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Matt U

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Everything posted by Matt U

  1. I am going to have to second Nick on this one. People can also change a lot in 16 years. A quick Google search shows that Phoenix Raceway is still under the same ownership since 1997, if anyone's interested. Anyways, it never hurts to ask and explore the potential options. I also did some research into the new Gilbert Public Training Facility off of Power Rd and Pecos Rd, and the skid pad is small. Like 500x350 feet where AMP is 800x800. So area wise the Gilbert facility is 27% the area for the skid pad. Yes there are small tight roads as well , but a lot of them have signs right off of the road. Probably won't work out very well. In all honesty, the old Fiesta Mall site might be a better option to explore. The mall is effectively closed and may re-develop at a later date, but nothing is announced yet and the site lost the Amazon bid. Plus, there is a 2 story car park on the West side. SSS's would probably never approve a 2 story autocross, but that would be fun. Just think of it @Kim, nations only 2-story autocross region! https://www.google.com/maps/@33.3889417,-111.8606493,1065m/data=!3m1!1e3!5m1!1e4 Dimension Financial & Realty Investments currently owns the site that was Fiesta Mall. Mesa Marketplace Swap meet might be another idea. https://www.google.com/maps/@33.3822296,-111.6034768,725m/data=!3m1!1e3!5m1!1e4 This may sound odd, but the BNFS auto distribution center may be a possibility. It's not like they are super busy yet. https://www.google.com/maps/@33.6161507,-112.319272,367m/data=!3m1!1e3!5m1!1e4 Tempe Diablo Stadium https://www.google.com/maps/@33.401065,-111.9688868,291m/data=!3m1!1e3!5m1!1e4 Okay, last idea that I had written down. The Nissan Technical Center.https://www.google.com/maps/@32.9520529,-111.9800031,611m/data=!3m1!1e3!5m1!1e4
  2. Honestly, because those cars look like they would be a blast to drive.
  3. I’m going to paraphrase what Jay Leno said about the EV versus the ICE cars. Our main transportation will eventually be some form of EV, but our weekend hot rods and toys will be ICE cars from the years past. I think in 10-20 years the SCCA classes will be split between EV an ICE/hybrid cars, the NSX is already winning in SS. Meanwhile, the CAM classes will expand to account for ICE cars that were phased out of competitiveness. Don’t worry Monte Carlo owners, there will still be a class for you.
  4. Justin, So I know of you from your Youtube content and I have a competitive STX car that I would normally not have a problem with you co-driving. The only issue is that the tires on it have the possibility of chording at this next event, maybe. So I would feel bad if your ride for the event was cut short due to tires reaching the end of their life. They are a 70 run set of A052’s including a Fontana Champ Tour. Have you had any offers for a co-drive yet?
  5. Chuck and Scott, I think your both right in the EV classing issue, it’s a bit all over the place. A good argument for EV’s being placed in the normal street categories was Nationals 2019. A Tesla Model 3 won in B street just beating Daddio by 0.070 seconds after both days, so the Model 3 in BS makes sense in that argument. Then at the ProSolo Finale, same drivers and cars are separated by 1.367 seconds. If that Tesla was in either SS or AS, David (Tesla) would have finished 6th in either. So in this case, the Tesla is a wringer in BS but may not be top level competitive in AS or SS. All in, I think an EV class, wherever that eventually leads was the best solution within the SCCA classing boundary for now. I believe that is due to the only real EV people are currently considering is the Model 3 Performance.
  6. Nick, I trust your not designing courses for your own gain, and yes it was meant as a bit of a joke. Mostly it was a bit of a swipe at myself for not learning to down shift properly, leaving me hunting for a gear while coasting around track. So, there maybe some Tesla envy on my part as well. In all seriousness, I really liked the course and your designs.
  7. Definitely a good course. Maybe I should have bought a Tesla without a 2nd gear rev limit instead of a STX car. Or I suppose I should learn how to shift properly. Either way, good course with plenty of ‘don’t be greedy’ sections, which I always enjoy.
  8. Here is the best clean run that I did all day. It's in the TO section, but was still a 40.222 in STX and more importantly clean. I can see multiple seconds where I am on the limiter, especially at the finish. Still pretty happy with it though.
  9. I'm about 95% sure that the countryman is not legal to run. Because all the street/stock class's don't allow anything that would lower the car or widen the track width, we usually go off of the OEM specs. So on that note, the manufacturer states that height is 61.5" and the track width is 61.1" in the rear and 60.0" in the front. An example of a on the edge of legal car is the Ford Fiesta ST with a height of 57.2" and a track of 57.7" front and 57" rear. The regular Fiesta is not allowed to run. There have been Fiesta ST's that have rolled over, more than once. I know that you want to run, and that's great to hear, but having fun with autocross isn't supposed to include a chance of a roll over... Another option to consider for cheap autocrossing, is a Miata. No not some lightly used 2017 or something. A mostly sorted NA or NB Miata. Parts are cheap and they are scattered everywhere. Plus they can be super easy on tires, unless you pull a Kevin and flat spot a new set of Rivals... I guess it depends on your personal situation if you can add another car, mostly dedicated to autocross.
