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.

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