Saturday, December 5, 2009

Rallycross, anyone?

The DC region SCCA calendar and my facebook friends are trying to tell me something. Something I already knew, which is that I really need to figure out a way to try rallycrossing. If I had a car that would work I'd have been there years ago, but I just never seem to have anything lying around that would be appropriate. Right now I have my Camaro, which is a complete non-starter. There is no way I'm taking that car rallycrossing, even though I could dial in some ride height and it would be hilariously fun. I also have my tow vehicle/daily-driver Silverado. It would be fun, too, and it has plenty of ride height. Something tells me that a 3/4 ton, 4wd truck is a little bit of a tip hazard, and I need to go to work on Monday. That leaves the wife's Tahoe. I value my life and my ability to walk far too much to attempt that little stunt. Yes, she's break my legs, one by one, and then kill me.

So, does anyone have a rallycross car I can drive?! Bonus points if it's turbocharged and AWD!

Monday, November 2, 2009

2009 season is toast.

OK, so I haven't blogged as much as I'd hoped, but things happen. The 2009 season is a wrap for me, and for most local autocrossing in general.

First of all, I'd like to say that, once again, WDCR-SCCA has done a great job putting on their series. It's to the point now where it's easy to take for granted all the things they do well, but as a member of a different club that hosts events, I'm constantly reminded of how difficult it can be. Great job!

Autocrossers Inc. is "my" club. Of course the club isn't "mine," but it's the one I've belonged to for a long time. I'd like to also thank all of my fellow A.I. members for another great year of hosting events. Hopefully we can refine our schedule a bit next year, and avoid all the late-season stadium issues at FedEx field.

For me, I had a great season. I picked up the E Street Prepared championship for the DC Region SCCA, and I ended the year with a couple of top-10 PAX finishes. I feel like I could have done better at Nationals, but the surface really is going to take some tuning on my part. The car needs to lose a few lbs. as does its owner/driver/crewchief.

The most important thing I'll take away from the 2009 season is what I feel is the next step in my evolution as a driver. On more than one occasion this year, including once in Nebraska, I found myself running an extremely competitive time on my first run, but then unable to improve upon that time. For years I've generally needed a run or two before I really had a good plan in place and executed that plan in an acceptable way. More and more I find I'm able to go out and execute on the first run, but then what? The answer so far has been to overdrive my subsequent runs and go slower. When presented with this, my friend Dave Newman summed it up thusly: "Now you need to learn to go out and drive smarter." Sounds easy, but I don't think it's going to be.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

When it rains...

So the 2nd Autocrossers Inc. event was a washout. Initially it looked like we could expect the weather to clear around noon, but ultimately Mother Nature decided that a dry autocross wasn't on the to-do list for Saturday.

Don't get me wrong, I want it to rain. I like it when crops grow, reservoirs fill, and all the other great things that precipitation brings. If I had my way, though, it would only rain while I was not in danger of being cold and wet.

I like autocrossing more than I hate rain, though, so out the door I went at a very early hour.

Truth be told, even after working in the rain for a few hours I really wasn't wet. A few years ago I began assembling a killer raingear setup. Marmot pants, North Face jacket, REI brim hat (I hate hoods), and these great NEOS overboots.

One interesting phenomenon about a rainy autocross is to see who shows up. Who else is hardcore enough to brave the elements, often standing in the cold rain for hours just for 4 minutes or so of driving? You know who you are. And for those who didn't come out, it was a lot of fun. I was even feeling warm again sometime on Sunday afternoon!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hello world.

So, I'm an Autocrosser. If you aren't familiar with autocrossing, it can be difficult to explain, but I'll give it a try. You take a bunch of cones, mark out a course in a gigantic parking lot or airfield, and try to drive around the course as fast as you can. That really doesn't adequately convey the experience. It's some combination of roller coaster ride, speed reading, road rage, and dancing. It is also one of the most fun things you can do in the front seat of a car.

This blog is about me and my motorsports addiction. It'll probably focus mainly on autocrossing, especially since I'm having more fun doing than watching. Formula 1, sportscar racing, and MotoGP will also worm their way in from time to time (and sadly I don't participate in any of those).