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 Post subject: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:06 pm 
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I haven't posted here for a while. Just thought I would tell anyone that might be interested that in the past year I have done my best to keep the Mk 1 GTI on the competition radar. I ran the Vic Club Autocross series through 2008 and while it might not be Bathurst the standard of competition is somewhat higher than club level. It is considered to be the unofficial Victorian Autocross "championship" (Events are run on dirt/ gravel over 1 to 1.5 k's with the competitors' best 3 times added together to decide the results and attracts fields of between 60 and 125 competitors. You have to be pretty keen as some events involve 700 plus k's of towing ). I ran in the up to 1600 modified class which managed fields of around 8 to about 15 cars per event .It was my first year doing the series (although I have around 40 years all up in motorsport...gulp ) and all but one of the tracks was new to me . Over the 6 events I managed 2 firsts, a 2nd, a 3rd a 4th and a 6th in class which was enough to win my class series outright. My car has a stock motor apart from extractors and a cold air intake. I run adjustable konis all round, the front end runs extra negative camber and I have a Cultus LSD which helps the Dunlop rally tyres to give maximum forward momentum. I also have extra rear brake bias so that when I left foot brake the thing will actually turn in! The interior is stripped out of the car and I have a full cage. Basically I have much the same power to weight ratio as the car had when it came off the production line 22 years ago so I think it says a lot for the car design that while it was nowhere near the most powerful in the class a light weight and a fairly nimble chassis means it can still hold its own in motorsport all these years later. By the end of the series the car was pretty tired with (suprisingly) front konis that need a rebuild and a motor that has now seen better days however it is currently having a bit of a freshen up and a Haltech installed. In the meantime I have let the side down and bought a superbly built ex Vic Rally PRC class winning Honda Civic EG6 to share the load with the Swift in the same series this year. First event of the series is actually in NSW (Deniliquin) in late Feb and I haven't yet decided which car I will take.
Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:21 am 
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Nice work there mate, good to see another person flying the Mk1 flag in motorsport and doing it so well. keep us posted how the car pulls up after the extra work you're doing. Should be good.

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 Post subject: Re: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:11 pm 
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Yeah thanks mate. I was a bit worried about how I should word my post as I don't want to be seen to be telling people how great I am . ( I can have a bit of a boast to my wife and son and that goes over pretty well but telling people here how I had a reasonably good year might make me seem like I have an out of control ego... LOL ) The thing is that I am not too sure how many people on here understand my form of motorsport as these days many seem to be interested in bulk horsepower just for the sake of a good dyno figure or making their front bar look different etc which only proves to me that I am now in a minority here which saddens me a bit. I am not saying I think any less of the people posting here with different Suzuki interests . I am just saying that I often do not understand what they are about and often I can't see the point and I suspect they look at my preferred form of Suzuki interest with zero understanding .For me cars are about changing direction as quickly as possible, generating maximum mid corner and corner exit speed ,heeling and toeing, balancing a sliding car through a corner with the the throttle and hopefully using all the skills I have developed over many years to try and be a tenth of a second quicker than 40 other cars (without hitting anything) on a 1 k ever changing rutted gravel competition track . At the end of a days competition the electronic timing beam tells me whether I am driving well or not.The way I look at it if you think you have a quick car and if you think you are a good driver there is only one way to truly find out .Put yourself up against others in a controlled environment and see where you end up. As they say in my sport the BS stops when the flag drops LOL. At the end of the day I guess we are all different although sometimes I wish more were like me LOL

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 Post subject: Re: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:18 pm 
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Steve wrote:
At the end of the day I guess we are all different although sometimes I wish more were like me LOL


Steve people that do understand your passion, rarely post, often lurk. ;)

Keep going and posting results and messages. =D>

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 Post subject: Re: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:33 pm 
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Well done Steve =D>

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 Post subject: Re: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:51 pm 
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Thanks for the support. I know there are a few of you who understand what I am trying to convey. (I actually just got a PM from a past regular contributor to these pages and a former motorsport competitor who said they "totally agree") At least there are a few people who do not seem to think I am a total wanker. I guess I just feel that a lot of our younger Redline members are perhaps missing out on a motoring dimension that could potentially give them a far greater understanding of their car and their capabilities and the absolute enjoyment (and disappointment LOL ) organised motorsport can give them.

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 Post subject: Re: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:04 pm 
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In the days were electronic aid can make Joe Average look like Michael Schumacher, its good to see people still going el natral. Just goes to prove you dont need 500hp and straight line to be a good driver (nothing against drag racing, but I consider rally to be the pinnacle of driving skill).

