Jerry SuperDork
7/20/14 9:10 p.m.

I've been saying since I bought the car in March that I might be tempted to try an autocross in the thing this year. I helped set up the course/event yesterday afternoon & told them I was thinking about it. Wasn't until I woke up early enough this morning that I said "what the hell why not?" and gathered my helmet and Gatorade.

I've rallycrossed the last two years (with modest success at best), and I tried two autocross events with the old xB back about 3-4 years ago when I first joined the SCCA. Being a new car, first turbo car, unsure of tires, etc I wasn't sure how well I'd do. I managed to not get lost on my first lap, and did not take out many cones.

I did realize it was easy enough to turn off the stability control with the "Disable ESC" button on the dash. Did the morning runs with it normal as a comparison, the afternoon runs it was disabled (and berkeleying dropped 3+ seconds off my times!) I wasn't sure what class to enter, normally H-Stock but added Eibach Sportline springs and a cold air intake, keeping street tires (the upgraded P-Nero Zero). They put me in SMF, I shrugged ok.

At the end of the day they combined the modified classes and I ended up in 2nd! Maybe the rallycross experience helped a little... Everyone remarked how great the car sounded on the track. With the larger rear torsion bar (I forgot about that at registration) and springs, it seemed like it handled pretty neutral to slight understeer, but I figured out how to manage it with throttle/steering, even slightly 4 wheel drifting on long sweepers.

Ok, might have to try this autocross thing again soon, that little car is a hoot to drive on a track. (Probably have some Go Pro footage soon if interested.)

Lancer007 HalfDork
7/20/14 9:19 p.m.

Sounds like a blast. Those have to be one of the best sounding stock cars that regular people can afford. And they are a hoot to throw around.

mad_machine MegaDork
7/20/14 10:34 p.m.

I am glad to hear they are letting the abarth on the track

wae HalfDork
7/20/14 10:49 p.m.

And we will see it in the dirt at the July points event, yes?

Jerry SuperDork
7/21/14 6:22 a.m.

Um, I think I'll bring the Subarust again.

So many Miatas...

stan UltraDork
7/21/14 6:49 a.m.

That looks like Kil-Kare. I need to get to some events this year...

Glad you had fun and the car worked so well!

jstein77 SuperDork
7/21/14 7:02 a.m.

I'm pretty certain your car should be classed in STC. If it was stock, it would go into GS rather than HS, and at first glance I'm not seeing anything in your list that would bump it out of STC. The full set of rules are here:

SCCA Rules

Check the Street Touring section carefully (I didn't) to see if you fit in there like I suspect you do.

chili_head New Reader
7/21/14 7:55 a.m.

Abarth's run in STC in my Region as well. A bar, springs, and an intake should not take you all the way to SMF. Unless there is a tune.....

Jerry SuperDork
7/21/14 8:05 a.m.

Nope, no tune. Just the mod's chili_head mentioned. I'll know better next time, and read the SOLO rules while I'm hard at work, here at work...

One thing I noticed right off the bat was I had to recline the seat a bit extra. Headroom was fine, even with a sunroof. But the curve at the top of the seat, while fine for normal driving, pushed my head forward in a helmet.

Jerry SuperDork
7/21/14 8:06 a.m.
stan wrote: That looks like Kil-Kare. I need to get to some events this year... Glad you had fun and the car worked so well!

Yup, Kil-Kare.

TeamEvil HalfDork
7/21/14 11:58 a.m.

LUCKY DUCK ! ! ! !

I got to drive one for the first time a couple of weeks ago, if I didn't just dump so much money into sorting out the Mustang, I'd have one in the driveway. What a TERRIFIC little car. Everything that the Mini Cooper isn't . . .

Jerry SuperDork
7/21/14 12:44 p.m.

My only regret was no MINI Cooper's for comparison yesterday. And you guys were right. I meant G-Street (not H) with no changes, STC with the torsion bar, CAI and springs. I'll remember that next time. (I'm sure there will be a next time...)

TeamEvil HalfDork
7/23/14 2:58 p.m.

"My only regret was no MINI Cooper's for comparison yesterday."

'Cause they were all at home in the driveway, broken down. The new Minis have a terrible and seeming well earned reputation for unreliability and premature parts failure. The classic Minis are too few and far between to find at an auto-X these days.

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