This weekend we ran with the California Sports Car Club region at Autoclub Speedway in Fontana, CA. This was another new venue for us, and we enjoyed it nearly as much as El Toro last month. This venue is similar in distance as San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium, but is east instead of south. Setup inside one of the many lots in the shadow of the Autoclub Speedway NASCAR oval, this venue has slight elevation changes and a relatively smooth asphalt surface. It’s no El Toro, but it is worlds better than the SDR lot. We ran third and worked fourth. With this event being the same weekend as the Crow’s Landing Champ Tour, the turnout was small and only four run groups were scheduled, with a record five runs per group – perfect! The weather was a windy and slightly overcast 78 degrees Fahrenheit, with just a very light sprinkling of rain right as we were packing up to head home.
The course was long, technical, and a blast to drive. We DNF’d the first run, then cleaned it up for our second and fastest run with a 68.120. Our only improvement in the next three runs came on our final run with a 66.734, but a pair of cone strikes knocked that time out of contention. Brett Madsen of BTM AutoSport piloted the famous Modzilla, along with a 2013 Camaro SS, rounding up our only competition. Madsen ran away with the lead with a blinding 63.503 (4th in PAX!), while the Camaro could only try to keep up with our galloping ponies with a 72.105 (we apologize for the pun).
After discussion with Madsen and review of our video footage, we could see that we were merely maintaining speed for most of the course, not gaining speed. We had the complete GT500 brake setup after our recent rear brake update, but weren’t putting them to their full use by adding more speed. We also left too much distance from the cones, not taking advantage of the entire course. Our fastest run in video format below:
With two damp events, it was time for some typical socal weather, and the third event of the season certainly kept up appearances! Weather was clear and warm, with temperatures in the high-70’s all day.
This event was the first with camber set to “kill” at -3 degrees. We also added in the bolt-in 4-point cage along with 4-point harnesses, to help us stay put in the stock seats. The course was fast and rewarded patient driving, resulting in a lot of muscle cars getting sideways. Our favorite! We enjoyed the course but had issues sorting out the back third, where a choose-your-own slalom kept throwing us off our game.
Entries for CAM-C consisted of a co-driven 2001 Roush Mustang (featuring Brett Madsen of BTM AutoSport), a 2006 Mustang GT (with a brand new set of Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R’s), and a 2013 Camaro SS. An extremely tight battle for the podium resulted in milliseconds separating first through third. Madsen, in the Roush, came in first with a blazing fast 58.648, followed by the 06 Mustang with a 58.889, and finally the Stealth Bomber with a 58.925. Rounding out the field, the Camaro put down a 62.924 +1, and the other driver of the Roush with a 64.690. A bit more of a gap than last month’s rain event, which is to be expected. Unfortunately the CAM-C vs CAM-T battle was lost, with the fastest CAM-T car putting down a 58.579. Milliseconds of difference, but the score stands at CAM-C 1, CAM-T 2.
While this event was hard fought, third was disappointing. The plan is to verify alignment settings and focus on tire pressures for the next event.
The San Diego region of the SCCA started it’s 2016 season early, with the first event kicking off on the 10th of January. We headed out with the Stealth Bomber to see what times we could put down. The week before had been quite wet, so we were planning for a slip n’ slide at Qualcomm Stadium. We ended up with a dry course for our afternoon run group. The Bomber was set up in street configuration, running -1* camber and zero toe on the Nankang Noble Sport NS-20 275/35/18 street tires mounted on our AVID.1 AV-06 18×9.5” wheels. The changes to the car since the December event were adding a little bit more anti-squat in the rear, utilising one bolt hole lower of our Steeda adjustable lower control arm brackets. Additionally, we swapped out the GT500 wheel for the MOMO MOD88 racing wheel.
Our competition in CAM-C consisted of a 2015 Camaro SS Vert, a 2013 Camaro SS 1LE, a 2005 Mustang GT, and a 2002 Mustang GT. The course was complex, with a few off-camber transitions and a Costco-sized Chicago box at the end. After a very intense battle between us, the Camaro Vert, and the 2005 Mustang, we managed to put in a third place time of 66.648 seconds. The 2005 Mustang secured first with a 64.698, and the Camaro Vert stole second from our grasp with a 65.032. The rest of the field was seconds behind with times in the 67’s. In comparison, the CAM-T group had winning times in the high 63’s running on 200tw Bridgestone RE-71R’s.
The podium finish was hard-fought, but demonstrates that more work is needed for the 2016 season. All three podium finishers were not on the 200tw minimum that is standard for a competitive CAM-C car, with both the Stealth Bomber and the 2005 Mustang running treadwear in the 300 range. We hope to have a new tire setup locked in by this weekend, to bring the heat to CAM-C, as well as give the CAM-T group night tremors.
This past weekend we attended the last championship event of the season for the San Diego Region at the classic Qualcomm Stadium. This event was on the west lot, which typically results in bigger and faster courses. This course, designed by Arvind Govindaraj, was no exception. We entered the Stealth Bomber in CAM-C, running our street wheels and tires, Nankang Noble Sport NS-20 275/35/18 on Avid.1 AV-06 wheels in 18×9.5 sizing. These tires are a 360tw all-season, so we knew we wouldn’t have a lot of grip to work with. We did elect as usual to adjust camber in to -3 degrees from our street setting of -1 degree, which brings with it a slight bit of toe out. This removed a bit of understeer and gives the car excellent turnaround. Since this was the last event of the year, and our late start in the season already removing us from the points race, we elected to enter in X-runs to allow for ride-alongs.
The first run was fast, despite not seeing the course until we ran it, but we were presented with a very disappointing 79.83 time. Turns out the car in front of us had spun off course and stalled, out of our line of sight. That meant a rerun, and that our first time was actually the stalled car’s time. Great! The grid was packed, and we did have a bit of traffic and wait time before getting to our second run. We came in with a 59.108+1, clipping the first cone in the second slalom. Faster than the rest of the CAM-C field, but we knew there was room on the table. Our final run ended up being our fastest at 56.302. The next fastest CAM-C car put down a final time of 60.250. Nearly a 4 second lead on street tires, we were ecstatic! The training received during the SCCA Novice School in November, along with the new parts and adjustments, had made a world of difference. 2016 is going to be a fast and competitive season.