Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Team Grondul Motorsports: Part 1

For those of you wondering how I spent my Sunday. I have some evidence.

Sunday was the first autocross of the season for the Washington DC Region of the Sports Car Club of America. I'm planning to run the whole season in a new and potentially very entertaining class called Street Touring R.* Zelda is not currently prepared to anywhere near the limit of the rules of STR, but she could get pretty close without extreme effort or expense. The real limiting factor is the driver, especially given my apparent lack of driving talent and the long duration since my last autocross. So, needing practice, I attended this event, which is described as a "practice" autocross, since its results don't count toward the season championship.

Here are a few photos of me on the course. These were taken by locally famous autocrosser and general nice guy, Danny Kao. You'll note the rather extreme body roll in several of those shots. I plan to fix that problem with new dampers and springs in May or so.

Here's a video recorded by Daniel Donohue in Street Touring S during one of his runs on the same course. Just imagine the sliver first-generation Miata replaced by a silver third-gen Miata and dial down the speed just a touch, and you'll have a pretty good idea of what the experience was like for me.

So, how did I do? In a word, poorly. Actually, I would have been pretty happy with my performance in the only car in the class running on stock tires if I hadn't hit the second-to-last cone on my final run--the only cone I hit all day---thus incurring a two-second penalty and turning my fastest run of the day into an uncompetitive** one. Sigh.

* I hope to post up a bit more about SCCA Solo and its classification system at some point in the future.

** Interestingly, STR was won by one of the two drivers sharing a Clown Shoe.

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