Friday, June 29, 2007

DC ProSolo BSP Video

So we had another kick ass weekend with fantastic weather (for once). My brother shipped out his lipstick cam to me for this event so I shot a different view in each heat. Here's the video:

This vid is my attempt at editing several runs into one Left and one Right. Notice in the beginning how Kevin smokes me off the line, gotta love both of the 2-steps...sounds sick. Also take a peek at my front left tire on the side view...very crazy how much the tire deflects.

Direct link:

This video is a collection of my faster Left and Right side runs with no editing.

Direct link:


- Jay

Monday, June 25, 2007

dc pro

yep, we're back from dc. jay and crew should post a recap. i will be soon. congrats to all the trophy winners! jay, kev, jan, jeff, mark, corey and adil and anyone else i missed. jay especially made holunfie proud with an 8th overall index time and BSP win. this is against the best in the country.

i think we also got a few more people hooked on prosolo!

i am not in good shape. after consecutive weeks of little sleep, a chilly 64 degree hotel room on friday, combined with the intense heat and schedule over the weekend, my body pretty much shut down by sunday and i couldn't even concentrate at the tree. it's summer and i think i have the flu! with a poor showing and crappy health, i still enjoyed our favorite event of the year.

despite feeling like total crap, i made the 5a wakeup today and hopped on my flight to rochester. i toughed out the 6 hr drive home in the rally vehicle. priorities!

more later


Monday, June 18, 2007

time for some dirt

i just booked a one-way flight to rochester.. why one way? because i plan on driving home this!

adil and i will be codriving the rs to save our STU rides some abuse! the plan is to keep it bone stock. wonder how long that will last.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

double header weekend

i'm super tired from this weekend, not much sleep with 2 autox's in 2 different states and spending some time hanging out with dad in between. i had 3 different people ask for codrives in my car this weekend (maybe because it's fun to drive?) but mr. autox4u (aka perry) ended up taking the seat for both the nnjr event and also at warminster with philly scca today. he'll be codriving nedivs at warminster so he needed some solid seat-time in the car.


here's a little compilation of saturday. perry top pax.. me, 1st loser.

perry is going to kill me but whats in there is way too entertaining to leave out. lol.

if you codrive my car, you are subject to any and all video posted on the internet.

now on to warminster.

jan's fast run.. 4th in pax!

here's my fast clean run from today at warminster.

one of perrys runs. for some reason the cam shutoff on his clean fast run.

so perry and i were within a tenth of each other and corey ran away with top spot. i'm not really disappointed with this result since i know my driving isn't half bad with perry as a benchmark.. but it does make me think of how to improve. of course good driving is key. i've looked at our data (beauty of having it) and it looks like if we combined both our strengths in different sections of the course, we could have a kickass theoretical time. enough to be right in line with corey's kickass fast time or better.

now that's easy to say of course, but challenging to implement. i am purposely not burying my head in the maxQ data in between runs, but focusing on getting my head in the game during the event. as jay posted earlier.. info overload can be overwhelming so sometimes it's better to keep it simple and focus at the task at hand.

with dangerboy jeff hurst hitching a ride with me down from long island.. we had some solid discussion on where we can improve the hardware end of the equation. i was lucky since jeff was working on course and watching what the car (and drivers) were doing, and determining what the car needs:

full tread depth tires on stock wheels isn't quite cutting it. there is just way too much tread squirm. the available treadwidth of the steamroller sized neovas isn't getting optimized on a 17x8 rim. so i may be jumping to some shaved re-01r's (since they're nearly half price of neovas!) on 17x9's if funds allow. now they won't be here in time for dc, but i'm looking at big picture improvement for myself.

i think i will also give an adjustable rear swaybar a shot to reduce my midcorner push. i'm using overdamped rear shock valving to get the car to rotate on corner entry. i'm using this to balance out the car and compensate for not enough rear spring. this is semi-detrimental in two ways. 1. it makes the car very snappy on turn-in. 2. steady state balance doesn't not care about valving. since my car is a daily driver.. it's rough enough on the street as it is. instead of increasing springrate in the rear to where i'd want (if it were a dedicated autox car), i'm keeping my compliance while helping steady state rotation with a slightly stiffer rear bar rate. we'll see.

jay watched the incar and has suggested some front spring swappage (to a lower rate) the morning of dc. i think it may be a good idea! lots to think about in terms of setup.

i have room for improvement driving-wise, but there's a quicker path to reduced times with an improved setup. of course i'm still focused on improving the driving.

i guess my advice is don't throw parts at the car, until you really think it through.. you save a lot of money that way.


Saturday, June 16, 2007

DC ProSolo Homework

For all you Prosolo noob's going this coming weekend I thought I might put together a small writeup of a few things to read up on. The prosolo format is almost totally unique and will probably feel a little overwhelming for you guys who have never attended any national level events.

