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XDC Phoenix Win

Category : Events

After the Irwindale Pro/Am Nationals last week, Matt Waldin drove the rig with my car on board to Phoenix and flew back east from there.  Matt, Damien, and I flew back out to Phoenix on Thursday for the final round of XDC.  Friday was a practice day.  The track was tricky so I tried to get as much practice as I could and put my Flip to use filming my runs:

The tricky part was an outside clipping zone on the main left turn sweeper, which led to a slow S-turn to finish the track.  After flooring it from initiation through the main sweeper to get to the outside clipping zone, you had to get hard on the brakes, downshift, and transition into a slow S-turn.  So I spent all day either going too slow and shallow on the outer clip or being too fast and flying off the track when it was time to slow down.  I also missed the first practice session because I had no tires mounted, and there was a long line to use the tire changer.

On Saturday, there was some more practice before qualifying and competition.  I took off the Federal tires that I had and put on Dunlops so the car would feel less grippy and would be easier to drive in addition to making more smoke for qualifying.  I was still trying to drive the course well consistently, so I didn’t do much tandem practice, and instead just led the whole time so I could focus on the course.  I think I did a total of 3 follow runs in practice all weekend.

XDC Phoenix Qualifying In qualifying, I recorded a conservative first run to make sure I’d get into top 16, and that worked out OK.  On the second run, I got a lot closer to the clipping points and was more aggressive, but my angle was lacking.  I qualified 5th.

 
After a quick tandem practice and top 16 intro, we went into competition.  This was a night event, and it was super dark on the first turn entry and in the S-turn at the end of the track.  Also, the lights were shining in your eyes at the end of the track, my night vision is terrible to begin with, and my windshield is pitted and scratched everywhere.  So I really couldn’t see much, which made things interesting.

All of my tandem match ups went about the same.  I just drove normal leading, but I was transitioning pretty late into the S-turn at the end of the track because I didn’t want to make the transition until I spotted the clipping zone/rumble strips (which I couldn’t see very well).  I think that phazed some people since I was transitioning way later than they expected.  On my follow runs, I tried to get a little jump on everyone off the line since I was, once again, getting destroyed on the straight.  I could keep up with everyone through the first half of the course and seemed to close up substantially on people at the end in the S-turn.

In top 16, I went against Aaron Losey.  I did my normal follow run, but he didn’t expect me to be that slow on the straightaway and I think had some issues getting into the first turn because of that.  I followed him decently well and got the win.

XDC Phoenix Tandem with Odi Next, I went against Odi Bakchis, who won XDC Vegas and is an awesome dude.  His car doesn’t make much power, so it was cool to actually be able to keep up with someone on the straightaway… haha.  I think he made some mistakes behind me, and I had a pretty good follow run, so I advanced.  I talked to him afterwards, and he told me he transitioned way before me into the S-turn and got screwed up since I was transitioning later when leading him.

In the top four, I was paired with Jeff Jones in the 4-rotor demon vehicle RX8.  My lead run was decent, and my follow was good except I got a little sloppy when braking for the S-turn because I closed up on him much quicker than I expected to.  I almost phazed myself but managed not to straighten or spin and finished the run close to him.  We got a OMT, and my runs were cleaner this time.  I’m not sure if he made a mistake or what happened, but I got the win.  It was pretty difficult driving against this car, because I literally could not hear my own engine.  I had to look at the tach to know when to shift.

In the final, it was me against Pat Cyr, which was awesome and meant I get a rematch from last week… haha.  We were pretty evenly matched.  He was a bit faster in the first half of the course, and I would gain on him in the second half.  The first set of runs were close.  I thought he had the win because I was driving shallow following him to make up some ground in the first half of the course, but I guess it was close enough that we got a OMT.  I thought the second set of runs were even closer.  It was a super fun battle, and I think both of us would have been happy to do another OMT.  It felt awesome.  We were talking after the battle, and neither of us had any clue who won.

We drove down in front of the crowd, and I was announced the winner!

XDC Phoenix Trophy

Thanks to all the XDC dudes, Tim, Petty, Collins, Schneider, Brian, and Forsberg for making this series awesome all year.

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Formula Drift Pro/Am Nationals Irwindale

Category : Events

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The FD Pro/Am Comp was fun and pretty uneventful for once. Nothing major broke, and I didn’t crash into anything, which was awesome. Matt Waldin got the rig to California without incident, and I flew in Wednesday night. On Thursday, there was tech and a 2-hour practice session. The kill switch on my car wouldn’t come back on after it was shut it off in tech, which was nice. Everything was good though after installing another switch.

