Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August 26th VMSC Autocross Race Recap

I went back to Virginia this past weekend for a friend's wedding and it happened to coincide with a VMSC autocross in Richmond. The Virginia Motor Sports Club is where I first learned to drive so I was really excited to run my first event with the club in 4+ years and see old friends.

My Dad and I co-drive his STX-class Mini Cooper JCW. This is the same car (same prep too) we ran at the Solo Nationals in 2010 which happened to be the last time I raced it so it was nice to be reacquainted with the quick and quirky Mini Cooper. We started off the day in drying conditions and I ran two low 33s lap times. With Ali riding shotgun on my 3rd run, I dropped to a 32.7s lap and slowly whittled this down to a  a 32.513s lap on my final run. The main change I made to improve the lap was add a quick downshift to 1st in the final corner so I would be in the power-band for the pull through the finish. The 32.5s lap put me in 1st place out of  7 in STX class and 2nd overall in PAX out of 69 drivers - only 0.152 behind a very nice looking CSP Miata.

My Dad had a good showing with a 33.8s fast lap which put him in P2 in STX and 12th in PAX. I had a blast racing with my old club and my family. It was fun to see old friends and I am looking forward to autocrossing with the VMSC again on future trips back home!

Here is in-car video from my fast run:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Rainy Day Autocrossing and Drifting in the NSX

I got a chance to drive my Dad's 2000 Acura NSX at an autocross test and tune this past weekend in Richmond, VA. This was my first time track-driving the NSX so I was really looking forward to it and then it started raining. At first I was bummed....but when life gives you lemons, you make drifting.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Mentioned in SportsCar's "Pick the Winners" Article

SportsCar magazine recently released their "Who Will Win" article for the 2012 SCCA Solo Nationals. I didn't get picked to win ESP (didn't expect too), but I got a mention in the article for the first time. Luckily though, Lane was picked to win A-Stock and was referred to as the "Goodyear-driver" in the article so he got some good press for our sponsor. Lane will be trying to prove SportsCar right and I will be trying to prove SportsCar wrong in Lincoln!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

New Livery for the ESP Camaro

Lane and I did a vinyl job on our Camaro and Corvette racecars with the help of Jay Orcutt. Jay did a great job of cutting the vinyl and helping us apply it to the car. The first order of business was getting rid of a black roof so I had a local shop do a white vinyl wrap on the roof. After that, we applied the blue/orange stripes and the huge Goodyear decals. I think it turned out great and can't wait to show up at Solo Nationals with a great looking car. Here are pictures of the finished product:

Thanks to Takahisa Yamaoka for taking these photos.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

2012 "Pick the Winners" Contest

SCCAForums is once again hosting a "Pick the Winners" for the 2012 SCCA Solo Nationals. Go to the link below and vote for who you think will win each class. Those who have the highest number of correct picks will take home prizes from the contest's sponsors. Last year I had 37 correct picks, narrowly missing out on the prizes. Hopefully I can improve a bit this year. Voting ends at 9PM CST on September 3rd (Monday night before the Solo Nats) so make sure to get your votes in! If you don't know anybody in the class, just guess or go with whoever has a funny name.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

E Street Prepared at the 2012 Solo Nationals

The early registration deadline for the 2012 SCCA Solo Nationals has passed and it looks like we are set for a record attendance in Lincoln with 1,168 drivers pre-registered for the event. We are bound to see some change up or down from this number as we get close to the big event, but things are looking good for the sport.

E Street Prepared class is looking strong this year with 32 entries up from 23 in 2011. 32 entries will mean trophies will pay out for the top 9 drivers in class. To make up the 32 driver grid, there are 22 racecars with 10 two-driver cars competing. We have a wide variety of cars in class including 4 Subaru WRXs, 9 Ford Mustangs, 6 Chevy Camaros, 1 Pontiac Firebird, 1 Pontiac Trans-Am, and 1 Eagle Talon.

Using the Solo Stats book mentioned in my previous post, I complied some stats on the ESP class in 2012. Among the 32 ESP drivers, we have a competed in a total of 164 Solo Nationals taking home 48 trophies and 10 National Championships. Of the championships, ESP superstar Mark Madarash is the largest contributor with 7 National Championships all in ESP. Karen Kraus is a two-time winner (ESPL and DSL) and I added one to the total with my 2011 A-Stock win. We have a great field in E Street Prepared and I can't wait for the Solo Nationals this year.

Entry List Here

Event Website Here

Solo Stats by Rocky Entriken

After winning A-Stock at the 2011 Solo Nationals, my parents bought me a copy of Rock Entriken's meticulously prepared "Solo Stats" book where he compiles statistics and records for every Solo Nationals dating back to back to the 1st Annual SCCA Solo Nationals in 1973.

Rocky's book is incredibly detailed and includes Top Ten lists for most wins, most trophies, largest margin of victory, smallest MOV, and many other categories.  It also includes records for number of competitors, site and race info for each Solo Nats, a full list of all the Solo National Champions, and the Alpha List which is a results record of every driver who has competed at the Solo Nationals. For each person who buys the book, he also makes a "Personal Record" of your Solo Nats history and records. Here is mine:

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Updated Goodyear Contingency for 2012 Solo Nationals

Goodyear has updated it's contingency program for the 2012 Solo Nationals. They are paying 4 tires for 1st place and 2 tires for 2nd place. There is a minimum of 5 competitors required to pay out for 1st and 2nd place. This applies to all DOT-R and race tire classes. See the link below for more details:

SCCA's Solo Nats contingencies article has been updated also:

Friday, August 3, 2012

My New FR-S

Ali and I made the trek to bustling Altus, OK to pick up my new FR-S on Tuesday. Putnam Toyota was great to work with. They had everything ready to go when I arrived and 25min later I was driving my new car away. Here are a few cell phone photos:

So far I am really enjoying the car. It has a excellent steering feel and the shifter is great - the only car with better shift feel I've driven is an Acura NSX. Especially for it's price, it feels very solid and well built and clearly the Toyota test drivers and engineers put effort into all of the driver inputs - the seats are good, steering wheel is nice leather and a good size, shift feel is great like I mentioned, the handbrake is a good location for e-brake drifting, and the pedals have decent spacing for heel/toe downshifting. I have about 400mi on it now and am doing a 1,000mi break-in so I haven't driven it too hard yet. I will have more reviews and updates to come as I learn more about the FR-S.