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Old 08-17-2011, 12:44 AM   #1
MSP608
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Default IAG STi race recap from Mid-Ohio Aug 13-14

In preparation for the NASA National Championships next month at Mid-Ohio I decided to get a weekend in with the Great Lakes/Midwest regions. Bit of a haul from Charlottesville, VA but well worth it!

The car was at IAG getting a couple thing done, so we had to pick it up on the way. One of the things being modified was the airdam. They moved it flush with the bumper and trimmed it some. Ian threw on a couple coats of flat black so the splitter/airdam would match the wheels too. I think it looks great!



This being my second major trip on the PA turnpike, I've quickly learned that pretty much 93% of it is under construction. Luckily we didn't deal with any back ups due to construction, but a double whammy of an accident right after 3 lanes condensed to 2 set us back about an hour.



A little behind schedule, but we at least made it to the track before dark. Too poor to rent a garage for the weekend, and too late to grab any asphalt space, we were left with the open fields. Luckily we found the TIC gang and paddocked beside them.



After unloading we went to the hotel and I spent the rest of the night watching some more in-car videos so I'd really have the track down.

Practice/warm-up was timed to determine the order for qualifying, so I had to learn the track and still try to put down a decent time. So I went out there and tried my best. Let me tell you, this track is fun. I didn't even have it down yet but was having a blast. I went and bugged some of the regulars for tips after practice and got some good advice.

I are dum and forgot the turn my transponder on again, so for qualifying I was gridded towards the back. This actually worked out quite well, because after about a lap or so, the front of the pack was starting to lap us. I tagged along and learned a few things from following a couple ST-2 competitors. I managed a 1:35.2 which would start me 11th in class out of 15th in the race, 23rd in the first wave.

Here's the race:

Highlights:
-Start was nuts, with some going 3 wide into the first turn. I went basically side by side with this formula looking car, then an Evo for the first lap. I lost positions to both of them coming onto the pit straight, but got them both back down the straight away into the keyhole. 0-2:50
-significant wreck brought out the double yellows for a couple laps.
-pretty sure I didn't see the pace car go lights out, so I was kind of spaced out when we restarted.
-chased down a yellow Z06 on the restart lap, got him in a brake zone, then did a lot of looking in my mirror after that. 3:13-4:12
-had a fun time chasing a different Evo that had some crazy aero work done to it. 5:43-11:28
-brakes went out on me. Simply didn't have enough pad material left, and too much heat got through.
-after nursing the brakes back, I almost caught a Corvette on the last lap.

I ended up finishing 9th out of 16. I had worked my way up to 7th, but gave up positions due to the brake issues.
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Old 08-17-2011, 12:46 AM   #2
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Saturday had had a 50% chance of rain, but we saw sunny skies the whole day. Sunday had a 80% chance and it looked like this all morning:



It stayed dry for my practice session, so luckily I was able to go out and bed in my new pads. Shortly after practice I was remarking how it hadn't rain yet, and of course, that's when it started raining.

But that was okay, because I wanted to run in the rain. I know my "pray for rain" sticker on my trunk strikes fear into most non awd racers.

Before qualifying we put two rains and two dry tires on the car, just in case things went either way. It absolutely poured for a bit right before my session so we threw the other two rains on. It seemed like half the field was MIA when I rolled up to grid. Pansies.



On the outlap I quickly learned that the sealer patches on track were slick as ice in the wet. I had heard from many people that the rain line was completely off line from the dry line, but I still couldn't believe the complete lack of grip. As I'm coming onto the front straight a Mustang spins out beside me, but I make it around him only to see a trashed Corvette sitting on the straight and smashed up concrete barriers. The whole session was called off since the repairs would take awhile.

Luckily the Corvette driver was okay, which was pretty good considering he moved 24 tons of concrete:



Corvette was trashed:



They decided they were going to grid us for the race based off our warm-up times. Cool, except for the warm-up I was just bedding pads in, not trying to run any stellar laps. Most of the ST-2 field had packed up though with the threat of rain, so I wasn't too far back.

Seems one race group didn't check the weather, and half the field went out on dries only to find this on the pace lap:



Made for quite the interesting race. I saw 6 cars hit the same section of tire wall. They'd come in and just head straight off course soon as they touched the sealer section.
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Old 08-17-2011, 12:48 AM   #3
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Since my group was the last race of the day, most everyone had packed up and was leaving. We took this opportunity to snag a vacated garage for the rest of the afternoon.



After checking the weather 2304023 times, I decided that since there wasn't a strong chance of rain I'd be better off getting caught in the rain on Ho-ho's than running a race on wets and then getting no rain.

