Tuesday, May 29, 2007

the middle pedal

let's keep some driving dialog going. i had a request to write a little about braking. now i left foot brake and that may be another writeup altogether but braking is braking. let's just talk basics here.

in most autox courses (and even more so in roadcourses), you may encounter a corner that requires heavy braking. here's a perfect example from this saturday:

above is a plot including longitudinal G (accel and decel) in light blue.

at this point on course (the crosshairs), looking at the numbers in the upper left, you can see i'm pulling .93 g's at peak (on a not so grippy surface on 'street' tires). the intensity of the red color in that short distance, indicates this hard deceleration. in this case, the car is going from 53mph to about 18mph in a very short distance.

now here's the deal. when you have to really put the brakes on, don't be a wimp. STAND on that pedal. i've read that most of the initial braking force is not used to slow down the car, but to slow down the inertia of those heavy tires and wheels. randy pobst had covered it in sportscar mag and it makes a lot of sense. now it all depends on the braking ability of your car but with abs and grippy tires these days, it's not so likely that you'll lock them up. if you do, get used to finding that limit.

our resident alien rode along with me a while back and he gave me a nice little piece of advice, "it's all about lengthening your acceleration zones." now it's something i try to envision whenever i take a run. how late can i brake? how soon can i get back on the gas?

brake hard when the situation warrants it. lengthen the time you're carrying speed up to corner entry. of course, the sooner you get it over and done with, the sooner you're back on the gas. simple yet sometimes we don't really think about it. i know i didn't until he made me aware.

get your braking done quickly and effectively. maintain maximum momentum midcorner. (this is where data aq is super useful to see if you're maximizing lateral g's) and get right back on that go pedal.

now of course you have to time it all precisely.. if you overshoot your turn-in point. kiss that run goodbye. understeer city.

if you brake too early, well let's just say that's the better option because the car will be settled and willing to turn in. i'd much rather undershoot than overshoot any day.

find that edge! guess what.. looking ahead is the key to determining when and where. so look ahead. and envision the most possible time on the gas pedal.

try it. let me know how it works for you.



btw, I can offer maxq datalogging if anyone is interested,
that is if i can co-drive your car to compare the data.
I find this is the fastest and cheapest way to learn to go fast for me,
I am not fast by any means, but I think theres always little hint of driving style u can pickup from other people no matter if they r faster or slower then u.

The west coast driver have a lot more seat time then us, I think in order for us to stay on par. We must not be selfish and have to share our finding and push each other harder.

email me for details, hugo.yuk@gmail.com

Monday, May 28, 2007

I don't have a monster...

As Dan and Jay said it already, it was quite an event at Englishtown last Saturday. Top 20 competitors in pax are all capable to trophy in national if not already did. The course design was a little different than the tipical etown course, thanks to Perry, he really did a great job designing a fun and exciting course with limited space layout.

There is something I really don't understand and I kinda want to clear the air up... for some reason, people always think my car makes 500hp (maybe because of the aggressive aftermarket bumper) and weight 2500lbs (there are no back seats?), whatever parts that are out there for the Evo, I must have it.... Maybe its my carbonfiber hood or fancy front bumper? The first thing people usually ask when they see me showing up in an event is " So what have you done to your car this time?" I always tell them the same answer, " basic bolt on such as exhaust, intake, bc and coilovers and they always give me that "that's all? err...ok" look. So this year, instead of running SM, I swap my "CFiber" hood back to stock hood, put the rear seats back in, and swap the wider front fenders out for the stock ones and run BSP. the parts that I had which put me in SM weren't really helping me to go fast anyway, so why not just take them out and take advantage of bsp pax factor.

Another reason for me to run in BSP is that Jay, my teamate, is also running in the same class. We've been pushing each other to go faster since we start autoxing. We also both own the same kind of car so its good for us to exchange datas and testing different parts.

