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2011 Autox Log

Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:55 pm
by quad4berettagtz
Well I've been wanting to do this for years, and I'm finally motivated enough to do it. First, the basics:

The black autox GTZ (which many of you saw at Bfest in Indy) currently runs D-Street Prepared (DSP) in a local WI club that runs all official SCCA rules and classes. It is mostly prepared with suspension modifications, with Sprint springs, Koni yellows all around, double sway bars in the rear (internal and Z51), and a camber kit in the front for about 2 degrees negative camber. Driveline is all stock, save for the homemade CAI and the fact that it is a reman engine bored .030 over. Wisconsin Autocrossers Inc., has somewhere near 15-20 former or defending national champions for SCCA. Very good drivers all across the board, even those who don't win championships, so the field is always tough. After PAX adjustments (look it up if you need to know what that is) I am usually a top 35 driver in a club of 100 or 150... This is year #5 in DSP, and the last time I was competitive locally with the car was when I won the points championship for the 2006 season in Street Touring (STS). It has taken awhile to adjust to race tires, there are a few partial seasons due to $ limitations, and so on. I have a gentlemen's agreement with the other people in the class to run the old Toyo Proxes RA-1's as our race rubber.

Disclaimer: The GTZ is not a good car (competitively) anymore in autox. Even at DSP levels it is seriously outclassed on the national stage. A BMW 325i will wipe me by over 2 seconds. Those who know how I drive at Bfest events will attest that I get the most out of my car. I have been known to slightly embarrass other people who let me take their car for a run... :D

Last year running a seriously limited schedule (only made 3 events of 8) I started to hit stride. I finished within .2 of a second in the first event, and then swept my rival driver in a '99 Civic Si (both cars equally prepped). I won by the slimmest of margins both times, less than .1 of a second each.

Which brings us to 2011. I dominated the first event in May, winning by about .2 of a second but it was convincing as I was frustrating my rival driver all day. This makes 3 of the last 4 events in my favor going back to 2010, and if you want to dip back to '09 I am 4 of the last 5 because I won the season finale that year as my second win in DSP ever. I landed a new job while AT BerettaFest 2011 :shock: and now should have the funds to finish running the schedule for the year. We both took off the second event, so the playing field is level (we are both way ahead of other locals that show up for the class). I just got my Hoosiers mounted, and we both agreed to run a mixed-tire schedule for the remainder of the season. The question is: am I still faster than him on Hoosiers? I know I can beat him on the Toyo's, that is proven. The Hoosier is about a 2 second faster tire on a 60 second course vs. the Toyo. This weekend I am running a 2 day event (counts as two points events) on the Hoosiers. They like heat, and there in no shortage of that with highs in the mid/upper 80's all weekend.

The GTZ is running fast for itself with wins in DSP lately, and a new best time of 15.76 in the 1/4 at Bfest. I am dialed in as a driver, especially with the GTZ, but I was really practicing some things while high-speed karting at Bfest that directly translates to autox and I feel like I am at the top of my game after 10 seasons in autox. The stage is set for me to have my third class championship, and second in the black car (I won a stock class championship in the garnet GTZ in '02).

Let's go racin' ladies and gentlemen... :Yahoo!:

Re: 2011 Autox Log

Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:46 pm
by scannerman
Good Luck Mike! It was nice seeing your autox car at bfest.

Re: 2011 Autox Log

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:12 am
by weba
You need more suspension upgrades to beat that BMW ;)

Re: 2011 Autox Log

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:51 am
by 3X00-Modified
weba wrote:You need more suspension upgrades to beat that BMW ;)


possibly just a few extra ponies too.

Re: 2011 Autox Log

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:27 am
by Barry
You need rwd

Re: 2011 Autox Log

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:24 pm
by quad4berettagtz
Or the hand of god?! The BMW is what we like to call a "class killer". If you want to win nationals, you must have one. A lot of drivers what the classes to be realigned a bit, but that won't happen until something really popular no longer competes. Much like how they just moved Cobalt SS (SC and Turbo) and SRT4's into the same stock classing as our cars (and many other older FWD cars like my rival Civic). They started to not be competitive in their old class, so they just moved them down a class and now they dominate within the new class once again. Hence the reason I hear so many people each year say "I didnt' think Beretta's were that fast". We are just classed poorly...

Re: 2011 Autox Log

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:35 pm
by 3X00-Modified
3500 swap... LOL

I wish I could find the picture but Superdave used to have a sig image that was a LX9 Touched by the hand of god... LOL similar to the LS1 one floating around.

Re: 2011 Autox Log

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:52 pm
by weba
3500 is nice yes, but I'd like to see someone swapping in HFV6 based engine instead. (DOHC Aluminium block). Personally I'd love to get my hands on the alu bowtie 2nd gen block for my build.

Re: 2011 Autox Log

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:28 pm
by Barry
Are you talking about e36 325's? Im getting one for a daily driver but had no idea that they handled well

Re: 2011 Autox Log

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:45 am
by 3X00-Modified
3500 swap is the most logical for our cars due to the modifications necessary. If I had the resources and funds I would definitely be working at swapping in a VVT type direct injection motor, quite possibly the version used in the newer camaro's... Can't beat 306 n/a hp from a V6.

Re: 2011 Autox Log

Posted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:17 am
by Alxsmt
engine swap would put him in SMF, not exactly an easy class.... better than SM tho!

Re: 2011 Autox Log

Posted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:49 pm
by ErichZ26
Quad 4 Beretta's are the most competitive in the stock class. The nice thing about Beretta's is the fact that few people know about them to question what is stock. I don't believe Koni's alone will put you into DSP. Mike is a good driver. I try to stay STS.

Re: 2011 Autox Log

Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:05 pm
by Godlike
A v6 L body is kind of a fat lady as far as soloII goes. Especially an auto. Been there done that, they like to plow alot. I know there are those who pull it off well but my GTZ and also Holsts Twin cam did really well and felt alot more balanced.
2 Rules of low speed auto cross:
-The best thing you can do to your car is tires.
-The worst thing you can do is add power. There are not many cases where someone dramatically ups there power numbers and runs faster times. Usually it destroys your consistency and makes it very difficult to run an efficiant line.
Being on course in a well balanced car is amaizing. I took 3 consecutive championships and lost one race in 4 years in my 87 integra with its 113hp 4 banger and it just felt easy. And now im starting all over again and struggling with a 170hp GS-R thats a long ways off from being balanced and my times are reflecting it. But for me this is the fun part where i have to get used to the car and slowly get it dialed in.