Targa Miata
Click to see the next entry
June 1, 2008 - Autocross time!
This was an event put on by the Red Rock Racers, a group I started because we didn't have any autocrosses to go to! Problem solved, now there's one a month. And on the prettiest autocross course in the world.
We had a good bunch of cars out - a couple of modified STis (including one on Toyo R888s), a rotary-powered X1/9, some quick Miatas, an Evo and even a Isuzu I-Mark "Handling By Lotus". Everyone's a lot of fun to run with. However, they did have a little trouble keeping up with the Targa Miata. I took the fastest time of the day by a 0.8 second margin.
The car felt good, moving around nicely and easy to toss into corners and transitions. I was using the brake bias to adjust the handling of the car and it worked well. I didn't adjust anything on the suspension after my recent over-the-road testing otherwise.
The picture was taken on a fast right sweeper, and you can see there's a fair bit of body roll. It didn't seem like it from inside the car and it responds to transitions pretty well. But I was still having traction problems on rights, and looking at that roll makes me wonder if it is simply a matter of unloading the inner wheel completely despite all that droop. I'm going to play with some different sway bar and alignment settings, although having Janel in the car helped and I expect a cornerweighting session would also plant that right rear a bit more.
Another thing that concerned me a bit was my consistency - or lack thereof. I'm usually pretty good for putting down similar times, but today I was all over the place on the timing board. Still at the pointy end of the pack, of course, and I posted not only the fastest time but also the second-fastest and (I think) fourth and fifth-fastest. But there was a bigger range than usual. I'm not sure exactly why. I did manage to stay clear of cones all day though.
The car was burping coolant out of the overflow tank, but not showing signs of running hot. I think I might have a bad radiator cap that's venting early. Easy enough to check. Otherwise, the car ran flawlessly.
tags: suspension