Sunday, May 22, 2022

May Autocross Report

With this vest and radio, I'm ready to be Starter-Guy! Nassau Coliseum in the background. 

After missing the April event due to driving in the Lemons Race (which was also a blast) it was back to the autocross competition at the Nassau Coliseum for NMS-North. With the warmer weather I think the Hankook RS4 tires were working much better than in the chillier first few events, so I ended the day in 6th place in Porsche Pax. This helps me try to get back into the top 10, since missing two events so far this year equals exactly zero points. This was the hottest day of the year so far, with temps hitting about 90 in the afternoon, although to be honest, the morning 5 runs felt pretty nice. I was drinking a lot of water, and spraying on the sun screen multiple times, so I think that helped me keep cool. 

A very sweet looking Lotus!

And another cool Lotus!

One of two Mini Coopers competing. 

Looking at my performance, I was  happy that my fastest two runs of the day were my last two runs, so that was a good way to finish out the day. By that time, the temps were up, and the tire pressures were climbing, so for those runs I bled a bunch of air out of all 4 tires, down to 30psi all around, and I'm guessing that helped me go a bit faster. 

Porsche 911

The course was pretty tight with a couple of very sharp 180 degree or so turns, so it was a challenge to drive all day. One of the club members was walking the course behind me and passed on some great tips on how to approach those tricky parts, so that is one great part of autocross, that all the drivers help each other. Besides driving, my work assignment (everyone is a volunteer in autocross) was to send cars as the starter, so that kept me busy, although I'll confess I made a mistake. One of the cars that launched just barely touched one of the cones at the start, so in trying to be Mr. Gung-Ho Cone Straightener-Guy, I ran right to the cone and adjust it slightly. Not bad, but, I ran right thru the starting line electric timer, so that threw off the times for the three drivers on course. Totally my fault, so you know my IQ may not be that high in the first place, and this didn't help! Those drivers all got an extra run, so hopefully all's well that ends well. Speaking of reruns, I had at least three on the day, from various timing glitches in the system, so just like those other drivers, I got three more runs, so that probably helped me get more attempts at trying to lower my time. That gave me 13 run on the day, so that was a lot of fun. 

Electric timer, starting cones

Here's the start line, you can see both timers. Cross the beam with your car, then trip the similar beam at the finish line, and the electronic timer does the rest, down to the thousandth of a second. 

In the morning my five runs were: 46.043, 45.480, 45.263, 44.671+1 cone, 45.890.
That had me in the top 10, so not bad, but  I had blown my fastest time in the 44s by hitting a cone. Each cone you knock over adds 2 seconds to your time, so my morning best was 45.263, and I wanted to go faster in the afternoon. 

Afternoon times were: 49.449, 45.211, 46.289, 44.625, and my best of the day at 44.207. 
If I was any good at this, I would be way more consistent in my times, and even be fast right away, so I'm still working on it. 


 Here's a video of one run in the afternoon, you can tell a couple corners are tight. 

The next autocross is June 5th, so stay tuned for that one too!

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