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XDC Dallas

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XDC Dallas XDC Texas was fun this weekend. I left Jersey on Wednesday and drove like 12 hours, stopped close to Nashville for the night, and got to Dallas Thursday night after another 11 hours or so. The event was on the road course in the infield of the Texas Motor Speedway oval. It was kind of cool being at a big NASCAR track doing stuff. The setup for the road course was pretty basic… straightaway into a right turn with an outside clip, then an outside clip into a fast left turn with a clip at the apex, and finally a quick right turn with an outer clip. The hardest part of the track was linking the first turn to the second turn since there was a huge gap between them. So you really had to carry speed out of the first turn and be on the right line to be able to make it to the second turn without e-brake extending.

There were two practice sessions on Friday. In the first session, I just felt out the course and was starting to get it pretty good by the end of the session. I was practicing with some half-tread FK452s, so the grip wasn’t that high, and I was doing the whole course in 4th and linking it consistently. Then it rained a lot between the first and second practice session. By the second practice session, it wasn’t raining too bad, but the track was still wet. The forecast was for rain on Saturday also, so I tried to get as much practice as I could in the rain to get used to the wet track for Saturday competition. It sucked having no wipers, but I could see OK since it was only light rain. I probably did like 50 runs in that session since a lot of people weren’t driving.

XDC Dallas On Saturday, there was a practice session in the morning, and it was raining a bit harder than Friday. I was really having problems seeing where I was going even with Rain-X on the windshield. I would basically just throw it into the first turn based on the cones set up to mark the entry. Then, when I got enough angle to see out the side window, I would look for the first outer clip and hit that. Then I couldn’t see anything for the next turn except the outer clip… lol. So I just aimed for that. Qualifying was in the wet also, but the rain had let up, so I could see better. I did my first run safe with an e-brake entry, and it turned out pretty solid. Second run I tried to be awesome and clutch kicked it like halfway down the straight for an awesome entry. It got a bit wobbly into the first turn, but ended up being a decent run also. I qualified 5th.

Then it stopped raining, track dried, and there was a 30 min practice before top 16. I did like 6-7 runs, and I totally sucked and wasn’t able to link the first to second turn at all. I had put on Federals now, and with the track dry, it had way too much grip, so I didn’t have enough power to light up the tires off the first turn and carry it to the second turn. I was matched up with Mike Pollard for top 16. To lower the grip, I inflated the tires to 60 psi, set the rear shocks to full hard, and did probably the biggest burnout I’ve seen in amateur drifting. It worked really well, and the car was perfect for my lead run. I got through the course well and could see that I put a decent gap on Pollard. On my follow run, Pollard’s car snapped straight after he initiated for the entry. I jumped to the inside to avoid him and ended up passing him and finishing the run. I got the win from that.

In top 8, I went against Shredder. He was having some problems linking the course. My lead run was good again, and I put some distance on him. On his lead run, I tried to give him a lot of room because he looked a lot slower than me, but he went really wide on the first turn kind of off track, so I had caught up to him coming out of the first turn. He wasn’t on the right line to be able to link the first to second turn, and he did a huge e-brake extension to get to the second turn, and basically almost came to a stop. I jumped on the e-brake also and was sliding forever waiting for him to go, but he never did, and I bumped into the back of his car slightly. I got the win from that.

XDC Dallas In the semi finals, I had to beat Doug Van Den Brink. He had qualified first and was looking great all weekend. He was really fast but I was getting through the course quick too, so I thought I might have a chance. On the start, he kind of rolled off slow and then floored it a bit down the straight and pulled ahead of me. Coming out of the first turn, he was making a crapload of smoke. I was trying to spot the outer clip before the second turn so I could set myself up for the second turn, but I couldn’t see shit with the smoke. So I tried my best to put the car where it needed to be, but I went too shallow and couldn’t make the second turn… had to straighten for a second. The only chance I had of winning was if he made a big mistake following. I did a nice lead run, but he was right on me, so I lost.

For third place, I drove with Brian Peter. My lead run was pretty good, and I put some distance on him. On my follow, I gave him a bit more room than I should have. He was faster than I thought, so there was a gap between us throughout the run, but I got the win.

So finished third, overall an awesome weekend and was cool to finally get to drift in Texas. I was kind of disappointed there were only like 16 or 17 drivers that came out, but the quality of drivers was great. Everyone was good enough to contend for the win, so it made for a fun comp.

Freedom Moves and Street Life Tour Ohio

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Club Loose Freedom Moves The weekend after Canada was Club Loose Freedom Moves. I put everything on the car back as it was before and just did a bit more toe in on the rear to see how that would go. Basically just wanted to have some tandem fun at this event and make sure everything was good to go for Street Life Tour in Ohio the following week.

I did two runs, and my fuel pump died. I think it just overheated because I had only two gallons in the cell. It’s not related to the issues I had before since the setup is totally different now with the pump inside the cell basically like stock. Anyway, I installed another pump and did some more driving.

