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Old 07-31-2006, 09:41 PM   #1
Ataru
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Best Auto-x EVER.....take two!

Sorry guys, I tried posting this story this morning before I went to work and the forums were giving me trouble.

Well, yesterday I decided to go to the Solo II in Oklahoma City, a 2 hour drive from home, even after just getting home from my MASSIVE road trip from FOTB on Wednesday. I figured it had been over 2 months since the last time I autocrossed and I was itching to get out there again, especially after doing FOTB, which was basically a show event for me.

So I got up at the butt crack of dawn and headed out to OKC, got there with 5 minutes left until registration closed, and got ready for the 107 degree temperatures that was ahead of me.

In order to make it easier on the workers, they decided to run 4 heats. First 2 heats would be the standard classes, while the second 2 heats would be the pax classes. Of course I ran 2 classes so I ran heat 1, worked 2, worked 3 (ugh!) and then ran 4.

I was so tired after working those 2 heats that I ALMOST didn't drive my second heat.

Now, when I autocross I usually see my first time and can drop about a second off my first run's time and then shave from there. Well, here are my 4 times for STS:

56.400
56.333
56.309
Okay, so after my second run I was frustrated that I didn't shave much time AT ALL! I felt like I was going faster in areas but it didn't result in a faster time. I guess the good thing is that I was UBER consistent! Three runs all within .1 of a second is pretty damn consistent on a 56 second course.

So going into my final run of STS I decided I wanted to get a 55.XXX and that was my goal. The good thing is I was faster. The bad thing is; here's my actual time:

56.086

DOH! A SNEEZE away from my 55.XXX. Oh well, I did shave over .2 second off my first three consistent times, so I was still happy with that. I had decided at this event that I would not check on my competition's times so it wouldn't stress me out to push harder and screw up. And even though my first times were close, I guess I had the course nailed pretty good the first time because my final time netted me a second place in STS for the day.

First place was won by Eric Dennison, a national level STS driver who tows his car to events and has it prepped in about every way possible. I knew the only chance I had to beat him was if he had a REALLY off day so coming in second to him was an honor. He did post times that were 3 seconds faster than me. He's a SUPER nice guy too!

So I work 2 LONG heats and get exhausted. I was frustrated with my lack of improvement in STS (I didn't know at that time I was going to take second) and I was TIRED. I almost backed out of driving my PAX class, but I figured that I did drive 2 hours to this event and paid $45 to enter it PLUS with no site in NE Oklahoma, this was the closest I would get to regularly autocrossing so I jumped in the car and did my PAX classes.

Now, the Oklahoma region uses 4 different PAX classes:

Novice
Masters - Drivers 65 and over
Sportsman - Open to all drivers from all classes
Tire - Open to any car on street tires.

I decided to run in Tire since I just have Kumo MXs on my car. I got in my car and did my first run. I used a little more throttle control on the course and got my first time:

55.726

WOO HOO!!!! I got that 55.XXX I wanted, it just came one run too late.

I was STOKED! I was hollering because I was so happy with myself just by shaving off that .3 of a second. Waiting for my second run I walk around grid just relaxing and not trying to focus on the event too much or trying to get a faster time. My second run comes up and I get a:

55.482

WOO HOO!!!! I shaved ANOTHER .2 seconds off! After 3 consistent runs in STS, I was now shaving time off in small little chunks. Okay, my adrenaline was pumping now. People could see I was happy because after I cross the finish line I can see my time on a time boad and I start yelling "YES! YES!" a few times.

I do the same "walk around grid to cool down" thing after run two, and then run 3 comes up:

55.417

:eek: Faster STILL! It's only .06 seconds faster, But it's still faster! More hollering and yelling by my part after the run. The guys in the timing trailer are getting cracked up at my excitement, giving me thumbs up after I finish and commenting on my driving.

Run 4 is up. The guy working grid talks to me about my runs and I said I would LOVE to get a 55.3XX for my last time. He says, Why not go for a 54.9XX? I told him I didn't want to get greedy. :lol: But then I say, okay, I'm getting a 54.9XX!

I get up to the line and run the course.......................

55.259

I BEAT the 55.3XX I wanted! YES! Excitement and yelling ensued! I didn't get that 54.9, but I was so excited to get the 55.259 that I didn't care!

The event is over and awards are given out. I got second in STS and they came to the Tire class. They give out 9 places, so I know there are at least 9 cars in the class.

9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2

My name is never called. I had no idea how I did.

1st place Tire - Jason Hodges

I knew I had done alright in Tire, but I didn't know that I beat out all the other PAX times in the class!

So I ended up with a 2nd in STS and a 1st in Tire. But that's not what makes me so happy. This is:

56.400
56.333
56.309
56.086
55.726
55.482
55.417
55.259

Those are my times for the day. If you notice, on EVERY run I was faster than the one before it......EVERY time! That is the FIRST time I have ever done that. In the past I would botch a run or something so doing this made me the most excited.

Funny thing is that there is a hair over 1 second difference from my first time to my last, but all of those times were good enough to net me that 2nd and 1st place trophies.

I guess my skill is a hair better than I thought.

So, that's my story. If you read all of it, thank you. I just had to share this because yesterday was definitely the best auto-x I have ever attended.

See, Sonic does more than just car shows.


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Old 07-31-2006, 10:09 PM   #2
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nice. there will ALWAYS be faster drivers out there, but the fact that you were/are CONSTANTLY improving, means that when OTHER people say that ("there will always be faster drivers out there"), you'll be one of the ones they'll be talking about.

good job champ.
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Old 08-01-2006, 12:59 AM   #3
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Right on brother! That's awesome
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Old 08-01-2006, 10:40 AM   #4
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Nothing like having a big improvement at the end of the day. Just makes you feel so much better about the whole experience, not like when you bone the last couple and spend the next couple weeks stewing about it, like my probably-taking-it-too-seriously self has done.

Good job man!
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Old 08-01-2006, 11:47 AM   #5
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thats awesome very good job!


i wish we had autocross here :( damn i begin to get jelous about you guys j/k
no other chance than "street"!! wish i were live in US



edit: BTW this is not the sonic won the race this is only ur skill ;)
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Old 08-01-2006, 12:15 PM   #6
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to sum it up.... consistancy
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Old 08-01-2006, 12:59 PM   #7
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Good job!!!
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Old 08-01-2006, 05:14 PM   #8
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That is nice and damn consistent!

Did you play around with tire pressures or anything other than driver for all 8 runs?

That's bizzare about the PAX.
I've never seen them split out the runs that way.
Usually, they just convert the regular runs to PAX times at the end of the day.
I do like the different categories they came up with.
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Old 08-01-2006, 05:20 PM   #9
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I didn't mess with tire pressures too much. I started with 36F/38R and then moved down after a couple of runs and ended up at 34F/34R. The tires were rolling over just fine and the car was rotating okay. I didn't want to mess things up since the car was performing alright.

The OK Region does post the PAX times for all runs, but I like how they split the classes up too. With the PAX multiplier, all should be equal when it is factored in, but creating separate PAX classes gives you something to shoot for.
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Old 08-02-2006, 02:14 AM   #10
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WD40; whats that on your bumper at your avatar?
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