April 22nd was an exciting day for me — It was my first autocross of the 2012 season! Not only was it my first race of the season, it was my first autocross ever driving the S2000. To say I was nervous would be an understatement.
Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to get the KW Variant 3 coilovers installed before the day, but I’m hoping to get them in before the next autocross. I figured at the very least I now have something to compare the coilovers to and maybe I’ll notice a difference. Either way, the Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 tires are great!!
My only goal for the day was to NOT SPIN. The S2000, especially the early AP1s like mine, are very prone to snap oversteer. The course had two turn around points, both being pretty wicked corners that would easily induce oversteer or understeer, depending on the car. While drifting might look cool, it sure isn’t fast…. And autocross is about being fast.
Luckily, I didn’t spin at all!!! I had a pretty nice drift in my first run though, here’s the video for that:
I was really happy I didn’t, and I felt pretty accomplished considering a LOT of people did end up spinning throughout the day. I wasn’t one of them, though! I learned by my second run (video below) that the S2000 responds best when I drive as smooth as possible. And, since smooth is fast, that’s what I was going for anyhow!
After my second run, I knew that the S2000 was only going to be as much of a handful as I would let her be. She’s not crazy or out of control or hard to keep facing the right way… At least not when I’m trying to be crazy fast. Of course, the idea *is* to get faster, and thankfully I managed to do that in my third run!
Also running for the first time of the season and in a different car was my husband, Sean. He decided to take our STi out and see what she could do. He royally kicked my ass, laying down a 51 second time when my fastest was a 58, but part of that comes from the turbo and AWD of the STi too. Plus he’s just more aggressive than I am. Here’s one of his videos:
I went into the afternoon knowing that I was in 3rd place in my class, and I wanted to keep it! I didn’t know how many people were in my class, and though it turned out to only be three, I still wanted to do as good as possible. My fourth run was another improvement, hooray! I also moved the camera to the hood to see how it turned out, but I don’t think I’ll do it again… It’s pretty shaky.
My fifth run went a little backwards in time, as I got a little too gas-happy and had to slow down in the first slalom. Ick.
Unfortunately, the camera’s battery died after my fifth run and I didn’t get to record my sixth run, which also happened to be my fastest. I set down a best time for me of a 58.160, which wasn’t bad at all! It was an improvement of at least three seconds over the day, which is pretty good honestly. I believe the time translated to a PAX-adjusted 49 seconds and some, which sounds better to me honestly!
I did manage to get a 3rd place trophy, too! Yes, I was third out of three people…. But I was still proud of myself for getting a trophy. I may not be the fastest, but at the very least I do get out there and actually race instead of just watching from the sidelines!
I’m very excited for the next autocross, which is on May 20th!