With three of nine Chicago Region autocross events completed, I am halfway to securing the STX Class Champion trophy! I took 1st place this weekend by nearly 1.5 seconds, and managed to finish 27th in PAX out of 157 entries. I’m slowly making progress on that PAX list as it used to be rare for me to crack the Top 30, and I’ve done so twice in a row now!
The course was a good one, with some interesting elements. Once again, I set my fastest time on my third run in the morning, and then couldn’t improve it in the afternoon. Not sure why that keeps happening! I’m frustrated because there was definitely a lot of room for improvement in that run which would have taken at least a half-second off of that time – most notably where I shifted to 3rd gear. It turned out I needed to use 3rd gear coming INTO the sharp hairpin at the back of the course, as I discovered in the afternoon, and not coming BACK from it. Oh well!
Date: Sunday, June 11, 2017
SCCA Chapter: Chicago Region (Event #3)
Location: Route 66 Raceway, Joliet, IL
Weather: Sunny, 85-90 degrees F, 10-15 MPH breeze.
Car: 2015 Subaru BRZ
Class: 345 STX
Wheels/Tires: 949 Racing 6UL (17×9)/Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R (245/40R17)
Brakes: AP Racing Factory 4-Piston Front BBK w/ APF404 Pads (Hawk 5.0 Rear Pads)
Suspension: KW V3 coilovers, Raceseng Cas/Cam plates, Velox LCAs
Exhaust: Fujitsubo Authorize R Catback
Raw: 50.726 (1st of 5 in Class)
PAX: 41.696 (27th of 157 Overall)
Not getting on the brakes soon enough continues to be one of my biggest struggles, and it really showed today. In the afternoon, I kept overcooking at least one corner, which resulted in none of my afternoon runs being faster than my third morning run. This morning run is far from perfect either. I badly overcook at least two corners. The one that gave me the most trouble all day was at the 26-second mark. It was the last cone in a short slalom, and I kept coming through that slalom thinking there was one more cone before realizing my mistake and slamming on the brakes. You can see the car understeer a bit around that cone. I also BADLY overcooked the far turn-around, which definitely cost me quite a bit of time. Brakes, brakes, brakes! I know it’s mostly my fault, but I can’t help but wonder how much my screwed up brake bias is contributing to it. I’ll have to get new pads for the rear to match the front BBK before the next event, if possible.
Should Have Used 3rd
Typically, my morning runs are where I sort things out, and my third run is usually quick enough for me to figure out if there are any spots where I need to be using 3rd gear. If I feel like 3rd gear is necessary I try that in the afternoon. My third run of the morning was the first run I made where I became comfortable enough with the course to take the back stretch heading to the far-turnaround at a much higher speed. As such, I ran smack into the limiter, which significantly slowed me down. You can see that I actually reach for the shifter at the 36-second mark, but I hesitated, and then decided to just focus on the course. In the afternoon, I did use 3rd, and I KNOW I was faster through that section as a result. Unfortunately, those runs were botched in other ways, so I wasn’t able to make use of that faster pace to improve my personal best for the day.
Still took 1st though, so… w00t!