Thursday, April 16, 2015

SCCA College Station Championship Tour Recap

We kicked off our 2015 SCCA National Solo season this past weekend in College Station in our C-Street FR-S. C-Street was one of the larger classes at the event with 13 drivers. Overall, the event was a massive success with over 200 entries showing a big increase over the past few seasons. It seems like the excellent courses and site in College Station have finally got the attention they deserve. The forecast was dire, but in the end we lucked out with reasonable weather. We started off with the Evolution Advantage school on Friday where I instructed and my Dad joined 20 other students getting quality seat time before the event. 

On Saturday, we were greeted with a dry track and good conditions to really see where we stacked up with the new car. I was able to start off with a reasonable clean run and take the lead after the first runs. A new variable for us this year is when/where to shift - the ESP Camaro went to 75mph in 2nd and we never shifted to 3rd in any National events over the last three years. I ended up shifting to 3rd three times on this course as I changed my shift points each lap and whittled my time down a 70.384. This was good enough for a six tenth lead heading into Day 2.

C-Street Impound after Day 1
Wet car, damp track in store for Day 2
Sunday would bring a very wet, but drying track as overnight rains soaked the area. Rain was not forecast until later in the afternoon. With us running 2nd heat, we were fairly confident it would become a 3rd-run showdown as the course gained grip each lap and this proved to be correct. I kept the lead with each run until Matt Leach dropped in a class-leading 79.142s run on his 3rd attempt in his BFG-shod RX-8. This put me down 0.3s heading into my last run. I knew I had the pace in the car and the track was improving at a rapid rate, but I still had to put together a quick, clean run to take the win. I was able to get it done with a 78.593s run to take the win by 1.158s overall. It's great to have some high pressure situations early in the season as C-Street looks to be a large and very competitive throughout the season. 

Here is onboard video from my fastest runs:

Thanks to my parents and Ali for the help all weekend. The team heads to Blytheville, Arkansas over May 1-3rd for our first ProSolo of the season. This is a re-schedule of the event that was cancelled back in March. In it's current setup, the car was a bit tight overall and sluggish in slaloms, but gave us a decent starting point for the season. With the newly discovered TRD port-installed spring and anti-roll bar upgrades, I will be making a big change to the setup this weekend. We will see how the car reacts to the new parts (should be good...) and then I can tune around the new baseline setup that we will run in Blytheville. Now for some wrench time in the shop...!

Dad on track getting a feel for street tires and less horsepower!

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