paddedwall.org
where your opinions are noted, and then summarily ignored

Racing

Got a Mustang? You probably considered racing it somewhere (hopefully, not on the street). This page chronicles my racing experiences. You may notice that it's a little light in terms of content, and that's because a) the car is my daily driver, and b) racing costs considerable money, especially if you're talking about track days at road-racing courses.

I'm not really into drag racing, but everyone interested in Mustang performance wants to know how fast their car is in the 1/4-mile, and I admin, I'm no exception. There will be at least one tab on this page devoted to drag racing.

Autocross

Having to actually turn to follow the racing surface is the kind of racing I like, and making the car handle and stop is often equally as important as putting down power. The 2011+ V6 is perfect for this because you can mod the hell out of the suspension, and because the motor is so much lighter than the 5.0, you stand a decent change of out-performing the V8 cars in the turns.

I decided to try my hand at regional autocross events, and found that I needed to see what class my car fell into. This is easier said than done, because regional sanctioning bodies can adopt their own rules, and add/remove classes as they see fit. Generally, though, they follow the SCCA rule set for Solo I.

As of 01 August 2013, my brake, suspension and drivetrain mods were complete, having installed the following components. The "lowest" class each component can be used in is indicated in parenthesis:

  • Eibach springs (FS)
  • Koni STR.T shocks/struts (FS)
  • Eibach adjustable sway bars (FS)
  • Slotted/dimpled GT rotors (FS)
  • Hawke HPS pads (FS)
  • ATE Super Blue brake fluid (FS)
  • Fays2 Watts Link (STU)
  • Steeda front LCAs (STU)
  • AMR 18x9 wheels with 255/45 Michelin (500 tread wear) (STU)
  • SR Performanc eadjustable rear LCAs (ESP)
  • FRPP 3.73 gears (ESP)
  • Whiteline rear LCA relocation brackets (SM)
  • Steeda bump-steer kit (SM)
  • Axel Exchange aluminum driveshaft (SM)

So, I'm in the SM (Street Modified) class along with STIs, M3,s and other such small lightweight cars.

Racing Log

This section will describe my experiences and shine the harsh light of reality on my clown-like driving skills. The order of entries will be earliest to latest. Local races are held on the 2nd Sunday of the month, at either Ratama Park (seven miles away) or San Antonio Raceway (18 miles away). Hopefully I'll have a bunch of videos as well.

August 2013 - Ratama Park

Preparations

I aired up the tires to 42 pounds and that was about it. On hindsight, I should have packed a chair, some water in a cooler, and an unbrella. The sun/heat were brutal.

The Race

It was freakin hot. Drove the car to Ratama Park and put my fancy painter's tape numbers on. Looks like crap, but I didn't want to pay for magnetic numbers until I was sure I wanted to do this a lot. Since I'm new at this, I'm a novice, so my number was "NSM 94". There were 167 drivers, and I was scheduled for heat #3 of four. My goal for the event was to not place DFL (dead-fuckin-last), and to harm no cones in the production of the associated video.

By the time I got to the grid, it was 110 on the racing surface. My wife was suffering from the extreme heat, so she went home after videoing two of my four runs. The first video was not usable, and my action cam skills still require fine tuning, so the only video I have from the event is video of run #2 (which wasn't my best run of the day - that would have been run #3).


Results

My best time was 51.4 seconds, which was good for 40th in the Novice class and 156th in the PAX standings. I also made four clean runs. Both of my goals were achieved.

The tires I was using are not adequate for SM class, so with divine dispensation from SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed), I ordered a set of 18x10 wheels from American Muscle, and a set of Hankook R-S3 tires (tread wear 140) from Tire Rack. I also bought a better tire pressure gauge, the cheap $1 pressure sticks are NOT sufficient if you want an accurate reading.

I also ordered a set of magnetic numbers so I can avoid the ugly painter's tape numbers.

I was gonna buy a (class 1) trailer hitch for the Mustang and a little utility trailer from Harbor Freight to haul my racing stuff (tires, tools, shelter) to the track, but my wife wasn't going for it since we "already have a real trailer" she can haul with her Explorer. I was simply trying to make my racing efforts self-contained because I didn't think she's want to go every event. I guess we'll see how long she lasts before telling me to get my own trailer.

Finally, I need to find someone willing to go to the races to video the car as a spectator (since I obviously can't do it).

September 2013 - San Antonio Raceway

Preparations

The Race

Results


Grudge Race

A co-worker (and fellow gear-head) recently pucrchased a 1953 Ford Customline four-door sedan. It still had it's original 6-cylinder engine and 3-on-the-tree manual transmission. The car is currently in the shop getting a mildly cammed 289/302 V8 and a C4 automatic transmission installed. We recently had an email exchange at work where he said my car was slow. Well, I can't let that one go by, and challenged him to a drag race at the local drag strip (San Antonio Raceway).

I don't know when it's going to happen, so updates will be posted when/if it happens. I'm not really into drag racing at all, so if this does happen, it will probably be the only time I take my car down the 1/4 mile.