Hialeah Park May 15, 2005

Mother of a Run Autocross

Close cone!

It is getting closer to the time to do the horrible chore of disassembling our 3 piece race rims, cleaning off the old silicon sealing bead and reassembling and sealing the rims. Since each rim has 20 bolts, this is not the job for today. Today our autocross tires are well seated but leak a little through the rims.

The long skinny lot at Hialeah Park does not offer much opportunity for creativity to the course designer. Mixed slaloms down, mixed slaloms back. The designer's biggest choice is whether to go down the left side and back the right or visa-versa. Today it is the former.

Run 1

We set air pressure and then drive the car to the grid. I launch hard but am conservative down to the turn around. Coming back, I am going quite fast through a slalom. I turn the car hard to make a cone to the right but the back end starts to come around. I try and catch it and spin the other way. 51.489 and one cone.

View Run #1 Video (10.46 MB)

I re-grid and the crew checks the data. Everything looks good except the left rear tire comes in 8 psi lower than the other tires. It either leaked out between our pits and the grid or our gauge is misbehaving.

I review the video and practice the run in my mind. The crew waits to the last second to set the tire pressures.

Run 2

I am more aggressive everywhere but where I spun. I go easy there. It is necessary to turn hard there but the car grips and I suspect the lack of grip last lap was due to the low air pressure. My time is a 41.365 but I tagged a cone somewhere.

View Run #2 Video (8.51 MB)

Tire pressures come in -all even at 40 psi.

We run again after lunch.

Run 3

I have reviewed the video and feel I have a pretty good grasp of where I can improve. I mainly need to carry more speed through the early gates and brake less where I had my spin.

I improve everywhere except for a minor mistake through the last gate. I am too fast in and too slow out. My time is 40.649 but again somewhere I tagged another cone.

View Run #3 Video (9.63 MB)

Data and tire pressures are good. I review the video before making my last run.

Run 4

Cone down!

I get the first third of the course right. There is a 12 MPH difference between the first and last run top speed through this section. The Imp hits 70 mph this time. Every where is a little faster but this time I feel a bump through the last slalom. Curses! A 39.368 and a cone.

View Run #4 Video (9.38 MB)

Compare runs chart 051505 Autocross

Sum up

With a 2 second cone penalty, my best time is 41.368. No one else has entered D Modified this race so we get an uncontested victory.

In comparison to the rest of the entry, the Imp has made a big jump in speed. We are now 25 fastest of the 130 cars running today. The Kokam powered Electric Imp is finally beginning to turn the times we knew it was capable of.

Much of the speed seems to come from using tires designed for autocross. I still drive the car at the limit of adhesion but that limit is now much higher.

autocross 1st place trophy

Four autocrosses this year.

Four victories.

We are two thirds of the way to a Championship.


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April 17, 2005
May 21-25, 2005


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