Formula D Irwindale I went at it like 80% in practice on Thursday just getting used to the track and seeing if I had to make any adjustments to the car. I knew I would have too much grip/not enough power to make it through the bank normally, so I got smaller tires for this event than usual. I got 245 DZ101s, which is like ice skating compared to 255 Federals that I use on normal non-banked tracks. I thought the DZ101s would be good for making some smoke too when the wheel speed was lacking on the bank. After the Thursday practice, I didn’t feel I was getting high enough on the bank or that I had enough wheel speed, so I loosened the car a lot more with 60 psi in the rear tires, shocks to full stiff, and reduced the toe from 1/4″ to 1/8″ total. It sucked in the infield because the car was so loose but was decent through the bank now.

 
On Friday, there was some more practice in the morning and qualifying at night. I just focused on trying to get high on the main bank and the infield bank but without crashing. I think I learned a lot about driving on banks/closer to walls this weekend, but I still kind of suck at it. There were around 25 drivers, so it looked like it would be tough to qualify, but everyone was phazing themselves, so I knew I would get in if I just made a clean run, which is what I did for the first run. On the second run, I was a bit more aggressive but still kind of low on the main bank and inner bank. The track had more grip at night, and it was even harder than normal to get high. I ended up qualifying 6th.

Formula D Irwindale On Saturday, there was a short practice session and then the top 16 comp. I was running low on tires, so I didn’t practice much. All of the top 16 runs were basically the same for me. I would get destroyed off the line when following because I had 60 psi in my back tires with shocks at full stiff, and my car has pretty shitty power-to-weight ratio to begin with. So I basically won everything because people would screw up, and I would just do normal runs. In the first round, I went against Luke Lonberger in a V8 S14. It was pretty even. We got a OMT, and I followed him better on the next set of runs, so I got the win.

In top 8, I went against Kyle Pollard in a Corolla with S2000 motor. I think he had about 15 car lengths on me by the time we got to the bank. lol. Pretty embarrassing. A lot of people asked me if I was flooring it. Yes, I was flooring it… lol. So the judges made us redo that first run because they specifically said they want the faster car to pace the slower car. Pollard spun out on his lead run, so I got the win.

In the next round, I went against Pat Cyr. I expected him to be really fast in drift, but as we were coming off the bank, I was closing up on him a lot past the start/finish line clip. I basically got real excited that I was actually going to catch him and phazed myself. I threw the car into the inner bank too fast and too low and had to jump on the brakes to keep from hitting Pat, which made me understeer almost into the wall. I got it back sideways and finished the run but ended up losing because of that mistake.

Formula D Irwindale

For third place, I had to beat Fabian Fernandez in a KA turbo S14. I was out of tires at this point and my current tires were starting to get down to the cords. But I actually did my best two runs of the weekend getting high by the walls and having a decent line, in general. So that was cool to end the event well and get third place and my professional license.

The rig is in Phoenix now, and I’ll be flying out there Thursday for probably the last competition of the season. Big thanks to Matt Waldin for still taking my car out to Phoenix even though he crashed in Irwindale and won’t be able to drive this weekend. Also thanks to Brad for spotting and super secret setup tips and to Sean for changing that one set of tires and getting all sweaty.

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

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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.

The Drift Effect Ohio

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Miro at Drift Effect in Ohio I decided I should do more competitions lately and less practice stuff so I can learn to not drive like a retard at competitions. There was a competition called The Drift Effect in Ohio organized this weekend by the Drift Cleveland guys. I’m pretty much out of vacation days at work since I’ve set my days aside for some big trips later in the year. So I had to come back by Monday, which sucks a lot. Anyway, it was paying $1500 to the winner, so I thought some quality dudes would show up and it would be good practice. I left Saturday afternoon, got to Ohio around 9pm, and passed out.

I got to the track early Sunday. It was a 1/5 mile oval, relatively low banking with an “X” through the center. So the course setup was basically an “S” shape. You go through the first bank, down though the center of the oval, out and around the other bank, manji on the straight, and through the first bank for the last time. It was a pretty simple course. The challenge was just getting close to the walls. A lot of people crashed, like literally half the cars there. We had hours of practice time, but I didn’t run too much because I only brought 6 tires. I did around 10-15 practice runs and just left it for qualifying. I put down two pretty decent runs with lots of angle and smoke, not crazy close to the wall though. That was good for 3rd place.

For first round, I went against Josh in an SR S13. He spun when following me, so I took it easy on my follow run and got the win. I’m not really sure what was going on in top 8. From what I understand, the guy I was supposed to go against wrecked his car in top 16 but moved on to top 8. So he borrowed a car that had lost in top 16 to drive with. I was confused why I was lining up with a car that lost in top 16, but I just drifted. I got a big gap on him in my lead run. He was pretty smooth/predictable on his lead run, so it was easy for me to follow close. I advanced to top 4.

