With Nationals approaching Labor Day week its time to start the prep work. This will be my first time, but by thinking ahead I should be ready both mentally and with the car.
First step to take is annalyzing the driver and the car. Is the car setup right or still in need of adjustment. Nationals is only a month and a half away so ordering parts and tires now is important. Do the tires have enough tread or broken in properly. There is still a Divisional and ProSolo on the National’s site if needed to break in a new set. The Driver is just as important as the car. Mentally preparing by taking the Dail In or Test-N-Tune course to learn how to setup the car and drive will greatly improve times and the feel of the car.
Next, need to make sure to sign up and take advantage of every contingency qualified for http://scca.com/event.aspx?hub=3&event=15171. If I place in a top position and find that I left a new set of tires or cash sitting on the table becuase I didn’t register would not be good.
Last, making sure I have all the right tools and gear for the event. Bringing plenty of water, sun block and rain gear will ensure that the event goes well and help maintain focus for when driving on course. The most important thing to take away from the event is to have a good time, make some new friends and improve driving skills.
Since my first autocross event of the season, at least driving event, is fastly approaching (this Sunday!), I thought I would give an update on what I’ve done to the 135i during the autocross offseason. Last year I ran in STU with my only modifications being a larger front sway bar and larger width front wheels. The larger front sway bar and less staggered wheel/tire combo helped a lot over the stock set up (with run flat tires), but to get the car to be anywhere near competitive some more upgrades were required.
Das Drehmoment Ungeheuer is a collaboration project between a few locals to build a budget friendly yet fun and fast track toy that could still auto-x. Das Drehmoment Ungeheuer means “The Torque Monster” in German, it’s ok to laff now Viper owners 😀
Progress is slow, but steady. If you’d like to follow along please check out our project thread on R3Vlimited.com
Thanks – Jon
If you own a 2008 or newer Subaru Impreza or a 2000 or newer Subaru Legacy have I got a deal for you.
There are a few sets of AST 5100’s on hand at AST-USA that are on closeout. There are some for 08 and newer Subaru Impreza including the WRX (not STi). These will also fit BE/BH & BP/BL chassis Legacy’s with just a different bushing and mount setup that can be included.
They are DEEPLY discounted. The basic 5100 kit includes dampers, springs and associated hardware. Upper mounts are additional. These are the large 45mm inverted shaft strut up front which is killer.
Retail is : $2929
tarsust BLOWOUT PRICE : $1395
*With purchase of these, pricing on mounts :
– AST front mounts (fixed) : $250
– AST front mounts (adjustable) : $390
– Vorshlag front mounts (adjustable) : $365
– AST rear mounts : $250 (fixed)
Please contact me if interested. There are currently 3 sets available, but they won’t likely last long.
Brian Hanchey at AST-USA has been kind enough to put together a basic tuning guide for AST shocks.
This tech article is great for anyone.
I will be putting together a setup document tailored for autocross. It will be based purely on my own practices and experiences. I hope to release it early next month.
It seems like every time I attempt to install or upgrade something on a car it is way more difficult then it should be. ‘Simple tasks’ that should take less then an hour end up taking 4 or 5 hours including at least one trip to the auto parts/hardware store and a few choice words yelled at whatever I am working on. Sometimes I think I must be the least mechanically inclined person in the world. Yet I still try to do things myself, maybe it’s stubbornness or maybe it’s stupidity! I think a lot of people have probably experienced this, at least I hope I am not alone on this.
This winter I have been working on preparing my car for the class I was running in last year and will be again this year. This is my first attempt at really preparing a car, so a lot of my articles here will be about my experiences as a n00b to car set up.
The first thing that came up for me and I am sure comes up for others is “Where Do I Start?” There are so many possibilities of modifications to be done to a car, it’s really hard to know where to start. A great place to start is to read The Rules, even if this is not your first time preparing a car or if you already have a car it is a good idea to read the rules every year to make sure a rule change does not affect you. I know that seems very simple and possibly boring, but the rules are a great resource to get you started on your journey.
If you do not have a car yet or have not decided which car you want to drive or set up, the rules can guide you through the class eligibility of the car. This can be very important in the decisions you make, as you don’t want to get stuck in a class where either the car itself doesn’t have any kind of competitive chance or the upgrades that you plan to do (or have already been made) don’t put you some place you would rather not be.
The rules can also help you choose the class you want to prepare your car for. Most of us have limited budgets when it comes to our cars, so knowing what upgrades (or other costs) it will take to be competitive can really help out in the decision making process.
If you have a car and know what class you want to be in, as was in my case, the rules can still be a very useful place to start.
For starters, reading the rules can keep you out of trouble by making sure you don’t do something you can’t do. One thing to remember is that if the rules don’t explicitly state you can do something, you can’t do it, no matter how small or trivial it is. So make sure to check out everything before you do it, because the last thing you want to do is to spend money or time on something that you may have to undo later on.
While you are reading the rules it is good to make a list of things that you can do and some things to watch out for when you are making decisions on which parts to buy, etc. Without a thorough understanding of the rules it can be very easy to do something that crosses the line and doesn’t make your car legal for the class anymore. The rules are very specific on what and how things should be done, so it is somewhat easy to do something you are not supposed to do because you would not have even thought about it being a big deal.
Since you now have a list of legal modifications you can do, it will be much easier to pick out the items you want to do to get started and quickly eliminate any ideas that you had previously, that don’t make sense any more, giving you a great place to get started.
One of the first things to realize when it comes to car control and attending your first event is that things need to be linked together. You are not shooting down a straight, going through the braking area and then turning the corner. You need to imagine the entire course as a fluid trip and find the fast way from one element to the next. It is always easier to start out slow and learn to speed up then to develop habits that you need to “unlearn” later. This is not to say the Solo racing is not aggressive because it is, and once you “get it” meaning the flow of it you will ramp up the energy to combine fury with smooth.
A common mistake for beginners is to make the car extremely stiff right off the start. This places far more pressure on you as a novice because the car will react faster than you know how to. In this situation you will always be behind the car (slower) and take much longer to get it right. The softer set up will be slower than a properly driven set up car, but a poorly driven stiff car will always be slower than a well driven soft car. The tires will not have as much time to communicate with you before loosing traction when a car is stiff, and they will take a “set” faster making the available slip angle (steering angle or sliding angle of the tire) much smaller thus the window of grip will be reduced for you to “learn”.
Check tires often so you can see how the changing temps affect the pressures. This will help you learn how to “tune” the cars handling without having to change parts right away. You will also be able to optimize overall grip of the existing suspension. Don’t mistake the markings on the sidewalls (scuff marks onto the sidewall of the tire after a run) as always the need to add air. Ask yourself if you caused it or the tire did. Over steering when you have lost grip will cause this and the hardest thing to learn is that you are are causing it and not always the car. You need to get the feel for when you have lost grip and “stop” turning the wheel, this is the way you let the grip catch up. This is one of the absolute hardest things to learn about car control and when you master it you will be amazed what can be done with a car.