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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
IT'S THAT TIME AGAIN.

2022's going to be a wild ride, as we're having 2 separate series happening over the summer. I'll just cover both series in this one thread, in the interest of keeping things all under one roof.

In addition to the regular weekend points events, we'll also be having a completely separate weekday night race series. The "PAX Challenge", as they are calling it, starts on May 11th, so time is running out to prepare. Since the Cougar is still in progress, the Bullitt will be the night series competitor this year. And since I hadn't driven in in anger for a number of years, I shook it down this past weekend at the pre-season text & tune day at Fortress Obetz.

The Bullitt is a real crowd-pleaser. It gets nothing but love, all the time, from anyone and everyone. It's a super-fun car to drive anywhere, even if it isn't fast. It looks the business and makes all the right noises - and that's half the battle, innit?


Wheel Tire Sky Car Vehicle


That's a Roush 427R parked right next to me (which finished 3.56 seconds behind me, BTW), and Matt Schnelle's unbelievable M3 - built, supercharged, caged, the works - in front (which finished 1.5 seconds ahead of me - albeit in a different class).

ANYWAYS, so since I have lowered the Bullitt, I can't compete in Street class anymore. I could enter Street Touring or CAM - and the PAX index is way nicer for CAM class, so that's where we are. CAM is a really wild class full of really fast cars, so it's tough. I'm competing directly with all the new S550 Mustangs, with their 150-horsepower advantage and their independent suspension, and many on sticky race tires, so it's a given that I'm not going to be winning any trophies here without ruining the car for street duty - but I've made my peace with that. I'm just out here to have fun with it.

4 runs today. After watching the first heat, my brain goes to where I should be running if I were in the Cougar. And my brain tells me the Cougar would probably be running mid-to-high 35-second passes. In the Bullitt, I was shooting for something in the 36's.

First run was TERRIFYING - the Michelins don't have a lot of miles on them, but they are 4 years old, and they really needed this to get the crust off them. The car was sliding and pushing all over the place, and the brakes were also very unhappy being cold. By the end of the first run the grip started coming in, and the brakes started to bite well, so I figured I'd pick up time throughout the day. 38.559 to start; I would need 1.5 seconds or more to not embarrass myself.

Second run was indeed better, as they are. 37.616 - almost a second better.

Third run I tried something different - the first hairpin comes up quick, so I tried holding first gear through there, and shifting after getting out of the turn. I did come out of the turn with a lot more grunt, but kind of biffed the shift, losing a couple of tenths. 37.838 - it was all going to come down to the last run.

Final run was indeed my best of the afternoon, and apart from a pretty lurid understeer moment in the final hairpin, everything seemed to work. 36.911 - mission accomplished.

18 entries in the CAM class, and I finished exactly in the middle - 9th place. The 96 Mustang PAX'd me even though I was marginally faster around the course. Final standings are here - it says 22 entries, but there were 4 no-shows. Also not sure why there is a CP Boss 302 in the list, but I was faster than him anyway, so whatevs -

Font Number Screenshot Pattern


OVERALL RESULTS -
28th overall raw time out of 92 drivers
29th overall PAX time. Not too shabby!

Video if the final run of the day -


Next event will be the May 11 PAX Challenge with the Bullitt again, and then POINTS EVENT 1 on May 22 - hopefully in the Cougar!
 
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1998 V6 MTX Ebony Black Wild at Heart Trim
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You are living my dream..... the 05-09 Mustang is my dream car and its also a Bullit.... and then you also track it!!!! I would kill to be able to do that.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You are living my dream..... the 05-09 Mustang is my dream car and its also a Bullit.... and then you also track it!!!! I would kill to be able to do that.....
Haha! Thanks very much. It is a ton of fun on the street, even though it's not as quick as my Cougar around a track. I hope to be able to move up the rankings a good amount throughout the season, as I get the hang of the handling of the car. First event is this Wednesday night! I'll have more updates and videos then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, unfortunately all the holdups now are administrative issues with plates/registration. Hope to have these resolved before the 22nd...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
PAX CHALLENGE #1 -

So last night was the first mid-week night race. Very hot, and only 4 runs per car - and we still didn't get out of there until 10pm. But it was a ton of fun, even with all that against us. The course was SUPER SHORT and SUPER FAST, since we didn't have much time for setup beforehand. Fastest laps of the night were in the high 21-second range. Fastest of the bunch was an STU Civic Type R at 21.729. The first 23.0 was in 20th place, so the top 20 was some tough competition.

