StlSolo Novice School 2016

Got a few runs in at the novice school in the Mini and a few other cars @ the novice school. Had a rewarding time as usual, despite the 100+ degree weather.

Started off teaching two students in the ’06 Mini Cooper S – the car was similar to other MCS’s I’ve driven, so I was pretty comfortable in the car. The biggest thing that hampered this car were the tires, which were all seasons that felt like they were at the end of their lives. Run in the 52’s, but DNF’d as I kept missing the final left after the last slalom – being used to my grip, thought the car would make it, which it could not. My run (DNF’ed) below:

I took about 7 runs in my Mini, and had 2 guest drivers in the car as well to see what they thought of my suspension set up. All commented on how composed the Mini was, particularly for an HS car. Tells me I’m fairly close in set up at least. Since running the 40/45 tire pressures, the car’s really been handling a lot closer to how I’ve wanted it to. My fastest below, along with one of the fastest in the region – he was able to hop in and go about half a second faster than me, which isn’t all that bad:

For the afternoon, I started off in the MCS’s, but switched to a Mazda3 briefly and then the Focus ST. The Focus ST was interesting – I found myself preaching a lot of what I have been working on lately, which is giving up entry/speed for a tighter line and braking earlier. I really had to push to get the student to do so, but once he did his times started dropping significantly. Luckily for me, I got to drive the car as well, and saw why he developed the habit he did. The Focus ST rotates extremely well for a stock set up car – almost weird how it behaves. Come in hot and on the brakes, and the car would scrub – but still rotate and make the turn no matter what, deceiving the driver into taking corners fast. The earlier the student braked, the faster the car was settled and ready to get back on the gas, and the faster the student was. Here’s my run in the FoST – ran a 51 flat, blowing the first braking zone. Really impressed with the car overall, which was on Z1ss – with better shocks and RE71Rs, would have dropped 2s easily, which is about in line vs what I ran in my car (49.6, so half a second or so faster than mine). Power was great to have – not overwhelming, and had a nice linear pull to it.


Things to work on (Mini):

  • Focus on the line, not the car
  • Tighten up the line!!
  • Try braking earlier

Notes (Mini):

  • 8/9ths tank
  • Ran 40/45, seems to work best
  • 7 runs in the Mini
  • 3 runs in the Mini from other drivers
  • 3 runs in MCS
  • 1 run in FoST
  • 2016 Runs: 49 in the Mini (+7 me, +3 others)

2016 Run Count: 62 (+7 Mini, +3 MCS, +1 FoST)


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