Saturday, May 26, 2012

Back in Lincoln, NE for the 2012 SCCA Solo Spring Nationals

Ali and I arrived in Lincoln, Nebraska today for the 2012 SCCA Solo Spring Nationals. This event is becoming the largest National Tour and Pro Solo event of the year behind the Solo Nationals and Pro Finale in September. There are 370 entries for the National Tour event which takes place on Sunday and Monday of this weekend. My Dad and I are competing in E Street Prepared class which currently sits at 17 entries making it the second largest class of the event. Big horsepower and wide tires....what's not to like?

After getting settled in this afternoon, my Dad and I run a test and tune event with Junior Johnson and Sam Strano which was put on by the Evolution Performance Driving School. My pace relative to multi-time National Champions in my car was good, but the pace of the car overall was slower than expected. However, Lane Borg, my Dad and I spent a few hours and over 30 runs on our Goodyear Eagle RS tires and we able to make some solid improvement to the ESP Camaro's pace. Test n' tune courses can be deceiving so we won't really know where we stack up until tomorrow's first runs.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Race Recap: May 19th, 2012 WTKA Shifter Kart Race at Rimrock

I competed in the 3rd race of the West Texas Karting Association's club schedule at Rimrock Raceway this past Saturday night. Here is a quick summary because I am tired:

1) Drove to Dallas Friday night for Ali's sister's college graduation (Congrats Kim)
2) Went to Kim's graduation Saturday morning
3) Flew to Midland (cheap Southwest flight)
4) Joe and Stuart picked me up at the airport Saturday afternoon
5) Realized I forgot to pack my driving suit so I had to borrow a motorcycle jacket from somebody (Thanks Mike!) and wear my Polo jeans from the graduation ceremony

6) Raced against 7 shifter karts and one twin-engine Yamaha at Rimrock Raceway
7) Won Heat 1 after drawing pole (pill pick for starting position)
8) Finished P3 in the 2nd heat after starting DFL
9) Started P2 on the grid for the 12 lap feature
10) Damaged my bumper while trying to pass Stuart who started on Pole

11) Passed Stuart for the lead on Lap 2
12) Won the feature by a few kart lengths

13) Packed up and got home around 2AM Sunday morning
14) Slept until Noon and unloaded the trailer with the guys

I had a blast racing with the Midland crew and am looking forward to running more races with the WTKA. Here is onboard video of the feature race:

Monday, May 21, 2012

For Sale: Low Mileage 2004 Mazdaspeed MX-5 (Factory Turbocharged Miata)

credit: Vu Banh 

I am selling my 2004 Mazdaspeed MX-5. It currently has 46,575 miles. This is a low-mileage, very clean car that I have only used as a daily driver. This car is a blast to drive and I have enjoyed it, but it is time to get a more practical hatchback. I usually get about 26mpg combined and between 28 and 30mpg with all highway driving. This MX-5 features a 1.8L turbocharged engine that it is estimated to produce 200 wheel horsepower with the modifications listed below. It has a 6-speed manual transmission. I recently put Kumho All-Season tires on it which have less than 1,000 miles.

I am the 2nd owner and have owned this car since it had 22,000 miles. The first owner modified the car with the following bolt-on parts:

Boss Frog Double Max Miata Roll Bar
Flyin' Miata Mazdaspeed MX-5 Intake Upgrade Kit
GFB Blow-Off Valve
Flyin' Miata Mazdaspeed MX-5 Midpipe and Exhaust Upgrade
Flyin' Miata Mazdaspeed MX-5 Intercooler Upgrade Kit
A-Pillar Mounted Boost Guage

Price: $11,900 ($1,800 under KBB so priced to sell!)

This car would make a great daily driver, autocrosser, or track day toy...or all three. Please contact Dave Ogburn at (DOgburn at gmail dot com) for questions. I can provide more information, a VIN number, and more photos upon request. These are photos taken of my car in November 2011 (still this clean).  Thanks.

 credit: Vu Banh 

credit: Vu Banh

Sunday, May 20, 2012

April 6th Shifter Kart Test at Rimrock Raceway

I'm a little tardy on this post but wanted to give a recap of my first karting day of 2012. Joe, Stuart and I went to Midland back on April 6th for a practice day in our shifter karts. It was our first time driving the karts since the final SWRC race of 2011 last October. In summary, it was a very productive day. I started the day on heavily worn tires from the SWRC finale but made some rear stiffness changes to improve the balance which allowed me to lower my personal best at Rimrock to a 34.5sec (0.3sec improvement). First, I made switched to a stiffer axle, then I narrowed the rear track, and finally I added a rear torsion bar in the full soft position to improve rear grip and overall side bite. Until this, I was chasing a loose kart and knew there was time to be gained with improved balance.

