Autocross: Good times and frustration ensues (~1.4MBs) - Focus Fanatics
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Old 08-30-2006, 03:02 PM   #1
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Autocross: Good times and frustration ensues (~1.4MBs)

After getting access to some pictures of my car in action the weekend of August 20th, 2006, I can finally talk about the event, the new suspension, and the problems that occurred during the day.

Here's the thread regarding the suspension install:
http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/s...threadid=95576

If you'd like to skip the long story in the other thread, I finished installing my suspension the morning of the autocross and even arrived late (after the driver's meeting had begun). Basically, I installed the boot/stopper on the left rear shock incorrectly, and I had to take it apart, reread the instructions (I know, Jason, I'm inherently lacking in sense when it comes to this), drill the original washers above the towers, and reinstall everything. I was supposed to get to the autocross before 8:30am, and I got there at 9:50am. Fortunately, they were kind enough to allow me to still register and run.

I don't think I've ever wanted to autocross more than I did that day.

The new suspension works wonders (as those who have know), and more specifically, the Koni dampers are just gems. I couldn't believe how fast the car transitioned in the slaloms and how little body roll I had. The dampers can get extremely stiff (as I found out on the highway heading home) and offer so much confidence. They also helped to reduce the sidewall rollover I seem to have with the MX's. Dive and squat were just phenominally reduced as well. I couldn't believe how little the front dived under braking when approaching the tighter corners. The car felt so flat. I can't quite put it into words how much I love this new suspension, but it just works great.

Now the frustration ensues right after the fun got started. After my third run in my base class (STS), my ignition cylinder locked on me. After having several people tinker with it, it seemed like there was no luck in getting my car going again under its own power. My father arrived about 30-45 minutes later with my extra key, but it wouldn't let the cylinder rotate either. After playing rough with it, my father got the key to rotate the cylinder and the car to fire up. Turns out, it takes a very hard palm strike to get it to go into place.

Finally, I was able to get back under way. I ran all my five remaining runs (1 base class, 4 pax class) almost back to back since I had so many runs left after such a long period of time. Despite missing two autocrosses this summer, that puts me back into first place season points for STS. However, if the Neon ACR (Eric) runs STS for the last remaining autocrosses, he will still claim the championship by just three points in the end (assuming I can capture 2nd place for each event). I'm kicking myself for not showing to the last event to get some points.

I wound up taking first in my class (because my main competitor was running DSP instead of STS), and I took second in the Tire Pax class. It truly was a stressful, frustating, but overall fun day. I hope next time I get to show up without being rushed and a fully functional car throughout the day.

New suspension:



Here are the pictures of the new suspension in action - courtesy of iZoom Graphics.



Yeah, yeah, I fixed the chin spoiler finally (been like that since April ).

And here are a few I snapped during the day.

The main competition, but he was checking out some R-comps today and ran DSP.


The Nelson Racing sponsored Miata driven by Spencer Elliot (first picture) and Sean Grubb (iZoom Graphics, second and third picture):








Never a dull moment when this beatiful sounding beast is out on course:




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Last edited by Oni; 08-30-2006 at 03:13 PM.
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Old 08-30-2006, 04:02 PM   #2
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Sweet pics! That Stang is amazing, with the front wheel off the ground
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Old 08-30-2006, 05:12 PM   #3
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I believe the mr2 is liftin too! good pics and glad you had a good day in the end
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Old 08-30-2006, 05:25 PM   #4
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Damn! Look at the Stang go!
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Old 08-30-2006, 06:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by BLRich1
I believe the mr2 is liftin too! good pics and glad you had a good day in the end
Yep, but that point on the course was just right over a transition in the course. The whole concrete lot slopes down on both sides from the center, so it's like a bump. Like so, / \ but not as exaggerated, of course.
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Old 08-30-2006, 06:49 PM   #6
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great autox pix
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Old 08-30-2006, 08:06 PM   #7
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sweet car!!!!
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Old 08-30-2006, 09:36 PM   #8
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wow nice shoots
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Old 08-30-2006, 10:01 PM   #9
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your car looks very nice
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Old 08-30-2006, 10:09 PM   #10
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I just realized, those pictures are only from my first three runs before my car was impaired. I don't think I got to run the front dampers on full stiff by that point yet, but I remember Sean, the photographer, walking over and poking fun after finishing shooting and saying, "that's what you get for driving a Ford."

Ha, I didn't even have time to wash my car. If you look at the pictures and look at my roof, you'll see all the dirt and water spots. I quickly sprayed some cleaner on her on the sides, hood, and trunk lid before I took her out since I saw Sean was shooting. For not being washed properly in two months or waxed in over a year almost, she still had a good shine to her.

Thanks for the compliments. I wish I could autocross with more Focus enthusiasts, and I hope with a little more planning and budgeting (good luck on that) that I can make it out to the next large national Focus gathering. My car's been in the lime light with my motorcycle this summer, but this suspension has made me fall in love with her all over again. It's like balancing time with your friends and your girlfriend... we won't say whether the car or motorcycle is which.
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