Although the prior week had been extremely dry, the morning of July 12th saw torrential rain resulting in conditions more akin to off-road racing, not rallycross. I was in two minds whether to get the car dirty...oh come on, this is a rally car not a Shine and Show trailer queen.
Photo by Chris Amos - chrisamosphotography.com
We loaded up and headed out on the epic 20 minute drive to Clarksville. Coming off the back of a successful first outing in Tennessee our goal was to see how the car handled on dirt. Since the addition of the Racecraft cage and legit gravel suspension the car was a totally different machine and I'm finding that I'm having to re-learn how to drive it. We set the chassis up to turn in well but not to be too twitchy, the last thing you want at 60-70mph flying through the forest. As a result we discovered that the car understeered too much on the tight rallycross course although that was also partly due to the fact I hadn't driven hard on gravel for 6 month. I was a little rusty. The first couple of runs weren't the smoothest and upon inspection under the car I discovered the rear sway bar end link bolts had worked loose, probably contributing to the understeer. As the day progressed I explored several cornering techniques, some which worked better than others. I learned a great deal from the 14+ runs and we've tweaked the chassis considerably since then and will be testing this weekend. Hopefully we'll see some improvements in both the car and and driver!
5 days until we leave for West Virginia...