Anyway, in the year 2007, I hope Holunfie really grow as a team. Jan, Jay, Dan, Hugo, Aaron and myself will stick together when showing up at an event, to help, support and learn from each other. And most important of all, to enjoy and have fun with our passion/hobby. With that said, Holunfie will be Holunfie!


NNJR 5/26...more video

This last event was awesome. 18 drivers in Pro class! Holunfie separated by no more than 0.2sec in PAX. I for one am happy to see Kevin back on fresh tires and running hella fast. We both had fresh sets of V710's mounted this week and were curious how our first runs would go. We both pop out of our cars smiling and Kevin is like..."dude..so much grip!" It doesn't hurt that we were only about 1 sec off of Daddio's time either.

Couple things worth noting. I gotta give it up for Vern Lyle. He has been coming out to NNJR events in his FM car and wrecking shop raw and PAX! He was pushing himself this past Sat and it showed...he lopped off time on his last run and ended up 0.019 sec behind Daddio's PAX time. To boot he was mumbling about not being fast enough at the awards, I love it! F'in awesome for a guy who is def into his 60's (or more)!

I was also happy to have Richie come down and join us for his very first autox. Congrats on popping the cherry big Dick.

Here's a quick in-car vid of my fast clean run:

Sunday, May 27, 2007

may 26th @ etown

holy shit! is that kevin actually WORKING!?

white evo, white sti, white evo, white sti, white evo, white sti

who loves hamsters in their butt?... uh, looks like jay does!

holy crap! what an event! with a solid entry list including many national champs, this was one that we were excited about. the philly guys drove up, an alien made an appearance, and holunfie had to see where we would stack up against some of the best.

check out the names scattered throughout the top 20 in pax.. click it.

as you can see, kev, jay, and i did pretty damn well considering the competition.

this event was a unique one. the top 6 drivers in the pro class (and many others) pulled their best times in the first run of either the 1st or 2nd heat. mine happened to be the very first run of the day. the hot and humid air really took its toll on the cars. no matter what i tried, i just couldn't get close to my very first run of the day. frustrating, but good to know that i am able to make it count out of the gate.

here's the incar. as you can see i left some time on the table.

here's an overlay of 2 pm runs. unfortunately, didn't capture the quick one.

i've gotta say that i'm proud of holunfie.. we have really stepped it up in 07. now to regroup and mentally prepare for the upcoming national tour at devens.

have a great memorial day!


Monday, May 21, 2007

wanna bet my STU competitors don't do this? how much?

i'm glad jay's contributing because he's one of the few holunfie members that people can actually understand. one day we'll have hugo or jan write a piece for fun. hint: you may hear something about gj's 'breastssss' or a 'wegular pepsi'. no joke.

if you've ever seen my car. you might wonder why it's not so clean. torn fender liner, floppy front bumper, that sandblasted look to my front end. also, why the big mudflaps that i don't bother taking off? (not only because i'm pretty damn lazy)

this is why!

total damage:
  • one broken lca.. what a bitch to replace!
    • tip: do not run a 32mm front swaybar offroad
  • sandblasted front bumper
  • 2 toasted front splitters
    • maybe i should've taken them off beforehand (read lazy comment above)
  • what was left of my v-limited front lip torn off
  • some alignment 'reworking'
of course the experience was priceless. anyone that has any inkling to do the pbx TSD rally.. DO IT!! just borrow your mom's car.

that's why i have to grin a little when i see some STU competitors trailering their super clean awd (street tire shod) rally-derived cars. evo's and sti's wouldn't be what they are if it weren't for the dirt!

so awd STU guys... i propose a minimum of 1 offroad event per year! or a no trailer rule!! just to make things fair you know. i am carrying an extra several lbs of monticello mud in the undercarriage. don't believe me? ask me at the next event and i'll give you some!

just so you guys know.. adil knows whats up. he's rallyx'd in FULL stu trim. even i won't do that!

holunfie rally team

p.s. this blog and related videos are coming down when the car goes up for sale!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Good thing he has a rubber on...I bet he's excited!

