this course...it was very technical) and let off the gas a bit too much, unloaded the rear suspension at the worst time and lopped. Well, tomorrow is another day and the direction we're running is supposed to be harder.

Four out of the top five cars of the entire event are in our class with the top three fastest cars being our class leaders. I'm about 3 seconds behind the leader and 2 seconds being out of the top 10...only 1 second if I can pull off another 36 without clipping cones.

New tires and turbo definitely a help.


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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-19-2016, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Well...today's lineup doesn't include the insane FRS but does have the 350 and WRX from yesterday, a Viper, Whipple charged G35 drift car, a S2000, and a couple of 240sx plus the vettes. Running reverse seems a bit easier layout.

We'll see how the times fall today.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-19-2016, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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A pic from the event. Hot as hell today.

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Last edited by Robotech; 06-19-2016 at 10:45 PM.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-19-2016, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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Well, the day is done and after track temps of 130 degrees I am wiped out.

For most of the day I was firmly stuck in the 36 second range. From a best of 36.3 to a worst of 37.3 or so on my first run, I was driving well, not hitting a bunch of cones and being clean, but I knew there was more time I was leaving on the course.

Was a bit frustrated at the group we were in but it was what it was and I focused on being faster. As I mentioned, I was running against so fast cars even on this course. The 350Z turned a 33.8 once but was mainly in the 34-35 range. He was the fastest of the class. 4-5 Vettes were in the 34-low 35 for their fastest passes and the Viper and I were lapping about a second apart with some of his runs slower than mine.

I started the day equalizing the air pressure in all four tires. This helped a ton but the back still felt a little loose so I went three from full firm on the rear shocks. This was about half way between the 7 from firm I started with yesterday and full firm I spun on with yesterday on my final session. This helped a lot and I was almost spot on with just a slight slight oversteer tendency.

We came out for the third and final session of the day and I was determined to focus on my line and not worry about my speed. Look ahead, something I'd forgotten yesterday and focused on more today, and just try to break into the 35s. First run was a 36.6. Not great but I was focused on the line. Figured I could make up some time tightening up some spots and breaking later and harder in other sections. Pulled a 36.3 the next lap. Better but I knew there were still areas for improvement. The last pass I really worked on being smooth and felt like I was carrying a lot more speed but still new there was room for improvement. A couple of turns I know I made up time on so I felt good about the run.

I would have been happy with a 35.9. Ecstatic really. A 35.7 would have made me very happy. When I crossed the line and glanced at the clock...

35.4.

I had to go back to the scoring table to verify I didn't hit a cone. I felt clean, but I'd felt clean before only to find out I hadn't been. The scorer verified the run...clean, no cone penalties!

Now I knew I had moved up in the standings but with no updates and no printouts unlike yesterday, I had no idea where I was. So Jim (who also had his best lap of the day on the final run) stuck around for awards. I was glad I did.

The announcer went through the "special recognition" awards including best cone hit of the day. A kid in a Camero caught a cone, flipped it 15 feet in the air, and then had it come down and land, upright, perfectly back inside it's box. The final award he gave out he prefaced by saying that this next award was going to someone who got stuck in the Sports Car class and that they knew it was probably not the best fit but they were still straightening out the class format since the car, and some of the others in Sports Car Class, probably belonged in Compact.

Then he announced my name, mentioned my car, and mentioned my time before presenting me with the award for my outstanding time in the class of 35.4...a time that would have got me the win in Compact class and the top 5-6 spot in the other classes.

Except sports car where I placed 8th. I don't know how many cars we had today but there were a few. I know the WRX was in our class, as was the G35 with the Whipple. I think the 240s were in our class along with a husband and wife in a S2000 each competing in the car separately...all of which were behind me in the standings...and making the class 13-15 cars in class minimum.

After the award, he got to the final standings. As mentioned I finished 8th. The car in 7th though...the Dodge Viper with a 35.3. One tenth...and maybe less depending on the 100ths and 1000ths of a second values of our times...faster than me.

There is a bit of a special place for me with Vipers. I love them. When I built my Grand Prix, my goal was to one day drag race a Viper and beat him. Making the car a 12 second car at 5500 ft Altitude Density put the car in the right place but I never got the opportunity to race one. Now, here I was only .1 of a second from beating one...albeit on the autocross course, but still.

The announcer made sure to point out, explicitly, that the NOS charged, V-10 Dodge Viper was only 1/10th of a second in front of the Saturn. Felt pretty good to be just a bit behind that kind of car with one of our little Kappas. Of course, I wish I could have had one more lap...I know I could have got him.

