Monday, October 23, 2023

October Autocross Report

Somebody else reserved my favorite number of 77, so for this event I was running as #17. Easy to do with painter's tape!

On a beautiful fall day, the NMS-North Cayman headed north before sunrise to Autocross again with the Porsche Club of America. This time we got 9 runs on course at the Greensboro Coliseum, which was also hosting a massive wrestling tournament of some kind. Luckily the wrestlers kept their wrestling indoors, and the drivers kept their driving outdoors. I don’t think the world is ready for a combination of RACECAR-WRASSLIN’, but maybe someday it will be a new Olympic sport!

An important part of the day, the Drivers Meeting goes over the basic rules and how things will work during the day. 

Full disclosure, this Porsche Club also included pizza for lunch as part of the entry fee, so I likely have nothing but good things to say about them! It was pepperoni. The phrase "will drive for pizza" comes to mind. 

Here is a very groovy Porsche 914-6; some had 4 cylinders, this has 6. 

In a field of 27 drivers, I managed the fifth fastest time, which included first in my class of only two, and also put me ahead of the non-Porsche cars. I’m not making excuses, but I will point out that the four faster competitors ahead of me had at least 55HP more, so I guess if you want to go fast you might consider getting a GT3, a Boxster Spyder, or a Cayman GTS instead of my base model Cayman. 

Ford Fiesta ST, with a BIG WING! Spoiler alert!

The course was compact and very straight forward, so I’m embarrassed to say I went off course twice (mental mistakes) and hit a cone on another run. On top of that my Track Addict app couldn’t read my settings right and I didn’t get a good video with my speeds on it. Of course, it MIGHT be that I input the course map wrong too, so let’s just call it operator error on me! Oh well, one of those days!

Super cool Porsche GT3!

After the start and a 90-degree left-hander, we had a flat out downhill that my app says I hit 57mph on, and then a big braking spot into a long sweeper. That was challenging to resist the urge to brake sooner and then try to carry speed through the left turn. After that was a short 3 cone slalom, then a hard right into a right sweeper of 3 gates. On my fastest run I cut the second gate short here, so no wonder my time was faster, it didn’t count!

Ready to drive, don't forget the helmet!

The next right turn and a 90-degree left made up the trickiest section, and I saw a good number of others miss part of it or hit the cone on the right turn apex. It wasn’t until my last run or two that I managed the right turn with no braking. Pro tip: braking slows you down!

Fastest British car of the day, Jaguar R-type

The next element was a single cone to turn left around, maybe 120 degrees, and this spot gave you various options on how to approach it. Just for fun, there was a a bit of a pothole in the pavement just past it, but I don't think that came into play after the turn and getting back on the gas. From this point, it was a series of 3 off-set gates right to the finish, making for about a 44 second run on my best time. 

Here's a classic air-cooled 911, with a great license plate that reads "Without Water" in German!

For what it's worth, here's the best times for each driver:
NMS = 5th fastest

Here's a video look at the course, it was challenging trying to go faster out there!


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