I stole this from Mr. Travis because it's funny...and well....he's a goof. If anybody is mad they didn't get their 275/15 inch Hoosiers blame Chris!

the basics

i'm taking the weekend off from autox but fellow holunfie'ers aaron and kev are codriving aaron's dsp mini at a bmwclub event. so we may get some juicy data and corresponding video of drivers with two totally different driving styles, if they let me share it that is. the beauty of maxQgps is the flexibilty to throw it in any car. no wires, no setup. simple. it may not be as sophisticated as full blown data aq systems, but it does a very good job at a very attractive price.

how about some more thoughts on driving? i know a lot of my friends reading this are still in the 'novice stage' or not quite there when it comes to the advanced stuff. let me try and point out a few common areas that novices (and even veterans) need to work on:

1.) pay attention when walking the course! a lot of people go through the motions, but don't use that time effectively. memorize it. walk it once solo. try to determine your braking, turn-in, accelerating points. bounce ideas off your friends. bother the fast guys to see how they plan on approaching it. pick out key cones... where your eyes should look for the next element. for instance- the key cone to spot in a slalom as you enter it, is the last important cone of the slalom. all of the cones on the way there will be in your field of vision.

envision yourself in your car, at speed, as you walk. pick out the key cones, and the course virtually slows down in your head, as you drive it more effectively.

2.) this leads us to THE most important task while driving: LOOK AHEAD. as you're negotiating a chicago box for example, look through to the next element of the course. use your peripheral vision to pick up where your current location is. focus ahead, and use your eyes to briefly scan back to if you need to.

how else are you going to determine your exit speed out of the box without knowing whats coming up next? pick up those key cones (like that wall way ahead for the sweeper) to dictate your approach.

here's a pic from this past saturday's event. i'm entering the turnaround at the far side of the course. not even looking out of the windshield yet the wheels are still pointed straight. i'm spotting the apex at this point.

we need to keep reminding ourselves to look ahead as we're driving, i know i have to. it will slow down the entire course visually, and allows you be proactive, not reactive. everyone that goes off course? you got it.. not looking ahead. everyone that locks up the tires in a big cloud of smoke? not looking ahead. it's such an important concept... more so than anything else while driving.

3.) get closer to the cones! first of all, a tighter line covers less distance. distance = time. an even greater benefit is that you're steering less. if you flatten out your radii, you spend more time at higher mph or more time accelerating. if you're making huge steering inputs that are unnecessary, you are just wasting time. so what if you clip a cone? if you're not hitting cones, you're not going fast enough. you have to balance on that fine line. back off just a hair on your next run where you hit the cone. it's very common to see novices 2 feet off the cones, and every single run is clean. might be good for your pride i guess, but not your times.

4.) trust the car! this is something that took me a year or two to realize, and something i'm always working on. our cars on decent tires have way more grip than most 'normal' people can imagine. i watch a lot of friends' in-car videos and i have to point that out all the time. 'you could've gone a shit-ton faster through that section!'. it's true more often than not. again it's a fine line.. if you step over that line.. so what. back off a hair next time. don't be afraid to push the edge. you have to find that maximum grip. carry as much speed as possible.. be on the gas as long as possible. and cover as little distance as necessary.

now i'm not saying overdrive to the point your tires are all greasy and you're sliding all over the place. i'm just saying to remember you're not out for a sunday drive.. you're out for a sunday DRIVE. don't be a pussy. drive it like you stole it!

this should be common sense but i still have to say it... use your head and don't do something stupid like the dukes of hazard jump into the water in your dad's prized vette (it really happened). if you do launch it, scream 'yeee-haaw!' as loud as you can cause you might as well enjoy it. sometimes we forget to do just that. HAVE FUN!!! that adrenaline rush after a sick run is one of the best feelings you can have. hopefully, the same run got you into first place... but if not, who cares! as long as you're having fun and don't take this parking lot stuff too seriously.


