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95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
4/30/21 12:36 p.m.

Our first couple rally-x events got postponed due to rain (we race on red clay which doesn't drain very well) we finally were able to get some racing in last weekend on Saturday.  Naturally, the event on Sunday got postponed due to more rain.  It seems like most of this season will be held at Summit Point, with only one or two events at Panthera, which is a disappointment since PTC is a much better venue, but what can you do.  At least SP is only a one hour drive instead of two.  Another change is that instead of the normal 8 events, the 2021 season is going to have 10 events!  More racing is always a good thing.

This event (#2, #1 is coming up tomorrow) was on the Barn Course, which is flat and hard packed, with a few decent straights on it, and not much in the way of technical sections.  There are usually some pretty big cone walls near the trees to dissuade people from going too crazy around those turns and having a bad day.  Historically I haven't done well on the Barn Course, but I did win an event on it last year, so maybe I'm getting better at it.  Chris and Stephen generally clean up here for some reason, and sure enough that's how the day started, with Chris laying down an 80 second run while pretty much everyone else was in the 82s and 83s.  After that Stephen started laying down the fast times, with Mike Golden also getting in one real fast lap.  Nonack also laid down a real fast one, but his other runs were marred by cones.  On the fifth and final run in the AM I got back in the swing of things and laid down the fast run of the group, which was the only run to break into the 77s.  The last run got me up into 5th place at lunchtime, but I was only something like 0.2 back from getting into 3rd.  Chris and Stephen were like 4-5 ahead of that, and I didn't think anyone had a chance of catching them in the PM.  I would have been happy to sneak into 3rd.

Neil started off the PM runs with two great runs, but I wasn't far behind.  But on runs 3-5 I was on fire, laying down the fast run for all three.  I think after run 3 I got into 3rd, and after run 4 I passed Stephen and got into 2nd.  I was the first one to break into the 73s, and then on the next run I dropped another second and was the first in the 72s.  There was one run left, could I catch Chris?  If I could just repeat run 4, there was a pretty good chance I would, since that was about 1.5 faster than him.  Well I knocked another 0.1 off my previous run and finished with a 72.8, which was the fastest time of the PM runs, and almost 2 seconds faster than Chris, giving me the win by 0.6!  Stephen laid down his fastest run with a 73.0, passing Chris in the process as well.  It felt incredible to come back from 5th and win like that!  But to be fair, the course was in my favor being so hard packed and wide open, letting me use my power to my advantage.  A tighter slalom here or there could have easily changed things.  And when you consider that two cars (in other classes) with way less HP than me beat me by 1-3 seconds overall, the win is slightly less impressive.  But considering that my fastest PM run was only 1.4 slower than Adam Kimmett's (usually fastest overall in his modded STI) then I guess I can feel proud of that.

Here are a couple pics from Jeramey Kwan.  I finally reinstalled the stock bumper after realizing it didn't sit any lower than the non-M bumper.





And some video:



Events 1 and 3 are scheduled for this weekend, wish me luck!
 

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
5/29/21 10:50 a.m.

I'm a few weeks behind schedule as usual, but better late than never.  Here's a wrap up of rallycross event #1 (postponed due to rain).

We ran on the tree course at Summit Point and temps were around 65*.  All the usual suspects were there, which meant any one of the top 8 drivers were capable of winning the event.  The tree course isn't as hard packed as the barn course, which means less grip and more moon dust on the outside of corners.  The course design was pretty open and there weren't many tight/technical sections.

Stephen and Josh started off with fast runs on the first run, but I was only about 0.5 back, which for me is pretty good.  It seems I really take the advice given at the drivers meeting to heart, where they recommend to "start slow and build speed throughout the day".  On the second run, Tyler, a guest driver in Michael Stock's MR2 set a blistering lap, almost 1.5 ahead of Josh, who had the second fastest run.  Then Mike Golden laid down a fast run on the third.  On my third run, disaster struck, when I went a little wide into the moon dust on a right hander and took out part of a cone wall, resulting in 3 cones and time lost in the dust.  I can't remember how far back this put me in the standings, but it was pretty far back.  I guess it motivated me to drive faster, because on the 4th run I had the fast time, and continued to make up time the rest of the day.  Stephen laid down the fast times on the 5th and 6th runs, but I was right behind him.  On our 7th (!) and final run in the AM Mike Golden laid down the fast time again, but he had already hit 3 cones so he wasn't in contention for the lead.  So at lunch Stephen was in first with a number of fastest runs under his belt, and I think Neil was in second with consistent and clean runs, and Josh was in third.

