Well today definitely did not go according to plan! 4th of 6 is quite a dramatic departure from my usual results, and against all the same typical folks. Can’t win ’em all I guess! So why the drastic change in standings? Well, first off, one of my opponents was an expert driver who I am typically not up against, who was co-driving Chris’s excellently set-up car. So 1st place was going to be difficult to snag anyway.
I also don’t typically point to my car and blame it for a slow run, because there is always more to be had out of the car than I am able to extract. Having said that, however, I must say that today’s course put me at a particular disadvantage to the competition. It was, for lack of a better term, a “power course” that heavily benefitted more powerful vehicles due to the vast expanses of relatively straight lines between elements. This explains my overall drop in PAX (not even in the top half) and it also does at least partly explain my in-class standings as well.
I think it’s time for a header and tune!
Date: Sunday, June 18, 2017
SCCA Chapter: n/a (TSSCC is unaffiliated)
Location: Route 66 Raceway, Joliet, IL
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 75-80 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 (Ferodo DS2500 Rear Pads)
Suspension: KW V3 coilovers, Raceseng Cas/Cam plates, Velox LCAs
Exhaust: Fujitsubo Authorize R Catback
Raw: 46.387 (4th of 6 in Class)
PAX: 38.130 (49th of 92 Overall)
New Rear Brakes
I finally got around to replacing my rear pads just prior to this event. Along with the new pads, I also installed new Centric Cryo-Stop Rear Blank Rotors, because the ones on the car were quite scored. After some research, and a bit of back-and-forth with the folks at Essex Parts Services, I settled on the Ferodo DS2500 pads. They told me that this compound was nearly identical to the APF404 pads I have up front which came with my AP Racing Factory BBK. So in those went, along with the rotors, and after a quick bed-in, I can confirm that the brakes feel much more balanced now, and I no longer have major issues with the rear wheels locking prematurely. At the event today, the car was much more confident under braking, without constantly triggering the ABS, so it does seem like that is what I needed to do to resolve the issue. Lesson learned!
Above photos by Jason Kositarut.
Torque Dip for DAYS
There was only so much I could to today to try to remain competitive. Compared to the other STX twin, my car is missing two important things: a header, and a tune. Without these things, my car simply doesn’t pull as hard as his. I never thought it would make too much of a difference until I lined up our videos side by side and noticed how much more quickly his car accelerated. Usually, this isn’t TOO big of an issue because it’s an autocross course with lots of twists and turns, and not a drag race, but today it was kinda-sorta both. The course was VERY open, and there were lots of sections where you were just hammering down heading to the next element. My car is already disadvantaged in most other ways, but this was a major handicap to my car as it just couldn’t keep up. Granted, if you look at my best run, as always, there is plenty of room for improvement, but that is usually always the case and I can still remain competitive. This time, I simply couldn’t match the others’ pace. The gentleman who took 1st actually rode along with me, and said he was fairly certain at least 1 second was being lost due to my lack of a tune.
Oh well. If anything, this just gives me even more incentive to save up for those items at the beginning of next season. They are now at the top of my list!