Porsche Owners Club Autocross @ El Toro February, 21 2021

Event Smile Points: 4 out of 5

Well, it was that kind of day, not a bad one, but it didn't quite turn out as you had hoped. So, let's start with the good parts of the day. For starters, the Porsche Owners Club does a great job with providing a nice setting for an autocross event. It's well organized, the flow is easy and predictable, food is catered at times, and best of all, you can either be a social butterfly or tinker with the car between session because you don't have a work assignment. 

Now, let's get to the good part and talk about the runs. I was lucky enough to be in get first group, aka street sweeper group, however I couldn't complain about the course. It was super fast and not too dirty. Not to mention, the weather was mild in the upper 70s with a light breeze, which turned out to be close to perfect conditions. I came out of the first session gaining time with each run. The car felt solid and it was doing everything I had asked. I have to add that I was scrubbing in a new set of 285/30-18 Falken rt660, so extra smile points awarded. I didn't want to touch the settings between session one and two, since my focus was mainly on seat time. I also had a list of competitors to watch and took some valuable notes. So, by the second session, my head was fully in the game and there wasn't much added pressure since it's all still practice runs.

The second session turned out much like the first, the car felt solid and I was continued to cut my lap times down. By the end of the second session, I had reached my goal time. I had some momentum and a full head of steam going in the third and final competition session. However, a three session day can start to wear you down and like anyone with a lot of time on their hands, overthinking can ultimately destroy you. That is exactly what happened.

I charged into the session with a couple big ideas of how I was going to chop off another chunk of time, until I ran my first run realizing that I was almost a second slower. Minus one smile point. Keep in mind this was on a 50 second course. So, of course, I'm thinking everything: Did the course change? Is it me or the car? Why didn't I make adjustments? Did I kill the tires? I have to note that I was wearing a Hoonigan "Kill All Tires" shirt, ha. While all of this is going through my head, I pushed on and tried to act like nothing happened. That is, until the second and third run didn't show much improvement. I felt like I had plateaued and there wasn't anything left, but we took a swing at the compression setting hoping to get a little more out of the low speed sweepers. The last run was the fastest of the last session, however it did not give me the time that I wanted.

In the end, without discounting the other drivers, I felt that I had beat myself by overdriving the car and not keeping it simple. Sure, there were likely a couple of adjustments that could have been made, but more than 90% of the time, it's driver error. Regardless, I had tons of fun and had great time catching up with some other drivers. I can't wait until the next event and t-minus 4 weeks until the Optima Search for the Ultimate Street Car Challenge!

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