That said I think it was the most fun we had autoxing ALL year in 2006. Great site, awesome host region, sick hotel.

I noticed the Quickstart program was missing from the schedule, here's an answer:
You DEF do NOT want to miss it. Extra practice starts with coaching, great explanation of how the events work, etc.. Andy Hollis replied, the program will start at 1:30pm. If you want to do your practice starts with race tires on make sure your arrive early. You don't have to get the car tech'd before practice starts, so it's just emptying the car and changing tires.

Here's the link to all general info about the event:

Weather for Hyattsville, MD:

Hotel where most of holunfie is at:

Directions to Fedex Field:;jsessionid=KKLKJNABPAAD

Here's the link for ProSolo Rules:

These are the sections you'll want to read up on:

Section 20.9, yes you'll have to put on all these stickers, they peel off easy though, I think there are 3 you have to pay for, total cost is $5.

Section 20.10 C, D, E, G, I, J, K, while most of it will sound a little confusing I think it will help you pick up on the info at the Quickstart program Friday. It's just helpful to read since you'll work twice Sat and also run twice, there are restrictions on when/what you can adjust the car, running with the same partner throughout heats, changing grid positions based on class order, etc...

Dan if you have anything to add to this please do!

uh- bring your bulletproof vest if you take a wrong turn? and don't pay attention to the pimp dropping off the ho at 7am behind the 7/11. oh yeah and don't be alarmed at the bulletproof ice cream truck. looks scary but the guy is nice and has cold ice cream. it tastes better when you bet jay who's quicker on the practice launches and the ice cream is on him.

great info jay..


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

'07 devens tour STU recap

first off, jay rocks! kickass driving and some well thought out tweaks makes the driver/car combination lethal! top overall pax, faster than daddio on saturday.. jay is on fire! kev was right on jay’s heels with a less prepped car and no longer has a penchant for cones, jan’s driving is really coming together, and aaron is having fun in dsp with his underprepped car (but still nearly trophied). it’s great to see everyone having fun and kicking ass this past weekend.

for those of you that haven’t been to one, a national tour/divisional/prosolo event is a totally different level of autox. 3 runs per day forces you to be on your game and usually you’re going against the very best. not only does your driving have to be spot-on, but your car setup knowledge has to be on-point if you want to do well. the vibe at these events is awesome. great drivers, fast/challenging courses, cool atmosphere.

here’s how STU panned out for me. saturday was wet. the rain had just about stopped but the course was still wet with low grip. i’ve never driven my current setup in the wet so i was stabbing in the dark with settings. turns out it was way loose on the first run so that run was out the window. dialed it back, the course was slowly drying, and the car felt much better but not great. 3rd run, i wasn’t paying enough attention to the nearly dry course and took a run with my wet settings. not good. we had one shot with the dry run and corey took advantage. he was maybe 1.5 seconds ahead, adil was 1 second behind at the end of the day.

sunday was bone dry and the course was very fast and required at least 3 shifts into 3rd gear. carris was shifting into 3rd 4 times in his AS sti. i’m pretty good when it comes to heel-toe.. but the combination of high avg mph and switching back and forth between heel-toe and left foot braking… i was flat-out overwhelmed. i definitely need to work on these high speed courses and shifting seamlessly. chris said if it weren’t for his practice at the plainfield events, he wouldn’t have been able to pull it off. i need to do the same.

adopted holunfie’er, adil, was on a mission on sunday and edged me out by 4 hundredths overall. he was absolutely flying on sunday and put a big lead on the class. adil deserved the spot and i’m glad his evo is getting dialed because i may have to jump ship from sti to evo at the next fast event!

when it comes to stu, corey is the man! he is very experienced and a top-notch competitor. corey really put the hurt on us saturday, making it nearly impossible to catch up. he took advantage of the one opportunity to lay down a fast time, and remained quick enough sunday for the win. all this with a stock tune! damn!

stu is panning out to be a great class to be in.. with adil up to speed, corey getting comfortable with his evo, and me hopefully getting my head out of my ass… we’re all looking forward to seeing how the year progresses. it’s great driving with you guys.. let’s kick some ass in dc.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

what do you do when you have a bad weekend autoxing?

you take monday off... mountain bike with a fellow autoxer (tucker) til you hurt, then you take another holunfie'r (billy) and his wife out fishing til your arms fall off.

i'll post my recount of STU sometime later. off fishing again tonight!

some pics:

nyr/holunfie compound

all riced out

kev doing his ben spies impression

as far as the eye can see! fast course..

lined up in size order. haha.
l-r: AS-man, paxman, slowman, chinaman

pax man

pax car

haulin ass home. valera is a nut. he's off in the distance doing 100mph and aaron and i are trying to catch up.