Miro qualifying at Drift Effect in Ohio In top 4, I went against Dennis Mertzanis. We were both consistent and had almost exactly the same speed throughout the course. The first two runs were super even. I think I was a bit closer to him on my follow. But on the straightaway manji, he got ridiculous angle, and I thought he was going to spin. So basically I got phazed and my transition looked sloppy since I was preparing to stop when he spun, but he never did. So we got a one more time from that. The OMT runs were really close again, but I think I was just a bit closer to him on my follow, and I didn’t get phazed this time. So I got the win. To his credit, I’m sure he was driving more on the safe side since his car has to leave for Formula D Las Vegas in a few days.

In the final, I went against Mike Skudlarek. We were really close on speed, so it was a tough match, and I was struggling for grip the whole time. The first set of runs were retarded. I led first, went to enter the first turn high on the bank, and he just shot underneath me and passed me… lol. He apologized for it later, so I’m guessing he just went in too fast, went low to avoid me, and the only way he could keep the drift was to stay on the throttle and pass me. I was pretty annoyed though when it happened, so on my follow run, I did the same thing he did and just passed him on the inside in the first turn… lol. I’m not sure what I was thinking, but it was pretty entertaining for the crowd… haha. So since that was retarded, we got a OMT. The OMT runs were clean and close and I was driving as fast as I could to stay with him because my tires were going off. I didn’t know who won afterwards, but I guess I was a bit closer in tandem or maybe he had some correction behind me, so I was told I got the win.

Then it started raining like crazy immediately after, so I packed up my stuff and left, drove 7 hours home, wanted to die, survived on Red Bull, fig newtons and combos. I got home, showered, and went to work. So a good weekend overall.

Here’s a picture of the ridiculous trophy that doesn’t fit in my truck.

The Drift Effect Trophy

XDC Englishtown

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Miro and Steve Angerman at XDC Englishtown I did some more driving. Summer Moves was fun. XDC NJ was kind of disappointing. There were a lot of good dudes at the event with several of the DMCC guys doing it, so it was pretty competitive. The course was kind of risky since you need to go into the bank fast and ride the wall around. A lot of people crashed.

I kept it conservative in practice and qualifying to avoid hitting the wall early. I did two solid qualifying runs and got 11th place out of that. Qualifying was kind of a mess with a lot of good people qualifying low in the order so it wasn’t much of an advantage to qualify high anyway. Nobody wanted to practice on Saturday due to lack of tires/sandbagging, so that was pretty gay and made tandem more difficult. I did some solo practice runs and tandem with the 5 or so other guys that decided to practice. I was feeling good about the comp since I was consistently doing solid runs and was able to follow most people in tandem.

XDC Englishtown I was matched up with Justin Tuerck in the first round. I didn’t get to practice with him because he had to change his seventh transmission of the weekend during practice, so I didn’t know how fast he was. I remembered he was about the same speed as me just from driving together at Clubloose, so I wanted to be more on the aggressive side to make sure I could stay with him when following. He led first and got a bit of a gap on me because I entered the first turn on the slow side. I drove into the bank hard and caught up, but he was way slower than I thought, so I had to do major e-brake extendo transitioning off the bank to stay off of him and got all wonky because of that. I gathered that up and stayed decently close to him for the rest of the run, but he had a big advantage from that run.

On my lead run, I’m not sure what happened but accelerating down the straight, I went to shift to 4th and it wouldn’t go in gear. So that fucked me all up. I just put it in 3rd and e-braked into the first turn. The rest of the run was pretty good I thought, and I had a large gap on Justin from what I could see in the mirror by the end of the course. I was hoping to get a OMT from that, but he got the win. Anyway, it was a good time, and the car is still in one piece. I need to do more competitions and to stop shifting like an idiot.

XDC Summit Point

Category : Events

Backdated Post

Here’s a long update. I was getting kicked out of my previous garage, so I spent 1-2 weeks after East Coast Bash moving to a new place. Then, I went through the car and made sure everything was good for XDC. I put all the fiberglass on finally, but I didn’t have time to paint it. I left on Thursday and got to West Virginia without issue. Friday was practice and qualifying. The first practice I pretty much sucked and tried to link the course. Summit Point’s main course speeds up a lot at the end, so I have to make the terrible 3-4 upshift about halfway through the course. I kept getting wonky after the upshift since I suck at driving with one hand and kept being scared I’d accidentally shift to 2nd.

