Carroll Shelby Goes Racing

Been spending a lot of the holiday working on my ’67 Mustang installing a new panhard bar and doing some tune-up work.  I spotted this video the other day over at Petrolicious and thought you all might enjoy it!

Houston Regional #10

This last weekend Todd and I participated in one of the last events of the year before we take the car down for some winter development.  Houston SCCA had their event at the Houston Police Academy.  The course looked like a blast on the map, but a few corners turned out to be really tight which put us way down in the powerband.  Good news though is we ran some used rear slicks from Berget that were only $100 each and they worked great with a set of half-used fronts!  Something that’ll help the budget and get us some more seat time.

Todd put in a quick time after being stuck in the 50’s all day like I was.  He did a better job of using the whole road than I did with the last 3 corners making all the time difference between us!

I blew my 4th run entering the optional slalom so I had to settle with this one.  I wasn’t as close to the cones as I’d like and I didn’t do the best job of using the whole course.  Learning points!

No data acquisition video this time.  While we did some post-Nationals work we somehow unplugged the main camera so we didn’t get any video from that vantage point.  On the plus side this was a first test for my new external microphone setup with our ReplayXD PrimeX camera and I’m very pleased!  Previously the microphone didn’t get us the best audio being exposed in the wind, but this allows us to put a mic inside the car where we just get the engine noise.  Very pleased!

Not too many more events this year, but we’ve got a few things planned for the winter so stay tuned.

2015 Nationals – Side by Side Video

Every autocrosser knows that the trip home from Nationals is one during which you reflect on how you did and what’s planned for next year.  This year, with our switch to radial tires we knew we weren’t ready, but of course that’s tough for the ego to take.  The quest for more speed always begins shortly after you get home.

This year, with some video in hand I decided to try and take a closer look at some of our competitors to see how we measured up.  Robert Lewis put in some hard work this year and ended up with a 2nd place finish behind Mike Maier.  Miley doesn’t share any video from his runs, but Robert does!  Putting the videos side by side I figured we could identify some areas we got beat and potentially find some more speed…

This is a comparison of Todd and Robert’s best runs from the East course on Day 1.  Not being a whiz in video editing, I didn’t get to do as much as I wanted (I’d really like to be able to add “sectors” to a video, not unlike data analysis and look at the time delta, but alas, I’m not that smart…

Anyways, a few take aways for us:

  1.  Our car sucks on launch.  Yes the timers are after you launch, but Robert’s car gets moving with less drama and is moving much faster by the time he crosses the line.
  2. We seem to be on par at higher speed.

Day 2 is much the same.  We are killed out of any low-speed element, but the higher speed sections or the slaloms we seem to be able to hold our own or catch up a bit.

Not scientific, but interesting nonetheless!

Daytona Coupes at Goodwood Revival

I haven’t done too many posts on our Daytona Coupe recently, but that doesn’t mean it’s forgotten.  News like this is just what’s needed to get motivation going again on a project!  Recently at the Goodwood Revival, all 6 original Daytona Coupes were in one place for the first time since the ’60s.  Two of my favorite sites, Petrolicious and Speedhunters both did an article on the cars and it’s interesting to see the differences in coverage.

petrolicious-shelby-cobra-goodwood-24

Petrolicious is a site that favors the classics.  Watch one of their videos sometime and you’ll see stunning photography, stories of people passionate about their cars, and a general love for the automobile.  Petrolicious’ article on the Coupes at Goodwood focuses on the “barn find” of the Coupes, showcasing it’s patina.  Personally, this is the story that I’m drawn to more than the mega-buck restorations that try to make it look like it rolled off the showroom floor.  As a racer myself, I like seeing the motorsport icons as they were used and abused with all their battle scars intact and the “barn find” car can’t be beat for this.

Speedhunters - Shelby_Daytona_Cobra_Coupe-011 Speedhunter’s take is a little different, filled with pictures of the gleaming paint jobs and garage queen cars.  They do mention the barn find car, but it takes second stage to the perfect restorations.  Don’t get me wrong, these are beautiful cars, but I just love the worn and used one more than the show queens.

Goodwood-Daytona_Cobra_Coupes_Revival_17091538

Goodwood has another excellent article on these cars up on their site.  Told through an interview with the Chief Designer, Pete Brock, it’s another article that shouldn’t be missed!

