XDC Orlando Recap

Category : Events



I did XDC Orlando this weekend. The track was basically a box of walls that you drift into, around, and out of. I started off practice on Saturday with a couple of warm-up runs. Then, I went for a real deal run and ate the wall. I misjudged how much grip the track had on my warm-up runs, entered way too fast/late to make it, and backed in the wall. From the exterior, it didn’t look that bad, but the frame rails in the back totally collapsed, and so did the rear subframe, which moved to the left a couple of inches and basically bent in half.

normal_dsc05656 So the rest of the weekend was just seeing how well I could drive a messed up car. The right rear suspension was locked in place because of the bent subframe, so transitioning to the left turn at the end of the course was a problem. It rained hard the rest of Saturday, so I didn’t practice. I got about five practice runs on Sunday morning, and then it was time for qualifying. I spun out on my first qualifying run but got a decent run on the second one and qualified 9th. There were a ton of good drivers at this event, so I was happy to at least qualify with the car in such bad shape.

I went up against Brian Peter in top 16. We were pretty evenly matched and entering the first turn at the same speed, so we had close tandem runs. We got a OMT after the first set and basically had identical runs again in the OMT. He ended up getting the win probably because my lead run was a bit weaker than his and he closed up more on me towards the end of the course. We were both doing “safe” entries like 90% of other people, so I probably could have beaten him with another sweet 85mph entry on my lead run. Either that or I would have eaten the wall again. Anyway, I had fun driving with Brian in that battle, and he deserved the win.

My top 16 runs are at 5:05 in this video:
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Win at HTL ProAm Round 1!

Category : Announcement, Events

I drove in my first competition of the year this past weekend, “Hold the Line” Pro Am Round 1 at Monticello, and I got the win!

Here is one of the first videos to come out from the event:

This event was a good time. I haven’t driven anything but a Silverado for the past 6 months, so it was cool to be on a track again and not working on the car. The day started out with two 1-hour practice sessions where I got on the “mushroom” course for the first time. The track was pretty fast and super smooth, not a single bump anywhere. It was 4th gear the whole way for me, almost topping out on 4th gear towards the end of the course.

I got used to the car in the practice sessions. I had an easy setup on it to keep it loose/slow. It felt pretty natural, just had to be more careful going into turns now because I was carrying more speed, and the car seemed to have less side grip than I remembered. I ran 255 Federals on it, same as last year, because everyone was telling me the track had a lot of grip. But that wasn’t enough tire. I could only go full throttle for a few seconds down the hill at the end of the course (where most of the video above was shot).

We were supposed to have another practice, I think, but went straight into qualifying for the comp because the event was behind schedule. I lowered the air pressure a lot in the rear and gave the toe arms about half a turn to get some more grip. I didn’t want to overdo it since there was no more practice. I did two decent laps in qualifying and came in 6th place. My entry wasn’t as early or awesome as some others, and I’m sure it was obvious that I couldn’t use too much throttle throughout most of the course, so this is probably what I lost points on.

In top 16, I went against Claude Poirier, who drives an LS3 350Z mostly in DMCC. I had a good lead run and followed pretty close on the second run with him flying off course at the end, so I got the win. In top 8, I went against Evan Tuerck in his new S13, but I think his car was running out of gas because it would die every time he threw it sideways, so I got the win because he couldn’t keep it drifting.

Top 4 was against Zach Caitlin in the 3rd-gen Camaro. We got a OMT I think because I got somewhat phazed in the long right sweeper before the downhill. He looked like he was going to spin, so I went to straighten and avoid, but he kept it going. I didn’t quite straighten but it probably looked bad losing angle and then kicking it sideways again. He was also a lot slower down the hill towards the last turn, so I was having to use massive e-brake, which probably also looked terrible. Anyway, in the OMT, my runs were cleaner, and I got the win. Funniest part of the event was Zach’s car catching on fire every run and him putting it out every time and going for more runs.

Final round was against Mats Baribeau in the JZX really big car (please don’t crush me). I followed him decently well keeping about a car-length distance and closing in towards the end. I would have liked to be closer, but I gave him too much room on the initiation and couldn’t close up enough. On my lead run, he hit the dirt and straightened on the last turn, so I got the win.

Overall, I need to make some adjustments for more grip so I can use more throttle and put on 275s, but I was pretty happy with how the car drove with all the suspension changes and a lot more power. Next event will be XDC in Orlando.