I thought some of you might be interested in impressions from my first
Equipe Rapide Sports Car Club of Dallas held their first event of the
year at a stadium parking lot near Ft. Worth, TX. The weather was a typical
Texas winter day, sunny, dry and about 65° (eat your heart out Yankees).
About 140+ competitors showed up. The course was an "X" type with one
cross over. Having done several lapping days at the Texas World Speedway
track in College Station, TX and read everything I could get my hands on
about autocrossing I was comfortable about handling my '90 Nissan 300ZX and
eager to see what it would do against the competition.
I met a guy in the registration line who was also fairly new to the
sport. We dutifully walked the course several times and I even mapped it.
Although the average time through the course was about 40" it seemed to me
that it took about 5" to finish. Everything was a blur. After our runs we
laughed about the common wisdom that encourages you to reflect on your last
run and try to plan improvements in your line. Neither of us could remember
anything about what we had just done.
By the time I had made my fifth run at the course late in the
afternoon I could remember more about what was happening in the corners,
but I still could not really remember the line or visualize what I should
to improve. This was an interesting contrast to my experience at Texas
World Speedway. That course is about 3 miles and 15 turns, a wonderful road
course. There is time to see the corners coming, to plan your line, to
notice while in the turn how successful your choice was, and even time on
the next straight to reflect on how the last corner could be improved next
Despite the handicap of being too brain dead to remember what I was
doing each time, some portion of my subconscious mind must have been
functioning because I killed no cones, did not lose traction at any point
and improved my times with each run. I cut almost 2" off my first time and
placed 4th out of 16 in my PAX'd street tire class. My time would have
placed me 3rd out of 5 in the FS class, despite my rock hard tires (I have
to drive over 200 miles round trip to any autocross in this area and don't
have a trailer).
The best times of the day, both raw and PAX'd were turned in by an
ancient Red Devil F440 car that looked like a blast to drive. The several
go carts on hand
were just behind the FMs. In fact they looked like so much fun that I
decided to forego entering my own car in the National event in Ft. Worth in
April and do the Arrive & Drive go cart thing.
Hopefully the Texas Region school and the McKamey school that I am
registered for in the next few weeks will improve my memory and allow
significant improvement. All in all it was great fun.
I hope I was a credit to Team.Net. Unfortunately, I was the only car
in the whole field with my number shoe polished on the window. I'll try to
look better next time.
1990 Nissan 300ZX