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Discussion Starter #1
Wish me luck fellow Insighters, as I compete with my Silver Space Pod in this weekend's SCCA Solo II Autocross event in DC. I think from the best I can tell that most of the others in my class are racing Mini Cooper's, I'm pretty sure I'll have the only Insight in the event! I'm not planning on winning, as this my first time, I'm just aiming to keep the car on track, not knock over any cones, and improve with each run. As soon as results are posted I'll inform everyone as to how I did, even if I have to report finishing last.

Go Hambone Racing!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I won't be able to video, but I'm hoping that I'll be able to have my friend who'll be going with me to help me out take some pictures with my digital camera while I'm out on the course.
 
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Hi Hambone:

___We may not be able to see the video but I would love to see a few pics when you take them. Let me know as I would love to have a few for “Insight in action” photos my Insight collection ;)

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:2utfgfl0][email protected][/email:2utfgfl0]
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok, first the link to the prelim results from yesterday's Solo II event at FedEx Field:

http://solo.wdcr-scca.org/results/p20040418.php

Hopefully y'all will be able to use the link to get to the results. As of now, I finished 5th of 9 competitors in H-Stock (HS), which I'm pretty happy about considering that this was my first autocross event. I actually finished ahead of a few folks, which exceeded my goal.

Of the four runs, I got a little faster with each run, except for the last where I was ahead of my runs from earlier but I hit my one and only cone on the last corner of my last run, which gave a time slower than my third run once the penalty was added in. Oh well, everyone there said if you don't hit at least one cone you're not trying hard enough.

Also, we didn't remember the camera in the hurried rush out the door yesterday. But, I'm signed up for the next event in the DC region, May 8th, so hopefully I'll be able to get some shots of my car in action at that point and get a couple posted.

I do have a couple of pics of my car in its battle dress, so if anyone can give me some guidence on how to post it I'll try and get it one here.

Oh, and my car's name has now been officially changed from the "Silver Space Pod" to the "Silver Race Pod"![/img]
 

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Hi,
Very good, congratulations.

For a picture, it needs to be at a maximum size of 450x450 pixels to be alowed directly in the tread message. You hit the IMG button once (on the "message body" line), paste the URL image location and click the IMG button again
So it looks like :


Note that the IMG button shows an * asterisk after the first click
 

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Congratulations Hambone

A solid performance, especially for a first time! What kind of tires are you using?
 

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Awesome, congratulations Hambone!

Beat out by four MINI's. As to be expected since they have a huge horsepower advantage over the Insight and good suspension out of the box.

I'm pretty sure you will be up in the top 5 consitantly. :D
 
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Hi Hambone:

___Congrats on your Insight’s accomplishment. I will definitely be looking for those pics.

___Redgiki allows me access to his personal server for a few 100KB or less of photos. Send me one or two and I will resize and upload them to his sight and code them here afterwards if you want?

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:3g6b9z6m][email protected][/email:3g6b9z6m]
 

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You beat a Boxter and an S4? Even accounting for the factored times, I'm truly impressed!

You have to figure that they are just afraid to push those expensive cars too hard.

I took part in a "driver's education event" in my last car, an A4, about a year ago at Virginia International Raceway. It was my first time at an event like that, and I had a great time (at least until my friend left the track in his RX7 and totalled it on the tire wall; he was unhurt, thanks to his helmet and airbags). Most of the cars were Mazdas, but there were a few other random ones like mine, and one Ferrari. The Ferrari owner had just bought his baby, and was afraid to drive it fast. We all passed him on the straightaways, and all chuckled about it afterward. But if I'd just dropped that much on a new toy, I'd take good care of it, too.

Hmm. I'm getting that bug again. I should start looking into Autocross events here in New England.

Thanks for the inspiration!

MF
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Xcel, I will likely take you up on your offer, I'll send a pic soon and will hopefully get some better pics in a couple of weeks (May 8th) when I run again.

Dan, I was running my stock Bridgestone Potenzas, with about 25K of wear on them and the outside edges of all four tire much more worn than the center sections. I started my first run with 34psi in the fronts, 33psi in the rears, and the pressures climbed fairly equally in all four tires at about a pound and a half to two pounds per run. I normally run at 40psi all around for normal driving, but figured trying to get a little more tire onto the surface might increase my grip a little. I seemed to hear that many autocrossers raise their pressures into the 40 to 50psi range, so maybe I was going the wrong way with my pressures but I didn't scrub the sidewalls at all (although I did use all but the last millimeter of available tread based on the scrub wear I noticed after my runs), and the car seemed to feel pretty good. I sure found out the Insight pushes very hard, but I was beginning to learn to use the gas peddle to help the tires stop spinning and regain grip, but hopefully I'll get even better at that with more practice.

