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Monday, July 16, 2012

My first win

On July 14th, the local Corvette Club held another amazing autocross event. Last time, it had poured rain throughout the entire event, and since I have never autocrossed the STI before that, I never got an opportunity to autocross the STI on dry pavement.

And yes, it makes a huge difference.

The day before the races, I posted photos and updates on Facebook and Instagram as they happened. There were a lot of preparations that needed attention, so that took around 40 minutes to sort out.

Had to make sure the intercooler water spray tank had enough fresh water.

Checked all fluid levels and conditions. Though the brake fluid could have used a change, it was fine for Autocross this time.

Re-torqued all lug nuts, and checked all cold tire pressures.

Prepared some light supplies: Extra engine oil, torque wrench, breaker bar, scissor jack, extra lug nuts and their locks and keys, foldable chair, plastic tarp, and a spare tire.

And last but not least, racing gear: Helmet and Shoes.

Registration for that day was at 8:00 AM, so I arrived bright and early and started to settle down. As the time for registration drew near, more and more cars started to pull in. There were a couple of cars that were known to take on corners, and this made me nervous, but also very excited.

As the day progressed, it had gotten really hot, and the STI's Bridgestone Potenza RE070s were hooking up really well. So well in fact, that I had to raise the launch control RPM from 5200 to 5500! I was quite nervous launching so many times at such high RPMs in the blazing heat, but as it turned out the STI handled it like a pro.

In the morning, the temperature was at a perfect 75 degrees, but by the end of the day, the ambient temperature had risen to 87 degrees! It was so hot in fact that two cars were put out of commission due to leaking radiator hoses, and radiator caps blowing off. Seeing two cars overheat made everyone very nervous. Everyone did all they could to cool down their cars as much as possible between the runs.

At the end of the event, everyone parked their cars, and gathered together as the organizers gave out prizes to the top four drivers. Since it was a Corvette Club organized autocross, they had one prize for the fastest Corvette on street tires, and one on racing tires. Then they categorized any other make of cars under the "Sports car" section, and also gave out prizes for the fastest street tires, and fastest racing tires.

I had earned my very first win, for being the fastest stock car with street tires that day with a run of 68.557 seconds. I had won a hat, and a small set of tools: Flashlight, tire pressure gauge, and a pen. The prize was light hearted and fun, so I smiled as I received it.

To me, the most important part of this was that it was a great learning experience, and it really showed me, and the others, what the Subaru Impreza WRX STI can really do.

The episode will be airing later. I will talk more about the driving aspect when the episode is released. Cheers!

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