Monday, June 11, 2007

2007 Devens NT - BSP

So it looks like we had a better weekend than last year. Friday was dry, Sat mostly wet and a beautiful Sunday. Thankfully the mosquitos weren't too bad either. Onto what you probably came here for. I'll let Dan handle STU in his own post, but here's some BSP and a little SM, mostly my account of catching "the benchmark".

BSP and SM got lucky and ran in 4th heat on Sat. Mostly dry, but still drying and nice and cool. First runs were pretty insane, especially since I loosened up the car ALOT anticipating massive grip up at Devens. I get lucky and find a downed cone for a rerun. I hear Mark Daddio runs a 56 something in SM. GJ apparently decided to test grip on the new 275's on the grass, no wonder Chris wore his "John Deere" t-shirt. I head out on my 2nd run and the car just feels insane. It's doing exactly what I had hoped and more. Still botched a couple sections but came in faster than Mark at a 55.9XX. Funny part was the guy who hands out the timeslip just says "wow!". Kevin is having a typical dirty day in the 57's, but finally cleans up to a 56.2. It looks like he and I are running away with the BSP.

So now Dan is telling me to gun for 54's and Adil is telling me to take more risk and tidy up on the cones. Meanwhile Mark comes flying in on a 55.5XX. I knew his time was obtainable but didn't think I would be any faster really. I set out on my 3rd run taking Adil's advice and laid down a 55.1XX in what had to be my best run during this year so far. I gotta say it was awesome having Kevin, Jan, Dan, Adil and everyone else around after that run.

Here's the weird soon as you catch someone like Mark Daddio the pressure builds. You go from hunter to prey and hope your runs aren't just a flash in the pan. I spent the entire night focused on that. On that note Sunday say a more normal me (53.3) and I never laid down one solid run. The video and MaxQ is showing that I most likely wouldn't have caught Mark (52.8) anyway, or GJ (52.4)!! Kevin also had a great run (53.7), albeit dirty, on Sunday too. Kev and I ended up over 7 seconds ahead of the rest of BSP and collected some hard earned $$ from Kumho.

Here's some video of my fast runs Sat and Sun:

I gotta hand out kudos to a couple people. Adil is number one. I don't know if he was down and out during Sat runs b/c his Axis friends from Stuttgart and Bavaria dissed, but we adopted him into the holunfie family for the weekend. Not happy after Sat runs he focused hard on catching Dan, which I didn't think would happen. Well, he heads out and sets STU FTD on sunday to pass Dan for 2nd in a car his wife (not previously married either, Dan) drives to work! Chris Carris hustled his way to 1st in AS while shifting to third (and back) 3 or 4 times! Chris has been a maniac and we've been on top of each other in pax lately. I don't know here very well, but I have to mention Lynne Rothney-Kozlak. Chris and I watched her run 3rd heat both days and she was absolutely awesome. Strano was a bit more exciting to watch, but Lynne was very smooth and precise, just flying in that old IROC.

Just wanna say a quick thanks to NER for putting on the event and I'm looking forward to holunfie kicking some more ass in DC.

-Jay (John)

Here's a few links to results and pics from the event I have found:

Final Results

PAX Results

Pics from several sources

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Reflections on the big game

While the boys of Holunfie were getting ready for the Devens Massachusetts SCCA Solo National Tour by partaking on a little local BMW action, your humble author decided on a slightly different approach. I figured since I'm going to run at Devens in F-Stock, why not get some big event exposure in what could be an equally as competitive a class.

Around mid-May I was IMing a fellow autocrosser, Scott Hoffman, located in the Richmond Virginia area about the possibility of campaigning his car at the Huntsville Alabama National Tour. Though on short notice, Scott was enthusiastic about having a co-driver, since my entry would have created another trophy spot as well as the opportunity for the all important contingency mooh-lah! The plan would be that we would run Scott's base Acura RSX in H-Stock against a field of 12 others. I set into motion to borrow a nice 27mm front sway bar from Steguis as well as booking a flight to Huntsville.

Friday June 1 comes around and one nice aspect of most National Tours that I highly recommend taking advantage of is the practice sessions. One can purchase tickets to run a short course to adjust to the surface of the venue. I needed to adjust to the surface as well as going from a rear wheel drive Chevrolet Camaro Z28 to a front wheel drive Acura RSX. The practice held some promise, since we were in the thick of the times of our other H-Stock competitors in a variety of different cars such as the class dominant Mini to the emerging Mazda 3 as well as the Honda Civic.

We take our course walks and realize the first day course will allow us to use the power advantage of the RSX. Given that Scott's car has not had all of the modifications one could to to a stock class car, we would have to take advantage of what ever we could get. More course walks Saturday morning confirm that we would do well on the "power course" and sure enough, I managed to place myself into third place after Saturday's runs.