Good weekend after all even though I didn't pull my head out of my but until this morning. Now I can't wait until September and the next round. May have to find something before then.

Pics of the plaque:





I want to make sure to say thank you to DDM and Hahn Racecraft for all their help in getting my car to this point and for all those here who have been supportive of this endeavor. Needless to say I love the tires, the turbo is awesome (but still need to straighten the tune out) and I may wind up getting some 6k springs for the front BC Coil Overs.
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V.A.L. (#1108)
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Max (#1547)
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Too much to list here. See my Garage for details.

Last edited by Robotech; 06-19-2016 at 11:21 PM.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-19-2016, 11:40 PM
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Good work sir! Glad you guys had fun. We were just baking back here putting up a tent Redline Ranch. Not as hot here, but humidity was killer.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-20-2016, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you sir! Hope you guys are having a great time! Yea, I'll take the 100 degree dry heat anyday!


V.A.L. (#1108)
2007 2.4 Base
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Max (#1547)
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Too much to list here. See my Garage for details.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-21-2016, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
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Well, finally saw the results tonight.






Second page has the Sports Car class. By my calculations, I was 19th out of 75 cars. I would have been 5th in Modern Muscle, 5th in Classic Muscle, 2nd in Unlimited, 1st in Compact and 1st in Truck. But Sports Car...8th. I even beat a Vette...granted a 97 Vette but still. And...I was only .068 seconds behind the Viper...so not even a full tenth! I had two cones and one spin...other than that, my times were pretty consistent until I figured out the course on my last run...naturally...and looking back now, I think I know the turn I could have made up the time on the Viper and MAYBE the #6 Vette.

Jim hit one cone...all weekend! Great driving Sir! And he beat one of the 240s. Considering his car is stock except for a Trifecta and his tires weren't nearly as sticky as mine he did really good. Far cleaner than my runs.


V.A.L. (#1108)
2007 2.4 Base
MagnaFlow dual outlet, quad tip exhaust test car
**Sold**

Max (#1547)
2007 TURBO 2.4
Too much to list here. See my Garage for details.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-30-2016, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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Found a few more pictures from the event...
@jgassor
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V.A.L. (#1108)
2007 2.4 Base
MagnaFlow dual outlet, quad tip exhaust test car
**Sold**

Max (#1547)
2007 TURBO 2.4
Too much to list here. See my Garage for details.

Last edited by Robotech; 09-30-2016 at 12:18 PM.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-30-2016, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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...and more...
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V.A.L. (#1108)
2007 2.4 Base
MagnaFlow dual outlet, quad tip exhaust test car
**Sold**

Max (#1547)
2007 TURBO 2.4
Too much to list here. See my Garage for details.
Robotech is online now  
post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-30-2016, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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...and a few more.
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V.A.L. (#1108)
2007 2.4 Base
MagnaFlow dual outlet, quad tip exhaust test car
**Sold**

Max (#1547)
2007 TURBO 2.4
Too much to list here. See my Garage for details.
Robotech is online now  
post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-30-2016, 01:02 PM
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Nice pics. Who rode with you?

Nice helmet art too. I supported the 23rd (the group that absorbed the 1AVG/FT) at Pope and at Bagram.

Be a part of the solution!
and
DFTT
--
In fond rememberance... We miss ya' Skip, but we'll never ferget ya! :)
--
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-30-2016, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nova-Exarch View Post
Nice pics. Who rode with you?

Nice helmet art too. I supported the 23rd (the group that absorbed the 1AVG/FT) at Pope and at Bagram.
It was another competitor out for a ride in the Sky who wanted to see what it could do on course.

Thanks for your service and I have a thing for this kind of artwork on the helmet. This one is purchased off eBay this way but I also wear this same kind of artwork on my goalie masks. Was a History Major and love aviation history.


V.A.L. (#1108)
2007 2.4 Base
MagnaFlow dual outlet, quad tip exhaust test car
**Sold**

Max (#1547)
2007 TURBO 2.4
Too much to list here. See my Garage for details.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-30-2016, 10:04 PM
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Thanks for the added pics Robo, I almost look like I know what I am doing, but in a freeze-frame, you still look faster!!!
Looking forward to Autocross on October 15th/16th

Jim
Techo Gray 2008 Sky RL with Trifecta and DDM bracing
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-30-2016, 11:33 PM
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You back Gassor? I have a couple of shirts for you guys. Might see you Sunday if Robo gets his ducks in line.
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