2008 Philly Event 1

I gots some catching up to do. Event 1 was back on April 20th. That was a month ago. We kicked the season off at Warminster, and abandoned airstrip. Long fast transition heavy courses are the norm there. I have picked up a co-driver for this season. Doug, a fellow member of the Timing & Scoring team, and the same guy that let me drive his STU RX-8 at the Divisional last year is in between cars this year and need a ride. I figure he can push me as a driver, help with development, and maybe help wrench. The first event was a learning experience on several levels. Doug wanted to play with settings since I have just been running the tire pressures suggested by Andy Hollis and shock settings suggested by Geoff Chambers.

STS2 ran in the morning so we bought some non-comp runs in the afternoon. We kept the tires at 36 psi, what I remember Andy saying was best when he did his testing of the Bridgestones and tried a couple different shock settings. First Doug thought the front needed more rebound damping. The shocks were only 1/4 turn off full stiff. I adjusted to 1/8 turn from full stiff and he felt it was better. I couldn’t tell the difference honestly. Then we lowered the rear shocks just a tad, from 3/8 to 1/4 turn from full soft. Doug thinks going to stiffer front springs, like 600 lb/in, will take some stress of the shocks and allow then to run at lower rebound levels. At first I thought that was BS but now I can see how that might be true. I am worried about upsetting the balance of the car. And I wasn’t planning on buying new springs. I figured I’d wait until I could really drive the car before I went stiffer.

During the afternoon non-comp runs we played with tire presssure. We tried higher which I thought felt good but Doug didn’t like. Lower just plain sucked. Then Doug was using his tire pressure gauge to adjust the pressures and we found something out. MY GAUGE WAS OFF. It was reading 4 psi too high! Needless to say I wasn’t happy about that. Doug suggested we try a lower rear pressure. I had never heard anyone suggest that on an STS2 Miata but figured I’d try it just to keep him happy. So I went out on 32 front (where the tires had been b/c I thought they were 36) and 30 in the rear. Every Warminster course has a big 180 turn at the end of the runway and I immediately spun in it. Nope, don’t like lower rear tire pressures! We settled on 34 psi.

The other thing I learned from riding with Doug is that I was slowing for parts of the course I didn’t need to be. I knew I was doing that from last year but I need someone to tell me I’m doing it. I think I’m still just used to driving a FWD car, especially the front heavy Prelude. But I have to work on intentionally telling myself I don’t have to break in certain situations, especially offsets. Most of the time just a lift will do, and sometimes you don’t even have to lift. I finished 4th out of 9 in STS2, 2.036 out of 1st, and 42nd out of 144 in overall PAX.