Lead photo courtesy of Brandon Wilk Photography.
Ohhhh boy! Stiff competition! TSSCC’s first event was won by myself in STX. The last event was won by a gentleman co-driving someone’s BRZ. This event was won by a different driver in a white BMW 135i. This makes for a very interesting, and exciting STX battle this season! All of our times were very close to each other, and we were each clawing away at our times on each run. There were several lead changes throughout the day, but in the end, the white BMW driver, on a re-run at the VERY end of the day, managed to cut more than a second off of his best time, solidifying his 1st place victory over the rest of us! It will be fun to compete with him in the remaining events! Last year I was consistently faster than him by quite a large margin, but clearly he’s improved since then!
As far as the course… I did alright on the first half of it, but on the second half of the course, I did utterly terribly all day. Starting with the twin 180-degree turns, and through to the finish, I never seemed to manage a good line, or I didn’t get on the power soon enough coming out of them… or both! I actually compared my run to one that was over two seconds faster than me overall, and I was even with him up until that portion of the course, and then I lost more than 2 seconds over 25 seconds worth of course! It’s bittersweet to see that I can hang with the better drivers, but then also NOT hang with them just as easily!
Date: Sunday, May 21, 2017
SCCA Chapter: n/a (TSSCC is unaffiliated)
Location: Route 66 Raceway, Joliet, IL
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 60 degrees F, 10-15 MPH winds.
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: 63.188 (2nd of 5 in Class)
PAX: 51.940 (42nd of 95 Overall)
Struggling to Find the Right Line
This was a course that I thought was pretty fun, but I really struggled with the second half of the course. Those long, sweeping turns are always difficult for me to get right. Either I come in too hot, or I apex too early, or – mostly – I just don’t get on the power early enough. I don’t know why this is so difficult for me to resolve, as you’d think getting on the power earlier would be a simple thing to fix, but in the heat of the moment I just suck at doing it! Let’s break down my failures on those two sweepers – because in hindsight it’s easy for me to see where I’m screwing up in the video. (Maybe I need to start reviewing these videos between runs, but it’s such a pain in the butt!)
Coming into the first 180-degree turn at the 50 second mark, I need to downshift back to 2nd. As I’ve stated previously, this is something I have trouble doing smoothly, and it distracts from my driving. In this case, I downshifted – swinging a bit wide in the process, and then realized that I was going a bit too slow, which is why I get back on the power there. I turn in a bit late, and I get on the power late coming out of that turn, which costs me time. On the following right-hand turn, I again don’t get on the power early enough coming out of it which absolutely costs me some time on that short straight before the next right turn.
If you want an even better comparison of how badly I sucked on that portion of the course, check out this comparison (I’ve no idea how long that link is valid for.) You might have to let it load and then use the controls to reset the videos, but it should play my run alongside with someone who had a 60.9 run. You’ll notice that I’m dead even until those two back-to-back 180 degree turns, and then I fall pretty far behind!
Anyway, here’s my run below! It was my last run of the day, so for once I actually improved my time in the afternoon!