June 17, 2012

SCCA Solo Northeast National Tour

Photo by Ed Savage - NoWin Photography
I wish I had more time and resources to do more National Tours... Nothing is quite like that full weekend experience. The people, the energy, the flow, the pressure… It's very different than any local autocross race. This weekend was the SCCA Solo Northeast National Tour at my home course, Moore Airfield in Ayer, MA. With over 200 people signed up, and 8 competitors in BSP, I was ready to rock!

Photo by Ed Savage - NoWin Photography
The courses for both days were great! They had a few spots that you had to really think about before attacking, but some easy elements overall. I liked the flow of Sunday's course over Saturday's however, as it seemed to be more suited for a car like Serenity. Big thanks to Nate Whipple who had designed both Saturday's and Sunday's courses. Below are the course maps for the two days.
Day 1 Course Map
Day 2 Course Map
Big thanks again to Ben for the alignment I mentioned in the previous. The car felt amazing, as the car was very predictable, responsive and relatively neutral. The tires on the other hand, were completely dead. There was essentially no grip to them at this point. Everyone else was getting other people's rubber (OPR) on their tires from the course, except us with these rock hard tires. We had a hard time even getting some decent heat into them! John and I were really lucky we were even able to put down decent times on both days, so I'm proud with how well we did.
Photo by Ed Savage - NoWin Photography
On Saturday, John had gotten a blazing fast time of '62.8, but unfortunately had a late cone call with it. His fastest clean was a '64.2, securing 3rd place, while I had a '64.0 clean. I also coned away my fastest run, not that a '63.5 was impressive either way, but was still able to hold onto 2nd place on Saturday. Come Sunday, John took 2nd place with a '60.9, having a total time of '125.1 for both days. I took 3rd with a '61.8, with a total time of '125.8 between the two days. The rest of the tour results are located here at SCCA Forums, with the NER results located on their website.
Photo by Ed Savage - NoWin Photography
I learned a lot during the tour thanks to John. Even if I have no grip, I need to step it up in the car some more. My lines may be pretty good, but that doesn't mean anything if I can't apply the throttle as well. Still, receiving a trophy for 3rd place felt awesome, and I can't wait to earn my next trophy at another National Event. In the meantime, below are John and I's fastest runs on both days (including the dirty ones on Saturday), as well as links to photos and a great music video put together by Steve Seguis. The rest of my own videos are always located on my YouTube page. Lastly, it was great to meet some fellow RX-8 Club racers such as Eric Simmons! Special big thanks to anyone who was following my race via SoloLive, and their constant support.

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