Where are you Ryan?

I feel really busy, I know I’m very lazy. Minimal progress has been made on the car. This past week, various things conspired against me. Rob has finished the manifold, but we never modified the oil pan or created a down pipe when we couldn’t get flanges and tubing etc. Part of the reason for paying big money for such things… is convenience. I’m still contemplating dropping everything and just leaving the car with a shop for completion. I’m not a wealthy guy by any means, but else it may never happen. I installed the MSNS yesterday, but failed to get it all running when the cable to my lap top didn’t fit the ECU. Bah.

My fourth wheel still hasn’t showed.

DTP is only two weeks away. The next AF practice is a week and a bit away and I feel like Race City is giving me the run around. All these things have led me to step back from my car life.

I recently moved… and the new setting has been challenging. I went from a quiet house, of people who rose early and went to bed early (living me alone 90% of the time) to a home that currently houses 7 guys, of whom I am the oldest, and the ONLY one working a 9-5. It’s a mild complaint. It’s really not that bad, but it’s a huge change, and the time I would usually spend on car stuff, I now spend hiding in my room looking for sleep. The internet has become dead to me. No one ever writes on club4ag anymore, video articles are gone, Benson never updates his webpage, Slide Squad is dead, Mac Dale is offline and Chris Migs bought a condo and found a girl… all that is left is the journal of beloved FD driver Daijiro Yoshihara. But… either that guy has nothing to say… or his english just doesn’t let him say the things he wants to. Message boards are the end of the internet IMO. Hopefully… at least you have me.

The high point in QR car life, now Q’s car life was the CSCC auto-x which took place today on the oval at Race City. I haven’t auto-xed in two years. My original plan for going, was to extend my driving skills by applying various techniques I have learned in drifting to a time attack setting. This didn’t really work as I intended… it’s a difficult explanation, but I will try.

In drifting… at least in a practice setting, various options etc are available for line, entry speed and method of initiation. Two guys at a drift practice might take the same corner entirely different, so much so that it becomes an entirely different corner, and although both drivers look like they are drifting the same course, they are in fact doing something totally different, and quite possibly if they understood this difference they would not be able to easily duplicate what the other was doing. And yet… one guy looks at everyone else drifting the same course he did, and thinks he’s just as good or better than all because his line/speed/initiation was maybe more difficult in his opinion.

Auto-x is a whole different thing. A. The course is often so tight and narrow that there are no options for line. B. Speed. It’s a time attack. There is no option of half throttle down the straight because you can clear the corner at a given speed, and you don’t know how to initiate at speed. C. Initiate at speed. Big feints don’t work (like you have room anyways). Side brake doesn’t work. Clutch kick… (are you crazy? or am I too pussy?)

My aim was never to drift the auto-x track. My aim is always to kick ass and beat everybody. No… I will not be doing that sideways in a 90hp 21 year old car on street tires… but I will still do it. I’m an arrogant, over confident prick at the track. Newbies talking about lofty goals, and coming close (re: under 2 seconds off) to FTD… go back to keyboard racing, because that’s about as close as you are to reality. This is auto-x… where half a second is a solid ass kicking, and you admit defeat if your beat by even 1 tenth. If you disagree… I suggest you take up drifting.

It’s like that.

The CSCC has become a club with a few very dedicated drivers, and today I was immediately refreshed to find myself once again in their company. Guys who pop off runs within 1 tenth of each other. Guys who walk the course four times and talk with each other about car set up and line. Guys who yell out their faster times so everyone else can hear and feel bad about their runs. (Wait… that was only me).

I had a good day.

I’ve never been a guy to consider my line mid corner, or calming examine my driving mid run. However… today I did that not at all. In fact… all of my runs are a hazy mess of steering and pedal work. Get close to the cones, and don’t let my angle get to big. That’s all I thought of. Somehow this worked for me. I’ll let the results speak for themselves when they’re released.

Car Set Up:
Despite claiming that I would re align the car after dropping it a solid 1″ for SCN, I never did. I never softened my front bar either, after complaining about it at the solo school and Crab Migration. I haven’t re-installed the PS either, and I ran on my drift tires (712’s) because my fourth SSR hasn’t found it’s way to me from Japan yet (I have Azenis waiting for it). It’s the exact same set up I go drifting with.

I started out with tire pressures at 39/40psi. The first run felt horrible, very unpredictable, with what I thought was a very low limit. Time 47.5 seconds. Second run, I dropped pressures to 36/39psi. The car felt a LOT better. I made good angle in the g-circle but killed it too early on exit and ended up with a bad plow. Time was 47.2. In the slalom’s and various other transitions however the ass was moving in a way I didn’t like it. In a short moment of time it would step out very far, and then plant solidly. Not a secure feeling. Lining up for the third run I found myself trailing guys I didn’t want to be trailing. I’d been talking shit all day, and I have my reputation to protect and a bunch of newbies to impress (ha) so… I felt a lot of pressure to get it down. At this point I missed Ryan and his advice and references. After auto-xing alongside that guy for 4 years it seemed weird without him.

My exhaust silencer came out (looking for any power at all) and I softened up the rear shock half a turn looking for some predictably. Third run was 46.22 with a nice braking drifting all the way around the g-circle. The car was on the absolute edge in the slalom’s and most everywhere else. I’ve driven fast before… but the car has never danced like this… I promise. A buddy came out with a video camera, and the run looks plain from the outside… but inside my hands were non-stop, and I feel like I was at max-speed, in all but a couple corners. Fourth run I left the car settings alone but ran into understeer again on the g-circle to a 46.3X. I won’t say who I beat and who I didn’t, because I only beat one of my three targets. I did remind them though afterwards… that they were all running on real DOT R rubber (kumho V710). I went too far in this though… because they’ve all declared Wednesday’s auto-x on the RC a street tire shootout. They think I’ll have no excuse then… but really… they’ll all be on azenis and kumho MX, while I’m still on the lowly 712. I’ll cross my fingers that the fourth SSR doesn’t arrive so I can’t run azenis and then I can use the tire excuse again when I loose by a few thousandths.


Did you actually read all that?