Info Overload

So you buy all these fancy expensive parts. The forums say this part is sweet and so is that. All your friends say thats cool. All the slower guys say they would be faster than you if they had parts too.

Here lies the problem with all these cool parts. Unless you can effectively make everything work well together, as a system, you are no better off than had you stuck with a simple setup.

I'll give you 2 current examples.

1) Dan made 2 big changes in his setup this year. He added some rear spring rate and actually bought some NEW tires for autocross. His car was pushing last year and adding rear spring was a good option to improve balance. We all know sticky tires are our bestest friend, so no explanation there.

The results for him this season have been very good. He is spending lots of time on improving his driving and his efforts are shown here on the blog. The MaxQ fell into his lap and is definitely adding another level of driver analysis, while being relatively easy to digest.

2) Jay (me) spent a bunch of cash on some new parts adding a 40/60 Center Diff, new coilovers, new spring rates and a rear bumpsteer kit. I thought all these parts would make everything better.

In addition I've been doing a lot of reading to try and make heads or tails of the whole vehicle dynamics gig. Even having an engineering degree does not make this stuff easy to digest. There are so MANY variables it is completely insane.

So, I set out to try and measure some different things on the car. Somehow I think all these tiny incremental changes will help. In the end it's a bunch of rudimentary data that took a whole bunch of time.

All of it has really gotten me nowhere, but confused. It's like trying to make heads or tails of binary. I haven't been concentrating on driving, mostly on collecting little bits of data to add to the confusion! On top of it I blame the car, like a weeny, when I don't drive well.

So the moral of this story is....concentrate on your driving skills. Put your ego aside and let the fast guys drive your car. Setup a codrive for the season with a friend and run some data acquisition. In the end that will pay dividends beyond adding fancy go-fast bits.

PS: It's sexy and I like it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


ok.. so we talked a little tech.. let's talk a little driving. it is 90% of the equation right?

i'll dive into some data from sunday's event at NYR (our favorite scca chapter!). we have to thank the course designers timmy, jeff, and bo for a kickass course. and of course mark for his dedication to our sport.

ok, let's roll up our sleeves.

here is an overlay from our last runs of the day. gj asked for a codrive, and i happily obliged. there is a lot to learn from a national champ! fortunately (for me!), gj was having an off day whereas i was still on a driving high from etown the day before. and even more fortunately, the gps picked up a big difference in line approach that we can take a closer look at. gj is represented in blue, i am red. the course starts from the upper right hand corner.

as you can see from the snapshot, at this given point, we are pretty much even. the red and blue crosshairs indicate our position on the course. from this point on, this is where we start getting into the fun stuff... sweepers! it's interesting to see that gj always took the textbook wide line, whereas i stayed tight. yet we were both getting the car very sideways! it was way too irresistable, still quick, and put shit-eating grins on our faces! a loose car and power-on oversteer is a beautiful thing.

here we are at the exit of sweeper and about to enter a short technical section. as we all should know, the wide line allows greater exit speed out of corner. and the data proves it. if you follow the blue mph plot just before this point, you can see the mph 'hump'. so here, gj is ahead of me distance-wise in the corner due to carrying more speed earlier. HOWEVER, we have entered a short technical section that the gps does not show. AHA! this comes to bite mr. blue. there is no benefit to carrying more speed out of a corner, and sacrificing more distance to do it, if it doesn't reward you at the exit.

in this case, the exit of the first big sweeper feeds into a tight technical section. blue is ahead, yet has to slow the car down more than red (note the red mph data plot just past this point), and is at the very limit entering a technical section, fighting to get the car stable, and probably losing time doing it. in my case, i now regain some mph, car settled, negotiating the tight stuff with the car better balanced, and accelerate out towards the next sweeper. it is also important to note that i had covered less distance throughout the sweeper we just left, so he doesn't get even further ahead.

