I finished 4th out of 11 drivers at the last event of the season. I painfully screwed up my first and last runs, putting me way out of range of a podium. On the first run, I got crossed up right at the finish line and made the fatal error of slowing down before the line. Yuck. On the last run, I knew I had a lot of time between me and the driver’s ahead and behind me, so I pushed a little too hard and hit 5 cones, 4 of which where protecting a berm that we weren’t supposed to hit. Minor damage to my front bumper, but mostly to my ego. Still a fun time, and I’m honestly surprised that I’m even competitive. This last race was held at Riverdale Motorsports Park and had a mix of asphalt, loose dirt, and hard-packed dirt. Very challenging, but it’s so much fun to start out on an autocross course and just plop off of the road to keep going.
Most painful of all was losing my 1st place position for the season championship in the Stock FWD class. I’m still very happy with 2nd place for the season, especially considering this was my first full season of rallycross. The guy that ended up in 1st definitely deserves it. He started the season by rolling his car and finished with 3 or 4 consecutive 1st place finishes. It’s been a really fun season with about 5 regular attendees in the stock FWD class providing close competition.
The Neon performed wonderfully this season. It can keep up with just about anything out there in FWD. I just need to work on getting my 1st lap times down and being a little cleaner in my final runs. On pavement, the Neon likes to rotate, but on dirt it’s even better. Its garbage interior can be forgiven 20 years later since it has great handling and more power than its contemporaries.
My plan for next season is to move into the Prepared FWD class. That means rally tires. I’m also going to replace the struts and replace a few bushings in the suspension. Just for fun, I’ll probably upgrade the exhaust. Any recommendations for suspension or other upgrades are welcome.
All photos taken by Cowbell Rally.