I had a great start to the 2021 season in my Evo. The Sequoia is temporarily out of commission, meaning I had to drive the Evo up and down for the event – a nice call back to the pre-trailering days. I looked back at the archive to see when I last did a CCSCC event – to my surprise, it’s been 3 1/2 years, in August 2017. In a lot of ways, CCSCC was the birthplace of my motorsports hobby – it was great seeing everyone again, and I would definitely like to make it to more events this year – especially now that I’ve got the trailer. I have been sticking to local events for autox for the Evo, but a trip out to CCSCC every once in a while will be nice.
I actually had planned on attending a local event, but nothing quite panned out for me. Of course, I was up against a time constraint for the start of the year – I really needed to break in everything before my first track day, and that meant I had to get seat time somewhere. I had skipped the local TnT due to weather, and the autox that I was going to attend here was canceled – leaving CCSCC the only place I could go to get a little seat time in and brush off the rust.
Unlike the beautiful, mid-70s weather the prior day, Sunday was cold, cloudy, and extremely windy. Rantoul is always a pretty windy place, but Sunday saw 25mph gusts and that made working course very difficult. More than a few times, cones tipped over on their own from the wind. It also made getting any heat in the tires nearly impossible. I’m a little stricter with the car at CCSCC than at a BSCC event, so I ran in the XSA class due to the E85, as opposed to STU. With the other mods I have coming, XSA will likely be my home for the next few years for autox. The course itself was a lot of fun, a classic Rantoul W with a mix of slaloms, offsets, and sweeper/turn-arounds. Always true, but on this course, especially, it paid to look ahead and keep tight on the tight stuff, and not fall behind on the slaloms (vid below…)
Anyway, With little heat in the tires, I nearly spun out half my runs. I started the event with the shocks at 3/5. Given how loose the rear was, especially with the Evo’s power curve and the quick, repeated front-rear weight transfers that happen in autox, I turned the rear shocks up to 7, and that helped settle the rear. After the 5 (1 rerun) morning sessions, I had 3 clean runs and down 4 tenths to an Evo X in my class, 52.9 vs 53.3. Luckily, the afternoon sessions saw a little sun and things were finally starting to warm up. Still, no heat in the tires. I put my last 5 gallons of E85 in the tank, and that did the trick. With the rear much more stable, I was really starting to cut times. I hit a 52.3, as the Evo X cut another 5 tenths, to 52.4. He blew his final runs, as I cut down to a 52.2. I had him, and I had reruns on top of it. My final run saw the most improvement, getting down finally to a 51.8. It didn’t get counted for some reason, but I didn’t really mind. I got what I came for, which was a good amount of seat time to shake the rust off and brake in all the new bits.
The Evo performed flawlessly, taking the 3 hour trip up, the 11 runs on site, and the 3 hour trip back down without fuss. Pretty amazing how reliable the Evo’s turning out to be, especially given the hard driving it sees. Hope she can make it through the season without much issue. Fluids flush next, followed by a hopefully fun weekend at NCM!
Set Up (Evo):
- Ohlins DFV (Custom valved); Shocks 3/7
- OEM FSB 4/5; WL 26mm RSB: Soft
- RE-ACD: Tarmac; ATS 1-way CH Front Differential; ATS 1.5-way CH Rear Differential
- Camber at -3.5, -2.5 rear, 0 Toe F, 1/16 Toe Rear
- Brakes F: Girodisc 2-pc & ST43s Brakes R: Girodisc 2-pc & ST43s
- CE28N 18×9.5; 255/35-18 Falken RT660
- 2020 Evo: 11 autox runs, 0 track sessions (12 on Falkens)
2020 Event Count: 1 Autox, 0 Track Days