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 Post subject: Re: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:54 pm 
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markymark wrote:
In the days were electronic aid can make Joe Average look like Michael Schumacher, its good to see people still going el natral. Just goes to prove you dont need 500hp and straight line to be a good driver (nothing against drag racing, but I consider rally to be the pinnacle of driving skill).


Happily ABS and the types of stability and traction control fitted on modern road cars usually make them considerably slower on loose surfaces at the level I compete at. I used to run a Mazda Familia 4 WD turbo and I could get the car around an autocross track faster once I installed a switch to turn the ABS off. Obviously a sophisticated electronic system on a top level world rally car is a different matter though.
I have been told that Jim Richards in one of his Porsches (not sure which one) during the Targa Tasmania (which is on tarmac of course ) would switch his stability control on and off at various times during a stage . In other words sometimes he thought the Porsche system could do a better job and other times he backed himself .

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 Post subject: Re: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:59 pm 
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Congrats on the results over the last year and good luck with the future, even if it might be in a Honda [-X :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 8:34 pm 
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tekkie wrote:
Steve wrote:
At the end of the day I guess we are all different although sometimes I wish more were like me LOL


Steve people that do understand your passion, rarely post, often lurk. ;)

Keep going and posting results and messages. =D>


touche!

Steve ,well constructed posts , excellent work on winning your class , the site could benefit with more people like you. You have a right to brag about it .

keep up the good work

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 Post subject: Re: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 8:52 pm 
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Thanks for the comments guys. You are all going on my Christmas card list.... :D

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 Post subject: Re: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:38 pm 
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Steve, know exactly where your coming from as I have competed for years in Autocross as well, over here in the West. My MK1 GTi had a very similar reputation as yours, with many class wins and outright victories, often against 60+ competitors.
a quick vid on youtube...http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=C9uTdpI1Q6o

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 Post subject: Re: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:55 pm 
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You are most likely 30+
I feel your pain :)
We grew up in a different era, however we still love these cars (just in different ways)...
Keep doing what you enjoy, don't worry about the styling kits, just drive the bloody thing as well as you can... and have fun!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:11 pm 
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Steve wrote:
It was my first year doing the series (although I have around 40 years all up in motorsport...gulp )
Steve

I'm sure he's 30+ :lol: :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:53 am 
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I am aware of the great results you have had in the past sk4wd. I believe motorsport in your corner of the country is actually of a very high standard. As far as my age goes I turned 59 last September which either makes me older and wiser or old and stupid. I rallied through the 1970,s then "retired" to different open wheelers, karts and later lap dashes ,autocrosses etc..My quickest car was a rotary engined group G vw beetle would you believe .Although we won a number of rallies in that car it would be blown away by a modern 4 wd rally rocket however I doubt the average current era 4wd rally car would have been any more exciting and challenging to drive. Two hundred bhp hung out over the back axle really got your attention. When I look at old photos I cringe when I see us with no helmets, only a half alloy cage, a radiator header tank inside the car on the back shelf under the rear window and "Gates " made in America steam pipe running along the floor between the navigator's legs and under his seat.(It took water from the front radiator in the spare wheel well to the motor and back again.) I specifically remember the brand of pipe as my long suffering navigator insisted on extensively researching the pipe specifications before he would get in the car.
That car was recently written up in a VW club magazine (in the "history" section I believe...... ) and I didn't think much about it until my wife reminded me that the people who wrote the article (I don't actually know them) were probably not born when the car was active. While I had reasonable success I can't claim to have been a Colin Bond or George Fury of the time so I guess that article is about as close as I will ever get to being in a motoring "hall of fame". While I still feel as if I am driving as fast as I ever did my results confirm that I am not as my last first outright was about 3 years ago in a Mazda Familia 4wd. Strangely I never enjoyed the thing .I just felt it didn't give me the driver involvement that my Swift GTI could give. I prefer a high compression, normally aspirated motor to be connected to my throttle and I now find it very satisfying to compete for class results in a car that I enjoy driving. Sorry about the long post and my life story but it really is great to respond to people who understand the point of view I am trying to convey. Strangely my 22 year old son thinks that today I should wear my old "No Fear" tee shirt which reads "The Older I Get The Better I Was".....
Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:21 pm 
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Steve, I joined the local hillclimb club last year simply because its membership base is made up of people like yourself. In a time when cars are becoming fashion accessories and "enthusiasts" are determined by who has the biggest wallet, I found it refreshing to find a group of people who's only intent is to enjoy driving their cars fast without the bullshit agendas you find on the street (or internet).

So yes, keep it up and don't be afraid to spin a few yarns about what you enjoy doing!

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 Post subject: Re: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:12 pm 
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Good to hear your stories, if there are more lurkers out there with experience to share, please pipe up. Us younger guys, (some of us) would like to hear more. Its also to hear that the gti is still competitive in its class.

