Anyone else headed to ST Octane Academy this week?

Discussion in 'Fiesta ST Chat and Discussion' started by jimclark, Jun 7, 2014.

  1. jimclark

    jimclark Active Member

    I'm going to be in Tooele, UT, at Miller Motorsports Park, on Thursday for the ST Octane Academy. I've heard nothing but good things about the experience, including from another autocrosser in the area who was already a very good driver. Hoping maybe I'll run into one or two of you great guys. (The rest of you can go suck lemons. :D)
    Firesail likes this.
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  3. CrookedRacer

    CrookedRacer Active Member

    See you there!
  4. moshaholic2

    moshaholic2 Active Member

    I run on monday
    jimclark likes this.
  5. jimclark

    jimclark Active Member

    Awesome! Looking forward to it, and meeting you (and whoever else shows up!)
  6. jimclark

    jimclark Active Member

    Leave some rubber on the tires for us!
  7. Smokin

    Smokin Active Member

    Have a blast. Remember it's not your car so rip it!.

    BTW if you get to Ken Block's shop and the reception get me a black Hoonigan decal. 9" +/-. I missed the reception due to weather...
  8. moshaholic2

    moshaholic2 Active Member

    Just finished the course. It was really fun. I was the only Fiesta owner there. Which was somewhat of a disadvantage when it came to the auto x (urban x) as they made us run the timed portion in the Focus ST. Which, i hadn't ever driven.

    I didn't get smoked, some where between 4th & 8th (out of a full group of 25!..didnt stare at the times to figure out which spot exactly I placed). Not bad since I havent auto x'd in about 15 years. There was a REALLY fast guy there. The intructors were like, "oh shit, look at that guy!" As he placed w/in a second of the instructors lap record.

    We ran east course, again I chose the Fiesta over the Focus (that everyone else was driving). You can go flat out in 3rd over that whole course. *IF* you can carry enough speed through the corners you can use 4th in about 2 spots. They space you out really well but I was able to gain on a normally faster Focus. No where near close enough to pass, but could tell they were getting closer.

    Ended w/ karts. Wish it were timed with awards for that vs the auto x. I started last and by the end of the first lap was in 3rd. By the end of that lap way out in front. Ended up lapping some people 3 times, most others twice. I think only 2 others finished on the same lap as me.

    Wear lots of sunblock!!!! Its hot as hell out there.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
  9. jimclark

    jimclark Active Member

    And I just got back! Sounds like they don't have the experience quite as standardized as one might expect. There were differences--typically subtle, but some not--from what others have described, in everything from swag (similar but not identical bags) to amount of track time. Our track time, with 19 students, I think it was, seemed like maybe it was cut back a bit. We had only 3-4 solo laps on the east track (after 3 instructor ride-along laps) before our session was ended. It was, in the Fiesta, for me a third-gear run almost all the way, though I got to 4th twice each lap--presumably the same points mosh mentions above--before downshifting into the next corner. I was also the only Fiesta driver out there; didn't catch the man ahead of me, but sure didn't see the one behind me, either. They did not allow passing at all. I won't bother attaching our group photo--frankly, it sucks.

    I was a very close second in the urbancross competition, and the only driver in the top 8 who drives a FiST at home. Had I had a little more time in the FoST before our timed runs, I'm certain I'd have picked up some of the time I left on the course. I didn't get times for any of my FiST runs, so can't compare how I did in the two different cars.

    We didn't get to do the karts--severe weather had arrived before we could to it--very high winds, then high winds and rain, then more high winds. Ugly stuff.

