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Pitchblack Motorsports Rally e30 318i (now with M50) - and some Porsche 924S stuff.

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  • irish44j
    And also some vid (no sound, whoops) of fooling around on the circle track. Much more exciting in person than on video, however...

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  • irish44j
    Here's video of a run from the first night before the rain came and made it VERY slow. Was still pretty slippery even before the rain, and this was my second run so was still feeling out the course with no ability to "look ahead"

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  • irish44j
    coming soon.

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  • econti
    Any videos?

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  • irish44j
    RECAP: 2015 Northeast Division (NEDiv) National Challenge - "24 Hours Spooky Night at the Farm"

    Hopefully some other people actually got pics of me driving. Also will post up a vid or two once I get a chance.

    The final event in the NEDiv national challenge event was this weekend, with Nick and I going into it tied for first in the series and this being the deciding event. Since Nick's car was totalled by a tractor-trailer coming home from the last event he went up to co-drive Jason's Miata instead.

    Here's the short version in case you don't want to read the long version:
    1. It's a long drive. We did 850 miles round trip towing in under 48 hours.
    2. As expected, Central NY Region (hosting this event) was nowhere near as organized as we are in DC. They just are more laid-back and not used to handling big groups of cars/drivers. That was frustrating, as it was at the STPR event last summer.
    3. CNY's venues are awesome. Great terrain, scenery, and courses.
    4. The weather (cold, rainy, windy) killed most of the actual event, though we did manage to do one group of runs.
    5. In our small group of runs, I built a large lead over the other MR cars and won. So I'm the NEDiv champion, in addition to being the Washington DC regional champion this year.
    6. The second day for the 2WD cars was cancelled due to the soaked 1/2-mile dirt oval track being like an ice rink slippery (it's clay mixed with wax in the surface). BUT those of us who hung around until the afternoon ended up getting an hour or two of "open track" time with basically no rules. So at any given time there were 8 or 10 of us out there in 2WD cars on the track doing whatever we want (including using the banked track, infield, and joker cut). That by itself was worth the long trip up to New York. And since all the AWD cars had already run and left, we didn't have to deal with them :)
    7. No car issues other than breaking a rear exhaust pipe before the muffler. Also, when wax-impregnated clay gets on your exhaust and gets hot, your car starts smelling like a burning candle when on course, lol.

    So, that's the short write-up. Here's the long one for people who like details (and for posterity):

    We knew going into this that the event could be good but disorganized, as CNY has a reputation for being pretty laid-back and indecisive, plus they use old stopwatch timing rather than electronic like we do. But with NEDiv on the line, about 6 of us from WDCR rolled up there 400 miles to Weedsport NY (near Syracuse) for it anyhow.

    The event started at 3pm Saturday and planned to run until Midnight, then 8am until 3pm Sunday at a different venue.

    Saturday's tow was uneventful and about 6 hours later we arrived at the venue. Quite different from what we're used to. It's a large field surrounded by woods, but with 6-7-foot tall grass and shrubberies and the course cut through it.

    WIth this being an into-the-night event, that made it so there were no cones on course (except a few pointers) and no course workers out there except at a few overlook spots - since it would be dangerous to have course workers out in tall grass with fast-moving cars at night. Instead of red flags, each car off had a live radio in it for red-flag calls (this actually worked well, surprisingly). The upside to all this is when not driving, you basically just got to hang out and watch from the overlooks if you weren't doing timing.

    They also had a couple hi-lifts and cherry pickers for the radio spotters (and photographers) to go up on.

    As to the course: FUN. heavily rolling terrain, with all blind turns. You can't "look ahead" like most rallycross/autocross so it's fully "react to what you see" or try to memorize the course. WIthout cones you coudl cut the corners a bit if you knew (or didn't care) if there were rocks or stumps or anything in there. I didn't really do much of that, nor did anyone else that I could tell (at least not on purpose). The surface was dirt/clay/grassy stuff to start out and to be honest, I greatly enjoyed the course setup and how much elevation change it had throughout. Also very scenic.

    After the first two run groups went (we were in the third one), we got off two dry runs in our group and I took about an 8-second overall lead. Keep in mind, this was Nick's first event in Jason's Miata, which is a good deal different from his e28. Also only Jason's first full event in the car, for that matter. RWD was poorly represented as the upstate guys seen to lean toward AWD and FWD due to all the snow events they run.
    Third run it started raining (keep in mind, it was already dark). The course was long and for the first two runs I had 1:33-1:35 times. Third run as the rain started it quickly got VERY slick, especially dicey in the steep uphill areas where there was a lot of wheel spinning. Nonetheless, I managed to pull off mid-1:30s as the first car off in the group. As the rain continued it got slicker and slicker and Nick was several cars back. By the time he went, it was very slippery. Near the end fo the course there is a slow, slow turnaround into an uphill (and another turnaround at top sprint down to finish). Nick coudln't make it up in the Miata and I think had to back down the hill and cut the course to get off. 10-second penalty isn't that much on a course like this, but still it put him almost 20 seconds behind me by then (IIRC). Our second run session (at almost 10pm in the pitch black) the course dried out some, but right as I was on the start line a downpour came up. I rolled anyhow and managed to finish the run (with much slipping and sliding and some slow uphill climbs) in a whopping 2:02 (IIRC). But I barely finished. With spare tires in my trunk for weight and very fresh tires on the car. They black-flagged the other 2WD cars from going since as the rain continued, nobody would have been able to make it around the course, and the rest of the night wrapped up.
    Went back to the hotel, got some sleep, and showed up at Rolling Wheels Raceway the next morning - a big dirt oval-track.

