Evo vs. WRX Shootout - NJ

Arriving at the Event

Technically, the gates to the raceway opened at 9AM, but they were letting people in earlier than that, which would have been useful to know. We showed up at 8:30, didn't get through tech until 9:00, and then the first car off was at 10:00. Needless to say, we were a little pressed for time, and with tire swapping, I only managed to get one walk around the course. Also, on tech, they decided to tech the cars as they came in, instead of after they had been cleaned out and race wheels put on. Kind of pointless if you ask me.

The Course

The overall course shape was a big horseshoe. It began with a slight right-left jog, then continued with a right-left turn combo. Next came a shaper right turn, then left into a wide sweeper which brought you to the backstretch of the course. The backstretch was basically a big slalom, but was unequal in length and the cones were not in line. Finally, there was a right-left combo into the finish. Overall it was very fast, and you really had to flick the wheel fast to get through the turns well.

The Runs

Overall, we got 8 runs in the day because the NNJ SCCA crew ran things pretty efficiently and there weren't too many cars there (~60). On the first run, there were a bunch of cars that skidded out of the slalom into the beginnig part of the course, which was enjoyable to watch. On my first run, I did about the same thing, but managed to catch it before I got too out of shape. I began the day with a 36.5, but I figured I'd be little slow since I only got to walk the course once and I hadn't memorized the lines. The second run showed great improvement, and I was able to shave 2 seconds off my time (which would be my best run of 34.190). My next run was again in the mid 34's, but on my fourth run, I managed to squeeze into the 33's, but I hit a cone so the time didn't count. Interestingly enough, I felt very slow during this run and thought the car was pushing too much, but since it was one of my faster times, it just shows that I need to learn more about how the car feels! From there, runs 5, 6, and 7 were all back into the mid to low 34's, and I just couldn't figure out how to get back into the 33's. For my final run, I was determined to to get into the 33's again just to prove to myself that I could do it and it wasn't a fluke run before, and I managed to pull out a 33.75! Unfortunately, I hit another cone, so again the run didn't count. But I was still happy to know that I could still better my time on the last run of the event. As for the other PSG drivers, Jeff and Phil were again on top of their game. Jeff was trying to hunt down Chris Carris (who managed a 31), and was able to bring it down to a 32.8, finishing 5th for the day in class. Phil, who was co-driving the yellow Evo, got a 34.188, a great time since it was his first full event in an Evo, and he was practicing left foot braking for the first time! And yes, he managed to beat me again, by a measly .002 seconds! Henry was back in action in his Evo, and his mind preparation seemed to have helped as he was able to dip into the low 33's. After some new tires, Henry will be very competative. Gus and Omar were codriving Gus' Evo. For his first event, Omar did very well, improving his time by almost four seconds througout the day! It seemed like Gus was off his game, but still he managed to get into the 34's, a very nice time for the day. Other notable runs: Mark Daddio, second run of the day, pulls a 29.8 for FTD (the only sub 30 time for the day). John Winchester and Kevin Lau were close behind in their Evo, with times in the upper 30's. Chris Carris came out on top for the Subarus with a time of 31.6. Out of the top 20 drivers, 14 of them drove Evos. Maybe it's time to convert!

The Day in Summary Overall

I'd say the day was a success! The weather in the morning looked threatening, but at the event things started to clear up and it was sunny (and HOT!) out. We got all of our 8 runs done in 3 hours, and we didn't have any work assignments. We were all packed up and ready to go at about 2:00. Sadly, NNJ SCCA were not the friendliest of folk. When you enter and pay, they give you a time card with your info on it to fill out and present at tech. Then they take the card so they can enter in your car information and give you back the stub. Well when I gave them my card, they basically gave the whole card right back to me, but at that point I didn't think anything of it. When I came to the line for my first run, they kept asking me questions like if I had changed my number or my class because they couldn't find me in the computer. So they just manually entered me there on the spot and I took my run. After I came into park, one of the guys came storming up to my car and asked me if I had tech'd. I said yes, and he then wanted to see my time card. So I gave it to him, and he takes it and looks at me very angrily. He shows the part of the card that THEY SHOULD HAVE TAKEN and yells at me saying that I should have tech'd before I ran. I told him that I did, and this is what they gave back to me, and he just shook his head like he didn't believe me and walked away. It's not my fault they messed up, but apparently it's ok to take it out on me. Another example is the time calling. They never called any times for people that don't usually go to NNJ events, but acted like professional announcers when one of their buddies was at the line. And when they did announce someone they didn't know, they just used their car number, like we didn't have names or anything. At the end of the day when Gus and Omar were making up their final runs, they even went as far and told them to hurry up and not hit any cones so they could finish the runoffs. Seriously, there's no need for any of that, and it would have been nice to have times called out as well as cones so you could really know how you did. But apparently you have to be in their club to get that sort of treatment. Anyways, enough of the ranting. Overall, good day, lots of runs in a short time, but NNJ SCCA aren't very friendly.

Submitted by Matt, PSG STi

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