Tuesday, June 7, 2011

[6/05/2011] CSCS #1 (TMP)

CSCS was pretty much an epic fail for me.

I thought I was arriving early at 9:30AM but turns out it wasn't early enough. By the time I got registered and into the pit area there were no spots left. I had to go to the very end, but still ended up in someone's spot. One of the drifters was kind enough to lend me his spot while he went for qualifying though. It was a start ... at least I had a place to change my tires lol.

Since I was in such a scramble to get my car set up, and was all the way at the end of the pit lane I totally missed the drivers meeting (despite having full intentions on going to it - I was running down the pit to make it to the tent but just missed it when I got there). This set the pace for the rest of the day ... I basically had no idea what was going on and it was super packed and super hot outside :o

Lapping run #1, on the first hot lap, one of the cars ahead of me blew his engine right before T2 and spewed white smoke and oil all over the track. I cut speed and then slid on the slick track surface going into T2. I also noticed a bit of rubbing noise with my taller 235/45/17 RA-1's. Lapping session #1 was pretty much a write-off because of the oil on the track so I pitted early to adjust some of my settings.

Lapping run #2 was a little better but not by much. I forgot to record it on my camera. For most of this session I was stuck behind a blue R32 who was driving like a jackass and not letting me pass. He fish tailed every corner and a few times I had to slam on the brakes to avoid rear ending him from his spin... then on the main straight I would pull to the right hoping to pass him, but he had more power than me and would not let me pass despite being blue flagged :mad: I was hoping the "experienced" lapping group wouldn't have people like this but I was wrong.

Lapping run #3 was also cut short when I overheated my brakes going into T10 right after the double chicane. I slammed on the brakes but -- nothing. I went straight off into grass cutting mode and then exited the track shortly after to check for damage. Luckily, none. But by this point all the weeds/grass that I caught in my dust shields were starting to smoke up :o I cleaned them out quickly with a long screwdriver and then hopped in my car to try and get some air flow to them. The problem was... it was so packed with spectators I literally couldn't get anywhere LOL. Driving up the pit lane on the main straight and back must have taken me 10 minutes! Ridiculous...

Anyway, at this point it was time for lunch. It was hard to find parking with 6000 people walking around and a pit lane that was 150% booked so I parked in parallel to the staging lanes with my 2 RH tires barely on the tarmac (plenty of space for people to still drive by me). Fast forward about 1.5-2 hours later and this infamous event happened:

Took them a while to clean it up but basically it was now time for drifting, and then the actual time attack. During the drivers meeting for time attack I was actually quite shocked to see that no lap times were taken at all during the day - despite an RFID lap timer being applied to every car that registered in time attack. I questioned how they were planning on staging the heats so that the pace could be maintained. Then my question was answered -- they expected us to form our own groups, based on our own best estimates of how fast we were ... honestly this was a big WTF moment for me

So I went around trying to meet people to make a group of 5. I approached about 4-5 different groups but all of them already had 5 (thanks Kyle for trying to squeeze me in as a 6th haha) or were running WAY faster times than I knew I could handle (low 20's, my best is 28 flat). I bumped into Ana from SGR and she mentioned the Stage Four guys were looking for a 5th. Cool. So I went walking down the pits to find these guys. Figured it'd be cool to run with them since they were also at SRTA. But no luck, I couldn't find them...

By then I was at the end of the pit lane near my car so I decided to get inside and drive back to the start to keep looking for a group. Then one of the marshals approached me and asked if it was my car. "Yeah" I said... and then I was greeted by "Are you a f***ing idiot? What the f*** were you thinking?" proceeded by an entire 5 minute scolding (and about 15 f-bombs) of how I parked my car blocking the staging lane for lappers, how he was gonna kick me out of the park and not let me participate in lapping, etc... Not gonna go too much into the details of it, but apparently he was calling out for me on the PA system as the "Silver STI" to move my car. You can figure out why I never clued in.

Anyway... I was pretty put off by this, and honestly didn't feel like looking for a group for the time attack anymore. I was upset with how the whole event had turned out so I just packed it in and went home. No sense pushing my car to the limit while angry and in a really bad mood (not to mention drained from the heat). Congrats to all the winners and everyone that actually enjoyed it. I for one will not be going to any of the other CSCS events. Also a thank you to StE who took some awesome action shots of my car during the limited time I had on track Sorry no cool track videos this week :p

Coles Notes:
- No live leaderboard
- Drivers had to organize their own heats
- Got yelled at for parking in the wrong spot
- Apparently my car is a Silver STI
- DNS for the Time Attack
- Brakes still overheating - need ducts badly
- 2nd weekend in a row for a safety incident at TMP