Monday, April 12, 2010

Team Grondul Motorsports: Part 2

Alison and I have been very busy working on the house (and working at work) this spring, but we've also managed to squeeze in some more recreational activities. Aside from my adventures in CrossFit, I've also been autocrossing a bit more seriously than I have in the past. I've been to 3 autocrosses so far this season, so I thought I'd share a few photos with you, gentle reader.

Here are Zelda and I at an Sports Car Club of America autocross on March 28. You can see in this shot how high the stock suspension on the third-generation Miata is. And this is with the car cranked over to starboard a bit. The coilovers I'm expecting in May should solve that problem.

Here I am at a Capital Driving Club autocross on April 3. Notice the substantial body roll resulting from the excessively soft stock springs and dampers. The new suspension parts should ameliorate this problem, as well.

This photo also shows off Zelda's new axle-back exhaust. I considered several options when purchasing this part; all were from Goodwin racing. All 4 options offer a few-percent improvement in engine power and, being entirely stainless steel, all 4 would have lasted far longer than the stock part. The RoadsterSport Q(for quiet) dual exhaust is the most mild, at nearly stock sound levels, and shaves a pound or two off the stock unit's 27-pound weight. The RoadsterSport II dual is much lighter, at 16 pounds, but the cost is a louder exhaust note. The Street Single, being single-sided, cuts the weight down to 10 pounds with only a small penalty. The Race Single is very light, at just 7 pounds, but it is also the loudest choice. I settled on the Street Single as the best compromise, so I saved 17 pounds compared to the stock exhaust while gaining a few horsepower and considerable longevity, all at the cost of a louder, but not obnoxious, exhaust note.

In the next photo, I'm successfully dodging cones at the SCCA's Level 2 autocross school on April 4. The cones lying down are that way intentionally; they tell the driver on which side of the stand-up cone to pass.

In this shot from the same day, I'm being less successful:

My next outing will be this Sunday, April 18. I have much larger and somewhat stickier tires to put on the car for that event, so I hope to experience much less understeer and much more overall grip. We shall see.

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