I would love to see a blog on your next season if you have the time.

=D>

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Last edited by SOBIL on Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:14 pm 
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Steve wrote:
I am aware of the great results you have had in the past sk4wd. I believe motorsport in your corner of the country is actually of a very high standard. As far as my age goes I turned 59 last September which either makes me older and wiser or old and stupid. I rallied through the 1970,s then "retired" to different open wheelers, karts and later lap dashes ,autocrosses etc..My quickest car was a rotary engined group G vw beetle would you believe .Although we won a number of rallies in that car it would be blown away by a modern 4 wd rally rocket however I doubt the average current era 4wd rally car would have been any more exciting and challenging to drive. Two hundred bhp hung out over the back axle really got your attention. When I look at old photos I cringe when I see us with no helmets, only a half alloy cage, a radiator header tank inside the car on the back shelf under the rear window and "Gates " made in America steam pipe running along the floor between the navigator's legs and under his seat.(It took water from the front radiator in the spare wheel well to the motor and back again.) I specifically remember the brand of pipe as my long suffering navigator insisted on extensively researching the pipe specifications before he would get in the car.
That car was recently written up in a VW club magazine (in the "history" section I believe...... ) and I didn't think much about it until my wife reminded me that the people who wrote the article (I don't actually know them) were probably not born when the car was active. While I had reasonable success I can't claim to have been a Colin Bond or George Fury of the time so I guess that article is about as close as I will ever get to being in a motoring "hall of fame". While I still feel as if I am driving as fast as I ever did my results confirm that I am not as my last first outright was about 3 years ago in a Mazda Familia 4wd. Strangely I never enjoyed the thing .I just felt it didn't give me the driver involvement that my Swift GTI could give. I prefer a high compression, normally aspirated motor to be connected to my throttle and I now find it very satisfying to compete for class results in a car that I enjoy driving. Sorry about the long post and my life story but it really is great to respond to people who understand the point of view I am trying to convey. Strangely my 22 year old son thinks that today I should wear my old "No Fear" tee shirt which reads "The Older I Get The Better I Was".....
Steve


Well Steve, Victoria's oldest "hoon" is still competing in various events at 78, so you still have a few years yet :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:41 pm 
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[YLD80Y] wrote:
Steve, I joined the local hillclimb club last year simply because its membership base is made up of people like yourself. In a time when cars are becoming fashion accessories and "enthusiasts" are determined by who has the biggest wallet, I found it refreshing to find a group of people who's only intent is to enjoy driving their cars fast without the bullshit agendas you find on the street (or internet).

So yes, keep it up and don't be afraid to spin a few yarns about what you enjoy doing!

I think you have very accurately described the appeal of grass roots motorsport offered by CAMS based clubs Braydon. At least we can have some guilt free fun with fellow enthusiasts in a controlled environment and hopefully avoid being branded a "hoon " in the sensationlist press by some publicity seeking politician.

Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:04 pm 
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Steve wrote:
Over the 6 events I managed 2 firsts, a 2nd, a 3rd a 4th and a 6th in class which was enough to win my class series outright. My car has a stock motor apart from extractors and a cold air intake. I run adjustable konis all round, the front end runs extra negative camber and I have a Cultus LSD which helps the Dunlop rally tyres to give maximum forward momentum. I also have extra rear brake bias so that when I left foot brake the thing will actually turn in! The interior is stripped out of the car and I have a full cage. Basically I have much the same power to weight ratio as the car had when it came off the production line 22 years ago so I think it says a lot for the car design that while it was nowhere near the most powerful in the class a light weight and a fairly nimble chassis means it can still hold its own in motorsport all these years later.


Hi Steve,

That is mind-blowing!!!! :o :o :o

Love to see some photos, or if there is some video clips on Youtube or something?

I am a 40+ Swift GTi owner myself..
8)
And don't worry about being perceived as blowing your own trumpet.. as Swift enthusiasts there is nothing we love to hear more than one doing well..

