Race Report 2004 - Round 3

Date: May 16, 2004
Venue: Dolaca Motorplex - Brownfield, TX
Results: 1st in Class (5 total), 2nd Overall (23 total), and Fastest Time of the Day

Aaaaahhhh, finally... an event without much drama.   The weather was nice, there were no broken windows in the Boost Performance truck, and the event ran fairly smooth and ended at a decent time.  The only bad thing was that my newly installed custom baffled oil pan didn't cure the lifter ticking that I always get after a few runs on the autocross course.

I designed and setup the course for this event, but I designed it just a few hours before the event got started, so what looked like a great course on paper ended up being a very transition heavy course.  It was still a decent and challenging course for the size limitations of the venue, but there was just too much zig-zagging going on.

I ran higher air pressures in my front tires to reduce understeer (40psi instead of 37psi), and the car handled awesome... but there wasn't a fast sweeper on this course like there was at the last Dalhart event, so I'm not sure yet if the increased front air pressure will help reduce the understeer that I experienced then.  I've picked up some '96+ BMW M3 upper strut bearing plates that I can use to further increase the front negative camber to approximately -2.75 degrees by installing the plates swapped left to right if the increased air pressure doesn't help much, but I'm leary of adding more negative camber since the car is still driven on the street quite a bit.

I had to run in the first heat at this event, so I was under pressure to run a fast enough time that it wouldn't get beat by anyone in the second heat.  I was getting really frustrated with myself because no matter how hard I tried, I could not improve my times more than 0.8 of a second (on most courses, I usually improve my times by two to three seconds throughout the day).  However, I felt much better when several of the other regularly fast drivers were having the same troubles during the second heat.  I guess my zig-zag course design didn't leave much room for improvement between each run.   When the day was done, I ended up winning my class, took 2nd place Overall behind Steve Sucsy (BS Honda S2000), and got Fastest Raw Time of the Day.  These final results were the same as the last event at Dalhart, however... the margin between mine and Steve's final Overall PAX times was much smaller at only 0.030 seconds compared to the last event's margin of 0.355 seconds.

My next event will be back at Dalhart, and I'm planning on driving the M3 to the event with my newly built tire trailer hitched to the back.  Swapping wheels and tires immediately before and after the event will be a little more work, but overall it should be much more convienient than making arrangements to borrow the Boost Performance truck and trailer.  I'll probably still use the truck and trailer from time to time, but will reserve it only for long distance events like National Tours, ProSolos, and the National Championships.