This was the right decision, as the track was just a tad damp which actually worked great for my setup. I'll let the video tell the rest:


Highlights:
-got a great jump on the start, moving from 8th to 3rd.
-had a good fight with a ST-1 Viper. 5:00-11:30 (sweet pass at ~11:10!)
-came in a little hot once and did a phat drift ~21:45
-almost caught the leader on the white flag lap but bogged because I was too low on fuel! The winner completely ran out half way around the track after the race was over. 26:20-end
-finished 2nd!

This was a great weekend for me. The car ran great, I got to learn the track, and had an overall fantastic time. I can't wait to head back in September for Nationals.

Oh yeah, and since that was my 8th race I'm no longer a rookie! Got to ditch the noob labels:



Called for some celebrating.


Til next time,

-Justin
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Old 08-17-2011, 01:28 AM   #4
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Good stuff! Racing in the rain is so much fun in our cars.
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Old 08-17-2011, 02:58 AM   #5
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Nice!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-17-2011, 03:54 AM   #6
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Nice! And if I'd known you were heading out that way, I would have given you the rundown on construction on the PA and OH Turnpikes.
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Old 08-17-2011, 07:28 AM   #7
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Nice write up and congrats on the great racing and dropping the wonderful R lol.
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Old 08-17-2011, 12:07 PM   #8
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Nice job. Did you go back with fresh DTC-60's or did you run 70's?
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Old 08-17-2011, 05:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CamaroFS34 View Post
Nice! And if I'd known you were heading out that way, I would have given you the rundown on construction on the PA and OH Turnpikes.
We didn't hit any traffic jams due to traffic, I just really wasn't ready for the k-rails to come right up to the edge of the two lanes as I'm driving right beside an 18 wheeler. I quickly learned anytime I saw a "trucks and buses use left lane" sign, to space out so there was no one beside me. How come they want the trucks and buses in the left lane anyways?

Quote:
Originally Posted by the thing 314 View Post
Nice write up and congrats on the great racing and dropping the wonderful R lol.
Thanks. I'm really glad I won't be racing as a rookie at Nats.

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Originally Posted by Z06Fix View Post
Nice job. Did you go back with fresh DTC-60's or did you run 70's?
60s. I've been running those front and rear for awhile. I use to use 70s front, 60s rear, but the rear pads looked like they weren't getting used at all. The 60s are cheaper and seem to give me pretty good balance in braking.
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Old 08-19-2011, 03:27 AM   #10
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That's some really good driving there Justin. What's your history before you started doing NASA events?
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Old 08-19-2011, 01:20 PM   #11
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Thanks! I started autoxing in 2005 and have been loving it ever since. I'll never stop. On track you have to keep your cool and be smooth. It's so much fun to just go crazy at autox's with no risk. So what if you get ~4 total minutes of drive time, the thrill factor is way up there. To me it's no different than waiting an hour in line for a 45 second rollercoaster ride.

I had friends from school that had been doing track events and they sounded like they were having a blast. I had to try it out. I did my first ever HPDE with NASA-MA at VIR in March of 2008. It was a cold and wet weekend. I'm glad it was wet, the cold not so much. Coming from an autox background, I was pretty snappy with the steering wheel. Driving in the wet all weekend (plus a spin coming out of Oak Tree ) helped me break that habit pretty quick.

From that event on I was hooked. I attended various events at Summit Point and VIR with NASA, TrackDaze, and MazdaDrivers that year and made it up to HPDE3 in NASA by year's end. I had heard about the GrassRoots Motorsports Ultimate Track Car Challenge that offseason, and then set my sights on getting a TT license to attend. Before hearing about the UTCC I had no intentions of racing or TT, I still was having plenty of fun in HPDE.

After doing enough HPDE3 events, I got my check ride with NASA-MA TT director Jon Felton in April at Summit. One of the few things he had to say was "you're an autox'er aren't you?" Seems I still had some habits to break.

So I got the check ride Saturday, then Sunday was my first TT. Next was the UTCC. So for my second ever timed event on track was the UTCC warm-up with about 70 something insane cars. Quite the experience.

I did TT for the rest of 2009 and then 2010. For 2010 I got my instructor license in February so I could instruct and run TT at the same time. Since NASA-MA was generous enough to let us do this, I was still winning tires and not having to pay entry fees. This helped me save a lot of money and I was able to start prepping for wheel to wheel in off-season of 2010.

For 2010 I also attended the 3 "east coast" Redline joke, ahem I mean Time Attack events. I had no where near enough power in NJ, car was ready in June for Autobahn so I took my street Evo and wrecked it, and in Florida at Sebring I was looking to be fastest Street AWD but lost the motor.

February of 2011 I attended comp school and raced wheel to wheel for the first time. And now I've been racing and loving every minute of it. I had really missed chasing people down in what not like in the HPDE days. In TT I always stayed away from others so we could all get decent laptimes.

