This last Sunday was the first autocross of the Spokes 2010 season and I was looking forward to getting out there and giving the 911 a good shake down after getting the work done on it over the Christmas break. Overall I thought it was a great event, even if I finished in 4th place in my class. The 911 was driving well, it stayed together the entire time (the travel there, the time on the course, and the trip back home), and I felt it was being driven pretty close to its limits — although I’m sure there was probably some more time I left on the course that where I could have gone faster.
The day itself was a different story, it never warmed up like the weather channels and websites said it was supposed to have done. Instead, everyone dressed for 60 degree weather and got stuck with 45 degree weather with a lot of wind, drizzling, rain and a generally overcast day. So, yeah, it was not much fun standing out at the corner shagging cones. Driving in it wasn’t so bad, it made some corners a bit more interesting with the rain on the ground but overall, still a heck of a lot of fun.
Now, finishing 4th in my class F-Prepared is kinda sad, but I’m competing against full-blown race cars that have gotten rid of any chance of being street-legal while I’m still driving the car to the event. So, I don’t feel too bad, but I’d like to get my car to the point where I’m competitive with the other folks and I believe some more changes to the car could be in the future.
The items that need to be addressed on the car are: making it lighter, getting new autocross appropriate tires, and getting more power from the engine. Lightening the car can be done with fiberglass body panels, replacing the glass with polycarbonate and removing what is left of the radio in the car (I really want to keep the air conditioning system until it becomes a track only car). For the tires, Hoosier A6s and another set of 17″ rims to mount them on. The tires can be done near the end since the body panels for the car can be bought with larger fender flares to fit 9″ rims up front and 11″ rims in the rear. Finally, getting more power to the vehicle becomes the most expensive proposition. A set of headers would give a nice bump in horsepower and torque; however, after that, more power couldn’t be achieved easily without rebuilding the engine and transmission. Decisions, decisions, decisions..
I look forward to having a great time autocrossing (and doing track days) this year, even if I’m still at the back of the pack.