Saturday, March 24, 2012

2012 SCCA Texas Solo National Tour Race Report

Carving Cones in College Station, TX

Event: 2012 SCCA Solo Texas National Tour 
Date: March 17-18th, 2012 
Car: 2001 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 
Class: E Street Prepared 
Tire: Goodyear Eagle RS (AC Compound)
Driver (s): Dave Ogburn, David Ogburn (my Father) co-driver 

Combined Day 1&2 Results 
Total Competitors: 162 
Class Competitors: 6 
Class Finish Overall: P2 (trophy position) 
Delta to 1st Overall: 3.827s 
Delta to 1st (raw time, no cones counted) Overall: 2.074 
PAX Index Finish Overall: 25th 

Day 1 Results 
Class Finish Day 1: P2 (trophy position) 
Delta to 1st Day 1: 2.752 
Delta to 1st (raw time, no cones counted) Day 1: 0.999s 
PAX Index Finish Day 1: 62nd 

Day 2 Results 
Class Finish Day 2: P2 (trophy position) 
Delta to 1st Day 2: 1.075s 
Delta to 1st (raw time, no cones counted) Day 2: 1.075s 
PAX Index Finish Day 2: 6th 

Results Links 
Overall Results - 

 Lined up on the starting line for Day 1 of the 2012 TX Nat Tour

My Parents, Ali and I traveled to College Station, TX for the 2012 Texas National Tour last weekend. This was my first National Tour event and overall it was a success. My Dad got his first bit of seat time in our Camaro and really enjoyed the car - he is enjoying getting back to RWD! We had 6 competitors in the ESP class for the two-day shootout. Weather was good and luckily the rain stayed away all weekend. On Day 1, I had trouble with the cones and finished up well back from 1st place due to hitting cones on my two fastest runs. My 2nd run was my only clean run of the day and a spat of brake hop near the finish ruined my run and therefore I started Day 2 2.7s back from Mark Madarash and his 1988 Trans Am. 

During the Friday test session and Day 1's competition runs, I was struggling with overall braking capacity which was hurting my ability to trail-brake and "point" the car on turn-in. I made a front brake pad compound change before the Day 2 competition runs which made a big difference. Combine that with some better driving and I improved my pace relative to the PAX index results and Mark's times. At day's end, I had a clean 61.1s lap in the bank which was good enough for P6 in PAX out of 162 competitors. However, Mark had another strong day and finished with a 60.0s run that propelled in to Top PAX for Day 2. 

For my first National event in the Camaro, I am pleased with the 2nd Place trophy, but finishing 2 seconds in raw pace back from 1st place is strong motivation to improve the car/driver competition as we move toward the Solo Natoinal Championships in September.  I have several items to develop on the car that should help me pick up valuable tenths on my ESP class competition. Additionally, the Goodyear Eagle RS tires we are running this year will be a key advantage over my Hoosier-shod compeitors at future National events. 

My Dad finished his first ever event in the Camaro in 4th place out of the 6 ESP competitors. He did a great job adapting to the new car and had some fun along the way too! As always, it was great fun racing my family and I am looking forward to our next National Tour event over Memorial Day. 

Onboard video from each day's fast runs:

Photos of the variety of cars racing in the Texas Solo scene:

Beautiful 2011 Championship Winning D-Mod Lotus

 Mark's Championship Winning ESP Trans Am

 Dad Ripping up the Texas Concrete

 Justin Barker on a Flyer in an A-Stock Corvette

 Wicked Fast B-Mod Racer

 Greg Piper's F-Mod Formula 500

Lane Borg Won A-Stock Class in 2004 Corvette

Photo credit: Ali Rutherford

Friday, March 16, 2012

2012 SCCA Texas National Tour This Weekend

Satellite View of the Texas A&M Riverside Campus 

My Parents, Ali and I made traveled to College Station, TX for a fun weekend of family and racing.  My Dad and I are racing our E Street Prepared Camaro Z28 in the SCCA Texas National Tour at the Texas A&M Riverside Campus. The A&M Riverside Campus (seen in photo above) is a huge X-shaped intersection of old concrete runways and taxiways that is capable of hosting 90+ second courses.  This is our first National event in the Camaro and actually my Dad's first time to autocross it. He ran an EVO Advantage school this morning to get some base seat time and feedback from myself and EVO instructors. He did a great job and took to the new car nicely especially considering his normal ride is a FWD Mini Cooper on street tires.

Paddock Setup for the TX Nationl Tour - weather was a little gloomy this morning!

There are 170+ cars registered for the event and hopefully the weather will stay dry. Either way, we run in the first heat tomorrow with the first car off at 9AM. As always, it will be a three run shootout for the win!

E Street Prepared Entry List:

Here are some links:

Event Homepage

Live Timing & Scoring

Live Radio Broadcast

Updated 2012 Racing Calendar

Here is my updated 2012 Racing Calendar

You can also view it in the calendar tab above. Basically, I only have SCCA Solo events scheduled for the ESP Camaro. We are trying to run three National Tour events in addition to the Solo National Championships in September and a full season of local autocrossing with Equipe Rapide Sports Car Club . Clearly, the focus for this year is developing and racing the Camaro. Unfortunately, I had several conflicts that are forcing me to choose between several large evens throughout the year. The SCCA Texas ProSolo event in Mineral Wells, TX is one of two National SCCA autocrosses in Texas this year, but it is the same weekend as my wedding - not much compromise here! Also this weekend, the SCCA Texas National Tour conflicts with the Lone Star Grand Prix - epic karting street race being run on part of the 1984 Dallas Grand Prix Formula 1 street course.

However, 2012 is still shaping up to be an exciting in and out of racing. I am looking forward to continue competing Nationally with the SCCA and hoping to get back in the shifter kart soon. Stay tuned for race results and onboard video as the season progresses!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Leo Parente of Drive TV with the Palatov D4

The Palatov D4 is a project I've been following since college when a couple of buddies and I were looking into building our own A-Mod SCCA racer. Our Miata-based open-wheeler powered by a Yamaha YZR-1000 engine never panned out, but the Palatov is looking pretty good now. 

The video below is part of the Shakedown series on Drive TV which is one of my favorite online racing/car shows. Leo Parente does a great job breaking their test session down and comparing it to the Sim Raceway version of the car. Check it out below:

Saturday, March 10, 2012

New Race Wheels for the ESP Camaro

I got some shiny new wheels for the ESP Camaro in the mail yesterday. There are CCW Classic Race wheels and will be our second set of dry-tire race wheels along with the Forgeline Competition RS wheels that we currently have. These CCW wheels are a 3-piece design which allow us to more easily  make offset and rim width adjustments. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

LG Motorsports ZR1 Hillclimb car

LG Motorsports ZR1 Hillclimb Racecar

I saw this beast on a lift in the LG Motorsports shop when I dynoed the Camaro last weekend. After talking to one of the LG employees, I looked up the YouTube video of their ZR1 with Lou Gigliotti driving the Spectre 341 Challenge hillclimb in Nevada. The video is pretty impressive especially since this course is known as a widowmaker...check it out below.

This looks like an awesome event. Growing up on the East Coast, I became a big fan of hillclimbing and really wanted to race our Crossle Formula Ford on some of the famouns Pennsylvania and North Carolina hillclimb runs. I never got the chance so I think I just added a new race to my bucket list with the extra goal of making this elite club - 3:41 Club. I think the ESP Camaro with some sticky Goodyear DOT tires could do it....