July 17, 2011


Photo by Ed Savage - NoWin Photography
This weekend was a back-to-back autocross weekend with SCCA NER. Saturday was a Novice/Intermediate school that Jenna had put together (Massive respect out to her for an amazing job!). I wanted to help out at the school this year and see how many novices had decided to try out the sport. The school featured elements from the years prior, which were:
  • Offsets (Clamshells)
  • Slaloms (with a increasing/decreasing radius slalom as well, depending on which side you start with)
  • Kidney Bean
  • Half course at the end of the day, that featured all of the elements learned at the school
It was definitely a great turn-out and a lot of people really enjoyed the event. It's events like these that I think really help promote both the club and the motorsport, so great job Jenna!
Photo by Ed Savage - NoWin Photography
As for Sunday, it was a normal points event. The course was setup by the chair of Renegade Miata, Rob MacAlpine, as well as the ST Civic boy-wonder, Roger Whipple. It featured a lot of slaloms, a tricky chicago box at the turn onto the taxi-way, and a few other interesting elements; an awesome course that I would have expected to see at Renegade Miata, not at NER.
Photo by Ed Savage - NoWin Photography
I had planned to use this event to test out my car with no rear swaybar to see how it would feel, as I kept getting recommendations from Ben to "GET THAT THING OUTTA' THERE!". With the rear swaybar out, I could go full throttle just as I'm ready to exit a corner without sliding, not something my driving style is accustomed to just yet (which may have cost me some time out there). I'll have to play more with the settings, but I have a feeling I may be sticking to no rear swaybar for the rest of the season.
Photo by Ed Savage - NoWin Photography
There were a lot more surprises than just the course however, as Hank Wallace returned to NER to crash the BSP party in his E36 M3. My fastest runs were a 60.2 and a 60.4, but both were dirty. My clean runs were unfortunately not fast enough to take over the lead from Hank, as he finished with a clean 60.3. Good to see him return and bring on a great race. The challenge he brought with him got me nervous to say the least, but that only motivates me to be faster for next time.
Photo by Ed Savage - NoWin Photography
In other highlights for the day, G-Fab gave Panda a nice paint job (be sure to check out their blog!), adding some flare to the SM monster while it reigns terror in the Pro class. Ben unfortunately had some problems with his STS Miata later in the afternoon, so I offered him to take his last runs in my car so that he could try and take the lead in Pro (and I could maybe learn something!). Down below you'll see some great footage of Ben attacking the course, beating my fastest raw time by almost 2 seconds! I did learn a lot from having him drive however, so thanks for that Ben.
Photo by Ed Savage - NoWin Photography
The results are posted here at the SCCA NER website. Overall, it looks like I'm currently 11th place in PAX for the year, and 1st place in BSP with 24 points, with Josh Noble right on my tail with 18. I am very surprised at my performance this year. Even though Serenity is an RX-8, she is completely different than my last one in every way. I'd like to keep working at it and score the jacket at the end of the year, but there are five more events left that could turn the tide. Until then, some minor work at Kaizen Tuning, as well as some aesthetic goodies, so stay tuned.

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