A bit late on these, but here we go:

Event #2 @ Sandstone Amphitheater


Again, apologies for the shaky camera. I got a new and “improved” mount from Waylens but it obviously still has some issues. I think I’ll stick with the GoPro for now going forward.

And yes, I’m still calling it Sandstone, because they lost the privilege of being recognized by their sponsor names until they stop changing it every 3-5 years. Naming complaints aside, this is still my least favorite venue that we run on account of the surface. It’s worn out, cracked all over, and there are small pebbles EVERYWHERE. Further complicating matters was the rain, which wrecked our timing hardware and reduced our available runs from the usual 4-5 down to 3 due to manual timing and data entry.

In spite of having to deal with some street sweeping in Heat 1 and active precipitation during 2 of my 3 runs, I somehow managed 6th of 93 in overall PAX and 1st of 2 in STR. I’m still a bit baffled by the result considering how slow and awful everything felt (like understeering my way around half the course), not to mention the other heat having objectively better conditions to run in. Perhaps playing it a bit safe was just the way to go in this obnoxiously slippery venue.

Event #3 @ MCC Blue River


This one had me excited going in, largely because the weather was finally clear and warm, allowing me to fill in the last few blanks of mental data points on the RE71R tires’s performance. Additionally, I was about to have some very difficult in-class competition in the form of a freshly-rebuilt-for-STR E36 M3 (because it was just reclassified this year) piloted by a pair of very experienced drivers.

The course was a pretty fast layout as well, which was a bit of a surprise considering how restrictive the MCC venue is. Unfortunately I didn’t figure out that the car had a lot more to give in the slalom and that 1st was better through hairpin near the end (20 mph pulls in my 5-speed’s taller 2nd gear = no bueno) until my final run, which I then ruined with cone hits and sloppy over-driving elsewhere. Oh well. At least the other parts in the video above felt like they were all nearly perfect.


Ultimately, I got crushed by that M3's drivers by about 0.6s to 0.9s ... and that was with their first runs being the fastest. No doubt they’re going to be a difficult pair to chase from here on out. Optimistically, with the course’s layout and my current level of skill, I probably would have only been capable of halving that distance to their fastest time. That said, I at least was able to walk away having learned quite a lot about what I can and can’t get away with in the dry now. The overall end result wasn’t bad either, with a 3rd of 8 in STR and 20th of 135 in overall PAX.

Next up: The fiance does SCCA Starting Line and gets in on the fun.