After the conclusion of the first day's runs, the course gets setup for the following day. As a complete opposite of what we just ran, the Sunday course proved to be very transition heavy. The fear of losing our hard won trophy spot starts to creep in. Sure enough, when all is said and done, I fall to mid-pack of our 12 contestant field.

Jump forward to the Devens National Tour. Devens Massachusetts for the past few years has turned out to be such an anomoly for me. Rain, the rush to get the car to grid and the need for a fibreglass repairman are highlights I would rather forget. For some reason, events somehow conspire at "Area 51 of the Northeast" to make the first day of the tour a day I would rather forget; see on how to really spread the misery with a co-driver.

True to fashion, my second day at Devens/Ayer/Area 51 turns out to be a much better day. Not only did I advance a position in F-Stock, but somehow managed to be 20th in PAX for the day out of a field of 200. With a new school (Shelby) versus old school (IROC) battle going, I'm quite happy with where I landed, so the weekend wasn't a total wash out.

So, what does all of this blah-blahing really mean? First and foremost, if you have the chance, go ahead and play in the big sandbox. There may be bigger kids with cooler toys on the playground, but the only way you will know where you stand is if you face your fear head on. Perhaps the learning process will be painful at first, but the progress you'll see in yourself will be the greater reward. Secondly, if you do decide to play in the big game, make sure you are as prepared as you can be. Rushing at the last minute for all of those little things that can make or break your day at the parking lot races is annoying to say the least and affects your ability to drive and compete more than you know. Last but not least, the whole driving in circles thing is a bit more fun with friends!

Monday, June 4, 2007

slow in, fast out

so far, we talked a little about lines, heavy braking zones, using the brakes effectively, getting on the gas more, etc. let's cover the quick transition stuff- mid to high speed slaloms, chicago boxes, etc. my main thought on quick transitions is this: get the car slow (as needed) and stable, BEFORE you enter a transition section. by slow, i don't mean walk in the park slow, but bring it down to whatever mph is needed to make it through at max speed for that section.

i'll use slaloms as an example (salmons as hugo would put it).

steguis didn't have any aerial shots so i stole this gif off some random website. this dude above is actually very late on the slalom cones!

in the past, i'd usually bomb into a slalom, only to have the car all crossed up with tires screaming. over time, i've learned to work on doing what it takes to get the car down to the speed required to maintain max momentum. i sometimes enter just below that threshold as a little safety net- this allows me to get back on the gas as needed if i feel like i could use a little more mph. bombing in all bent of out shape just makes you reactive, not proactive. usually a quick stab of the brake or breathing off the throttle before you enter will do the trick. sometimes you'll have to get on the brakes moderately to make it work. looking ahead allows you to judge what your entry speed will need to be.

case in point- this saturday, i was watching tucker enter a fast slalom after coming out of a small sweeper. he was carrying a lot of speed out of the sweeper, swinging out, and taking a wide line into the slalom. since he carried a ton of speed, he had to check up on the brakes hard as he entered, while taking a wide entry. so i took a quick jog over to him and we had a little chat. on the next run, he slowed the car down earlier and covered less distance in the process. with the better entry speed, he was able to get behind each slalom cone without being all crossed up. his front tires were much happier, and it's almost as if you could see him being calmer mentally in the entry. the car sure was. i believe tucker dropped significant time with the new approach and he got the win against some stiff competition! good job tucker!

it turns out his line was so much better and he carried so much more speed through the slalom that he ended up coning the last one or two slalom cones because he was carrying TOO much speed in the end of it! the good news is, he was on top of the cones in the first part of the slalom. a little throttle maintenance in the middle and he would've been golden. if you're late entering a slalom (or any fast transition element for that matter), kiss that run goodbye. if you start off late, the problem compounds, and you'll never make it up. it's almost as if you know you're doing things right when you're coning the end of a slalom and not the beginning.

give it up early and you'll get rewarded in the end. slow in, fast out!


Saturday, June 2, 2007

bmwclub @ nassau june 2nd

kev, jan, aaron, and i put in some seat time with bmwclub before heading up to the devens tour this friday. we all trophied and kev laid down FTD... back to his usual self on fresh 710's! jan finally is connecting with his car, aaron is discovering the beauty of race tires, and i managed to keep a substantial lead in the street tire class.

gj helped design a course that rewarded patience in big offsets, which i'm sure bit a majority of the drivers today. also getting on the throttle very early before the 90 degree left hander in the back right section of the course paid huge dividends. a brake stab here or there to set the car before some elements did the trick to maintain momentum.

here's my best run.. 52.7 (please excuse the squeaky seat bracket!)

nassau always entices me to drive it rally style! countersteering with foot to floor always puts a smile on my face. if this were a drift event, i could've put a little more angle into it but i did have to keep the times down! the large bumps also add an interesting twist. it's a little tough to see with your eyes bouncing around your head.

hope you enjoyed the drive. i sure did!