Wednesday, October 18, 2017

October Rallycross Report

Sunday the 1972 Datsun B210 was finally turning some serious laps at rallycross, and I even got to drive!
Dirtie Dirtsun, decked out with tons of painters tape.

The team replaced the destroyed radiator from last month and had the car ready to roll Sunday morning for SCR's October event.  I'm happy to report the car survived (mostly) all four drivers and their eight runs each.
We made the antenna more "arrow"-dynamic

I managed to wheel the little hatchback consistently faster than the rest of the team, but managed to pick up enough cones to drop to second fastest overall when all the penalties were tallied up. The car handled great and was a complete riot to drive. 
Tearing it up on course.

Congrats to Matt for pulling down the overall fastest cumulative time in the car!  Also a massive thanks to Justin, Shellie, and Matt (Team Rising Dirtsun) and Greg who pitched in for getting the radiator replaced and out to the event.
A mess of painters tape, rust, and a car in there somewhere.

Three drivers in a Crown Victoria managed to beat us in the Modified Rear-wheel Drive class (MR).  It was hard to keep up with the V8 power of the big Ford boat. The event revealed the shocks on Dirtie are utterly dead and are up next on our replacement list to hopefully close that gap to the top of the field.
Matt almost jumps the car coming out of the one bad rut on course.

In other updates, I've picked up a really good deal on a used steering wheel and quick-disconnect setup for the Miata as part of the winter safety upgrade plan.  So far the hard top, harness bar, and steering wheel setup are on-hand.  In November I'm looking forward to a return to Discovery Parts in Atlanta to help Jason pick up a driving suit and I'll decide on seats and harnesses that fit best.
Sparco steering wheel, NRG quick release.

Monday, October 16, 2017

October Autocross at Pungo Report

Self Autocrossing Car Hands Free?

October 15th at PACE (the Pungo Autocross Center of Excellence), the NMS FIAT ran for the last time with the Tidewater Sports Car Club, and finished 1st in HS class, and 16th overall on PAX out of  42 drivers. Our honest and totally objective opinion is that the morning drivers (like us) were at a slight disadvantage to the 2nd run group, having to drive the green course in a very light drizzle that left the course slippery on the first few runs, so obviously if we'd run in the sunshine of the afternoon we would have been hundreds of seconds faster on the 38 second course! Nah, it was a blast to drive and slip around, with the NMS Abarth pretty much blowing two of the five runs by getting the car out of shape on a slight left-right maneuver. One thing always holds true, win-lose-or-draw, auto cross is a lot of fun!

1st RUN: 41.224 and off course or "Did Not Finish" for going too fast and sliding outside of a gate. The sliding was fun, so I just had to slow down  in that spot on the next attempt.

2nd RUN:  39.351, no missed gates and no cones knocked down, so a clean run. Still sliding around a bit but that actually was making the car rotate more easily in the big turning sweepers. Now to lower that time on three more runs!

3rd RUN: 41.320 Hey guess what? I still went too fast in the same spot as the first run, slid almost out side the gate and basically had to kill my time to stay on course. OK, once again, on the NEXT run I'll slow down and be careful there. Also, I'm going to hammer the last sweeper into the finishing straight instead of lifting off the gas, so that I can hit the finish even faster.

4th RUN: 38.692 +1 cone, each cone being a 2 second penalty, the official time for this run is 40.692. On the GOOD NEWS side, 38.6 is a good drop from run 2, but the BAD NEWS side is that the cone penalty wipes this run off the face of the earth. Coming out of the last sweeper before the finish, I knew the car was understeering and headed for some cones since I was staying on the gas, but sure enough I clipped at least one and probably both cones sitting on the last corner of the run! So close to my fastest of the day, but the cones tell the truth when you knock them down! One run to go, but I know where to slow down and avoid making these same two mistakes that are holding me back today.

5th RUN: 38.318  No penalties, stayed on course, and avoided the previous mistakes, plus dropped over a second from my previous clean run, so I felt good about this one. Fast enough to take HS over one other car on the day, and this run put me in 16th on the day of PAX time, right about on my average for the year at TSCC events, with best of the year up in the top 10,  and lowest at 21st for one day.

Full October results available on the TSCC page October 15, 2017
1 = 41.224+DNF2 = 39.3513 = 41.3204 = 38.692+15 = 38.318

Jason Lisner, Corvette Powered Fastest Time of the Day!

The TSCC has one more points event to be held in November before the overall championship is decided, but this is my last run for the year. NMS team managers predict the NMS FIAT will meet the pre-season goal of finishing in the top 15, and depending on how the November results turn out for the drivers from 1-11th, NMS could possibly end up as high as 12th when it's all said and done.

FIAT Abarth Scorpion Badge
For the NMS FIAT 500 Abarth, look for more auto crossing action in 2018 farther north. After competing for two years in South Carolina, and three years in Virginia, the NMS-North team is looking forward to more driving adventures in the future.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

An NMS Weekend of Firsts!

No, it's not our "first weekend", because we try very hard to ALWAYS have one of them at least once a week, 52 times a year, EVERY year! This weekend has a few firsts, as follows:

Brian will compete in a RallyCross on Sunday with the South Carolina Region of the Sports Car Club of America, driving the Datsun B210 (and some other letters and numbers, who comes up with these names!). After completing a few runs last month with a different driver, the radiator damage caused by the fan malfunction has been repaired, so we should have some fun results from Brian and the rest of the Dirtie Datsun Destroyers after tomorrow's event in South Carolina.

In the meantime, before tomorrow that is, Brian and the Dodge Coronet Lemons team are back under the hood and pulling the transmission to replace the failed clutch that hit during the Lemons race last week. Are weekends great or what?


Robert has wrapped up the rental house NMS-North HQ in VA Beach, and will run one more autocross event with the Tidewater Sports Car Club tomorrow. Our math-engineering-computer-analysis-team (ME-CAT, meow!) shows that with the October event and scoring some points, and then missing the season finale in November should leave the FIAT Abarth in at least 12th place overall for the season, a great improvement over last year's 20th place, and the 29th overall in 2015. If by some huge stroke of luck or paying off some drivers with huge sums of cash a few folks ahead of the FIAT manage to miss the last two events, NMS could slide up to 11th or 10th, but the odds against this (again as determined by some number crunching by the ME-CAT team) are exactly a gazillion to one. The NMS-North team just moved to Virginia Beach three years ago this month, so moving on to New York will be tough.