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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Second AutoX, Scion FR-S enters the race

This is another Corvette Club autocross which took place on July 14th. This was my first sunny autocross, and now that I have driven in both the pouring rain and dry tarmac, I have a much better feeling for the STI.

I will admit I was driving pretty aggressively through the corners. If you compare my racing footage to Ben's Scion FR-S (Start video from 11:50), you will notice my tires scream a lot more. I pushed the car pretty hard, resulting in so many cones hit throughout the day. However, if it wasn't for this constant pushing, I don't think I would have taken first place for the stock class.

I learned even more about the STI this time around, mainly how much torture the Bridgestone Potenza RE070s could take. I would like to see how the STI does with at least 245 tires on all fours, because the 225 Potenzas are actually letting my car go sooner than I think it should. By run 5, I've lowered the amount of air pressure in my front tires, and I began to launch at 5500 RPM which resulted in much better run times. I started off the day with 5200 RPM, but because the weather got too hot, the tires hooked up too well, so it bogged down my car a little bit.

The Scion FR-S, and the Subaru BRZ have been all the hype these past couple of months. I was very excited to be able to sit in one, especially when it is being pushed under extreme conditions. The car is light and nimble, and the power to weight ratio isn't bad either. The car does feel like it has a harder time picking up speed due to the lack of torque. Even the 2012 Golf GTI feels faster, just because it hits peak torque at lower RPMs. However, acceleration aside, the Scion FR-S comes with very good suspension from stock. It felt extremely planted for a RWD car, and with the addition of it being lightweight, it dived into the corners without any drama. I would say, the Scion FR-S is probably faster at entering corners than my STI. Though the Scion FR-S had a slightly slower time overall, it had probably been faster than the STI on specific sectors. Perhaps I should start playing with side by side racing footage just to see how the cars compared.

I've got to say, I am beginning to appreciate this STI inside and out. Being able to work on it, race it, then pamper it, is nothing but incredible. I am considering to buy and install some stiffer steering rack bushings. I've heard they really give the driver a much more accurate feel of what the front wheels are doing. I've had to correct my steering many times during this autocross session, and though it felt pretty natural, I am curious if this feedback could be improved.

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