    The experience was on the whole fantastic. I'd gladly have done some horse trading to get some more track time, but I'm sure that's the case for lots of folks. The time with the instructor in the car was pure gold. And the hot lap was definitely hot! I'd have loved to have times for the instructor and for me, but I have no idea what the time difference was, other than embarrassingly big, I'm sure, from my perspective.
    moshaholic2 likes this.
  10. moshaholic2

    moshaholic2 Active Member

    From what I gathered, the quantity of things you get to do and the length of those events is dependent on how quickly the group gets in the van and if they struggle learning the courses.

    my group was really big, 25. But, the van drivers and instructors commented on how quickly everyone got together and ready for each portion of the event. Mentioning that sometimes people just wander all over and its like herding cats. They kept telling us, "faster you are, the more seat time you'll get!". That seemed to motivate my group pretty well.
  11. CrookedRacer

    CrookedRacer Active Member

    I must have missed you by one day. Mine was the Thursday reception/ Friday track day. We had just 15 in the class and I was the only fiesta owner there.

    The reception would have been cooler if there were a driver or a mechanic or someone knowledgeable on the ins and outs of either the race team or the factory. Maybe even some icebreaker games or something. As it was, it was two very nice ladies telling us where we could and could not go and what we could and couldn't photograph, plus fifteen guys quietly wandering around looking at the place. Then we ate some food.

    The museum was really impressive. Go look at it. If you're in salt lake anyway, just go out and do that if you have a couple hours.

    Some said they thought the maneuver series and skid car weren't worth the time. I personally enjoyed the 90 , 180, and reverse 180. It actually took me a while to get the reverse 180 right. So I really enjoyed all that. I could have skipped the skid car. I've done enough donuts in the snow on my high school parking lot.

    We did the urbanx for record in the focus. I'm pretty sure I was the only autocrosser there, because I came in first by about a second. It was a blast, though. Those focus exhausts are scary loud.

    I agree, the hot lap was an eye-opener. Going into the very first turn I was astonished at how hard he threw it. That was probably the most valuable experience to me - seeing and feeling just how hard a pro drives it.

    There were only three or four cars on the track at a time, and everyone was fast. Our follow the leader session was quite fast- I guess we stayed pretty tight so the instructor felt like he could push us a bit. Later he said it was the fastest he's ever taken a group. One reason might have been the length of our train.. Only four cars following probably made it easier for him to ensure we were all under control. Fun stuff.

    On the track, I guess I got about five laps in the fiesta, getting into 4th pretty early on two straights and redlining it on another. Time flew.

    Overall, I had a fantastic time. If you can do it, I highly recommend going.
    jimclark likes this.
  12. jimclark

    jimclark Active Member

    Yeah, I realized on check-in and start that you didn't seem to be around on Thursday, Crooked. I'd checked out your profile, so was looking for a WashDC locale on name tags. Closest was a guy from near Baltimore, but he drives a FoST.

    I agree with your assessment of the skid car activity--all it did was establish with the instructor that I'm comfortable driving in snow, though for those who've never felt under/oversteer, I guess it was worthwhile. As for the 180s, my experience was similar--the reverse took a bit, and I never felt completely comfortable, but the forward 180 was a cinch with their car setups.

    My follow-the-leader experience was dampened by a driver directly in front of me who was not comfortable nor particularly adept at speed, with lines, etc., and so that portion was kind of a waste. Loved the time with the instructor in car, though. I spent Friday afternoon (when you were on the track at MMP!) on track at High Plains Raceway east of Denver, having driven halfway there previous evening, then on to the track in the AM. Practiced and used the skills from Thursday to gain some confidence at high speeds, on another great track--one I found significantly harder than MMP's east side. (Though that sums up my experience on tracks, so that's definitely a "FWIW" statement! Link to one of my laps at HPR, if interested.)

    Summary: STOA is a great experience!
  13. jimclark

    jimclark Active Member

    I made it there, and though I hadn't seen your message at that point, I've got extras of the three stick-'ems they had. I'll bring 'em along to next event.
  14. eRic

    eRic Active Member

    I'm a Fiesta owner and had the fastest urbanX time of our group in the Focus. and I won our kart race. It was a fun weekend for sure!
    Also I chose the Fiesta for the track sessions and bumped the limiter in 3rd in those two sections of the track.
  15. bryramos

    bryramos Member

    When did you go? I was there for the Sunday session. We had two Fiesta ST owners out of 14 :/
  16. eRic

    eRic Active Member

    I was there on May 2-3.

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