Wednesday, June 7, 2017

June Autocross Report: Virginia

Salute to America: Ford style
Driving at PUNGO (AKA: The Pungo Autocrossing Center of Excellence, AKA: PACE) with the Old Dominion Region of the SCCA, the NMS FIAT once again competed in HS class. The weather is heating up, so we were drinking water, spraying the sunscreen, and trying to find some shade whenever possible! Let's just go to my fastest run video:

Course overview at Pungo
Out of a field of ONE entry in HS class, we're proud to report that the NMS FIAT managed to take 1st place in class! Hey, how hard can that be, you just have to show up and complete at least one run! In the good news department, on a beautiful weather day, we got 5 runs, so 5 chances to go faster. On top of that, thanks to the nearby Oceana Naval Air Station, we were treated to several high speed fly-overs by Naval aircraft. Talk about getting your entertainment dollar's worth out of the day!

Drivers meeting: Red flag = STOP!
For me that was kind of a mixed story of good and bad, since I managed to go faster on run 2, then faster on run 3, but my last two attempts didn't improve my time. After being  up on two wheels at the previous event, I was informed after run 3 that I was still getting up on 2 wheels just a bit, so to be honest I think that was on my mind in the big sweepers, so if nothing else it makes a great excuse! But seriously, safety comes first, and even going faster would not have been worth rolling the car. Maybe it's time for a new autocross vehicle at NMS-North. Either that or lowering my center of gravity with some suspension tweaks is starting to sound like a really great idea!

Salute to America: Chevy style
Overall, the results show my PAX time put me in 18th place out of 36, so smack-dab in the middle. No prizes, trophy, or money, but still, it was a fun day. On RAW or actual time, my best run of 38.392 ends up in 26th place. The 160hp FIAT is a lot of fun, but unless my driving skills dramatically improve, like A-Genie-Gave-Me-Three-Wishes improvement, I'm not likely to be as fast as the 300, 400, or 500 horsepower cars for the most part. On the positive side (again), I'm in the slowest car class, so yeah, that sounds like a good reason!

Most Stickers winner!
 One highlight of today was working out on course, when for about one minute out of the hour and a half there was a big cloud overhead and I was standing in some shade! That was great! Overall it was in the mid 80s or so, (Farenheit, DUH!), so not too bad. Drinking some Gatorade and water and eating lunch kept me feeling good all day, along with wearing a hat and sunglasses. All the drivers managed to complete all their runs without any damage to autos or people as far as I know, so clearly it was a great day for driving.

Some safety tools
 Not too many drivers seemed to get lost on course, and probably there were fewer cones knocked down than normal, but you know that things like that happen when you are trying to drive as fast as possible in a confined space. Shoot, even the pro drivers manage to go off course and crash once in a while, so what's the big deal with hitting a cone now and then!

Ford Shelby Mustang GT-R 350

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