It seems like every year Nationals sneaks up on me quicker than the previous year and this year was no exception. I felt the least prepared for Nationals this year than I ever have and my driving showed it, but we’ll get to that in a bit. My Nationals ‘week’ started early, it actually started the Tuesday before as I made my way out to Lincoln Air Park to help set up the fence that forms a perimeter between Nationals and the active air port. Setting up the fence is no small feat, as there is well over a mile of fence to set up and usually a relatively small group to do so. Luckily that group has a lot of practice and we have it down to a science. More…
As with any lump of moving parts hurtling through the air, like an airplane or a robot fired from a catapult, cars will have issues. Usually these issues aren’t a big deal: the occasional paint chip or dulled clear coat, dirty hood, scratched bumper, even the blood of your enemies can be washed away with moderate ease. Most of the time they go largely unnoticed. There are a few problems though that, despite their universality, inexplicably give off an unwarranted expression of your entire lifestyle. Namely that you don’t have one. You live under a bridge in a fridge-box house where all the different rooms are stuck together with boogers. It is not specifically known by science* what separates these issues from others, but the bottom line is that these 5 problems are definitely the least that make you look the worst. Such as… More…
It has been said that, when asked about their driving, the majority of people polled are under the impression they are above-average. Obviously they can’t all be right, because math. Some of them have to be below average. Some well below average. As we make our way through our daily lives, we see the people in question bouncing around in traffic; upside down and backwards on the interstate median, resting on top of a broken fire hydrant with water spraying into the heavens like a monster movie, or even just stopped in the middle of the road, inexplicably on fire. Based on this end result you could certainly be forgiven for putting all of these people into the same X-signing category of baby-brained Magoos, tumbling through society like a child down the church steps. The real question, however, is the journey. How in God’s name did that woman’s car end up in the swimming pool of her closest neighbor? What could possibly have lead to a hummer being upside down in a parking lot? There are several different types of people who have no idea what they are doing, and these are arguably the worst you will see. Beginning with… More…
So, you can drive. While I’m sure its true you are perfectly capable of getting from A to B rubber side down with an unaltered monthly premium, unless you are one of the 22 or so drivers heading to Silverstone in a week’s time, there’s room for improvement. With all of the advancements in technology in modern cars, it has become more important (and difficult) than ever to make conscious, concerted efforts to maintain basic driving skills, much less performance skills. More…
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.
Professional motorsport is a cold, hard place. If you want to run with the big dogs, you can’t just build a car in your mom’s garage and show up, right? Wrong. One guy did just that. Here’s his amazing story.
tarsust is sponsoring a few drivers for the 2010 SCCA solo season. Below is a list.
|Christy Carlson||STU||Subaru STi||AST 4100 coilovers
– custom valving by tarsust
– custom spring rates
|David Cosseboom||STU||BMW 135i||AST 5200
– custom spring rates
Stud conversion kit
|David Iliff||SM||Subaru STi||AST 5300
– custom spring rates
|John Hunter||STS||Honda CRX Si||AST 5300
-custom spring rates
tarsust would like to wish them the best of luck on their 2010 season. If you would like to be considered for sponsorship, please send your proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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.