Event: Canadian Sports Compact Series #1
Track: Toronto Motorsports Park, Cayuga
Weather Conditions: 13-16°C mix of rain and sunshine
Normally I stop by the Petro at Ancaster on Wilson & Fiddler's the morning of, but my friends wanted to meet somewhere "closer and on the way". I agreed to meet them at the Sunoco in Stoney Creek but to my demise it turned into a Husky. I told them it was a bad idea trying a new fuelling spot on the day of an event but they were convinced I'd be fine. So that kinda threw my morning off a bit, but luckily because of the poor morning weather it wasn't that busy. A spot in the paddock was actually easy to find, omg!
Open Lapping Practice
Lapping was staggered, 20 minutes experienced, 20 minutes novice. I was in the experienced group and and set off to find my tire pressures. I started at 36 PSI warm all around and ended up with them at 44 PSI hot. They felt really greasy on the track so I backed them down to 39 PSI hot for the day and eventually left them at that. This year is about driving more and worrying less about setups. I had my dampers set to +16 front/rear but I feel I could've used a bit more stiffness since the car was wobbling a bit through T1. Next time I'll try +20.
I did 4 practice sessions but missed a few because I wanted to take some time to check out the booths and catch up with some friends. It was raining during some of the runs so I opted to sit out for those runs to avoid an unforced disaster. I think I prefer SRTA's open lapping practice better, where you can take your time and go out whenever you're ready. Although with 50% more cars at CSCS I understand that this is done to regulate traffic. HANSON schools run this way anyway so I'm kind of used to it by now.
StE's forged rims paid off big time as the left chicain (T8) had a big pot hole in front of it. Most people, including myself, cut this chicaine really hard on the left. I believe AlmostHip blew a tire and KPower bent a rim because of this hole. On one run I hit the hole so hard my wiper switch turned itself on! I actually hit this hole twice so I'm really lucky I didn't damage anything.
Best lap times per practice session:
Session 1 - 1:25.24
Session 2 - 1:24.84
Session 3 - 1:24.60
Session 4 - 1:24.47
The brake ducts also worked extremely well. During session 1 I ran with the ducts covered up and noticed a bit of pad fade. But with the ducts open I never experienced any fade whatsoever. No smoking or burnign smells in the pits either. What a relief to have this hot braking issue finally sorted (although StE still thinks I brake too much lol). Thank you Can-Jam and Randy Zimmer!
For lap timing I was using an AiM Solo DL that I picked up from the SRTA webstore (yes, they sell stuff now!). I love the AiM products because they are so straight forward to set up and use. All I had to do was stand by the start/finish line on the pit-wall and hit the "OK" button to set the GPS marker. The lap timer turns on with the car and once you drive by the market it starts the lap times.
CSCS was using the MyLaps RFID system (same one as SRTA) and I found my lap times to be within a tenth of second all day long. The MyLaps system kept giving me the (slightly) faster lap times.
This year CSCS has taken the hint and staged the heats for us. They had staff staging the cars from slowest to fastest in heats of 5. Live timing was supposed to be available on a TV but we never saw one during the day. Instead, they were made available on paper printouts for us to check, or through cell phones at www.livetiming.net/cscs if you managed to get data reception (which I didn't). Still, this is a tremendous improvement over last year, which pretty much made CSCS broken in my opinion. I'm really glad they fixed this and look foreward to more improvements for event #2 in Grand Bend.
Official Time Attack
The thing I like the most about the CSCS rules is the chance to put down 3 hot laps (unlike SRTA's 2 hot laps). That 3rd hot lap makes such a big difference because it usually takes at least that many laps to get tires up to temp. At SRTA before the timed runs you always hear people freaking out about changing tire pressures last minute, but at CSCS there's none of that. CSCS runs more cars and gives more laps. SRTA guys take note! A (rare) Kaizen opportunity!
I qualified for the 8th heat of the day and everyone in my group was running 1:24's (including KPower). We were staged beside each other actually.
My runs went well. No drama and fairly clean laps. I didn't have any big screw ups but I didn't particularly feel overly satisfied with any of the laps either. Room for improvement definitely exists and looking over the footage I can already tell which areas need work. Still, I managed to pull out a new personal best of 1:24.038 and take home 1st place in a small Street AWD class.
I only managed to beat my previous personal best by 0.2 seconds after switching to a stickier street tire. I think this is the reason I felt only mildly satisfied with that new time. People have told me that the StarSpecs get grippier as the tread gets shaved so I hope they're right.
But overall I'm very happy with my results. Nothing broke, no major off-roading, new personal best and a trophy to boot. The only thing I really need to focus on now is driving better. Let's have more weekends like this please :)
See you at SRTA #2 at Mosport DDT this Sunday! Do I smell 1:08's? ;)