Taking A Break For What’s Really Important

Taking A Break For What’s Really Important

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Racing can be an all encompassing passion, but sometimes there are more important things in life. In March of 2016 I asked the love of my life to marry me, and we decided that September 3, 2017 would be the day of our wedding. Throughout 2016 I enjoyed autocrossing my car, but by the end of the year a smoke had developed near the turbo that couldn't be ignored. I began fixing it in January, 2017. By April I had removed the engine, replaced the valve cover gaskets, water pump, timing belt and various pulleys, all of the broken vacuum hoses around the turbo, and the right front axle, but I still had not resolved the smoke! It became clear that the project was not going to end any time…
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2017 CCR-SCCA Preliminary Schedule

2017 CCR-SCCA Preliminary Schedule

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The 2017 Central Carolinas Region SCCA schedule is all but finalized. The preliminary schedule shown below is said to be solid barring any mishaps or unforeseen conflicts with booking the venues. New for 2017 is the addition of the Donaldson airfield in Greenville, SC. The facility is a former air force base that's now a component of the South Carolina Technology and Aviation Center. I had the opportunity to drive there several times with the Clemson Formula SAE team. The repave of the facility in 2014 revived the track surface, and now it's a great place for an autocross. zMax Dragway is returning in 2017 for approximately 3/4 of the season, and the Black Lake at the Michelin Proving Grounds will not return. Although racing at zMax is incredibly convenient,…
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2016 Season Recap

2016 Season Recap

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The CCR SCCA solo season wrapped up last week at zMax Dragway and so has my first season of autocross with my WRX. I was able to compete in seven different events this season. Five were with the Central Carolinas Region SCCA, one with the Ultimate Street Car Association, which was a blast, and one with the Clemson Sports Car Club, which kicked off my racing season. My goals for this season were to win the CCR Rookie of the Year, spend less than $2500, and above all else to learn and grow as a racer. I am glad to say that I was 2-for-3 on my goals. (more…)
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Fresh Brakes: The Goods

Repairs and Upgrades, Uncategorized
After solving the issue of my sticking right rear caliper, I decided I could confidently purchase some new brake parts. Since my rotors are too thin to turn and the pads are wearing out, I decided to go ahead and get autocross pads from Hawk Performance and Powerslot rotors. Since one of my complaints from earlier in my autocross campaign came from what I felt was poor brake pedal modulation, I threw in some stainless steel brake lines to replace the old, soft, stock brake lines on the car. The lines and rotors are coming from Rallysport Direct, a longtime favorite of mine, and the HP+ Autocross/Track pads are coming direct from Hawk. I'll be honest, my research on brake rotors was brief, and my pad selection was based on…
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Race Report: USCA Charlotte 2016

Race Reports, Uncategorized
Race Date: 7/30/2016 Category: Grand Touring Light Class: Novice Results: - Autocross: 50.787 (6th of 10) - Speed Stop: 18.732 (7th of 10) The Ultimate Street Car Association is a relatively new, grassroots motorsports organization focused on providing a unique and fun racing experience for people with track-ready street cars. Their Optima Search for the Ultimate Street Car is a comprehensive competition that focuses on both the track readiness and street readiness of the entrants' vehicles. Over the course of two days drivers participate in an autocross competition, "speed stop" competition, hot lap challenge on a road course, a road rally on real highways, and a design and engineering competition that is as much about the performance upgrades to the car as it is about the creature comforts and road…
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RR Brake Drag Solved

RR Brake Drag Solved

Repairs and Upgrades, Uncategorized
For years I had noticed extra brake dust on my right rear wheel. I replaced the rear calipers with re-manufactured calipers, and after a year or two it was back again. I finally addressed the issue last week by inspecting the offending caliper. One of the sliders on the caliper was stuck, and the pads were worn correspondingly. I disassembled the slider mechanism on the stuck caliper and found that the ends of the rubber bushing on the leading slider pin had sheared off. Either they had come apart and jammed up the slider, or the slider wasn't greased and the ends were torn off when the pin was disassembled. (more…)
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Bugeye Brakes: Assessing the Situation

Repairs and Upgrades, Uncategorized
At my last autocross, I noticed that my braking seemed to be more black and white than shades of grey. Braking for a corner is difficult to judge and the soft pedal means I have to travel farther to stop as hard I want. I'll admit that I haven't paid much attention to my brakes in the last five years other than replacing the rear calipers with re-mans. Excessive brake dust and pad wear on the right rear prompted the swap, but I ignored the service manual and only bled the new rear calipers. Now I'm paying the price. Approaching a tight turn, I have to stab into the brakes in order to get any response. The rapid actuation removes any ability I have to modulate the input into a smooth…
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Review: Harry’s Laptimer “Petrolhead”

Review: Harry’s Laptimer “Petrolhead”

Reviews, Uncategorized
Version: 20.0.3 Platforms: iOS and Android Price: - iOS: $14.99 - Android: $14.99 My Rating: 8/10 Pros: Easily customizable settings, straightforward autocross track setup, quick, detailed data overlay onto video from onboard camera Cons: Data charts are noisy, menu navigation takes some getting used to, sometimes unclear if settings took effect, some portrait only views force all views into portrait until the screen is returned to portrait and then turned landscape (more…)
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Race Report: CCR AutoX #2

Race Reports, Uncategorized
Race Date: 4/2/2016 Class: Novice Results: – Class: 1st/13 – My FTD: 66.614 sec. – Class FTD: 66.614 sec. – The FTD: 51.982 (2009 Top Kart Speedy TM K9b) The Central Carolinas SCCA chapter returned to zMax Dragway for round 2 of their 2016 autocross season, and the day started off cool and wet. The field was large again with 182 total entries and nearly two dozen novice drivers. I began the day in the 2nd run group, and the track dried just in time for me to turn my first lap. The goal for today, in addition to getting my autocross legs underneath me, was to evaluate the Harry's Lap Timer App for the iPhone and it's efficacy at reviewing each run in preparation for the next. A full write-up on…
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