December 28, 2010

2010 Race Season Overview

Now that the autocross season has come to a close, I'd like to look over the whole year with my car and with these clubs and go over some things I've come across, as well as year end results. The year started off pretty mild for me, having a few co-drives with my buddy, Shane. I really always like co-drivers or co-driving because you can learn a lot as a team with someone. Ego's aside, when you look at it all objectively, the information that you both gather as drivers can sometime be very similar, or very different, and that can be a very useful advantage on the battlefield.

As the year began progressing, I kept running into these problems with the car. Power steering, getting my exhaust built and taking a lot longer than projected, things of that nature. Because of those problems, I definitely was more stressed this year than I was last year, and pumping more money into the car definitely was not the answer. I think I'll do a "what if" post, if I were to go back and do it all over again, as I've put together a fantasy build, based off all the things I've learned over the past few years with my car.The month I had my car back after getting my exhaust done, was really eye opening though, I will say that. It helped me prove my point that if done right, the RX-8 as a naturally aspirated car can be fast, and fun as hell. Many people frown upon it for not being a two-seater turbo car like the RX-7, yet I had a few RX-7 owners take out my car and swear they would never make fun of an RX-8 again. When done right, the RX-8 really can be a fun, competitive car, but everything is about balance, especially with this car.
After losing my car in the car crash though, at first I was pretty hurt and upset. A car that I had become very attached to, had put a lot of time, money, and research into building up, had just gone down the drain in the blink of an eye. Luckily after some time, I've come to see the positive side of it and am now ready to take my next step in the world of racing. I'm going to be putting together all my resources, getting a few, very select people, and open up my own shop. I've wanted to race professionally for a long time, and having your own shop is always a big plus when I plan to get to that level in racing. Many other details about it, but look forward to seeing a blog about it when I put it all together, as it won't be for a while.Now onto the results. For the end of the year in SCCA, I came in 2nd place. Truthfully, it was luck. The only skill involved in keeping 2nd place, was battling the other contenders in SM, aside from PJ and David. If they did not blow their engine at the beginning of the year, I wouldn't have gotten those 1st place trophies... Which is fine, as I was racing to prove to myself what I could and couldn't do, and what my car was capable of on street tires. I learned a lot both as a driver, and as a tuner, so I have no complaints with how anything turned out.

For Renegade, I came 3rd in "Other Mazdas", but if you exclude the instructors, I came 2nd place. Aiming for 1st was surprisingly difficult as I was always a tenth of a second away from 1st, as the RX-7 that came first place was in G-Stock, so his pax time was always what saved the day. Regardless that all of my runs were 6 seconds faster than him, the club focuses on PAX times for the "Non Mazdas" and "Other Mazdas" classes. I learned a lot here as well though, and it was fun times going out there and driving all the other Miatas and becoming a better driver. Granted, I would have rather spent more time in my car, but becoming a better driver overall is always a bigger win. For their year end results, check here.To wrap everything up, 2010 may have looked sour at first with all my car problems, not having my usual partner-in-crime as a co-driver, and then losing my car at the end..But it was a great adventure. I learned a lot, spent time with great people, and now I have a better focus on what I want both personally and professionally. I'd like to thank both clubs, and I look forward to seeing everyone next year. Until then, stay tuned.

Below, some of my favorite videos as a tribute to Mid Night, my favorite lady who was fun while I had her.

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