S: AutoX 2011
FC: AutoX 2011
1: For years I have been trying to get people to Autocross their cars. I always got the answer "You have a car that handles great, mine doesn't" or from Camaro / Firebird owners "When I get some/more suspension mods I'll be there." So for 2011, I decided to show everyone that you don't need a performance car to AutoX. I decided to go back to a real basic car. I had a 2000 Malibu with mechanical gremlins that I was going to sell. But Delta decided to run RallyX events this year. So I figured I could drive the Malibu at Solo and Rally events and give the Camaro a year off. To prove a my point I decided that this was going to be a full on "Cheap Chinaman Racing" NO Performance Mods! I will only spend money for repairs and general maintenance that is needed to keep the car running for this years events. So begins "The Year of Cheap Chinaman Racing!"
2: Delta Region Solo #1 January 9, 2011 Zephyrs Stadium When I showed up for the event, everyone kept asking me "Where's the Camaro?" I told them that it would be taking 2012 off. But some Delta members think i'm going to add some serious modifications and move the Camaro to CP for 2012. I don't think so! OK... I did do some mods on the Malibu, I de-screened the MAF sensor when I was checking the Air filter. I may have wasted my time doing that mod but it was FREE! I also added mud flaps for RallyX. I won them at a car show.
3: Finished 23 out of 31 1st event for the Malibu and it was HILARIOUS! I know I had the slowest car at the event and expected to finish last... But I didn't! The Malibu leaned so much that it scrapped the mud flaps. Everyone out there got a good belly laugh they were wondering WTF is that guy doing! He's going to flip! I loved the fact that I beat a GTI, GTO, Mustang and a Camaro. The driver in the GTI was Pissed Off that he was "losing to Pa-Pa's Malibu!" Sanford co-drove this with me and we have our own challenge series Me vs Sanford he leads 0 - 1 I lost by .462 sec.
4: Delta Region - RallyX #1 January 11, 2011 - NOLA Motorsports Park I was really excited for the RallyX event. Sanford could not make it so I decided to offered the Malibu to Delta members for co-drives. Jack Heaton and Christopher Young accepted so we had 3 drivers for the Malibu.
5: Christopher Young Jack Heaton | The Malibu just got dirtier the more we drove her. So we gave up on changing the numbers. Jack caught "AIR" at one point but no one got a photo of that.
6: Here's Me slinging some mud!
7: It rained the night before and a little during the event so the course got sloppy. Cars were bottoming out and loosing plastic under body trays and inner fenders... I had 3 piece fall out the Malibu and broke the inner fender liner in the bottom picture!
8: The track was M-U-D-D-Y ! You can see the racing line that we wore into the track in the photo's to the left. The picture below was taken a week later. This is all the mud I dug out of the engine bay between the radiator and engine. Guess that's why the car started to run HOT!
9: Finished 12 out of 33 The Malibu was a surprise to everyone that drove her! It was faster than anyone expected! I don't think I will have any problems finding co-drivers for the next Rally event. I was the 2nd fastest in the Malibu. Jack, Me then Chris. RallyX is so much fun. I even considered looking for an extra set of wheels to get some snow or truck tires! But I will not drive at wet or muddy event. It took too much time to clean all the mud from under the car and engine area.
10: Sanford dragging flap. | Me dragging flap. | Delta Region Solo #2 February 6, 2011 - Zephyrs Stadium Driving the Malibu is just so much fun! You can only go so fast before the all-season tires start to squeal and loose traction. At the event the Malibu was refereed to as The Bu SS Sanford thought it would give the car more HP so he added it.
11: Finished 57 out of 65 Still not last! In the Me vs Sanford series we are now tied 1 - 1. I think Sanford had an off day. I beat him by 1.939 sec.
12: Sanford | Me | Delta Region Solo #3 March 6, 2011 - Zephyrs Stadium If you told me that I would be having so much fun time driving the Malibu this year. I would have laughed at you. I gotta say that driving the Malibu or BU SS is showing me some important things that I kind of take for granted driving the Camaro. | In these 2 photo's Me and Sanford are almost the same position. You can see from the photo's that Sanford attacked this section harder than me... See the passenger side mud flap gap... his is small and mine is wide. I needed to go faster here!
