With the driver’s seat now safely mounted in place, I decided it was time to start playing with some aero.
Using an old sign generously donated by an anonymous dumpster, lawn edging, and some other bits I was able to make a basic splitter.
A little black spraypaint and it was looking pretty snazzy. I also modified one of the tie-down hooks for use as a tow hook. The lawn edging on the splitter allowed me to keep it lower than the stock lip would have allowed, while being light, cheap, and easy to work with.
Adding in a pair of Longacre support struts and it’s pretty much done. This is only version 1.0, and it definitely can’t support the weight of someone standing on it, but for now it will do. I’ll continue to refine it over time.
With the first event of the year fast approaching, there were a couple small jobs I wanted to finish first. The main one being reducing the noise in the rear suspension. Given this car’s propensity to three-wheel through turns, clunking rear coiloves were very annoying. A pair of Hyperco helper springs and Eibach couplers helped greatly.
A relatively minor annoyance was the screeching belt on cold starts. A new Gates belt quieted that right down. Having only the bare necessities on this engine makes working on it so much simpler than it could otherwise be.
I still don’t have any fancy magnetic or vinyl numbers yet, so printed paper taped inside the rear windows will do for now.
With those jobs out of the way, it was time to kick off the new season with my first trackcross at Dominion Raceway. A trackcross is formatted similarly to an autocross, with the cars staging on the main straight of the track, and running the twistiest sections (roughly turns 1 - 9) for time. No cones, no work assignments, and tons of fun.
I was running around like a maniac between heats, trying to get different angles with my trusty old GoPro Hero2 which is practically an antique at this point.
Second heat was delayed a bit by a particularly bad crash by a young man in a 370Z Nismo. Fortunately he seemed ok, a testament to how safe modern cars have become, and how dangerous track driving can be sometimes.
The little Corolla made it home safe and sound. The only problems I encountered throughout the day was the windshield trim nearly blowing off on the highway (hence the blue tape), and a slightly leaky fuel pulse damper.
What an amazing way to start the season. I can’t believe I waited so long to check out a track that was so close to where I live, I can’t wait to go back.
The results of my frantic GoPro positioning really paid off too. Check out the videos below!