    The WDCR crew, far from home

    The course was set up with cones on 2/3rds of the banked track and also the (tarmac) infield area. It was wet ans slick, as the wax-impregnated clay they use for Sprint Cars and such gets sloppy when really wet. After much course-pounding and prep (by this big crazy truck). the AWD classes went and took a few runs each. Looked dicey but as it dried out they started doing well. And then the rain came. For hours. The last AWD car almost couldn't make it around the course and slid down the banking of the track into the infield grass!

    Long story short, the second day was cancelled for all the 2WD cars, which sucked. BUT, we hung around for a while hoping that things would be able to get going, and when they announced the cancellation, the track owner told us we could still go out and "do whatever we want" on the track. Without cones and courses, and with the rain finally stopped by 1pm or so, about 8-10 of us in 2WD cars spent the rest of the day road-racing, drifting, cutting through the various infield and joker sections (which had a small jump) of the track. All the while the big Road Warrior truck was rumbling aroudn the track at 50mph, so it had to be avoided as well.

    Nick clowning

    The main issue with this is that the waxed clay, when splattered on your windshield, doesn't like to wipe off with wipers. I already knew this from watching a video of an event there so kept off my wipers when the Miata threw mud all over me. I think some others were not so lucky, lol.

    So in the end, that was more seat time and WAY more fun than a rallycross course would have been anyhow. All's well that ends well.

    On the downside, this waxy clay is STICKY and sticks to everything. Example: After we were done, using hands, tools, sticks, etc we all probably pulled of 30-40 POUNDS of this stuff from the wheel wells of each car. Afterwards, I went to a local self-serve car wash and 15 minutes of pressure washing on the underside blastin tons more of it off. Then today, back home, I took the wheels off and pulled giant gobs of this stuff off the places where i couldn't reach before. Just my left rear wheel area had 9lbs of it in there (mostly sitting on top of the control arm!) and I used a trash bag to collect it all. All told, took another 35lbs of clay off the car today. And there's still plenty more there.

    As for the car, it ran well, and even after an hour of near-redline revving no engine issues or anhything. The LSD felt good and lockup was consistent. Only issue was a broken exhaust pipe just in front of the muffler, and it was already cracked so no surprise that the hilly/jumping terrain on Saturday broke it completely. Hung it up with some bailin wire and finished the event. WIll fix correctly this weekend.

    The tow home at night was overall uneventful for about 360 miles.

    Then as I'm following Jason/Nick towing the Miata in the left lane doing about 65, he changes lanes to go to the right. Thought he was letting me by to take lead, but nope....Deer. Right in the middle of my lane. I jam on the brakes (Sequoia has Hawk HPS pads and I just adjusted the trailer brakes and dialed in the controller). Truck and trailer slow down faster than I thought but deer decides to GTFO of the way and bolts right - directly into the driver's side of Jason's new Tundra, banging along the front fender and doors before falling down on the centerline. Meanwhile, I have a guardrail directly on the left and somehow while in full braking with trailer, manage to come within inches of it while somehow missing the deer on the centerline. Pull off quick to check on Jason, but don't notice any odd stuff from the traffic coming up behind us, so guess the deer got off the road and rolled out. Minor denting damage and stuff, but we resume the journey and I got home a bit after midnight last night.

    Overall, a long, tiring, often frustrating, but ultimately very fun weekend of driving. I'd have loved to do those venues in good weather because they are far more interesting than our flat gravel lot at Frostburg in many ways. But in the end accomplished the goals this year: winning WDCR Region and Northeast Division. One more local event in a couple weeks and then it's time to start getting this car ready for a full roll cage and other rally-related stuff.

    Other mentions: The lighting worked great. Here's two pics in the woods of the car with H1 projector headlights only, and then H1+Hella 500s+LED lightbar.

    What else.....oh, got a great deal on an Alpinestars driving suit for about 1/4 of the original price on closeout at Speedway. It's red (not my first choice), but fits way better than the G-Force suit I've been using for Chumpcar so far, and looks way less cheesy as well, haha.....though it will look plenty cheesy with my black driving shoes and blue Alpinestars gloves :/

    So, that's it for the moment. More updates when something interesting is done that's worth talking about!

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