  10. You pose an interesting question there Banner. If you are driving into work or to a store, you can still practice looking ahead to where you want to go. We all should be looking ahead on the road anyway but bad habits are easy to form. The more tricky thing with autocross is fine adjustment of your line is done with your peripheral vision. If you are looking for more seat time and have a little bit of money to spend, Octane raceway is an option. Karts don’t translate into car driving techniques very cleanly, but getting comfortable pushing harder without making mistakes will translate. I’m talking about systemically pushing a little harder into a turn, or carrying a little more apex speed. Looking a little further ahead at slow pinched corners (more important than looking ahead on fast corners lap time wise). The way I have stayed sharp is mostly studying my previous runs. I save all of them and watch them section by section. There is some good reeding on this and other things at Beyond Seat Time https://www.beyondseattime.com Hope that helps a little.
  11. Bill, sometimes there are little things written in the factory service manual that allow for smaller diameter bolts on the lower part of the strut. A quick Google search and it seems that the lower strut mount on yours is a ring style, so there’s no adjustment there. Regarding the rules, basically the lower spring perch to the wheel centerline on a strut can’t be anything different than O.E. So the Koni and Bilstein are the right choice. There is also a rule that droop travel needs to be 1” or less difference from the O.E. shocks. Just because I did the research on this a while back, I figured I should share. Now, Koni makes the Str.t (street pronunciation apparently), and the yellows. The Str.t is a non-adjustable version of the yellow at full soft. The yellow have a “rebound” adjuster only. I say “rebound” in quotes because there is what is called cross-talk in the yellow’s, so about 40-50% of what you add in rebound will also be added in compression. Now on to the Bilstein camp. There is the B6 and the B8 that are both viable options that are class legal. Now before you say that the B8’s are designed to work only with lowering springs, that’s not really the case. I talked with a few shops that rebuild them and they all agree that the B8 will work with stock springs. The biggest difference with the B8 is that the amount of droop is 1” less than the B6, which is legal, and the B8 is slightly stiffer. One big thing to note on the Bilstein’s is that they are mono-tube shocks, so they will flex less. The other thing that may influence your decision is that because the Bilstein’s are mono-tubes, the nitrogen pressure in the shocks actually acts as a bit of additional spring rate. I have heard about 10-15 lb/in in addition spring rate just due to the shock alone, for both the B6 and the B8. This can help a softly sprung car be a little bit better in the roll rate department. Lastly the Bilstein’s are non-adjustable, but there are a lot of shops that can re-valve them if you need it. I know there’s a lot to digest, but I figured I would put it out there.
  12. I’m going to second Scott’s advice to ask lots of questions at an event. Most of us still remember our first event and the drinking from a fire hose that came along with it. Just remember to be a sponge for at least the first few events, there’s no one here to try and impress. Autocross is reasonably different than road racing, so most forum advice you’ll come across on the internet needs something a little stronger than a pinch of salt for this type of racing.
  13. So, you may be asking yourself, what does it look like to be right there on a really good run just to through it away at the end? Well, glad you asked! Here is what it looks like side by side the top PAX of the day. The sound is from the right window.
  14. Okay, here is my fastest clean run. It was a 42.681, though there was a lot left on the table. The next post will show that...
  15. So because I was curious how I did, I added the PAX index to the sheet that Kim provided. So now you can sort by overall PAX time as well as see the overall PAX points. Results 04-10-21 with PAX.xlsx
  16. I think Todd has a really good point with the crossover between AM/PM groups. We could setup something where registration and tech open while B group is running, so registration would close at like noon or so. Then everyone for the PM group could start a course walk almost as soon as the B group is done running, though there will need to be a little car human herding because I think there will be more cars and people in motion on site than we usually see. It might even be possible to have the PM drivers meeting before the course walk. That would probably ensure 5 runs.
  17. There were some timing issues since the first group went out. We tried to add a fifth run column and a group of us couldn’t figure it out, so that would affect the live timing. The timing got a little more complicated by the afternoon runs. All in, Jason should be SUPER THRILLED when he gets back and starts sorting this out. The score board was a nice thing to have but it was a give and take. Anyone could look at how they were doing, but it tended to be the kitchen where everyone would congregate making timing and observers frustrated. I used to write down each runs time after I parked, but the new live system made me complacent as well.
  18. Lance, good point about the concrete slab being flat and level. You can also use the tiles as shims on the floor, but you will need a long level or a laser to set the height. Regarding the weight being in the car to simulate the driver weight, it usually is a tiny change. This varies from car to car and how stiff the car is. On an STX built car, adding the driver weight really only mattered when I corner balanced the car. The car camber change I couldn't measure the change because the car only squats like 1/4", maybe less, when I get in the car. I'm also no light weight at like 235lbs.