Later in the night, I was following Tanner. He spun out in front of me, and I crashed into him pretty hard with the right front. He seemed kind of sketchy going through that particular corner, and I backed out a bit. But then I thought he had it under control, so I floored it to accelerate just as he spun out. The right side of the rad support, headlight, tub, etc were all bent up, but the frame rail and strut tower were still straight.

So I spent last week cutting out all the bent crap and welding in some tubing in there to support everything and also made a simple bash bar.

Street Life Tour I left for Ohio Thursday night, drove some, slept, got to the track Friday afternoon. I did some practice runs to get comfortable with the track. It was a high banked oval with some infield turns. At the end of the course, there’s a bit of a jump as you come out of a right turn. Basically, you fly out of the infield (which is slightly banked) and land on flat track, so it puts a lot of stress on the left front as you come down. I did a few laps and started noticing the steering was getting kind of weird and vague. I got out to check to make sure nothing was bent, and everything looked fine, toe looked OK. On the next run, as I finished the course doing that jump, the left side knuckle snapped as I landed. I ended up putting my stock knuckles on for the rest of the weekend.

After changing the knuckles, I went out on the track again and was getting comfortable with the stock steering. I was starting to feel confident with it, so wanted to try doing faster entries into the bank. I got some fresh tires, and went out for a run. Right as I clutch kicked in fourth to initiate into the bank like a man, the car just snapped sideways way faster than I anticipated, didn’t have enough angle to catch it, spun out, and backed into the wall really hard. The right rear got bent in a ridiculous amount, but the suspension wasn’t damaged. The hatch was bent, both quarter windows shattered. Mechanically, there was nothing wrong with it, so I just went out for some more runs… lol.

Street Life Tour There was some more practice on Saturday and then qualifying. I did two pretty solid runs and ended up qualifying 2nd. For top 16, I went against this local dude Tater in a stockish S13. He was pretty slow so I just gave him a lot of room on my follow, did a decent lead run, and got the win. In top 8, I was driving with Nick from Elite JDM. I gapped him a bit on my lead run, and stuck close to him on my follow, but I was grabbing a lot of e-brake to stay off of him, so maybe got deducted for that… not really sure. So we got a OMT. I gapped him on my lead run again. On my follow run, he spun coming off the bank, so I finished the run and got the win. Great job by Nick though making it to top 8 in his first comp.

In the next round, I was paired with Mike Pollard. I led first and I could hear him on my ass the whole run, so I knew I had to push hard on my follow run. When following, I threw it into the bank a bit too low, so I ended up sucking up to him really close since he was running the high line. I tried to scrub speed by braking and throwing on a lot of angle, but I hit full lock coming off the bank and basically did like half a spin. Stock knuckles suck. So I lost that.

Street Life Tour In the battle for 3rd, I went against Mike Feiock in his FC RX7. He led first and was pretty fast through the bank, but I managed to close up on him through the infield. On my lead run, I’m told he smacked the wall on the entry and straightened for a bit, so he was way behind me. Meanwhile, I was still pushing hard because I couldn’t see how close he was. I ended up spinning out in the second-to-last super easy corner like an idiot, so he got the win. I finished fourth and won $100.

I was thinking that I could probably cut off the back of the car, and do some kind of tube frame or weld on another rear like I did last year. But looks like I need another shell now. I got the car on stands yesterday and took a close look at everything. The car is pretty messed up. The right rear frame rail right above the subframe is crumpled a bit, and my transmission tunnel is crumpled in some places. Basically looks like the rear subframe is about 1/4″ closer to the front subframe now. The driveshaft had like no front-to-rear play in it anymore, and I remember it had at least like 1/16 to 1/8″ movement before the crash. I ended up loosening the front crossmember, motor mounts, trans mount, and basically sliding the motor as far forward as possible to make sure the driveshaft wasn’t pushing itself into the trans.

Car Damage

The plan is to finish off the season with what’s left of this car and re-shell for next year. I’m doing XDC Texas this weekend, then loading my stuff on Matt Waldin’s trailer to get the car out to Irwindale Pro/Am. Last event will probably be XDC Phoenix the week after Pro/Am.

DMCC East Round 5 Montreal

Category : Events

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I’ve been wanting to try more rear toe in for a while, but I didn’t want to just show up to a competition not knowing how the car will drive. I decided to just do it before Canada since I didn’t think I’d have a shot at winning with how fast the car was before. So I made a bunch of changes for more grip/speed. I set the rear toe to 1/2″ total toe in (was 1/8″ before), set the front toe to 1/8″ in (was 1/8″ out before), rear camber to exactly 0 (was -0.5 degrees before), rear shocks full soft, rear tires to 25 psi cold with 255 wide Federals, and off to Canada I went.