13: Finished 49 out of 53 I am still not last. In GS class, I am the slowest car. But in raw times I am really starting to have fun finishing ahead of faster cars. In the Me vs Sanford I am down 1 - 2, I lost by .651 sec.
14: Delta Region Solo #4 April 10, 2011 - Zephyrs Stadium Sanford finished putting the Cobra back together so he decided that he will drive it for the rest of the year instead of the Bu SS. I don't blame him I rather drive the Cobra too! That's what we plan to do for 2012.
15: Finished 42 out of 48 Still not last. But I "bummed out" that I have lost the Me vs Sanford series 1 to 2. I will start this Me vs Sanford race series again in 2012 when I co-drive the Cobra with him. I still beat some fast cars today.
16: TLAC #2 May 29, 2011 EVOC Center - Zachery LA I decided not to use the Malibu for the TLAC. I just do not trust driving to an event that is over an hour away. At the 1st event this year every one thought I sold the Camaro. This was a shock to a lot of regulars when I pulled up in her. Sanford co drove this event with me. | Me and Sanford ran our fastest times on our 1st runs. He drove in 1st gear, I drove in 2nd. We adjusted tire pressure but I think we went too high instead of 1 lb adjustment. On the 1st half I was smooth on the 2nd half Sanford was smooth. If we could have put both our smooth runs together we would have broke the 50 second mark. We both figured out the finish too late. Brake 2 turns ahead of the finish to set a smooth tight line to it... SLOW IN TURNS!!!!!
17: Finish 49 out of 76 I still can not believe that I lost to Sanford by .071 secs in my Camaro!
18: Gulf Coast Region June 25, 2011 Sunny South Raceway - Grand Bay, AL
19: This is a series of pictures of me exiting an optional turnaround heading back into a slalom. Looks like I had understeer coming out of the turn. | Another month with no DELTA event. So Me and Sanford drove to the Gulf Coast Region to race. Sanford was not ready for a long drive with the Cobra to Grand Bay so we drove the Camaro.
20: Finished 12 out of 26 The course was set up in the parking lot of Sunny South Race Track. Which had a 2 garage metal building in the middle. So we raced around the building. This was a "Night Event" but we finished early enough that they offered Fun Runs. We had a 2 hour ride back home so I did not make any fun runs after the event. Retribution from last months loss to Sanford! I beat him by 0.571 secs. I still can't believe I lost by .071!
21: Cenla Region July 31 2011 Cabela's - Gonzalas, LA
22: Cenla ran at a high profile location Cabela's in Gonzalas, LA. So we decided to go support them at their event. Me and Sanford did pretty good at this event. We finished 13 and 14 out of 70 + entries. We wiped up on some pretty fast cars that day. There were quite a few drivers that could not drive the course without DNF's. Only 69 drivers had complete runs.
23: We didn't do too bad in class we lost to an AWD Evo and beat an AWD STi. I love beating AWD cars. I think they should have a class of there own. I talked to the driver of the EVO and he was telling me about how he set his suspension to tarmac w/ limited traction control. Kinda like ABS brakes... it takes the guesswork out of the braking. I lost to Sanford again but this time by 0.007 of a sec!!! Sanford figured out that if we were going 40 mph I lost to him by about 5". So now I am down to Sanford 1 to 2 in both my cars. I do not know if we will get to drive either of my cars again this year.
24: Delta Region Solo 5 August 7, 2011 Zephyrs Stadium - Metairie Back to racing in the Delta Region after a 3 month break. It was hoT hOT, HOT but I still had fun dragging the mud flaps and getting the Bu to lean and roll on the tires!
25: Finished 44 out of 51 I thought today was going to be the day that the Malibu would finish DEAD LAST. After the 1st half of the day I had the slowest run! But in the 2nd half of the day I finally pulled off some good runs. Gotta love that i beat a new Mustang 5.0 lol...