Any way you take it, this was an incredible event and we’re fortunate to have so many people taking a unique look at it.

2015 Solo Nationals

It’s been a long road, but we’re finally here – the 2015 SCCA Solo National Championships in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Every year we look forward to this event with sometimes optimistic plans and expectations.  This year we knew would be a year of development with a switch in tires and I’m happy to say that we mostly pulled through with meeting our goals!

2015 nationals trophy

The cliff notes version of this story is that Todd and I ended up 4th and 5th out of 38 and the competition was tight at the top!  Had a few things gone differently, the results might have been a little different, but we’re happy nonetheless!  For those who are interested in a little more than the cliff notes, follow along! (more…)

Nationals Course Maps are Up!

We’re on the road to Lincoln and will be getting there later today.  In the meantime, for those who aren’t coming, here’s a look at the courses we’ll be enjoying this week!

2015_Solo_Nationals_West_(Corn)_Course

2015_Solo_Nationals_East_(plane)_Course

I’m pretty excited about both courses!  Houston local, Roger Johnson, is a legend for his courses and it looks like this one certainly won’t disappoint!

We’re hoping to get there in time to see a little of the Pro Solo Finale as well as the CAM Challenge.  Stay tuned for more during the week!

Lone Star Park – Texas Region Event #6

lonestarpark-grid

This weekend we made the haul up to the Texas Region’s Event #6 at Lone Star Park to get some last-minute seat time before Nationals!  While quite a haul, it was worth the trip! (more…)

Stance Works – Trans Am Capri

This was too cool of an article not to share.  Check out this Trans Am Capri over at Stance Works

1984-1985-mercury-capri-trans-am-roush-63-motorcraft-keith-frieser

Houston Regional #8

newcamaroflares

With Nationals fast approaching, we are trying to hit every event we can! While the Houston Police Academy isn’t our favorite site, we felt it was important to make the event so we could get some more seat time and so that we could make sure that our new flare didn’t rub. A bit of a back-story on the flares, I bought this pair, basically sight unseen from Showcars Body Parts out of Canada a few months back. They were the ONLY place I could find that had flares like this for a 2nd Gen Camaro. To be honest, I didn’t really know if they were going to work…

flaresfromshowcars

This is the picture that I bought them from! This photo album is basically his catalog, which was a little worrisome, but he did have a picture of Ron VerMulm’s CP Camaro in there, so I figured he must have supplied parts before… Anyways, when we got them we were a little worried about fitment, but they worked out ok after some massaging. Todd’s bodyman will be cutting them back and bonding them to the quarters soon so they look a little better!

Anyways, onto the event. We ran in the 4th heat with X-Class. The heat was absolutely oppressive. HPA is right next to the airport and rarely has a breeze. It must have been near 100 degrees and everyone was doing their best to hydrate and stay out of the sun. Some did better than others, myself included in that. I really cooked myself and only made 2 runs. Lesson learned!

My first run was my fastest of the 2, but I popped a cone. My 2nd run the heat wasn’t bothering me, but we had boiled the brakes and I couldn’t stop, no matter how furiously I pumped the pedal… Between the brakes overheating and the heat, I called it a day after this.

Todd stuck with it and we bled the brakes then went on a program of hosing down the calipers between runs. This worked well enough for 1 driver, but I think if we were both driving we’d have had big problems. Nonetheless, Todd’s 4th run was a screamer and he ended up with top PAX at the event!

We’ve got a practice event coming up soon and might be able to squeeze in another event before Nationals. Lots to do and not enough time, business as usual!

Movie Review – Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman

You might have caught some posts on the various blogs and automotive news sites a few months ago about a documentary by Adam Carolla on the life of Paul Newman. Prior to a business trip to Mexico, I took a chance, bought the movie and sat down to give it a shot on the plane. I was absolutely hooked from the beginning! This film tells a great story about Paul Newman, covering all his years of racing and some of his life outside of racing. To do this, Carolla was able to pull in some great interviews with the likes of Robert Redford, Patrick Dempsey and others – guys who race and really love cars. These interviews are supplemented by great pictures and absolutely awesome vintage video. The sounds and in-car footage are just fantastic.

Any fan of Grand Prix, Winning, Le Mans, etc will love this. It’s a great tale of a guy who had to work hard to get fast and clearly loved cars and racing, right up till the end.

You can buy or rent the film on iTunes, Amazon, and VHX.tv.