Discussion in 'Fiesta ST Autocross' started by Smokin, Apr 7, 2014.
Photos from event 4....
Is that a lot or a road course? Ugh, those pictures look great, I should have held out for red!
I really like the color as well (not that I hate black) Nice shots
Actually, Smokin's car is Molten Orange; here's mine, RR, same site (different day):
BTW, I just noticed as I posted--Greg's wearing an orange shirt and driving an orange car, and I'm wearing a red shirt and in a red car. We're really fashion-conscious in KC.
The site is owned/used by a local community college for driver training for law enforcement and emergency vehicle drivers. To give a sense of the nature of the site, it's easiest perhaps to show a Google Earth shot annotated a bit:
Thanks, way to rub it in Jim;-) Is that a good site for you guys? We have a similar facility near here, but it's hard to tell from Google maps if it's worth pursuing, and the silly police keep the gate locked.
I must say, when I got the car, I decided red was the only possible color for me! I love it! As for the site, I'm new to the game, so not a highly informed, good judge of site value comparisons, but I think it's quite good. Enough space and various turning options to allow for the usual maneuvers, it seems, with the addition of feeling like one's on roads. This latter is seen by some as a negative, in the sense that when one gets used to the courses we make on the site above, with the visual cues of infield grass, etc., it can be somewhat disorienting to run on a course spread across a giant swath of concrete, like in, oh, I dunno . . . Lincoln, maybe? We've been having over 100 drivers per event so far this year, and the pad on which we set up paddock and grid gets a smidge tight at times, but that's a good problem to have.
Ah, that's something I hadn't considered. If we have 150 drivers, that is a small turnout for us.
Ah. Wish we were there! We had 113 at our last event, and I'd guess our average at about 110, with the exception of the "deluge day". We could do 150, or even a bit more, I think, but we'd have to restrict spectator parking to another, adjacent area.
Cligedy, it's a fun site but with several drawbacks. the turns are all concrete with deep furrows in them so grip is great. We have too many 90 degree turns that don't help the learning curve. The straights are asphalt so you can go from braking on asphalt to concrete on any corner. Although it is large, and we can get some good speed up, the back stretch is about as long as the typical Lincoln segment, meaning we have one place for inline obstacles to a National event's 5,6 or 7.
Luckily we have teamed up with the Kansas region to do three 2-day regionals at Heartland Park on their asphalt pad. This was where the Championships were held prior to Lincoln. And there's still a regional, divisional and T&T in Lincoln before the Nats. Counting Neosho and Ft. Riley divisionals, the summer season will have more pad-type events.....
The site is a good one for a completely green driver, like I was last year. The lanes really help delineate the course in a way that can be difficult for first-timers on an open asphalt or concrete pad. It's large enough that our runs are usually in the 50-60 sec range with 2-3 cars on course simultaneously. The downsides are as @Smokin mentioned, the grid-style layout restricts course design with it being difficult to avoid multiple 90deg corners, and the grip level is inconsistent as you transition from the asphalt to the concrete. The biggest detriment to the site is the deterioration of the asphalt on the north sweeper, and the "catchment pond" as @jimclark labeled it. (I like that moniker, and I'm using it henceforth) The pond represents a significant safety risk for us, and further restricts our course designs. I'm really looking forward to running on the 20+ acres of asphalt at Heartland Park Topeka next month.
Wow, it's been a fun couple of weeks! First off to the MiDiv in Neosho, MO June 21-22. It was a small field so we did the two-course run on Saturday and then had a Match style shootout on Sunday. I finished second in class again, and 8th in Pax. In the shootout I was 8th and won $20! Would have done better but I got over anxious and washed out in the hairpin on my third bracket run that would have gotten me into the Final 4!
Sunday June 29th was back at MCC for our 5th regional. The coolest was watching Craig Wilcox, Heyward Wagner, John Hunter and Shawn Hill tearing it up in Craig's alien STX Mini. 3 National Champions plus Shawn being one of the best around on an ego busting autocross mission. Raw times were within 0.535 secs. Pax spread of 0.442 with John Hunter winning it by 0.012. That's 12 milliseconds!!!
I was 7th overall, 0.939 behind Hunter and a hair-splitting 0.008 sec behind course designer Jeff Bartz in the GS Genesis. That's 8 milliseconds!!! Looking at the raw times the FiST was only 2.37 seconds back of 1st on a really fast course. I was also 3rd fasted Street Class in raw time against 37 competitors.
All of this month has been used experimenting with set-up and tire pressures. I was very disappointed at Lincoln in May, so have become more aggressive in testing changes. I made some radical pressure changes this weekend after some T&T after the Midiv and wanted to see how it worked before putting the Koni shocks on back. It did work so now on to the Konis and Federal 17" tires for the next event, a two-day regional at Heartland Park, Topeka July 12-13. Then 8 weeks straight of 2-day competition ending in the National Championships in Lincoln Sept 2-5.
Well, we're back to running all out until Nationals in September! I finished 1st in a 2 car class at the Ft. Riley Midiv. It was a very fast course geared to high horsepower. And we were the first to run in early morning cool temps so we suffered in PAX too but the event itself was great. We were on smooth concrete at Marshall Field of the Big Red 1 right alongside helicopters.
Salina Region put on a drivers school for Soldiers and a lot of them participated in the two-day Midiv and had a lot of fun.
Above are two of my students Sgt. Tony Branch and Sgt Manuel Torres along side the Fiesta ST.
The 8th KC Region event was this past weekend. I tried the Federal 235/40x17 tires on the front with the OEM Bridgestones on the rear. Had good grip but acceleration sucked. I did the unsprung weight calculation and figured the 17" setup had 210 pounds greater rotational mass that the 225/45/16 Dunlops and Sparco wheels. Total unsprung weight was 180# w/Federals and OEM wheels. 159# w/Dunlops and Sparco wheels. So now that the Dunlops are nearing the end of their life and with just a few more weekends to go, I ordered Falken Azenis RT-615K's in 215/45x16. Total weight 155# for a 250 lb decrease in rotational mass.
You think bigger/wider tire size makes more difference that unsprung weight, check out these PAX numbers from this weekend. 9th place by 0.001 sec.
80/1000ths of a second between 5th and 9th. All my Mini buddies go real small. I had been about 0.100 behind Bartz all season and it grew to 0.5 seconds since I put the Federals on......Why is he so consistently fast? Hyundai allows eccentric camber bolts and he is running -2.5 degrees to my -1.0/-1.3.
BTW, there's nothing wrong with the gearbox in the Fiesta ST. After the early July scare which proved to be ghost noises, the ST runs fine.
Next weekend is a Sat-Sun double regional with KC and Kansas Regions at the Heartland Park Topeka asphalt pad. Can't wait to get there!!
Wow...you have a few REALLY fast guys in your region with Bartz and Wilcox.
Thanks for the information on the tires, I was curious about the feel on a larger course.
The Falkens are in and on. Did an interesting little trick for front wheel camber that's within the G-Street rules. i'll let you know how it turns out this weekend. Two days on 22 acres of asphalt....Wahoo!
C'mon, fess up and tell us what you did. Right now. This minute.
Also: Did you bother to have the Falkens heat-cycled?
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