🏎 Autocross

I race against the clock and dodge cones.
  • Created by John Bowdre
  • Created on 22 Nov 21
  • 11 Highlights
Enterprise Architect, Teledyne Technologies
May 15, 2022
I competed in my fourth autocross event of the 2022 season:

https://youtu.be/9twcG1OTTe4

This course was great for helping me better learn how far I can push the new SSC setup: it opened on a tight technical section with a lot of side-to-side action which would punish a driver for pushing too hard, and the second half featured a high-speed slalom followed by a tight 90-degree turn which made a controlled exit absolutely critical. 

On my fastest run, I definitely gave up some time there as my slalom inputs got later and later (forcing me to shed more speed through the ninety) but I was still happy with the run overall. And the car is feeling great!

Official Time: 56.175s
Place: 2 of 2
2014 Subaru BRZ
43 SSC
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Enterprise Architect, Teledyne Technologies
Apr 24, 2022
The weather is warming up, and these Falken tires are here for it! 

I'm still learning where/when/how much harder I can push the car in SSC trim than I was while racing in DS for the previous 7 years. There were definitely spots on the course where I lifted or braked more than necessary. But I'm having a lot of fun re-learning how to drive the car, and this particular course was an absolute blast.

Official Time: 49.684s
Place: 2 of 3
2014 Subaru BRZ
43 SSC

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2a5kBPKYx0
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Enterprise Architect, Teledyne Technologies
Apr 03, 2022
Sunday was our second autocross race of the 2022 season, and I came in dead last - fourth of four drivers in the highly-competitive Solo Spec Coupe class. I'm still learning how much harder I can push the car with the new suspension setup. It really feels like a completely new car over what I was driving last year.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBu2RSnY8tE

I also recently obtained a FLIR One Pro thermal camera and used that to spot-check my tire temperatures after each run. With that, I was able to determine that my tire pressures were a little bit too high, causing more heat to build up along the centerline than the edges. Dropping just one PSI resulted in more even heating which suggests a more consistent contact patch, and ultimately a better use of the tires' available traction. I'll keep experimenting with this thermal data at the next couple of events to see if I can fine-tune things even further. 

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Enterprise Architect, Teledyne Technologies
Mar 19, 2022
The 2022 autocross season is finally under way! This was my first event racing my own car in the Solo Spec Coupe class, having installed the required hardware over the winter break. I had a blast (as always), and though I placed near the bottom of the class I consider not losing to any Honda Civic Type-Rs for a change to be a minor victory on its own.

Anyway, here's my fastest run of the day:
https://youtu.be/zwkAig4mqR4
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Enterprise Architect, Teledyne Technologies
Dec 11, 2021
With some help from my friends, I got the SCCA Sport Spec Coupe (SSC) suspension kit installed on my 2014 Subaru BRZ. 

The kit includes Eibach springs, Eibach front and rear sway bars, Koni adjustable shocks, and SPC adjustable rear control arms and toe rods. This officially bumps my car out of the D Street autocross class where I've been competing with Civic Type Rs, Hyundai Veloster Ns, Subaru WRXs, and other cars with considerably more power than mine, and into the special SSC class where I'll be directly racing against other BRZs and FRSs with the same setup. SSC is an extremely competitive class but I'm very much looking forward to my car (at least) being on even footing. 

I was a little concerned that the stiffer setup would be a bit tough to manage on the street but it's been a lot of fun so far. The ride is much more firm for sure, but it's not overly harsh even over rough pavement. 

I can't wait for the next season to start back up, but in the meantime I'm having a blast driving around town. It feels like a completely different car!
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Enterprise Architect, Teledyne Technologies
Dec 04, 2021
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
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Enterprise Architect, Teledyne Technologies
Nov 20, 2021

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
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Enterprise Architect, Teledyne Technologies
Oct 10, 2021
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
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