26: Delta Region Solo 6 September 18, 2011 Zephyrs Stadium - Metairie This series of photo's show the BU driving into my "favorite" autoX feature, the Chicago Box. The photo on this page is me heading into the box. The next page shows me; "standing on the brakes", "ripping the steering wheel to the left", "jumping back on the gas", " heading to the finish. The Bu turns so slow that you have to turn well before you want to turn. I only hit the box one time at this event.
27: * entry * exit * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * A Chicago Box
28: Look... I'm 3 wheeling! I got real close to this slalom cone and I lifted the tire over the base of the cone. Shame I did not get a higher Resolution photo of this. | There were 5 cars in my class and I did not finish last this time!
29: Finished 35 out of 44 Still not finishing last and still beating some fast cars! We set up this course Saturday afternoon and I had a chance to drive it in the Camaro on it. I only drove at about 75% of how I would really drive this course. I really miss driving the CAMARO! You don't realize how well a car handles until you drive something else.
30: Delta Region TLAC 4 October 9, 2011 Zephyrs Stadium, Metairie Since this was a non points event. I decided to co-drive with Sanford in his Factory 5 Cobra. OMG that car has crazy power but was a bear to drive. In a straight line the Cobra will eat anything out there. But it is soo hard to drive fast with the weight bias to the rear of the car. It takes a hard brake and a quick flick of the wheel to get it to turn. If you jump on the throttle too soon you will over power the rear and spin! This is a picture of Sanford eating a cone. He thinks the alignment is off and that's why its such a bear to drive fast.
31: Finished 24 out of 63 I beat Sanford by .637 and won our class. This kinda takes the sting out of Sanford beating me in my Malibu and Camaro. | My First TLAC Trophy!
32: Delta Region Solo 7 November 5, 2011 Zephyrs Stadium - Metairie Today was a bad day for me. My fastest run was my 1st run and I went slower every run after that. I just could not figure out what I was doing wrong today. Everyone asked if I was going to run the next day for the Mirrorkhana. I decided that it would be a waste of time and money b/c no one would give me any real lengths that would give me a fair race.
33: Finished 33 out of 36 4th from the bottom! This is the qualifying event to set your for the next days Mirrorkhana. I would have thought more cars would have been here today. As you can see I was very close to finishing LAST today. Sanford on the other hand was 5th today on street tires. keeping up with cars with R-comp tires. He rechecked his alignment and made some changes. HE WAS FAST TODAY!
34: Delta Region Solo 8 December 4, 2011 Zephyrs Stadium - Metairie Last event for 2011 and the last event at Zephyrs Stadium. The Delta region will be moving it's site to NOLO Motorsports Park for 2012 and beyond. I wanted to get a picture of the Malibu with the stadium in the background. We sure did have some fun times out there.
35: From the starting line. The course was set up to jog left to some slaloms, turn right and head back down the center turn right and back thru the slaloms then head to the outer Chicago Box then exit. It was a very fast course! These 2 photo's show my coming out the start and turning left toward the slalom.
36: Driving thru the slalom. Looks like I am very close to lifting the rear tire in the center photo.
37: Finished 41 out of 44 It was looking very much link I was finally going to be dead last today in Raw Times. I thought about just having fun and drift the course for the last event. But the competitive spirit would not let me do this. I drove the heck out of the Malibu trying not to finish last today at the last event for the Malibu. Mission accomplished. I did not finish last.
38: With the close of the December event...So ends my Cheap Chinaman Racing Experiment. So what did I learn; - You don't have to have a fast car to have fun. - In autocross events It is all about driver skill not speed. - A bone stock car is quite a handful to drive fast. - People with fast cars can not stand being beat by a "Pa Pa" Malibu. - You can only go as fast as your tires will let you. - No matter how hard you try you cannot flip a Malibu with stock tires. One thing that I was hoping was that we would have had more RallyX events for 2011. I still have RallyX expectations for the Malibu!
39: Assorted Course Maps for 2011
40: This one was my favorite for the year! -------->
41: Good bye Malibu. It's Back to V8's for 2012!