Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Equipe Rapide Challenge Cup # 1

I raced with the Equipe Rapide Sports Car Club in Dallas, TX this past weekend for their 1st Challenge Cup autocross of the season. I competed in X-class which is basically their "Pro" class and is PAX index based. We had 10 competitors on Sunday ranging from FM Formula 500s to STS Honda CRXs and a few Street Prepared cars in between.

The autocross was held Resistol Arena in Mesquite, TX which is an active Rodeo arena. We raced in a side-lot that is sloped concrete. Personally, I thought not a great lot for autocrossing (too small, surrounded by curbs), but beggars can't be choosers and there was some good National racers their to compete with. As you can see from the results, runs were in the 23 to 30s range which is the shortest course I have ever competed on.

With the Equipe Rapide club, racers generally get 6 runs - the first 4 runs are your regular class competition runs, but you can buy 2 more runs for $10 to compete in the Rapide Pax class which is basically a PAX index-based shootout for open to all cometitors. It pays a small amount of money and is a fun way to get some extra cracks at the course. As you can see above, I finished 2nd in X class by 0.032s behind 7-time ESP National Champion Mark Madarash. We were both on new tires for this event it was a pretty even match despite the fact that the course was very different from the larger National event courses. This was my first event on the Goodyear Eagle RS tire while Madarash was on Hoosier A6 tires. The Goodyear tire performed very well against Mark and the Hoosier tires. With some more seat time on the Goodyear tire on larger courses, I think it was very capable of taking home National Tour victories. In the Rapide Pax shootout, I picked up 0.3s to improve to a 24.5s run, but it seemed a lot of the fast competitors picked up significant time also so I finished 5th out of 73 competitors and took home $20. I gave the $20 to my faithful crew member Ali for all of her hard work.....high paying job, right!

Here is some onboard video (driver view and wheel view) from the event:

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