Leinninger.com

August 21st, 2004:
Dog Days of Summer Autocross.

Early today, I competed in another autocross at the Pontiac Silverdome. After completing the modifications to my car a few weeks ago, I changed classes (from STX to TSM). First, I’d like to say that I drove badly. I didn’t plan my run very well. I should have memorized the course. Also, I have crappy tires. There’s a reason that nobody in STX or TSM uses Goodyear tires in the dry. After a few thousand miles they’ve lost all of their competitive grip (pretty normal for a road tire). In the rain, they’re still excellent (compared to the standard Kuhmo and Falken selection). Lastly, my suspension (50,000 miles of use, still stock) is tired. Everyone in both STX and TSM have upgraded at least their springs. I bounced around the course today like I was driving a moon buggy.

So where does this go? This was the last autocross that I planned to participate in (for the year). Someday I would like to get into SCCA Club racing (road courses)… preferably in a Spec Miata. My master plan was to find a used 1994-1997 Miata that needed some love. Slowly build a Spec while simultaneously using it to autocross. A complication to that plan is that Gina and I are planning to move soon, and I’ll be returning to Wayne State this fall. Not a ton of free time in that plan.

I’ll have to consider getting dedicated autocross tires (and wheels) and possibly upgrading part of my suspension… or holding off and go with the Miata plan. Right now I’m leaning towards option 2… there’s a lot to consider over the next 6 months. I’ll start by examining my car to make sure the suspension slop isn’t due to equipment failure or wheel misalignment.

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