I just had so much fun, finally getting into the seat and really going for it was even better than I would have imagined. I can't wait to do it again. One event and I'm hooked.

Oh, and the Insight got quite a notice and a lot of attention from the other folks at the event. At first I think everyone was kinda laughing that a car like the Insight would be entering, but once it got out on the track I think that a good many were impressed that the Insight can hold its own against cars with a lot more power and reputation. Maybe next time they see one on the road "slow" won't be the first thing that crosses their minds.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The final results from Sunday's event have been posted, and I guess somebody ahead of me in my class was DQ'd or something, because now I'm shown as 4th of 8. I'll take the extra point and be happy! Whoever it was probably didn't show for their work assignment, but hey, them's the rules. In case the link has changed, here it is again:

http://solo.wdcr-scca.org/results/20040418.php
 

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Discussion Starter #14

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Oh, that is so awesome that others at the event had second thoughts on discounting the Insight. i was so pleased at my last lapping day when I trounced the big bores with !/4 of standing water on the track.

I sure found out the Insight pushes very hard, but I was beginning to learn to use the gas peddle to help the tires stop spinning and regain grip, but hopefully I'll get even better at that with more practice.
Two easy fixes for it pushing.

First set your front tire pressure equal to the rear tire psi. You will be amazed at how neutral the handeling will become.

Second to get better turn in on those tight corners try throttle stab over steer. Right before the apex of the corner while on full throttle, quickly lift your foot completly off the gas pedal, the weight will distribute forward and the front tires will grab to start rotating the car, as soon as you feel the front start grabbing squeese on the throttle to full again. You will be amazed at how the Insight will respond to this manuver.
 

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Hi Hambone-

Nice pic! (The first link worked). You should frame it. You are a credit to the honor of Insight owners everywhere. (As are so many other folks here are too).
 

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Sparky,
You are describing "lift throttle oversteer".
This works well on medium radius, medium to high speed turns.

Trail braking works well on the insight but I don't recomend novices start by using that technique.

The fundamentals are:
For all turns and (specially tight turns) it's important to apply the brakes very very hard for 2 reasons
A) slow down to the required speed( how much you slow is only dependent on how long you brake not how hard because always brake at 100% effort.
B) most importanly brake hard because it causes a huge weight transfer to the front wheels. This weight transfer will give you much more turning ability when you start turning the steering wheel as you are releasing the brake.

Rememember that whenenever you touch your brakes in an auto-x they must be pressed very hard. braking must always be 100%, just for a very short period of time. Brake very hard and brake late, just before the turn in point.

I better stop I can write a 20 page book on all the advanced techniques of car control...

I'm addicted to racing, i'm going again this sunday.
G
 

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All this talk about braking hard has me wondering...

Are the Insight brakes up to the task of a hard day of autocross? Unlike stock sports cars and sports sedans, ours weren't intended to be driven this hard. A BMW's brakes are probably far larger than necessary for the daily commutes most of them experience. But ours -- for weight savings alone, if nothing else -- are probably sized for commuting with a reasonable safety margin.

Have those of you who have pushed your Insights to the limit experienced any brake fade? Has anyone considered upgrading to beefier brakes (is such a thing possible)?

MF
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I know one thing about my braking performance last weekend, I need a lot of work! I only felt the ABS a couple of times during my runs, so I think I probably didn't get on the brakes as late or as hard as I would need to to be at the very best performance I could reach, but I did not experience any fade at all with what braking I did use. A friend of mine who races suggested trying left foot braking to help the car rotate and to be able to stay on the throttle more through the corners to have more engine momentum coming out of the corner, but I'm not at the point of being able to do that effectively yet. Every time I try to use my left foot for braking I end up not having a deft touch, too used to using that foot to push in the clutch pedal I suppose.

On the brake mod front, I think that if larger brakes were put on an Insight it would bump the car to a different class in Solo II. The stock car is in H-Stock, and I myself would not want to have to be in one of the modified or street prepared classes, H-stock is tough enough! Instead of larger brakes, I'm thinking maybe a different brake pad compound or something like that might increase performance without necessitating a bump to another class.
 

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Mike F:
Insights have very good brakes.
Braking performance for an auto-x is excellent and can easily lock up my very sticky 195/55R14 Ultra high performance summer tires.
I've pushed my Insight hard at several real race tracks and I have not experienced any brake fade, I know the battery fades before the brakes do. But I do use high temperature synthetic brake fluid I change every year (Motul 600) to prevent the brake fluid from boiling over.
But because I like driving on race tracks as well as racing auto slaloms I got William Friction solo II pads for the front, custom made for my Insight. I have not installed them yet.

Hambone,
You may try "trail braking" on some large or medium radius turns but don't use your left foot. Use your right foot. Left foot braking to keep the engine reved up is more affective in an automatic slush box transmission.
G
 
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