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 Post subject: Re: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:25 am 
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Hi James
If you go to Youtube and type in "VCAS Round 2 Bendigo 20/4/2008 "my white Mk1 appears at 1 minute and about 1 sec and at 2 minute 35 seconds and at 3 min 58 seconds .
(Was the only Mk 1 there) It always looks a bit tame to me on you tube but if you look at the first clip and listen to the rev,s the car is pulling in second coming down the hill you will get an idea that it is honking along. We use 3rd a couple of corners further on and you are driving straight at trees before you come to a tightening second gear left.(good idea not to miss your braking point as some guys have found to their cost). For the unitiated my flat and straight cornering technique is usually quicker than a spectacular tail out , opposite lock gravel rooster tails method employed by some drivers. I won my class there that day and again when I went back later in the year. (It was actually the only 2 times in the year that I did win my class). The layout of the track with down hill corner exits seems to suit the gearing of the GTI.
There is one other track where no matter what I do I seem to be about 10 places further down in the overall results as it is flat with tight corners followed by long straights and suits cars with bulk horsepower. I am hoping my Civic EG6 with about 175 bhp will work better there.
Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:08 pm 
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Just watched that youtube clip, I love it when you can pick a Gti out of a cloud of dust from it's exhaust note 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:46 pm 
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Glad you enjoyed it .I have no idea who took the video and for some reason they seemed to concentrate on my class and gave my car an unusual amount of footage. I never see much value in the footage as the cameras are always too far away and really do not give much indication of how hard we have to work inside the car. (Mind you I guess even F1 looks easy on a screen in the lounge room). I would have thought some of the four wheel drive STI's or specials would have been more appealing to the average youtube watcher however the camera operator obviously had an agenda he wanted to follow. From memory Brendan Reeves was there in his Australian Rally Championship podium car and I know one of the motoring journalists, James Sandford, from the Herald Sun was there in his STI. James is a very modest guy who never writes about himself in the Sun except when he end for ended his car into total destruction in the series 2 years ago and subsequently did an article on the value of a full cage and a proper race seat LOL. He actually won the series outright last year despite having a lot of ongoing problems setting up his centre diff.There was also a very rapid Cyborg Mirage driven by 16 yo Jacob Mc Cashney, ( brother of Aussie Race Cars regular winner Ben). We expect big things from Jacob in the Australian rally scene in the future if he can get a budget together. Interestingly the vw beetle despite not looking too quick in the footage (which was shot early on while the track was still very "green" and slippery) is fitted with a twelve grand plus motor and on some tracks I can finish in front of him and on others he is a fair way in front of me. He runs in a different class (I think he has about 2.2 litres) but it interesting to compare times and analyse why the variations occur from track to track.
Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:02 am 
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Very interesting read Steve, thanks for the posts.

As someone who only got their CAMS license last year (at the age of 40!!!) I wish I had gotten into hillclimbs and khanas or autocross years ago. I'm encouraging my sons to get into - in fact I got my eldest his CAMS 2SJ at the same time as I got mine. Everyone should get out there and try it, it's great fun =D>

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 Post subject: Re: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:40 am 
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Yep it sure beats hooning around on the streets. It seems there may be more motorsports enthusiasts with CAMS memberships on here than I thought. Maybe we should lobby the mods for a specific " club motorsport category" ?
Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:28 pm 
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Steve wrote:
....

Excellent result.

I'm another 40-something. In my case using an Ignis Sport at trackdays, and planning some 'proper' motorsport before too long. I'm hoping we have many good years ahead of us.

A few years ago, living in England, I went to Catalunya in Spain to watch the WRC rally and had the pleasure of meeting Phil Shaw. He was then 73 and still a very active competitor, there to see the rally. Before it started he drove the entire route on his own in a hire car. Then he went off into the Pyrenees to check out some off-road driving school that he was interested in.
Thinking of him now I just googled him and he passed away last year, but active until the last ... which is how I'd like to go.
http://www.expressandstar.com/2008/01/0 ... s-aged-82/


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 Post subject: Re: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:37 pm 
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Thanks for that info. I am told that if you go to CAMS historic race meetings you will find competitors still wringing everything out of their fully fledged race cars despite being well into their 70's. A friend of mine said he went to a combined car/ bike meeting not long ago and twice he witnessed a couple of obviously "old" bike riders being given assistance to get on the things before they then set off to record competitive times.
Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 3:26 pm 
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Steve wrote:
I am told that if you go to CAMS historic race meetings you will find competitors still wringing everything out of their fully fledged race cars despite being well into their 70's.



We had a similar thing down here at Tassienats. Bloke who was easily 70 racing in a worked 308 (I think from memory) VK and running very competitive times, including reaction times he didn't move real quick getting in or out of the car, usually couldn't hear over the loud speaker the street cars had been called for a pass and didn't bother with a burnout (not that you really need to on street tyres) but ran well all day. Showed a few younger guys (I'm 25) up off the line etc which is where it counts. Good to see...

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 Post subject: Re: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:24 pm 
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Steve wrote:
Maybe we should lobby the mods for a specific " club motorsport category" ?
Steve


What do you think Mods? :D

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 Post subject: Re: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:37 pm 
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time for ideas and suggestions topic

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 Post subject: Re: Autocross Mk 1
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:52 am 
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Steve wrote:
Maybe we should lobby the mods for a specific " club motorsport category" ?
Steve


Hi Mods,

suggest moving this thread to the new MotorSports forum.. this is the one that started the ball rolling! :)

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