Storypost | 2008.04.06

San Diego SCCA SCNAX autocross

Today was autocross. Here are some pretty pictures courtesy Connie and Ted.

San Diego SCCA SCNAX autocross Acura RSX
Jon in the RSX(-S) coming out of the first chicane into the fast left.

Christine: 'Jon drives like an old man. The oldest brother still holds the title for reckless driving.'
I have a feeling this directly corresponds to the controllability of our respective vehicles. Jon has a light fwd car, I have a heavy awd car, Ted has a heavier rwd car. But I'll test this hypothesis in May - provided Jon doesn't put his car in a lake trying to get to Country Kitchen Buffet.

San Diego SCCA SCNAX autocross Nissan 240SX
Erik in the 240sx right out the gate.

Connie: 'Ian's car felt a lot lighter than the vr4. The vr4 felt lower, like it had a lower center of gravity. I really wanted to ride in Erik's cause it had so much smoke, it woulda been a good ride. Jon doesn't have smoke.'

I'll be rerouting my exhaust from the turbos to the wheel wells.

San Diego SCCA SCNAX autocross Subaru STI
Ian in the STi with Ty calling the turns, handling the gps, and deciding on radio stations.

Connie: 'Spinning out is way more fun than being in a car that is controlled. The first ride I had with Ian, that was the best, that was when he spun out on the first turn and took out like half the cones and missed half the course. That was the best ride.'

'I'm surprised Ian spun out, because I heard awd doesn't spin out.'

San Diego SCCA SCNAX autocross Mitsubishi 3000GT
The vr4 through the first chicane.

Connie: 'You could feel the weight of the vr4 being thrown around.'
Like any worthwhile activity, this event produced numbers begging to be analyzed. The data is as impure as can be; there is no accounting for tagged cones, cooldown time in the grid, and other such inconsistencies rightfully ignored because the event was a practice.

But like all good analyses, the proper mixture of sketchy telemetry and unfounded inference can bootstrap you to a solid conclusion.

Notable sources of variation that may benefit future autocross efforts:

And though the color of his curve fit indicates otherwise, Erik was the one among us with prior scnax experience. And it's pretty easy to tell based on his solid first run and:
Standard Deviation (seconds)
Postgame discussions:

Jon says "Competitive driving is so divine".
Don't you just sleep better knowing that if you die before morning [ed: I didn't die before morning], at least you can say you have executed a four-wheeled power slide in your 320hp dream car? Doesn't the 15-year old playing GT1 on PS1 in the back of your conscious finally rest easy now that one of life's major goals has been achieved? It's sort of like coming back from surfing double-ohs last winter at Scripps. Erik
So, what did you think, Jon?
I feel sooo much better about driving on the street now. I know how to recover if I slide. I can control it. Jon
I mean that says it all. One less Sigalert for the morning commuters because Jon will not be the one getting a body massage from the guardrail when he hits that gravel patch in the middle of the onramp. And he's not scared of the top third of the tach anymore. Even if he never fancies himself a gearhead, at least he's not among the ignorant, and has more cred than 3/4 of the RSX(S!) drivers out there. Erik
For next time, I suggest different run groups so we can get ridealongs/crew for each other/throw things at your friend as they pass while working the course. Jon
In the end, it was nice to hear the birds on all four corners of my car chirp in unison, if not wayyyyy before they would have with the Kumhos. I can see why an awd road car can get away with two lsds when a rally car cannot.
That long left is on the list with the first turn on a wave, first knee on the ground, maybe something involving a girl but probably not. Chris: Oh mitzvahs! And now I get to change oil just like in GT3!!!
Next time: Yes different run groups. Allows ridealongs and I can shoot when I'm not on track. I'll bring my stash of smoke balls.
Ty. He lit up the kart track like a true Italian, it'd be a lot of fun to send Slash's 1400 lb through a tight autox course. Especially if he got tires.
First person to knock down a cone has to pick up our lunch order. This includes cones in the parking lot and ice cream cones.
Sleepover beforehand featuring a speed movie and video gamery. Maybe some practice photography.
Wagers, maybe older vs. younger brothers. For instance we compute our rank versus other cars of the same make and model. Whoever is lower buys boba. Say E is the first ranked 240sx and I am the third ranked vr4. Jon and Ian would have to average above second rank among Imprezas and Integras to win.
You get a lot less chirping when you switch to a lo-pro from an all-season. My canary never let me know the traction was giving out until too late on the Kumhos, although they were ultimately faster than the all seasons. I haven't committed to the R's yet, but damn it's tempting, I want to do 3-wheel turns! Erik
Funny, you ended up being the fastest vr4 there your first time out and I ended up as the slowest 240 out there even with my experience.
Sure I may have been the fastest vr4, but all the gto drivers were total noobs. The 240 kids were seasoned professionals.


I believe my phrase was "faster! faster! faster!"

What are you? China?

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