  19. John, One idea that I have seen is to use sheets of vinyl tile with a little bit of a lubricant between the tiles. Both Lowe's and Home Depot have them for like $1 a tile. That way they won't rip but will still allow rotation. For the front to back alignment, what you are referring to is called the thrust angle. Basically if the toe of the rear is set, where is it pointing in relation to the front of the car. There are a few way to measure this, but with a laser you want to set the laser so that it's shooting a line that is parallel to the pinch welds/frame. Then you can measure from the toe plates what the pointing angle for that wheel is. You should measure half of what your total toe is, because your only measuring only one wheel according to a parallel reference line. Keep one thing in mind, the more complex the suspension geometry the more of a pain it will be to adjust just one setting. On a strut based car, it's pretty straight forward to set camber then toe. On a multi-link, like the rear of the FRS and BRZ, all adjustments affect each other, so it can be a bit of a tail chaser. I would suggest to get a few 12' tape measures at a hardware store and compare them to one another. If you have 3 or 4 tape measures and none of them agree on a measurement should be, you will think that your cars alignment is always changing but in reality it was just the measuring device. I would also get a 12" ruler where 0" is actually at the edge of the ruler instead of offset. A lot of these are called either a "steel rule" or a "machinist rule." I personally have these https://tinyurl.com/nuw8ybwm, and https://tinyurl.com/3kun2279.
  20. First off, the A052's can NOT be flipped on the wheels as they are an asymmetric tire. Outside has to stay outside. Regarding number of runs, on a STX car, so there is camber, we are probably going to get about 100 runs from a set of tires. I have been logging the tire wear across the tires since the January event. This appears to be very similar tire wear to the RE71R's for us anyway. We have never run on the rivals or the 660RT's, so I can't comment on those. The A052's are rumored to be the hot ticket for concrete surfaces, as well as wet conditions. I think the A052's are very similar to the RE71R's in most ways, but are a little more forgiving and are not quite as sharp. If you have a camber challenged car, they will eat the A052's quickly and they really shouldn't be flipped on the wheel.
  21. Sid, you’re absolutely right that it’s not an apples to apples comparison. Speaking of tire wear, proper camber, little tow, and a light car it’s almost impossible to beat up the tires. We barely have to spray the tires when co-driving in the summer here. There is one big draw back to the A052’s on a camber challenged car that I just realized, they are asymmetric. So if you burn off the outside edge, which is common, you can’t flip them to get some more runs out of them.
  22. I believe if everyone keeps patient and plays their part in protecting others by wearing a mask we might be back to a more normal by September. The issue is that a lot of the population is just tired of having to do something that they don’t want to do. So if we do our part, that is a small piece of the larger puzzle that isn’t causing a potential issue. Please keep in mind that the move to “back to normal” won’t be everything all at once. It will be more structured, like being allowed to bring guests, but only if they live with you and everyone still needs to wear a mask. This would be regardless if you have been vaccinated, because you can still transmit a virus. Every virus transmission also accelerates the chance of mutation of that virus. So, if there are enough mutations of the virus, then the vaccination is no longer effective, then everything starts over. The steering committee as well as everyone else wants things to get back to normal with guests and TO’s. But if we lifted the masks and went full steam ahead and we had a member die, I personally would not be okay with that. I’ve had family member’s hospitalized and my wife had two coworkers die from this virus, so please be patient and we will get through this together.
  23. I have always liked the idea of an option slalom, but the small tweaks are that are done during setup usually seem to favor one option. Hopefully it gets setup more with a 50/50 choice.
  24. I can say that I feel that the RE71r’s had fantastic grip and could go a whole year on a STX car with a co-driver. Granted the grip started to fall off in the last two months. There is no way that the A052’s will go that long, but I am still waiting to see how long they will last. The A052’s do seem to be more car setup and tire pressure sensitive in the wear department than the RE71r’s. Driver impressions from my point of view. The RE71r’s take combined loads better, say trail braking, than the A052’s. But, and this is a big but in autocross, the RE71r’s are more unforgiving if you aren’t smooth or if you overdrive the tire. You can somewhat overdrive the A052’s and not loose a lot of time, where the RE71r’s you would be in the marbles.
  25. For tires, especially in a mostly non competitive car, the 200 tread wear tires may not be the most practical option. One of the go to wet/cold weather tires is the ExtremeContact Sport from Continental. It’s a 340 tread wear but you will get a lot more useful life out of them around here and they won’t be that much slower, if any. They have huge shoulder blocks, so a camber challenged car will take longer to eat up the outer shoulder. Keep in mind that the Federal and Nitto tires you are referring to need some serious temperature to work well. So my guess is that the Continental’s would actually be a faster tire for most of the year except for those hot summer days. https://m.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Continental&tireModel=ExtremeContact+Sport&sidewall=Blackwall&partnum=05WR5ECS&tab=Sizes
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