April 21, 2012

Speedway Slalom

Photo by Ed Savage - NoWin Photography 
Some of my favorite battles are events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS), as it is a nice change of pace from Fort Devens Airbase. The short but tricky course with elevation changes, the loud roar of road racers on the track, and downtime in the infield all makes the entire experience quite enjoyable. I was joined by Lui and Raul from Wankel Works as they wanted to hang out for the day, and to hopefully check out some of the rotary teams that run at NHMS. Thanks to Lui and Ed for some of the great pictures!
Photo by Ed Savage - NoWin Photography 
There was a practice drift session going on in the parking lot behind our paddock area. I'm not sure which club it was with, but it looked like a lot of fun. I went to go check it out when I had some time and got to see some great drifters show everyone how its done, such as Ryan Tuerck.
Drifters do it sideways
Today's autocross course was laid out differently than past courses at NHMS. We started on the right entrance into the parking lot, and used the entire lot for the course. When I was walking the course, it looked looked fast initially, but the end half of the course required a lot of patience; Otherwise, you would be too hot for the corners. I learned that the hard way in the morning, as I kept being overly aggressive where I shouldn't have been, and it's evident in the videos.
At the starting line
John and I were struggling with the setup initially, (again...) as we wanted more rotation out of the rear for such as small course. Serenity pushed initially, and after stiffening the rear shocks a bit, it began to rotate (Ohlin DFV shocks control both compression and rebound). I still feel like the natural behavior of the car is not as neutral like it was before, and adjusting the shocks slightly to get such a drastic change in its handling behavior sounds like a band-aid to the real issue. I'll be looking into these problems with Ben Wagstaff at tomorrow's Porsche NCR event.
Photo by Ed Savage - NoWin Photography 
After getting some settings dialed in for the day and taking a few runs, I was adapting to the car's behavior and was able to push forward. For now, adapting was the only option I had. John was solid today, getting down to a '28.373 on his 5th run. Somehow, I managed to take back first place on my last run with a '28.350, beating John by only 23 thousandths of a second! Talk about a close battle! The rest of the results are located on SCCA NER's website, here.
Just finished the winning run!
It was a great event, but I still have a lot to learn in time for the June SCCA National Tour, let alone Nationals in Nebraska. Hopefully tomorrow stays dry so that I can work on a solution for the car with Ben. Below are some videos, starting with my fastest run, then John's fastest run, and then combined videos of John and I's fastest run and Josh and I's fastest runs. Our YouTube Channel has the rest of the videos that were taken that day. Stay tuned for tomorrow's Porsche event results!

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