bingo.. there is my reward. i'm ahead by the time we hit the apex of sweeper #2, brake hard, get the car turned, and back on the gas. i have covered significantly less distance, and start pulling away.

and of course, i follow the tighter line for sweeper #3. in the end, my run was nearly a full second quicker, and he never catches up.

so what can we learn from this?
  • if there wasn't a tight technical section after sweeper #1, gj's racing line would have been the better approach.
  • covering less distance with a tight line usually beats a textbook racing line for autox.
  • sometimes you have to slow down to go faster
    • slow stuff slow, fast stuff fast.
  • you have to assess what comes before and after each corner to determine how you will drive it.
  • the sti is able to accelerate out of a corner VERY well. the immediate torque response is sick. therefore, this example may be slightly different for an evo or 'momentum' car.. so drive accordingly!
i hope i have explained this clearly. if not, post a comment and i will try to clarify.

also let me point out that i feel that i am NOT a better driver than gj. i just got lucky this day. keep in mind he is driving a car that he has very little seat-time in, yet still is able to keep me on my toes. (plus we were putting on a little drift show and i think he won that contest.) i have learned a lot from him, and owe him huge thanks for showing me how to REALLY drive. so let me emphasize this point:
  • take every chance you get to have a better driver codrive or instruct you! and don't be afraid to ask someone because they most likely won't know to offer!

class dismissed!


Monday, May 14, 2007

dialing it in.. part 1

there's a lot to autox.. what do they say? 90% driver, 5% car, and 5% crazy mojo? something like that. let's take a look at the 5% car because i can't help you on mojo, and well... driving is up to you! a confident driver = a fast driver, so the car part of the equation holds a little more weight.

all too often, i ask people what tire pressures people run in cars similar to mine. and it's something way off from what i've used successfully. then i ask, "how did you decide on that pressure?" most of the time, i get a blank stare. they're just stabbing in the dark! wtf! i guess i'm guilty of that in the past myself but i'm here to pass on my experience to you.

my point leads to this... our number one focus: MAXIMIZE FRONT GRIP. this is key. you don't want to take grip away from the rear to get a car to rotate with a monster rear-sway bar if you haven't addressed the front end. the same front end that's doing all the steering, braking, and in a lot of cases, putting the power down.

aight here's the dial-in skinny. get yourself a pyrometer. split the cost with a friend. or just buy someone lunch and borrow theirs. the infrared laser ones are so-so.. the real deal is a probe type. the super real deal is the longacre memory type that you see adil and jay using, and the same one you see me stealing from adil and jay!

measure the temps at 3 points across the tread.. outer, center, inner. you should do this IMMEDIATELY after a run, and focus on a single front tire. start with the one doing the most work. front left on a clockwise course.

write down the spread. you want a nice even gradient, with the inner temp slightly hotter than outer. 5-10 degrees hotter inside is a good rule of thumb. this is due to that pimpy camber you're running, and while not cornering, the inners having more contact with the ground, thus more friction = more heat. (toe settings will also affect these temps but we can get into that sometime later).

analyze the temps and adjust pressures accordingly. for example, say you read 125 inner, 150 center, 120 outer. guess what, you need to drop your tire pressure. in this case, you're gonna aim for 122.5 degrees. got it? and guess what, that pimpy camber setting is derived from these tire temps too! if your outers are 20 degress hotter then the inners.. then the tires are screaming... more camber! now of course if you have setup limitations (like in a stock class car) and can't adjust camber past a certain point, you still want to shoot for the most even temp spread.

we've been meticulous about car setup lately and the results show for our efforts. hopefully our approach is going to help you. autox is a game of thousandths.. this will help you drop that time. (i've lost by .001 seconds to adil after i stupidly pointed out where he can find some serious time in the course). but maybe i should've taken a longer dump that morning!

feel free to buy me lunch when your increased front grip has helped you get that trophy!


