Saturday, July 26, 2008

Car setup, crap times!

The fifth round of the 2008 Detroit SCCA rallycross presented by Team Illuminata Motorsport was the first chance we had to take the WRX out to play locally. Here's how it went...
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 -
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...

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