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Monday, August 24, 2009
Autocross in Packwood, WA
by brian @ 11:16:06 - [perma-link]

Rebecca and I drove up to Packwood, WA yesterday morning to autocross
my M3. We wanted to practice racing the car before Smackdown in
September. It was awesome fun! That car has so much power, and the
pavement has plenty of grip to lay it down. Someone in line behind us
asked me if I though it was "kind of dusty out there". I'm used to
racing on mud and dirt, so it seemed pretty grippy to me. I think I
put on a pretty good display of TMT-NET (Too Much Throttle, Not Enough
Talent). Smackdown is going to be a blast!

Autocross is pretty much like rally cross, except its in a parking lot
instead of a field, there's no water truck and instead of half a dozen
car classes, there's like 15 million. The M3 turns out to be "A-
Stock". Since we're using street tires, someone told us we should run
in the "street tire class" (TAS instead of AS), since its a factored
class (whatever that means ;), and we wouldn't be competing against R-
compound tires. In reality it means we got spanked by a bunch of Mini
Coopers and Miatas, instead of being handily crushed by a Corvette.

After we raced in the first group, we shagged cones for the second.
There was a really bad-ass GT-R in that group (and another stock GT-R
running in the afternoon, but we didn't stick around for that), which
looked like it had a little bit more power than the planet could
handle. It wasn't driving on the course; it was pouncing on each apex
like some crazed beast, turning and leaping out with a roar, searching
for its next victim. Once the driver learns to tame that power, it
will be seriously fast.

Others of interest: a yellow Porsche GT3 that looked smooth, even when
it seemed to be picking up one of its front wheels along the back
slalom. A blue Z06 Corvette, which was dual-driven in our session by
a father and son team, then in the 2nd session by the son's wife (who
was pretty close to matching his times). The red mustang was
accellerating hard out of the big turn on the back, and mad some huge
clouds of smoke from the inside rear wheel on almost every lap. And
someone had recently acquired an old cop car, and put "RAM ROD" (ala
Super Troopers) on the back in blue tape. Nice! Watching that boat
barely make it (but it did make it!) around every turn on asphalt is
almost as tense and exciting as watching Kyle rallycross his.

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