Sunday, September 12, 2010

Autobahn Country Club - NASA Spec E30

Well, Autobahn has come and gone and I'm happy to report that I and the car made it through unscathed. It was rather worrisome in the week prior, as I had both oil and water leaking from the engine, as well as transmission fluid from the tranny. I got the water leak fixed (thanks to new silcone hoses from Ireland Engineering), but the trans and motor are still leaking. We kept an eye on the trans fluid level through the weekend and refilled it at one point, while the oil level remained good, so that seems to not be any cause for worry right now.

Anthony and Nate, ready for Race 1

Autobahn is a motorsports country club and it was certainly a nice place to be. There was lots of high-end machinery to look at and listen to, as many well-heeled individuals from the Chicago area have their cars tended to by one of the several professional motorsports companies based there at the track. I was the only SpecE30 racing this weekend, as I was there to gain the points I need to compete for the Great Lakes Regional Championship. Howerver, I found some GTS1 guys to play with when they weren't battling each other. We're still working with the car setup and I feel that we learned a couple things this weekend to improve the setup, so that's good. Nate has really helped to keep me motivated on improving the car and not just accepting for it to be “good enough”. We were trying a new feature on the car that we’ve been working on for several weeks. We found that it worked, but now we’re doing some more tuning to re-balance the suspension. The rules don’t allow for much adjustment, so we have to be creative.

A little dirty, thanks to a 944 and a convenient mud hole.

As for the racing, Saturday was wet in the morning, so I still didn't know how fast I could go when the race came and it was dry. It would figure that a GTS1 car splattered the entire front of my car with mud on the 2nd lap, reducing visability dramatically. I still drove on through the race, even though I only TECHNICALLY needed to take the green flag in each race.

SpecE30 9/11/10 Race 1 - Autobahn CC South Course

In Sunday's race, I had a great back-and-forth with a GTS1 944 for the second half of the race. He almost had 2 bad crashes (both caught on my carmera!), but managed to save it both times without taking anyone else out. It was a lot of fun. He had a lot more mechanical grip than I did, similar power (I might've had the edge there), but I was able to just out drive him in the fast corners. He did manage to put together a lap that was a second faster than my fastest, but I beat him across the finish line. Lots of fun!

SpecE30 9/12/10 Race 2 - Autobahn CC South Course

Having won 7 of the 8 races I’ve run this year, I am in contention for the Regional Championship, contingent on a couple things… See, the points from our 10 best finishes count toward the season points and there are 2 races to go. At the season finale at Putnam Park in October, I need to finish both races AND average 5th place or better in order to get the points that I need. While that sounds easy enough, I've had enough bad experiences to realize that it's not over 'till it's over! So, at this point, I’ll be focusing on preparing the car, staying out of trouble, and being there at the end.

Thank you to Alyssa and Nate for the support AND all the pictures!

A big thanks goes out to my sponsors:, Ireland Engineering, DTR Performance,, Enthusiast Auto, and FASTtech Limited!

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