|FIAT at Fort Story lighthouse
|Arriving at NCCAR
Here's the unofficial times for my drives below. Keep in mind that most of our events are on pavement only big enough for a 35-60 second drive time, so this huge driving course of 95 seconds for me was a blast! Besides being bigger and longer, much of it was on the NCCAR test track, so the speeds were higher than most autocross events. I'll say that's one reason I hit so many cones, because I was having too much fun! I mean, because I was going too fast, which is the same thing as having too much fun!
|NMS driver at NCCAR
Not sure of the overall standings, so I'll just be happy with having a great day driving fast! That's pretty good!
|2013 Fiat 500 Abarth
First run of 97.339 seconds, and I hit two cones, so with a 2 second penalty each that equals 101.339 seconds. Must try to avoid cones!
Second run of 95.445, and I hit only one cone this time. Add the 2 second penalty, and my time was 97.445, a whopping (about) 4 seconds faster! OK, better, but let's not hit those cones!
Third run I was pushing it even faster, well out on the course without hitting any cones, and guess what? Yep, hit a cone and then totally couldn't finish a Chicago box move, and that adds up to a Did Not Finish (DNF) for missing a maneuver. Two more runs to go, and it's REALLY time to not hit any cones in the next run.
Fourth run I was concentrating on not hitting cones but still going fast, while at the same time slowing down for the 3 or 4 Chicago Box elements. Going pretty good, and then BAM right before the finish I hit a cone! With a time of 95.885 plus a two second penalty, that adds up to 97.885, a bit slower than my best run so far. Without hitting the cone I would have improved my time a couple of seconds! Back in the grid to wait for the final run, and I was thinking that I just HAD to get a clean run!
Fifth and final run, and man it was fun! I was hitting a pretty good time, missing cones, and then sure enough, trying to go just a bit faster I lost control of the car out on the track part of the course. As I flew into some cones I knew that it was too late, so I hit the brakes, and still kept sliding helplessly off the pavement and into the grass. No blood, no foul, just a messed up run and no more chances to drive today. After backing up and getting on course I just drove on through the finish line, and figured that maybe next time I'd back of a bit and get a clean run at the next event.
|Cars on grid ready to drive!
All in all, a blast to drive this course that was part regular twisty-curvy autocross, and part higher speed on a track. The full results should be on line (TSCC website on the right, in our LINKS section), and we'll see how I did overall. As the only GS class car, taking first in class doesn't mean a lot, so if I'm in the top half of all drivers that will be fine with me.
This was the first autocross event at NCCAR for the Tidewater Club, so I hope that we will return there next year. For NMS-North, we'll return to autocross action again in May, and hope you drive safe and have fun too!