DMCC East Round 5 Montreal There were a few hours of practice on Sunday. I went out for the first lap, and I literally could not keep the car sideways. It had ridiculous grip. I basically made an ass of myself just clutch kicking and trying to hold a drift, but the car would just grip and straighten out. So after two practice laps, I realized this is not going to work, so I came off the track and set the rear toe back to 1/8″ total in. I went out for a few more runs, and it had lost enough grip that I could sort of slide it, but it was still wanting to straighten out like crazy even though I had it floored all the way through the corners. So basically, in the first practice session, I did like 6-7 runs, and I don’t think I even linked the course once… lol. It was embarrassing.

There was another practice session scheduled for that evening, and there was a lot of time to work on the car while all the Pro-Am stuff was going on. So I really went to town and did everything to try to lower the grip/speed. I set the front to 1/8″ toe out, stiffened rear shocks a bit, set rear camber to about -1 degrees, and set rear tire pressure to 65 psi cold… lol. It was just retarded because everyone was complaining how they had no grip and couldn’t stay in the gas at all. Meanwhile, I was flooring it through the turns with no problem. So in the evening practice, the car felt normal-ish again after all the changes. I still felt like I had grip even with the 65 psi and everything. I tandemed with a few guys, and I could keep up with them without much trouble.

DMCC East Round 5 Montreal On Monday, there was one more practice session, then qualifying, then competition. I chose to lead for most of the practice runs so I could focus on getting good qualifying laps. The track was kind of crappy for me in terms of gearing. I was right at the top of 3rd gear. I tried shifting to fourth but it was pretty hard to keep it from bogging unless you had the perfect run and kept the speed up. The course layout was relatively simple. It was a low banked oval ran clockwise. You go down one straight, around the bank, manji the next straight between the outer wall and pit wall, go halfway around the second bank, then into the infield for a couple of slower turns. A whole lot of people crashed in that straightaway manji, including Kevin Grenier jumping an R32 and flipping into the outer wall. It was pretty sketchy because with a car spun out sideways between the outer wall and pit wall, there was almost no room to pass by.

For qualifying, as always I tried to just get a solid first run to get used to the track and get confidence for the second run. I did a decent run the first time, but unfortunately, on the last turn of the course, there’s a little curb/rumble strip that I hit sideways with the left rear. That bent my lower control arm, so I had some positive camber and toe in on the left rear now. It wasn’t anything crazy so I figured I’d feel it out on the first turn and continue with the run if it felt OK. As I was approaching the second qualifying run, it started to drizzle. I thought the track would still be mostly dry, so I drove as usual. I was wrong. The first turn was pretty slippery and I had a shitty line through there. Then, on the straightaway manji, I totally lost it and almost backed into the pit wall. Apparently, they do drag racing on that front straight, and whatever stuff was there became like ice when it was wet.

After me, I’m told everyone spun out on that front straight as it got wetter. Then, people didn’t want to drive it because it was so sketchy? I was fixing my lower control arm, so I didn’t know what was going on. After a while, it was decided that for the remainder of the qualifying runs, you could just drive through the front straight and initiate at the next corner, and there would be no deduction for that. I ended up qualifying 6th since my first run was decent.

DMCC East Round 5 Montreal I went against Maxime Truchon in his Toyota Soarer in the top 16. It hadn’t rained for a while, so the track was drying up in most places. Since the track was “dry”, we had to manji the straight once again. I still took it a bit easy leading into the first turn not knowing how the grip would be. Apparently I was too slow because Maxime just passed me on the inside all sick. So I finished that run behind him. On my chase run, I stayed decently close to him. We got a OMT from that. On my second lead run, he passed me again on the first turn… I crossed over underneath him and got next to him as we got on the straightaway so he didn’t have any room to manji, and I passed him back finishing the run. On my chase run, I stayed pretty close again, had a minor correction going into the infield because he ran super wide, and I had to slow down big time to keep from passing him. I got the win from that. Then every one of his 5 mechanics came over to me individually and yelled at me for being too slow… Haha. Drifting is serious business in Canada. Don’t mess around.

I got paired up with Matt Waldin in the top 8. He led first. I managed to stay decently close but had to run a shallow line to keep up. On my lead run, I could see him pretty close behind, so I thought I had lost, but we got a OMT. With him leading, it was basically the same story as the first time. I could stay pretty close but had to be underneath him a bit to keep up. Also, on the last turn of my chase run, I clipped the apex curb with the inside of my left front wheel and fucked up the wheel. I threw the car around a bit to make sure the left front was OK, and it seemed fine so I continued. (I later found out the lip of the wheel got screwed up, and the tire was flat by the time I made it back to the pits.) On my lead run of the OMT, it was starting to rain again, and I was hoping they would send us already before it got too wet. I went into the first turn and it was a bit more slippery that usual, so I was praying the straightaway was still somewhat dry. Well, it was not… lol. I transitioned for the manji, and it was basically like hitting ice. I got way too much angle and was facing the wall at full lock ready to smash it. I managed to get it flicked back the other way, but I was way off line and had to do major e-brake extend to not straighten going into the infield. So overall, it was sloppy, and Waldin got the win.

Then, I went home. Overall had a lot of fun and did OK considering how I started out on Sunday. Met a bunch of awesome Canada guys… haha.