Sunday, May 13, 2007

5.13 nyr report

gj codrove. i finally managed to beat that f'er. i put a second on him and managed to pull top pax. sti rocks. that is all.

smooth fast flowing course. no in-car of the drifting mayhem but we had the car more sideways than straight i think!

cool steguisfoto.com pic from today:


Saturday, May 12, 2007

5.12 etown autox

yet another battle in STU for me this weekend.. this time for top pax with perry (autox4u.com webmaster/hotshoe/car whore), codriving my sti. i look forward to our pax battles every weekend, and this one didn't disappoint. usually adil and his evo are in the mix but no adil = sti showdown.

check it out.. warminster inspired him to design a pretty fast course..

i think the data aq has helped me get faster. i know i needed to use more of the car's grip in the slower speed transitions and i've applied it today. i 'would' have won by 3 tenths had i not coned it away...

Here's our fast run data. I was faster by 3 tenths in this overlay. click the pic for a full size image.

'qview' is what maxQ calls this type of data display.
  • the width of the rectangles denote the amount of lat g pulled
  • height of rectangles, longitudinal g.
  • green denotes where i was faster compared to perry, yellow slower.
  • now the extremely useful data is the blue and red shading. blue is accel, red decel. take a look where our brake and accel point are to see why i might've been faster in one section, or slower. white indicates neither accel nor decel. pretty friggin cool!
it's pretty clear to see what worked where. if it's not clear, let me know and i'll talk you through it. (if you don't understand it perry, i might not explain it to you!)

some data you can't see on the graph

average mph: dan 42.6mph, perry 42.2mph

peak lat g*: dan 1.07g, perry 1.01g

*'street' tires!

perry is badass.. he hopped in my car having never driven the setup, and was immediately super quick. sick!

looking forward to the next nnjr event..


Monday, May 7, 2007

Warminster in-car

my in-car from warminster. had a nice little battle with corey ridgeck.. as narrated by the radio man. fast raw 51.3 seconds (dirty).

the course was FAST.. once out of the big offsets and into the chicago box... i'm into 3rd until the turnaround, 3-2 downshift for turnaround, and back into 3rd. 65mph peak mph!

thoughts about my last run:
  • late entry into the very first slalom.. line is way too tight which f's up the offsets.
  • i bobble in one of the offsets.. although g loading stays smooth. maybe it's due to the smoothing setting in maxQ.
  • shifting eats up 1 full second of not accelerating per upshift, but i HAVE to.
    • this is where gj makes up the significant amount of time with 245/45 tires and a taller 2nd gear in the evo. he's still accelerating as i have to waste a second getting back on the gas
  • i could've carried a few more mph after the chicago box and throughout the back section.
    • balls not big enough.
now gj's run.. different car, superior skills.. 49.6 seconds (dirty). f'in fast.

hugo's fast run.. 54.x seconds.. could use some work but now with the data and in-car, hugo's learning curve 'should' be significantly better than without these tools.

maxQ rocks! we've been dissecting our runs and corresponding videos since the event! at some point i need to purchase the trackvision software to overlay this data onto the video.


Sunday, May 6, 2007

maxQ data aq

hugo and i tested out our new maxQ units for the first time today at philly regions warminster event. if you are ready for data aq.. BUY MAXQ. it is sick. you can visually see where you can be faster in between runs. instantly. plus you can overlay runs with your friends. hugo had gj dixon ('05 DS national champ) codrive to check out where he needs to improve.

gj is a driving master. it's all that autox sim time, right gj? above is an overlay of gj and my fast (albeit dirty) runs from todays philly scca event at warminster, pa. you can see the color coding on the left to see what each color represents. the pic is clickable to get a closer look. i'll let you figure out who's who. gj's run would probably have been top pax (had it been clean) against a field of ~210 drivers.

thanks to the philly guys for a great event. we'll be back for sure. video coming soon.


Thursday, May 3, 2007


hugo's infinite wisdom: "i guess coilover is good for salmon and stuff"