Monday, May 28, 2007

Autocross PITL Event 2

Another PITL Event 2 went off without hitch. This time around we had 94 competitors which is still pretty big. After the drivers meeting, the action got under way around 10 AM. I was in the first Marshalling group which was fine by me. Do it now and get it over with.

About the car; Event after installing the high volume gas pump, I'm still experiencing fuel starvation after a few gears in the high RPM range. Installing a clear fuel filter revealed that the pump cannot get the fuel to the carb...either there is something blocking the main line, there's vacuum in the tank, tank pickup assembly has a problem, or the cam/fuel pump pushrod has worn and not getting full effeciency from the pump. Even with the problem, the course was too open that I was on the gas long enough to be affected....except a little on my last run.

Weather started off sunny, but around 11 AM, clouds moved in and remained for the rest of the day. There was even a few sprinkels of rain throughout the afternoon, but not serious enough to hamper traction.

My first 2 runs, the car was simply WAY too tail happy...I couldn't keep it from going sideways on most turns including the big left hander on the top end. I ended up drifting through that turn in full countersteer. I wish someone would have video taped that as I'm sure it must have looked pretty good. Before I started my 3rd run, I dropped the rear tire pressures by 1 psi, for a total of 30.5 psi. I also decided I would slow down more for that big left hander and try and hug the inside cone, and power out drifting to the outside cone of the next gate. Well, everything worked accoring to plan. I had way more traction, and cutting that big turn gave me my best time to date of 43.6xx.

For the 4th run, I had Stephen O. come for a ride. He informed me that a soccer mom ripped the front of the Sunfire off 2 weeks ago while she was turning into a parking lot, so he was there for ride-alongs all day. I hope everything works out for him with his new car purchase. For the 4th run, I was plain out of control trying to better my time I simply overdrove the car all over the place. I did a power slide through the bus stop and clipped the last 2 cones. Oh was still fun.

On the last run of the day, while sitting in the start box, I kept saying to myself "DON'T OVERDRIVE IT...DON'T OVERDRIVE IT". I take off always keeping that in mind. Midway through everything feels great. Although I was pushing it quite a bit, I made sure to slow down quick in the right zones, and power out feathering the throttle to get good traction. The car did miss/stutter on the stretch before the big left hander and that REALLY PISSED ME OFF! I didn't lose focus though. As I'm headed for the stop box, I knew the last gate entering the box was tight as 80% of people hit it more than once during their runs. But I was trying hard for my best time. And of course, I clipped it for a 2 second lost. Again, I WAS REALLY PISSED OFF because I knew the rest of the run was nearly perfect. Sure enough, I hear my time "44.45 with 2 second penalty". This would have meant a 42.45 run without the penalty. I new it was a good run, but not over a second faster than my best of the day. That time would have probably put me in the top 25 (of 94)...arrrgghhh

Oh well, like the saying goes, "I bad day of racing is still better than a good day at work".

Now this week I'll be busy working on the beast again. I have to figure out that fuel problem, install my new camber bolts and tie rod sleeves, and fix my tail pipe. I'm even considering pulling the intake again to try and figure out where that damn oil leak is coming from. If I'm feeling REALLY couragest I might cut my coil springs to lower the car an inch and stiff up the suspension more.

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