2014 Season Finale & Conclusion

Decided to do a final event in the Evo, which turned out to be somewhat of a mistake. Had a hard time getting used to the car and plowed and plowed everywhere – I’ve got a wheel liner, undertray & lip to fix now during the offseason… oh well. I ran consistently in the 51.5’s with 2-3 cones, finally backed off the last run to get one clean on in the books. 52.330 clean, good for 17th overall with the noncompetitive BSCC with an SM pax. Here’s the run, nothing special:

So, 33 events & 227 runs this year, most of which in the Mini. I’ve gone through a set of Z2’s, a worn set of RS3’s on the Evo, about 10 runs on kumhos briefly on the Mini, about 50 runs on the new RS3v2’s including nats, and about 50 or so runs on the Evo’s worn Z1ss. It’s been a heck of a year, can’t believe it’s already over. Went through some ups and downs throughout the season. Looking back, I think I started as a worse driver than I thought I was at the time. Inputs and lines were awful, and I couldn’t see where I could find time when I looked at old videos. I’m still not far from that, but I want to say I improved a solid 0.5-1.0s overall this year. Took a lot of seat time to get here, and a lot more to go.

Need to take a minute for a huge shoutout to my sponsors this year:

Fat Cat Motorsports: FCM deserves probably the biggest thanks this year. My first and most impactful sponsor – FCM took a chance on me when I still sucked. They recognized my potential and desire to go faster, and without his dampers I don’t know that I could have gone as fast. The car handles great and I’m very happy with the setup. Any Minis out there running out there need to strongly consider getting their shocks tweaked by FCM. I’m determined to make this setup a winner at nationals.

Solo Performance Specialties: Not only did SPS help with my Mini, they helped with all of my cars – from endless tire purchases to corner balancing the Evo, it was great to have a local shop backing me this year. They’ve got top of the line stuff & really helped me get where I’m at.

Goals for 2014:

  • Develop as a driver – CHECK
  • Develop a brand/identity for myself – CHECK
  • Build relationships with my new sponsors – CHECK
  • Repeat as St. Louis region SCCA HS Champion – CHECK
  • Index top 20 in every region I race in, as well as place 1st in class – CHECK
  • New goal as of 6/1/14: Get within 1s PAX of #1 Index driver in STL region – Work in progress
  • Compete at Nationals – Work in Progress

2015 plans:

Evo: Anyone who knows me knows the Evo is always a work in progress. While the list never seems to get any shorter, since this year & moving forward it will always be in a state where I can go out and race it at an autox. I’ll be campaigning it in STU for the 2015 season. I’ve got a few “iffy” mods, but I don’t think anything people will be interested in throwing papers about. I’ll be refreshing the rear differential over the winter with Team Rip Engineering to fix a small leak I’ve had for a while thanks to a shop that stripped the fill bolt. I need to reinstall the wheel well lining like I mentioned, swap my aluminum undertray for the OEM plastic one. Suspension should receive some updates too: I think I will move from 8/10k to 10/12k Swift springs, a hollow RSB, and get some CDR camber/caster plates to add more caster to the car. Other than that, just a few minor things here and there. My overall goal for this car is to increase the grip levels, especially in the front. Special thanks to TRE for their support with the car – the only shop I’d ever take a drivetrain part to. Also huge thanks to English Racing for their support with my car.

Mini: Thankfully, the Mini will stay largely unchanged for 2015. I will continue to race it in HS. The only thing I really want from the car is to increase rear stiffness, so I can get it handling as well in the hot as it does in the cold. It just provides a little more rotation that I’d love to have in a place like Lincoln for example. I’ve got a few ideas on how I’d like to achieve this for the upcoming year. I was a little hesitant at first, but I think I’m ready to go head to head with the new Fiesta ST’s and Civic Si’s that will be entering HS this year. Whether their power can overtake the Mini’s handling prowess remains to be seen, and I think overall I have the best prepped Mini to put that to the test. Can’t wait until next year – it’s going to be a long 5 months! I’ll probably run a few less events though, somewhere between 25-30 or so. I’m aiming for top ten in Index next year in STL, an improvement of about 0.75s average. I’d LIKE to get a full second faster though. Word on the street is that index for street tired cars will be softer. I’d also like to shoot for top 20% RAW times – that one will vary a lot. It will take a lot of work to get there, but nonetheless looking forward to the challenge! I still maintain it takes about 1,000 runs to be nationals champion level. With 227 runs, I’m well on my way. 773 more to go!

Overall St Louis Index: 17th
Total number of events & run count: 33 events, 227 runs

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