Miro at XDC Summit Point I noticed while going down the straight the car was super twitchy. Like I would turn the steering wheel one degree and the car would shoot to one side all crazy. I had to add more camber to the front before the event because the front tires were not fitting in the fenders, and I didn’t check toe afterwards. So I just toed in the front like 1/2 turn of the tie rods, which made it steer normal again. The second and third practices were better, and I linked the course several times. Petty yelled at me to get closer to the clips and to go faster, so I did more of that.

The last practice I focused on getting lots of speed for the entry, since the judges put an emphasis on that. At the end of the session, as I was coming off the track, the motor started stumbling and died like it was out of fuel. After a couple of tries, it started up and ran normal. I put 5 gallons in the cell (8 gallon cell) afterwards and it still had some room, so I figured it may have just been too low on fuel and had uncovered the pickup.

My first qualifying lap was decent. I didn’t go crazy but just tried to link the course. A lot of people were struggling getting through it, so I thought a solid run would at least get me somewhere in 10-16 position. The second run I tried to be much more aggressive and had an awesome run going until the halfway point where I made the upshift. I was going way faster than my other runs and ended up dropping 3 wheels off and nearly killing myself. So the first run would have to count. When results were announced, I thought I hadn’t qualified after they announced 10th place or so. But I ended up getting 3rd with highest entry speed… 80mph. I was really surprised but happy that I did well relative to others.

On Saturday, we had a one hour tandem practice session in the morning. There was traffic for miles going to the track, and I got stuck like a mile away with 10 minutes before practice. So I grabbed my suit and shoes and ran a mile to the track, and Chip drove my truck in. It sucked a ton. In practice, I tried to follow as much as possible to see how people were driving but really only got like 3 follow runs since everyone was overheating and didn’t want to run.

For first round, I went against Zach in the 3rd gen camaro. His car was faster than I thought. We were actually really close on speed and running exactly the same tires, so it was pretty easy tandeming with him. It was probably the cleanest tandem run I had, and I advanced.

XDC Summit Point For top 8, I went against Justin Tuerck. He had transmission issues so didn’t have 3rd gear. I didn’t really know what to expect. On the lead run, I had a decent pass and could see that I put a big distance on him. On the follow run, I guess he was staying in 2nd gear the entire track, so it was super slow. I had to straighten because I couldn’t follow him at such a slow speed. We got a OMT. Again, my lead run was decent and I put a lot of distance on him. On the follow run, I tried to stay back at the entry so I wouldn’t get too close and straighten. But somehow, I couldn’t manage that, and I was right on him at the carousel again. I e-braked/clutch kicked the crap out of the car to try to keep drifting. Before the last corner he tried to shift from 2nd to 4th and I think missed the gear or bogged because he totally stopped and I nearly ran into him. We both straightened at that point. I got the win from that one.

Next, I went against Steve Angerman. The Solstice was pretty fast, but luckily he didn’t blow me away down the straight because he wasn’t entering full throttle. I don’t really remember what happened with our first set of runs… haha. I think he had the advantage after leading, but maybe he was kind of sketchy behind me, so we got a OMT. On his lead run, he overshot the first turn going in the dirt, and I passed him and finished the run. On my lead run, I just tried to take it easy and not screw up since I had big advantage. He must have been inches behind me the whole time, because all I could see was Solstice the couple of times I glanced in the mirror, but I got the win.

Next was the final against Doug Van Den Brink. I was pretty surprised and just happy to be in the final, so I wasn’t taking it too seriously. Doug led first and must have gotten a 10 car lead before the first turn. I closed up maybe like 3 car lengths on the entry making it about a 7-car lead… lol. I got sort of wonky because I timed my upshift crappy trying hard to catch up, so the second half of the run was shaky and I was a mile behind. So I come back around and sit at the start line waiting and my car starts to stumble again like the day before and then just stalls. I tried turning the ignition on and off. The fuel pump was running but making some retarded noises. I could start the car, but it would just die after a couple of seconds. I knew it wasn’t out of fuel because I filled it completely before the top 16. I thought the pump was dead. So I had to forfeit. After they towed me down to the track to hand out the trophies, I tried starting it again to go back to the pits, and it started right up like normal. Sweet.

So I need to do something about this fuel system. It’s done this 3 times total since I’ve had it… once in December when I first tested and then the two times this weekend. It will just not pick up fuel for a few minutes and then works fine. Maybe the pump is getting super hot causing vapor lock? Also thinking my supply line to the pump might be too small, so it’s having to work hard to suck fuel from the cell. The pump is mounted below the tank, so it’s gravity fed, but maybe not getting enough fuel.

I decided I’m going to mount a pump inside the cell in the ATL trap door box thing, so that should fix the problem. Also have a spare pump, so I’ll try that out and see if maybe it’s just a bad pump… but I doubt it.

I leave you with this.

Miro at XDC Summit Point