The event was capped at 70 entries, and there was a wait list. So in the end there were 72 drivers altogether.

The Bullitt DOES NOT like hot weather. 2 of the 4 runs were seriously hampered by some of the worst heat-soak I've ever encountered anywhere. Once you get rolling, and the Ford Racing intake gets a breath, all Hell breaks loose, but from a dig in the heat, it's shockingly bad. So needless to say I was not too competitive; I could only muster a 24.649 - 47th of 72 Raw time, and 44th in PAX time.

Judging from some times from other drivers that I always benchmark, I estimate the Cougar would have pulled a 23.1 on a good night; 23.5 if I just couldn't get it together. Still not good enough for top 20, but darn close. So it's a way better car around a corner than the Mustang, but then again, being 1100 pounds lighter will get that for you...

I do have some video, but have not uploaded it yet. I'll add it here once that's done.

Next points event is a week from Sunday, and it's looking like the Cougar won't be road-worthy by then - so I might just sit it out this season and campaign the Focus ST in Street class this year. Frustrating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
POINTS EVENT #1

Took the Focus ST because it has legal plates - which was hugely frustrating. You don't realize until you're pushing the car just how bad the OEM 80,000 miles dampers have become. Body control was terrible; the car was flailing around everywhere and I could not push. DNF'd 2 runs by blowing through the brake zone and missing a gate. I expected better, but even most of the novices in XS blew right past me by a LARGE MARGIN. Even if I had been in the correct class for the car, I still would have only finished 5th of 8 in the Street Stock class.

Final results:

13th of 16 in XS (the final times are after PAX multiplier; the course was not quite that short)

Font Material property Screenshot Number



63 of 86 Raw time.
72 of 86 PAX time.

The Cougar probably would have finished around 25th in this group, based on past benchmark drivers.

The good news - 2 of the XS drivers finished in the top 5 PAX index overall, so we finally have some PROPER XS cars to compete against, and see just how far off the mark I am in the future.

Hey, at least the Focus looks the business:

Wheel Car Tire Land vehicle Vehicle


NEXT POINTS EVENT: June 12th. Will the Cougar be legal by then? TIME WILL TELL...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Photo dump:

Car Vehicle Tire Wheel Hood
Wheel Car Tire Land vehicle Vehicle
Car Tire Wheel Land vehicle Vehicle
Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Hood
Car Tire Land vehicle Wheel Vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
WRAP-UP

Sorry - no real interesting updates to share this season, as I'm still tied up in paperwork hell trying to get my Cougar plated and insured - so I've been driving the Focus ST at every event this year. Although the Focus is not a bad car by any stretch of the imagination, mine is SERIOUSLY handicapped by its 6-year-old off-brand tires and 83,000-mile OEM dampers. I have video of every run in the ST from this season, but I haven't even been motivated to edit and upload anything. I could go out and drop 2 grand on some RT-660s and a set of Koni Yellows and run with the best of them, but that's 2 grand I don't want to spend on the wife's daily driver; that should be going towards some Wilwoods and new seats for the actual race car - which it will, once I can drive it again.

This past weekend was the final points event, and though I didn't finish DEAD LAST - I did fare VERY POORLY this season. Mainly because I kept entering the G-Street Focus into Extreme Street, in hopes that I would be able to get the Cougar legal and enter with that car - which I didn't. So the Extreme Street PAX on a middle-tier G-Street car meant that the points were VERY FEW and FAR BETWEEN. I entered this final event as an actual G Street car, and ended up 51st of 109 in PAX score - which is very respectable, and probably my best showing all year in this car. And if worse comes to worse, I guess I could drop that 2 grand and end up with a really competitive GS car after all...

Wheel Car Vehicle Tire Window


Tire Car Wheel Land vehicle Vehicle


I did not even place in the final XS points standings, as I was only on record for 3 events in the class, and there's a 4-event minimum to qualify for championship consideration.

