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Old 05-05-2010, 07:58 AM   #1
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Default Pics and vid from UFO autocross #6

Last weekend was series event #6 of the UFO (United Five Ten Owners) autocross put on by Dennis & Peggy Hale in Marina, CA.

I have been building the car to be more track oriented over the past couple years and so the car has strayed from its CSP trim of a few years back. With the turbo I now loosely fit into the SM class, though not technically. Autocross is where my love for performance driving sprouted, so of course no matter how far my car strays from the little CSP car it once was, I'll continue to attend events and have a blast.
This last event was no exception; beautiful weather, lots of well prepped cars making an appearance (we are lucky to be so close to the SF region and many of the regional guys use UFO events for test-n-tune time) and lots of fun.
I just got a new set of Goodyear Eagle sports car special take-offs mounted and was looking forward to experimenting with tire pressures. My experiences thus far with these tires had been less than ideal but I realized I was running the same tire pressures in them as I did my Hoosiers, and later learned that the Goodyears like low 20's. Ran them in the 23 psi range this time and boy what a difference! I was extremely happy with the grip. Even with my open 1.8 differential wheelspin was manageable and the lateral grip is just inspiring.

I was lucky enough to have my buddy with me who co-drove my miata for the day to keep the tire temps up. He brought his Lightning as a support truck, so I didn't have to pack the race wheels into the miata! Here he is also demonstrating the benefits of having a tailgate plus my passenger seat:
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I took all these pictures with my GoPro HD, and when I got home was really surprised by how wide angle the shots are. It turned out to create some cool pictures though:
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From the eye of the enjoyer. Yes, it's still got speakers - I daily drive this car!
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On grid:
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The run group 1, lots of Mod class cars in the group too:
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And here is my fastest lap. It looks smoother than it was, from that perspective it's hard to identify the areas where there were errors and room for more time to be shaved off. Even on this lap, there were two spots in slaloms where I had to adjust to clear the inside cone, but all in all I was happy with the run. You also can't tell too much when I have wheelspin. Even with the Goodyears I was spinning throughout quite a bit of the run, but it was manageable and I was able to reign it in well enough to post a pretty good lap. Each of the runs got successively quicker. Before running I knew the fastest car was a fully prepped and highly skilled mod class guy at about 38.5 seconds, so when my first run was a 44 I knew there was room for improvement but on my last run when I got a 40.6 I was really pleased. Official results aren't out yet but I believe I'm in the top 15% of cars - there are a LOT of fast and well prepped cars here and we have about 150-180 entries per event. I would say this is a personal best in terms of how deep into the very quick cars' times category I got.

UPDATE: Official results just came out - first place in SM by almost 3 seconds, and 7th overall out of 141!

Enjoy!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9ELhGd0ABI

p.s. You will notice that the Hales own a LOT of cones! and as for the course design, when I asked Dennis about it, he said that someone had complained that there weren't enough slaloms in his courses... so this is what we got! Surprisingly, it was quite challenging, each slalom was a different spacing apart and were connected with individually unique 180's and 90* turns so there was actually a lot of variety of what appeared to be the same thing, which could really throw you off if you weren't on your game...

-Ryan
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:09 AM   #2
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The car looks and sounds great. Thanks for sharing that video, props on the time.
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:31 AM   #3
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Looks like a blast!

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Old 05-05-2010, 10:16 AM   #4
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Looks good man, ever run with American Autocross Series out there? Their courses are more open and a better match for your car in boosted trim.
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Old 05-05-2010, 10:22 AM   #5
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Sweet hell that's a fast course.

Your car is at least XP, if not outright mod class, but whatever, looks like a real blast. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-05-2010, 04:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webby459 View Post
Sweet hell that's a fast course.

Your car is at least XP, if not outright mod class, but whatever, looks like a real blast. Thanks for sharing.
Well, it's extremely underprepared in terms of what XP allows - and it certainly doesn't belong in mod.
The car is of course not built to a certain autox class because I want to maintain street use and the car more focused on being track prepped than autocross. In terms of SM2, technically my tires bump me out as well as the lack of interior carpet, but realistically the car is not even really maxing out what a well prepped SM2 car could do, and the tires are heat cycled formula mazda take-offs, so really probably not even marginally better than Hoosiers. So for now, I'm sticking to SM2 - XP is for chopped windshields and custom suspension geometry.
If I was competing for points for the season I would be sure to put myself in a class so as to not upset any competitors, but I've just been doing events here and there that I can make it to in between other stuff so I'm sure it's not a big deal.

When you say it's a fast course, are you referring to speed or time? 40 seconds is pretty damn short...
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Old 05-05-2010, 04:36 PM   #7
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Fast in terms of speed. My recent vid is a good example of the short (distance) and tight and technical courses common around here: https://www.miataturbo.net/media-53/webby-autocrosses-sts-miata-46820/ . Go forward on the vid to around 1:00 to see actual action start.

Good stuff man, I watch all these when they come up. Keep on posting them, as will I.
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Old 05-05-2010, 04:54 PM   #8
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If y'all think the UFO courses are open...

I'm guessing you haven't raced with AAS, OP?
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Old 05-05-2010, 07:09 PM   #9
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No, haven't ever done an AAS event, I think this course was fast in terms of it never having any real slow technical parts - UFO events usually do, but I think Dennis was making a point to the guy who bitched about no slaloms
On the third set of slaloms I was bouncing off the rev limiter in second, so in terms of top speed it was not all that fast, several of the course designs at this location have fit a straight long enough that I was well into third before..
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Old 05-05-2010, 10:10 PM   #10
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I wish go-pro would implement some sort of mic input. I wouldn't mind hearing what your car sounds like.

We totally missed eachother at MRLS this year :/
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Old 05-05-2010, 10:46 PM   #11
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Looks fun, I think that's the first autocross video where I actually knew where you were going, I have no idea how you guyz don't get lost. Props to the course layout, and the camera quality I suppose. There were a few too many slaloms though. That dude can't complain any more I guess.
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Old 05-06-2010, 12:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thesnowboarder View Post
I wish go-pro would implement some sort of mic input.
Yessir.

Impressive Ryan!
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Old 05-07-2010, 03:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thesnowboarder View Post
I wish go-pro would implement some sort of mic input. I wouldn't mind hearing what your car sounds like.

We totally missed eachother at MRLS this year :/
They do at least provide both the waterproof and open case backs, and they say to use the open one for under like 50 mph and the closed one for over that. In this vid, I used the closed one, and I think at these speeds the open one would have been better - the closed does a great job of eliminating any wind noise but I wasn't going fast enough to need that, open would have picked up the car a lot better.
I have a vid where I used the closed back with the GoPro mounted to the headlight of my motorcycle during a joy ride in the mountains. You can hear the motor revving pretty well and literally there is no wind noise until ~120 mph. It's incredible the work they put into to fight wind noise when it's mounted externally. At autox speeds though, needs open back I think.
I'm going to play around with the backs at the next event, and also will do a view from the inside of the car, which seems to pick up the car's noise a lot better than windshield mount.

And yes, we accomplished complete avoidance of each other - I was mainly around Sunday and then the rain forced us all into shelter and we became anti-social lol. Shame!

-Ryan
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