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Archive for September, 2006

BDR hits the 2006 Subaru Challenge!

Friday, September 22nd, 2006

Ah, the Subaru Challenge. In its four year history, it has failed to produce a boring event. In 2003, the event was held at the now-defunct Cloverleaf Mall lot in Richmond. Since 2004 it has been held at Cal Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, MD and run by the WDCR SCCA Committe. The 2004 event was a monsoon. The 2005 event was dry and very competitive. Where would 2006 fall?


Super Ripken Special Stage!

Early indications were that we were in for a repeat of 2004. The rain started early, just as John pulled in for registration. He had two choices: almost-full-tread RE070′s, which are plenty competitive in the dry, or his shaved Falken FK451′s, which are faster in the dry, but at 3/32″ not terribly useful in the wet. John took a risk and went with the Falkens, hoping that things would dry up. A smarter person may have realized that giving up 10% in the dry was better than giving up 50% in the wet, but as the BDR fans are no doubt aware, John is not that person.

Ed was first up, in his Street Modified 2004 WRX Wagon. Ed’s car is seriously quick, but he found his Goodyear F1′s lacking in grip. Running street tires in “Street” Modified is like bringing a water pistol to a bazooka fight. Ed stepped up appropriately and, with the help of the Mid-Atlantic Subaru community, requisitioned himself a set of Prodrive wheels with Toyo RA-1′s. Although Ed has been running in STS2 for most of the year, he is a closet R-compound junkie.


RA1′s FTW!

SM was by far the biggest class at the challenge with 32 competitors. Despite all the competition, and despite Ed never having driven his wagon on R-compounds before, Ed managed a 6th place finish, good enough to earn him a trophy. First place was taken home by Patrick Olsen, running possibly the only naturally aspirated car in the class. Patrick also had the spin of the day, coming into the finish a little hot and going through the end gates backwards.


Wheee!

STX ran second heat. Representing BDR today was John in his bugeye WRX, and Andy who signed up to co-drive. John’s tire choice looked good halfway through the first heat, but when the rain started again, it looked like the JIC Magic/Butt Dyno Racing #55 WRX was in for a long day. Fortunately the rain was starting to slack off. As the heat advanced, the course was rapidly drying. For John, the times were falling fast: 54.5, 54.0, 53.6, 52.5. Andy was also learning the car quickly: 72.2 + spin, 55.3, 54.5, 52.8 +1. Andre Downey was uncatchable in the wet though, running a 50.6. John’s 52.5 was good for 3rd in the fifteen car class and a trophy. Andy’s 4th time would have been good for 4th in the class if not for the cone.


The bugeye makes its way through the course

One of the innovative features of the Subaru Challenge is the final Super Challenge. In the past this has been the top 16 or top 32 PAX competitors. For this event it was the top 5 PAX from each heat, since the weather varied so widely between heats. Ed qualified to the challenge thanks to his 6th place finish and one of the Hampton Roads people heading home early. John was behind some serious talent in his group, finishing behind Eric Kriemelmeyer, Chris Carris, Pat Griffith, Andre Downey, Francois Bru, Jake Moran, Clyde Caplan, Myron Ware, Greg Obadia, and Steve Salisbury, so even if the event had been expanded to the top 8 PAX per heat, some people would have had to drop out for him to make it.

For the Challenge, Ed borrowed Dan-tech’s Andrewtech/Gearboxtech.com 2002 WRX, equipped with a larger turbo, race tires and those awesome-sounding PPG gears. A mis-shift on his second run cost him some time, and he ended up 18th in the overall challenge.


Ahh the sweet whine of straight-cut gears.

John took two fun runs when the day was over, just to see how the course was in the dry. It was significantly more fun that way. On RE070′s at street pressures (34/31), John ran a 47.9 followed by a 46.7. Had he made the Challenge, these two runs would have been good for 5th overall. So, the day wasn’t a total loss. Well, until he offered Greg Olsen a chance to drive his car and Greg ran a 45.2. Yeah, he’s fast.

  • Pictures from both teamwtf.org and AcquaCow are up in the Gallery.
  • Video hasn’t been ripped yet. John is a slacker.

Mid-September Points Chase update!

Tuesday, September 12th, 2006

September 3rd, 2006 WDCR #6

There were thousands of spectators for the penultimate event in the 2006 WDCR/SCCA series. Most of them were bees and gnats.

The course was a break from WDCR tradition, with Sam Strano designing a course that made everyone think. Or just use lots of profanity. Some did both. The PAX ended up smacking the street tire cars pretty hard, but it was a valuable demonstration of “slow in, fast out.”

Mei’s Celica was still broken (but closer to being unbroken), so Mei was again in STS2 battling it out with Ed and Slava. The STS2 crew had the misfortune of running first on a still-drying course. Ed finished 4th and later commented that he had “sucked it up today.” Mei won the Fiancee Battlestage-ah by one second over hubby-to-be Slava. They finished 5th and 6th, respectively. All of us running in the later heats thank you sincerely for helping to dry off the course.

STU was again huge, and a bit shaken up. The 22/122 STU STi still had a blown shock, so Nate Small ended up co-driving Ben’s Evo, while David MacDougall ended up in Corrie Wolfe’s STi. Nate had an adjustment period learning to drive the Evo, finding that it was one inch wider, and making sure to hit all sorts of cones with that extra inch of car. He finished 8th, without a clean run. Ben followed closely in 9th place.

Brandon arrived to Fedex a little later than normal and co-drove John’s WRX to avoid that whole “tech” issue. John’s WRX was on shaved 245-35/17 FK451′s for the second event and John was still trying to dial the car in. After adding one click of stiffness in the rear shocks and dropping a couple of pounds of air out of the rear tires the car was pretty much spot on (well, as spot on as a car with 550 lb/in springs can be). After John’s 4th run, he sat in third place, behind Greg Olsen and Jim Harris. But John’s first WDCR trophy was not to be, as Vince “Ducky” Bly came in on his last run with a 66.971 to bump John back into fourth (but only .2 seconds out of 2nd). . Brandon started off his fourth run blazing, but the Subaru bit back and spun in the top left corner of the course. Brandon would finish 5th.

  • Pictures
  • No video; John forgot the AV cable again.

September 9th, CDC @ Harry Grove

The September 9th CDC event was much less bug infected. The course was the autocross equivalent of the Daytona 500: almost exclusively left turns. Unfortunately it was a bit late for everyone to switch alignments, so the standard setup would have to do.

There are no SCCA classes, so everyone was going for times. The results are not posted yet, but what we do know is that Slava’s best time was a 44.0 – good enough for BDR FTD. John was so upset that he drove his car over a curb in the Costco parking lot. (A sideskirt was harmed, but pop-rivets were enough to rescue it.)

Results are not posted yet but video should be up shortly.