The remaining events this season are 3 more Wednesday-night PAX challenges, where I'll be driving the Bullitt (unless I somehow miraculously am able to enter in the Cougar). The first of the three is next Wednesday the 17th, so even if I don't place well, I'll have some entertaining video to share with all the V8 rumbles and tire squeals. STAY TUNED.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
PAX CHALLENGE #2!

It was Bullitt time again this past Wednesday for the second night race of the season.

Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Hood


80 entries, and everyone lumped into the same group to compete for the top PAX time overall. Even in the Cougar I never cracked the top 20 in PAX time. And though the Bullitt and Focus ST have a much friendlier PAX multiplier, they are both A LOT slower than the Cougar as well, so this is just for fun and seat time.

I ran the Bullitt with lower tire pressures this time, and it seemed to like this. 30-32 psi, instead of the regular 36-ish. Although now it has decided that it wants to understeer all the time, so that's a bummer. But I feel like I'm starting to learn its limits. Not that I'm ever going to win any trophies with it, but it sure it nice to feel like you're getting the max out of the car, and not go home angry that it isn't responding to you. I only got really out of shape once, LOL.

OVERALL FINISH: 43 of 80 drivers, raw; 45 of 80 PAX time. But I did finish ahead of several drivers who I don't usually beat in the Focus ST - which speaks to how rotten the tires and dampers are on that car...

VIDEO!

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
PAX CHALLENGE #3 - the third night race of the season!

70 entries this time, and everyone lumped into the same group to compete for the top PAX time overall.

I kept the lower tire pressures this time, and dropped them a little more - 29 psi or so all around. Still wants to understeer more than I like. Acceleration is good, and braking is pretty excellent. Traction out of slow corners is tricky...

OVERALL FINISH: 33 of 70 drivers (finally into the top 50th percentile!) raw time; 40 of 70 PAX time.

VIDEO!


One more night race in 2 weeks, then THAT'S IT for the 2022 season.
 

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so are there no corner workers on the actual course, or are the all off to the sides out of the way. Im guessing its a 1 car at a time thing with the dark. Has anyone added a light bar to their car or run underglows? you should crank up the ambient lighting int the car lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
There are indeed corner workers, but at safe distances. All of the apex cones have reflective tape around the top. One car on course at a time after dark. Haven't seen anyone use extra lighting - YET - but I'm sure that's coming. Although with the parking lot lights on, it isn't actually that hard to see out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
One paddock photo from last week, next to an FS 2010 GT -

Wheel Car Tire Vehicle Land vehicle
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
LAST EVENT OF THE SEASON last night.

66 drivers, Bullitt finished 26th (raw time)! Pretty amazed to keep inching up the order every time. 28th overall PAX time. The first 3 runs felt great, but by the 4th run it started to push. Not sure if the tires were getting cranky, or if I was starting to over-drive. Probably both.

Video of my fastest run - #2 out of 5. Really consistent tonight, with 29.963, 29.622, 29.640, 29.631, 29.710 (had a passenger for that last one). The fastest drivers in the GT86's were in the mid- to low-27's, raw. The Cougar probably would have finished around 28.3 - 28.5, just for context, or around 9th-12th overall.

 

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You're going to have a hard time going back to the Cougar after a year off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yeah, I hope things don't start breaking from dis-use once it's finally back in the rotation.

It's strange; I feel like I'm absolutely 10/10ths in the Bullitt, but it's so far behind where I rank with the Cougar. I guess if we had a large space where it could really stretch its legs, that might change things. But here in this small lot, all the turns are hard hairpins and right-angles, so grip and composure in those instances pay off the most. Braking is also a huge factor, since the distances between corners is so much shorter - obviously the more speed you can build between turns by using shorter brake distances, the more time you're going to shave off. The top performing cars in the grid are 86's and last-gen Civics, by a large margin. Corvettes and S550 Mustangs also do well though, because their handling qualities exceed the stick-axle S197 and SN95 Mustangs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Car Tire Vehicle Wheel Hood


Wheel Tire Vehicle Car Sky
 
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