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      04-02-2012, 08:40 AM   #65
Brigadier General

Drives: Jerez Black E90
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: STL

iTrader: (3)

Holy crap! This car is AMAZING on an autocross course. I've driven lots of cool stuff but I had no idea this would be tied with an SS Z06 for my favorite. No idea at all. If the ~3500lb E90 M3 is this awesome on an autocross course I can't imagine how much fun a 1M must be! No issues at all with getting the car to rotate, it definitely wants to push steady-state but at autocross speeds you just ease into the gas and it rotates. So controllable and predictable, and no problems at all digging up out of slow corners, though of course there's no such thing as too much power. I'm afraid to screw it up with the shocks I have on order now, but I guess there's no going back! It would have been pushy as hell on concrete though, so I think the dampers would be necessary for a nationally competitive effort. From a balance and stability standpoint the car was pretty spot-on, you could really toss it and get right on the throttle without causing a tank-slapper. Definitely recommend getting a front swaybar for this car if you're autocrossing one with any regularity, I'm pretty sure I would have looped it more than once with the stock bar on it.

Conditions were 90 degrees ambient, 110 degree surface temps, asphalt, and a pretty open course with two somewhat tight elements. You'll see from the video, but there were places where I got down to 3500 rpm in 2nd and places where I was all over the limiter in 2nd (68-69mph!)

I ended up at 33psi rear and 37psi front. I also starting spraying the fronts after run 2 and all 4 after run 3. Next event I'm going to try lower pressures in the rear, the fronts are rolling over almost to the treadwear lettering (same wear you'll see on an FS Mustang's 295's) but I think that's only happening when I overdrive a corner, it really didn't hurt them THAT bad. No shelf forming on the shoulder. The rears look like they're going to be good for a long while. No rubbing, AT ALL with this wheel/tire setup. The thing looks like a damn rollerskate. I ran at 1/4 tank and there were no fuel starvation issues, but I hesitate to and probably won't go lower than that. If I find the limit I find it, but I'd rather not ask the motor to deal with an interuption in fuel pressure on top of all the other punishment

I ran third heat so I had pretty good conditions, first heat had the honor of autocrossing on the surface for the first time in more than 18 months so it was very gravelly and I think next event will be a little more representative of the car's potential against some of the more dangerous index people like Ancel Henry in his Shelby GT in FS, who is one of my barometers for this season and ran 1st heat. But against the people in 3rd heat, several of whom were consistently in the top 5 last season, It's looking good.

I got video of my inaugural run (my fastest raw time but it was dirty) and my last run (a tenth off the winning time, borked a couple slaloms, lots of opportunities for improvement, the car is faster than me). I probably won't get it up on my Youtube channel for a couple days. Look up YuppieRacer, there are a couple Spec Miata videos right now. I'll post it embedded here too when I get it done

By the way, I was carrying a ~160lb passenger for my fastest run...need to ballast the car on the right side I guess