Autocross Racer

Created by John Bowdre, Enterprise Architect at Teledyne Technologies
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Dec 04, 2021
Competed in an autocross event
I won my first season championship!

Saturday was our last event of the 2021 autocross season. Coming into this event, I held 33 championship points against the leader's 40. That driver wouldn't be at this event so I knew that if I could win against the other competitors in the class, those 9 points would secure me the D Street championship.

I had spent much of the year getting stomped by a Civic Type R (with +100hp and +150tq over my BRZ) and beaten by a Veloster N (+75hp, +125tq), so for this event I was able to borrow a friend's Type R to help my chances a bit.

It was a soggy slippery Saturday, and it took me several runs to remember how to drive a front wheel drive car aggressively (I had to learn repeatedly to push the throttle further to correct for an oversteer slide). By the afternoon, though, I was feeling pretty good - and managed to slip into first place by almost half a second on my final run! I watched nervously as the Veloster N driver completed his last run.... and breathed a huge sigh of relief when he wasn't able to improve his time. It was an intense day of racing for sure.

And I won the championship by two points! That's my first championship win in the 7 years I've been racing, and a great way to wrap up my Street-class career. 

I'll be installing Eibach springs and sway bars, Koni adjustable dampers, and SPC adjustable alignment kit this weekend to get ready for competiting in the Solo Spec Coupe class next year.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tf1Zwo1dGUE
Nov 20, 2021
Competed in an autocross event

I won my autocross class!


You might think that my car looks a bit different than usual, and you'd be right - this isn't my car. For this event, I had the unexpected pleasure of co-driving a friend's Scion FR-S which had been prepared for the Solo Spec Coupe (SSC) class. In order for a car to be eligible for this class, it has to be equipped with strictly-prescribed set of modifications, including shocks, springs, and anti-roll bars. As a result you get to compete directly with other FR-Ses and BRZees sporting the same equipment, largely removing vehicle differences from the equation and just focusing on driver skill.

My BRZ and I have been getting whooped pretty good this year by the much-faster Civic Type-R's and Veloster N's in the D Street (DS) class so I had been casually toying with the idea of tossing the SSC hardware onto my car and running in that class next year. So this opportunity to drive an SSC car was very timely!

I had an absolute blast in this car. The suspension was much stiffer than in my car so of course it cornered more aggressively, but I was surprised that it also felt like it had more power - probably because the stiffer setup prevented it from rocking backwards when I punched the throttle. There's no hesitation anymore; I give an input and it immediately (and eagerly!) complies.

And I must have been doing something right since I was able to win the class against two other drivers. It felt very good to finally bring home a trophy this year!

Of course, now I will have to get the SSC kit for my car! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvLu-UWb4Us
Oct 10, 2021
Competed in an autocross event
This autocross course really threw me for a loop!

We finally had pleasant weather for a lovely day of friendly autocross competition. The course layout featured an unusual section which looped back on itself along with other challenges which made it easy to lose seconds but much harder to gain them. 

Here's the footage from my best run:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtsHgUBpJAM
Sep 18, 2021
Competed in an autocross event
It was our fourth event of the season, and the forecast called for storms all day. As a result, I didn't bother with swapping on my race tires (Bridgestone RE71s) and I instead just went with my daily-driver all seasons tires (Continental DWS06s). 

I felt pretty good with that decision during my first run, as the course got hammered with pretty heavy rain:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzzdcW7SsJ0

Of course, things cleared up a bit as the day went on and the course was mostly dry by my last run, just a few puddles and slick spots to worry about:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgmlZOr_xWM

I had forgotten how talkative my street tires are - the Bridgestones typically put up much less of a fuss!
Aug 21, 2021
Competed in an autocross event
We had a bit of rain for our third event of the year. For me, that meant a slow start:

https://youtu.be/gS0Y0wjPopE

We then had to take a break for the storm to pass (lightning hazard), and the course started to dry out a little, allowing me to snag my quickest run of the day:

https://youtu.be/KPbtpkx6N_4

As the course dried more in subsequent runs I tried to push for a bit more speed but wound up just getting sloppy and punting a few cones:

https://youtu.be/JYZXXzwXhZM

Every day I get to race is a good day, but I didn't do particularly well this time. 
Jul 18, 2021
Competed in an autocross event
I placed second behind a Civic Type R, but my time was 55.555s and I think five fives counts as a win. 

https://youtu.be/XpdUYNImfNI