In the PM Eric laid down the fast run to start things off, but Chris and I weren't too far off.  On the second run Tyler once again laid down a scorcher, but due to lots of cones on his other runs wasn't in contention for the win.  I ran the fastest for the third run, and Chris finished the day with the fast run for the 4th run.  Mike Golden finished the day with 9 cones on his last two runs, ruining any chance he had of finishing well, and Neil was the only driver in the class  to not hit a single cone all day.  Looks like Neil is taking over my title of being Mr. Clean!  With my clean and relatively fast runs after my dirty 3rd run I clawed my way back and finished in 4th, less than 3 seconds back from first, and 0.3 back from Josh in 3rd.  Aside from that one mistake I ran well all day and had lots of fun, and in the grand scheme of things 4th isn't bad in this company.  When I went to pack my car up after my final run I discovered that I had ran all afternoon with my jack, jack stand, impact gun, etc still in my trunk!  It was all wedged into my spare tire well pretty tight, which I guess is why I didn't really hear things banging around much when I was on course.  Event #3 was the following day, so I packed the car up, drove home, and prepared to do it all over again.

Here's my best AM and PM runs from the day:
 


 

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
5/29/21 11:23 a.m.

Right on the heels of event #1, we had #3 the following day back at Summit Point, but this time we were on the hard packed barn course and temps had risen to about 80*.  Our event chair and normal course designer was out welcoming his second child to the world, so the course was set up to be a little more technical than usual with some slaloms on the straight-aways to break things up a bit.

True to form, Chris and Stephen traded off putting down the fast run on runs 1-3 while I was a little off the pace.  After the third run I was probably sitting in something like 5th place.  It took a few runs for the dust to get knocked off the hard pack underneath, but once it did I was unstoppable, setting the fast time on 5 of the last 7 runs for the day.  On the last run in the AM, Josh went a little crazy at the finish and took out a ton of cones, knocking him way back in the standings.  With nothing to lose, he laid down the fast runs on runs 1 and 2 in the PM, but there was nothing he could do to come back from that deficit.  I finished in 1st, ahead of Stephen by more than 3 seconds, with Chris about 3 back from him in 3rd.  Neil extended his run of not hitting any cones to three events and finished in 5th, a little behind Eric in 4th.  Come from behind victories always feel extra special, and this was no exception.

I've noticed that when I go back and watch my videos after events, they're always very boring, and I'm left wondering how I put down fast times.  All I can assume is that lots of horsepower covers up mistakes and lack of advanced techniques.  Oh well, enjoy the display of gratuitous horsepower and unfair advantages!
 


 

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
6/14/21 7:55 p.m.

As usual I'm a few weeks behind in posting up race results, and with another race this coming weekend, it's time to catch up!

Event #4 was a few weeks ago, and once again we were back at Summit Point, and we were back on the barn course.  Temperatures were around 85* and it was pretty sunny out.  Adam, our lead organizer, was back and designed the type of course that he likes to run, which is wide open and fast.  With the surface nice and hard packed, conditions were pretty much ideal for my car. 

Eric led off the day with the fast run, but I wasn't too far back from him in second.  I edged ahead of him on the second run for the fast time, with Josh not too far back running in third.  On my third run I gave it a little too much gas in the very tight S curve, sending the rear end all over the place and hitting a cone.  This made me feel like I needed to drive super fast to make up for it, and given the time I ran including the cone and my slow down, I guess I did.  Eric once again laid down the fast run on that one, and was sitting in first.  For my fourth run I drove like the world was about to end, and I put down a time that was about 2 seconds faster than Tyler, who put down the second fastest run, and about 3-4 seconds faster than most everyone else.  Eric hit a cone on his fourth run, so with that I was in first and I didn't look back.  I slowed down a bit on my fifth run, but it was still the fast run of the group, and then for my sixth run I laid down what appears to have been the fastest time out of every driver at the event for the AM runs, putting myself something like 10 seconds ahead on Eric in second.  This sort of lead is extremely uncommon in the MR class, where first through fifth are often separated by like 3 seconds, so I was pretty stoked.  With such a large lead, I didn't exactly go wild in the PM runs, and just tried to not make any mistakes.  Eric started off with the fast run, then Mike Golden followed, then Neil, and finally Tyler on the fourth with a stupid fast run. 

I finished in first, 8.3 seconds ahead of Eric, who was 3.2 ahead of Stephen.  Most people in MR hit either one or two cones for the day, and Neil hit his first cone of the season.  And for only the second time, I had the overall fast time for the day, beating out Adam (the usual FTD) in his modded STI by about 2.6 seconds!  Although to be fair, he did hit 10 freaking cones.  But still, FTD is FTD!  It's not like I did anything special though, it was just the perfect course for my car, and I could use my power to its full advantage.

Event #5 is this coming weekend, and it's a two day event, so it's going to be a slog with high temperatures looking to be around 90*.

I got some new video editing software as the super old Windows Movie Maker I've been using doesn't support 4k, and I decided to have some fun making a silly intro for my videos.  Hope you enjoy!
 


 

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