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B3NN3TT’s 2023 autocross season

642 Views 15 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  B3NN3TT

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Today’s our pre-season test & tune, so it’s time to shake off the dust.

Cougar will be ready as soon as I get the plates for it, so the Bullitt is the ride of choice today. It does Mustang things.
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Man I'm so lost without my Cougar. These big heavy cars just don't want to dance.

SUPER QUICK and tricky course. Bullitt started out pretty well. But CAM is a STACKED class, and these S550 Mustangs and 6G Camaros are just unbeatable, especially when modded for CAM. So I'm just out here in my very minimally-modded street car that's too much for Street class but not nearly enough for CAM, getting trounced on the regular.

I went into the mid-day break in 6th place out of 8 cars, but I was only a tenth behind the 5th-place driver, so I was sure I could make that up in the afternoon and at least pull up one spot. Then I coned every single run trying to get that tenth, and remained 6th of 8 in CAM for the day. This SUUUUCKS.

I think some adjustable struts would probably help out immensely to keep the thing from pitching around anytime you ask it to change directions. The Ford Racing struts on it now are great street units, but they can't hang under heavy autocross duty. But I don't want to throw a thousand dollars at the thing for racing when it's NOT EVEN MY RACE CAR.

CAM results:

1. 6G Camaro, 24.260
2. SN95 Mustang, 24.822 (CAM-T)
3. 4-Eye Fox, 24.849 (CAM-T)
4. S550 Mustang, 24.640
5. S550 Mustang, 25.717
6. 08 Bullitt, 25.801
7. 4G Z28, 26.856 (CAM-T)
8. 4G Z28, 27.367 (CAM-T)

Here's video of the fastest run of the day, good for 43/74 overall in raw time and same for PAX time, which is unusual, and 6/8 in CAM.

Points event 1 is May 14th! Pray that I have license plates by then!
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Interesting that Ohio Valley SCCA gets going that much sooner than Detroit. Our first Detroit Region SCCA Solo event is not until Memorial Day weekend! I would enjoy the opportunity to get out and do some test and tunes before then. Might just have to journey south. :)
You should look into Toledo, they run a good program there, NWOR.
You should look into Toledo, they run a good program there, NWOR.
Yes, I've done NWOR Region events in the past. The Toledo Express Airport where they run is a great site and allows for high speed Solo events. I seriously campaigned Mustang GTs in the 1980s and was CENDIV FS champion one year, so I know many of the Solo sites around the Central Division. Here's a shot of me running a Pro Solo event there.

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Awesome! I ran a pro solo at Grissom in Indiana a few years back in my previous cougar, Before the engine swap.
Some event photos surfaced this week -

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POINTS EVENT 1, and the Cougar is BACK.

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On a tow dolly, but still...

BIG day for OVR; we had 130 drivers on the books today, so it was a packed house! 14 entries in Extreme Street, and the class was STACKED. 3 Focus RS, a TT Quattro, a GTR, a couple of BRZ entries, a Civic Type R, Focus ST, a 335D, an old Saturn SL with a turbo as big as your head - and me.

The car actually felt terrific, especially considering that it hasn't been driven like this — or hardly at all — in almost 2 years. It was giving me everything I wanted, and showing me that the problem wasn't the car, it was the loose nut behind the wheel. So I'll be spending this season learning how to drive it again. Power was good, grip was good, brakes were even good. All of the usual drivers that I normally benchmark against, I handily beat, so it's definitely better than ever.

But I placed 8th of 14 drivers in my class today. So even though the car's doing great, the class has been bumped up SEVERAL notches. However, we're probably now approaching what a real Extreme Street class SHOULD look like.

Our Safety Chief did a co-drive with me today, since his Mustang was in the shop for warranty work. Mark is a bit older and more conservative of a driver than I am, and he's been in Mustangs for as long as I've known him, so a highly-modified front-wheel drive V6 was quite a departure. He placed last in the group, but actually picked up almost 9 seconds between his first and last runs.
  1. 16 Focus RS (XA), 27.685
  2. 13 BRZ (XA), 28.012
  3. 03 TT Quattro (XA), 28.058
  4. 14 GT-R (XS), 27.976
  5. 16 Focus RS (XA), 28.898
  6. 13 BRZ (XA), 28.994
  7. 18 Focus RS (XA), 29.028
  8. 99 Cougar (XA), 29.213
  9. 11 BMW 335D (XA), 30.750
  10. 18 Civic Type R (XA), 31.758
  11. 17 Focus ST (XA), 32.071
  12. 01 Saturn SL (XB), 32.166
  13. 04 WRX (XA), 32.486
  14. 99 Cougar (XA), 34.217
Overall finish: 26/130 raw time, 43/130 PAX. Top 14% raw time finish is really a lot better than my usual showing , but unfortunately that doesn't translate to the XS group standings. Hopefully I have a lot of room for improvement. Like I said, the car's giving me everything I want, so I need to either push harder or find better lines.

Will add more photos as they come in.
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Looks and sounds awesome! Is it stock toe in the rear or is it toed in/out?
nice run. you have the same issue that i do. there are a lot of off throttle spots where you could be, and be harder/later on the brakes. trust the tires
Looks and sounds awesome! Is it stock toe in the rear or is it toed in/out?
Thanks! I have tweaked the rear toe SLIGHTLY in. I was having trouble with losing the rear in high speed corners, so I dialed in just a quarter-turn or maybe half-turn on the toe arms and it really balanced it out. Haven't looped it since I made that adjustment.

nice run. you have the same issue that i do. there are a lot of off throttle spots where you could be, and be harder/later on the brakes. trust the tires
Thanks! Those are actually the same things I was telling my co-driver yesterday - the car's gonna stick, just send it.

I was able to get on the throttle pretty early at 0:18; that right-hander was easy to push too wide and blow the next sector. A lot of people really struggled with having to wait wait wait to get back on the gas out of that corner.

I think 0:22 was where I killed the run - I turned in and apexed way too early on the brakes into the left-hander and compromised my exit. I think if I came into that brake zone a bit more to the right and hit that apex later, I would have been able to get on throttle sooner coming out, but instead I got pinched by that cone on my right just as I should have been matting it.

There were 3 cars in the SM class this weekend, and I was faster that all of them by a good half second. SMF has a slightly harder PAX than XA, but I could probably overcome that little difference with some rubber. I'm not gonna bail out of XA right now, but I'm just saying - might be time to start shopping for some Hoosiers next season, LOL.
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Hoosiers are awesome, but pricey. I like the BFGs, especially at $100ish less each
A buddy of mine was running in SMF on some Toyo slicks that he was not very happy with. I guess they were a more track-oriented tire, and required a little more time to come up to temp than autocross provides. He ended up second in the SM group. I'll have to look into the BFGs, if those are working for you.

EDIT: what BFGs are you talking about? I didn't see any sub-200TW on Tire Rack.

EDIT: I found the G Force R1, but those are discontinued. BOO.
sorry, i have the toyos, not sure why i thought i have BFG. I guess on my 275, there is only a $50 difference per tire now
You ain't kidding; Toyo Proxes RR in my size are $100 less EACH than the same thing in a Hoosier. Yokohama Advan A055 is $35 less than the Hoosier. That's reminding me of why I switched over to street tire class in the first place, LOL
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