So there you have it. Quite the transition from being my dad's DD.
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Old 08-19-2011, 01:24 PM   #12
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Side note: I'll be TT'ing and instructing this weekend at Summit Point. There was no one in ST-2, and I could really use some tires for Nats. So I'm putting the stock spoiler back on, no splitter, and running 315 awhp for TTA. I'm hoping I can pull off a pair of wins with my old Hoosiers, to minimize wear on what will be my good back up set for Nats.
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Old 08-21-2011, 04:54 AM   #13
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quite a history. glad your family can participate in your hobbies! (unlike mine :| )
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:14 AM   #14
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I saw your car last year at VIR in the paddock area. My friend and I were walking around and your dad was kind enough to answer any of our questions. Nice car! Also saw your car with all the other IAG Performance cars at Ocean City AWD meet this year. Badass!
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:58 AM   #15
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Great story, the options available today to learn to drive on the track are extensive. You young guys are really lucky in this aspect. In '76 when I started it was SCCA or nothing-LOL. Keep up the good work!!!
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:33 PM   #16
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Tag to watch the videos later.

Are you doing VIR in October?
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:34 PM   #17
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Nice driving!! It looked like you were having a blast like usual

Nick
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:56 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSP608 View Post
-came in a little hot once and did a phat drift ~21:45
I got to this point, saw the slide and then...



WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

I 'ed.
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Old 08-24-2011, 05:28 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MY EJ20TTTTTT View Post
I saw your car last year at VIR in the paddock area. My friend and I were walking around and your dad was kind enough to answer any of our questions. Nice car! Also saw your car with all the other IAG Performance cars at Ocean City AWD meet this year. Badass!
I was probably running around instructing that weekend. Unless you have a non-tempermental car that doesn't need work, instructing and running TT is pretty difficult without any help.

From the pics it looked pretty cool up there beside the other IAG built cars. Shows the wide range of things they can accomplish be it show or go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cucamelsmd15 View Post
Tag to watch the videos later.

Are you doing VIR in October?
Yeah I'll be racing that weekend. OktoberFast is one of my favorite NASA weekends. The weather is usually perfect (you would think March VIR would be too, but it always rains!), the fields are pretty big, and then all the Sam Adams Octoberfest that goes around is nice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cucamelsmd15 View Post
I got to this point, saw the slide and then...

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

I 'ed.
I like to think I can control a sliding/spinning car fairly well with all the autox and couple rallyx's I've done, but when it catches me off guard like that it's always exciting when I don't lose it. Haha.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:38 AM   #20
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Great writeup, and congrats on 2nd place!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MSP608 View Post
in Florida at Sebring
I met you down at that event. Sucked to see you up on the trialer so early. Had I known, I could've tried to pick up parts for your motor too.

-t3h_clap (aka. engine parts gather for TiC's pit lane engine rebuild @ sebring)
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:16 PM   #21
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NASA National Championships next month at Mid-Ohio
I'll probably be going to this just to spectate and take pics. Would Saturday be the best day to go?

Also enjoyed watching those laps you posted. That drift had me LOLing
It's always nice to see a flat 4 out perform big v8's

Cheers, Ben.
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:19 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by WRX8XB View Post
Great writeup, and congrats on 2nd place!!

I met you down at that event. Sucked to see you up on the trialer so early. Had I known, I could've tried to pick up parts for your motor too.

-t3h_clap (aka. engine parts gather for TiC's pit lane engine rebuild @ sebring)
Thanks.

There's no way I could have pulled off a rebuild like them haha. I was really disappointed though, since it was looking like I could have had the win in Street AWD the next day.

Quote:
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I'll probably be going to this just to spectate and take pics. Would Saturday be the best day to go?

Also enjoyed watching those laps you posted. That drift had me LOLing
It's always nice to see a flat 4 out perform big v8's

Cheers, Ben.
Yeah, if you can only come one day Saturday would be good. It's the day of my actual championship race. I think our group will have the coolest cars out there since the Super Touring classes are basically just power to weight. It makes for such a wide variety and since SU is almost limitless, the epic cars run in our group as well.

Plus there will be tons of other cool classes racing that day as well.

Drifting is always exciting, that one definitely caught me off guard though haha.

I'm pretty sure the Corvettes and a couple Mustangs are going to dominate ST-2. The rules are perfect for aero cars like them. There's that beasy Exige as well with a v6 Camry motoro in it too. Either way, should be an epic race!

Be sure to come find us to stop in and say hey. Just look for the big rig with IAG on the side.

-Justin
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Old 09-01-2011, 01:09 AM   #23
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That thing moves out!
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Old 09-03-2011, 02:15 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSP608 View Post
Be sure to come find us to stop in and say hey. Just look for the big rig with IAG on the side.

-Justin
For sure man. We'll hopefully be out there by 8:30 or 9
Gonna be a fun day
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