After a few sessions, we decided to have a time attack lap time battle. We each got three flying laps around the regular long course and 6 laps around the short course (see video below). I switched so a less worn set of MG yellows which has significantly more grip than the previous set I was running. With the newer tires, I dropped my personal best down to a 34.05sec lap so in total I improved 0.7s from my previous personal best. I was the fastest of the group around the long track, but Joe clipped me by 0.07sec around the long course so we split the win. There is no official record, but I have heard through the grapevine that the track record at Rimrock Raceway is in the 33s. Running the elusive 33sec lap is our goal and Joe, Stuart, and I will be racing hard to see who can be the first to the 33s!

Here is some onboard video from our lap time battle:

Updated Racing Calendar and 2012 Karting Plans

I updated my 2012 Racing Calendar page with additional SCCA National Tour Solo events and my karting plans. My schedule can be viewed below and at this link:

2012 Racing Schedule Summary

February 12th - Kart testing at Rimrock Raceway in Midland, TX

February 26th - Equipe Rapide Challenge Cup Autocross # 1 in Dallas, TX

Marth 17th - TX National Tour Test n' Tune in College Station, TX

March 18-19th - SCCA Texas Nation Tour Event in College Station, TX

March 25th - Equipe Rapide Challenge Cup Autocross # 2 in Dallas, TX

April 6th - Kart testing in Midland, TX

May 19th - WTKA Race # 3 in Midland, TX

May 26th - Lincoln National Tour Test n' Tune in Lincoln, NE

May 27 - 28th - Lincoln National Tour (Central States Championship) in Lincoln, NE

June 10-11th: SCCA Blytheville National Tour (Southern States Championship) in Blytheville, AR

June 23rd - WTKA Race # 4 in Midland, TX

July 22nd - Equipe Rapide Challenge Cup Autocross # 6 in Dallas, TX

July 28th - WTKA Race # 5 in Midland, TX

September 4th - 7th - 2012 SCCA Solo Nationals in Lincoln, NE

September 22nd - WTKA Race # 7 in Midland, TX

October 14th - Equipe Rapide Challenge Cup Autocross # 8 in Dallas, TX

October 28th - WTKA Race # 8 in Midland, TX

November 10th - 11th - Equipe Rapide Challenge Cup Autocross # 9 & 10 in Dallas, TX

On the karting side, I learned a lot and had fun racing my shifter kart in the Southwest Regional Cup but travelling for 5 regional kart races was tough on my vacation from work and my wallet. I decided to get back to basics (cheap, easy fun) with karting this year and run local events with the West Texas Karting Association in Midland, TX. My focus for 2012 is the National SCCA events in the Camaro, but I do not want to give up wheel-to-wheel racing so running only local club races in the kart allows me to do both. Stuart, Joe, and I can travel up to Midland and back to San Angelo in one day which makes the racing travel much easier. I am looking forward to my 5 WTKA race events during the Summer/Fall.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Mega-Famous Pit Bike

In every issue of Grassroots Motorsports magazine, they feature the "pit bike of the month." About a year ago, I submitted our trusty Honda XR70 pit bike to the magazine and to my surprise, we were featured in the June 2012 issue. Now, our pit bike will be recognized Nationwide at all our races!

Last Stock Moto Driver Rankings released their latest Stock Moto Driver Rankings for 2012. Their National ranking system only evaluates Regional and National races so I am relying on points from my 2011 SWRC races. Race points are eligible in the ranking for one calendar year, but my last few races were good enough to keep me in the Top 40 in National Points. I'm currently ranked in the 38th position.

See below for links to the full article and full Driver Ranking list:

EKN Article on the May 14th Driver Rankings

Full Driver Ranking List